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I am in my Master’s degree program for Nursing ( age 55 and finally I’m about to finish my last degree )...is there anyone who could share their experiences in their health declining or death of a caregiver before the family member dies they are caring for ... I wonder what effect the stress and lack of sleep , and constant worry over money , increased loneliness, isolation has on the caregiver. I’m deciding if I want to do my thesis on this topic, but I need some insight and some examples. I care full time for my mom who has Alzehemiers and dementia when I am not working at the hospital for my 13 hour shifts as a clinical supervisor. I come home after a 12 hournshift and I am so exhausted I can hardly feed Mom and put her to bed. I now have the caregiver staying to help me with this at night, except on my days off and I do it all myself. I purée all of mom’s meals, buy her ensure by the truck load, change her every 2 hours ..all my standards as a RN I should do. I also am severely ill with the autoimmune component of Psoratic arthritis, so I am on the chemo methotraxate and iv remicaid every 4 weeks and my critical levels of vitamin D. But I just keep plugging along everyday. I stay home all, day and change Mom at night when she needs it get her a ensure pudding and a ensure to be sure she’s not hungry. She has no bedsores and her labs are perfect. But I become exhausted and cranky sometimes and I miss my sister who died 4 years ago. I have severe grief of her sudden death at age 49, anyway that’s my story in a nutshell. But please give me your insight on premature caregivers deaths and do you feel the isolation has a lot to do with it ? I find this subject very interesting and would love any stories or feedback you can offer. I’m hoping my thesis will help others and maybe make a difference in how the struggles and isolation and stress of caregiving is viewed thank you so much. I love you all and I hope your holidays are merry.

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Dear ohmeowzer,

Thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing daughter. I know us women tend to put others first and sacrifice our own health. I am sure you will get lots of stories from other caregivers confirming your thesis.

I believe that both my mother and aunt both got breast cancer in their 50s because of their caregiving roles in their family and with my grandmother. There was just too much stress. Working full time, taking care of kids, taking care of an elderly parents and having no personal time.

I do feel the lack of support from family and friends and the feeling of isolation does increase the health risks. Being the default caregiver in my family, in the later years I feel I was in a permanent depression about my life and all the "tasks" I had to do. I kept asking myself when will it end? Not realizing the reality of my dad's passing would make it even worse that coping with his daily care.

Sending you love and hugs. Thinking of you and your mom.
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