Follow
Share

I just am at my wits end; i need to vent but can't go to any of my friends or family because this town is so small and we own a business I have been caring for my mother for the last 4 years she lives next door to us (i moved her hear with very little help from my sister) my mom has adjusted but within a year of moving my mom my sister began to disaprove of everything i did. she is constantly undermining anything me or my family may do to help mother. her new husband has accused me of being abusive.. we had so much troube with hiring caregivers that i finally signed on with a company and am paid for part of what i do for mother which is a blessing but my sister who lives in a different state continues to undervalue and criticize everything me or my husband do. to top it all off my mom and i have never really gotten along that well (i was the kid she wasn"t ready for with the strange personality) and the first year we had some big adjusting to do but we finally made it thru and are getting along for the first time in our lives. I think my sister really resents this too. In addition my Father in law died last year ( i was really close to him) and now we have my mother in law to look after....not as much as my mom but some. she live near us as well. I also have a child who is learning disabled and a son starting college this year and we have just gone thru a business start up.. I am all done in and can't seem to focus on anything I am also going thru meopause, and have had several other health issues i have been dealing with in the last year and a half. i can"t seem to rise above this most recent onslaught of life. I am depressed; tired; discouraged; and just need to get this out there to see if it helps any .........I have a beautiful home wonderful family but i cant enjoy anything anymore

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Suanne,
I don't know if there is any comfort that you can get from knowing that you are NOT alone in your challenges. Clearly the support you receive here is very valuable but it doesn't take away your struggles or your pain. Having been a coach for caregivers in your situation for the past 4 years after caring for my ex husband's parents for six years and then for my father for two, I can tell you that the success of caregiving begins with you, the caregiver. You cannot do this by yourself. You need to set up a support system and you have to place yourself at the top of the pyramid. Without you - everyone loses. And you cannot lose yourself because you matter too much. You need to get very clear about what you CAN do and what you will no longer do without support from others. Your family dynamic makes this even more difficult but perhaps there are ways that you can get your sister to help in ways that will give her a purpose so she doesn't have to spend her time criticizing you and your caregiver skills. I would strongly recommend that you set a plan for yourself, call a family meeting and get help. So often caregivers do it ALL until there is nothing left to give and you can't do anymore. I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you and see if we can put some systems and procedures in place that will work for YOU. I'm easy to find. www.thecarecompany.biz. As heart-wrenching as this is for you right now, there are things that can be done to relieve the pressure of your day to day life. If you feel inclined, please give me a call or send me an email through my site. Good luck with everything. Feel the love coming your way just in these comments alone. Cindy
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

For me, from the moment I started caregiving I lost a sense of self. Friends scatter and family looks the other way but are quick to criticize.

The next time your sis and her hub starts to complain, tell them that you would love it if they would come for a visit and try out their theories of caregiving. Then you can take a vacation. If sis becomes disrespectful on the phone, tell her politely that her comments are not helpful and that if she cannot "get with the program" you do not have time in your busy day to listen to her. Do this everytime. You are giving her your valuable time and she sees it a power trip. Trust me they do not care about your mom...most are looking after their inheritance, etc...

Right now, start looking for alternative living situations for both your mom and mil. Start conversations about how you are only one person and that at some point you will have to look into more appropriate environments for both. You also have a big responsibility to your child and family and your health is being impacted. If you start the conversation now, before everything becomes critical, you are laying the ground work for the future and it is respectful to your family members.
The one big thing I learned is that caregivers are giving by nature but we are terrible at taking care of ourselves. NO ONE will do that for you. If you collapsed tomorrow everyone would survive and find someone else to do the work for them. Do not let guilt be your guide...that's deadly.
Start today by calling ALFs and scheduling visits. Gather brochures and start the conversation with the fam. If others want to be responsible for Mom and the mil - great. If not, you have your own plan. (btw, hub needs to talk to his own family about pitching in with the mil.)
good luck
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I feel for you in your situation. I lost myself 11 yrs ago when I remarried. Six months into my new marriage I realized my husband has major depression. It was quite a struggle to get him to a doctor as he didn't believe it was depressed. He was just tired. He would sleep 48 hrs straight. My caregiving started then. I was a business broker and making a pretty good living so he just stayed home for days on end. He is self employed and only works when he wants to. Now his diagnosis has increased to major depression with panic disorder. Also now my company folded with the crappy economy and I lost my job...also now I've had to take in my mother who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and adult failure to thrive. Me? Who knows where I went...I'm not in my body anymore. Now I'm on antidepressants just to survive. I love them both dearly, but I fantisize about running away all the time. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope tomorrow will be a better day. This weekend for the first time I will put my mom in a respite home for 5 days. I'm stressing out about that. She will think I've abandoned her. But I've been sick myself now for almost a week and don't seem to be getting better. I have to have a break or I won't be able to continue. Thank God there are resources out there to help us. Look for them. I had to have help. Hospice comes 5 days a week to bathe and dress her. The aide comes at 6:30am so I can never sleep late. That hurts when you have to be up half the nite too. Once or twice a week the nurse comes to check her vitals. Social worker checks in with me from time to time. It was she who suggested the respite. I was crying so hard I could hardly talk to her. I look forward to next week being better after I get this break. Take advantage of whatever you can find. If you have to decide on an ALF or even NH don't beat yourself up too much(easier said than done). Everyone's different. Some can do this job of caretaking and others just can't. Doesn't mean you're weak, just means at this time in your life with all that's going on, you just can't take on another job. And it is a job. Mine is full time. If yours is not yet, great, but it will be one day. They are not getting younger or in better health. If you are the caregiver now, you probably will be later too. Unless your sister steps up to the plate and takes mom in. A start up business is incredibly time consuming and back breaking. I salute you for even taking on this challenge. Add a college age kid and a disabled child and health problems of your own and.....well...just sayin.....
I wish you well. I pray for all the caregivers who are struggling and fighting the fine fight to give or parents a happier life. Take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Of course you are depressed, tired, and discouraged. Good heavens, look at all that is going on in your life right now! For some of us, just the hormonal changes of menopause are enough to cause depression, without any situational triggers. I had post partum depression after each childbirth and menopausal depression as well. I can really relate to your question. I don't think people who have never been clinically depressed would understand that what we are looking for is not a happy pill or a fix -- it is to return to our "real" self! When I've been depressed I feel like, "Who is this imposter who is using my body?"

I think that Lilliput has given you some very practical action items. But if you are depressed, if you are "not me," then I think that is what you need to address first. You can probably get your PCP to prescribe an antidepressant, but I recommend against that. Instead I suggest seeing a specialist (probably a psychiatrist at a mental health clinic) who will do a thorough evaluation and probably prescribe either a drug or therapy or both. This is like having diabetes -- you may need both a medication and education about things to do. Once the "real me" is back in place you will be in a much better position to take the actions needed to improve your caregiving role. You may have to go outside of your small town to do this, and you may have to wait more than you'd like to to get an appointment, and all this is a hassle while you are a caregiver and mother and business owner, but it really is important to get back to "me." It is the foundation of everything else you need to and want to do.

Best wishes to you, and keep us informed of your progress.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Ask for help even if it is just a couple hours a week, reconnect with old friends and family and old interests make it a point that care-giving is a non-topic for most of the times you are away from it, just to give yourself a breather so it isn't like it is all there is in your life. Take good care of yourself as well as the person who is receiving the care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

okay Rosetindall -- I do understand where you're at and I'm there right with you. Since this journey i have been on i've decided society is divided up between those who care and those who do not. Talk is cheap and i no longer have any expectations. I wrote a letter to all my siblings at once just saying what's going on, what's involved, and just a short paragraph of how this has deeply affected my life. I wrote that I am not the same person I was before, and will do what is required. when the time comes for this person to pass (if she passes before me), I will not be holding a service. the end. to be totally honest, with what i've gone through and what you've gone through -- the last thing we need is siblings crying over spilt milk -- my feelings is that they should have been here to be with her while she's alive.
There i've said my peace.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

NoName, when my husband first developed dementia he was up 5 to 7 times a night. I quickly became a zombie. His sleep deprivation made his problems worse. It was a nightmare. When his neurologist asked which symptom we wanted to tackle first, I said it had to be the sleep problems because I would simply not be able to keep him at home if we couldn't resolve that. We had one false start, but soon settled into a routine with a nightime drug. That was 8 years ago. Hubby still takes it, still lives at home, and neither one of us are sleep deprived zombies. You would be amazed at how much difference that makes!

If you haven't discussed the sleep problems with MIL's doctors, I urge you to do so. If you have, try again, with more firmness!

You are doing a wonderful thing. I wish you great success with the social workers visit.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Go to senior center or health department
both can find help for your mom so you can have respite care
I did because i am soul caregiver to my mom
the government offers many programs for those who qualify and if she does not qualify it is only because her income or savings is too high
in that case senior center can give you angencys you can hire. Take advantage of them all
and try not to talk to your sister too much on the phone scrreen all calls
i have the same almost
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with the previous suggestions. Hiring healthcare aides for 3 or 4 hours a day was very expensive and not covered by medicare or her other health insurance. I sent mom to a senior day care for 3 days a week and mom enjoyed it. It had a medical staff to give her her daily RX's. Also many activities. They had a very minimal charge for door-to-door transportation in a van, making sure that mom got safely into her house. But, it eventually got to the point where mom started having anxiety attacks when on the van b/c she didn't like going home to an empty house. It was at that point that I researched ALF and found on that was close by and which she could afford. I got the ALF to agree to keep mom, even when she runs out of money, since she can be self-pay for about 2 years. (Mom is 87) When she needs a nursing home, they will transfer her to their nursing home and help us apply for Medicaid.
My sibs haven't beem supportive of me, either. Theyt have accused me of almost anything that you can think of, except for abuse. They think that I want to be the POA so that I can cheat mom and spend her money! Not only is that not true, BUT I do all of the stuff they won't lift a finger to help me with---such as packing up and getting rid of all of mom's stuff (furniture, clothing, junk, etc) to sell her house and move her into the ALF. All of this has been exhausting and depressing but I just want you to know that you aren't really alone and that your feeling are real. Don't ever let your sibs or anyone else make you feel that you are "over-reacting" or a "drama-queen." It is their guilt that they use to justify their selfishness.
Hang-in there! When your mom passes, you will know that you have done everything that you can do! BUT DO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR FAMILY!!
HUGS TO YOU !!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What a God send this site is! Finally people who understand what i am going thru! Thank you for all your good advise hugs and comments. It feels good just to be heard and understood and you all hit the nail on the head. I had a talk with my husband ( who is also very supportive) and he advised me to compartmintalize my sisters responses as much as possible, he has also agreed to do all the communication with her as we no longer communicate effecively. i have decided to try to come up with something to do that makes me feel better even if it is only 10min a day....just don't know what yet as i have been lost for so long i no longer what that would be besides sleeping.I am also gonna try using the agency i work for to allow others to come in an help out occasionally and just turn a deaf ear to the complaints that follow. like jenegib bs said a little bit of control may go a long way to helping me to get a foot hold on my life again. Thank you all so much for your supportive, and very helpful comments and prayers. Thank God for this site!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.