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I can't seem to find any hope in life. I look at my Mom going downhill, and know that's me right around the corner. I read others stories on here, and think how will I ever cope with that? I have lost all of the hope for any dreams and hope for a bright future. I am feeling so trapped and lost. I also feel like if I put her in a care center not only will she be miserable, but I will have failed. I don't know how to go on anymore.

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I know how you feel although I have considerable health issues myself ,I go to a pain clinic that makes me feel subhuman, our Heath system is in such poor shape .i feel for you and write my friends often .im also blessed taking care of someone that does care about me so together we cope. Hugs to you.
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I feel for you. The worst is losing hope. I am 32 years younger than my Mother but she refers to us as "the old ladies." How depressing is that!! In her mind she wants us at the same place physically because it make her feel better. The hardest part for me is separating the woman my Mother is now from the woman that she used to be. Really though, how unfair is that. She is not the woman she was even 5 years ago. My Mother was replaced by this grumpy, complaining old lady. She really cares little for my happiness - it is all about who is going to take care of her. So I just do the best that I can and take each day as it comes. Many times I long for the life I used to have but life is just a series of changes anyway.
Best of luck to u - you are not alone.
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Great response Jeanne.
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Jeannegibbs, THANK YOU so much for your kind response. I am so appreciative. I am on medication for the depression, and I go to therapy as well.
A lot of my problem is the guilt I feel if I do something without her. She was always kind of a bitter woman, so with the dementia, it's much worse. And she pushes my guilt buttons very well.
I love the idea of the photo album and getting a care giver to go out with us. That is exactly what I need to do! She always wants to go to the Disney parks for a bit, so I am going to find someone who can do that with us.
As I sit here and think about this situation, I am grateful for wonderful people like you who are here to listen. Thank you!
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How are you doing, eyemtink?
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eyemtink, nearly everyone with a loved one who has dementia feels down sometimes -- bad, mad, sad. Also discouraged, frustrated, and hopeless. I think these are normal reactions to a very bad situation.

Often for caregivers the bad feelings evolve into clinical depression. The feelings are not only uncomfortable but they also get in the way of daily activities.

I think you should seek out professional help if you have clinical depression. My preference is to see a psychiatrist who will address issues of chemical imbalance, and most likely recommend a therapist, for talk therapy.

I can give you a few ideas for coping with feeling bad, and I think you'll get lots of responses from other members. None of what we suggest is a substitute for professional help, if that is what is needed.

One suggestion is to not isolate yourself. Have breakfast with a friend before work. Go for an afternoon walk with a neighbor. Keep in touch by email and phone. This takes a lot of effort when you are also a caregiver. It is important and it is worth the effort.

Remember the good times. You very fortunately had six wonderful years of adult freindship with your mother before she became ill. Celebrate that! If you have photos of your adventures on a disk somewhere, or on rolls of film, get them into an album. Share your memories with your mother. If you already have albums, great! Sit together and look at them often. No pictures? Buy nice picture books of the places you went.

Get help. Get mother a CNA or a PCA or some kind of helper. Go on outings with this person's help. The outings may not be as robust and adventurous as they once were, but you can still do fun things, with help. My husband has dementia and is now at the point where I can't manage alone with him in public. He still likes to eat out, so I arrange to have his PCA or daughter go with us, and I do it on off-hours, when the restaurant is not likely to be at peak businesses..

Protect your health. Get enough sleep, eat reasonably well, exercise. Again, I know that caregiving makes these things a big challenge. Do the best you can. Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect, but don't give up entirely.

Try to maintain some realism. Yes, dementia can have absolutely dreadful symptoms. How will you face them? One day at a time. Not everyone develops all symptoms. Reading what others are coping with does not mean you will face the same things. Maybe, maybe not. Don't borrow trouble ahead. Cope with what you have to deal with today. Take care of tomorrow tomorrow.

Continuing the realism theme, in one sense your mother is going to be miserable no matter where she is. And you can help allieviate some of that misery, again no matter where she is. It is not a given that she will be more miserable in a good care center. Begin to explore the possibilities for her care if/when she progresses to a point where you cannot care for her at home, even with in-home care. Maybe you will never need to use a care center, but I think you'll feel better when you know what is available and how you will continue to be an active part of her care team, no matter where she is.

It is the plan for humans that parents usually die decades before us, and we spend the last part of our life journey without them. It is heartbreaking when this happens early, and when it involves severe decline. But there is still hope for dreams and a meaningful future.

eyemtink, please take care of yourself! And if it seems appropriate, get professional help for your depression. You deserve it, and your mother deserves to have you at your best.
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