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Some are very kind and loving I am sure. However, I have seldom met one. I have seen many very sweet precious elderly friends sadly neglected by very selfish children. The elderly can be self sentered. The caregivers can be also. This article causes me to desire more than ever to avoid ever having a caregiver if at all possible. I will never ever live with someone in their home and allow myself to become helplessly dependent upon them; nor will I ever allow anyone to move into my home. I am hoping, praying, working, preparing, and trying with all my might to live happily alone in my own cozy lovely home paying people to help when I need it. I passionately hope i can always have only paid employees helping me for a fair salary and thus just trying to do a good job for me rather than judging me and or blaming me for their problems. I do have long term care insurance in case i do ever become seriously disabled. O. how horrible it must be to exist merely as a problem or burden and perhaps even to be insulted in trendy ways. May God have mercy.

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Please, if you come into this post, don't fall into the OP's trap of trying to make you feel "less than"!

I don't agree with those of you who are saying you're not "selfless." As far as I'm concerned, the only people on this Earth that you OWE caregiving to are your children. I don't even believe you owe it to your spouse, although I think most of us would step up to take care of our SO should it come to that. But unless you are caregiving for your kids and if you are giving up time, money, employment, vacations, privacy, leisure time, etc. to take care of a loved one, you are, most indeed, selfless!

Being selfless DOES NOT MEAN never getting frustrated, angry, impatient, sick of it all, needing a break, needing respite, needing a vacation! If you were a paid caregiver, you would feel all these things, too! Is the OP really trying to convince us (or maybe herself) that a paid CNA, or some such person, works 365 days a year with no time off, no vacation, no downtime? That they never get aggravated or angry or frustrated with their clients? Really? Who has ever done ANY job under the sun that didn't have those feelings at one time or another? Would you accuse a professional caregiver of being selfish or unprofessional if they confessed to those feelings? Of course not! You would likely tell them "oh, I totally get it!" Please, please do not put yourself down for the sake of this poster!

I think this post is one of the most condescending, bullying things I have ever read! That she invokes the name of the Almighty, and ends with a "prayer" doesn't make it less so!
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Reply to notgoodenough
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I believe that to be a caregiver you have to be somewhat "selfless". But mostly what I believe as a caregiver to my husband of 26 years, is that we are "human", and we do the very best we can to take care of the people we love. We chose this route out of love for the person we are caring for. Is it easy? Hell NO! Can it be frustrating at times? Hell YES! But is it worth it? YES, YES, and again YES!

The pros definitely outweigh the cons. And it allows us precious time with our loved ones before they go to their eternal home. It makes me sad that you haven't had good experiences with caregivers in the past. Don't let that jade your thinking about the rest of us decent, hardworking caregivers. Trust me when I tell you this; there are WAY more good, kind, caregivers out there, than there are bad. And just because you haven't seen them, doesn't mean that they're not out there. Many of them are on this forum.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Are they selfless? No, probably not - but a heck of a lot better people than most people out there, and if you haven't met any nice caregivers, then you haven't been around many. My aunt was a nurse for many years and I don't know if it hardens them to do the work or not, but I do remember my mom and aunt saying that my grandma got the least amount of concern and empathy from my aunt than any of the other kids. She brushed off my grandma's complaints with, ' well you're old, so what do you expect?' Wouldn't take her to doctor very often. When aunt got dementia, her son just bundled her off to the nursing home.
I don't know caregivers who blame others for their problems either.
Hope you're putting a lot of money away to pay for all that fine home care....
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Reply to LivingSouth
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I'm feeling somewhat insulted, many of us here have given up a h3ll of a lot to care for someone. Was I selfless - heck no, but I tried my hardest to be a good caregiver, besides I don't think it is healthy for anyone to suppress their own needs for years. I do agree that it is horrible to exist as nothing but a burden, unfortunately for far too many aging and dementia strips away everything they once were and leaves a stranger with high needs in their place, and that is the true tragedy.
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notgoodenough Aug 12, 2020
You say you weren't selfless, but I disagree. If you're giving up things to take care of someone else, I don't know of a better definition of selflessness! The OP just has unrealistic and unreasonable expectations of people!
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May God have mercy indeed.

What is it that you expect from non paid caregivers? To be happy to give up their live for 5, 10, 20, 30 year or more?

Since you seem to like to go religious when you lecture here, let me ask if you remember the parable of the son in the vineyard? Remember? One son says he won't go to the vineyard to do the work, but then has a change of heart and goes, the other says he'll go and doesn't. Remember that one?

It's the first son, who does the work, even full of resentment, that Jesus calls the obedient one.

Quite honestly, I don't know what you expect from the people here. Many of us are in a situation like the parable. We come here to get things off our chest, and maybe find some solutions. Maybe get some empathy from people who have "been there, done that". You are 100% correct. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. But by all that's holy, I don't know what more you expect of people.
I take care of my mom. If you don't like that I don't do it like a Disney dwarf, whistling while I work, then that is YOUR problem, not mine.

Oh, and by the way - if you think that EVERY paid caregiver doing it out of some special calling from the Lord and not for a paycheck, I think you're going to be in for a rude surprise when the day comes that you might need full time care. I hope if that time comes, you're one of the fortunate few that only come in contact with the former type of paid caregiver.
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texasrdr22 Aug 12, 2020
AMEN!
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No, Caregiver's are not selfless. There is nothing romantic about Caregiving. My Mom was in good heath. I saw some small changes but it was a Nurse in my Church who brought to my attention Mom may have Dementia. Early stages were OK but her decline was monthly. I was a different person caring for her. Mom was not a hugger or kisser and either am I. So hard for me to show any of this. To deal with it I hardened myself a little. I did what I needed to do to keep her safe and happy as possible. She was easy its just I didn't want to be doing this much caring. As the oldest girl I was always the one that my parents relied on. I was retired and wanted to enjoy it not be responsible for another person. And with all that, I had to deal with a disabled nephew with neurological problems that lived in her house. Trying to sell the house and him being a slob. The day I placed Mom in an AL was a Godsend. There are people that seem to accept this is what they need to do for a LO and seem to be very happy doing it. I am not one of them.

When I am 80 my Oldest will be 52, my youngest 44. They both are single and need to work. My oldest is a Nurse so does Caring everyday. Don't think she wants to come home to me. My youngest doesn't have the patience. I don't want them Caring for me either. We have invested some of our money. Hoping the stock market gets better. Still have some in bonds. If DH goes before me, depending on my age and health will chose an AL probably. All my needs will be met. We will eventually downsize I hope to an apartment. But I will do everything I can so my girls don't have to worry about me.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Your "plan" is based upon the faulty premise that you will never have cognitive issues, the least of which is short-term memory loss. Better to plan for worst-case scenario now while you have all your mind. Once even a little of your memory goes, the dumpster fire of trying to care for someone who is in denial and didn't plan sufficiently begins. I sincerely hope you never have cognitive decline -- and not everyone gets it, as I have a 101-yr old aunt who reads the Wall Street Journal every day still -- but you DON'T know if this will be you or not.

FYI age-related cognitive issues like dementia are inherited. You can sure make your mind worse by not stimulating it, abusing substances, etc. BUT you cannot stave off decline with anything if you inherited the gene no matter what you do to try to fend it off. My aunt (mentioned above) lived all her life with her younger sister, had the same diet and habits (no bad ones!), even worked at the same company. The received excellent health care, provided by their company. Neither was ever married or had kids. They only lived apart for 2 years their entire lives (so over 90 years!) The younger sister has advanced dementia at age 98 and all her mind is gone. But not the 101-yr old sister. They are the perfect science experiment. They have other siblings but hard to know why they did or didn't have cognitive decline since they were not fond of going to doctors -- ever.

Please don't put your head in the sand. I realize it is somewhat depressing to think about that type of decline being your "destiny" but it is so much better to plan for it than not. You are the only one who can protect yourself in the worst-case scenario and you must do it now. May you have peace in your heart so that you can enjoy the rest of your days!
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Reply to Geaton777
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Anyone can take advantage of you.  There are paid caregivers who take advantage of the elderly too.   I think it is great that you are planning, but would advise you to think about financial POA for if and when your mind goes.
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Reply to FloridaDD
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Selfless? No, caregivers aren't selfless. Saints are selfless. We like to shoot them full of arrows until they are dead, and then we like to pray to them for eternity to fix everything. Even knowing not everything can be fixed. Sometimes the best you get is a kind word. Often enough you get nothing, and that won't make you any more selfless.
You make many good points. I think we ALL fear this living without any power, any say, a burden to all. We are all, in a time when we live -- imho --way too long, and endangered by this fact at best.
Whether we are in the home of children, giving up their own lives, their own living premises, their own time, their own money to care for us (I have pleaded with my own NEVER TO DO THIS) ...... or in the hands of people who are underpaid and understaffed, and in the time of covid-19 in danger for their lives to care for us (your well paid person may suffer from the imperfections of being human, as well, you know) we do become entities sustaining loss after loss after loss after loss.
Our bodies fail. Our minds fail. Everything is taken from us, and our dignity is last to go. We become, to those we love, burdens, mere husks of what we were, alien beings that no longer look like Mom, or Dad, or darling husband. We become at last like children, but BIG children.
People excoriate themselves for failing us. You see the word GUILT here all the time. ALL THE TIME. As though those of us who try are felons, are evil-doers.
These are the facts. I know my limitations. I was a nurse and I loved it, but I was well paid and I got 16 hours off every day. There are folks on the forum who would die for one day off.
And yes, there are moments. There are times of giving that cannot be believed and of heroism, even of laughter, and you will see that here if you stay, despite the fact that the forum is more or less to deal with "problems". Celebrations are easy. Caregiving is a crucible.
Life can see, over all, to be all about loss. There is birth, living, and death, and between the first and the last, while there are moments of incredible beauty, there is dire loss. Not everything can be made nice. Not everything can be fixed. And we all suffer for knowing that.
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