I feel bad and yet I also don't feel bad for thinking this... I'm the only child of a very, very slowly aging mother. My father expired in 2007 and since then, I've been my mother's full-time caregiver. My father's expiration was of different circumstances and just weeks before his death, he was nearly independent. However, my mother's health has been a sloooow and steady decline and it's so just hard to watch. I love her so, so much but there is no upside to her condition. She doesn't have dementia (yet) but she has a slew of other issues that require her to need round-the-clock care. I don't communicate with my "former" friends because they're either not in a caregiver role, or they've put their loved ones in a facility, or they're loved ones are still healthy and independent. And I don't want to hear from my former crew all the same judgements any caregiver has already heard; "You're such a good daughter...Your mother is very lucky to have you (and you don't have anyone - because you don't have time to meet someone or a potential guy/girl doesn't want the added responsibility of a 70-plus year-old child)...God will reward you for your sacrifice (I hope so - I hope I die quickly and painlessly in my sleep so I don't live when I've lost my independence)...You should put your mother in a group home so you can have a life (when the staff will just stick her in front of the television all day at nearly 5K a month?!)...Glad I'm not in your shoes because I wouldn't know what to do (You're already planning to write a fat check to a care facility that serves Mystery Meat Mondays and Jello Salad Surprise)...You're going to die alone if you don't put your mother in a home so you can meet someone to take care of you. (Thanks for making me feel more alone than I already do. You should've just punched in face - it would've been less painful! )...Oh, you have so it easy not having to worry about working in a 'real job' (Umm, excuse me - I work my ass off - I'm on-call 24-hours a day!! No mindless watercooler break over here!!)..." And the list goes on. My personal favorite: "So, what do you do? I'm my mother's caregiver. Oh..."(Awkward response with crickets chirping in the background). There's no societal respect of being a caregiver. I'm not trying to be a martyr or be nominated for Best Daughter That Was Ever Born but there are times when I just feel my role is so unworthy and flat-out unappreciated. I'm CEO - of my mother! Before my parents became ill, I had a successful career, plenty of friends, lots of activities going on. I dropped everything when they needed me - and I'm glad I did it because I experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth that I never would've have before their journey into their last years. The changes that occurred within me has made me a better person and I'll always be thankful for this. I want to do things with my mother before she passes away, but unfortunately her medical issues don't really give me an option. I'll always love her but when she can't participate in life and is just existing in a body, then what is the point of living is where I was going with my discussion headline. Thanks for letting me blow some steam.