Follow
Share

I love taking care of my mother with advanced Alzheimers, but today I am feeling very blue. Caregiving has been very rewarding because she was a wonderful wife and mother, but it is a very lonely and isolating experience. I will be turning 50 in a few weeks and feel as though my life is in major limbo. I gave up a career, life in a big city, and so much more to care for Mom.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I completely understand how you feel..it is so consuming and depleting emotionally that sometimes that's all we have to talk about...I dread the question, so what do you do? Or how are you doing? What's new? .I feel very isolated...also like I don't have a life...I know that's my job to find one but sometimes it feels like too much work...thanks for reaching out...
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

Whitesage caregiving IS a very isolating experience. Very few people understand what it involves, so over time you tend to get more and more isolated because your old friends drift away or you feel bad always talking about your loved one and how they're doing. I don't feel super lonely, but I do totally feel like my life is on hold. And some days it feels like this will never change. My mom is 94 and I'm 63 and have been doing this for 13 years, so I guess it's understandable that it seems like it will go on forever.

I have worked very hard in the past couple of years to get out and do things for myself, so that I am around other people so I don't feel so isolated. Luckily I have a mom who supports me in that, which is unlike many people in these threads. So I'd try to stay as active in your own life as possible...
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Whitesage -

I definitely am right there with you. Caregiving for mom, coupled with my 60+ hour-per-week business (working from home) means I am in front of the computer for about 12-14 hours a day, with breaks only to make meals, let the dog out, and do the housework when I can. (And the housework sometimes takes a backseat to everything else, and I have to play catch-up the next day.)

I see my friends and family posting on Facebook all the time about how they went to see this or that movie and how good it was, that they took a group of friends out to the local pub for drinks and conversation (conversation...what's that??), a group of ladies went shopping and had a girls day out, etc. I am never asked to go with them, nor does anyone (not even my siblings) bother to ask if I could use a break. I have asked repeatedly for someone to just come and take Mom out for a ride or out to dinner - just to get her out of the house for a while, which would give BOTH of us a break - but they won't even do that. I get one week a year where I can go visit my son in another state, and that whole time, I'm worried about Mom, who is somewhat mobile, but is prone to falling and forgetting to take her meds or shower. When I went last year, I *begged* my siblings to check in with mom by stopping by - none of them did. (Her best friend came by several times, thank goodness, but that's not the point - her CHILDREN should have been here.) I arrived home to find she had not showered all week and had missed 3 days of meds. So now I'm reluctant to go this year, unless I can be sure someone will be here to check on her every day. She really cannot be alone for more than a few hours.

Some days, I feel so alone and lonely. People ask me if I will ever be interested in dating/marrying again - I have to laugh out loud at that. They've got to be kidding! Not to be morbid, but Mom is 73, and her mother and grandmother lived to be in their late 80's, so I have at least another 10-15 years of caregiving for Mom. Even if she gets to the point where she needs to be in a nursing home, I will be there for her every day. Dating and/or marrying is not anywhere in my near future. (I'm not really interested anyway - long story.)

I would love to just have a break sometimes, even if it's just one of my siblings taking mom out for a ride so I could have a couple of hours to myself just here at the house - I'd feel like that was a vacation! But they simply won't do it. There's always some excuse. But they can run their in-laws all over the place, take them everywhere with them, and do all sorts of things for them - just not for their mother. Some of that may relate back to our childhood...I don't know...I just know that they all act loving towards her when we meet for breakfast on Sundays at a local diner - but beyond that, it's like they don't want to know she exists. Other than the occasional phone call, they don't bother. I guess I should be thankful for that - it could be worse.

I, too, gave up everything I had and loved to move in with Mom when Dad became ill and passed away in 6 short months. I lived at the hospital with Dad, night and day, because he was losing his memory and the docs wouldn't get all the pertinent info they needed from him - until he became comatose and then I ran back and forth between home and the hospital with Mom, 120 miles round trip every day.
I had a beautiful (rented) home, which I had to give up when Dad passed away, meaning I had to sell all of my large furniture and possessions (quickly) - which meant I sold it all for a pittance of what I should have gotten for it.

Some days it seems this situation will never end, and indeed, I know that I am only at the beginning of what will likely be a very long road, if the ages of my grandmother & great-grandmother are any way to judge it. I keep hoping the feelings of resentment towards my siblings and the loneliness will get easier, but somehow, I don't think they will. :-/
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

blannie - thank you so much. I know I am not alone in this caregiving journey, but it can be so hard at times to deal with my loneliness. You are right, friends are slowly starting to drift away, mainly because I just don't have the time necessary to cultivate and maintain relationships/friendships. My mom and I used to have a great relationship with a lot of healthy communication, but that aspect is gone. She doesn't know who I am and is completely dependent on me. Some days, I am okay, but there are times when it really gets to me.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Smitty - I have an older sibling, but we are estranged from one another. I have someone who gets paid to stay with my Mother on Sunday so I can have some time to myself. I moved here to live with Mom from another city, so I have a very small network of people that I know.

SusanA43 - I wish I could give you a hug. I know what you are going through - you are not alone. There are many of us living in this universe of caregiving. Connecting with people on this site has really helped. Makes me feel like part of a community. Hang in there!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Yes, I was very lonely when I was caring for my dad. I had church and some church activities. I volunteered twice a week just to get out of the house but I felt that I was pushing it just doing these things. My dad really shouldn't have been alone like he was when I volunteered but I had to do something, I was going insane. I kept in touch with friends by phone but I found that I had nothing to talk about and I didn't want to go on for an hour about my dad and caregiving but that was really all my life was. It was embarrassing. I made sure I kept up with current events just so I could have something to offer in a conversation.

I think caregiving and loneliness go hand in hand.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Blannie...good job...it does take effort to take care of our emotional and social needs. We can get a break and recharge so we have the grace to keep caregiving...that's my viewpoint anyway..;0))
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

SusanA43 - you wrote MY life. I thought I was the only one going through this. I'm going to be 52 this year and I feel my life is over. I lost my husband and home because he could not accept the fact that I could not give up on my mother when she needed me -- the only one of her children who could help her. Now, it's been 8 years that she has come to live with me and I have given up so much. My sister and brother have actually told me, "better you than me." The females on my mothers side of the family have lived into their early 90s and her own grandmother lived to be 102. This gives me an idea that MY life is over. No one wants to deal with my mother's constant illnesses and shaky mental state. I do get angry at siblings and even her own sisters for not caring enough to call to check on her. To me, why bother with finding another mate when I have so much baggage!? It would not be fair to him. So --- this brings me to my point. I read a lot. I look at my mother and see her as an old lady who has no one but me and I feel blessed somehow that I have been charged by God to do this. It makes me feel better because I have hope that something will come out of this pain.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

i didnt get too lonely while caregiving. it feels strange calling it that because i stayed with her and cooked / watched out for her for 6 yrs but only the last year involved strategic babysitting. i just felt like my life was on blocks and in a hold pattern. now that mom is gone i still dont mess with people much. for the most part they annoy me. people and them fn bats that keep getting in here..
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Caregiving is a very monastic lifestyle. You feel you have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. There is redemption, much later.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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