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I never feel I am doing a good job....like I am way more aware of areas where I feel I could have or should have done better. I am always aware of something I should have done but didn't or that I should have been more aware of. This extends to taking care of the house as well as the dog. I see where I should be better at ......whatever. If I am paying more attention to mom, the house-care and dog suffer. If I pay more detailed attention to the house-care, seems mom suffers.....at least in my mind. I feel I am neglecting her if I pay too much attention to taking care of the house. How do you come to terms with this in a way you can relax and be ok?

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Remind yourself that you are only one limited human being who is doing the best they can. I hear your focus on your mother, the house and your dog. I do wonder what are you doing for yourself? My other question is have you reached the point as a caregiver of your mother with alzheimer's / dementia.that you need some outside help? One person doing 24/7 with someone that has alzheimer's / dementia reaches a point of impossibility. Prayers, hugs and love for you in your journey.
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I can empathize for sure....After two years of round-the-clock caregiving my heart gave out in 2007 and I had emergency bypass surgery...since then I am no longer able to keep my good wife at home...I visit her in a very good nursing home three miles from home twice a day, and hire paid ladies to go in and be with her for the supper hour....Often I go over at the supper hour even though she has a companion,,,,I am glad to do it.....Still I feel that I could/should do more....For the past few months I have been exceptionally listless and feeling tired most of the time.....I "know" that I need to do some walking or other light exercise, perhaps get away for two or three days on a little trip, and so on...I do eat very nutritiously, and don't smoke or drink....
My point is, long term caregiving, even in a situation as caregiver-friendly as mine and my wife's, the activity takes its toll in a sort of brown out if not a burn out...

In nice weather I ride motorcycles for relaxation and it sort of gives me a "fix".

BTW, my house interior is a fright....It is more clutter than dirtiness.....

I think your problem will be lessened considerably if you get some outside help so that you can have some regular time of your own...

(It is not lost on me that I could lessen my lethargy by taking action, but I am not going to beat myself up over the issue).
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Do not keep "beating " yourself up..you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.You cannot solve all problems and go back in time to the way things used to be..you have to be easy on yourself..yes you want to do more but do the circumstances allow it? Probably not...you are perfect they way you are ..keep up the great work and take it easier on yourself..
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Well sure it can help to hire help, but if you're like my parents (and most average people) funds are limited, and those helpers are extremely expensive, as in $30/hour with a 3-hr minimum. At that rate who can afford daily help? Which is really what you need. So don't even think about hiring help. You need to affirm your own needs first & foremost. Eat well, do your own housework first, make your own doctor's appointments first (and don't go cancelling them to accomodate your mom). Build a sturdy wall around your needs and THEN you will not feel so much like you can't do enough for mom. Include YOU in your daily workload to an equal degree.
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This is interesting. It seems to me that there are two issues at work simultaneously:

1. how we "always" have been and

2. coping with a new stress.

In my case, I have "always" been a problem solver--an instantaneous problem solver. I want problems fixed, and fixed for good, immediately.

So, how am I coping with the new stress? With barely concealed frustration. I can't "solve" my mother's memory loss, I can't stop her from saying the same things 12 times in a row, I can't stop her from asking questions non-stop, etc.

In my case, I need to really address both of these issues. I have to be more accepting of the fact that I can't solve the problems, and then employ strategies to deal with the specific stress. Generally, a great strategy, that I am able to employ, is to keep my visits to the AL frequent and SHORT. Not more than an hour. That way I am not pushed past my limit. Specifically, I use the techniques of ignore and re-direct. I also try to "get on board" with what my mom is saying. Let her know that she is right about this or that. That makes her feel like we are on the same page and she love sit.
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You're not alone; I'm always feeling this way. Until I quit my job and moved across the country to take care of my mom I had always lived as a bachelor, I'd never had to "take care of" someone else before. I know there are a lot of areas where I come up short. But I do know that, even though she's lost a lot of her memory, she's happy and loved and feels better just by the fact that I'm here with her. I get self-punitive a lot of the time and I beat myself up, but I'm learning to let that go. it's hard, though. No one is perfect and I've started getting outside help as my father is now in temporary rehab after suffering from a crippling infection. And everyone else is right - don't forget to take care of yourself, too. Something I need to do more of. But you're doing your best - there is no such thing as a "perfect" caregiver, and just the fact that you're there for her is reason enough to feel good about yourself.
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cadams, think of it this way, you were thrown into a *job* that you were not professionally trained to do.... and that not everyone can be a Caregiver, just like not everyone can be a brain surgeon, a firefighter, an astronaut, etc.

I keep telling my parents that when the time come that they need help with daily routines in their home [they still live on their own], that they would need to hire someone who is certified to do the job. Someone who knows how to do CPR, how to do blood pressure readings, how to listen to their heart for any issues.... someone who has the strength to pick them up correctly should they fall... etc.

And as Samara had said above, tend to your own doctor appointments first... that is where I had failed for myself, I ignored my own health needs and now I am paying for the delays health wise. My parents don't like hearing *no* whenever they ask me to help them with something, I have no choice.
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Caring for parents is difficult and children often second guess themselves. This is a normal reaction. You want to do the best you can. Because you are not an expert you will make mistakes. Give yourself grace, learn more, and make the best decisions that you can.
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Yes, it's normal.

There is only one of you and there are only 24 hours in the day. You cannot be everywhere and do everything. Try this: every time you beat yourself for not doing one thing, you have to give yourself credit for doing one other thing. No, it doesn't stop me feeling like I've failed miserably either; but at least you're forced to acknowledge that you haven't been lounging on the chaise longue eating chocolates and painting your nails all day.
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Yes, I think it's normal. Remember the airline motto of taking care of yourself first in order to be there for others. Accept any help you might be eligible for. I'm always feeling guilty for not making my mother's life better in some way, but then I often realize that the guilt is self-imposed, and that many things I angst about don't matter to her all that much.
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