Hi Everyone

I have been my moms caregiver since 34 years old, I am 36 years old now and my mum (a retired nurse) is 70. I love that the Lord has given me the calling to look after mum, but as a single 36 year old with no kids, I'm starting to panic about my future.

I find that I have lost all my friends as I have not time to socialise with a full time job and being mums caregiver at home, I also don't have energy to meet with people and build a strong social network of friends for myself. My married sister lives close to us but I find it so hard to open up as when I do try to tell her or the very few people in my live about how isolated, tired, lonely and scared I feel, they quickly change the topic and don't allow me the space to vent or share my feelings. If they do give me the space to do so, I often feel judged for giving up my life to look after mum in her old age.

As much as it is rewarding, I never knew this journey would be a lonely & difficult road. I find that I have lost myself in my duty as caregiver, companion, cleaner, cook, errand runner, driver and medical decision maker for mum.

Losing myself and focusing on moms needs makes me anxious lately and afraid for my future as one day, I might find myself in the reality of being left alone in this world when the Lord calls her to her final resting place.

I'm not sure if by then anyone would want to date me or if I would still be able to have kids (I absolutely love children) and if I'd be able to revive my stagnant career (with an MBA I have had so many opportunities but I have had to decline in order to look after mum as the current job I have I can do with my eyes closed). I wonder if I will be able to make new friends or revive old friendships. I wonder who will take care of me when Im old seeing that I have isolated myself. I wonder if I will have time to fix my finances as I spend so much for moms medical and nutrition needs that I no longer save. I wonder if I will have the strength to pick myself up, deal with the burnout, the grief and move on with life.

So many questions that I never asked myself when mum needed me to take care of her, I just jumped in without a plan for myself or my future.

I was wondering if anyone else has the same kind of fears as me and if so, how do you deal with it? please don't recommend therapy as I don't have time to be able to open myself up emotionally and put myself back together. I am barely coping as it is.

Thank you for reading, I am so sorry if I come across as a negative person, I never used to be but this journey is starting to change me.

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It sounds like you are doing an amazing job of taking care of your mom. It can be a thankless job and one that requires all of your attention but it sounds like your mom appreciates you and loves you and obviously, vice-versa. Speaking from experience from someone who lost both parents, it's how you deal with it afterwards. You sound very strong and you WILL be fine.
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Reply to Billiegoat

You are often dealing in crisis mode as a caregiver and that seldom allows time for long-term thinking. I will also emphasize that EVERYTHING is changing now for EVERYONE with this pandemic. Many people are having to change plans and many can't plan until this is over and they see what remains. At 36, you have quite a bit of time left to create a good life for yourself. But you need to maintain your existing business and social networks to the extent that you can. Your mother is still quite young at 70 and I do not know the nature of her condition or the care required but I would not continue to share the responsibility alone. Get your married sister involved.

There are no guarantees in old age that anyone will be there to look after you, even if you have children. You will need to plan your finances and get your legal affairs in order to ensure someone will be your health guardian but you have time to do that.
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Reply to Invisible

You do need to think about yourself- I am 64, lost my only brother years ago, now have an 87 yr old father that recently became bedridden and a 85 year old mother that is overwhelmed yet obstinate. During this past year I have been fully devoted and pretty much overwhelmed, this can go on for a while you need to do what you can but give yourself a break as well. I too thought I wanted children but that never happened and somehow never managed to have a partner for long term. You can always meet someone, I did at 57, unfortunately lasted only a year - he was recently divorced and didn't want a committed relationship- playing the field. Many people have a hard time and don't know what to say, they are scared of saying the wrong thing so say nothing at all. I am amazed at the friends I have heard nothing at all from or the obligatory text "How are you? How's your dad? Hows' your mom?" which I find even more insulting than not hearing at all. Many reach out because it is obligatory or they need to make themselves feel better rather than you. On the other hand several friends have really been there for me and I am totally in awe of them, it means the world to me. You reach out and talk to friends that will talk to you, maybe just a conversation - doesn't need to be about your mum. Join a meetup - they are super easy for socializing - usually not much obligation and you can meet like souls, I have a hiking buddy that I met through meetup and now we are friends. I did for the first time also try therapy - it's somewhat useful though I probably won't continue long term - just need to get me through this difficult patch. Work on yourself a little and don't judge yourself- give yourself a break. You will have the strength to move on when the time comes, believe me it's difficult and I am terrified myself of possibly losing both my parents within a short time but I know life does go on and we need to with it what we can. In any case there are different types of lives you may meet someone or not but work on your friendships and on things that make you happy, you call if they don't. When you can get yourself out there, open up and you will meet people you are young yet with lots of time ahead of you.
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Reply to Cascia

It is good that you opened up. It looks like you got plenty of advices already. Please write again soon. I like to know how you figure things out.
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Reply to pvo2020

Hi So. African gal

I understand how you feel although it’s not so pressing on me as I’m 65 and have 3 children

I have been caretaking my mom for more than 15 yrs (I’ve lost count) and I only have one reliable friend. I thank the lord for her every day. The idea of getting a couple hours off twice a week is pointless to me because I don’t have anywhere to go if I did. I’m lucky that my mom is very easy to take care of and I can leave for a minute if I make sure she’s settled in. I just prefer to stay because I know she gets nervous.

In in my case, I was mostly a stay-at-home parent once I had children later in life. I had not found my place in the world before I divorced and then moved in with mom.

I find myself wondering where to find people I might enjoy being around. Now with cobid our options are narrowed. I tell folks I don’t know what I’ll do whenever I have no one to take care of.

I will have to figure out where to live because I moved in with my mom and that alone is scary enough. But, I honestly don’t let it absorb my everyday life. I don’t want mom worrying about me either. I go day to day thinking: I’ll be ok, it has to work out some how, one way or another.

The only thing I've worked on proactively is to establish a good credit score. I’m not paid a salary so there’s no means of saving money. If you are able, I recommend you put some money aside.

I’m not banking on any inheritance because folks end up using their assets to pay for their care and just like when I moved in, there’s no telling how long she’ll need to support herself.

I’ll be happy to get out from under maintaining this old house and get away from family members who think they can move in at will without helping out. My mom is happy to have them and it is her house.

You are lucky to have youth on your side and a career to return to. It will be good to get a new set of friends, maybe some that will stick with you through life’s uncertainties.

Don't make the mistake of poor choices when wishing for a family. You have time to spare and if you do run out of time, all is not lost. There’s no shame in being childless or you can always adopt. There’s plenty of unwanted children who need moms. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Try to think positively about ‘then’ and ‘now.’ There will be good things in the future and enjoy the good things you’re sharing with your mom in the ‘now.’

Good luck, Charlotte
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Reply to CharK60

The caretaker role is very demanding on so many levels. But given the problems you are experiencing, which are all readily understandable, I wonder if your resistance to therapy might relate to being confronted about the choices you have made and continue to make. There are many empathic therapists or counselors out there that have great experience with problems associated with caregiving. Be brave and try therapy! It works.
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Reply to Emmajane1

Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Dear Gal, it’s time to take a long hard look at your current life. I am 66 now, 30 years ago I recognized that I would probably end up being a caregiver for my parents. I made some decisions then that I would not let them be the focus of my existence.

I let them know I was willing to help organize their finances, medical needs, etc. but that I was not going to clean their house, fix things, or be at their beck and call just because I am single with no kids and in their eyes "available."

I had seen what happened to several relative who did that and ended up in middle age with no life. I had a fantastic job with lots of international travel and exciting challenges. And yes, I did not want to be that person who"s only topic of conversation is about the problems of an elderly parent.

My parents had a chance to live their lives and I wanted to do the same. Your name indicates that you live in South Africa, I don’t know what kind of social safety net is available to you such as Senior Services but if there is, I suggest you reach out and ask for help. Good luck.
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Reply to Frances73

Yes, I have the same fears/experiences, the difference being that you have about 30 more years of time to deal with it and fix your finances than I do. I am focusing on improving my health/fitness now through exercise, seeking better financial advise on investments, reaching out more to friends/family, and continually seeking career improvement (which, by contradiction, is all the more difficult with age).

I might suggest considering some sort of skills improvement training, followed by part-time at-home work; if you can partition 2-4 hours a day for that.

BTW, I didn't find the OP's post to be negative.
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Reply to amoeba

caregiving does change a person.  its a shame that you other family members "change the subject" when you let them know how you are doing. its probably because they are afraid that you are going to "ask them" for some respite time so you can rest yourself.  Is there any way you can have someone come in 2 times a week or even 1 so that you can go out and do what you want (of course now with the virus, not much to do), but you could go to a park and sit, browse thru stores (with mask on), etc.  You are NOT negative, you are sharing your thoughts, concerns, etc., that apparently no one in your family wants to hear about.  DO they come visit your mother?  What do you do when you have a doctors appointment?  who watches your mother then?  I would maybe just call your family and say hey..i need someone to watch mom for 2 hours because I have an appointment (they don't need to know the exact appt)..........I sure wish you luck in this.
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Reply to wolflover451

First, welcome to the group SouthAfricanGal!
Second, kudos to you for taking on an often thankless demanding job!

Hopefully there are some who might be local to where you are who can respond and provide some help - we can make suggestions, but we live in many different areas, so it isn't a one size fits all!

Losing friends and even family during trying times like yours happens often. One thing that might help is being able to connect with others while keeping your thoughts and comments about caring for your mother to yourself. You now have a place to do that - HERE! We're used to it and support each other.

Based on past experiences, I've found others tend to drift away if one focuses on something like this and it comes across negative. Unless they've been there, it can be uncomfortable for them and so they do tend to drift away. You've alluded to that in talking about your sister and the few people still in your life. It's hard not to drift back into talking about your concerns, as you live with them all the time. But, make effort to stay away from this topic and try to have "normal" conversations with them. Ask about them, what they are doing, how they are doing - make it about them. People love to talk about themselves. Yes, it will be hard to hear all the positive in their lives, but it will keep the channels open.

"If they do give me the space to do so, I often feel judged for giving up my life to look after mum in her old age." Are they really judging you, or just questioning why you give up all your time and freedom? If they are judging, ignore them and the topic. We do what we feel is right, and you have chosen to be there for your mother.


* You work full time, but also are your mum's caregiver at home. Who is there while you are at work? Does she stay home alone?

* If she has "good medical aid", why is it draining your finances? Does she have any retirement income? Is it used to provide funds for medical care and medications?

* If you are working during the day, is Adult day care something you would want to also pay for? Socialization IS good for her, but this wouldn't free up your time, since you are already working during the day (unless you work from home.)

* Can you review your expenses and see if there are places you can cut down a bit, to allow some savings again? A few suggestions below, consolidating meals and errands, could result in some small savings (less gas and energy used.)

IF you have a care-giver during the day, and IF there are adult day care options, perhaps use the day care a few days/week and hire the caregiver on a weekend day, to allow you some time to get out and about. Without bemoaning things, have a discussion with your sister and see if she can take care of your mother for a few hours now and then, to allow you some time out. She may refuse, but unless you ask you won't know. Many of us know this never works, but it does sometimes!

Start slow when getting out. It won't all happen overnight. Being out and "free" for a bit can help restore some of your energy. Being "stuck", whether you agreed to it or not, can be draining, and those few hours of "freedom" can really do wonders! Take a brisk walk - exercise is good for you AND can boost your energy levels. Find others you can walk with, keeping a bit of distance and masks when needed. Then you can build on those friendships.

It is often a lonely & difficult road, but if you can try to plan and organize your time better, you might be able to free up some time. For instance, when making some meals that can be frozen, make extra servings and freeze them. Then you only have to heat them up, saving time cooking and cleaning up. Consolidate your errands - I try to make sure I know what I need and what I might need soon, and limit my trips out to run errands. It might take a few more minutes to gather all the necessities, but it will free up some time.

Run-on fingers... so more in response to this comment TBD!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
disgustedtoo Nov 17, 2020
Why wait for mom to pass to make new friends or revive old friendships? You can maintain these through various methods, even without being able to spend a lot of time together in person. You shouldn't isolate yourself now - it's easier to keep those friends and build on the relationships later. Through them, over time (esp after the virus wanes) you can meet others. Realize that your mother could live quite some time with dementia, so you do need to ensure you set aside some time for yourself, however little it might be. She has a few other conditions per your profile, but nothing that seems life-threatening. It can take many years before dementia takes them from us. It isn't ideal to put your entire life on hold all that time.

If you can find care-giver groups where you live, you might actually meet some men who are care-givers and alone! It may have to be online for now, but eventually we'll be able to get out and about. At the very least, they would likely be able to relate to your situation. Although you have that in common, try to focus on other topics, just like with your sister and remaining friends. Steer away from the care-giving topics when possible. Learn about them and their lives, desires, etc. You just might find a special someone out there!

You'd like to "revive my stagnant career" and in your profile you say you " studying but all of that is on hold as I look after mum." Are there online courses you can take? You can learn AND make friends there too, eventually perhaps meeting in person. At least they would be people who share your interests/career.

"...I just jumped in without a plan for myself or my future."
You felt the need and she asked, so there's nothing wrong with what you did. Now you realize you need a plan, so think about what you want and make some plans, preferably during quiet down times with mom. The plans may need to change over time or be put on hold now and then, but unless you MAKE some plans, you'll never have any! Also consider that you will likely have to make additional plans for your mother's care down the road. She will, in time, require more assistance, which means you will need more assistance too. One person can't do it all, esp when working full time.

"...sorry if I come across as a negative person..."
No need to be sorry and you haven't come across as negative, just lonely and frustrated, feeling trapped.

From your profile:
"...I absolutely love traveling and I enjoy having deep meaningful conversations about life & anything and everything."
While actual traveling isn't really something we can take part in right now, you CAN travel virtually! I love reading about and seeing places online, probably places I could never really visit in person anyway, but the pictures often reveal more than we can see and the information about places can be much more revealing than we can learn if there in person. I'm beyond career at this point, but still love to learn. Due to a short financial crunch period, I spent time watching various documentaries online, on a variety of topics! I learned a lot. Of course, just when the financial crunch was ending, along came this virus. Time to find some more documentaries!

I was not able to provide the hands-on care for my mother, but I did and do everything I could/can for her, before we had to move her to MC for her own safety and ever since. My brothers do nothing. I have asked, but unfortunately my brothers are in that super negative useless category, so I put them out of mind and focus on mom and myself (and my kitties!)

Remember - any time you need to vent or have questions, we are here for you!!!
I can relate to you. There is a wonderful support group on Facebook. If you are not on Facebook it is worth it to join so you can be a member of the Alzheimer and Demetia Caregiver Support Group. It is a closed group of worlwide members. I have learned so much from them.
My mom has been with me For 2 years. Living in the house that my boyfriend and I bought together. I am 66 and retired last year. The first year she was here was the hardest. I still had to get 30 hours a week of work done at home while taking care of all her matters. I moved her from PA to SC. Plus she was having hallucinations and delusions. She seems more stable now. She was a wonderful mom. She still daily thanks me for caring for her. She is still homesick.

I have very mixed emotions about what is going to happen tomorrow.
She will be moving to an Assisted Living facility tomorrow morning 4 miles from my house into a companion room. Even at its easiest it is a lot of work caring for a person with Alzheimer's. I have to assist her with everything. I no longer can go for walks of bike rides with Ted unless I get a sitter. I take her everywhere I go. She sits in the back seat with the childlocks on. She ALWAYS told us I "I don't want to live with Any of you kids". But living with me was not her plan. ( But she doesnt remember what she said) And when she told me she didnt want to live with us..I secretly was so glad...I never wanted to be a caregiver. I only moved her in with me because of extenuating circumstances in PA. I have 2 brothers in different states and they do call her often.

I have mixed feelings about placing her. I will feel some relief because :
1. What would happen to my mom if something happens to me? My boyfriend is not responsible. He would call my brother who lives 1.5 hours away and tell him to come get her. He could not take her. But he has been wonderful to her. This way at least I would know she is safe and taken care of while my 2 brothers have time to talk about what to do.
2. I get my life back an extent.
3. I am hoping she will have more interaction with people and some activities.

Ihe only going to get harder.

Call your Alzheimer's Association and they will be able to give you the resources where you may be able to get free help.

My mother also went to adult day center a couple times of week. It was a great help! If you had Medicaid you can take her there every day and Medicaid pays.

My mom isn't on Medicaid but I was able to qualify for $1500 of free vouchers and they were used for the Day Center.

I also was referred to 2 wonderful caregivers that I paid $12 an hour.

I hope you can find some help. You do have to take care of yourself and caregiving can be overwhelming. Hugs!!❤
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Reply to evander09

A caregiving support group is a good idea, even an online group like this one. You can share your frustrations about caregiving, but also "listen" to others' experiences and look for ways you can offer encouragement. When your mother does die, find ways you can put your education might be put to good use whether you go back to work or volunteer your skills.

Don't assume the goal in life is for Prince Charming to come along and sweep you off to marriage and children. The people who are not giving you the space to vent have grown tired of hearing about your difficulties. Focus instead on how you can be helpful and supportive to others. There are people everywhere who need your attention and support.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
AlvaDeer Nov 17, 2020
So true on not awaiting the Prince. Even if Mom passes when OP is well into her late 40s there is still "family to make . Children can be fostered, children can be adopted. I think trying to plan NOW for everything in the future is only going to be worrying, and isn't predictive.
You have done an excellent job of opening up and sharing your concerns with this online community. Your concerns are valid. You have squarely shown that you need more people in your life and more balance. I applaud your efforts to care for your mother. There is no telling how long she may live to be; my Gram lived to almost 100 years old with mild dementia and a host of health problems.

Please get more help: family, member of community of faith, paid help... so that you can have some "me" time. You should have enough help to pursue those opportunities for job advancement since they will allow you a better retirement to care for yourself when mom is gone. You should add in additional time to develop hobbies, interests, and meet others who enjoy the same things you do. I am betting that some of these "others" will eventually become friends. As for family, praying for a husband and making friendships with men will probably enable you to meet "the one." If you reach an age where having your own children is inadvisable, there are so many lovely children that need a foster mom or an adoptive mom. Your loving heart to your mother seems like a perfect fit for one or more of these children to get the love they need - from you.

If everything in the above paragraph seems daunting, please make time to find a counsellor. There are even counsellors that will meet in online chat formats (like Zoom, FaceTime...) to help you. It will require some courage to make changes in your life - almost all change seems scary at first. With a professional counsellor in your corner, you can discuss those needed steps of change with a caring person.
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Reply to Taarna

"...please don't recommend therapy as I don't have time to be able to open myself up emotionally and put myself back together. I am barely coping as it is..." No one can fix you but you. Your sister and the few people left in your life do not want to be your therapist. Since you don't want us to recommend therapy, then I suggest you visit your local library and browse the self-help section. You need some sort of help creating a more balanced life for yourself.

Everything you wrote contains the answers you seek. For example, you worry about not having money and yet you stopped saving; therefore, start saving again. You worry if anyone would want to date you and yet you keep putting your mother's needs ahead of your own. How can you be part of a romantic relationship or even consider having children when you have lost yourself? Again, the self-help section of your local library has books on the subjects of both money management and self esteem.

You are 36 and it sounds like in 2 years of caregiving, you have burned yourself out. Clearly, things are not working and it's time to re-evaluate. Since you don't want therapy, I suggest you hire a geriatric care manager to help you with your mother. It sounds like you're religious, so reach out to your pastor or priest and seek spiritual guidance. Ultimately, nothing will change unless you want it to.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

I would strongly recommend you find a Caregiver Support Group, usually counties have these under their Area on Aging department. If not, find a group by asking Hospice offices, hospitals, assisted living places. Support Group helped me a lot, since I was sole caregiver for my husband. I had no idea on where to start, knew what was wrong but not knowing how to navigate this strange illness. I find now after he passed that I learned a lot from the group and was able to act when the time came, like when he crossed 6 lanes of a busy boulevard on a Sunday afternoon because he wanted to go out and I had to go to the bathroom--and he went without me. Luckily, crossing this busy boulevard was a Sunday afternoon and hardly any traffic. There are support groups out there, be dilligent in finding one and find a sitter for Mom so you can attend.
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Reply to JoAnne80

I am almost 60 and was caring for both parents - my dad died 2 yrs ago and now its been mom - i left my apartment in manhattan and have been staying with her since dad died(ie she declined). She is 89(just survived covid hospitalization in March during NYs worst days of pandemic). I am in a differant stage of my life so its differant but i am also single, no kids and fearful of what life will be like when i dont have this purpose of caregiving. I hope i can transfer these skills to volunteering in a nursing home, etc AND hopefully can rebuild friendships that have fallen by the way side. Hopefully you can get some help to alleviate your burdens. I find texting and facetiming with friends keeps those friendships going...albeit now you cant really see anyone anyway due to covid.
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Reply to Mhillwt

Please for your health find someone to help you. I had a friend who would come and get me one day a week to go out and just enjoy a day away. I hired a young man to come in and take care of my father while I was gone for my 8 hours away from it all. This helped save my sanity and kept me interested in living after dad was gone.
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Reply to glendj

Everyone has some of the same fears.
What makes some different is what they do with the fear.
Yes one of the sad facts of caregiving is we loose "friends" BUT we can gain them as well.
Not to put a damper on what you or anyone else is going through but...would you really WANT to go to a bar and meet people, go to a concert, or do any of the things that we all took for granted just a few short 12 months ago given what is going on right now?
SO..use what is happening to your advantage. Can you find work on line? Can you mentor on line? Are there Support Groups that you can find on line?...oops you found one!
Now to toss in another thought. Can your mom afford to have a caregiver come in and help out? Not only will this help you but depending on your mom it might give her a break as well. (some with dementia have a difficult time with someone new, others not a problem)
As for your future. (let me dust off my crystal ball, it has not been working real well lately) Use this experience to help you direct where you take your MBA is there a way to integrate it with elder care, caregiving either in a setting of a Facility or possibly opening your own agency supplying caregivers to people like yourself.
As for having children we are in the age where you do not have to have a partner to have a child of your own, you do not have to have your own child I will say having a partner can make things easier. But you never know what the future holds (I did tell you that my crystal ball was a bit fuzzy)

By the way, your mom may be eligible for Hospice services and that would give you some added help with supplies as well as equipment when you need it.
((hugs)) to both of you
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Reply to Grandma1954
RedVanAnnie Nov 17, 2020
You always offer such good advice and such wise comments. We are all lucky to have you as part of this forum.
WEspaña., i don't usually even have the time to open this web page and read because like you, i have the same exact feelings and I'm going through the same thing you are. I kept reading and kept saying . .. that's me. I like you need the therapy but work full time and then i have to dash home to take care of mom the rest of the day and night. I have one brother but he doesn't help much. I feel alone and exhauted to. If you need to vent you could email me. hang in there, we are doing the best and the most we can do.
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Reply to irismata

Im reading about your post. I see at your young age you have become a martyr. Why? That might be harsh but you deserve more than being a 24/7 day a week caregiver, and nothing else. You need a life. And now. Not later. Not after mom has passed. NOW.
Your mom is still going to decline, but you shouldn't right along with her. Some people like to be martyrs. It serves a purpose. You need to ask yourself what that purpose is. Why is it only you can take care of her? Why is no one else can help? You can get workers to come in and give you a break. Your mom might like new company. I bet as your reading this your thinking of ways that won't work. Or you cant trust them.
I don't understand why therapy is going to be so horrendous that you are going to go the depths of your soul in an hour, and won't be able to get yourself back together. Therapy never gets that deep that quick. It might be a series of goals. Like joining an online book club. Zooming a friend and not complaining of your situation. Just light chat. Nothing wrong with that, but people might turn that off bc they can't help. I bet they make suggestions and you say no, I cant. Or are no fun bc you are a serious caregiver. Do you talk all about mom's illness, or you have to rush back. Cant go out for a meal or drink? Mom might miss you. Cant be left alone, checking your watch? I dont think you want help bc you are blocking it.
Your sister could help. I bet you dont let her bc only you can do it right.
If you dont want therapy which I think you need, how about a coach? An online coach. They can help you, but need your cooperation. You can do online therapy. Its really not that scary. And what are you afraid they are going to find?
I think there might be a reason you only take care of mom and have no other outlet. Scared of the world? Scared of meeting someone? Scared of being rejected?
Mout caregivers are clawing at the chance to regain their life. To keep it going. You have sacrificed everything. But basically say you can't do anything to fix it. Blocking your way back to a life.
At 36 you should have outlets for fun/friends. You pushed them away.
Dif you promise your mom you would take care of her? Never let her go to a nursing home? 1 person cant do it alone. Nursing homes have 3 shifts for a reason.
You need therapy. And help to get help in to care for her. You could hire someone 4hrs a night sev nites a week. Give you a break. Bet that won't work bc you don't want anyone in. They can visit with a mask and make dinner & keep her company. You take a break. But you need so stop being a martyr first. You can get out of it, but you have to let go of some control.
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Reply to Jasmina
irismata Nov 17, 2020
Its so unfair what you are saying to this lady. You don't know what her circumstances are. Like her im copying theough the same thing and you can't relate to it bcz you do have the option or the money to pay for therapy and the money to pay for somebody to come in and care for mother so she could get a break. Don't you understand, she doest have anybody else she could rely on. Im going through the same thing as this lady is. What are you suppose to do because you need a break? Leave the mother alone and take off? She cant. And since you have never been in that position, you cant relate .lucky you that you have the resources to help you. Unfortunately, some of us don't. It's not that we are making excuses.
You are so young & have plenty of time to pursue your career after your Mom is gone... I know you will hear this a lot & not be pleased, but it’s true.
You see, I have your fears except I am 65... & that is frightening! Im not married, I have no children & I have no job skills. I was in the restaurant industry of which takes a young persons energy. And no one hires my age group...we’re to old.🙁
I’ve now cared for my Mom for 4 yrs & like you have given 100% of myself to her & her care. I have 1 sibling that helps. She gives 10-15 hours of her time a week & feels that that makes her an expert about everything Mom. The difference is...she gets to walk away from it all...
She’s clueless. The other day she told me how she & her husband went out to dinner with another couple & had a blast, I’m not sure why she did that but it hurt. Like you, my sister doesn’t call as much anymore because the only conversation I have consists of mom. I thought she’d want to know?
I’ve vowed, yet again, to not have the conversations about her anymore. But what else do we have to talk about when your/ my life is wrapped up in this one person called Mom?
HALT ... Hungry, angry, lonely & tired. This is an old AA saying... yes, I don’t drink so bars are out.
I’m sorry I took your post to vent but it is the thing I have been thinking about a lot lately! Thank you for your post!
You’re not alone!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Dora1956
disgustedtoo Nov 17, 2020
"The other day she told me how she & her husband went out to dinner with another couple & had a blast, I’m not sure why she did that but it hurt."

You answered your own question in the statement just prior to this one:

"She’s clueless."

Until others can walk a mile in our shoes, they don't get it. While you at least get SOME help from her, it doesn't help to make statements like that above, or to think she's the expert for the few hours she spends "helping" and then walking away to live her life, leaving you to hold it all together!

Don't feel sorry for venting here. This is one place we can vent and not be judged (most of the time!) Those who haven't been there, done that, tend to drift away if we try to vent with them. It's hard at this time to get out and join others, but think about your own interests and see if there are any local groups who share those. For now, joining in may have to be done virtually, but if you can strike up some friendships with them and avoid talking about caring for your mother (do that here), when we are able sometime in the future to resume some semblance of normal life, you'll have friends to build more relationships with.
Well, the Lord is just going to have to help get you a job when that time comes because the bills will keep on coming in. My mom lived to be 90 and when she died I had to get my life back on track. You either pick yourself up or end up on the street like millions of others.
They say "life goes on" --well, the bills go on.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to cetude
disgustedtoo Nov 17, 2020
From OP's post:
"...I have not time to socialise with a full time job..."

She doesn't need help getting a job, she needs help figuring out how to have a life while caring for her mother...
Hello, when I was looking for help I chose a family counselor over a “therapist”. This person was trained and familiar with family issues, far better than a psychologist- IMO.

Also, I recommend starting small when leaving the house. Sometimes it is overwhelming for me to leave for large blocks of time or multiple times a week. I start to worry and my family has become so dependent on me they sometimes wait for me to do normal things they can do on their own. They won’t ask the helper. I have been slowly getting out more and more and for us it works that it is spread out a little here and a little there.

I also take breaks at home. I just go to my room and work quietly on my art or read or journal or talk on the phone. Sometimes I get 25 minutes sometimes I get a whole hour!

Connect with the most caring friend you have/had first. You’d be surprised, I’m sure they miss you and will understand if you can only connect once in a while randomly.

Take baby steps. Save your money. A little does go a long way and the time you spend on yourself is like a little wildflower seed that you water and tend when you can. Everything you do to care for your hopes and dreams will strengthen that little plant, and it will endure times of drought when your mother needs you more.

I think we caregivers are special people. More and more I realize I made a unique decision to care for my family. You did too and you are also worthy of having your dreams met as well.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Homecare123

You said the most important thing. You have no plan for the future. So what is the opposite of that..... make a plan.

Dont recommend a therapist I dont have time to open myself up emotionalIy and put myself together" Going to therapy does not always require this. I suggest you find a thereapist. They can help you sort thru this and set priorities and "make a plan"

Your only 36. People are getting married later and having children later.

I also suggest you print this off and read what you wrote.. read it a few times. You are the only guest at your own pity party.

Your only 36 you have at least another 50-70 years ahead of you. I suggest you start taking action to pull yourself together
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lacyisland
Invisible Nov 18, 2020
A bit harsh but I do agree for the most part. From the tone of her post, she is new to care-giving.
My dad passed and my mom passed less than 2 months later. I have taken care of my mom for 30 years as she was disabled and dad in the last several years. I will be 66 next year. I am divorced with no children. Also my only sibling my brother died a week after my dad. Yes I am alone. I have friends but its not the same as a husband or family. I too feel God wanted me to do this and He will bless me with what ever will be my future. I don't regret one minute of caring for them. I loved them and they needed me. I believe that I will be ok and so will you whatever you choose to do. Follow your heart and take care of yourself. Right now life is crazy because of the pandemic so that adds to the anxiety of everything. Hang in there.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Lavendargirl
Invisible Nov 18, 2020
I don't regret it either. Yes, you give up some dreams of the future but there is very little certainty in life. I hear people say, "I never thought my life would be like this." Growing up is dealing with it. God bless you.
You need to find some resources to help with Moms care. How is the money situation? Can she afford Adult Daycare? Its not cheap. Mom paid $80 a day forv3 days. I spaced them M, W. F. This gave DH and I time for breakfast out and run errands/shop.If Mom is on a limited income, Medicaid may be able to pay partial or the full amt.

Call Office of Aging to see if they supply aids.

I have been able to keep in touch with friends thru FB. My class, b/f COVID, met for lunch once a month. Can u afford a sitter?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
SouthAfricanGal Nov 15, 2020
thank you @JoAnne, she has a good medical aid & if they can't pay for Adult day care I could pay for it for her. I'm in Johannesburg South Africa and the Adult Day Care concept is a new one to me that I have read about on this forum. Im not sure if we have it in my country but I'll do some research on it. I think its a brilliant idea.

It would at lease give me one or 2 days a week for my own personal needs and rest
See 1 more reply
SAG, thanks for answering our questions! Your mother's life certainly has some tragic aspects to it.

However, that does not equate to all or nothing.

Are there community based services that mom would qualify for? Are there care homes?

Caring for a parent can mean arranging for and managing good care. That is NOT abandonment by any stretch.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
SouthAfricanGal Nov 15, 2020
True.. I think I want to go with the adult day care option Im reading about on this forum.

Im not sure if we have it in my country but I'm gonna research about it
Thank you to everyone who has responded, I have read each response and I truly appreciate it. I have a lot to think about & not much time as 40 is around the corner for me. It is so inspiring to read about your journeys as well. May you all be blessed for all that you have sacrificed for your loved ones.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to SouthAfricanGal

SouthAfricaGirl; Welcome to the forum!

I too am interested in how your mom comes to need a full time caregiver at such a young age.

The other thing that struck me was the heading; your question asks "IF" mom passes away.

The natural order of things seems to be that we outlive our parents. This is an eventuality that bears thinking about and planning for. It is SO easy to just slide into caregiving because you happen to be on the spot. I urge you in the coming days and weeks to get some professional input into what your mother's needs are, what her resources are and how much of your future you are willing to postpone/sacrifice in the service of those needs.

We have far too many posters here who wait too long to ask these hard questions. They sometimes end up unemployed and without housing or other resources.

You are NOT being selfish. You are being planful. Keep in touch and let us know your progress.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

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