Full time (7 days/week) caregiver with NO family in area. I'm not new to this, been taking care of her for over 16 years. Dementia is increasing and phobias are WOW. Out of control. No mental health support - this area is so short staffed and those available have "no time" or "training".

Maybe sharing my experience and feelings (seeing the "written" words) will bring me someone else who is affected the same way and give a "shoulder" to weep on. I am tired of crying alone.

That feeling of being alone really gets to me bad!!!!!!!!!!!

Adult conversation would be good and much needed. Many changes since I joined AgingCare, so I will edit my profile and bring it up to date. Thanks in advance for sharing.

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I totally understand what you're going though and Hothouseflower is absolutely right. I have never found caregiving "rewarding" for one moment and I did it as employment for 25 years. It's a job and I stayed in it because the money was good in private care. I'm done being my mother's caregiver though. The phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, fight instigating, gaslighting, etc... I'm not a geriatric doctor and neither are you. Walk away. Put her in a managed care facility and take your life back.
I want you to know that you most certainly are NOT alone. So many of us have an elderly "loved one" that we are doing for who makes out lives hell on earth. You are not alone.
This is a safe place to vent and everyone knows where you're coming from. You'll find lots of support from the people on this forum and very good advice to.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

Hi, Yep caregiving is miserable. I don’t find it rewarding at all and am frustrated that my parents seem to think I and my siblings should be doing this for them. Never had a plan and they chose to put their heads in the sand and not make any long term arrangements. All I and my sisters do is navigate crisis to crisis.

Maybe you can find an adult day care place to leave your family member so that you have some breathing space. I fly back take care of my parents every other month so I still have some breathing space. But I still hate it.

My father is coming home from rehab tomorrow. It’s been nice only having to deal with my mother’s issues. I felt like it was a vacation. God only knows how this is gonna go now.

Anyway, you need to take care of you. Find some help or services in your area.

Hang in, you are not alone. There are lots of us in the trenches as you will see from this blog.
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Reply to Hothouseflower
Teacherforlife Dec 17, 2022
I am so relieved to know that someone else has not found caregiving "rewarding." It has been overwhelming, exhausting, confusing, scary even. Maybe I do not have enough love for my mother, but I do not find what my husband has begun to describe as drudgery remotely rewarding.
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I feel that quite a bit lately. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Caregiving is really such a solitary thing sometimes. My family lives close and it's a big one yet I've never felt so alone in my life. I really, really wish there were some kind of live chat for caregivers to just hang and talk to each other when they have some free time. There used to be one but it's inconsistent and rarely attended. I feel like that could at least be some kind of connection every day with people who understand. This forum is good but real time interaction helps too.

I wish I had some answers for you or some suggestions but this is a tough one. Feeling alone is really pretty awful. You're not alone, the caring people on this forum are here but real-time conversations would be great too!

Be well :)

(If I do find any kind of chat, I'll come back and report on it!)
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Reply to AnnPanel
KNance72 Dec 6, 2022
There is a live Chat from Alexandria, Virginia - Maya Harris called BREATHE : the Caregivers virtual lounge she comes on - it’s on Facebook and people talk and it’s a good support group
I found myself in a very dark place yesterday. Very alone and at a point where I realized (I think I already knew...) that it's going to be a long road back. A shorter term form of help was to go to youtube. I watched a "driving video" which was literally a guy driving around his hometown and filming/narrating the things he was seeing as he passed them. All of it was hands-free in terms of the use of technology while driving. He spoke in a very personable and conversational way, and it was similar to the adult conversation - except I wasn't under any pressure to respond! I could just listen to a friendly, unscripted video. I just let it play and also managed to get a few things done while it played - I was somewhat energized by it and learned a few things about a city that I've never fully explored. I realize that this will not fix the emotional/stress issues that I'm experiencing, but it did provide some relief and calm.
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Reply to Mysteryshopper

I feel your pain I am in the same situation with my wife. Taking care of her has distanced me from any friends and I have no family. I have given up most things I like because of lack of time. Message me if you need a friend.
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Reply to Sample

You sound burned out and rightfully so. You should consider placing her. It would be good for both of you. You need to think about yourself for a change. Placing mom would be a smart move. She would have three shifts of folks taking care of her.... You would actually get to focus on yourself for a change and be in a better frame of mind to deal with it all.
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Reply to Jamesj

Pray first for peace and comfort. You’re never alone. Many of us feel the exact same way. Some seek support groups; some seek outlets such as hobbies. There’s an Alzheimer’s hotline 800-272-3900, but it may be mainly for info.
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Reply to LoveLea
KNance72 Dec 6, 2022
Definitely reach out to Alzheimer’s I watched a 5 hour class with Teepa Snow live stream and they will talk with you and listen - this chapter is on Cape cod in Brewster
Ragan2545 you might consider looking into respite care so you can get a break and some perspective, if you have not already done so.
I was an only and the sole caregiver for my Mom with no other family in the area except for my husband who works long hours.
As things progress, unless there is a a quick unexpected end, it will be more than 1 caregiver can handle.
I decided to place my Mom in AL after rehab for 3 broken ribs from a fall in her home. She was losing her ability to remember and to be on her own. Both of us had expected me to be her sole caregiver in her home, but I could see that was not realistic. My thought was "what if something were to happen to me"? Who would take care of her? She would be alone and helpless! She later said to me after adjusting to her new AL apartment "I am where I need to be". Was it perfect? No. Nothing is at this stage of the game. She lived there for the last 4 years.
If you find a placement in a decent MC or skilled nursing or group home, you will not be alone in your caretaking. You can get to know the nursing staff and the caretakers and other residents and their families. There will be activities for her and you to participate in and you can be as involved in her care as you want to remain to be. I visited my Mom (post-covid lockdown) anywhere from 3 to 6 days per week and stayed with her almost 24/7 during the last 3 weeks of her life with hospice visits, private caregivers and AL staff all in attendance. I had continued to be closely involved in her care, being there for doctor visits almost always, and sometimes PT, OT visits, too. Kept up with her through and chatted with with the nurse, med aids etc... as well.
I brought her to my house for holidays, birthdays, or to the park when she was able. Her facility celebrated Halloween outdoors, Mother's Day brunch by the pool, family invites for Thanksgiving meals with the resident, etc... Support animals visited the facility. Residents were taken by van on outings to the beach, to get ice cream, to the local botanical garden where there were animals to visit with. Her eyesight wasn't great and her short term memory wasn't either. She described it to me as "we went to animal planet and I got to hold something green. It was soft. I think it might have had something like feathers." "Some man held a snake!". At the time, I didn't even know they had gone on an outing. I thought she had seen something on t.v. Lol! I found out later from the staff that she held a parrot!
I was still caregiving, but had help and other eyes on her besides just me! Watching her decline was still heartwrenching and stressful but I did not have to carry the whole load by myself and was able to get rest and take a vacation once in a while. Even then, my physical and mental health suffered as I am a fixer and a worrier and want to make everything all right. I have learned it is not possible to fix/prevent old age and death no matter how hard you try. Duh!
Please, please consider yourself and your own health in all this. Get some support in place-- neighbors, church, hobby group, geriatric care manager--anything. Call your Area Council on Aging. You have a life to live as well. I know that isolated alone feeling very well as do many others here. Some friends dropped away during the caretaking and covid years. Get mental health visits online if there is no one local.
I feel tears are a trickle (or river) carrying away the hurt, so cry away-but keep reaching out for support. Be persistent and it can get better. It can be harder for those of us who are introverts or who are taking care of an introvert to reach out.
You can private message me if you need someone to chat with.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Pjdela

You need friends - online and some "in the flesh" - to talk to regularly and get out of the house with occasionally. Please consider getting some extra help with your client/family member so you can have some time off. Ideally, a few volunteers (family, friends, members of your faith community) or paid help can give you some time off daily and more time off weekly.
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Reply to Taarna

One simple thing you can do to relax is listen to music on the radio. A non commercial- public radio- is best. I live near Philadelphia so i listen to several stations for news and music. On television there are many educational and interesting programs and films. Lots of How-to YouTube films too. And you can go to the library and get interesting books to read. I have always read books, it lets you escape into the life of the characters so you can relax while you’re reading. Music is very helpful. I prefer classical music, with soothing instruments but there’s a huge variety. I used to take my husband who had Alzheimer’s disease with me when i went food shopping and he would wait in the car. It always worked out well. He only left the car once and i looked for him and found him right away, i hope you will try any of these distractions, it seems so simple but you will be see how good it is to relax with your mother sitting next to you, good luck!
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Reply to ChirsM

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