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I became my mother's full-time caregiver after having a stroke. I don't mind taking care of her - I feel it's my calling to be there for her till the "end". I, however, sometimes feel resentment towards family members that live further away & take vacations instead of coming home to help out. Recently, several family members flew to the beach to celebrate my sister's birthday & I felt so left out & trapped. It's hard not feeling resentment when others are having fun while I'm on call 365/24/7. Any ideas to help with these feelings?

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Me and my mother have been my grandmother's full time caregivers for six years, my uncle lives 45 minutes away but my aunt lives two streets away from us and she hasn't visited her mother in 5 months, not even a phone call. She goes to the cinema, she goes to the beach, she goes out with friends while me and my mother have no life at all. We always felt it was our responsability to take care of my grandmother but after six years of suffering we finally decided to do something, at first my mother tried to talk with her brother and sister, she just asked for them to come visit more often, she told them it would be good for their mother, they promised they would start visiting but a year has passed and nothing has changed. We have those feelings too and we realized we were the solution to the problem, if we weren't here they would have to come visit their mom, we decided to move out and find someone to care for my grandmother. I totally understand how you feel, I've been dealing with terrible feelings of guilt but it's not your responsability to take care of her 24/7, you need to find a solution otherwise you will get sick, what if that happens? You need to be healthy if you want to be there for your mother, you can still support her even if she's somewhere else.
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"I don't mind taking care of her - I feel it's my calling to be there for her till the "end"."

Susan, I share your sentiments about your mother exactly. I think what we both need to recognise and accept is that our respective siblings don't. Truly, I know how infuriating it is (and yes sometimes hurtful, although it's when they exclude our mother that I feel angry - I'm not bothered on my own account): I list all the things that my siblings do have time for, and will travel long distances to accomplish, and consider worthwhile, and it makes me want to ask them directly "where exactly is our mother on your list of priorities? 72 on a good day?"

But what's the point? We're here. They're not. It only matters if it bothers our mothers.
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I understand... It hurts to be left out.. But with the limited time I have away from Mom, my siblings have shown me through their non contact with my Mom that they are not the people I want to spend my precious time with...

Find time for yourself...

I am curious how you found out about their beach trip? Did they call and tell you? Or did you find out through the grapevine?
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Jessie, could you put some of that great attitude in a bottle and send me some...???? If you could sell that, you'd never have to worry about another thing.... hugs to you sweet lady !!!
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I have momentary flare-ups of bad feelings about my siblings, but mostly I wouldn't know what to do with them if they were around more. One thing that helps me in the way I feel is knowing that neither of my brothers are in a good position to help. Me being here helps many people, including my brothers, my mother, and myself. I benefit from not having to pay for housing. Sometimes it comes at a price of my sanity, but I recognize that it is still a benefit. My brothers benefit by not having to worry about my mother. Of course, my mother benefits by being able to remain at home. My being here is a quadruple win for people involved.
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You are wise to recognize that resentment isn't doing you any good. And smart to seek ways out of that unhealthy attitude. So, take a deep bow and a couple of gold stars out of the petty cash drawer.

Remind yourself that that your mother had no choice about the stroke.

You and your siblings had choices to make, however. You chose to care for her. You feel it is your calling. How wonderful that you have the ability to answer that calling. Celebrate that good fortune.

No one can care for another person, especially a declining adult, 24/7//365 and retain their sanity, let alone consistent good attitudes. To continue in your calling you MUST arrange some respite care. I remember when I was first told that and I thought, "ya, ya, I'll put it on my to-do list." It may seem just one more overwhelming task to find good care for your loved one while you have time off regularly. But it really is a critical piece of taking care of someone full time. Some resources I finally got myself in gear to use:
1) volunteer who came a couple of hours twice a week.
2) an adult day health program for a few days a week
3) a personal care attendant for several hours a day (wonderful!)
4) occasionally a family member to stay for a few days while I got away
5) a family member to travel with us to help with my loved one on a trip

I did not use all of these at once, and the strategies changed as my loved one got worse. But I urge you to come up with some plans for your own recreation. That is a good antidote to resentment.

Next time the family assembles at the beach, arrange for good care for Mom and join them there. Even if they are staying 5 days and you can only stay 2, join them!

You sibs had choices to make, too. They chose not to be Mom's full-time caregiver. OK. Give them additional choices to make before concluding they have deliberately chosen to isolate you. Give them plenty of notice and ask, "I am signing up for a readers' retreat (or cake decorating convention, or knitting seminar, etc) in October. Before I begin the search for care for Mom, would any of you want to come here, or invite her to your home, for that period?" Go whether they volunteer or not, but give them a choice.

Until I was a caregiver I could not imagine what was involved or what help was needed. Help your sibs' imagination by giving them choices. They may still choose not to help, of course, but at least you've done your part in giving them the opportunity.

The bad thing here is that Mother had a stroke. Not her fault. Not your fault. Not your sibs' fault. If you want to resent a bad guy, pick the stroke.
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Let me add, as my daughter was dying, we took her to OBX in an RV and spent a week with my sisters and niece & nephew. It was their chance for a big hurrah, yeah, that last big party and goodbye. She loved it. She died within 36 hours of returning home. That was cutting it really close.
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One can also feel resentment being an only child, too. If something should happen to me, there isn't anyone to come to pick up the pieces and care for my parents. Maybe use that thought to help ease some of the resentment, that your Mom won't be alone.
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susank123, if mom is on Hospice, you are entitled to some respite care. You NEED to go to the beach, and set aside your burden for a while. Some nursing homes are willing to provide respite. Can you look into that?
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I understand how you feel, you and your sibings are different kind of people you need to do what is right for you, that being said you also need to take care of yourself so you can be of use to your mom. You can look into getting someone like a caretaker come in and give you a break from time to time. There are a lot of people that are like us and you need seek them out and it doesn't make you a bad daughter to ask for help so long as she is still being cared for trust me you will come back rested & happy ready to continue on. No place for resentment you are doing the right thing! Karma will take care of you good luck
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