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My friend, an RN who has cared for both mother-in-law and father-in-law, told me that if the person you are caring for is "homebound" that Medicare will pay for in home care and respite visits to give the caregiver time away. I'm sure there are qualifications so I'm going to research it. Maybe it's an idea for you too?
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Dear Sun, Have you checked your local hospitals, Area Agency on Aging, the local Senior Citizens Council, or local Adult Day Cares to seek out a support group. If you don't find one, I have no doubt there are many other caregivers in your community that have similar feelings. Would you consider starting the support group yourself. It would be a good way to network with other caregivers providing some respite care for each other. I pray all goes well :)
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hi Sun....I'm 55, does that help....this is a great support network and what;s nice is that you can access it 24/7 and not have to wait for the monthly meeting!!!
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I went to the Alzheimer's Support Group yesterday and took Mom with me because they had activities for her while I was in the meeting. It's good to talk to others doing the caregiving because you realize that everyone's situation is different and sometimes the things you're dealing with seem easier in comparison. Mom enjoyed her time although she did worry about where I was and was very happy to see me when the group was over. I did get a few suggestions for in home care so I'll have to start investigating to see what we can do. Just knowing that I can have one weekend a month away while Mom is safe and cared for will be great - I just have to find the right person to do that for me.
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I understand your frustration. I've been caring for my mother for eleven years now and there are times I feel as you do. My support group consists of my two dogs, three reef aquariums, hundreds of books, bonsai trees, etc (hobbies are good stress relievers). At the moment, I have no one here to help me but I do stay in contact with my son weekly. The only thing I could possible say to you is that you're not alone and try not to feel guilty because you feel the way you do.
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I feel the same way, tired of doing this alone. I'm caring for my Mom with Dementia. I might try the lunch program at our senior center, just to get out and mingle with others. It's getting hard to go to a resturant or even to visit someone in their home. She doesn't talk any more, so I'm here talking to myself all day. I have to do something ..soon!
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This is a very tough disease. You need to find a way to have time for yourself at the same making sure your loved one is being taken care of.
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Girl you have all the luck you can get from me....I have been going thru this for 9 months. No break in sight. I have no family except my daughter and she lives with me.....So girl take advantage of all the times you can have to yourself...Those are far and few between....Hugs to you....Sharon
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sumlerc, you might be surprised how many people in your church are also care taking, or at least have experience with taking care of the elderly. I would ask around there too.
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I'm thinking of doing the same thing. I'm not much of a group person but I've recently joined church and still feel the need for specific support such as Elder support, Caregiver support, Stroke survivor support. Let us know how things progress for you...I'm encouraged most times when I read other's post on this website. Give yourself a hug, you deserve it!
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Well, just had one of those weekends where my sister comes to take care of Mom while I'm away. It didn't go well! My sister was supposed to wash her hair and ensure she bathed on Friday and that didn't happen. She gave her regular tea instead of the decaf tea that I listed on the schedule and then wasn't happy when Mom was still up at 11 pm playing cards. My mom got rather nasty - she can - and my sister took it personally. Now we've had to cancel our long weekend in October because she doesn't want to do it.

Good news is that I found a support group of the Alzheimer's Association that is very close and they do activities with the elderly while the caregivers are in the group. They meet the 4th Thursday so that happens to be this week and I'm going to call and sign up. Wish me luck!!
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I feel your pain. I feel like I am the biggest Beeeyotch in the world sometime. My mother is healthy but totally mentally dependent since my father died in 2000
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In support of the 50 year old woman who cares for her mother all alone and is single, I can identify with this totally. I am 59 and have the sole care of my infirmed mother at home and also am single. I am trying to hold down a job, take care of my mother, perform household chores such as cooking, cleaning on a weekly basis and find myself in tears most of the time. Is this normal? I know I am not alone.
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dear sun,the only right church is one that teaches out of the bible, the people arent always "right" but thats because their not perfect like us. I went back to my church realizing that thier not perfect and i joined a group and they are so lovng , helpful and willing to watch my mom, so my husband and i can get out - join one. as a believer you need to grow and fellowship-
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I wouldn't feel pressured to NOT sell is what I wanted to say. stupid typing.
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Sun, when your folks made you promise not to sell their property, they were probably in the prime of life, and no one even considered that it would end up as it has for them (your dad at least). I wouldn't feel pressured to sell and put the money towards your dads care in asst living/foster home/whatever. That was then, this is now. You might as well sell now, and be using the money for him, cause as soon as he dies your siblings are going to be circling the property and wanting their share anyway. Good luck.
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I know the feeling and I haven't been at this very long! I retired from my job (I'm 55) to take care of my 94 year old mom who suffers from dementia. I'm not dealing with a lot of the issues that folks here do but the 24x7 with no time to be on your own really is daunting. I was a mom who took my children everywhere with me but at the time, I still took a little time here and there for myself or my husband and I to do something. Now I'm on the other end and I have my mom 24x7 plus my grandchildren visit sometimes so at times I feel like I am taking care of two toddlers. Lots of needs!

I am married and have a wonderful husband who is very supportive so I do have very many blessings. I just get to feeling very isolated at times. My siblings all live an hour away so dropping by to stay for a little bit so I can leave would take a lot of time for them. My sister comes down once a month for the weekend so that my husband and I can get away. That helps! We just missed the weekend in August because there were too many things going on getting ready for our daughter's wedding. Having missed it, I'm feeling a bit trapped and trying very hard to count my blessings and get out of this down mood.

I, too, would suggest church as an option, or depending upon the condition, you might see if there is an agency in your area. For example, the Alzheimer's Association if you're dealing with dementia or Alzheimer's. Quite often they have support groups. I am planning to reach out to them soon myself. I have a daughter with epilepsy and I know the parent support group at the local Epilepsy Foundation certainly helped!

I wish you well and hope you find the support that works best for you!
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Something that has helped me considerably was/is to journal the 'Light Side' moments, whether they be words or events that come forth from my Mom. Whenever the going gets to be a bit tougher than what is the norm I review those moments for a smile. Moreover, when Mom dies, rather than thinking of the many ills that are a part of Alzheimer's care giving, I'll have those recorded moments to refer to and remember.

Good luck... and keep your chin up !

V
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Hey any time I can be of help....Just ask....She is always doing something that i literally at night in bed all alone except for my dogs and the Lord, I have to laugh....If I didn't? I would be crying and have another damn sinus infection...And who wants that? So as long as she is content to talk to the martians? let her is how I see it...I just have to stop being pulled into it....Look hon, we are all feeling frustrated right now....They had, who they are I do not know, but they had prodicted that the baby boomers would be caring for their aging parents. therefore whoever They are? They were right. Here we all are bitching or laughing or crying about what we are going thru....So Hats off to THEY......Hugs to you....Sharon
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Thanks to all who responded, it's sad but hearing how you all are in the same boat but different waters gives me comfort and makes me realize how much worse it could be- gives me hope...and we all need that...Sharon thanks for the upbeat letter, I couldnt help but laugh out loud.!! :0)
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Hon I am your age. We heard wait until your 40's. LIfe gets so much better...Then now it is...the 50's are the new 40;s, well what they hell is 60? or do I want to know? But I am 52 and understand what you are saying. WE WANT A LIFE....Am I right? I know. I do not get out much and when I do....Don't wanna come home. but can not put her in a nursing home no matter how much I feel she would benifit from it. The others that talk to martans will be there too..........HUGS.....and a better day tomorrow...Sharon
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I don't think she was looking for a singles group at all, but a caregiver group in her age bracket.

Well SunLuv most of us here are in the same age bracket as you and conditions you are in. I am single as well, no family at all to help me and I have to work a regular job. Its very tough I have found no help in my community at all. The one thing I did find the Salvation Army Adult day care..but my mom refused to go. See my mom likes to put everything on my back since I was a single child...she wants the responsibility on my back also because of her Narcissitic personality to run the show. So it's tough very tough, join the crowd of misery and depression here. You have to be your best friend and pick yourself up, do things for yourself, demand time for yourself...cause if you don't then you fall apart and then they have nothing. Nursing Home out of the question for you? My mom still resist's but one day she won't be able too, and that's when I know I will finally have some breathing room.
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Being single and finding a church with a single's group can be very challenging with so many church so overly family focused that often singles feel left out in the sermons preached, programs planned, and Sunday school lessons taught. I wish you well in your search.

I would also suggest finding some activity you enjoy that you have not done in a while or something you are interested in to help meet other single people your age like a bowling league, joining a health club or a YMCA or possibly taking a martial arts class.

Does your mother have the means to afford some help at home. Is she in good enough condition that her doctor could order some home health care and maybe some home PT?

I sounds like you are on the edge of either burnout or a total meltdown. I would suggest getting a doctor to evaluate your own health condition for around 60% of caregivers of a parent at home end up dying before the parent does.
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Hi Beverly. It's Kathy K. I've been thinking about you often. The guilt is what gets to me the most and I know that I have nothing to feel guilty about. I have 2 half sisters, and 2 step-sisters, but no one visits here at all. I'm it. I feel that I've lost total control of my own life. I have no life of my own. I have my own health issues (fibromyalgia, multiple herniated discs, degenerative joint and disc disease, to name a few. My own health is in jeapordy b/c of having heart issues of my own also. I know the stress of being the caregiver is draining me and causing my own health to decline fast. I fear that I might keel over before anyone else in this house. I lost my real dad about 9 years ago and have PTSD b/c of finding him...his death was very unexpected, and he was my best friend and my rock. I grew up in a very dysfunctional, many times abusive environment, and prayed that I'd never have to return to this atmosphere ever again. I've even moved out of of the State 3 times in past years!!! I always ended up back here at "home"... My mom and s-dad both have emphesema, COPD, bad heart disease, and now mom needs to get treated for PAD. The Drs. want to put stents into both lower legs. She also has a Defibrillator, that she got inserted last Oct. 2009, and that needs to be replaced. They said "the battery in her Defib. is going bad." Huh??? Why would they put a non-new battery in something so critical! She's also dealing with wound care now and she's very depressed. Her childhood wasn't that bad, but still she has so much anger inside which causes further issues. She attempted suicide in 2004, and at this rate, I never know who will be alive when I get up in the morning. I hurt so bad from my own health issues and still need to shove all of my 'stuff' into the background. They have the best health insurance and can afford to have help come in to assist with housekeeping, etc... but they refuse. They see me crying, sweating profusely, gasping for air b/c of the pain I have 24/7 and they'll look at me and ask if I can do "this" or "that" and they don't see that I'm in pain myself. I don't understand and I hope that I never ever get like that. I was a nurse for 26 years before hurting my back so badly at work, that I couldn't work anymore. Taking care of others is a 24/7 full time job. It's so hard to be doing it all alone. I'm trying to keep some sort of sanity.

Hang in and keep reaching out here Bev. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy K.
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Bev: I fear that you are at the breaking point...how do I know this?...because I am there as well.
One thing that your sibs suggested may be something to consider. Unless you two are living in his home, it is not a bad idea to sell your Dad's house in order to help him. That way, his financial issues will be resolved and you can get more in-home care. There is no need to save it for family gatherings when it is apparant the the sibs do not care. Once he is gone, the assets will be divided among the un-involved sibs, anyway. If you decide to do this, take all the proceeds from the sale and put them into a living trust with you as trustee. The way I look at it is, the family home belongs to the parents. I would ensure that those funds are only used for your Dad's care.
good luck
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Sun frankly I would be surprised if your siblings did help of all the post here and all the caregivers I know -out there only one case where a brother will step in and help his sister so she can have a life, Most hospitals have caregiver support groups at one I met a lady who had a twin of my husband and we have remained friends ever since even though we are both widows and she has moved a distance away also check with your office of the aging they very often have groups or know of some-it sure helped me and [please write on my wall anytime I get to the computer often we are having a problem and me and my sister are waiting to see if our brothers will step up to the plate and help if I need it while my sister is away I might just as well check bus schuldes now becaue they will both have plenty of excuses for sure-this site has been a lifesaver for me we got the computer to get my husband interested in something but he perfered pissing and moaning all the day long-good luck to you my dear glad you are part of our family.
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Hi Deefer, it is my dad, we lost mom 2+ years ago, and you name he has it...diabetes, COPD, emphasema, in a power chair, he has a cathader, oxy 24-7, and he has had several infections these last couple of months, I keep thinking the end is near and I'll wake up one morning, or come home from work and he'll be gone...that in it's self is driving me bonkers...
and for tennesee and heaton I am looking for a church ...I'll keep you posted on my search..I want one that accepts everyone, regardless of their personal choices...I am hoping there is such a place...
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Wow, tahnks so much for all of your support...I guess it's the guilt that really gets me, sometimes I just want to say I'm done, no more, someone else has to take over...believe it or not I have 3 siblings...all married, all doing well, but for some reason I can't get them to understand how difficult this is, they get to come and spend time with dad when it is convienent for them and on their schedule, I live it everyday, come home from work and do the same thing every day.
I hired a house keeper 2X a week, and I asked for financial support from my siblings, a very small monthly contribution and you'd think I ask for a million...their response was...sell the property (my mom and dad specifically said never sell the property, save it for family so they have a place to come home too (Lost mom 2 years ago, property is paid off), and my favorite was the maybe we should put dad in a nrusing home if you cant handle it...so needless to say I get absolutley no help from siblings...except their token visits and when I leave for a rare weeknd and they have no choice but to step up...
anyway, listening to your stories does help and I am fortunate to have a very good support group from my daughter and best friend...
thanks to all...and yes I will keep reaching out to all of you, it does feel better knowing you all have your own stories and understand where I am comming from...Beverly
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Hi...I'm Glad you're here!!! When I saw your post, I thought maybe it was one that I posted. I'm 49, single, an only child, and am totally alone in taking care of my mom and s-dad. I love them dearly, but I'm not up to the task of taking care of everything. I have medical issues of my own, but I'm still expected to take care of running errands, doing all of the laundry, vacuuming (which my drs/specialists have prohibited me from doing), etc... I feel so alone and cry often b/c I desperately need help physically, and find myself becoming more and more depressed, and have even been getting panic attacks. I can't handle it all, and when I ask (plead) with my mom to hire some outside help for 'light housekeeping', etc... she blatently refuses.

I'm here anytime you need support. You're not alone totally, emotionally, b/c of this website. It's a great support with wonderful people who understand what we're going through. I wish you had some help though. I do understand being totally alone, frustrated and many times afraid...

Keep reaching out for support.
Kathy
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I understand, i've been caring for my dad alone for the past 8 years, my dad is 74 years old and i'm 40 and i'm soooo stressed but i cannot give up on him because he's my parent. Just know that you're doing the right thing by caring for your parent and continue to be there for your parent.
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