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I care for my mom 24/7. She lives in and I’m finding the lack of space in the day just a little time to myself is causing me to get very frustrated. I do not want to resent looking after my mom but I find myself being very short tempered in the day with just about everything and I don’t want to feel that way. Would you have any self help tips to help me cope better?

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So many things that can be said here. First of all, take heart in knowing that your feelings are normal and there probably is not a caregiver out there that hasn’t felt the same way at one time or another. While experiencung guilt for having such feelings is normal, you must remind and reassure yourself that there is nothing to feel guilty about. What you are feeling is normal. Secondly, I would say the most important thing in your situation is getting past a natural tendency to avoid asking others for help. I fought asking others for support for so long but, once I asked, I was amazed at how willing people are to help. Other family, friends and your church are great sources of help. Who can help and what kind of help they can provide depends on your mom’s condition but there is always someone that can help and who is willing to help. The best decision I made was to contact a friend of my wife from our church and ask her if maybe a group of my wife’s friends would be interested in visiting my wife on a scheduled basis and bringing in a meal. The friend jumped at the chance and organized a “Meal Train” (an actual App) and friends schedule visits and a meal once a week. They brought food enough for two meals for us both, freeing me up from cooking two nights week! During their visits, I also scheduled time out with a friend or one of my kids, usually going out to dinner, while my wife’s friends were visiting her. This killed so many birds with one stone! I didn’t have to cook two nights a week. I got to visit and go out with others for a few hours a week. And, maybe most importantly, my wife got to see her friends. (Obviously, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in this but it worked for almost two years now and will resume once it’s safe again).
Since then, I also found a company that cooks and delivers healthy meals for about $10/ea/meal so I often order those for two or three nights in a given week and relieved my wife’s friends of cooking meals, so they just come for a visit while I take off. This arrangement has been wonderful and has provided me with a lot of relief. Thirdly, if your mom doesn’t need specialized care, don’t forget the simple thing of hiring a babysitter for an evening once in awhile. I have other ideas too but don’t want to over do it in my first post. Happy to talk more. Most importantly though, remember, you’re feeling are completely normal and we all have experienced them.
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It is not possible to care 24/7 for someone else on your own. Yet it is also good to keep someone in need of care in their home that they know and love. Therefore, it is essential to get help from family, friends and caregivers from agencies. I have found "Home Instead" very good, but it is a franchise, so you would need to check out whether there is a local franchise near you that could help out. There are costs, but they are reasonable.

If you don't look after yourself and your own sensible needs, you will not be able to help others.

Take care. Love and prayers.

I
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Agree with Cwillie that you need to give priority to yourself. Does your mom have the financial means to pay for any adult daycare or a part-time in-home caregiver/companion? Even if it was for one full day it's way more than you're getting right now. Please take care of yourself...if you don't, and something were to happen to your health, who would then care for your mom if you don't want her in a facility? I hope you can find good solutions. May you have peace in your heart as you care for your mom!
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Joanneb Aug 24, 2020
Geaton777 thank you. Mom has no real savings which is one of the reasons I moved her in with me. But your input is so reassuring and helpful. I feel some days so trapped and lost as I know I need to work even for when mom is no longer with me yet looking after her absorbs the week. I’ve gained so many aches and pains from lifting her around and my health has been dented. To be honest just a day off would be great. It sounds crazy but some days I don’t even get to do the basics for myself and a hair cut is long overdue aside from covid. But thank you for your feedback. I think regardless I need to get a part time role just to get some change.
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Nobody can do it all 24/7 without burning out, you need to carve out a little me time. Your profile says you have given up your career, you might consider going back to work at least part time. Even if it takes all you earn to pay for her caregivers it will be something you can do that is separate from her.
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Joanneb Aug 24, 2020
CWillie thank you. This is such helpful advice. I often doubt myself and cannot see the woods from the trees some days. I know I need to get back in the saddle and make other provisions for mom even as you said if this takes all I earn as a part timer. I think I need this outlet on so many levels. Thank you CWillie you’ve been so helpful.
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