Is it ok to give up caregiving after a short period of time?


We just took in my 88 year old father who has dementia. The last week has been a real eye opener on how I am dealing with this. I can't do it! I'm an only child and my husband is helping me. Things are strained and stressed. I even had chest pains the other day. He is high maintenance and I feel as though I've lost my life in the process of helping him. I am considering a nursing home. Any advice would be most appreciated.

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If he is a wartime veteran, you can get help from the VA!
Helpful Answer (1)

At least your eyes opened. Too many try to blindly go on and tell themselves everything is fine, until one day they look in the mirror and wonder who the haggard frump is looking back at them. It's important to know your limits. We do owe it to our parents to look out for them but not destroy ourselves in the process. You watch over them, you get them the best care you can find, but if you push yourself off the edge, just remember, you can't do anything.
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Oh yes, it is alright to give it up. We all aren't cut out for it. Sometimes what seems like a wonderful situation in the beginning turns into something we never dreamed. I managed to do it for 19 months. It started to eat at me..daily. I gained a bunch of weight, and did everything I could to ignore my mother. I found myself snapping at her, and that wasn't fair to either one of us. She went to assisted living last month. Some of the stress is still there, but I now have my home back for me and my husband. Don't make yourself sick over it. I gained 39 pounds in the 19 months she was here, (thank goodness I'm 6' tall) face broke out like a teenagers. I thought I could do it all. It was chipping away at my soul. I've lost 23 of the 39 and my face is clear again. Do what you have to do. Now when I visit my mother, I can leave if I start to feel stressed. The place is a mile from my home. So I'm there 3-4 times a week. I take her cat over to spend the day. I clean her room, and still do her laundry. Take care of yourself!!! The above answer is right..start planning now. We used respite care in the beginning for 6 months. It took a number of weeks to get her moved permanently. There were forms that had to be filled out by the Dr. and a stack from the assisted living facility. When you find a place you like, talk to the finance person to see what all they accept. See if there is a room available now or if there is a waiting list.
I wish you well, let us know how it goes!!! We are here for you!!
Helpful Answer (2)

It is OK not to even start the caregiving role. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver and not every person who needs care is a suitable candidate for in-home care.

If you started out thinking Dad had "age-related decline" (as your profile says) and now you realize he has dementia, I can understand what a shock that is. Even if you knew he had dementia, but didn't really understand what his symptoms were or what it means to care for someone with dementia, that was a rude awakening.

You didn't know what you were getting into. Now you know. Take action accordingly.

Depending on what kind of dementia he has and what his symptoms are, he may need a Dementia Care facility. (For example, if he is at risk for wandering, a secure unit is important.) A NH with staff familiar with dealing with dementia might be suitable.

Placing him won't occur overnight. Begin the search for a suitable place now, and also start working on the finances. If a miracle occurs and things improve and you want to keep him with you, you can always cancel the placement plans. My advice is to start planning for his placement immediately.
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