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Somebody needs to come up with a "make a wish" type fund to help caregivers go on a small vacation. Even if it's at a motel room for 2 nights a mile down the road and supply a fill in caregiver to relieve them. That would help so many people in this nation and save people from ending up in nursing homes adding to our deficit.
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Helpless do you have any outside help coming in? If not, you need some so you can get away. Or you need to consider that this isn't working and look for other options. What is your mother's situation? My mom repeats herself, but I don't live with her. But I know how frustrating it can be. Tell us more and you'll get some good ideas.
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I am currently caring for my elderly mother. My husband and I sold our home to move in with her when she felt she could no longer live alone. One of my biggest problems is the constant repetition. The Same questions over and over and over until I find myself answering her before she even asks. My asthma is worse due to the fact I am back to sneaking cigarettes so I don't scream. How do you handle this? How does Anyone handle this? You never really sleep in case she calls out. When she naps is the only time I have to keep up with the house. I used to love cooking but now hate it. And I can't make her happy. Nothing I do makes her happy. I feel I am failing and I can't accept that. In the morning I am afraid she won't wake up and yet I am afraid she will. I thought I could handle this but while it may look like I am I am screaming inside most of the time.
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Oh my gosh! I'm getting in over my head, but I still manage to get out (at least for awhile...) Is there a Senior center nearby? Is there anyone there who could give you a brief break? Take care of yourself, and I hope you can find some resource to ask for help... Don't be too proud or afraid!
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I haven't really left my home in six months, I too feel your pain. Exercise has helped me tremendously. Especially on the crazy days, I feel it has been a safe outlet. Goodluck!
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I use guided imagery. it take about 10 minutes of listening and works wonders. If you anyone is interested, I will send you link for a free download.
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Eddie,
You get the gold star for the day from me. I'm learning to deal with stress since I now take care of my Mother. Thank goodness that she's not nearly in as bad of condition as some here are. That may be in my future. I need to train to handle stess successfully now. Eddie's suggestions are a great prescription. Definitely get help. It's out there. Anyone who will offer you five minutes of self-time or any other help is really an angel in disguise. Take the offer and stay sane.
I went into this thinking, "Oh, I can do this." No, not alone. It takes a team.
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I HAVE A TV IN THE BEDROOM AND THE FAMILY ROOM SO I CAN DIVERT MY ATTENTION. MY MOTHER HAS DEMENTIA BAD AND VERY LITTLE COGNITIVE. I WALK AWAY AND COME BACK TO START ALL OVER. IT WORKS. NO MATTER WHAT I AM DOING, DRESSING HER, ETC, I TRY TO COMPLIMENT ANY MOVE THAT GOES SMOOTHLY. SOME DAYS ARE EASIER THAN OTHERS. I ALSO PLAY A GAME OF BRIDGE ON INTERNET AS A RESPITE. JUST CHANGE THE PACE A BIT. BYE BYE
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Awful good comments to help you here. I am the only child and there is little or no family help aside from my understanding wife.I am very hyperactive and have just visited with a pyschotherapist to deal with anger/stress. I voluntarily checked myself in for these visits. I learned that eating a healthy diet together with taking vitamins like St. Johns Wort (hypericin) will help give you a positive mood. This is a natural herb and not a prescription drug but read the warning label if you are pregnant. It has helped my stress. Vitamin B1 or thiamin will help to give you better strength and metabolism.
I learned to deep breathe from your diaphram often to control stress surges.

Remember, that a real friend is one who listens to what you are saying and honestly cares about your problems. Anyone who does not is NOT your friend.

Getting my dad out of Rehab and into his new assisted living community apartment is my main objective. Selling his house can wait for a later time. Set objectives for yourself one at a time. As each one is met, your stress will diminish and by all means, find that real friend and have a good talk or cry. Even us men need it and I am not embarrased to say that.
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THere are some great comments here...I believe getting over whatever guilt you feel is the first step but easier said than done. I'm just starting my journey of recovery as I call it and have a big hill to climb over the next several months. I guess we can't help others unless we help ourselves first. A stressed caregiver will not provide the best possible care to an elderly loved one.
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As you care for your loved one, remember that you count too. That you need to nurture yourself too, so that you can be in good health to care for your elder.
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I agree will the suggestions here - get help, make priorities, needs vs wants, etc. I would add this - don't feel guilty for doing these things. You NEED to do them so you can provide the best care you can.

I used to feel guilty for taking time to myself, but I've learned to let that go. I don't like the fact that my mom gets upset when I am not there, but I know that I need a break. At first I couldn't enjoy my breaks because I felt bad for taking the time for myself. Now I can enjoy my time away and come back less stressed and able to keep going for a while longer.

Good luck!
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A great question and not one particular suggestion but I will try. I am still working which helps me to focus on other things. I have recently contacted a therapist to help me with my stress. I try to find time to read, watch TV, connect with friends, to keep my mind off the constant worry about my loved one. Hope this helps.
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Take a Moment Away .Remember Why You Chose To Do this in the First Place. You may Feel Regret, But I do not Believe You will ever Be sorry. signed : MJ one who knows How you may feel.
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I have been care giver for my mother in law and invalid brother in law for a little over two years.My husband gives me breaks for a few hours and once in a while I get to leave home and go visit my mom for a day or two which has kept me sorta sane.
I've gotten better at this whole thing for very brief moments.Then it seems I start from square one again.At any given moment I can burst into tears,hopefully no one sees this,and at other times I want to go climb a tree and perch like the coocoobird I feel like.One thing is certain,even though my husband has 5 brothers and 5 sisters,we are the only ones committed to giving his mom and brother the best care we are able to afford,which is me mostly and him on desperate days.
Still I know that if this were my mom,he'd show the love and patience,I try to express with his mom,and brother.It's not ever going to get easy but you can learn by your own mistakes and your victories,just how to continue your jouney.
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LUCY:

For years my answer to stress was a nice, cold Budweiser. ... And another, and another. Took me a while to realize that when you're running from yourself there's no place to hide. Nowadays, negative stress is NOT an option for me. It doesn't matter whom, it doesn't matter when, it doesn't matter where. Anyway, this is what works for me:

(1) When facing a stressful situation, I check with my brain first and ask myself if it's really worth it. I find a way to "respond" appropriately rather than "react" and jump at any little thing. In other words, I choose my battles carefully.

(2) As caregivers, time is a luxury we don't have much of. Instead of running around like a chicken without a head, I make priority lists and assign a degree of importance: "Earthshaking," "Urgent," "Extremely Important," "BS That Can Wait For Later," etc.. Time management is of the essence.

(3) No matter what, if you don't take care of yourself you're going to be useless; to your partner, your kids, whomever. If you find yourself lashing out at your pets or contemplating the idea of running naked down the street in the middle of the night, all the while speaking in tongues, it's time for a straight jacket. You're burned out.

(4) You're not Superwoman. As Naheaton said, get some help. You can't do it all; even when you feel you do. Practice delegating responsibility and use all the resources at your disposal. If you have no idea how to go about it, make a list with two columns: WHAT I HAVE and WHAT I NEED.

Dare to reclaim your life!!! And get those defeatist lines like "It's out of my hands" out of your vocabulary. ... Find a way to be in control without being a monster about it. If someone calls you a "B---CH," just say thank you. It means "Babe In Total Control of Herself." After all, you're in charge.

Good luck.

-- ED
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I agree with everything that has been said. I also am the only family member that seems to care. I sometimes have to beg for help but beg I do if I need it. I find that if I get up earlier then everyone else I can steal the early morning for myself. Very important to find time for yourself, even if it only 10-15 minutes. Most important thing is to care for yourself. Good Luck
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Does your parent(s) live with you? Are you the only one in the family who is interested in caregiving? (most of us are in that boat)
In addtion to what the others mentioned above, you also need to pace yourself. When I first started this journey I was doing EVERYTHING for my Mom. After nearly burning out, I finally figured out what her needs were...her wants come when I have the time. That, along with finding this forum, saved my sanity.
The support offered on this website is a life saver...so many knowledgeable people who are willing to share their advice and experiences despite being fulltime caregivers....still amazes me!
I try to carve out as much time as I can to just rejuvenate...sometimes that just means staying still for more than a few minutes and reading, reflecting, or praying. It is what gets me through. Whatever you do, do not let the stress start effecting your health...that is a clear signal that things must change.
Good luck
Lilli
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Many options, but help should be top on the list. We all need to remove ourselves from the situation if only for a few hours at a time.
Whatever you enjoy, when you can get away....do that. Something that gives you peace. Not excitement, but peace.
Take a step back & breathe.
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The best advice I could give you, would be to get yourself some help. Hire someone to relieve you before your head banging causes real damage.
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