It is the caregiver emotional well being affected.
Dear Aging Care Forum,
My husband and I have been caregiving for my 96- yr old dementia mother with the assistance of a weekday caregiver for 7 hours/day M-F (for the most part) for 16 months with no respite. Our patience, emotional state, life, health, marriage, and finances are taking a huge hit.
My husband isn't working, I'm working full time - mostly from home or this wouldn't work at all. He gets some breaks, I usually only get away with him when I'm lucky enough to get a caregiver for 5 house for the latter half of the afternoon on a Saturday. I have all the cooking responsibility, house cleaning, washing, dishes, grocery shopping and bringing in the income.
My husband is sick of this life - I don't blame him. I am too. Who can do this without a break? You answer the same 5 questions 20 times a day, EVERY DAY! Week after week. I have 4 able bodied siblings left who won't do a thing.
After the weekday caregiver leaves at 4pm, my mother needs someone with her -- seemingly at all times during waking hours or she feels lonely. She usually likes being outside on our screened in deck, but now when she is out there for 20 minutes by herself as she requested being on the deck, she is crying and says she wants to come in and live like a person - hence not like an animal. That was a new comment from her. We've never left her alone ever. She is within earshot, or eyeshot. We have a very small home.
My mother finds no interest in life, keeps wanting to go to her childhood home - so no home will really be where she thinks she should be. She would feel terrible if we put her in a home, but I don't know what else to do.
I am losing my marriage and my life and my sanity - ditto with my husband. I am hoping we can still salvage our marriage. After tonight, I do not know.
I feel caught between responsibility to my parent and responsibility to my marriage and what about my life? I don't want to feel guilty. But I don't think I can see this to her end. Even though my mom has dementia and is pretty well disabled and in a wheel chair and needs assistance with everything, but eating, she is very healthy. Her medical labs come out better than mine or my husband's.
My life feels forever changed. I am at wits end and I don't know what to do next.
Thank you for your thoughts--