I´m an only child caring for my parents. Mother has cancer in last stages and father has mild dementia. I care for both of them, alone in my own house. It is insane. They are financially broke, so there's Little Budget to hire help. I have started to fantazise I´m dead or that I harm myself. How can I survive this?

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Hang in there, grasp the hope that things will get better! A ray of hope will shine soon! You are a gem to care for your parents, but first care for yourself. DON'T GIVE UP! Often times when we have our worst trials it means the victory of better days is just around the corner. Call a friend that you can confide with. You must let someone close to you know what you're faced with emotionally.

Echoing Geewiz and Eyerishlass - contact your mother's doctor immediately! Discuss with her doctor the need for Hospice. In that your mother is in advanced stages of cancer, there shouldn't be a challenge with getting Hospice. Respite care may also be needed for you!

Take care. We hope to hear back from you here!
Best regards.
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Hi Paula,
I am also an only child and understand completely where you're coming from. I have also hit caregiver burnout and am at my wit's end and I have help! First, figure out how you can take a break and get some time for yourself. Hospice for your mom is the first place to look then as others have said, are there any friends of your parents or church members who could help to give you a break? Even just a few hours alone, to escape, can do wonders. I cared for both my mom and dad, they both suffered strokes 2 weeks apart 3 yrs ago. My mom also had stage 4 cancer. When she passed over a year ago, I admit it was a relief. And then the guilt of that sets in. Now I am caring for my dad and he's been in and out of the hospital since Xmas and it's a nightmare. I am lucky that I do have a part-time caregiver to help me but still there's a lot only the adult child can do. I plan to hire a couple more caregivers once my dad is back home because he has declined a lot.

I was able to get VA benefits for my parents that helps pay for caregivers. Were either of your parents vets? It's a hard process but worth it. If either were vets, please look into it but don't try to do it by yourself as it's super complicated. I worked with a guy who specializes in that who did all the paperwork for me and got us the benefits. It was a lot when both were alive but once my mom died, it got cut in half. It still is enough to pay for a private caregiver part-time. Also meet with an elder care attorney too to see what your options are for getting Medicaid for them and possibly getting your dad into an AL or NH.

You deserve a life too and I am sure your parents, in their former, healthy states, would not want you to ever feel this down and burdened. Take care of yourself first. Please reach out and get help for yourself and help with caregiving. Feel free to message me as another only child, I really do understand the overwhelming feelings you are having. Take care.
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I had the same thought about calling in hospice. You can get a referral from your mom's doctor. It will lighten your load considerably and there's no charge for it.

Those fantasies you're having of being dead or killing yourself are red flags. Think of them as you would if the engine light starts coming on in your car. Something's ready to break down and you need to get it taken care of ASAP. Caring for both parents is too much for one person.

If your dad ever has to go to the ER request a social worker while you're there. Once in the ER there is a path to a skilled nursing facility but it's a path that's easier to take with a social worker to guide you. Your dad can qualify for Medicaid which will pay for his bed and room and board in addition to his social security. Just a thought to put in your back pocket for now.
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Paula, sorry for you. A few quick thoughts:
1) reach out to a counselor --- member of the clergy, support group (google for those in your area ) to get some help for yourself.
2) Ask Mom's doctor for a script for hospice evaluation for Mom. Assuming she is covered by Medicare, Hospice will bring in more help for her. (There is no charge for hospice services) Make a few phone calls to hospice organizations serving your area. (Not all provide the same services) The one I chose sent an aide for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Huge help!  And most offer a spiritual counselor as well as a nurse's visit perhaps every 2 weeks.
3) If you do steps one and 2, consider a family friend who might serve as an occasional companion to your Dad. If that person came when the hospice aide is there for mom, you can have 2 hours just to yourself.
4) If you belong to a house of worship, call the office and ask if there is someone (a volunteer) who might help with errands --- food shopping etc.

Call the suicide helpline in your area to get help for you.  Call the county office of aging to seek help for your parents.  PLEASE let us know how things are going
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Paula-please do not harm yourself. I know you're living in hell. I understand. Although my situation is not as bad as yours. My 81 y.o. Alzheimer mom lives with me and I take care of her 24/7.
Please don't harm yourself. Many people here are in the same boat
You said your mom is in her late stage of cancer. Then she might be close to the end. When she goes, you will have half of the burden. So hang in there.
Others will chime in to help you.
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