How do I deal with the stress of caregiving?

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Hi, My mom has been my dads caregiver for the past 10 years. He is 92 with limited mobility and requires complete care. The service that offers them some care has brought concerns about my mom. She is becoming forgetful and unable to care for my Dad. I have found in home care from 9-7 each day. I am stressed and overwhelmed. Each time I go I see more help she needs. I am not sleeping, worrying about their finances and now after 3 days of care she want to make changes.


How do I deal with the stress. Does it get easier, all I am doing is worrying and making a longer to do list each day, of course things are getting done but the more I cross off the longer the list gets. I am overwhelmed and stressed :(

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I think I might start by seeing an attorney who handles Elder Law matters and who is well versed in Medicaid rules. Do you have access to your parent's finances? Finding out what they may be entitled to, would help. The attorney can explain where you stand and if you have the proper documents to act on their behalf. If not, if they are still able to give it. I felt much better about things when I got the facts, back when I was dealing with my cousin. I was her Durable POA and Healthcare POA and she was not able to handle her affairs due to dementia.

Once you know the fiances, you will be better prepared to explore the options for care. Do you visit your parent's doctors with them? Does their doctor say they need more assistance? If so, that's one way to start. You might get them assessed to see what kind of assistance they need. Assisted Living, Memory Care, Nursing home, etc.

If finances are not an issue, you can hire a professional to handle the matter. Then, you can be free to just support mom with not a lot of the every day tasks.

Providing around the clock care for a senior in the home is extremely ambitious. Even with the help you've arranged, it's still not like having 3 shifts of people around the clock.

Sometimes the senior who needs the help may not accept it. You say that your mom is forgetting things and trying to change the help you arranged. Sadly, if her cognitive ability is compromised, you may not be able to make her see the reality and accept the change that is needed. Eventually, she may not be able to keep driving the train on the situation. It's difficult to take charge, but if your dad's welfare is at risk, you have no choice.

I like the idea about seeing your own doctor and getting his advice and perhaps ask about meds, yoga, counseling, etc. Coming to this site has helped me a lot!

And keep in mind, that at some point, when your parents are situated in a safe place where they are getting the care they need, you will be able to exhale. Keep the faith that that day will come. There is hope for peace down the road.
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Debbie, yes what you are going through is pretty much what most of us have or still are going through. No, the list never gets shorter, only longer. And we get less sleep.

What happens is that our parents never plan for this segment in their life. I know my Mom was in denial of her age [late 90's] and denial of her ability to keep up a single family house, with stairs, and my Dad was a fall risk. Mom refused to move to Independent Living and she refused caregivers. Caregivers only lasted 3 days in my parent's house... [sigh].

When we try to reason with our parents, they still view us as just "a kid" and what do we know, they are the adults.

As for your stress, oh yes, this is an extremely stressful time in our lives and our parents lives. Our parents start losing their independence and they expect us to fix it. Now remember, not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. I was a logistical caregiver instead of hands-on, and even that was very stressful.

Make an appointment to see your primary doctor and ask if he/she can recommend some prescription meds to help take the edge off of the stress. Oh how I wished I had done that 7 years ago, it would have made a big difference !!!

And set boundaries... learn to say "no"... of how I wished I had known about boundaries because I was changing my lifestyle so that my parents could keep up their own lifestyle. They weren't stressed, and were sleeping at night.
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There's no way you can handle this yourself. It sounds like they need to be in a care facility unless they have lots and lots of money to get good 24/7 care at home. What's the financial situation for them? Do you have medical and financial POA?
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I was unsure of the options. My mother and father are at home and I just found some in house care for them.
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I'm a little confused. Your profile says you are caring for your mom in Assisted Living. Is she no longer in AL? Is she now at home caring for you dad?
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