Follow
Share

I’ve been full time caregiver to my 97 yr old dad for 7 months. I have moved out of state to move in with him. I fully expected to get a p/t job here but he has has one medical issue after another. I finally had to get a job to pay my bills but I am stressed beyond belief leaving him alone for 5-6 hrs. He is mentally pretty good and pretty mobile but when it comes to safety the switch is off. I’m afraid I’ll come home to find him on the roof to fix a leak... He thinks he is still 50. Caregiving alone exhausts me, now I have to work a physical job on top of that. I have no social life. We have applied for aid and attendance to either pay me or respite care, praying that comes through for us. So... how do you all, do it all???

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
A big hug to you! I can totally understand how exhausting it can be -- not just the caregiving, but having a full-time job on top of that. It's like juggling two full-time jobs at the same time.

Would you be able to get a companion for him during the day, maybe a neighbor, a volunteer or a paid caregiver? Or perhaps he can join a community group where other members can look out for him? Of course, it's easier said than done. My dad is pretty mobile too, but very reliant on me for companionship. But I am learning that I need to build a support system around me -- companions for him, specialists I can talk to, etc. -- so that I can "delegate" some tasks and have some breathing space. I'm in this process now, so good luck to both of us!

I also installed a security camera that enables me to view what's happening at home through my cellphone. It's not an expensive one, just a small portable one (just like a baby monitor) which I place in the living room where Dad usually is. When I call home and no one answers, at least I have the facility to view what's happening at home and stop panicking.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report
Videoman May 16, 2018
I know what you mean about having a camera. I have found my wife on the floor twice now while I was at work. Was able to call the Fire Department for a Lift Assist. They gladly come right out and get her back in the wheel chair. Thankfully she has never hurt herself in falling over a dozen time. Always just sits down. My camera can be rotated and tilted plus it has two way sound. I can just listen and usually tell where she is. The two way sound doesn't work to well as it starts feeding back and will start to squeal like sound systems do when mics are to close to the speakers. But the worry is starting to get to me and at 77 it is time to retire. In the mean time the local Agency on Aging is going to have someone check on her at 1pm Monday-Thursday and get her lunch & meds ready. They only give me 18+ hours a month but that will cover some time when I am not able to be there. Respite Care. This is through a group called ResCare in in WA State. 99% paid for by Medicare. Will definitely check into that service where you can leave them for a couple of hours or so to catch a break when we get moved to Laurel.
(0)
Report
In our town we had something called perspectives, an organization that was like a babysitting service for those with Alzheimer’s. It went on an ability to pay scale so it only cost me $4 an hour and I dropped my mom off at 10 before I went to work and had to pick her up at 4. The Alzheimer’s people who go there were told they were helping out and donating their time and they would work on all kinds of projects. Was a life saver. Check in your community to see if they have anything like that.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Pretty much has been said by other answers- If you are a full-time caregiver, You don't have a job or a life. That is your job and life. How do you do it all? Well, depends on what day you ask....some days I think I cannot go on one more day. Other days I think- "I got this"
8 years now here.
It is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. The right thing always is.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Doing both his caregiving, a job and running a home...yes you are exhausted! And it will not get better unless you find some help. Is he unable to afford IL or AL? Can you tell us more about that part. My dad was insistent he was going to die in his home until he realized he couldn’t handle it anymore. If I’d moved there it would have never forced the issue. So because you did move there, he is content to stay and can. In the meantime it’s wearing you slick!! If you can’t move him you need to hire people to give you time away and time off. I have an 80 yo friend in my yoga class. Her husband has Alzheimer’s and she makes it a priority to come. How?...she hires a caregiver so she can. There are ways to have a life but you must think outside the box and get help. Don’t give up who you are for him or your health, mental and physical, will suffer.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Could you have a caregiver come in some while you are at work, or hire someone to pop in and check on him? Does the VA pay for adult day care?

Totally understand the exhaustion. What's helped me thus far is the planning process as far as trying to make some alternative care arrangements so that my mom can have good care, but so I can still have a life too. It's most definitely easier said than done, and we haven't gotten there yet, but just having the goal that we're working towards little by little helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hugs to you, I know it is not easy.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You can't. There aren't enough hours in the day for you to do it all by yourself.

A 24/7 caregiver is almost an oxymoron. I was one and some days I felt like I was just an idiot for even trying to do it all. But I was an idiot madly in love with my DH and I was thankful to be able to be a 24/7 caregiver as there was just no one else available to assist me.

There will be no social life unless you make time and room for yourself in this mix. Since my DH was my social life, while I felt isolated - I was isolated with the love of my life. Had he lived longer, I would gladly still be attending to him.

He should be eligible for some aid & assistance and possibly you can even get paid (I couldn't get anything as the spouse) - if he was a veteran, the VA should be able to offer advice and possibly some help.

Praying for you and your sanity.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Put him in a home. He's 97. Jesus...! When does this end for us?! Put him in a home, get on with what's left of your life.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Unfortunately when your caregiver there is no balance and you have no life. Even if your loved one is in an assisted living. You go to work stressed worried about them and in your spare time you check on them. It is extremely stressful and life-changing. I wish I can give you better news. You always have to be there advocate. Even if you put them in a memory care or Assisted Living you will always have to check on the care that they are receiving.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

You may want to discuss with your father about getting a camera system in the home. In public areas of course. That way at least you can check on him from time to time. Sounds as if he is pretty good at taking care of himself if he can get on the roof but I do see your concern. I care for my mom and sometimes you just need to go out and socialize and say a prayer that he will be ok. If you continue to worry and fret and not have some time for yourself you will become bitter and then you will feel trapped. I care for my mother with alzheimers and I work full time and i make time for friends, mani/pedi, movies etc. It is hard but I get her up in the morning, feed and change her, get her settled in watching TV then go to work. I have a camera so i check in frequently and luckily I work 15 minutes from home so I often go home for lunch and make sure she eats. Saturdays are my day to go out with friends and relax. I know everyone's situations are different but first thing you need to do is evaluate your situation and think of solutions and options. You may have to try a few before you find a living situation that works for you both and gives you some time to relax.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am also a full time care giver for my husband with Alz. since March 2012. I see the decline and sometimes I think I cannot go on also. I work full time. Do not have much of a life but I have been able to get help through Aging and Disability Resources (I live in Fla.) I would urge you to find an agency like that. I got him on Medicaid and Long Term Care which provides Adult Day Care and home health aids so I can go to work and not have to worry. It is consuming me. I get angry at times but I love my husband and will not put him in a nursing home. You cannot do this by yourself, your health will suffer and if something happens to you they will end up in a nursing home anyway. Friends stop calling and visiting and I decided if I want to do something I will do it by myself when the aids are with him (cruising, going to the gym, concerts, etc.
Take care of yourself PLEASE!!!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.