Follow
Share

I am in my mid 30's and have been caring for an elderly and disabled Mom and Uncle for the past 12 years while working full time. My Uncle recently passed away and I am struggling with grief. My Mom's care has become so much more involved over the past few months so I am overwhelmed almost all of the time. I am sinking into a depression. I can feel the tidal wave of darkness and despair building and I am powerless to stop it. I am just too darn tired. Tired of putting myself last and having no life. Tired of being exhausted all the time and tired of not having the energy to care for myself. Quite frankly, I am too young to be this tired and I am so angry that I am in this position. But at the same time, given these choices again, I would make the same exact decisions. So, I am left with being aggravated and angry at myself because I am in a "no win" scenario that is self created. Thank you for allowing me to vent. (Trying to remember that, "This too shall pass" and today is just a bad day. Tomorrow is a new day)

Find Care & Housing
I think that as caregivers we have to be realistic about the situation. To be all things and superhuman really isn't realistic. That's why people have burnout. It's not really healthy for the caregiver to overextend themselves. I'd listen to my mind and body. There are always options. I'd explore getting help or alternate care for your mother. And, it might be good to see a counselor or consult with a doctor. Depression can be very devastating. There are always options and you can be happy again. I'd try to keep that in mind.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report
Liss79 Apr 10, 2019
Thank you Sunnygirl1 : ) I will keep that in mind.
(2)
Report
Hi Liss,
You know how the flight attendants on the plane say to put on your oxygen mask FIRST before you help anyone else? Well, that’s for a reason. You can’t help others if YOU are gasping for breath.

The same in your situation. You will crash and burn if you keep up this pace. You MUST get relief in order to get better (less depression-feel better), for your own good AND the good of your mom. You see and acknowledge the problem.

Now, how to do that?

Can you have help come in on a regular basis (3 days a week for 3-4 hours while you are at home)? If paying for it is the problem, can she qualify for assistance through VA or Medicaid?
Can she go to a “daycare” for seniors? I’ve heard some have them overnight also.
Can you put her in a board and care for one week out of the month to give you a rest?
Would she be able to be placed in an assisted living facility?
Has she qualified for Medicaid (or Medi-Cal)?
Do you have a therapist you can talk to? (We’re always here too!)

Gosh, I’m so sorry that you are so overburdened and not able to enjoy your young adult years. You MUST change your current situation so it doesn’t do you in.

I know you love your mother but there is no glory for a dead hero. Your mental health depends on it.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to SueC1957
Report
Liss79 Apr 10, 2019
Thank you for replying SueC1957. :) I am very new to the site and still learning how to "ask for help". I am going to look into getting help to come in on a regular basis and I started counseling again last week so I am hopeful things will turn around. Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy and can't seem to get out of my own way. Working on that too. :)
(5)
Report
Hi Liss79,

Welcome to the forum.

You gave an accurate description of how a caregiver feels but one thing that jumped off the page for me was your own recognition of how young you are to be dealing with all of this, and you are carrying a heavy load, grief, depression, caring for your mom, full time job! Oh and of course being exhausted! Grief and depression are a lot just by itself. Anxiety usually goes along with caregiving too.

You have a lot to deal with for being such a young woman. You’ve done it for a long time!

You know that you need help. Start by calling anyone and everyone that you can, ask for their guidance and if they can help in any way. Talk to your mom’s doctor or even your doctor and ask him/her to refer you to a social worker that deals with the elderly. The social worker will give you a list of contact numbers for the disabled and elderly. Call everyone, Council on Aging, senior centers, assisted living and nursing homes that you are interested in for the future in case you need it, companion/sitter agency, etc.

I hope you find relief soon. You need rest. You deserve some fun in your life too! Many, many hugs!!! Please keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
Liss79 Apr 10, 2019
I'm getting a little teary with all the supportive responses. Thank you so much for your kindness. I have carried this alone for so long and now finding others who not only understand where I am coming from, but live it themselves. I feel very fortunate to have found this page and all the caring people on it. I am a newbie to the page, but thank you so much for giving me hope again. It's like a breath of fresh air! :)
(6)
Report
In short, NuttyBuddy, you MUST make time for yourself or caregiving will consume you. You will loose your identity, your friends, family, sometimes your (outside) job, your health, your joy, your desires and your faith.

There has to be balance in life. Being on call 24/7 is out of balance. Even the Bible says “there is a time for every purpose under Heaven.” When you are dedicating ALL your time to one thing, and ignore the other aspects, you are bound to become infirm/sick (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually) in one way or another. It is imperative to add YOU back into the equation.
You are NOT being selfish, you are self preserving.

The hard part is figuring out how.

P.S. Liss, sounds like you’re on the right track. 👍🏼
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to SueC1957
Report
Nuttybuddy1 Apr 14, 2019
I have a cousin who takes my mom once a year to visit another cousin, but the last time she took her it must have been hard for her. She is almost 80. I feel like I can’t ask her anymore. My moms condition is getting more advanced and she is very argumentative.
She walked next door to visit my sister the other day and my sister told her that she told her to visit in the morning and it wasn’t a good time to visit in the afternoons because that was her and her husbands time together.
i have accepted that I am all she has.
(1)
Report
Go get some help for your Mom! An adult day care, a home health company, something, anything to help you grieve and look after your Mom. You can't do this by yourself and asking for help is not stupid, selfish or weak in any way, shape, form or fashion. Now get out there and find some help.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to mmcmahon12000
Report
Liss79 Apr 11, 2019
"asking for help is not stupid, selfish or weak in any way, shape, form or fashion" NEED to keep this in mind as I have struggled with feeling selfish and weak for needing ME time.
Thank you for your response. : )
(8)
Report
Dear Liss79, thank you very much for sharing your post. I am so thankful I found this blog.  I used to think I was the only one going through this situation. 

After my dad passed in 1998, my mom came to live with me (I am an only child), my husband and 2 small boys.  She is now 98 years old, still living at home with me and my husband.  I do have a caregiver who comes 5 days a week while we're at work (we both have full-time jobs), but once I get home, I'm the caregiver; weekends, I'm the caregiver, so it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for "me" time or to go out and have a dinner date with my hubby. I know he feels neglected.  He's made a comment that we haven't had any privacy in 20 years and, other than when our son got married (4 blissful days at a destination wedding), we haven't gone anywhere.   I feel all my energy goes to taking care of my mom. I feel being pulled in different directions.  I just can't give 100% to both. I have a wonderful husband, but I know its taken a toll on our marriage. He gets the brunt of it all.  

My mom has days when she is like a 3 year old child, but unlike a small child who eventually will understand not to do certain things, my mom will not learn.  Has anyone had experience with a parent who thinks they have to go to bathroom all the time, and that they have to go poop every time they go to the bathroom?  No matter how many times we tell her that it isn't normal, and that she should not push or force it (bad for the heart), she still doesn't listen or care.

She doesn't have Alzheimer's, her mind is very sharp - she is set in her ways.  There are days when  and I think "today is the day I will have to find a nursing home for her", then guilt sets in. How can I think of putting my mom in a home?  I know, I should think of her well-being and 24/7 care, but no one in our family has ever placed a parent in a nursing home, although I'm sure we all have thought about it, at one time or another.  So the guilt kicks in.  I feel angry, resentment, frustrated, stressed and exhausted all the time, and I know this affects my marriage. Seriously, the second I pull into my driveway, all these feelings kick in. 

Finding this blog has been a blessing. I can vent, complain, cry and be angry. Say things that I would not normally say out loud and I know I won't be judged.  Thank you all.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Marti8
Report
Liss79 Apr 15, 2019
Big hugs : ) I am so happy to have found this site and all the caring amazing people on it. Stay Strong!
(3)
Report
See 2 more replies
Most of us in this situation are much older than you are. Your youth and energy probably got you into a situation where you thought you could do it all and for a very long time. You can't. I was told this when I started caring for my mom and ignored that advice for a few years. Then it became obvious. I'm so sorry you are falling into depression. Others gave you excellent advice. Haven't your mom's doctors given you any direction on how to get more and proper care for your mom? There is what is called respite care, where she could go to an assisted living for a week or so while you sort things out or simply take a break. With a clear mind, information on available help, and time to yourself you will be able to see clearly what to do.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to ArtistDaughter
Report
Liss79 Apr 11, 2019
Thank you for your response ArtistDaughter. :) Looking into respite care immediately. I didn't realize temporary assisted living was available. I am looking into getting away for a few days to rest, recharge and clear my head. I am learning so much since finding this site.
(6)
Report
Liss,

Been thinking of you. Pulling for you. You have so much on your plate! Please take care of yourself. You are a wonderful, caring, compassionate person but you deserve caring for also.

I wish I could be your fairy godmother and wave a wand for you to have a spa day, a long cruise or whatever your heart desires. You deserve to be pampered after all the hard work that you have done.

I have two daughters that I love dearly and very proud of. I’d be very proud to have a daughter like you! You have such a lovely personality.

Promise me that you will start to look after yourself. I know you love your mom, completely understandable but love yourself too.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
Liss79 Apr 11, 2019
Thank you for checking in. : ) Your support means a lot to me.
I am pleased to say I am planning a weekend getaway for myself at the end of the month. Everyone here gave me the push and encouragement that I needed. My sister will be staying with my Mom for the weekend.

Thank you for your kind words. Your daughters are very lucky to have such a kind and compassionate Mom. You remind me of my Mom actually.

I am starting to understand that I truly can't properly care for my Mom if I don't take care of me too and that includes asking for help.
I promise to start looking after myself, as long as you promise to check in on me from time to time. : ) Big hugs!

Prayers to all my fellow caregivers out there! Stay STRONG and keep fighting the good fight!
(9)
Report
Wait. Did I post this, only at an age a little (or lot) older than you are? I'll leave the details out, but take care of yourself. You're no good to others if you're not ok yourself. I so get the 'no win' situation as I was in the trenches of that. But looking back at my situation, there was a different way. Just didn't see it at the time, at all. And lost so much before I got that figured out. You don't have to live overwhelmed, depressed, angry and tired. Easy to say, but I get it. And there is a different way. This too shall pass has always been kinda a motto for me also. And tomorrow is a new day. But when the new day is the same as the last day? It may be time to make some changes. Again, took me years to figure that out. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lynnm12
Report
Liss79 Apr 15, 2019
Thank you lynnm12 : )
"You don't have to live overwhelmed, depressed, angry and tired."
This really hit home for me.
(0)
Report
God bless you. I would’ve been too selfish at your age to do what you’ve already done. You need to take a break, that’s kind of obvious.

Most states have a program where they will pay for caregiving services to a family member. You can use that little money, because it isn’t a lot, to hire somebody to give you a break for a while.

You might consider hospice depending on your mother’s situation. Get Approved from her primary care physician to Have a home healthcare person come visit and do an assessment.

get a friend another family member and to care for your mother for a few days.

If that’s not possible there are caregiving facilities that take clients in for a few days to give you a break. It’s called Respite care.

You’re going to get a lot of good advice from us. That’s my two cents. Lots of love and hugs to you please get into a support group as well. We are here, but you need some face-to-face and some hugs and a good cry on someone’s shoulder too. Hang in there. God’s already reserved a “special angel” room for you in heaven.🥰
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Lizhappens
Report
Liss79 Apr 15, 2019
Thank you Lizhappens :)
"God’s already reserved a “special angel” room for you in heaven." BIG hugs, thank you for this! The support I have received here is so heart warming.
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter