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I have been living with my 89 yr old mother for 4 months now since she broke her hip, diagnosed with Parkinsons and mild dementia. I want my life back. Today was a bad day and I yelled at her and now I owe her an apology. I feel life just stinks right now and I don't see it getting any better and I'm so tired of everything landing in my lap and my brother and sister don't do much. That's my whine of the day. Any positive suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks.

I can relate to some of this but your plate is very full emotionally in handling all of this. I went thru this journey of getting mad at myself, my Mom, my family that things were just not fair, the WHY ME was in my head and so on...alot of tears were shed, my marriage suffered BUT you really find a way. Set aside a day for YOU, go on a walk, go to a movie with friends. Hire someone that can watch Mom, maybe your siblings, children, husband, neighbor, close friend can also stop in for a few hours while you get out. Go to a comedy show, read more comic strips, bring some laughter back into your life because you will drown in depression, this will not be good for you or Mom.
Also, I found that going to church on my own has REALLY helped me focus and relieve stress and recharge my batteries, I have become more calm in my situation. I have been caring for my 85 year old Mom for a year now, she lives with us and has cancer. I had an emotional meltdown last year when all of this hit our home but I truly tell you church saved my mind, body and soul from all of this stress. I try to go weekly and pray in a quiet peaceful area of the church and it feels like my feelings of anger, frustration, guilt..etc., all clear away. You being there for your Mom is a blessing in itself, look at the privilege you have in being with her, when she is weak, you be her strength. Believe me you will see things differently when you turn your frustration to prayer. Sending you lots of love, hugs and prayers in this journey but you are not alone ever :)
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earlybird Jul 8, 2019
Wonderful advice!
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If you are at all able, do not put yourself in this situation. I have been caretaker for over 8 hrs now and my health is shot. I have cancer and treating with chemo now. This is what happens when you run yourself down and don’t have the stamina for it. Please reconsider your living status and find another way to deal with this. I feel very strongly about this for everyone. You are only 4 months into this and you already feel the enormity of caring for another person. My mother is still in her home, but required so much help to sustain her. Now she is on hospice after 8 yrs and I am only now getting a break. But it’s NOT 100%. Don’t do it.
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JeanMarie67 Jul 7, 2019
Thank you
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The best way I handled the "bad days" was realizing that at some point the bad days I was having now would become a good day in a matter of months!
If you are going to continue to live with your Mom you will not get "your life back" until she moves into Memory Care or Assisted Living, someone else begins to care for her, she dies or you do. (sorry to be blunt)
You will get angry, you will get frustrated, you will loose your temper. Not one care giver can honestly say they have NEVER lost their temper, gotten angry, yelled,..
If she can not live on her own and you can not continue as a caregiver start looking for Memory Care facilities. You could go Assisted Living but with any dementia she will eventually have to move to Memory Care and how would she adjust to another move. And it depends how well she can manage on her own at this point if she would qualify for AL.
Might be time to have a Family Meeting and discuss options.
If you can not manage the way things are and siblings hesitate about placing Mom then it would be time for you to "give your notice" and move out.
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JeanMarie67 Jul 7, 2019
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I think it's time for placement. Don't you think you would BOTH be better off, with you lovingly overseeing her care in a facility, having help with her care, and willingly visiting her as a doting daughter instead of forcing yourself to march through each day as an overworked, resentful drudge?

I just don't think any sort of suggestions for "handling" things or somehow having a more positive attitude is going to help much in this scenario.
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There would be days I really was fed up! Gram would shit her pants, drop her food everywhere, run to multiply doctors in a week, she wouldnt take her meds, etc.... I remember that saying, God doesnt give us more than we can handle!!!!! I always told myself, hey your going to be old one day like her. My break would consist of a dish of junk food and resort to my room watching tv for the majority of the day!!!!! Mind you I never hardly watch tv always was on the go taking care of her. I was so exhausted!!!!! I wake up the next day leaving yesterday behind. Forget the family who don't want to help, it's a loss cause and you are just wasting good energy.
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lafinbby Jul 11, 2019
Thank you for that last line...so true. It is was it is. Time to move on without them & save some energy
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I think the hardest thing to deal with in these situations is yourself. I was totally blind sighted and unprepared for my father's Alzheimer's. I had to learn quickly and on the fly. Is it hard work? Oh yes. It's the hardest you will ever have to face. Just when you think things are leveling, WHAM! Next round hits you.
So how can you "live?" Not "lose yourself" or feel like you have to shut-down emotionally to protect yourself? Recognize you can only do so much. Get hired help, Senior day care or living facilities. You have to have breathing time! Listen to music, escape to the movies, get a hobby, exercise - I know both sides. Lord, I was having comfort food pig outs and had to stop, turned to exercise and it's better. You feel physically better and have time to yourself to let your mind calm. Keep a journal, let those feelings vent! Keep up with this site, the information and insight is worth it's weight in gold and you're NOT ALONE!
As for wanting your life back, it will come back eventually, but make sure you don't set yourself up for a massive guilt trip. Okay, you yelled. We all have our moments of regret. Learn from it and bend next time. Once your loved one is gone, it will be the memories of what you did to make their life comfortable to the end that will grow the next chapters of your life.
It's a heartbreaking, thankless task that can overwhelm quite easily being a caregiver. But you can not sacrifice yourself either. Don't rule out counseling, or being frank with your family in asking for help. Reach out to friends for a scheduled girl's night... I hope this helps. Speaking for myself, I've asked the Lord multiple times, why me? It's a tough road to walk on... Apparently I have bigger shoulders than I want. I try to make a joke of it, imagine the size of a new jacket with these shoulders, Joan Crawford would be so jealous. But I try to see the humor. I smell my jar of peanut butter weekly (First things to go can be smell - so if you can still smell peanut butter, you're safe). My family laughs at my production number with the peanut butter jar, trust me.
In short, (too late...) Don't let yourself slide out of control while on this path. Keep yourself close, vent, find something to hold onto and ride the wave. Best of luck to you and take comfort, you are not alone.
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I cared for my mom for many years, the last 2 she was bedridden in my home on hospice for most of that time. After my mom died I had a year to get my footing, I forgot who I am and what I want from life...and before I could really find myself, my SIL, 55 , who was living with my MIL, 89, died, and now there is round 2 of more care giving, though it is not at the point of MIL needing 24/7. Yet. I wonder if I will ever get to do things again, travel, move, etc.
I have learned to really compartmentalize each day, sometimes each hour, and take things one day, never more than one week at a time. Do small things for yourself when you can...it adds up. I call it the bank of me. A good cup of coffee, watching a sunrise, etc. all add up. I also avoid people who brag and make me feel like I need to defend myself, where I live, etc. I learned from having hospice for my mom, that having a helper is sometimes necessary and that I cannot depend on "friends" or her family for anything. It is ok to hire a helper, even a couple times a week helps.
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The 4 months you have invested will most likely increase so time to get some matters in order. Take some time to sit with paper and pen and note what you can do and what you can request family to do. Make an appt with your Mom's doc and request family attend so they can hear from a professional and they MAY be more accountable. Maybe be more direct but gentle with family members and assign things to them that you know they can do. Express to them you and your Mom need their help. If they can't be there, some family members give $ to help with hiring someone. I learned to ask many people who they knew that could help with my Dad and I have kept that going. Ask in church, senior centers, rehab centers. I have even walked into a nursing home asking if anyone works on the side. Also there is care.com.

My best advice is PLAN ahead as the situation will need more attention as time goes on. This site is a great source but also ask friends their advice. What about Mom's friends - anyone who can be there for even 1 meal a week. Take the small donations of time. Your friends?? It's ok to ask - if they know you and Mom they may be willing to come over for a couple of hours while you take a break. Prepare yourself with medical and financial powers of attorney if not already done.

Once you have some assistance you can take time for you. I know when feeling aggravated and hopeless it is harder to think clearly. I am an only child with no children and Dad is an only child. He is 92 living on own and receives 10 hours a week free help from the VA and I have 2 hired people for meals. Managing his life, home, groceries, appts, and the helpers gets to me too but I'm always seeking back up help in case and always asking people. Dad is under palliative care which is part of Hospice where a nurse visits every 4-6 weeks and I can call her if needed. I'm trying to keep Dad at home.

Also Department of the Aging in your area can be a great resource. It is important to get help lined up so you can have time for you. Last year Department of the Aging my gave me $500 after filling out a simple form to cover hired help for Dad. Attend care giving meetings if in your area. Resources are there.

Best of luck and keep tuned to this wonderful site.
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Every day is a new day. Like you I have a brother & sister live far away do nothing. I’ve cared mum 8 years like you not easy. Never is. Just gota try every day. I started going gym me time. I find helps I started walking 1st. Going out get yourself a coffee. I took mum see the beach today we sat looked at the ocean. Little stuff is very important.
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Reply to Bellcoco68
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This resonates with me so much. I took on increasingly hard work caring for my elderly parents over the last 10 years of their lives. My advice is to get help. It’s too much. I found myself wishing my mother would hurry up and die. I still feel guilty about that but we do the best we can. I don’t know if money is the issue or not but you cannot do this yourself. There are ways she can qualify for Medicare to pay. She has to be poor on paper. Look into it and take care of yourself.
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