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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.

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JeanMarie, one thing that really helped me was the following article. That how not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. I just couldn't do hands-on, but I was great at the logical side of caregiving. I just had to let the pros to the hands-on stuff.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/not-everyone-cut-out-to-be-a-caregiver-162192.htm The article looks like it stops due to being asked to read another article, but keep on scrolling as there is more to that article.
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You are a brave person, I could never live with my mother, I would commit Hari-Kari. Perhaps you can start looking for AL homes for her to live in...for you...to save yourself. That is my only suggestion. Best Wishes!
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JeanMarie67 Jul 7, 2019
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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 sympathize. You just can't get away. Your alway "on". Just can't take a day, get up late, read a book and just veg out. I did it for 20 months. I just can't imagine caring for someone 24/7 for years with no let up. So I can appreciate the sacrifices those caregivers that give years to caring for someone.
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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
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My first respite was hiring companion/caregivers 4 days a week (4 to 6 hours) using my aunt's money.  I kept careful records for later.  If that does not work, or she needs more care, then her doctor can find her a NH or Rehab while she recovers, and maybe that should be first on the list.  When I yelled at her, I knew it had become too much for me.
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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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Yep. Respite. Adult Day care
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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 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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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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As a caregiver you will not get your life back. You can also put her in a home.
However, learn to forgive yourself because you are only human, and people with dementia can be stubborn. My mom suffers end-stage Alzheimer's big time, and it's been a very rough past last five; the last year or so it was very bad. I thought my mom went into a coma the other day (she will be 90 next month) and slept very peacefully, so I was okay with her dying at home. This morning I was hugging her and telling her how much I love her and I wish I can always be with her, and she wakes up completely, drinking water and I'm about to call 911 for IV fluids and the possibility of a PEG tube. She is wide awake -- that is what changed this care plan. I'm telling you the truth she really was near coma the other day and now wide awake.
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earlybird Jul 13, 2019
That must have been a very frightening moment for you. I had something similar happen a few months ago. A lady from church was showing me different styles of adult bibs for my mom and she was in her chair looking at them. I glanced at my mother and her head was tilted to the side with her teeth hanging out. I called out to her but no response. I yelled to everyone my mother just died. My cousin who is a nurse, my niece and the lady all witnessed this. We all thought she died. I started shaking her and she became responsive and smiled at me. I was about to drop dead from the stress. We were all so upset. She might have fainted, I do not know but I told her doctor about it. I am usually the calm one and boy I will tell you I was not calm. I said I do not want my mom to go like this, alone in her chair with us yacking about the color of bibs. I think we sometimes bug my mother too much after that episode but gosh it makes one nervous.I sometimes wake her out from a sound sleep and ask if she is of, she is not at all happy about me waking her up in the middle of the night. Thanks for your story. I hope you have some peaceful moments in your life. Take care and God bless you!
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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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Reply to Barbara328
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You need some time off for yourself. To do something that makes you feel good. Hire part time help and get siblings to split the bill. At some point, mom will need to go to a facility to be cared for because she has to many issues. You may be close to that now. They have staff to do the care taking. You are just one person. You need to have a life of your own while you can. One sad thing about taking care of someone is that no matter how hard you work you can't make them better. They get worse in time as conditions progress. See what options you might have for her care. You can't let yourself go down the drain.
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I drink wine, works for me!
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maggiepie Jul 11, 2019
That's a good one. To start the day or finish. I don't drink. Unfortunately I'm a nervus eater. Hello 15 pounds in the last year
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I teared up to read your post. i have been there, done that. I am youngest of three and brother and sister phone in there complaints from 1000 miles away.
i live 300 miles from mom, handle everything. when i am not working i am traveling and visiting mom.
When it gets to much, I drink. i know its not healthy, but two hours of playing loud music and doing yoga in the kitchen while drinking a 6 pack of lite is working for now. that is all i have time for. i made an appointment for counseling but by the time i get the whole story out, i have answered my own questions, come up with a game plan. I find my cat listens as good as a $200 hour therapist.
healthy solutions? Eat right, drink water, walk and talk to any who will listen.
Peace
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Lostinva Jul 11, 2019
You made me laugh so hard! Needed that! Yeah, a glass of wine about 4pm each day is becoming the norm. Listening to someone, esp your mother, constantly complain, gives me the excuse!!
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I was sole caregiver for my mom, and now am the caregiver doing most of the work for a second dear relative with dementia.

Six months ago, I began to take music lessons, and will soon be beginning to address my very long term goal of learning to play the tuba.

When I am practicing, I become refreshed and transported. I participate in a very nice ensemble and enjoy it. So far I have not had to miss any rehearsals or concerts because of my caregiving responsibilities (I also care part time for my adorable grandchild).

If you are able to figure out what you would choose as an amazing life dream, you will be able to do SOMETHING, if even for just a few minutes at a time, throughout your caregiving day.

There is no better time to fixate on a Dream and put it to work for yourself, than NOW. The neatest part for you, JeanMarie67, is that neither your brother nor your sister have to be given any share at all in your search for YOUR DREAM and its subsequent pursuit. It will be SOLELY YOURS! GET GOING- DREAMING is easily done IN SMALL,, even TINY time increments, and it’s FREE!!

Now as to purchasing my DREAM TUBA, I WILL have to figure out how to finance THAT.........
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Lots of good answers here - the theme being that you are struggling and need to make a change for both yourself and your mom. While I didn't live with my mom, I was her primary caregiver for over 5 years. It never got better, it just got more and more time consuming and was a constant worry for her safety. I began referring to the "crisis du jour" as there seemed to be one every day. She is now in Memory Care after trying other options like in-home help, etc. I can go there and visit as her daughter and not her caregiver. I will get a call from them if there's something that needs my attention but if she is a little off or dizzy, I know someone else will have eyes on her first. She's been in Memory Care for three months and I still have PTSD but I can tell it's getting better. I won't sugar coat it, making a decision to move someone is heartbreaking and difficult. I just tried to focus on her safety and our collective mental health and am so glad we seem to be through the hardest part now. I wish you the best - you've come to the right place for support here.
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Ree111 Jul 11, 2019
Well said!
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make your apologies and go on from there. have a conversation with brother and sister. as long as you take on the role of caregiver they will be willing to step back and let you do it. plan what help you need, grocery shopping, rides to doctors visits, time off for a few hours to yourself. then present these to your brother and sister ask/tell each what their involvement in mom's care will be.

remind them the alternative is to employ home care aides. each of you would need to share the cost of such help.
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It has only been 4 months and already you are burned out. I would have a family meeting and discuss with brother and sister options for your mother. I do not think you will be able to handle taking care of your mom alone. I feel sad for both you and your mother but she has serious health issues and you want what is best for her. She needs more help than you can provide. Wish you and your mother the best.
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As they say, now the shoe is on the other foot. Now you have insight into why your parent(s) yelled at you when you were growing up.

Yes, I am guilty of yelling at my father when his actions frustrated me. Then I thought to how I felt when I was yelled at. I went back and apologized and from then on I allowed my father to do things his own way. I only asked him to let me know if things didn't work and together we would find a solution.

I assisted my father for 7.5 years after Mom passed - and never had problems after I realized "the shoe was on the other foot."
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OMG...I am in the exact same position with my mom & 2 siblings. Flew across the country to do this & now trying to prepare for move/downsize for her with almost no family assistance. And add hoarder to the list so purging is a nightmare.
Looking forward to responses as well. I was about to post similar vent & wasn't sure what to say...
Thank you for your timely post & good luck in your circumstances
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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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A social worker recommended a local Senior Daycare ($25 Cdn/day) Open 8-6. She had to qualify after an assessment. (Basically needed to be able to take care of her bathroom needs. She is a recent stroke victim, fortunately only short term memory loss & loss of some peripheral vision. But she uses a walker, has cognitive decline and also suffers from OCD which is so emotionally draining)
My mom wasn't "bad off" enough to have someone come in to help to give me an hour or two break. The SW apologized and said assistance she could offer wasn't for me but for my mother.
She then told me about Sr daycare that I had never heard of before.
She just started last week...1 day a week. I get a full day off to myself knowing that my mom is fully looked after by caring staff who are keeping her engaged in activities all day long from exercise, reading, games, social interaction etc.
At least I get one day a week breather for myself, or to be able to work at downsizing my mom without her hindering me.
This particular place has the availability for up to 5 days a week if there is room available.
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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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Good advice here.  Do something everyday - if only for 15 minutes - for yourself.  If you can't just take a walk, then lock yourself in the bathroom.  It's amazing what this will do for a reset.  What to do?  Are you a stitcher, reader, music person (listen with an earphone!), card player.  Or outside - a gardener, walker, or just sit and take it all in without interruption.  Long term, suggestions for adult day care and allowing other people in your world would be so therapeutic for you - and maybe her!!.
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I’m in the same situation. As when my father passed away my family decided we should move mom back with us on the east coast to live full time with me. And let me tell you I’ve had my struggles, as the main caregiver and living with her full time I experience everything! My sister is here and helps when she can and same with my brother but they both have kids and I always feel like it’s never enough. I mean my mom can basically take care of her self but does not like being alone at all!! Even if I need a break for 2-3 hours out of a 24 hour day she has her freak out. You just need to balance the time you need for your time outs and just chill! I mean obviously make sure she has everything before you pop out but you need “your time” even if it’s for 2 hours where you do what you want to do other you will go crazy!!
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Same situation with my mother. I easily get upset with her & end up apologizing. We never had a good relationship, she’s always treated me as if I was in her way, never did anything with me & now she’s in my home & she’s so selfish that I often lose it! She fell again last night, memory is horrible, now needs more assistance dressing, several bathroom accidents a day. Senior daycare has been a blessing, she goes 2 days a week, sometimes 3 if I have something I really want to do or have an appt. I would suggest looking into that through your local council on aging or your county social services. My mom needs LTC, no money for AL. She’s on the waiting list for 8 of them that I’ve visited. It’s absolutely frustrating there’s no beds when you need them. So, a day at a time at my house. Also a brother in another state, phone calls once a week is all she receives from him!
Social Services in your county can be a great resource for you, use them to the fullest. They’ll get you set up for Medicaid, through them you can even get paid to care for your mom. Good luck, keep us posted!!!
I might add that this site has been a good form of support too!
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Get some kind of respite care NOW. If you are already getting burned out it can escalate quickly. Find an Adult Daycare or look at your state agencies - Health and Human Services/Dept. of Aging. There is also respite care and they can come in to give you a much needed break. You have to take care of YOU - and do not feel like you are being selfish. It's a tough, hard sometimes thankless job. And you are just ONE person! Find something that feeds your soul - movies, books, lunch with friends, yoga, walking, WINE!!!! Keep your sense of humor - it helps!
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