How much time do most caregivers spend with the person they're caring for?

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I often wonder if I'm not spending enough time, but frankly, I'd lose my mind if I spent more than a few hours a day with my mom. She lives in my house (in her own apartment), but she's in stage 6/7 of Alzheimer's and she sleeps a lot of the time, and gets mad and very agitated when anyone tries to help her - which visiting her requires, as she needs help with most things. She doesn't wander, her stove is unplugged, and she has plenty of things to eat without any help - cups of applesauce, protein bars, cookies, granola bars, cheese sticks, etc..., and I make her things she can eat without having to use utensils on the weekends. She gets fed M-F at daycare, where she spends about 5 hours and I spend about 2 hours later in the evening with her on weeknights. On weekends, she gets about 4 -5 hours of my time split into 2 visits, once in the morning and once in the evening. She has cats, so she's not completely alone when I'm working or cleaning or running errands, all the stuff I'm doing when I'm not with her. Am I spending enough time? Am I awful not to spend more time with her? I'm trying to get her care organization to send home care people to her to help her in the mornings (when I can't), but they're cheap as hell and resisting doing anything extra for her. I can't afford to hire anyone.

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Laurie, you are amazing. Please don't feel guilty. You are doing a great deal. Your mother has day care, as well as your attention. It sounds as though you have the situation in hand.
Take care of yourself, too.,
Carol
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Laurie you are outstanding!! No one could ask more and you have no need to feel guilty.
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I don't know how much time I spend with my mother. I go in and out of the living room many times a day, spending 20-30 minutes on some trips. I would go buggy if I sat there and watched Game Show Network or the religious channels for too long. Staying too long also invites arguments. Often I think she starts arguing so that I'll leave the room. I often feel guilty for not spending more time with her, but I know that I have to take care of my work and self, too.
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My mom has early mild dementia and I think it's going into mild-moderate. She doesn't wander either. She can bathe, take care of her hygiene, even cook and do the dishes and care for her little maltese dog. But we repeat the same conversations, she is forgetting everything, she is lonely, very naive (she has been her whole life, like a child in some ways) and she can't write her bills very well anymore or divvy up her pills. She gets confused now easily. She lives across the street from me in a 3/2/2 home. I will say this much; I take her out shopping (she loves to shop) which also gets her walking, about 6 days a week, for 2-3 hours each time. I'm running my own house here as a single mom basically taking care of 2 teenagers, the properties (both of them) and thank God for child support or I would have to work, and mom threatens to move away from me if I get a job! lol. So No, I think you are doing great. It is taxing as hell and then the guilt starts when you think you shouldn't be feeling like she's a burden. I know when my mom passes away I will feel like an orphan; who loves you like the mother who gave birth to you? But by the same token, it's very hard, and I know if I spent every day like 6-7 hours a day with her I would be very irritable and agitated. I understand and think you are doing a lot. My mom won't allow any other companion, as she says, "I have YOU!" Sometimes I think at this age with the dementia they are self-absorbed and cannot or will not see anyone else's situation...
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Bless your heart! You are doing a great job! Take care of yourself. Prayers to you!
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Wow! Bless your heart! I would not be able to keep up!
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Laurie, you are doing a great job! I think guilt is just part of the job. Nobody wants to be tied down...and nobody wants to have to tell their loved one what to do. Sounds like we are all living the same life...my MIL has Alz., and kidney disease. Even though I am home most of the time with her, there isn't much talking going on. She is hard of hearing and barely responds most of the time when I try to get her attention. And when she does have something to say, it's always sarcastic. Since I am not her favorite person, my husband tries to take over most of the time. But there are those times when I have to help her with her shower and that is always stressful. I try to give her privacy, but I have to stand outside the shower door and coach her to wash or she turns off the water after she sticks her toe in. She doesn't like to be told what to do, but I have to or she would wash her arms and call it quits. She usually ends up swearing at me during the process. I just have to be matter of fact and ignore the outbursts. After a while, the hygiene issues get worse and you have to deal with the Depends and the messes. Who would want that kind of life? Should we feel guilty for not wanting to deal with it all? Yet, we do. We are doing the best we can. We have had her signed up with daycare 3 days a week since she got here. She probably gets out more than I do. She really enjoys it and it gives her something to look forward to. When she is at home, she sleeps a lot while she is in her recliner and a lot of times she just crawls into her bed. Then we have to wake her up for meals so she can eat and take meds. I think as they get older, they just get worn out and want to sleep. Their bodies are just starting to shut down gradually. Everyone has a different situation and different family dynamics. There is no right answer to how things are done. With your situation, it sounds like you are working hard to do the best you can and that's all you can do.
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yes you are doing very good, but to answer your question it's basically 24/7 as my husband is mid stage I either have to sit & converse, and if I leave the room, he is right behind me, my refuge, the bathroom, after 5 minutes he's knocking wanting to know if I'm OK....
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Laurie I spend 24 hours a day almost 7 days a week with my mother. Occasionally I leave for several hours on a Saturday or Sunday to spend time out with my daughter. I live in my mothers home so there is non stop care of Mom, the house the property, finances, etc. I work harder now than I did when I was employed. My mother is able to take care of her own personal needs but I basically do everything else. She is probably considered to be moderate in the world of dementia with a 10-15 minute memory. We have zero outside help and both of my sisters work.
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Well! Laurie I have to say that "daycare" agency sounds like it's pulling a fast one - what exactly are they doing to fulfil their contractual obligations? Person-centred care is supposed to be the name of the game, isn't it? And if they have the contract, they also have the responsibility for assessing and meeting her needs. Cheeky sods. You give 'em hell at that meeting!
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