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Sometimes I get incredibly bored being a full time caregiver. I’ve kind of lost interest in hobbies I used to love. Sick of television. Don’t even listen to my favorite music much anymore.


Of course, I do necessary stuff like cook, clean and take care of mom.


I’m talking about fun things like jewelry making that I love or other crafts.


Anyone else dealing with boredom? Or is it that I struggle with loneliness or even depression?

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I’m learning to play the tuba. It’s a lifelong dream of mine and I love it more every time I pick the darn thing up. In a month or so I think I’ll be able to join a local community band.
Take some time to think of something you’d absolutely LOVE to do, then start researching it online until you can dip your toe into the water and take a baby step towards making your dream real.
I am an OLD WOMAN but once I got past THAT PART, I realized I was sleeping better, breathing better, and smiling more when I was playing. Now I practice once or twice a day, without fail.
You can do this! DREAM YOUR DREAM, THEN RESEARCH YOUR DREAM, THEN LIVE YOUR DREAM!
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 20, 2019
Ann,

Your story just made me smile. And is right up there with Katie and her RV travels.

Your story is not just uplifting but truly inspirational. May I ask you why the tuba? Just curious. Hey, I love it. I live in New Orleans and we are known for our brass bands. Come down here and jam!

You story was delightful to read. Thanks so much for sharing that with me.
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NHWM, you just need to tell her, mom either you go to senior center, insert # of days weekly, or you go to a Nursing home, period.

You can't let her continue to be the only one that matters.

She doesn't need to agree, she just needs to do.

Buck up and put your foot down. If she says no, get your local area on aging in to do an assessment to know what kind of facility. She will see you are serious and at that point it is all on her what her future address is.

Its like dealing with a kid, if you say I'm not telling you again, you better not tell them again, implement the consequence that they were told would happen, tears, screaming, yelling and all. Yep, sucks but you were told this would happen.

You let her treat you like a little girl and that is a hard factor to change, but if you die what will really happen to her? You are a grown woman who has kindly allowed your mom to live in your house free of charge for 14 years, time to be the mistress of your home.

Sorry if I sound harsh but enough already, she isn't the only one that matters, regardless of what she thinks. A loving mother would want her daughter to have a life and some happiness.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 20, 2019
isthisreallyreal,

I won’t dispute any of what you are saying. It’s like I am stuck. I need a good kick in the rear. Thanks.

I go through the what if’s. I really think that negativity rubs off even if deep down it isn’t who we really are. Her negativity has not been good for me. Well, certainly not to be around on a full time basis. I fully understand her frustration as well. 93 and Parkinson’s is tough.

I am more than compassionate with her. More than I am with myself and there has to be balance. I get that.

I guess if you had to pin me down it isn’t about separation from her. I would visit her. It’s about finances. Are these prices at ALF set in stone? Are they negotiatable? The nursing homes in my area are not good. Don’t understand what palliative care is really all about. Her primary care doctor said she is not ready for hospice. It’s confusing. I’m trying. I know I am guilty of moving slower than I should but it’s big decisions. I appreciate everyone’s help and I am truly trying to process it all.
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Needhelp, losing interest in things that used to give you joy is indeed a sign of depression. Do please discuss this with your doctor, sooner rather than later. As in, immediately! And as you've read here many, many times, there is no value in losing yourself in the care of another, no matter how good your intentions, and regardless of what you've promised or how deep the guilt. You simply cannot take care of another person if you die trying. Take care of yourself first; only then will you have the strength and the reserves to take care of your LO. Wishing you all the best, and many hugs to you.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 20, 2019
Desert,

I talk to all of you but sometimes it’s hard talking about it. I have done therapy before when I could leave mom for a bit. Now I can’t get away and the guilt would eat me alive. It’s awful. I know I have value and need to take care of myself but kind of give up at times. I do need to try and force myself to make changes.

Plus, in therapy they guide you to speak about things that are really difficult for me and I end up more depressed. Hard to explain.

I want time away for either solitude or with friends for fun things! Not time away to think about or discuss what I am trying not to focus on. Do you understand?
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I had decided that when the time came around, I was going to visit every State. Build an RV that could sustain me full time and do it. Once I had decided on that, all my free time was consumed in learning and planning, For 4 years.

now...I have been living in my RV and traveling since early 2017. All that learning and planning paid off. Just wish I had spent more time learning about insulation!

look to your future and spend your time working toward that plan...even if it is only educating yourself.

Moving forward for my own future was enough to help me overcome boredom and even the stress of the day to day care....kept my dream alive
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 20, 2019
That is fabulous, Katie!

Yeah, in my youth, long ago I dated a guy that wanted to take me to the mountains. I grew up in New Orleans, only went to Florida every summer because my dad really missed Florida, his childhood home was in the Panama City beach area.

Went camping and backpacking through the mountains. So beautiful for a gal from New Orleans to see. New Orleans is flat! Haha.

So many pretty places to see. Have traveled before being tied down with mom.

My husband is very different than my old boyfriend. He’d never camp and backpack!

I like variety. I love the city, countryside, beach, mountains, all of it, staying in nature, fancy hotel, bed and breakfast, boutique hotel, etc.

Good for you! See the world!
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That's my problem too. How to handle the boredom. My husband and I just downsized to a small home and we were going to start doing some traveling but then I had to move my 94 year old mother home from the assisted living facility. Now......I feel like my life is on hold. My new house is small. There is just so much cleaning I can do or watching Netflix. I HAVE found ways to get out a little each week so I guess I should be very thankful for that. But the days it's just Mom and me are very long. I just feel like I'm chained to my house.

I feel guilty thinking about when my life will be mine again. I'm a young 63 year old and I want to be doing so much before I get too old to do the things I want to do. But at the same time I want and need to be here for my mother. It's just a vicious cycle of thoughts.

One thing as far as coping and not taking any kind of antidepressant I HIGHLY recommend CBD oil. I started taking it about a month ago and I feel so much better. My heart isn't pounding out of my chest when I go to bed at night and I don't wake up with that feeling of dread as to how the day is going to go.

I'm thinking of having my Mom sit on the porch and maybe planting a few plants in the front yard. I guess if there's a will there's a way to keep your sanity.

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one...... there are others facing the same issues I am. That what we're doing is the right thing to do even though it's really hard. It's kind of isolating at times watching everyone else live their lives while you are basically housebound the majority of your time. I wish everyone the strength to cope during this stressful time of your lives.
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scatter195 Mar 23, 2019
I could have written your response! Thanks for the tip on the CBD oil, but how do you know which one to purchase? I've read so much about phoney CBD oil. Thank you and I share your frustration. My mom was the most wonderful mother a kid could have when we were growing up. Sometimes I forget that during the day to day dealing with a 90 year old lady with dementia. I keep a photo collage of the days we were a young family on her dresser. I stop and look at my beautiful young mom in those pictures and remember why I want to do this with my life. Though there are also days I refer to it as "day 880 of the hostage situation"! It is a wild roller coaster of emotions.
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We have moved my dad into a memory care facility. Their activities director keeps him very busy while I continue to take care of finalizing his divorce and securing his commercial property until we can have it cleaned out and sold. His wife filed for divorce after 43 yrs of marriage and moved out of state, leaving me with his care and all of the other messes they both created. I’ve also had to close his business and tie up all the loose ends there. Insurance, medical, bills, etc all while making sure his medical, physical and emotional needs are met. I’ve given up my fused glass art business and have had to cancel trips to see my grandkids. Im also caring for our dog that has bladder cancer and chemo treatments. I have been fighting depression. Thankfully, most of my family and friends have been supportive. But sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed. I believe what you’re describing is depression too, not boredom. 🙏
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 24, 2019
Qwerty,

Life gets so complicated, doesn’t it? You have dealt with a lot. It’s hard and depressing.
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I'm not normally the first to say run don't walk to your therapist, but I don't like the sound of this.

It's not so much the boredom, or the frustrations of constant interruption, or even the feeling that you want to climb the walls. It's the loss of interest even in the things you *do* like. That's not good. That can snowball.

Do you know someone who can give you a qualified professional opinion on this point? I think you might be working with a therapist, are you? - sorry if I've got that completely wrong.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 20, 2019
CM.

I have seen a therapist before. This may sound strange to you and others but there were times that therapy became very hard. Not because of the therapist. He was wonderful. Also, I am aware that therapy is hard work and I have worked hard all of my life. I get that anything worth having is worth fighting for.

It’s difficult to put my feelings into words at times. I’ll try. I wanted and did make a genuine effort in therapy, otherwise it’s a waste of time, right? But this may sound strange but after awhile I would question how it was helping me talk about what I needed to get away from. Sometimes it depressed me further.

I felt like after a few months I needed a break from the therapy even though the therapist told me my outlook had improved.

I daydream about being with people my age. Or even younger people living a full life. Sounds mean but I get tired of only hearing ‘old people’ stuff. I feel like a 93 year old! I want to talk to younger people and hear different things.

I am going to get to see my nephew at the end of the month. I can’t wait. He, his wife and children will be visiting from AZ. We will have a barbecue. Keeping it relatively simple so we can relax and visit. Plus the kids are picky eaters! Three adorable kids, 9, 4 and 2.

My mom will get to see her great grandchildren. They do send photos but it isn’t the same as seeing them. I understand they can’t travel much. Cost a lot for a family to fly these days.

I was very close to my nephew when he was a kid. his brother too (my godchild).

It will wonderful to see him. After he went into the army we didn’t get to see him much. He was in the Middle East five times! I prayed for him everyday. I sent care packages for him and his buddies. He said that’s how they did it. Whoever sent packages sent for a group so they could share, so it was easier for me to send things from Sam’s where I could buy in bulk.

I’m trying to keep my spirits up but I sometimes feel like life is passing me by and before I know it I will be dead! Sorry, don’t want to depress you or others. Thanks for listening to me with my same old boring stuff about my life with mom. I do love her. I may have stress and I have had heartbreak in my life but I have never forgotten the good memories that I have. The heartbreak has only made me appreciate the good times more. I cherish those memories.
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Ann,

Have to tell you that every response you write lifts my spirits and makes me smile. It’s people like you that bring me hope.

Music has gotten me through many tough times. Really beautiful way to communicate, isn’t it? The belief of music being a universal language is exactly right. 😊
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Thank you for your post. I, too, am dealing with boredom, taking care of my ex (I hate to call him that).
I used to make jewelry, as well as sculpting, drawing and painting and have won many awards for my work. I'd forgotten I had a life.
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scatter195 Mar 23, 2019
Vivian, please find a way to get back to your art. We know that art saves lives! Especially during this time of caregiving. I too gave up all my art to be full time caregiver to my 90 year old mom. My studio is in my basement and I felt I needed to be closer by to monitor her. I got a Nest video camera (approx. $150) for her room, I can monitor her on my cell phone from anyplace in the house. I escape to my studio during her naps, while she is reading or watching TV. I can can also check in at night to be sure all is well without getting up. This has saved my sanity - hope you can try this.
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Sounds like you definitely have depression going on too. Big hugs this is a tough job. the toughest part of this to me was constantly being “on” about being kind and loving and giving even when the circumstances push you in the other direction.

what helped me was hiring and working with other caregivers. The comradery, helping each other, laughing, struggling, working together helped bring me back to acceptance of this burden of love and a balance to my mind. So start by hiring somebody for the toughest part of the day. it’ll give you somebody to look forward to talk to who totally gets you.

and as an employer show them recognition by appreciating them occasionally. Treating them good will make them want to stay. They can quit whenever they want but you can’t. A little honey to a bee goes along way. Hang in there!
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 24, 2019
Yeah, I should hire someone just for a few hours. Mom is so dependent on me. Hugs back!
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