How do I describe to non-caregiving family members what it's like to give up my life for my parent's care?

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How do we describe to non caregiving family members what it's like giving up one's life, friends, dreams for Mom/dad...my life compare it to a 1week vacation over 20 yrs?

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Dear Mege, I'm afraid there is no way for you to describe your life and the limits in happy freedom with places to go and things to do with friends, to the non caregivers around you. If they cared, they would already know by asking and helping. I learned long ago that compassion is something only a few of us are born with. Early on, I thought we were the lucky ones to have the good and loving hearts while the others just watched from a distance and often didn't watch at all, just being wrapped up in their own lives. It won't change no matter how much you want to cry for help from them. They are, who they are, and nothing will change them. You must find the help you need from all medical sources for daily care and respit care to keep yourself in a possitive and confident mode for your parents and yourself. You CAN do it! Many of us have. You can too, if even just a little. Good luck. Sooz
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Hi, unfortunately there is no way. If they knew they would help whether monetary by letting you hire some help so you could get a break or calling their parent, or sending money for food or something useful. Listening to you when you need a ear and a sholder, my experience is and I was told by one sibling you brought them there you deal with it. I will send you money from time to time (that was four years ago but nothing as of yet) had to call them to tell them if they wanted to see their father one more time before he died now was the time they came he died three weeks later. no help with burial, I paid for their flowers, now I take care of my mother it will be a lot different this time they have the number haven't heard from my brother since we buried my father May was 2 years They will be told when she is in hospital and thats that. what they do is their decision. So you see unless they are really concerned about their parent they won't do anything that disrupts their life. So honey save your breathe, no its not fair but thats okay you can have a clear conscience, can they? Now I can't even talk to my sister about anything so I haven't for the last 3 weeks sure she is wondering why I am so quiet when she does email me something stupid and asks whats new I usually say nothing new here. Have a nice day!

You could enroll them in this newletter but they would only participate if they were interested. Most are only interested in what will be theirs when the parent passes. Sorry but that is the way it is for most of us. I hope it is different for some of you. Have a good one
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Hello dear,
It is really sad when children do not recognise or acknowledge the love, affection and caring that their parents gave them. However, that is how life sometimes is. You have sacrificed a lot and believe me, you will reap that reward of caring for your parents. Just try to work out some time for yourself, perhaps after they fall asleep and read a good book or just catch up with your emails or the internet. Take heart that you are the lucky one, for having a caring and loving nature. Believe me, you will see the blessings someday. Do not bother with your siblings, they have a conscience of their own and if they cannot find it in their heart to do right by their parents, hey, they have to deal with it. You should be proud of yourself, I sure am. Congratulations on being a good person, especially, nowadays when everyone is so self-centred.
Take care and God bless you.
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I gave up with the idea of my sis and bro understanding what my life was like. Why? Because they don't care. I, too, got the "you have a place in heaven" type BS from them. But I also was the one dad asked, why does your brother only come to visit when I'm in the hospital? I told him I wish I had an answer. "Have you talked to your sister lately?" Nope. When my dad took the opportunity 5 days before he died to say his goodbyes to each of us, it wasn't them he thanked, it wasn't them that he told that he didn't know what he would have done without them. No, for sis it was have a good life. For bro it was I wish we could have talked more. Dad thanked me all the time. I would always say no thanks was needed, I was happy I was able to do it. He had always been there for his family. Sis and bro maintain some stories about how mean dad could be. Guess they must have learned that from them. Wonder if they feel good now after "punishing" him for his meaness by ignoring him, by walking away from him when he needed his family most. I'll never know because I don't plan to continue any sort of relationship with either of them. I pretended while dad was alive so as not to upset him but I don't have to pretend anymore. I know dad is in a place where he now sees the reality of the situation. As much as I gave up to care for my dad, I gained so much from the experience - having my dad become my best friend, so many memories. They got 1/3 of his estate. They have to live with themselves and their decisions.
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mege27,

Give up. Tried that last night. All I got was, "but I am so busy"! They have no idea. Can't you get help? State sponsored respite care programs are there for you. Call your hospital and ask for Senior Services. They can be a big help.. Ask the DR. to help you get in contact with services. Don't do this alone.
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Bless your heart. Its like so many people have already responded: you are in a sense all alone. Everybody has advice but they don't want to jump in and help you. Unfortunately, caregivers like yourself, are suffering from long-term stress. And that puts you in a much higher risk for many illnesses, even potentially passing before the person you are caring for! Forget understanding...get help.

yours, Donahue Vanderhider, MSG
Gerontologist
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My brother is clueless. My mother is the cause. I have a daughter, but my question is "Do woman raise their sons differently from daughters?" My mom did and she is reaping the negative benefits!!!!! Do they program them this way or is it just the way they are? I know very few men who have close family ties once they get married. It is almost as if they divorce their parents!!!! I am very perplexed.
Linda
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Nance
For situations that we cannot control, it is better not to stress ourselves over it. I know it can be very difficult, especially when they are family, howeve, sometimes, it happens and when that happens, we have to remember, why we are doing, what we are doing and what it means to the person, who is receiving our care and let that comfort you and do not let the bitterness cover that. Your siblings will have to deal with their own behaviour, in their own time. You just take comfort in the FACT that you are a good and caring daughter.
Take care and congratulations for being a filial child.
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I would not answer any e-mails or give any information. That helps them to stay away. Everyone is responsible for themselves and if they want to know, they should visit and see!

I agree with aew2004 - you are doing what is right for you and you are better off for it.

I also agree with lovingdaughter - send bills regularly. It might make a difference. It is beside the point but it might help you feel more in control.

We have to do what we have to do and good for those who are giving care! Hopefully, we can find ways to just see the good about this and not allow others to take the good feeling away.
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Maybe enroll them in this newsletter - agingcare.com The many comments will help enlighten them.
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