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I'm talking a once a month! I would like to be able to take a mini vacation, spend a weekend with my very understanding boyfriend! We live in a very small farming community and mom knows and likes neighbors, one of which does private elder care but she just says oh I know you need a break but.....! She is more of a fall risk then anything and is 81!

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Hats off to you Hadenough. It's like getting out of jail. Treat yourself to a massage, order your favorite dessert. Get one of those Lonely Planet Guides and pack lightly. One suitcase on wheels. !0 pairs of underwear and 10 white T-shirts (from the men's underwear department V neck) and 2 pairs of jeans, and a bathing suit. Take lots of pictures. Don't call home no matter what. Mail your postcards home in the airport as you have to come back so they get there after you do. Do NOT bother to write home to reassure anybody. Have a point person back home you can contact (preferably a best friend, no family members) who can be there is you lost a phone or passport or something. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. If you can think of anything I wouldn't do! When traveling solo, I took pictures of me standing next to statues. That made me ask people to take the photo which was a good icebreaker. Have a wonderful time. I'm proud of you.
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I love the idea of people figuring out that not only are you ABLE to leave, but you WILL! India might be drastic for most of us though. My neighbor is 97, and will abuse those she thinks "can't" leave (family, live-in caregiver), but is absolutely charming with those who could walk away from her at any time (me, my roomies, the staff at Denny's).
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I have been inspired by this forum and especially by FedUpNow and am booking a 3 week trip out of the country. I am giving the sibs plenty of time to figure out arrangements for our 90 yo Mother because she is not coming with me! No one is coming with me. For 3 blessed weeks I will be taking care of no one but myself. I have never done this before and am very excited. Caregivers NEED time away, we also deserve it no matter what anyone says. Cannot wait to hear the stories when I get back about Mom. This will be their chance to cure her of all her ailments since they cannot understand why I am unable to do it.
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I will be 70 in January. I am soft all over, too. You will do stupid things but do them with enthusiasm.
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Awesome, thanks for sharing Fedupnow! You are quite adventurous and brave - I'm a bit "soft in the middle" to handle the same type of vacation but you still inspire me to think of new ideas.
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PS The message was finally received by the rest of my family that I could be out of here whenever I wanted and they couldn't do anything about it. Yes, I sank back into the morass when I got home but the important thing is I got away when I just couldn't stand it anymore. People don't realize you're at the breaking point until they can't control you anymore. Did that change my MILs behavior? No. Did it change the way I think about myself? You betcha! I'm about to plan another escape to South Africa this summer. I am counting the days.The problems people endure in third world countries is nothing short of stunning. You won't come back from one of these experiences looking to God for the answers. Or worrying about your parent's happiness. You will realize how easy they have it because of you and you will appreciate yourself much more than you ever did.They are not alone. They have you. They have, even in old age, comforts and loved ones that many people on this earth have never experienced even as children. I especially want to thank the people I have met on these trips for their heroic efforts and their love and their kindness--it has been a lot more than I ever got in my own home. I hope my strong spirit will enable me to make plans to live with others as roommates when my time to be helpless comes so I won't inflict myself full force on one of my children and be oblivious to the work they have done to keep me alive. I would be delightful to have the bungee cord snap over the Zambezi River as it did a couple of years ago and not survive such an accident. No funeral. No muss, no fuss and no long-term destroying the people I love most as they try to take care of me. Notice I said accident, not suicide. We are all on this forum because we are taken for granted as we continually support our family members and we get no support or appreciation from anyone else but ourselves. Growing old is its own heartbreak. I probably get this escape trait from my father. He owned a machine shop. If he got behind schedule with his cutters and you swore at him, he would close up shop and go duck hunting. It was well-known in the trade, "Don't swear at Charlie or he will go duck hunting" and you will wait even longer for your tools. In one way or another, I am your daughter, Dad. I am a good fire. I burn well.
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I do not have much money. A third world country was affordable for me. When I went to India, the dollar was worth 143 rupees (their "dollar"). By staying at low budget B&B's, I was able to spend approximately $3 US per day on sleeping accommodations. Don't expect to stay in the Taj Mahal. Although I saw that beautiful monument, I often had a choice between hot water and toilet paper but not both. I traveled with three other college students, backpacking all over through forts, incredible poverty, amazing historical places. I came back with a new appreciation for my country and indoor plumbing. I lost 16 lbs. from the constant walking and a lot less eating. Yes, one of the best parts was being out of touch from the invading cell phones, emails, text messages. The world didn't end without me taking care of everything and I got a very much needed break from every single fish hook obligation in my skin. Yes, there were scary times, tired times, I got dysentery for 3 days, I was alone and it was by no means an easy trip. Still it was the best thing that happened to me all year and best of all, I was responsible for making my own decisions which was very empowering after spending years wiping the shit off everyone else's ass. Most important of all I WAS OUT OF HERE AND NO ONE COULD DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT!
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Fedupnow, just curious why a third world country? Is it harder for people to track you down there, no cell service?
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How to get away from demanding parents? Feign your own death. Go swimming with sharks. Or do what I did: Book a 3 week trip to a third world country and don't tell anyone you are leaving or when you are returning. In my case, I went to India. I am not kidding. About 5 days into my trip, my husband found out where I had gone. He was shitfaced. But so was I that he stuck me with his mother when he knew we hated each other. Guess what?! Nobody dropped dead. I had a great time. I do this every so often when I can't stand another moment. Do not interrupt your trip. Even for a funeral. You will survive to do more caretaking. Let one person you know where you have gone in case of emergency. The emergency being that YOU need help in that foreign country, NOT that they can call you to complain.
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You are familiar, easy, safe...and free. If you burn out she'll have to pay for care 24/7. Unfortunately the penalty for doing a job well is no one ever wants you to leave! If you don't get a break you become someone you don't want to be and are of no use to her either.
Is it possible to have the care person come over for tea or something the day before so your Mom gets used to her being in the house without the added stimulus of you getting ready to go (they pick up our mood & energy like kids do).
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Just hire someone for your respite care and get some much-needed rest and connection with your boyfriend. Just leave and the rest will take care of itself and I promise you, your mother will survive a few days.
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Everyone has given you great advice and I also totally agree. YOU are the boss now. This is how its going to be. Have ready answers..."Sorry, you feel that way. OK what would you like for lunch." Change the subject and move on. Hope all goes well.
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I put my Mom in respite care She is on Hospice for a week ever 2 months and that really helps.need a break that the only way for me my Brother and Sister are both dead so it's just me
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you do not need your mother's "permission" or agreement at this point to take care of yourself. Just do it, knowing that you will be a better caregiver if you also take good care of yourself while you are taking care of your mother - EVEN IF SHE NEVER SEES IT THAT WAY. If you are not able to "neutralize" your mother's guilt-tripping so that you can practice appropriate self-care, go to a caregiver support group and/or to therapy until you can. Blessings to you AND to your mother. G~
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hadenough, One of the beauties of dementias is that they will always forget. It is even better that the sibling gets just a small sample of what you go through each day. All siblings in all situations like this would have much more understanding for those of us that provide the care if they spent even a weekend with them. A two week stay would show just about everything.
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She doesn't get to agree. She gets to be informed that is is going to happen.
She will never agree, Been there, done that, seen the movie, bought the T-shirt. And she will be furious when you get back. Go anyway or you will burn out quicker.
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Just do it!! You are probably never going to get her blessing. Short story - when I first moved in with my Mother almost 2 years ago it took me about 2 months to realize I had to get away once a month. I arranged it, put it on the calender, and told my mother numerous times when I would be gone. The day came and I left - had a wonderful relaxing time. When I returned home there was an angry message from my sister. Seems my Mother called her and complained about being "abandoned" by me even though I had carefully arranged for her to be taken care of. The next month came and my mother went to stay at my siblings for the night while I went on my respite. She exhibited the same behavior. Told my sister that I had "abandoned" her - she was at my sisters house at the time. Lucky thing is she forgets that I abandon her once a month - haha. I had to grow a pretty thick skin and stick up for myself because no one else is going to do it. Good luck - go away and enjoy yourself - and dump the guilt!!
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You owe it to yourself to take breaks. You TELL your mother you are going away. She is controlling you as if you were still a child. If you are old enough to take care of her, you are old enough to make your own decisions. I tried to be nice about this very same thing with my mom and I finally had to come out and tell it how it was going to be. IMHO when you require someone else to help you, then You are going to have to give up some things. Your mom needs to ditch her control and let you take charge.
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Dear McWind -- The previously posted advice is excellent. And you may want to take a look at your basic relationship with your mother in view of the fact you think to ASK things when it may be more appropraite to TELL her.
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Wat the above poster said-you have a good guy and both of you deserve to spend time together-I have a good relationship myself and know that does not happen too often and you need to tend to that relationship-if she gets mad she will get over it she is not a child.
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Just do it.

Plan a weekend away. Arrange it with the neighbor who does care. On Thursday or Friday of that week tell Mom that you are going to be gone for the weekend and Gladys is going to be with her starting at 9 am on Saturday. You'll be back Sunday night. If she fusses, say "I told you I needed a break. I'll bet you'll be glad to have a little break from me, too. This is all arranged." She may get mad. She may cry. But you are going to have a break. Be firm and assured. This is just how it is going to be.

Once you have broken the ice by doing it once, you can consider making a regular arrangement with the neighbor. The third weekend of every month, for example.

You are lucky to have someone she knows and likes available for this task. Enjoy your respite!
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