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I'm going to have a meltdown if I don't get a day off soon!

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I want to add a general answer. NO HUMAN is expected to perform very emotionally tangled 'help' 24/7 for months and years in ANY line of work.

Think of it. Nurses, police, surgeons, pilots anyone in a job where tight attention and full commitment with energy, AND intellect is absolutely requires is expected to work over 8 hours. ONLY a few jobs press professionals- professionals mind you! to work 12 hours straight, and those jobs are rewarded with HIGHER pay for the known difficulty. and MORE time off to recoup. SO ANY wy you can get help, OVER any objections is needed, HE will adjust-grumble, flail, temper tantrum, whatever he does to object. But people respond to love and CONSISTENCY and persistence appearance of a carer, over time. Hopefully some care worker can be that person. lastly. THIS IS WHAT MONEY IS FOR! skimping on need for your sanity, and own long term health is a mistake. Sell what can be sold if necessary. Borrow if possible for short term test of YOU getting some relief. Please please do this. I wish you the best.

Caring for an elderly/demanding/confused/sick/weak parent of close family
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Reply to PrivateCitizen
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I hired a young man who was absolutely wonderful with dad. Initially I told dad he was there to work with him since dad didn’t think he needed a “sitter”. I had him come initially once a week for six hours so I could just leave the house and not worry, knowing that someone was there with dad. Eventually he came twice a week for eight hours each time. Yes, it was a bit expensive, but it was worth every cent!
Another option would be to check and see if you have a adult day service in your area, ask through social services. They will know if those programs are there and can guide you through paperwork to see if your dad is eligible for Medicaid to help pay for it.
Good luck to you and get busy, you need days off for your sanity!
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Reply to Glendaj2
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It’s interesting that many responders have indicated that their only “time off” was when they, themselves, had an injury or health related problem. How sad, though, that their mental state of the 24 hour responsibility for a parent does not qualify the caretaker for a mental break. I can say that caring for an elderly parent is one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. I am in my 60s, an only child, and the constant responsibility is overwhelming and has completely changed the life I used to have. It’s easy to suggest “find a facility”, or “hire a caretaker”, but the reality is that your parent does not want anyone but YOU and has a negative view of nursing facilities. You feel as though you are letting your parent down and abandoning them by “passing them off”. And all of this causes resentment on the part of the caretaker. The problem is, once you have begun the process of becoming the caretaker, it never ends....until the parent passes. It’s a terrible way to end your relationship with a parent. It affects (and essentially stops) your socialization, vacations, the way your home is funrnished and laid out, what you eat, when you eat, what you watch on tv, the volume of the tv, where you even sit in your own home. I feel for you, and hope you find a way out of this - meanwhile, I can empathize and wish you luck.
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Reply to Dolciani
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bigsun Jan 16, 2019
Way out is best.
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Mother just turned 94 yesterday. I have been her caregiver for the past 12 years. She lives with my husband and I. Yes, I had caregiver burnout. After realizing it, I slowly began to make changes to keep my sanity. Look for ways to lighten your load. You need to do that before you reach meltdown because you won't function well otherwise. Enlist friends, relatives, neighbors etc. to sit with your dad even if it's for an hour or two. Next check out adult day care centers. In my area, I couldn't believe how reasonably priced it was. I physically went there and viewed the facility and spoke to the director. I felt confident enough that mom would be fine there even if she said she didn't want to go. I will take mom there for 2 to 3 half days aweek. When I purposed it to her, her response was what I expected. "I don't want to go there. I want to be with you." I reassured her it's only for a few hours so she can get out and socialize instead of sitting in her chair day in and day out saying she's bored. In reality it's not about her being bored, it's about my sanity. I'm sending her there more for myself and peace of mind than for her complaining she's bored. I was to the point where I disliked my life and mom. It was all to over whelming. Start by making small changes. This will lead to bigger changes until you get to the point where you will be comfortable with yourself and dad's care. He may not like it, but just like a child you need to reassure him it will be ok. More important is that you will be ok.
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Reply to Love2Garden
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Loyaline, if you are burning out after a few months, then you need to make some immediate changes. Please note that up to 40% of family caregivers die leaving behind the love one they were caring. Those are not good odds.

I wasn't hands-on, but was logistical regarding my parents who refused to move from their multi-level home being in their 90's. Someone was always falling, lots of doctor appointments, grocery shopping, regular shopping, and I was still full-time with my career. No vacations, stopped dining out, stopped going to the movies, etc. for fear of those numerous "fall calls". In those 6 years, I crashed and burned twice.

I did get a break for almost 4 months [no pun intended] when I fell and broke my arm. It was my primary arm so that made it even more complicated. Recovery was slow and painful because I was a senior myself.

Is there any way your Dad can budget to have a caregiver come in for a few hours a couple times a week? The Agency caregivers were such a relief later on down the road when my Dad said he needed help at home [Mom had passed].
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Reply to freqflyer
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Dolciani- I really feel for you. There is really no easy way to break out of your situation but please consider an adult day care person coming in ( or dropping your dad off) for one day or maybe 2 a week just so you can mentally detach for a day.. even if he protests, don’t worry!-he will be fine.
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Reply to cara77
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When I was in nursing school, myself and several of my classmates “sat” with elderly patients. Students from a local community college, as someone said above, are a great resource. They cost less, often have flexible schedules and have been trained. Just look for recent CNA licensees or current nursing students. I noticed that elderly men often respond better to a young lady as they won’t be as rude and demanding to them. And they are used to nurses being female. Maybe you can tell him his sitter has to get some hours in doing xyz so he won’t feel like he’s being pawned off or babysat. And won’t accuse you of dumping him off on someone. Stay at the house with them the first time to make it comfortable for everyone and to observe how they get along. Make it seem like dad is helping her by allowing her to be there and complete her nursing school hours. Even once a week, once every two...anything would help give you some rest. Right now you’re getting none and that’s not good for you or dad. God bless you.
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Reply to NCnurse
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Any Day Programs in your area, for your dad? City? Parks Dept? Library?

Are any volunteers available through a social service or your church or synagogue ?
(United Jewish Federation has helped me immensely.)

Can you pay for a qualified sitter on a regular basis, such as weekly?

Respite programs for sure.

A family member or friend who can give you a morning or afternoon off?

Have lunch or dinner delivered every once in a while? Ask someone to help you make a meal?
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Reply to Rabanette
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I think it's incredibly sad that so many people are not getting any break from care giving, on a long term basis. And stating that the person they care for only wants them.

I'm trying to think of when/if this is a wish that should be honored? The mental and physical health of the caregiver is so important. I'm just at the beginning of my journey here as mom can still very safely be left alone at this point, but I see at some point, that will no longer be true and I think I am learning that I should get a helper in as soon as that decline starts so that she doesn't get too used to JUST me. The "sitter", I guess, needs to know that the LO might be resistant. But they don't need to be happy about it, just safe. I wonder if, like with the little ones dropped off at daycare, if they get used to it with time.

I'm wondering if it would work to bring someone in and have them clean, etc. so the LO can get used to them with you there, before you leave them alone together?

So many challenges.....
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Reply to againx100
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Rabanette Jan 17, 2019
Don't assume that they won't like the sitter. The people I've met who do this are generally very sweet, gentle people who have the capacity to work with seniors. It's very smart to start a relationship with someone now who can be with you and your mother for the long run.
Even though it's for pay we can develop relationships with our helpers. I had a sitter for a few months who was able to take my mom out on little excursions. I came up with the game plan, generally, and she took it from there.
It's that old chestnut about not getting everything from one person! Good luck!
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Although you have not shared what his medical issues are, if he needs 24/7 care then he needs to be in a nursing home even if he has to apply for Medicaid to pay for it. If it is possible, how about take him to visit some nursing homes. They are not what they once were. You could just put your foot down and say look it's your choice either stay here, hire someone or go to a nursing home for I am burned out and you need more care than one human being can give. Be the adult daughter that he needs!
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Reply to cmagnum
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Mary9999 Jan 27, 2019
This post makes so much sense. As difficult as it may be, now and in the future, you (and dad) must face this, the sooner the better for your health as well as his. Perhaps you should get the information for Medicaid eligibility now, as I know it takes a while to be approved. Everything should be on-line for you to read, and you can get the paperwork from your county. If he doesn't qualify for Medicaid right now, a nursing home will work with you as to what you need to pay out of dad's funds before they take over. If he's got way too much money for Medicaid ever, then lucky dad. There are some great assisted living places around here (city of 80-90,000) with all levels of care provided as needed. Good luck to you, and please think of yourself. A burn-out is very possible for you. I speak as a former 24/7 caregiver.
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