How can I handle the feelings loneliness and isolation from caregiving?

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Hello, I'm just feeling very blue the last few days. I care for my father (82, with severe emphysema). He's having a pneumonia exacerbation today and is back on antibiotics and is sleeping most of the day.

With Easter tomorrow I'm feeling forgotten by people around me and it's making me feel blue. Dad and I had plans to do something together after church services, but he's having a bad day and we may end up having to stay home. As a busy caregiver, I sometimes feel invisible. Everyone depends on me that I'll take care of everything, but no one thinks of me and my needs. I can see people pulling away - invitations stopping, no cards or phone calls just to see how I'm doing or offer encouragement to me.

How do others handle the loneliness and isolation that can come with taking care of someone who is very sick? How can I get people to understand what I'm going through?

Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts.

Answers 1 to 10 of 22
Sorry that you're feeling so sad and blue....maybe you can reach out to others within your community/neighborhood. How about members of your church, or neighbors and relatives? Have you considered placing your dad into an adult day care program, allowing some free time for yourself? In order to provide quality care for your dad, you need to be good to yourself. This means making time for you to socialize, and re-connect with others. Please check out elderly resources to help make an informed decision. Good luck!
I wish I could tell you that the support is there you just have to find it, but my own experience says that you don't find it ,you have to purposefully build it. I was 6 months into caring for my mom (24/7) in my home when my first grandchild was born 6 hours away prematurely. The short story is that I called my "best friend" who said it wasn't really a good time for her to help. The light bulb came on and I knew that I was really in this by myself. If I want respite care I pay for it. I have a couple of backups for emergercy. But all that said it is Easter and I am home with mom, no hunting eggs with the granddaughter who is now almost 3. Caregiving does make us alone and invisible, we do it because it is the best available for the parent, certainly it affects our life, contacts etc. I hope you find some comfort and wisdom in the day and know that while no one else notices you are the whole world to your dad. Somedays it seems worth it, in my case I am not sure about today. But one day at a time, hoping that tomorrow we get back into the routine and it will be better. And there are many, many more of us sacrificing in the same way, we just aren't all together.
My son was very ill as an infant until he was 8. The isolation was difficult for both of us as my husband went on with his life, and the two of us stayed home. We missed many holidays until I started creating my own traditions that fit our situation. Then I started a card ministry in which I wrote two or three people each day who were also isolated. Before long, I found that people cared but just needed a little reminder that we still existed. Also, I reminded people that we cared about their situation. I did feel down and blue at times even after I started making changes but it did help. You are not alone with all of us on the site. Please write whenever you have time. Rebecca
I know how you feel. I care for my mom with dementia, age 88, and we won't be able to spend time with others today, Easter. I know I'll get through the day somehow, and cook dinner and take a walk or something, but it really is a lonely time. Thanks for starting this thread, it was just what I needed this morning. Love and understanding to you. ssk
Top Answer
I just got home from a very frustating day with Mom. I cooked a nice Easter meal (which I NEVER have time to do for myself), bought some flowers, and made a nice dessert. The whole time I was there she pushed her food around the plate, sniffed at the flowers, and whined that she was "getting useless" and begged me to stay with her overnight (a regular occurance now.) I can never have a moment to myself, I cannot take vacations without a mommy meltdown, I feel like I cannot breathe.
I think that it just exacerbates the feelings of isolation during holidays. Not only do I feel alone, but now, everyone of my holidays (which I used to love) is ruined. I am glad that others have shared their experiences today because I thought I was the only one feeling miserable on a holiday....again!
The one thing that I was looking forward to when my mom moved near us was having the chance to celebrate special days with a family member. This is NOT the way things have turned out. Mom uses every opportunity for a pity party.
I can feel my health dwindle and I cannot remember the last happy thing that happened to ME.
But I have a new plan...starting May 1st, I am creating a new regimen for myself. I want to get healthy, have a better mental outlook, and make some changes so that I am not shouldering all this by myself.
On this holiday, I am very thankful for everyone here who have become my long distance family and my unflinching, caring, support system. Thank you and bless you for taking time out of your insanely busy lives to share your advice and moral support with us all.
Take care everyone...have the best day you can manage...and please join me on May 1st for a "new-and-improved-me" day!
Lonely, Crazy for Feelin so Lonely, I'm Lonely, crazy for feelin so Blue
The best advice I have is to click on the Grossed Out thread on the right of this page. There you will find very similar situations to yours and you will get a LOT of support and funny stories to keep you smiling. I am afraid, in my humble opinion that you are not going to change other people who are not going through your experiences. They won't understand what they haven't been through. But give the thread a try and at least you will know you are not the only one. Best of luck.
This is my first holiday alone as my mom is in a dementia NH. She used to live with me until she totaled her car 2 1/2 hours from home and that started her "journey" (and mine) into the whole confusing hospital/NH/medical bills/guardianship mess. I was invited to a friend's house but just didn't feel up to trying to be cheerful, which probably would have been good. Just watched movies and cried off and on all day. Actually, it felt good to cry instead of stuffing it in all the time. Maybe watching a comedy on tv, a movie, would help cheer you up. I watched "the King's Speech" and that was very inspirational. Watching tv is my great escape!
Hi Denisenini,

This is my first holiday alone with my mom. She moved in with us in February. My husband and son went to his side of the family for Easter so it was just me and mom. My dad died right before Christmas so these holidays are so hard. We couldn't even bring ourselves to dye Easter eggs this year as my dad was the one that always loved it the best. He was so creative and fun.

I made my mom and I a rare treat of broiled scallops wrapped in bacon and a green salad. We also watched "The King's Speech." I had the volume up to 100 (!) and she couldn't hear it very well, and the light reflected off the TV, and your fireplace looks off balance (???) and........So, how was the movie? LOL

I know how very, very it hard it is sometimes to battle the blues. Sometimes you just have to laugh and know this too shall pass.
This is a great thread, holidays have been such a let down the last 5 years. My Aunt & Dad both died in 2005 before Thanksgiving and my mother had her 1st stroke in between their deaths. I too have always been the one who tryed to make every holiday special, I get all exciting and make plans which always fall through. It's like my mom will have a crisis no matter how small to ruin everything. She did this before her dementia set in. You think by now I would lower my expectations or try some new traditions, but I always get myself wrapped up in the same tug of war. I feel that I have become so numb that I can't even cry, the ony emotion I ever show is anger or exhaustion. I agree with lilliput May 1st would be a great day to start a new plan of "taking care of myself." Who else wants to join this idea and what are some suggestion for things to try.

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