I am just venting because there is only one answer! Everyday, I think, today will be different. I LOVE my folks with all my heart. I am a nurse, but I am not a caregiver, if that makes sense. Folks with kids say 'you should have kids'. I made the choice not to. At least kids become more independent, not the reverse. I have health issues that limit my sleep to 0 to 2 hours per night. I have no perspective. I see a counselor, have for years. Nothing helps, there is no answer. Each day presents another thing that need to be done for my folks. I feel SOOOO GUILTY that I am not doing enough!! My dad and I just got in a knock down drag out. I know that it is my dad that sits in his recliner, in the attachment that we built on our house for mom and dad. We have help that comes in 2x's a week to shower dad. Mom is getting so frail!!! I am over at their house too many times a day to count. I HATE going over there and seeing them in their declined state. It tears my heart out!! I have 4 siblings. Oldest disowned mom & dad and us 3 yrs ago bcz we asked them to help by having mom & dad over once in awhile. One sis comes from out of town every now and then so we can go to a conference for work etc. Do they not think or care about what is happening with their parents?? I don't get it. I have dreaded the day that my parents die, for as long as I can remember being me. I know that I will not be able to handle it! But I am not handling this. In my mind, there is only one answer. But it would kill them. I think about it constantly. I talk to my counselor about it constantly!! It seems to be the only answer. Everyone in my family knows that I am suicidal and yet, here we are. Placing mom & dad in a home IS NOT AN OPTION!!!! I would run myself more ragged than I am now.
it is interesting that when you are overwhelmed caring for your parents----those dear/best friends that were like family cannot handle it and disappear. That helps a lot. I am at the end of my rope and do not have the energy to tie another knot.
I have no energy to cope and feel like I am being impatient with my folks. They cannot help that their 'earth suits' are giving out. I just cannot stand this pain!!!!!!!!!!!
My friend (who also cared for her parents) just lost her last parent and sent me a text saying, this will not be forever. But I won't be able to handle losing them. So that is not an answer that helps. There is only one answer. Can I do that to them? I know how my story will end, it is a matter of when. This PAIN has got to end!!!!!!!!!!!

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desertrat5 , you said it yourself - your suicide would kill them. You want to help them and the best way to do that is to take care of yourself. Please get in to see your counselor as an emergency case. You also may want to see a psychiatrist who could prescribe some anti-anxiety or other medication for you.

You aren't a bad person for not being a "caregiver." There are many people who aren't. There's nothing wrong with having a personality not meant for long-term caregiving. Obviously your siblings aren't caregivers either, but you are a good person who is trying to do what is impossible for you.

Believe it or not there are excellent care facilities who will take good care of your parents and you could become the visitor when you can do it in a healthy way. Please talk with your counselor about this option.

Sharing the care with others is something that most long-term caregivers find that they have to do in some way or else they will burn out. That can mean in-home care (more often than 2 days) or it can mean - as I said above - a care home.

Just keep uppermost in your mind that your own mental and physical health is vital to your parents. You must put that first.

Please keep us updated on how you are doing.
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Oh Lord, bless your heart. Reading your post just really makes my heart break for you. Everyone has already given excellent advice on here, I will speak to the issue of being there 24/7 and how crazy I began to feel towards the end.

As a preface, I cared for my Mama 24/7 for the past 4 years. I left my job, moved back to my home town, ended up losing my home, had no financial help from the one sibling I had and all of my friends who were so loving and understanding when Mama first fell down her stairs suddenly dropped off the face of the earth once it became apparent my situation was most likely going to be a long term one.

My brother, whom I know loved my precious Mama, pretty much dropped off the face of the earth....even though they lived with a 30 minute drive and passed right by our street on a weekly basis to go to their "lake home"...They also stopped having holiday celebrations here, leaving Mama and me on our own all of those four years.

Mama passed just before Christmas this year and now that she is gone, I have to say that suddenly here come the family, the friends, etc. etc. to be honest, I will never understand it...any of the 'stuff" that goes with what happens to us as caregivers once others know there is someone who is so very competent at caring for our LO's and for whatever it guilt, fear, sadness, financial, whatever.....since they know the LO is being lovingly cared for they are MIA.....

I guess my main comment I would address is that during all that time of being alone, I felt all of those things you are speaking of....suicide, deep deep depression, EXTREME anger...resentment...even at my own Mama...and no one loves their Mama any more than I love mine...but even so, I would feel myself getting so absolutely angry and resentful towards HER...knowing full well that she was absolutely NOT responsible for any of it...

I must admit, most ashamedly, I had some really ugly moments in this house....I screamed at her...I even cursed at her....and I have to say that now that is what I am having the hardest time dealing with. I hate those moments so much. I wasn't angry at her...I don't even know what I was angry at. Maybe just so darn resentful at being left all alone to deal with all of it...knowing my house was gone, my career was gone, my retirement was gone and I would soon be starting all over all just piled up on me....I hesitate to say it but there were quite a few times it really became tempting to just end it the only way I knew how, but...that one thing...knowing Mama would be all alone, she would have no one else to care for her...and even if she could have been placed immediately in a care facility...a good quality one ....I knew those same people who had left me in the dust would also leave her there as well....

I don't know that anything I am saying is helpful...and I surely do not mean to be inappropriate on this thread...I guess I'm just trying to let you know that I too, understand those same feelings you have. I definitely know that suicide is NOT the answer...I remember the feeling of knowing how much I hated seeing Mama in the physical shape she was in ...especially knowing how much she never wanted to be that way...I knew if she could do it, she would say..please, let me go home.....but I also knew God would take her home when He was ready...then came the other on earth was I going to make it when she did go??? I couldn't bear to see her like this, I didn't know how much more I could take...I had gotten to where I almost couldn't walk due to nerve damage in my back from all the lifting all those years, and my mental health was gone it seemed...but that thought...I will never be able to make it without Mama in my life...and I won't sugar coat that either...the pain of losing her has been the absolute worst thing in my life...and there were times that I wished God had just taken me too....and I still think that sometimes now...but...even though it's only been a few days over a month...yes a month...since she's been gone...the reality has finally hit me that Mama is finally well again...she is happy again...and free...she can do all the things she used to do only better...I even believe that God allows her to hear and understand the things I want to tell her...

I think Mama is proud of me. I feel her presence all around me now...and even though I still have the terribly blue sad moments...knowing my Mama is finally free from a body that gave up on her a long time ago, that makes me feel at peace for her....

I hope I have not made it worse....I remember the almost terror of knowing I would be losing her soon...the even worse feeling of wondering how I would make it without her....but you do...I did.......and no one could ever have convinced me I would get to this point this soon...sometimes that even bothers me...but I like to think it's because I love her so much it just gives me joy to know she is whole again....peace and blessings to you..please hang in there...keep us posted...there are so many people here who care about you...and we do understand ..
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Please take a leap of faith, and believe the people here. 0-2 hours of sleep a night is messing with your brain function. You may think you're coping because your body keeps moving, but you are making mistakes you aren't aware of. If 0-2 hours for a long period of time is not an exaggeration, get to an MD ASAP.
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Desertrat, is it guilt that keeps you from finding other care for your folks? Talk to your counselor to try to figure out what is stopping you from finding other care for them. There are options, you are not the only one. Ask yourself if your folks, if in their right minds, would want you living this torment each day. Most would not.
You sound very stressed and depressed and when in that condition you are not able to provide the best care. In order to take care of them, you need to care for yourself first.

And everything Carol said!
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desertrat5, I'm going to pick just one little detail to comment on. Your inability to get enough sleep. You realize that depriving someone of sleep is a torture device, right? That when people don't get enough sleep for a sustained period they have problems with cognition and moods and personality. The way your are feeling may not be totally a result of caregiving challenges. Prolonged lack of sleep makes us a little crazy.

Based on personal experience I urge you to find a sleep clinic, with a doctor who specializes in treating sleep problems. If you live in a small town it might not be so easy finding one, but I think it would be worthwhile to drive to the nearest city to consult with such a doctor, And if you have tried such a specialist, try again. Knowledge about sleep is constantly increasing. Obviously, also follow up on treatment for the health problems causing sleep issues. But seek out help specifically for sleeplessness.

I'm wishing you a good night's sleep!
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0-2 hours of sleep a night is not healthy. Suicide is not the way to end the pain. Please call 911 and get yourself some help! This is even more the case if your mind has thought up a plan.
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A little "distance" between you and them will help lessen the resentment. A care aide for an hour or two each day, or three times a week would give you a huge break. Try it, you'll be amazed what it does to restore you.
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I'm not sucidal but all my family has basically left me to care for mom and dad myself. My sister died suddenly in 2013 and she was my only helper . After she died I had a lot of people offering help with mom ( dad lives in his own home but has colon cancer) , I have a brother in California who only sends money when I ask for it for moms care other than that nothing. I feel I have to beg for money for her care. I'm a RN and I need to work full time to keep a roof above our head . I have severe Psoratic arthrits and on chemo and humeria . They will increase both my Meds next tuesday because my pain is unbearable I'm only 53 so I have to work . I have caregivers from a voucher that is about to run out and we just got on the home based caregiver waver for 7 hours a week. Ugh , not enough I work. 12 hours a day 3 days a week at a hospital. Mom is pretty good she has alz and dementia history of Bil DVTs ,osteoarthritis, seizures, . The seizure activity is partial complex and is new . She is on Dilantin for that. Mom gets mean sometimes and she is hallucinating, but yet she is kind a great deal of the time . She walks with standby assist . I'm just at my wits end myself .... it's all just to much to write . We see the neuro Tommrow and I can get somebody levels done on her Dilantin and thyroid. Tell him about the hallucinations...which is fairly new . I'm still working through my sister Geri's death. I'm so alone believe me ,
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Oh and hugs to you come here to vent , this is the best place and I love everyone , if I could hug you I would
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Hope your post was incredible thank you for posting it . Wish I could give you a hug.
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