I'm a caregiver for my aunt and she had a stroke last year, but I've been taking care of her since the end of 2016. She's married her husband doesn't come around, dropped her off, keeps her check and I pretty much have zero support. I got a bath aide twice a week and I'm supposed to have a provider twice a week 2 hours per day but that doesn't happen often. I took care of both of my parents before they passed away, I can't do this anymore. I'm not the greatest of help myself I'm battling depression, major depression and I need two hernias repaired. I love her to death and I've been trying my best but I haven't even been out of my own home in 3 months. I can't do this anymore, but I really don't want her to know that. I want to do this anonymously, but how? It's her husband's job to take care of her and I know I'm wrong for feeling this way, but I just can't do this anymore. I'm having thoughts of suicide and I have enough problems with my depression I can't handle this anymore I need help please.

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Home health just discharged her last week so now that's one more thing. I pay the bills at my house and I can garuntee she doesn't have to worry about going without anything. I really do a good job at taking care of her I'm just shot...she is completely paralyzed on the right hand side.
If I up and left she would have no one.
Again I've tried getting her to talk to her doctors...all that happened was I got ignored. I can't seem to get her to realize how bad off physically I am. Hell I can tough out the mental battle...
But having to pick her up to get her to the bathroom and back to bed...with 2 hernia...I'm spent...
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If your aunt is still of sound mind, you need to get her to appoint you as her “financial manager” if you are concerned with her needs not being met. Are the bills being paid? Is the house stocked with food? You don’t mention who is paying for these things. If her husband is managing the finances and making sure these things are provided, and if he is keeping track of these things on paper as far as you know, there isn’t much you can do.

If your mental health and physical health are both deteriorating, as you’ve said, then you have two choices. One is to stay where you are and continue down the same path. The second is to follow the trail of “red tape” to its end and get some help for youself. It might involve leaving your present home with your aunt and moving out on your own. Inform her husband you need a break to get yourself together and see what he says.
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She's of sound mind, maybe the very first stage to dementia or alhimers. I've talked with her and she refuses to take a stance against her husband, but I understand that after 50 years of marriage.

It seems the more help I look for the worse off it home health just discharged her...

If I could get the help I am sure I would be okay, but it's so much red tape. I've got her Med. Poa. Her husband doesn't have anything except a marriage certificate. Its a really complicated situation with him. I recently figured out he's schizophrenic...and that makes it worse.
I'm unwilling to go against her wishes for many reasons that its just not right. I love her to death and I'm grateful that she's here and not elsewhere, but there is only so much a single person can take.
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A cousin TRIED to do this to me with my aunt. I said H no!
Call APS today!
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You are definitely not wrong for feeling the way that you do. You are being abused; why do the abused think THEY are wrong???

Contact Texas Adult Protective Services ASAP.
Helpful Answer (2)

Ookamisan, no, you're not wrong for feeling the way you do and, in fact, it's admiral that you've been able to take care of your aunt under tough circumstances for as long as you have. But burnout is a natural consequence and your aunt that you love is at risk until you get adequate help. I'm sure there is help available in Texas for you and her, but I'm not sure how easy it will be to get the help you need on a weekend. If you're thoughts of suicide are serious, please call the StarCare Crisis Line at (806) 740-1414 or (800) 687-7581 immediately.

You said you'd like to stop being your aunts primary caregiver anonymously. Perhaps that could be accomplished by calling the Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 to explain the care that you've been providing your aunt due to your uncle's indifference/negligence and possible financial abuse and that you can't do it anymore, but that you don't want your aunt to know that you're burned-out. The Dept. of Family and Protective services website says they answer calls all hours everyday. Here's the website:

To get longer-term help call the Texas Adult and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 1-855-937-2372. It's website says ADRC helps older adults and people with disabilities, but I don't know if its help is available on weekends. Here's its website:

It's hard to give specific advice without knowing more, but Ahmijoy, Countrymouse and freqflyer all had some good ideas for you to consider. Your situation is hard, but there is help available and I think you'll find that you do have some options to get you to where you can see the light at the end of this tiring journey you've been on. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (3)

Ookamisan, you could give written notice to your Aunt's husband that on June 30th you will no longer be able to take care of your Aunt. Be honest with him, tell him you are totally burnt out. One person shouldn't be doing the work of 3 shifts of caregivers. Stand strong on that date.

As for telling your Aunt, I have a feeling she would understand that you are tired and you need a much needed break. Tell her if you could clone yourself into two more people that you would keep being her caregiver forever.

Has your Aunt been paying you to be her caregiver? How are you paying your own bills. I see your Aunt has been living in your own home. How are you paying your mortgage or rent?

If push comes to shove, tell your Aunt's husband that close to 40% of family caregivers die while caring for a love one. Does are not good odds. Then what would your Aunt's husband do?
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Um. I am mystified by the idea that you could *resign* anonymously. Stop being the essential person in this lady's life, but in a way that she won't notice? How?

You have to tackle her husband. There is no other way. For moral support and advice about how to approach him - especially about the money, which you should be able to use to pay for her costs including care - call your Area Agency on Aging and speak to a social worker.

Also - sorry, don't know how I didn't react to this - you are NOT wrong to feel as you feel. Your aunt's husband is cheerfully taking advantage of you and the situation is utter bullswotsit.
Helpful Answer (9)

It would be difficult on everyone if you just left, you, her and her husband. You’d never be able to live with yourself. If you actually got the help you were supposed to get, would it make it easier for you? You have a choice to call Adult Protective Services or your local area Agency on Aging and tell them what’s going on. You can also speak with her doctor and tell them you need help because you are unwell and burned out.

Do you have a Power of Attorney? Is there anything signed by your aunt that says you can control her finances? Are you on her accounts? If her husband is her POA, he has to make an accounting of where her money goes. Are the bills being paid? Are you using your own money to pay for her care? That’s not right. If that’s the case then you need to speak with an Elder Law Attorney and see what can be done. I’m not familiar with the legalities of what he’s doing, and you need the word of an Attorney to back you up. Don’t be intimidated by going to see an attorney for advice. It’s amazing how people shape up once they know you have an attorney on your side.

Don’t just leave. You will never be able to forgive yourself and that’s not fair to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact those agencies I mentioned before, go on the Internet to find if you or she are eligible for other help. If you or she are affiliated with a church, their members may also be able to help.

Good luck to you. Come back any time to let us know what’s happening.
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