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My family doesn’t get it and expects me to continue caregiving. My dad has myopathy so no use of his legs and I barely can get him from bed to wheelchair.

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Karen,

I was just thinking about you today. I was wondering if you had found a bit of peace - I'm glad you were able to find a caregiver.

Have you been taking some "me-time"? I do hope so.

I hope you are doing well,
Ana.
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I wouldn't hold my breath about the "government" making anything easier for caregivers anytime soon.
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Thank you for all the feedback. I love this. I used to feel so alone in this, but now I know there are so many of us. It would be nice if the govt took into consideration what we give up to care for our loved ones and take care of all expenses.
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sadeyes, kudos to you for providing your dad's care. I second the prior advice to have a family meeting with siblings and to call your state's veterans affairs office. With luck, the family meeting will result in a lot more assistance from siblings, but if it doesn't then you'll have to let them know that you can't keep doing what you're doing and that you will proceed with making whatever changes are necessary, e.g POA, guardianship, moving your dad, or whatever you need to do. Based on your descriptions, it sounds like your dad should be evaluated by his doctor for mental competency or if it's just his physical limitations causing boredom and irrational behavior.

If your dad's Marine Corps service occurred during during a war and his net income (after deducting medical/care expenses) and assets ($80,000 excl. his home and car) are below certain limits, then he'll probably qualify for adult daycare and/or an Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension (up to $1,830/mo. for a single veteran w.o. dependents). In addition to the possibility of an A&A pension, along with SS, helping pay for care in a facility, it can also be used to pay for care services provided by anyone, including a family member (e.g. you), but first make sure you have a Personal Care Agreement in place with a payment already made or it won't be counted in the original A&A application and would cause a Medicaid problem later if that is in your dad's future. You mentioned the VA said owning his home disqualifies him, but that is probably not true unless it is being rented to someone. Your state's veterans service office should be able to help you navigate those intricacies. Good luck and best wishes.
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sadeyes22, Look up your local Veteran Service Officer and give them a call. Your local VA clinic will not help you at all. There are programs out there and your local VSO office can help you find assistance. We own our home and my husband has service connected disabilities and I will eventually need in home assistance to care for him.
It is worth a try.

At this time I do take a walk or do something just for myself while my husband takes his naps.
I hire a neighbor to check on him and drop off meals when I get away for an overnight trip.
I carefully plan things out so I can have some time to take care of 'self'.
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Dear Karen,

I'm glad you were able to find a caregiver your dad likes. Maybe talk to the caregiver they might know someone else that could help bridge the gap even though he is not available in the mornings.

Happy to hear you are putting yourself first and getting your health back on track. Baby steps but they all add up.

Take care and let us know how things go. Thinking of you.
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Thank you for all your encouraging words. I tried calling our local VA as my dad was a marine, but they said because he owns his house he would not qualify. That did not make sense to me. We did finally find a great caregiver, but when I asked if he is available for more hours especially in the am to get my dad out of bed and fed, he is not. I can check if another caregiver is available, but my dad really likes this guy which has been half the battle. Ana, so you started caring for your dad at 10yrs old? I can't even imagine that. I have put myself top priority to getting my health back on track. God bless you all.
Karen
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Hi sadeyes22, I'm Ana. I also take care of my dad who has no use in his legs, and I'm the main caregiver. One thing I've learned (I've been doing this for 6 years, I'm 16 now) is you have to make time for yourself. I read on DeeAnna's response that you have siblings? Have them take the load off (or a majority of it) for a while.

You have to make yourself a priority, even when you are care giving. I learned that the hard way.

Even if it's just a few hours or a few weeks. My sister and I try to trade off every week who gets our dad in bed and does most of the care that our caregiver doesn't.

Is your dad any chance a vet? If so, you guys can go through your local VA and get as much care giving as you need - and they'll pay for it.

I hope you find peace soon, you definitely deserve it.
Ana
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Talk to the Counsel on Aging in your area to find out your options. He needs a nursing home.
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Dear sadeyes,

Always know you are doing the best you can. It is so hard. Us women we all want to be everything to everyone and we tend forget our own needs and wants. It is tiring.

Have you tried talking to a social worker? Maybe there are more options than you know in the community or through church that could give you additional respite to focus on your own health.

Take care. Thinking of you.
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Thank you for your responses. We did hire a caregiver to alleviate some of the stress to give me some sense of normalcy which has been a blessing, but dad’s money won’t last long. Even though I created a schedule with all my siblings it still leaves me with the morning which I find is hardest as I’m exhausted by the end of the night. I don’t get up until after 8, my dad sits in his room resting to go st 6a. I told him he has to wait until I get up and I refuse to sacrifice my sleep to get him up and fed. I’m dealing as best as I can with this. Yes, my husband is 100% behind me. It’s put a strain on our great marriage at times but we remember to talk it out and remind each other we can get through it together. My siblings are on board with whatever I decide as well, I just wish we could afford a full time caregiver at least until I get my health on track. Sometimes you feel so alone even when you have support. Sometimes I feel God has even left me even though I know better. It’s just my human side having a pity party. Thank you again for reaching out. God bless you!
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I agree with DeeAnna about calling a family meeting and explaining succinctly and objectively your health situation and why you cannot continue providing the level of care you currently are.

But after that, your family doesn't need to get it. Your health, your life, your decision. Will your husband back you up on this? It will be a hard decision to announce and stick to. But probably not as hard as ruining your health.

Many people -- possibly your family -- don't consider stress, depression, and anxiety "real" diseases. I'm not sure how you can overcome that ignorance (if it exists) but know how real your health issues are.

Do you live in your Dad's home? What would your alternative be?
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I read your post on someone else's question and I am glad that your oldest brother helps shower your dad, that your sister stays with your dad periodically, that your other 2 brothers help when they can and that your husband puts your dad in bed every night. Did you hire a caregiver or did your dad, your husband and your siblings tell you "No."?

If you are having health issues, then you need to take care of yourself. Easier said then done...especially if the person receiving the care and all of the other "caregivers'' are refusing to let you do so. You need to have a family meeting and explain to the rest of your family exactly why you can no longer care for your dad. Telling your family that your doctor told you that you need to decrease the amount of caregiving because it is effecting your health might sway your family to hire a caregiver, but...

Write out a NEW CAREGIVER SCHEDULE that increases the amount of time that your siblings spend with your dad and decreases the amount of time that you spend with him.

Is there a separate quiet place in the house that you can go to "get away" and relax and renew yourself: body, mind and spirit?

As you stated previously: "Caring for a loved one is the hardest job in the world." And while you do "eventually reap the rewards" sometimes the rewards don't come unless you get them for yourself. Praying that you find a way to take better care of yourself. God Bless!
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