I want to run away from all this... - AgingCare.com

I want to run away from all this...

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I am really sick of talking about this and dealing with my parents and compassionately lying to my dad who has Alzheimer's. They constantly criticize me, even though they wanted me to be POA. I don't want to be the responsible one anymore. I just want to get in my car and drive away. I think it would feel so good to go away.

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You're not alone. If you decide to go, let me know and I'll go with you.

No, seriously, sounds like you either have or you're on the way to burnout. This is serious. It will affect your thinking and your health. You have to find a way to get out and enjoy yourself. Think of something you love doing and DO IT. If it means calling a friend or family member to give you time out, do it. Truth is, removing yourself from the environment (if only one day a week) is imperative. What makes you laugh? Do it. God bless you - you are obviously a loving and caring person, but we all have our limits. If you don't take time for yourself, next thing you know you'll become resentful and angry. I'm talking to both of us. You are loved and people do care.
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A cruise for caregivers would be fantastic. Now we just need to find someone to pay for our tickets! Seriously though, I got shingles a few months ago and now I have a cold, which I rarely get. My wife thinks it is because of stress. I am going to try to exercise more now and get plenty of sleep. I don't want all this to make me sick. I think our generation is paying a surprising price for improved medical care and longevity. Our parents' parent did not live this long. I love my parents, but I never expected my life would become like this. I don't want to be worn out once that are no longer here. I want to enjoy my life.
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Anniepeepie Aug 8, 2018
You said it. Hit the nail on the head. My parents spent decades being super healthy. fanatically so., I think their bodies are now outliving their brains. If my mother was in her right mind she would not want to do this to me. She actually had no clue how long I had been caring for her. Its been 8 years. She guessed 1.
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A trip to recover from eldercare exhaustion? I'm in! - a road trip, a cruise, a flight to Mars - whatever -
I'll bring munchies.
Hang in there - we're all with you.
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CORGIMOM Aug 6, 2018
Count me in. While some of you have siblings that cause you even more problems, I'm an only child. My parents were divorced when I was 14. My father died at 65 in 1992. My mother remarried, and was happily married until my stepfather died in 2008. My mother was not a good mother when I was growing up, but I try to overlook that. A year ago, my then 90 year old mother, wrote me a letter that her physical health was good but she had started to forget things. She also stated that she was afraid to die alone. The last one I could relate to as it had always been a fear of mine, and a strong feeling as a nurse. Everyone comes into this world with at least one other person there; their mother. No one should leave this world alone. I always tried to be with my patients when they left this world. Alright, with physically okay and just a little forgetting, I agreed that she could move into my house. Now it's 14 months later. Her physical condition has deteriorated and her mental status is the worst part. She refuses to eat nourishing food, and lives on chocolate milk and toast, despite her weight in the 80s lb. range. I take her to the store and walk her along the isles (I walk, she's in a scooter cart) asking, "What would you like to eat?". All I get is, "I don't see anything that looks good." or "I'm not hungry.". I've given up on the food. I've thrown out more spoiled food than I care to think about. Something that she thought she liked in the store, but never got eaten. I'm on social security too, and can't afford to waste money on food that just sits there and spoils. Being an only child has its problems too. I'm the caregiver. The only one. No one that I can even share her with. I'm not getting rich on this as she and my stepfather spent their money on cruises. The thing is with her dementia, I can't even leave her alone even to go to the store. It's 24/7, and I'm really getting drained. A couple of months ago, Division of Children and Families showed up at my door that she wasn't being cared for, wasn't clean, and the living facilities were cluttered. They gave me descriptions of the inside of my house that they could only have gotten from someone who had been inside it. I really don't have anybody inside my house, so I'm pretty sure the information came from my mother. She has to wait while I see a doctor, and there are many psychologists on that floor. I think they saw "this poor, little, old lady" sitting in the common waiting room, asked if she was alright, and she started to complain. She's very good at complaining. According to my mother, the only thing I am good for is being the maid. Although I was a critical care RN for 25 years, she feels that I'm too stupid to have any knowledge, especially in regards to medical issues. My mother is very hard of hearing, so I know she didn't make the call, but I think she said enough to start the ball rolling. I hadn't heard anything from DCF for a couple of months, so I thought it was dropped, until today when I got a call from them. I really don't need their harassment. They had agreed that she was clean and cared for and seemed happy at the time of their visit, however they feel I should throw MY things out to accomidate my mother even more. I've already thrown out a $3,000.00 mahogany dining room table with leaves and 8 high back chairs to make room for "her things". That doesn't include the multiple dumpsters of MY things that I threw out so she could move in. I'm burned out. I'm in the process of buying a new home as mine was badly damaged by hurricane Irma. As the tree fell through her bedroom, she is currently in the dining room and I'm in the other side of a L shaped living room/dining room. Do I have any privacy-none. At least with the new house, my bedroom will be at one end and her's at the other. If you made it this far, thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder. It helps to do that once in awhile.
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I totally agree. In fact, I am setting a very strong boundary and minimizing my interactions with my mother. My goal is to make sure that she is safe and has good care. But other than that, I am done. I told her the other day, that her combativeness is not healthy for me and I will not tolerate it.
She now has a PT person coming twice a week...as far as I am concerned, that's her activity and socialization. No more once a week, draining dinners...it's not worth the drive as I always left on high alert filled with anxiety. She is a very mean, nasty woman...and her verbal abuse has significantly increased.
I am in the process of looking into assisted living. If that doesn't work, then she can pay for in home care.
Once I know that she is completely taken care of one way or another, I am relocating to a place far enough away...and will continue to live the rest of my life. This all sounds horrible...but at the same time, I've put up with this woman's nastiness all of my life (I am her only child and I just turned 61) and I am done.
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shb1964 Aug 6, 2018
amc716, I admire your tenacity and boundary setting. It doesn't sound horrible to me, but I don't know that I have your strength. Thanks for your forthrightness and honesty - I see that it is possible to make tough decisions and not look back.
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I felt like this every day my Mom was bedridden in my home for nearly 2 years. I still do to a lesser degree now that MIL is 87 and needing us every weekend. After one rough time with one parent, the next one came on board shortly after my Mom passed away. During my Mom's decline I had a spontaneous retinal detachment and operation and my husband had heart issues.
I got through it, albeit with some depression and anger issues after my Mom died, by taking it one day at a time, sometimes one morning or afternoon at a time. I try to do little things for myself as they add up. I think of it as the "bank of me" and even a good cup of coffee and watching birds for a few minutes go into that small "me bank". It helps to keep me going.
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Myownlife Aug 6, 2018
I haven't heard that before... "bank of me". That is a good way of looking at it. Thanks for sharing!
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My fantasy! Many days when the nighttime caregiver comes I practically run out the door, jump in my car, and burn rubber vrooming down the street like a cartoon character. I want to hop on the freeway - north, east, south, west - it doesn't matter, and just drive away from it all, to somewhere no one knows me and my history caregiving - yes, I too hate the word "caregiver" as describing me - as someone earlier pointed out. So many times I feel hunted by the needs of my elderly mom, her paid caregivers, the home care agency, the doctor, etc. etc.

"Helpful" hints like soak in a bubble bath or walk in the park don't cut it when your total existence revolves consciously or subconsciously around the needs of someone else - for literally years! These gems of advice are usually given by people who have no idea what it's like to have the responsibilities we have for another human who often has very limited mental -not to metion physical and possibly financial - capabilities.

Everyone has their end goal. Mine is to emerge healthy and not bitter. I don't feel noble or good for doing this. I feel stuck holding the bag with no end in sight. So, for me, it is day to day and praying I am not old and gray by the time it all ends. We'll just see how it goes.
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thislife1958 Aug 6, 2018
you are 100 percent correct. thank you for saying this.
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I think most of us feel this way sometimes, especially if caregiving has gone on for years. Are you able to take some time off away from them?
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I feel for you! Everyday for the past 12 years, I still want to run away. My 93 yr old mother lives with me. She's on the opposite end of the spectrum, not mean at all but a martyr. The constant negativity is beyond my last nerve. The woe is me attitude. Yes caregiver burnout is very real. It attacks you before you realize what is happening to you. It made me into an ugly person, someone by nature I'm not. It changed my personality. If someone would of told me long ago this was going to happen, I wouldn't believed them. I'm still caring for my mother in my house. My advice to you is take care of yourself. Change your mental outlook. Safeguard your mental sanity. Start by taking care of yourself first. It's not easy and will take some work. Recognize your parents are broken, you can't fix them. You can't control what they say. You can only control yourself and how you react to them. You do your best and leave it at that.
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This2shallpass Aug 7, 2018
Great response! As many others on this site, I find myself in a unexpected caregiver role I did not plan for. My 88 year old mother with dementia lives with me and loves to travel down the "poor me" path. I have always tried to be a very positive person so I don't have much tolerance for pity parties. Now when she says her familiar statement "Who would have ever thought I would have ended up like this?" I laugh at the irony and respond with "and who would have thought I would have ever ended up like this!" It's like they say "If you don't laugh, you'll cry".........as difficult as it can get, I'm still trying to laugh every chance I get.
Bless you all.
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Man- do I understand. It was the toughest job I ever had to do... and the most gut wrenching. I never felt so overwhelmed, sad and alone. But I did it.. and you can too. My folks are both gone now - they passed in 2017. I am glad it’s over..for them mostly- it’s an awful disease.. I have no regrets that I did the hard job. Hang in there!! Big hugs!! People always said- “Take care of yourself..” That is easier said than done. If I had to do it over again - I would have taken more time for myself..
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Thank you all for your comments. I am a teacher, and we go back to work next week, which is a real blessing. I am much happier when I am working with my students. I also maintain a struct no-call-from-my-family policy except from my wife and only when it is an actual emergency.
I am definitely fighting depression. It it tough, and I am considering going to see my doctor. I have already got shingles this year from stress, and I don't want to get sicker. I just feel like no matter what I do, it doesn't make anything better. I going to try to make it minute by minute, instead of worrying about tomorrow.
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