I'm a caregiver for my mom and have been for a few years. Mom lives with me at my place because what little money she has goes to pay for meds. My dad lost everything due to a bad business partner and my dad passed away. So basically, mom has nothing.

Mom's memory is going downhill, but it's only an occasional thing with current situations. I have one sister who is no help and when she did help at Christmas time it turned into a living h. So like many, it's all on me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm greatfull that I'm able to help my mom, but what hurts most of all is that all friends are gone, even one that lasted over 20 years. I used to enjoy texting or emailing friends from time to time just to keep up with things, plus it was a mental vacation for a couple of minutes, which was great!

I think it's sad that in today's time, people aren't very understanding with someone helping an aging parents.

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That's very sad, Roger. It's sad that your mother has ended up with nothing and that your life has been so curtailed by the need to take care of her. Unfortunately, I don't think your situation is unique. Caregivers often find that friends drift away because you're less available and your own energy is devoted to your mother all the time.

When I lived with my mother, I got to know a bunch of her neighbors and that helped me have somewhat of a social life. It was a stop-gap really, but it was something. Is your mother well enough that you can take her to church or to bingo or to neighborhood events and get to know people there? I guess I'm saying that you can have a social life when you're caring for a parent, but it tends to be different that the social life you had when on your own. It's one that more or less revolves around your mother's schedule, her interests, and her abilities. It is a lonely place to be, nobody's denying that. I hope you find some people you can reach out to where you are. And keep reaching out here - we're all been in pretty much the same boat!
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Roger - I am the mother of a child with sevear autism. Actually my son is 24 now. Anyhoo - my son was about 18 months old when we first got a diagnosis of slight cerebral palsy. My husband was the first to go. He is now referred to as "The Donor" as other than the time I had to track him down in his native Australia to relinquish his parental rights - so my new hubby could adopt my son - we never heard from him again.

At a little over two years old I got the bonus diagnosis of autism. One by one my friends began to fall away - even ones I had since high school.

At the same time I began learning how to be a parent to a sevearly disabled child. I was also learning about autism. So - putting those two things together lead me to a support group for parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. As it turned out the group I joined was all mothers - with an occasion dad.

Long story short - twenty years later, the only friends I have are the other mothers from the support group. Unfortunately, the group disbanded after a number of years - for all the reasons it had been difficult to maintain friendships with "civilians" - just too busy and worn out from dealing with our special needs children. But, I was able to maintain a close friendship with a few of the mothers - we get it and don't judge or get mad when plans get canceled at the last minute or a phone call takes two weeks to be returned.

Moral of my story? Find yourself a support group for caregivers. Even if your currently handling your caregiving duties just fine. These are your people now - they will understand you and prove to be invaluable in the future.
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I agree with rainmom,,, my best friends now are a few of my old friends who have also dealt / are dealing with a family member with ALZ. They get it, and are a great sounding board and sometimes they were able to sit with Dad so I could run an errand or two. Plus they get that sometimes I needed to vent!
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I don't have friends either. I come here. I don't have the strength for anything else. everything I have goes to my mom and work.
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Thanks for the kind replies and suggestions, I'll look into them. 

Most people don't understand what it's like to be a caregiver unless they are one and I think not understanding is a major contributing factor when people drift away.

I knew I wasn't the only one in my area, but it feels like it at times and I'm willing to bet there's a lot of others who feel they same way.

On the plus side, I found this web site and I've learned a great deal so I consider myself to be very lucky in that regard. This web site is fantastic!
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I know this isn't what you asked about, but if your mother has no assets and little income, have you looked into Medicaid? Getting some in-home help may free up a little of your time for your own activities.
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You said it. I understand.
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