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My 98 year old dad passed 2 weeks ago. My husband and I moved in with my parents a month ago to provide end of life care for them both. My mom is 99 and has dementia and anxiety disorder. We didn't think she would live long after my Dad's passing as they were married 73 years. So we were prepared to stay with her and provide comfort during her own last days.


But she has a strong fear of dying which is oddly giving her a will to live. Hospice says she won't be leaving us anytime soon. She goes in and out of remembering my Dad's death which means grieving his loss as if its her first time hearing it....every single day. So sad. I don't know how her heart survives it. She is immobile and fearful of being alone in a room. She must see someone she knows 24/7 or she panics. So my husband and I are moving her in with us so we can at least be in our own home while caring for her.


I'm not sleeping, have nightmares about not being able to find my mom, heart palpitations and chest heaviness and general depression for losing this part of our lives. My husband and I have only been married 4 1/2 years and he has already supported me through the loss of my daughter 4 years ago and now like an angel, he is caring for both my parents with me. We have not had our own joyful life as a couple and I feel stuck having to care for my Mom, as precious and sweet as she is. We promised my dad we would take care of her and she is deathly afraid of being alone in a facility. My sister works full time and cannot share in her care. We hired someone for respite 2 days a week. But I'm still already burned out and depressed.


I know this is temporary and I need to hang in there since there are no other options for her. We do have hospice to help us monitor. Any advice or encouragement or good stories would help me at this point. Thank you.

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Oh my goodness!  I was 5 years getting over loss of my first husband to cancer.  Losing a daughter must be much harder, and last longer.  You are not finished with her, let alone your father.  I needed antidepressants and therapy for awhile.  I was told the pills might be temporary, and were like a ladder, or trampoline, to help me up out of my hole.  They did not stop the grieving, but helped a lot with the deep depression.  I can't imagine caring for Mother at the same time.  Wow!
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Onthewing Dec 16, 2018
Thank you, yes, it has been a nightmare. My sister lost her husband in September and he was a huge help wirh my parents. Ive not had time to grieve him, let alone my dad. I don't think the hole in my heart from losing my daughter will ever close. But I was lucky to have my parents so long. The circle of life is expected, but I still miss my dad. Caring for my 99 year old mom is grueling because the dementia went into stage 7 within the last week. I know thus is a temporary commitment and I do hope my husband and I can recover our health and marriage when it's over...and have some sort of normalcy. But the holidays and dark, wintry days create a deeper depression in me. I try really hard to steer away from pharmaceuticals but I may need some temporary help to get over this last bridge. Thank you.
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Of course it’s normal to be depressed about this! It’s a bit like ‘is it normal to be depressed about getting the sack from my job’. Yes, it’s normal. Probably so is angry, even homicidal or suicidal. Give yourself a deadline to cope with things the way they are (plus any improvements you can think about), and when the deadline is reached, be realistic about what has to come next. But get over the nightmares and physical symptoms, even if it means getting some sleeping tablets or anti-depressants in the short term. This won’t last forever, and you get through it the best you can. Best wishes.
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Hi, Onthewing. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad, and now the overwhelming level of care with an uncertain timetable that you are needing to provide for your mom. And your dad's death is so recent, and the loss of your daughter. . . This is lot of pain for one person to bear.

I don't have experience in caring for someone on hospice and with an anxiety disorder, but hopefully others may have some insights. Could there be any way to become a bit less "stuck" as you put it in this situation, while still providing care and love like the loving daughter you so obviously are?

I also wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and hope that you and your husband can find some resources to get through this.
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