It’s one thing to be a caregiver for an aging mom, with all the challenges of behavioral changes, fits of anger....
and another to do it amidst a pandemic with all implied limitations.
Limitations to vent out, go out, be with friends, or even get an external day care  that has ever been a possibility in the first place.... because of the underlying risk of infection and bringing it back home to mom!
I feel stuck, angry, sometimes bitter, and hate myself for sometimes getting frustrated at HER as if she is the cause of it - any tips ?

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Imho, prayers sent for this most challenging of times.
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I have been an RN for decades and cared for people with worse infections than COVID19 - and never "got" any of those diseases or passed them along to others. The key is your own personal precautions - same thing I have done for years and years:

Mask around anybody with something respiratory going on - cough, sniffle, sneeze... and better to mask around people with a fever.

Become religious - about hygiene. Wash hands anytime you use the restroom, eat, or touch a possibly contaminated surface, or need to touch your face. Also make sure to change clothes (wash the "old ones"), keep outdoor shoes outside the house, and bathe after contact with public.

Clean the world - I imagine that everything surface I am not sure about has a thin layer of poop on it. I wear gloves to avoid casual contact with "public and possibly contaminated" surfaces. I disinfect surfaces with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar. My daughters prefer to use bleach disinfecting wipes. Less germs = less disease.

Mental health helpers - lots of sunshine, fresh air, develop hobbies/pastimes, gather a tribe of positive, helpful people (do it online during COVID-19), and remember to build in "time off" from your work/responsibilities (1 hour daily and several hours 1 day a week).
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Pit her in a wheelchair and go out for Drives and walks, ect. Get out of the house and soak up the best meds from our Great Physician in Heaven which are provided Freely...Fresh Air and Sunshine and View the Nature.
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Marian I feel the same way about bringing someone in now, I did before Covid but not now. It's a balancing of what you are willing to risk and what you are willing to accept. Did you have a caregiver before? The reality is we don't know the caregivers personal lives or how they look at the virus. Maybe if you call and talk to an agency near you and find out what their protocols are it may make you feel better about allowing someone to come in.
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covid can suck rocks and die!

my parents made a big move last October states away, the original plan was for me to come watch my mom in April so my father could finish the old house affairs and take a break. All that work of getting outside care, doctors appointments, dads social life, totally blows up all to h*ll. Felt like two steps forward and being pushed back a mile.

I know it will come back but sure was a blow to the wellness plan.
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I agree that being a caregiver during this pandemic adds a whole new layer of concern to what we do. And my aging, ailing husband is at such high risk - I would feel horrible if I did something to bring it home to him.

On the days when I know I'm short on patience and long on fatigue, I caution my husband that I'm cranky and crabby so be advised. It helps him to know that if I snap at him, it's not about him. Doesn't make it okay, but at least he's forewarned. LOL

Most of all, please don't beat yourself up. You are doing the best that you can during an extremely stressful time. See if you can give yourself credit for what you are doing for your mom. And try showing yourself some compassion and kindness. You're worth it.
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NeedHelpWithMom Sep 2020
Hahaha, like your fair warning!
You can still have a life, even with Covid. You can go for walks in your neighborhood, sit outside on the porch or patio, have a few friends over for drinks, while still social distancing if that is important to you, go for a mani/pedi. I could go on and on. There's lots to do and still be safe. Sadly officials have instilled such fear in most Americans that most are afraid to do anything. We can not live our lives in fear!!! Nothing good will ever come of that. Caregiving is tough, and we need breaks every now and again, for our mental health's sake, and if that means getting out and having some fun every now and again, then so be it. You can still do things safely. Don't let fear stop you from getting the much needed breaks you deserve.
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Caregiving is never easy. Covid does complicate it even more. No one is ever prepared for any of this. I certainly did not have a frame of reference to follow.

Your feelings of frustrations are completely normal and you’re not alone. I had my mom for 15 years in my home. I gave up my job. I missed out on lots of activities as well, due to caring for mom.

It is devastating watching a parent deteriorate. My mom has Parkinson’s disease. I wish I had known about Council on Aging sooner than I did. I didn’t have much help through their organization but it was something and I was grateful. Do you have any outside help?

Still, after so many years I burned out. I had to step away. My mom is now receiving hospice care and lives with a sibling. I did more than my share of caregiving.

I hear your frustration and it doesn’t mean that we don’t care or love our parents but it’s tough, really tough. I would suggest to take some time off, away from your mom to get some rest. Hire someone to stay with mom.

Don’t hesitate to speak to someone about your feelings. I did that and received guidance that I truly needed. I appreciated having an objective perspective on my situation.

Do you wish to continue to care for your mom at home or are you interested in a facility at some point? That would free up time for you to either return to work or have time for yourself.

There are lots of things to consider. Do you have any specific questions?

Wishing you all the best.
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