How do I keep from depression and burnout? - AgingCare.com

How do I keep from depression and burnout?

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Pretty sure it's too late though. It has felt like the summer from h*ll. One thing after another.
I really love this site, and one more I'm on. Aging connect or something like that. It's so nice to come on here, and be able to talk or just communicate with others who just may understand what your going through. My mom lives with me last seven years, and it has it's good and bad times. I love my mom, and I wouldn't really have it any other way, but I also have a fourteen year old son that I raise completely alone, His dad is a deadbeat, and his papaw is barely useful at best. His grandpa use to get him on a consistent basis, but when his wife died he no longer stayed consistent at all. So now I know it was my son's nana who wanted to be in her grandson's life as much as possible. I guess what I am getting at is I just don't have the help I need. 35yrs old, and have felt stuck in rut until I enrolled in college as full time student. I start classes (online) next week. This is a dream come true of mine, and it took me literally months to get everything done so I could get signed up. I am so looking forward to this journey, but now concerned if I will be able to keep up with it ALL. I will give it my best. I can drop to a part time student, but I don't want to cause it will take so much longer to get where I want to be in life. Sorry to go on & on, and not ask a real specific question. Geuss I wonder how to make it all work and keep half my sanity? Any advice tips or just your view of life as care giver I would love to hear back from you!! Great to have outlets where ppl actually care for the well being of complete strangers:)

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Kelly, taking care of your own child is vitally important here. If the elders were able to think well, they would want you to put your energy into your education and taking care of your son.

The answers for burnout are as unique as the individuals who suffer from it. Generally, however, it means that the caregiver has to find some kind of help with the elders.

As was mentioned, this category

www.agingcare.com/Caregiver-Burnout/Questions-1

will bring you to many opinions from different community members. You'll find valuable help there.Please update us on how your are doing,
Carol
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Kelly, these questions are asked frequently. The Forum Admins have just taken a great step forward to help anyone asking a similar question by categorizing questions and listing those categories on the Forum home page.

This is the URL for Caregiver Burnout:

https://www.agingcare.com/Caregiver-Burnout/Questions-1

I suspect you'll find a lot of kindred spirits there, as well as a lot of helpful suggestions from others in similar circumstances.

You've already taken a big step forward by enrolling for college. If this is your first semester, take only one or two classes until you get in the swing of studying. It's not as much of an adjustment as going to actual classes because you don't have the travel commitment but it does take a substantial commitment of time.

And enjoy it as much as you can - I always loved starting a new class because it was like opening a new area of life and expanding my knowledge. I always felt my brain got bigger after each class!

Best to you and good luck with your classes.
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Kellyb, so awesome you are going to school. You have a strength inside of you.
I ask myself about the burnout depression thing all the time. Part of it for me is to keep it all in perspective. Don't let minor issues become major nightmares. I don't count on anyone to help. The people who could help are inconsistent at best. I let that frustration go. Who is going to help if they don't have to, there is some resentment, but I don't let it obsess my thoughts.
It must be really hard with having your 14 year old to care for in addition to your Mom.
I do a lot of self help type reading, you name it I read it. Always looking for support and advice from smart people, like those on here. I especially like the caregiver support page. Sometimes it's funny and full of people who feel exactly as I feel. I gather strength from knowing I am not alone. When my mother is tucked in for the night, I spread out, relax, and feel like I'm free again.
Keep in touch.
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kellyb, I know very much how you feel. I moved from California to Florida in 2010 to help my dad care for my mother who was just in the beginning stages of dementia then. As each year goes by it gets harder and harder - now I'm no longer just helping my dad I'm basically caring for both of them. My dad's still pretty lucid, but my mom is in an advanced state of dementia. My dad was in a rehab facility for six months and just came home - and I feel completely exhausted by the end of each day. I'm the only child and have no relatives to help me. But, more to the point, back in 2013 I decided, like you, to go back to school and it has helped me incredibly in every way - I'm going toward a definite goal and I'm enjoying it very much - so I highly recommend it! I've also been able to get my parents some home care through home hospice and Medicaid - it's taken some of the work off my back. Like you, I love my folks very much and would never, ever want to see them go to a rest home (even if we could afford it) - it was hell just seeing my dad in rehab. I don't know if any of this helps - but you're not alone. And take it easy with yourself regarding school. I realized that I could not possibly go full time at this time in my life, so it's been slow, but so fulfilling.
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Hi Kellyb...I quite agree with both who've shared. While older... I retired to care for my husband. I found that just the constant drain to taking him to appointments and assuming responsibility for the house repairs, meals and bills etc. was really dragging me down. For quite a while I just lost myself in his and everyone else's needs. I was and sometimes still am afraid to have my own dreams . A friend encouraged me to take small toward having a private practice which I had hoped to do in retirement . My approach has become less about the outcome...more about taking time to inch along discovering and learning from what I try. It has become a refreshment rather than another burden.
Learning, taking one or two courses to start, with may help you build your resiliency. Connecting by engaging in something new and then reflecting on what works for you is key. It allows you, and allows us all, to move toward people and activities that are life affirming. Equally important... taking that time to reflect gives us a chance to modify or let go of what's not working. May you notice the priceless support within you and surrounding you.
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Try to carve out some untouchable "me" time every day where you remove yourself from the home. Take a long walk, take a class at the library, etc. Meet people. Staying connected to the outside world is very important. I don't have anything more in the way of specific advice, but I wanted to respond to say that I think what you're doing is great and I, and others in this caregiver family, are with you all the way!!!
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Please try to take some "me"time.Are there support services by you that could provide respite even for an hour? If you have a court house you can call and ask,I am sure they would put you intouch with some services to help.As a professional care giver please get some help for yourself and your son.I have witnessed burnout with professionals who were too proud to ask for help..please don't go down that path.Good luck and take care of yourself and your son.
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JoAnn29. I am my mother's caregiver Because of her various health issues. Age isn't always a pertaining factor when a family member becomes ill. She had me later in life so I guess that may be apart of it. I do agree with my son having some more chores around the house, and I plan to put that into motion. Thanks for all the wonderful comments about this issues. It's help me a lot, and gave me fresh ideas, and new ways to deal with old problems. Again, thanks!
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It's great you help your mom. I would be sensitive to your son's needs too. Depending on your mom's condition, it can be very stressful to live with people with disabilities. I know how stressful it was to be around my cousin when she became unable to live alone. It can be very challenging for an adult and even more so, I would imagine for a teen. If you are feeling the burnout and depression, he may be too. I might see if he could see a counselor. Sometimes kids hide their feelings.
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First, place your mother in a senior care home. She will get the best care and your visits will be meaningful to her and you. There are many ways to pay for the care, it doesn't have to come out of your pocket. Second, commit yourself to your college education. As a retired professor I have seen too many students with capability and drive drop out of a college program to take care of their family. Majority of these drop-out students DO NOT return to college or graduate. As you age what important to you change. The college degree that will help you realize your dreams is less important to most people at 55 than it was at 20. A college education will offer more opportunities for you and provide your son a richer lifestyle.
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