How do I not feel guilty when I take time for myself? I have two sets of parents. Mom and stepdad are in Arkansas, where my two brothers help to care for them. I stayed here to care for dad and stepmom. Dad died in 2005, so it has been just myself and mom ever since. Mom just turned 72 in April. She has had two major surgeries in the last year. She has had many problems since, i.e. Bladder Incontinence, no energy, depression, and now Bowel Incontinence. She is very angry and takes it out on me. She refuses to do anything for herself because why should learn to do something when I, or others can do it for her. I am not in the best of health right now either. I work about 65 hours a week while struggling with insomnia, diabetes and other age related illnesses. Even when I broke an ankle last year, she still expected me to take care of her every desire. I love her, but I am burning out. I lost my husband of 30 years last August and I haven't even had time to mourn his death.

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Wow. Start thinking about who is going to take care of this woman when you are gone, because at the rate you are going, she will outlive you.

Are you cleaning up bathroom messes? Changing Depends? Do you have to do all the cooking and cleaning? Do you live with her, or does she live with you? (Or does she live by herself?)

Does she have any children by a prior marriage?

PLEASE start taking care of yourself. YOU are more important than she is. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband.
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Dear lady, how are you still standing? Seriously!

Does your stepmother have dementia? Not understanding that a caregiver with a broken ankle can't tend them is either a sign of a first class narcissist or someone with dementia, or both.

A patient who is angry, depressed, demanding and doubly incontinent needs three shifts of caregivers, either at home or in a facility.

What are stepmother's resources? Is she on Medicaid?

Start by calling your local Area Agency on Aging today. You are asking for a "needs assessment" and a review of what help she is eligible for.

Are you getting any respite? Does she have home health aides coming in to bathe her? Can you get an assessment for her depression? Meds might help.

Keep posting. I'm sure others will be along shortly with other suggestion.
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