Does anyone else feel like their life is disappearing in an effort to take care of their aging parent?

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My whole life revolves around her every want and need. I have no life besides taking care of mom. Family either doesn't live nearby or aren't available to offer help. I manage to get away to work by having a caretaker stay with her Monday-Friday. What can I do to get some time for me?

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Thank you HP. I, also, have just found this site as a result of a mini breakdown Friday. I'm the sole caretaker of both my parents...ages 85 and 86. Like you they are still in assisted living, but I am providing other 'needs' daily. So far our relationship is wonderful and I want it to stay that way. My problem is burnout. I WANT to take care of them. But my emotional energy is draining. Thanks for being my support!!
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Yvone I am so sorry for what you have to endure-my husband did not love me-he changed as soon as we got married and did say he hated me so caring for him was difficult and I finally had to learn to detatch and not let his bad moods and behaivor reflect on me and that I simply did not deserve to be treated badly-and his bad behaivor kept up until his last heartbeat-he was unresponsive to me the last days but did try to talk to our kids and grandchildren-he was punishing me -the one person who stuck with him through long standing abuse the verbal hurt more than the physical abuse. Moonlily please call social service or the office of the aging in your county-someone needs to give you some relief-please keep us posted. Lavender-any friend that indicates that they are tired of hearing your feelings should not be in your life-a true friend would try different things to help-maybe stay with the person you are caring for for 2 hrs so you can rest.
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Oh how we all feel your pain. I'm the youngest of 8 kids...and the only one that has been by my mom's constant side. I have a husband and 3 kids. Quit all my cleaning jobs to care for my 91 year old mom, who has progressive dementia. I'm going crazy out of my mind from no sleep. She is up every hour on the hour, even with all the drugs I have been instructed to give her. She has hospice and they have been my saving grace. I am getting C.O.P.E. at the end of the month. So I can get some much needed rest. Hang in there and check for any resources in your area that you might qualify. I thought I could go it alone. But I'm so glad I have them all to lean on. Respite is a wonderful thing.
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It is so very helpful to hear others echo the same feelings I have. My problem is that my mom is very anxious and will do NOTHING to care for herself, and conveyed the message very successfully to her son and favorite child that he was not required to help, even though he lived off my parents and took money from them! I have come to realize that the anger is a legitimate emotion that we should NOT feel guilty about. We can do without and give up for only a certain amount of time. I realize that the feelings I have for my Mom are a reflection of her feelings for me. If a parent didn't give you what you needed emotionally when you were a child, you cannot do better now, and it is NOT your fault. You can only give back what you have gotten, and no more. It is very difficult to feel any kind of warmth to abusive, dysfunctional parents. I carry on by trying to care for my Mom as best I can in a humane way, and tell myself that the "empty spots" in her care are when her son is supposed to be contributing to her upkeep but doesn't do it. The problem is, we take a vow to care for our spouses and children, but not our parents. They think because they gave you life they can take your life, not realizing that sending you to college or raising you was their job, and you don't owe anyone anything for doing their job! I just pray very hard and hope that I don't lose my mind. Most of us also have families to care for, so we have to stay sane for ourselves and spouses and children.
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I have felt the same way. At least you have a job and can escape for a while. I try to give myself some time just for me. It is hard to do. I go outside and read or play mind numbing games on the computer. I had been getting up everytime she called me but now I tell her I will be there in a minute. This way she is learning that I am not at her beck and call. It will take a while to get better but it will in time. My mother treats me like a maid also. My friends are getting tired of me calling them and crying but they are a lifeline.
I got my mom a cell phone and I have my number programmed into it and all she has to do is send and this allows me to have a little down time. I hope what I said is helpful. I found this website yesterday and I already have received some great ideas and blessings. I am so grateful for this forum.
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It is hard. Then the guilt I go through when I do get furstrated is hard as well. This has been hard on my marriage because at night my mother calls out about every 30 minutes for something. I am considering my alternatives to get help but its hard to even know what out opotions are at this point. There are weeks when I cant get a break. I feel for you
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You might want to consider hospice like dtflex said. She might qualify. I got hospice for my mom and she is ambulatory, from her heart condition alone. Maybe you could just call and have them evaluate her, they will help you. You never know, they might pick her up. I was in despirate need of help and called them and she was living in an apartment alone at the time, and they picked her up. Hospice is wonderful help when you are despirate. They will look fof a reason to take them on board.
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vyonne, WOW, your post made me cry....how sad. Parents are one thing, because you cannot choose your parents, but your husband you love and married, to watch this...it must be very hard...BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG HUG to you my girl!

Crowe,
I filled out a Durable Power of Attorney last year when mom started acting up, and the form only required two witnesses and my mom's signature...no cost,..no lawyers...no notary.

Also, the point you made how they make themselves the victim. With my mom's history of NPD that makes her the perfect victim. She's been crying wolf for over 2 years now....and she does not get it...that it does not help.
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I guess I'm lucky. My father is mobile enough to take the Dial-a-Ride bus to the local senior center 3 days a week so I get some time off.
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dwestlake,

So true and I think it is possibly tougher for us only children not to get overwhelmed or make a martyr of ourselves via F.O.G. Fear Obligation and Guilt

your friendly resident FOG buster :)
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