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I have the worst headache right now! It's about 12:30 at night and I can't sleep. Here's what I did today: 6:45 am: Woke up 11-year-old cousin for school. 10 am: Woke up and got Aunty ready for the 11:30 visit by the home health nurse and the 12:30 visit by the physical therapist (who came just for an initial evaluation). After she left, Aunty decided that she doesn't like the therapist and may call the agency to tell them that she doesn't need physical therapy). After that, she complained because I misplaced some important paperwork of hers (which resulted in a shouting match because this is not the first time I have los t something of hers around the house.) Later, when POA cousin came to pick up her son (whom we watch after school), we went out to get take-out for everyone's dinner. Back home, I realized that I forgot to get 11-year-old's food (he wanted something from a different store).So Aunty complained about my forgetfulness. This led to another discussion of how I lost a piece of her jewelry while she was in the hospital. When cousin POA went out, I had to watch the 16-month old. She returned, then we ate.She stayed for another hour or two and left, but the 11-year old is spending the night and I have to wake him up for school. After a while, I got Aunty ready for bed, ironed the 11-year old's school uniform and ran his bath, then cleaned up after him when he was done. Then I watched a little TV with Aunty. When our show was over, I went to bed but couldn't rest for about 2 hours. Typed this post , then took a Tylenol PM. Hopefully I'll get to sleep soon.

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SamIam I am with you all the way hun in principle it just that while it is superb theory I cannot get to grips with putting it into practice...well not true I can put it into practice I cant bear the endless repetitive moan that comes when Mum gets focused. It feels like she has aspergers she just gets stuck in the loop .
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Why is it that people feel that when they ask for help they can also demand it on THEIR terms? If you need my help = it will be on MY terms.
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I can remember my son being quite knowitall when I mentioned about him growing up and taking responsibility for respecting me and my house. He was a bit of a lovable rogue in the lady department seemed to have a different one every night for a while and this particular morning there was a pair of tiny ladies shoes in the hallway.

I was murderous at the lack of respect to me.

So when he went out I went shopping and bought a large suitcase from a jumble sale I think it only cost me a couple of pounds/$ .When I got it home I wrote in large felt tip pen letters

Why dont you leave home while you know it all?

Well that night he called my bluff and went... I was devastated but i knew this was a lesson he had to learn. He was 17 so I rang his head of year - and explained the whole situation to him through the tears. He was quite supportive but I could tell he thought I was a loony tune.

My son stayed away 3 nights and then rang me to ask to come home. He came home but home was very different. If he couldnt be in by the designated time the doors were locked and bolted. I was reasonable midnight or even up until 2 if he rang to let me know at weekends 11 pm duting the week BUT ONLY IF HOMEWORK WAS DONE FIRST. And my house was not to be used as either a hotel or a cat house

He is now a great guy but he never forgets that I set him boundaries and forced him to acept them or go..... his choice. He's had to set his own boundaries with his children of late and he now knows just how hard it is to do but how important it is to do it from the get go.

So go set those boundaries gal if you dont you will rue the day hun
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Jude...I also like your idea of the talk....11-year-old is about to graduate from elementary school in a few weeks, so this is the perfect time to make the connection to a "growing up, more mature, need you to be more responsible" speech. Maybe l will rub it in a little bit thick and say he's " almost a teenager" and boost his ego up to encourage him to help me more . He has jealousy issues with the 16-month old, so maybe this will help. (Hey, all those years in the classroom reading kids' brains may come in handy now.)
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Babalou... (funny, spellchecker keeps changing your name to my street name that has a similar spelling! ! :) I used to go to therapy years ago for another traumatic incident that happened to me , so I may look into that again if I can get time to do it.
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Yes but that has a flip side too Oregon. My son is a superb cook but he started at about 3 helping me weigh out flour, whisking eggs in a bowl I set on the floor for himm etc. yes we ate some weird stuff for a while but he soon learned and by the time he was 5 (the same with my daughter I might add) he could cook a meal if supervised (he would have tried unsupervised given the chance - he wasnt given the chance)
By the time he was seven he could cook a sunday roast and time it to get it all cooked by the same time. While my daughter was the plain cook and followed instructions my son was inventive so we had roasted vegetables long before they became popular - trial and error stuff and some disasters (brussel sprouts dont roast well!) They tidied their rooms from the time they could get things out of the toy box - if they can get em out they can put em back. They helped me do the washing loading unloading or hanging out theyhelped me dust so they knew how to do it.
SO they were well versed. Now however my son drives me nuts - he is almost OCD about tidiness in the home. My DIL is a very tidy person but cant boil an egg, however she can do all manner of things artistically and my grandsons room has had a full disney park painted on all four walls by hand and then a cars scene and now it is about to become Jurassic Park so between them they have amazing skills but they have tidiness at the top of the list. He never leaves a spoon unwashed let alone the breakfast things, she puts every reel of cotton back in colour order in her reel case (Idont even have a reel case for heavens sake)
I dont regret teaching my son and daughter that all the work in the house is to be shared though - my son can knit and sew, my daughter can clean gutters and wield a paint brush
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Well, with the training I gave my son, he married a professional women. With both of them working long hours and for good pay, they both share in everything. But, my daughter in law does not stop thanking me for training my son to be creative in the kitchen and carry the load with the house. They share as it should be. Not the way it was for many of us.
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Sad thing is that there are plenty of women who would accept a man who wouldn't do for himself. Once all women just cooked the bacon and cleaned up. Now they're expected to bring it home, too. I've seen women that work all day, then take care of the kids while the husband does nothing at all. A lot of girls are raised that way.
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Boy Jude, I am with you. Set that child down and tell him the facts of life. First and foremost, they are creating a boy who will be a man and no women will want him. PERIOD. I told my son, learn to cook, clean, iron and be responsible or you will never get a women worth anything. A women requires a man to carry his load these days.
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To answer your question directly: you cannot manage this level of stress without getting sick. You are breaking down already. In order to save others you must first save yourself. If you wait due to avoiding their unhappiness, you will fail physically or mentally or both. You could start the change by talking with a free mental health professional or pastor or similar non-family member. Plan, then Act.
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One way to look at it; if aunt is paying you to run the household, then she gets to dictate how it's done and critique your performance, as would an employer. However, if you've stepped up because of her incapacity, they you do things the way they work FOR YOU. If that doesn't suit her, then she can hire help.
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I can only guess that you are a spiritual person - this does not mean you are a doormat to serve everyone. You are responsible to do a good job, including taking care of your own mental health so you are available to kindly care for others...whether in the home or from afar and visiting. Suffering is not the only option you have...and things change in time. I would take a hard look at if your time is up because things are not flowing as well as they used to. Sometimes it takes a vacancy in a position for another to step into it who is meant for that season. Overstaying can cause turmoil, too. Never give away more than you can afford to lose....you are struggling with your peace and self-esteem and making confident choices for the life that you are called to live. Follow your PEACE. People who take advantage will always fuss ..until the next thing comes to fuss....that cannot be your guide to action. Peace - your inner 'knowing' - that is your compass for your life and decisions. God already knows your missteps...so do what you know brings you that deep inner peace starting here forward. It will all work out as it should...
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Gospelgirl, have you ever been to therapy? It's not a cure all by any means, but it might help you learn to think outside of the box in this situation.
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Gospel darling you are on the road to burnout city sweetheart. Sit said young man down just him and you and tell him straight.
Look I know Aunty/grnadma whatever he called her used to do all of this for you but you're growing up now and it's time you took some share of what happens in this house.
I need you to
Get yourself up in the morning - here is an alarm clock to help you BUT if you dont get up then you will be late for school and suffer the consequences
At night before you go to bed all your clothes must be laid out ready for the morning and you will have to do your own ironing but don't worry I will show you how - after all you have to learn as I am not going to be around for ever now am i?
I know you like (insert fave food from takeaway) and I promise that sometimes as a treat you can still have it but when we decide on a fast meal we do it because we need the time freed up. If I have to go to 2stores or 3 stores then I am making work for myself not saving time so in future you will be having what we have or you will have to make yourself a sandwich or something and clean up after yourself.
I also need you to do some of the chores (washing up/loading emptying dishwasher/emptying trash - whatever you need him to do

Finally if he starts on the but but but route you say...this isn't negotiating poppet this is what is going to happen as of next Monday or whenever. between now and then I will make sure you learn how to iron, show you how to set the alarm and show you how to od some of the chores I need you to do to help us now. You are growing up onw so it is TIME that you learned how to do things for others instead of them doing for you
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Captain. .I agree with what you are saying. I am actually trying to "un-spoil" him (if that is even a word),in order for him to understand the fact that as long as his basic needs are met, then it's not the end of the world if he doesn't get everything he asks for. This is proving to be difficult, but I am asking his dad to help me get through to him.His mom (aunt's POA) was in my corner with this, but she is sick herself now, recovering at home from minor surgery.Some of her fiance's family is helping her.
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people are trying to tell you you shouldnt spoil kids or adults but you dont seem to be hearing what theyre sayin .
when my family was younger we didnt afford to have fast food very often but every time we did our youngest son would want to order something different just to be a pita . he NEVER got by with it , not even once . he was told to have a cheeseburger like the rest of us or go home and eat squirrel heads . might not sound like a big deal to order him something different but it indeed is . as a 27 yr old adult now hes a really mature and versatile person . if he came over and i was eating squirrel heads he'd have a couple of them and be appreciative of them ..
my mom used to try to be bossy too . " dont nick that countertop , dont scratch my teflon , etc ' . chop chop , scrape scrape ..
if you let people push you around they wont respect you , in fact , why should they ? " spineless " isnt a positive attribute ..
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Gospel, you don't have to do everything the way your aunt did because your situation is quite different than hers. She was an able bodied woman, who took care of herself and CHOSE to do for the child. You are a woman with your own physical problems who is taking care of your aunt, now an elderly woman unable to care for herself. To help her better and keep yourself healthy for both of you, you can also choose which childcare duties are no longer possible for you to do.

Families evolve as we all age, and it becomes no longer possible to keep life the same as it was for most of the family members. It's not reasonable for your aunt or cousin to expect you to add coddling duties to your list.

Many of us have had to do things our way so we could manage caregiving and our own responsibilities. It can start with small things, like switching to online banking and bill paying. It can be ordering groceries online, instead of trips to the store. As frequent flyer has written on other postings, make a list of everything you do, then start crossing out things that aren't essential.
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I just thought I had to continue to do everything the same way that my aunt always did it. She did all of these things for him in addition to driving us to school on some days. (I used to work at his school, so sometimes she would take both of us).She often asks me to do these tasks for him. She had him so spoiled up to this point that I think he feels sort of entitled .now...In the past, he had to be called three or four times before he would get out of bed, and often would sneak back in and go back to sleep. Aunty was the only one that he would wake up for. As far as going to the store, I felt bad about forgetting that he wanted something else, so his mom was the one that offered to take me to get it.I hate the fact that he is treated like he is Superkid or something, but everyone has been doing it since he was born. ..and now that Aunty is incapacitated, she expects me to continue where she left off. And to make things worse, his mom is recovering from surgery and can't really help me that much now.
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ummmm my 2 cents: an 11 yr old can start to learn how to set an alarm clock and begin to learn how to wake up. It won't happen overnight, you have to teach them how but eventually they catch on. Did you plan to be his alarm clock until adulthood?

2ndly, why run around to different stores for the 11 yr old? Sometimes yes, but not to be expected.

3rd...make sure you're unknowingly putting on the "martyr cape" in the morning doing all for others and then feeling resentful. It is hard to say no when you are used to being selfless but you have to start with small no's here and there.

Good luck
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Oregon you and me both think the same way. And unless we emigrate to la la land it aint ever gonna happen
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It is time that Caregivers can apply for grants...If we take care of people who were wise with their money and now in retirement are struggling, they are not eligible for Caregiver assistance...They have to pay out of pocket. This does not help the caregiver who is a relative or spouse and is not being paid...It would be a great perk to be able to know that you have a check at the end of the week to spend on anything YOU want..
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An 8 year old can iron. Acquaint the 11 year old with iron and ironing board and the washing machine. If he doesn't like a take out meal he can eat cereal that night. The POA needs to be made aware and participate in the care. If your aunt is abusive, walk out of the room. You have more control than you realize.
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I see one thing here that seems to repeat itself often. The patient or loved one is critical and paranoid. This must be an never ending problem with all the caregivers on here. I just posted a question for help in the area of paranoid... Yes, I want to shout sometimes, but I do as Jude stated, I walk away. It does not take long before my partner is calling me over to apologize. But, the paranoid thing never goes away. You just have to go with it. SOMEHOW... It is happens too much I can see where the Caregiver would start to question themselves... We are not criminals but we get treated that way sometimes and it just is not right. Thank God for this site to write out our feelings and try other options that others have used. But, in the end, YES, we must do what is right for us.
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Oh god Sam you are so so right...my doc says you are doing a fantastoc job, my social worker thinks I am a cow - but I think she is so we are quits. The hospital said my mum clearly had superb care because her skin is nigh on perfect. It is just so annoying that I am now being offered a half days learning session for free and Mum gets to go to another room for tea and cakes and what am I going to learn?
Well the topics are
1. Fire prevention in the home
2. What is dementia?
3. How to relieve stress in your loved one
4. The best ways to prepare meals for the elderly
5. When to call a doctor

Now I am sorry but if you dont know any of these things then you shouldnt be damned well caring for anyone with dementia

I have in place a risk assessment and action plan - I did it the social workers thought I was insane but it was the only way I could prove we have no egress from the house if I am at the shops and there was any form of incident that required mum to get out
I have had the fire brigade visit and tell me what I need and that is in place
I think I just about know what dementia is I live with it and have done siince the onset and have researched enough ...havent we all?
How to relieve stress in the elderly ....nothing for the caregiver then because of course we have no stress....little whinge there. I massage mum every day and I mean every day paying close attention to her feet legs back and neck to relieve her stress
When to call a doctor.... try whenever I need one...unless its after 5 or a weekend and not on a bank holiday oh and not before 9 am and be prepared to wait 10 minmutes before the phone is answered unless of course you dial 911 (999 over here)
Preparing meals for the elderly ... I am 62 I have cooked for myself my children and my family for 42 years, I prepared meals for Dad when he could only eat pureed food. I can cook anything from English to Chinese and back through Italian and Indian via French as well as Jamaican Mexican and Creole and I know which ones I can prepare for Mum and what she likes so exactly what am I going to learn?
Now had that been how to use a hoist
The ins and outs of ways to access help when you need it
How to get respite care
Managing on a shoestring
Now that would have been worth it.
And the trainer? Well sadly I know her and she is going to be paid £400.00 to train 6 of us. Thats more than we get when added all together ..........rant rage rant some more
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Dear Jude - The state knows we aren't worthless. We're saving them a lot of money. But they want us to FEEL worthless so we won't revolt and ask for a raise. LOL. And thanks for the hug when mom passed the other day.
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Pressed post too soon. As a result I as her POA and with the agreement of the other POA have agreed that I should live here bill and food free and that the 420$ a month I do get from the state comes to me for my clothes my car etc. If anyone thinks that is shocking then I am afraid sorry wont be in my vocabulary it will be tough if you dont like it you try it. Right now I am desperately try to keep my financial head above water but Mum has taken all my money now and yet, because she has, the state will now take that money if she goes into care so no only have I paid to care for my mum the state will take the money too - oh win win NOT
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Gosplegirl, when I was young, I probably would have been in ur situation. I didn't know how to say no. I would eventually get frustrated and deal with the situation all wrong. I have learned to say no, but have to step back and think before I say anything. Sometimes you have to wait for the right time.

You shouldn't have the responsibility of the 11 yr old if u have to do for him. Why an 11yr old would want to stay with you is surprising to me anyway. After a day of taking care of your Aunt, a 16 month old is too much. This person is using u as a babysitter. If on the whole u enjoy having both but there r just those times ur tired tell her that. I'm not a morning person, so the 6:30 thing would not fly for me. Suggest 11yr old can stay on weekends but not school nights. Also, u want a heads up on the baby. Do u get time off for yourself. Tell them even maids/indentured servents got a day off. Even if ur living rent free, you are doing her children a big favor. This is a learning experience. If they get mad, oh well. If u can, start thinking about ur future. 65 comes faster than u think. You will need to be financially secure.
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Its a global thing SamIamW in the UK I actually get paid to care for my Mum by the state. I do about 56 hours a week one on one care including taking her out for the day, POA stuff, doctors hospitals bank etc but excluding gardening, cleaning, laundry, shopping. The state pays me in your money about 1.65$ an hour for that - 96$ a week. Out of that Mum expects me to pay her rent and also pay a few of the bills .....some 600$ a month plus running my car and paying for fuel repairs etc - now its not rocket science to see that my capital has dwindled significantly before I even feed myself.

On top of that there is huge huge pressure every time I want respite - at this point the state charges me (mum refuses to pay for it) 350$ a week and I appreciate that is subsidised but where do they get their sums from?

Care at home via family member
Income 420$ a month
Outgoings 800$ a month 600+food +car
Surplus -380$

Care at home for 3 weeks plus 1 week respite
Income 420$ a month
Outgoings 1150$ a month 600+food +car + care
Surplus -730$

Cost of a care home to the state 450$ a week (at which point they will try to force the sale of the house)
Cost of care home to Mum 450$ a week
Me homeless and unemployed at this point

You go figure who gives one toss about the caregiver. Why do we so often feel worthless because the state thinks we are worthless
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Reading these posts made me think of an Aunt who passed Jan of 2014. She was not liked by any of the cousins. My Mom was a SIL and tolerated her. She was a know it all. Her children perfect. Oh, the stories I could tell her about her daughter she never would have believed. I never did because it would have fallen on deaf ears. And, I loved my cousin who was finally diagnoised as bi-polar. My Aunt died a lonely woman. I look back and think, maybe I could have visited but I just couldn't take her. My Uncle, by marriage, I loved to visit with but he passed before her. She had numerous health problems and lived alone in NJ. Her son in WVa, daughter in Fla. With her attitude, people stayed away. She died from multiple strokes. Such ashame. Wouldn't it be nice if some parents/relatives could look at themselves and appreciate that caretaking is not an easy job and help instead of hindering.
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Because Care Givers often times don't get financially compensated for our contributions, other family members have a tendency to think that 'room and board' equivalent is plenty. Maybe POA should be reminded that you are saving the estate (depending on costs in your area) $7K mo in a facility. Don't get me started on the nanny/daycare responsibilities you are providing. You're really getting dumped on. I think there should be a name for the services we provide. 'Care Giver' sounds about as important as a jar of warm spit.
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