Is it normal to feel like you're going crazy after taking care of elderly parent for years without attending to your own needs? - AgingCare.com

Is it normal to feel like you're going crazy after taking care of elderly parent for years without attending to your own needs?

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I am at my breaking point, I have episodes of crying and depression which isn't good for my son, his fiancee and their baby. I am short with my mother and it bounces off to them. They hear it and it makes them upset too. I am only one person but my mother is controlling and manipulative wanting things immediately. I try to tell her I am only one person am doing the work of 3 people. She acts like I am doing nothing and that there is really not that much to do. She forgets there is cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries to bring in, and doctors to call and schedule appointments, etc, etc. I wish I could work a half day and not be around her moaning and whining all day long about being in pain. She has Dementia which is worsening and refuses to leave her home and move to an ALF or NH. I always had hoped to be able to take care of her in her own house in her old age, however, it is taking a terrible toll on me as well. I have my own health issues, including chronic bursitis and arthritis in lower back and joints. I am 63 and she thinks I am too young to be suffering with any physical symptoms and that I am making it up to get out of taking care of her. I sometimes just want to run away and let my son and daughter in law take care of her. I know that sounds selfish on my part, but young people seem to be able to speak their mind and be firm with her where I am not. My mother sacrificed a lot for me and my brother when we were growing up but I don't know why she thinks I am the chosen one to meet her needs and care for her in her old age. We can't afford someone to come in for a few hours daily.....and she refuses to go to an adult daycare center for socialization with folks her own age. Lately I had to go off of my one my antidepressants because of the out of pocket expense was way too much for me to afford. This seems to be causing my mood swings to become worse. I am fleeing for my sanity this weekend with a small break and am hoping when I return things will have improved, God bless you for any advice you can offer.

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glornorth59, since your Mom choose not to move to a memory care facility, then she need to take responsibility for her choice to remain in her own home. You need to cut back on the amount of time you spend with her, and do that immediately.... then and only then she will realize [hopefully] that she need more help and moving would be THE only opinion.

If the cooking doesn't get done, can you Mom make herself a sandwich or pour a bowl of cereal? If the cleaning doesn't get done, what is the worse thing that would happen? If the laundry doesn't get done, so she wears something a second or third time. Now, groceries and doctor appointments are at the top of the list in my book, the rest can wait.

You mentioned that your Mom had sacrificed a lot for you and your brother when you were growing up, but was she your age when you were growing up? Of course, not. Big difference. Many a time I have said to my parents [90's] that I am now too old [pushing 70] to help them with the many things they wanted.
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My wife and I are in the same situation! We are called continually " what time is it?" Five minutes later than the last time you asked. My wife hurt her back a couple days ago catching her from falling. You hear a noise in the house, is it her getting into trouble? She can't walk without help but she scoots on her but. So you get up to look. My wife called me out of frustration this morning her mom need to go to the bathroom, so my wife took her. While sitting on the toilet she kept repeating "I need to go to the bathroom!" (the dementia is getting worse) When my wife got her out to her recliner chair she said "We need some breakfast!" My wife got angry with her and snapped at her. We try not to but we sometimes can't help it. We've been at it for 4 months now. The Hospice nurse mentioned that we could send her to respite. I think we should look into it. Thank God for this website!!!!
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This sounds so much like my story, glor. This morning I thought about my mother lives in crisis. Every minute of the waking day she is dying right now, and I need to do something about it right now. It is like being poked with a cattle prod every few minutes. It is tough to continue being compassionate. I've noticed that my concentration is gone now and I'm finding it hard to work. I think what we're going through is compassion fatigue. I read about it today and it fits me to a T.

I am so glad you can escape for the weekend. Enjoy and don't worry. Getting away for the afternoons helps me so much. I don't know how people cope with caregiving alone if they can't get out at all. I think we should all make plans to get out every day to do something we want to do.
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Yes. I am currently frothing at the mouth and running round in circles. Good on you for getting away for your breaklet! Maybe afterwards we could discuss swapping mothers? :)

Gosh. Rereading, instead of "yes" I should have said "snap!" Atmospheric conditions? Astrology? Biorhythms? I don't know why the going has suddenly got SO hard, but my goodness I share your exact feelings - and grown up daughter is as I type upstairs keeping her head down. Possibly with her thumb poised over Social Services' number..?

Telling myself I'm just fed up, and this will pass, and what I need to do is get a grip. But to be honest knowing I'm not a monster and that another caregiver is going through exactly the same thing at exactly the same time helps more. Have a BRILLIANT weekend. Hugs.
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