Is it normal to lose compassion for the parent you are caring for after just a few months of 24/7 care? - AgingCare.com

Is it normal to lose compassion for the parent you are caring for after just a few months of 24/7 care?

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She is suffering from anxiety, insomnia, lung cancer, dementia. She is not in much pain at all, just very nervous, demanding and wants me to make it all better. I love her very much and feel horrible for responding so coldly sometimes, often with anger, especially during the night. I feel so self centered because I think I resent her. It hurts to even say it. It is a side of myself I did not know existed.

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sharincomfort - Listen to Onlygirl2013 about medication. A small dose of the right medication(s) can make your mother more comfortable, calmer. and less annoying. If this were the old days, they would give her paregoric or laudanum, which would keep her nice and mellow, if constipated.

Also, don't underestimate pain. She may be in pain so mild but so constant that she doesn't recognize it, especially with dementia. That can ruin anyone's mood, and may contribute to her anxiety. Check with the doctor to see if she can have a little extra Tylenol or something. Try it for a few days to see if it helps. You can always stop it.

One reason we go numb is that this is our parent or spouse who is in such bad condition. We feel that we SHOULD be able to make them feel better, and we WANT to make them better because it hurts to see them this way, but we can't, so we're a failure, so we feel guilty. That extra stress makes the difficulties of caregiving even harder to endure.

Once a day, just so you remember that you ARE a good person, choose to be in a loving, compassionate place for just a few moments. Remember the healthy young woman she was, and those moments when you felt pure love for her. Let that love and compassion flow, and share it with her. Then, when the rest of the day has been hard and angry, you can remember that you are doing this out of love, even when you aren't feeling it.
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i know how you feel, i am my nans carer and she has become very nasty and manipulative towards me simply because i cant drive so i cant take her out all day everyday and she hates that as before my mum used to be her carer and used to take her out but mum could no longer cope. sometimes you need to be thick skinned and when she start being nasty to you eather ignore it or just leave the room, i have this problem as well and i always go home feeling guilty about it even though i know it isnt my fault, so just try to ignore it if you can and think positive about the future. because i can promise you while your sat feeling guilty letting it eat away at you your mum wont be thinking about it at all because she will of forgotten it even happened.xxx
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I so appreciate the comments, it is relieving to know my feelings are not uncommon. I am hiring help a little at a time since other family help is not available, and yes reaching out to our Pastor. Thank you all.
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You are human.......don't beat yourself! It sounds like you are dealing with a lot.......sorry your mom has cancer and dementia....that's tough. My mom lives with me and I take care of her 24/7 and I have days where I just want to scream! Mom is happy as a clam when she gets her own way which is watching TV.......all day long until bedtime.......sleeping in and having sweets to eat....but when I suggest something she doesn't want to do but has to do.....shower, doctor appointments, haircuts, etc. she gets quiet, cranky and irritated.....not always....but she does have her days.....usually when I have 20 other things going on........it's like dealing with a toddler. This evening I told my husband that "I want my life back" (and then I felt guilty for saying it out loud.....thank goodness he is supportive and a good listener). Mom moved in 18 months ago. I am resentful towards my siblings.....I wish two of them were around to help and the other one takes my mom "every once in a while", but I wish it was more often and I didn't always have to be the one to ask for the break.....ugh! My mom has mild to moderate dementia. How will I handle it as the dementia progresses? I think about that.... a lot.....and feel guilty when I tell myself mom will have to go to a nursing home because I don't think I will be able to handle it......I want to be able to help my mom as much as I can.....but it's going to be tough..... :(

I'm sure you feel resentful because your time's not your own anymore.....am I right? Especially if your mom wants it to be "all better" and it's in the middle of the night.....when you are tired and in need of some sleep....lack of sleep will make anyone angry. Do you have anyone....family or friend....who can give you a much needed break? Even for one night?

Caregiving is not an easy job....at all. I love my mom very much and it hurts to see what dementia has done to her. For now we must take it one day at a time.....As caregivers that's all we can do. Venting also helps! Hang in there!
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It sounds like maybe you need some much needed respite care. A few months of 24/7 care is alot. Especially if you are having to deal with stuff at night as well. I took care of my mother with progressive dementia along with working fulltime and being a single mom to a sixteen year old.. The thing that became really hard for me was it is always about them, every dam waking hour and minute.. They can't help it, but that part is so hard. My son was having an issue one night and she wouldn't leave me alone so I could deal with it and that night I had no compassion. I was usually good at comforting her and calming her down but that night she was on her own.. I wasn't mean I just didn't feel like repeating myself for the 100 time so I ignored her. She blew up and went away which was good.. the dementia progressed so much she is in the geriatric pysch ward right now and from there to a skilled nursing home.. We kept bringing her home and she just would end up in the hospital within a few days,, she can no longer go to the center and she started getting really crazy and mean,, Dementia is so hard and heartbreaking.. having lived with it. I would say what your feeling is normal and you need to get a break. It wears you down like nothing else. I'm still a wreck, taking one day at a time..
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This is very normal. As someone said to me one time, nothing will make another person happy unless they choose to be. With that said, we are human! Especially if you have not lived 24/7 with your parent in a long time!

My father (died this past May) was a man who could be difficult, at least within the family, but became a different person when diagnosed with dementia in 2007. I attended Alzheimer's seminars and learned about the progression of dementia, met others who were caregivers, and read the book, The 36 Hour Caregiver. I was feeling like you. Why could I only be nice for so long until my father's demands got under my skin? You may not have the option of other family members or friends to help you out. One brother lived locally and my mother was still doing pretty well.

I discovered my limitations and basically stuck to being around him when I could handle his remarks, etc. I let others fill in the gap. This year we placed my father in a Continual Care Community. He did not qualify for the Assisted Living but my mother did. So they lived in separate rooms but on the same grounds. Working with the doctors, it was decided to put him on an anti-anxiety meds - a very low dosage. He was also given a mild sedative to fall asleep - very low dosage. This made a world of difference. Perhaps your mother's doctor could help you with this. It would help you get the respite you need. Caregiving takes a lot out of you!!

Does your mother have a church home? Talking to the pastoral care minister can be very helpful, too. This allows your mother to express her fears about her situation and hopefully come to terms with it. You didn't mention how advanced her lung cancer is, but that must be unsettling for her also.

I don't think you are being uncompassionate. I think you are in self-preservation mode. Roles are reversed in your home. I think if most of us were honest, we never dreamed we would be taking care of our parents and our children at the same time! But somehow we do it!

Keep your sense of humor if you can! Get out with the girlfriends or just drive out to the country (if you are not in it already) for a change of scenery.

Glad you found this site. It has helped me a lot. Take care.

Onlygirl13
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