Are there any other caregivers that are only children like myself?

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I was wondering if there are any other caretakers out there that are only children like myself. Everybody always tells you to ask for help, what if there is no one else to help?? I have no relatives that live by my mom and me and when i vent to them i receive no sympathy. no one whom i have talked to is in the same situation. Anyone know of any books out there for "only's"?

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I have 3 siblings so am not an only child..but I might as well be as much help and support they have given me in the last 5 years I have been the sole family caretaker of my parents. In some ways..sometimes I even think it would be easier to be an only child and to know there are no siblings to help.. as opposed to having siblings and to know they just don't care enough for me or my parents to even call regularly... much less help in any substantial way.

Seems to be a common occurrence though here on this forum..siblings that disappear when the going gets rough and one poor person gets stuck with the whole mess.

It is a very big weight on one person to be 100% responsible for someone's care.. No..its not healthy and no one should have to give there own life up for another.
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I'm the only child of a mom with Alzheimer's. For the first time in 60 years I feel isolated and regret not having siblings. I also have mixed feelings about caring for her. We have never gotten along and she hasn't been there for me in my times of trouble; in fact when I had breast cancer she never visited me, but I had friends to help. She has no one but me. Sometimes I feel angry that I have to be available to her and then I feel guilty for being angry. Not a healthy cycle! Anyone else experiencing this?
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Too true!
When mom's health began to decline, my ONLY sister split. I 💗mom so much, I moved her from our country to the USA - no matter, it hurt mom deeply, but bottom line, unbeknownst to sibling, made it all easier.
No fighting, arguing, disagreeing. She was no help even though she lived at mom's house.
Good bye and good riddance!
M88
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My Mom took care of herself all her life and still when she got into her late eighties, early nineties she became sick and needed 24 hour care. I think its a very rare case for an elderly person to just fade into old age gracefully with no health concerns no matter how well they took care of themselves.

I have six siblings but I may as well of been an only child for all the help I received. In fact, it may of been easier if I had been an only child because then I would not of had to deal with all the resentment I felt towards my unhelpful siblings.

My mom is gone now but I still get wound up over all my memories of those times. My one sister has managed to rewrite history in her mind. Well, I'll always remember how it really went down.

I'm sorry for those of you who are only children but don't kid yourself. You may still of been on your own when it comes down to taking care of an elderly parent.
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I was an only too, and Mom had a neighbor who helped and a few friends who visited.
My mom also did not take care of herself, and I can identify with the anger about that. You are not leaving your mom inappropriately at all since the cousin is there and she has good care in any event. You probably should go anyways, even if it is not as much relaxation for you due to anxiety - at least then you will not have to feel you shortchanged your family and be mad at mom even more for that. Do the kids ever visit Mom and does that ever cheer her up? My mom used to just love those grandkid visits, especially form my son, and some good memories were made. And I TOTALLY get the torn in pieces part - work, family, mom, all of those needing or at least wanting more time and energy, and no matter which you are attending to you feel guilty about not attending to the others...let alone a minute for you somewhere. Some things get better, some things get worse as the condition sadly progresses. The emotions are totally normal, and yet it might not be bad to get some help with them to try to sort out how you could reduce the stress and anxiety level - the truth is you are doing the best you can juggling everything and deserve to feel at least a little bit good about that. These are not the easiest years in anyone's life, to say the least.
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I'm an only child caregiver. My mom is in AL and has early dementia. She has daily issues of not knowing what time it is, incontinence issues that she can barely manage, barely able to get around with her walker and constantly complaining about the "old people" she eats with and how bad the food is (it's not). My family has vacation plans in a few days. Even though she is cared for at her AL place, I have so much anxiety that something will happen while I'm gone. I am regretting even making vacation plans because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to relax. Most days, I can't communicate with mom on the telephone because she can't hear me. Forget the cell phone. So, I won't be able to contact her. I do have a cousin that lives out of town who is planning to stay at my house for some of the days I am gone and will be with mom much of the time. Even still I cannot quiet the anxiety. I know that I cannot have my life on hold and my kids deserve a vacation. It is too much stress for an only child to manage a parent in this condition, hold down a job and manage my own family. Guess what suffers? My own family. My kids have had a crappy summer because I'm either running over to mom's AL place to take care of an issue or working. I'm irritable and mostly want to be left alone. There is no solution to this and I feel it is going to get worse before it gets better as mom continues to slip and stop being able to care for herself. Next stop will be a nursing home. Some days I feel she is about a month from that. My emotions are all over the place. I'm angry with my mom for not taking better care of herself. Nearly all of her health issues are from obesity. My dad passed two years ago. The man was a saint. Would do anything for my mom. Now she is stuck with me, a stressed out anxiety ridden only child. I just want a break.
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Hi there. I'm not an only child, but I am in the sense of caring for my mother. I do have someone who comes in 5 days a week during the day to care for her mom until I get home. The other 16 hours and weekends are all mine. The kicker is my brother and his wife live within walking distance and we rarely even see them. I got tired of hearing my brothers excuses for not being able to stay with our mother. He's retired. I'm just tired...lol. Like many, I'm pretty reserved to the fact that this is my life for a while. I try to make the best of it and as of now am still able to get mom out to Broadway shows, lunches, movies or dinners. Maybe a trip to the mall at times. Of course, she doesn't remember 5 minutes later. The day is coming, sooner than later those memories made will be precious to me. I make memory books of things we do together for her to look through which she loves.
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Yes, yes, yes! I am also an only child caregiver. I thought I was the only one. Dying of burnout.
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Jlynnfox:

Well there are only children adult caregivers, I was one. It is difficult to face the problems of caregiving alone. I had relatives in the area, but aunts, uncles and cousins may live nearby, may mean well but they want to "visit" the elder if you are lucky. They are too afraid to help with the caregiving chores most times.

I enjoyed being an only child growing up with 2 parents who loved me as their daughter. However, I think the bill for that gets paid when you are alone facing the rigors of being the sole caregiver for an elder.

Being an only child caregiver, does have its value, you do what you think (along with the elder) is best for them. No one can call you out or judge the decisions being made. This site has endless stories of siblings fighting over what is best for mom or dad in their declining years. Only children do not have this problem to deal with. We can save our arguing skills for dealing with hospitals and Medicare issues.:)

However, I know the self doubt can be hard to deal with. Just realize if you are doing the best you can for your mother, that is all she can expect and all you can do. You can not restore her to the health of her youth, you are helping her live out her days as best she can given whatever health challenges you are dealing with. I used to joke with my father that I was trying to keep his "pieces together" and he saw the humor in it. Because in old age, one problem gets handled but another one is surely on the way. It is one thing after another, so I learned to handle and organize what I could but expected the unexpected.

If finances allow to care for your mother great. However, as an only child you need to have time to yourself or to work outside the home --both will require hiring home health care workers. If the finances aren't available and you have no long term care policies to help with the cost--generally the elder needs to be placed in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid. Admittedly not the best but you do what you can with the hand of cards you are holding.

Hang in there, deep down our parents recognize that we are doing our best.
Remember there are thousands of only children caring for their adult parents
and many more adult children dealing with siblings who could help but chose to set by and offer nothing in the way of help. Frankly I would rather be an only child than watch a sibling do nothing to help.

Take care.
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I reached out to my cousins for help. They were lifesavers. Hope you can do the same.
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