Any only children out there experiencing caregiver burnout?

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I have been overseeing my mothers care for 18 months now. I am burned out and everyday I wish I was dead so I can stop this insane merry go round I am on. My mother went into the hosp September 2013 for taking bogus pain medication that left her unable to walk, or go to the toilet alone, transfer to and from bed, dress herself etc. She spent 3 months being uncooperative in the hospital until they finally gave me the ultimatum: I had 1 hour to find a place for my mother. . Dec 18 2013 I found an ALF 45 mins from my home I was desperate and I took it. For 3 months while my mother was in the hospital I traveled to and from my home to her home to care for her animals, pick up her mail, to my work to the hospital back to her home and then to my home to care for my animals and find food and go to bed. In ALF my mother laid there in a coma like state for a year. I am an only child so I had no idea what to do with her house, animals or her. Now my mother is alert and mentally sharp and all better, sort of. Her only problem is she cant walk or care for her self. For 3 months while my mother laid in bed crying in pain I recently found out the care home removed all her pain medication from her. They wrote down that she received it only she did not get it. The Dr. said it is now my responsibility to be sure she receive her pain pills daily which is hard because I still work full time, I'm still taking care of her house, my house, the animals etc.. I want to sell her house but mom says it's her house she paid for it and she has the right to decide what sells and what stays. She wants me to put her stuff in storage and when I retire she wants me to find her a new home and move her and her stuff into it and pay to have a caregiver in her house with her. My mother was a compulsive shopper so her triple wide mobile home is full of the best and the most stuff she could buy. I am overwhelmed. I have lost most of my friends. The one friend I have left tells me to go to support group, she doesn't want to hear me. I find support groups do not provide the kind of help I need which is hands on. I have been working for 6 months to try to get her home ready for estate sale but I am tired. I don't want to do this any more. I go visit my mother 2-3 times a week. I still take care of her animals, I pick up her mail and try to care for her house and my life. Yesterday when visiting mom she said I can sell the house if I buy a new one for her in the event she walks again. If she doesn't walk again she wants to come live with me. I would rather die than live with my mother. She did not care for me when I was a child, I was sent away when I was 8 to live with people we never met and I was not allowed to come home until I was 17 and could care for my self. My mother has been a selfish bitch all my life and now because she has no family and I have no one I am being forced to care for her. I just wish I was dead.

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Im the only child...and its killing me.. I take care of her 24/7 and live in the same house.. I feel like 2 hamsters living a cage too small...
I hear about siblings who are there but never help... but there are some days the load is just too much..
I dread holidays... cause its just us.. and my daughter. who is an only child...breaks my heart that she may some day become me...I pray she finds some one some day and have a family and find out what it means to have extended family......
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Dupont24, I appreciate your honesty about how you feel toward your dad. I feel that way too sometimes, then I reign myself back in, and think "he's all I've got". A hard line to walk.
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I must commend you on your honesty. I wish we could go have a drink together. I care for my 86 year old father he is Mobil and can do a lot more for himself than he does. There are days like today I wish he was not here. He is very negative all the time. Please find time for yourself. It's easy for people to give advice as to what you should do. I can only say for me I do have times were I blow up and just walk out of his room and don't go back for a while until we both calm down. I'm also an only child so I'm all he has. Sometimes he needs to be reminded of this fact then his attitude changes for a while and so does mine. Please take care of you then you can care for her.
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I wasn't always an only child, but after my brother died after 8 years of cancer, my sister convinced my parents to sell their home in NY and move to a remote area of PA against my wishes (I live in NY and spent tons of time with them). My sister moved them, gave them a map and said good luck, find your way around. Three years ago, my sister died. Five months later, my mom too. Now I drive 100 miles each way, 2x/month. Dad has an aide during the week, but the drive to/from and the work while I'm there are wearing me out. I've visited several Assisted living places, and found one near me. I'm praying he likes it when we visit it next month. This website has given me great support and strength since I discovered it a month ago.
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Oh, man. I typed narco squad! Spellcheck got me again!
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I agree with Babalou....something is not right about the story of the pain medications and it sounds like someone may be trying to cover up for someone's addiction on the staff. I would speak to a nursing home ombudsman for advice on that. Can you have your Mom moved to another facility?
I too am an only child caring for my 92 yr. old Mom who cannot walk anymore. I did move her into our guest room and that was really rough on me as I was running in and out of there all day. She is temporarily in a nursing home for physical therapy after a hospitalization for infection, and receiving physical therapy. Does your Mom get physical therapy to help her walk? I don't expect that my Mom will walk again at her age, but the goal is to at least get her to stand for transfers to a wheelchair.
The nursing home she is in right now is very good....I was surprised as we had some bad experiences with 2 other places last year. Is there another facility your Mom could transfer to?
This has been the worst time of my life by far, seeing a parent go down and having to take over all aspects of her life. Maybe getting some of your Mom's things into storage and selling her home for a smaller place would make things easier on you. We caregivers have so much on our heads that I have learned to take things only one day...never more than one week at a time. It is hard doing it alone. I find many of us are only children and those with siblings tend to have the siblings not help.
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babalou - good call,
um - narcotic squad maybe? we don't need more narcissist lol
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Is the sw telling you stay out of the pain meds thing because the facility I'd medicating your mom properly or because she's afraid of losing her job? I'd get the ombudsman on the phone and ask for advice. Or maybe the head of the narcissistic squad...
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loreleih01 your profile says she has Alz/dementia. I gather that is not true. Still you have to look after yourself. She was hitting things when she was driving? Hmmm. Has she been evaluated for dementia or mental illness. You said she was a compulsive shopper I would sell her place, and find a better ALF if you can/want to. The pill story sounds strange, but if the social worker says to stay out of it I think I would. Do what you can manage. You don't have to answer 3 texts a day. I used to get up to 20 emails a day from my mother. I did not answer then all or even most of them. What I said about declining still holds true - she is getting older. Don't let her become the center of your universe. She is sucking the life out of you. Do some things for yourself. A support group is not a bad idea - even one on codependency. I think you also need to adjust your outlook and priorities. (((((((hugs))))))) do something good for you today.
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Lorelei, your profile says your mom has Alzheimers/Dementia, which is why Emjo was commenting to that effect. So you might want to update your profile.

You need to set clear boundaries with your mom. Do what you can and NO MORE. You are not her slave. Your are not bound to meet her every request - only those that you agree with and can do without harm to you - and that's mental/spiritual harm. I agree with cutting down on visits. See her once a week or even every two weeks. If she has an iPad and can communicate with you, she doesn't need you there to advocate for her.

The pain pill stuff is pretty disturbing - I'd be reporting that facility to the state, if I understand what you're saying about them taking her painkillers.

Sell her place, find a place for her remaining pet and do what you can to help her. But within the limits YOU set for yourself. Hugs...
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