How do you perform the exact same task everyday and not go insane? - AgingCare.com

How do you perform the exact same task everyday and not go insane?

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Please respond to this, I am losing my mind. Everyday I get around 4hours of sleep, I provide inhome 24/7 total care. I have two young kids, cannot attend their activities. My grandmother will not talk to me and if she does comment it's to critique. I am 35 and married, my husband is always running the kids around or out with friends. I cannot afford respite care and since none of the family will put up with her, I am alone. This is the only place I feel comradery. I've always been extremely social with an excellent career, but since I moved her in I cannot work. I have tried to stay PRN at the hospital but, I cannot find an aide that is punctual. I exercise for my sanity but just realized that I have lost 42 pounds in two months, how do you not notice that? My hair is falling out and I cannot make myself eat. Watching my gma lick her plate makes me nauseated. I really need to hear from someone, please be kind, I am at the end of my rope. It will be six months before I can get her in a nursing home, and hopefully I can go on the vacation I have had planned for two years. Thank you for listening, I pray for you all daily.

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My suggestion will be to buy a baby monitor, put it in your gma room so you can hear what is happening in her room - you would not have to make so many trips to check on her especially if she is in a hospital bed. I am on my 3rd. person my mother, my aunt(mother sister) now my great-aunt is 98 years old she has always been in good health just last year she became ill and not recover - she is alert with mild dementia, when she first became ill I was so exhausted no family members assistance, my great-aunt has no kids only neices and nephews. I finally got the right person as a caregiver that is very attentive to my aunt which I am very greatful. Everyone is not equip in the mind to be a caregiver. Anyway try a baby monitor and you may be able to get some sleep, as long as she can not harm herself then you can go to sleep. You can check on her when you get up to go bathroom through out the night. If you try the baby monitor and it works with your schedule you may reconsider the nursing home. In my opinion, I feel family should take care of the elderly, but my brothers and sisters do not feel the same. Good Luck!
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Baumgark, I (we) hear you! I can relate to the part when you said you felt like you were losing your mind. I don't have near the level of burden you have and I went through a period like that recently. I actually said to my husband: "I feel like I am losing my mind." I am in my fifties, have raised children and gone through a bout of cancer, and this is the toughest job I've ever done. You are responsible for so many people...and caring for an elder with infirmities in your own home is so arduous.....it is too much for anyone to bear. Thank God you have found a nursing home for your Gma. Now just hang in there until then.....But in the meantime you need to get more sleep. Have you ever tried Mack's earplugs? Anything to help "block out" the outside world for eight hours and get the sleep you need. Make getting more sleep your top priority. And then the burden will start to feel lighter so you can handle it until your Gma's move to the nursing home.

I also want to comment on the part about how you don't have time anymore for social interaction/friends.....and how some friends seem to distance themselves from us caregivers. I get that too. What I've found is that it can be depressing for some friends to be involved in our lives. This is kind of a fact of life. We know how depressing these aging-related issues can be. And some friends kind of drift away......But...there are people who can handle it and can be friends with us. You probably don't have time for an in-person Caregivers' Support Group, but I'll bet you'd find some kindred spirits there. In the meantime, the forum here is just the kind of support you need and crave. We get it, and we sympathize. By the way, I also get when you say you used to be "extremely social and had an excellent career".....Believe me, those skills you have are still inside you....they are just "under cover" for a while. If you have any spare time, maybe you could seek out a friend like those of us here on the Agingcare forum. I have found a couple women in my area who really understand (but it took a while). I don't have a lot of time to get together with them. But a cup of coffee every now and then with one of them is so wonderful. If you don't have time for that, then pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee while you're reading these posts and think of it like a "girls' afternoon out"! With also some men friends who might be here.....Good Luck....You are doing great work.

There are so many good, practical suggestions for you on this thread....Especially the one about seeing your doctor. The weight loss and hair loss are connected to the stress burden you are under, at least that's my hunch. Your doctor will get it and will sympathize (mine does) and just listening to her tell you you are NOT losing your mind, that you have every right to feel this way.....is amazingly relieving. I don't know if you are taking anti-depressant medication, but your doctor may feel that is in order, if only for a short term. I take it, and could not handle this job without it.
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You DO need to get some respite care. Is there a daycare in your area? I've found that's GREAT for time so I can go to lunch and just do errands. Also got a caregiver who comes in when I have evening activities for not too bad a price. Ask your doctor's office or county aging agency for suggestions. It's VERY important to take care of yourself, as we've all said. As for the same stuff every day - I figure this is my payback for not having kids, now having an aging toddler on my hands. I turned a corner when I thought of several things: 1) He's NOT GOING TO LEARN how to do things any better. Just repeat the directions and do the tasks the same way every time. Once you learn that, life gets better. 2) You need time with grownups, maybe to vent or just tell with a laugh or a tear what you are going through, maybe not to talk about your situation at all, but anything else. A support group might help both with getting names of agencies and with the venting. It's a tough job, but in the end we'll be glad we did our best.
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Ditto everything already said, however, since there is another generation in between grandma and you, maybe Mom could come over 2 nights in a row and spend the night so you can sleep. I found when I could get two nights in a row of good sleep, it made a world of difference. I wish I had lost weight while caring for my Mother, but I gained instead. Lovely. At least you are young and have a lot to look forward to: first, in six months, then the rest of your life. Hallelujah, Baumgark. hugs xo ps Start B complex vitamins and lots of healthy carbs, protein:)
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Bring those girlfriends to your home for a two hour respite party! Have them bring certain finger foods and do bunko or a card game. Make it fun and loud! Let granny come and go if that is how it plays out. Everyone can always lick their plates at the end of the party! Then plan another" look ahead party" for the next month. Do something for each holiday, bring several families with kids into your home even if it is to do a scavenger hunt for 10 minutes. Tell people what to expect with grandma's behavior, they will understand and surprise you. If you don't start laughing, you will cry. I do care 24/7 with my 86 yr old dad who has severe dementia, my 36 yr old son with autism and I'm raising my 10 yr old ADHD granddaughter so I understand. We were never invited to other families homes while Craig was growing up so we made fun times and brought families come to our house for creative events. Craig had fun watching them from the windows. The rest of our family went outside and participated.
But for these hard times, I suggest calling under the Government Pages in the phone book for your state, the Senior & Disabled services dept, the Veteran's administration if grandma or her husband were ever in the military. She could qualify for services through him for nursing homes, low income pensions, etc. Then call your County Developmentally Disabled Offices as they have phone numbers of special people that do respite care and might even help pay for the care for you. Then call the nearest large hospital and asking for their social worker and talk to them about your situation. Call a counselor from your husband work if it is a benefit of his insurance or just call one from the yellow pages. Call all the Churches, they will help if they can, you don't have to be a member. Get on the phone and remember that it only takes one phone call to put you in touch with the right person that can and will help you. Been there and done all of the above. Peg
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Call your church and ask for someone to visit on a regular basis...they probably have shut-ins that they see already and could add you to the list. Call your county's Area Agency on Aging and ask for "intakes and referrals". Tell them you need to have your Grandma assessed for services just as soon as possible. It can be a somewhat lengthy process, but ask them to expedite as your health is failing and there is no one else to help her. Tell them you don't want her to fall into the category of Protective Services, but you do need some assistance quickly. ASK ASK ASK for help...you need to be able to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your kids, and be a wife to your husband. If you continue down this slippery slope you will not be of any good to Grandma, but more importantly not of any good to yourself. Please make those calls today...
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You might want to call the church you attended and talk to the pastor. Maybe there are people who would volunteer to come in and sit with Grandma and give you a break. You don't know until you ask. Maybe some of the family members could be talked into taking Grandma for 24 hours once a week. Even though they don't like Grandma, my hope it that they would do it for you. My heart goes out to you. Good luck.
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My heart goes out to you. I don't know how you do it. All of the above comments were great advice. You need and so deserve a break! I know what it is like to be at the end of your rope and to be the only one. The sleep depravation alone will cause so many health related problems for you. Wish you didn't have to wait 6 months before admission for her to a nursing home. Just keep telling yourself, this too shall pass. That is what got me through in similar situation with my MIL. Take care and I will keep you in my prayers.
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I understand. My dad came to live with us 2 mos ago. I cannot imagine being so young & a mom & having to provide 24/7 care. I've had those days when I cry because I am so tired physically & emotionally. Your mom's doctor should be able to refer you to a social worker. My care coordinator has been fabulous. Some facilities offer day care. I use Home Instead for much needed respite. The caregiver they sent was punctual & very sweet my dad. You are a wonderful daughter! Take good care of you when you can. Good luck
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Thank you all for the ideas. I was so overwhelmed when I wrote that last night. I had called one of my colleagues to just say "hi" and she was going out to dinner with some girls from work. I know I am being selfish, but I miss life. I used to have a church but cannot leave my home know and no one visits. As for grandma, I believe she is an atheist. I wish I could cry, I do exercise a lot and it does seem to help. Thanks again for your insight.
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