My dad is almost 90 and my mom is 80. I have a disabled brother that is also my responsibility. Anyone else understand the stresses involved and how you deal with it? I can't seem to find anyone who can relate and anyone else involved in their care just tell me what a saint I am to be there for all of them like I do but no real support. It is getting really hard.

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Edahmen - The greatest gift you can give your daughter is to get your affairs in order. Make sure she had durable power of attorney. Make sure she knows where all the paperwork is on insurance policies, banking, vehicles, medical, everything. Don't make her have to dig, guess, and worry.

Talk to her about the future - your future - when you aren't healthy and able anymore. Give her permission to do what she needs to without guilt. Don't make her promise to do or not do anything specific.

I'm talking to my kids about it now, so they can grow up knowing dad & I don't want them to feel guilt for having to make hard choices between undesirable options. We are going to downsize when they go to college, so they won't have to do it for us. They will be left with all the information and instructions they need to do a good job of caretaking.

Squeeze in all the "I love you" you can today so there are extra for tomorrow. Take lots of pictures together. Write your granddaughters a letter for the future to tell them what you want to say in case you aren't there.

That's a lot to do, but looking back on what I've been through with my mom, I would have had 1,000% less anxiety and difficulty if I could have just had ready access to the important papers and power of attorney before it was actually necessary.
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I meant two great girls!
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I am in my 70's and my husband has vascular dementia and is a couple of years older. Two years ago our daughter bought a small house next door to her and we moved half way across the country. She and her husband have two wonder gay girls and we very blessed. She is working and has many of the same issues listed above. I do have to say that by reading these other posts I can remember to respect her other life and not make too many demands. I really learn a lot from these posts!
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We are the Sandwich Generation, thus my name!

I'm almost 44 and have two teenagers, a full time job, husband, and the typical life obligations in addition to a mom with mental illness and severe dementia plus medical problems.

In the past 3 years, I moved my mom 1800 miles to be near me because she was too demented to live alone safely and she had run off any kind of friend or family member nearby years ago. The county she was in was super rural and had nothing for senior services. This was not a piece of cake to do. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing or if I should have left her there.

All my peers' parents are a good 15+ years younger and they are not dealing with elder aging issues yet, much less a parent with severe dementia. I feel old because of the physical toll all this has taken on me. I gained 60 pounds. I lost my endurance and strength. The stress will kill you.

It is really hard to find people who are dealing with the mental illness factor outside of this website. I see other families at the nursing home who can have a connected moment and there is love and sweetness still there. I will never have that experience. My mother has had bi-polar and complicated personality disorders her entire life. She's a porcupine.

I think back to what my parents were doing in their 30s-40s, and it was NOT elder care. They were working their 40 hours, going on vacations, eating out, and having a jolly time.

I turned down a better paying job because I knew I was going to be dealing with serious mother related things. I didn't think it would be a good idea to be a new employee anywhere, not knowing when I'd need flexibility, time off, or for how long.

Thankfully, the office I am in is primarily people older than me who DO have eldercare obligations, so my needs are not unusual around here. It's a very flexible work environment and nobody feels like you're disloyal or unreliable because you had to take care of family matters. Not every workplace is this understanding! I would probably have had my own stroke during all the turmoil of the past few years if my job was on the line too.

I wish it were possible to do more activities where mom was integrated into it, so my kids could have a positive grandmother experience and could remember her positiveley, but it is not to be. They are terrified of her because of how wild and mean she can be. They have no other grandparents, so it's just too bad.
We all go visit on major holidays and Mother's Day, birthday. Other than that, it's me or my husband & I going over there to visit for short periods.

At some point, you can't take on the world. You have to put your needs and your husband & kids' needs ahead. I hope you have a social worker helping and that mom & dad are in a good care facility. That alone can really take a huge burden away. Getting mom out of my house and into a senior place that could transition to assisted living, then nursing home, and memory care was my life saver.

I used up all my paid time off work running her to appointments, here, there, & yonder. Every walking minute was supposed to be hers. It was just too much.
Meanwhile, the other moms my age were going to yoga, the coffee shop, or somebody's purse party after work. Running their kids to soccer, practices, friends, etc.

So far, I want a refund on my 40s.
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Was not able to finish my response to you yesterday. Seems like things are always coming up and distracting me so I can't get anything done. Sound familiar? My take is that everbody's situation is different and what may work for one may not work for another. That's why I think this website is a life saver. You can find information through other's experiences and see, or at least understand, what's going on and use that information to help yourself. For me just knowing I'm not alone helps. Also, some of the stories make me laugh and that helps relieve some of the stress. What I've discovered is is don't be too hard on yourself, you have enough going on in your life that you don't need the extra stress of having negative thoughts of yourself for not getting everything done. It's like adding more stress on top of the stress you already have. So here are a few things that I have done that I found works for me. I try to organize, prioritize and schedulize. I use a very large calendar that hangs on the kitchen wall where I write down everything, and I mean everything such as Drs. appts, school functions, any payments due that are not monthly (so I don't forget to pay), medication schedule for those times where it's not a permanent thing, and anything else that I may forget that has to be done. I am fortunate and thankful that my mom is still mobile and able to take care of herself physically. Emotionally, it's hard dealing with her personality and that's where a lot of my stress with her comes from. I tried having her join one of the several local Senior Centers thinking she would enjoy socializing with others and provide me with some time to do other things, but she didn't like them. Tried having her visit the last of her friends that are still around, nope she doesn't want to go. These didn't work for me but not knowing your situation you might want to try a Senior Center, Senior Day Care Center or schedule visits with their friends.

Are there things that your family can do together like play card games, board games, jig saw puzzles or a walk around the neighborhood/park/mall or just sit on a bench watching people. Before my dad passed he would do word puzzles with my daughter thereby keeping both of them occupied while I was able to take care of things. I ask my mom if she could "teach/show" my daughter something, like sewing, knitting or old family pictures. I think it helps my mom to be occupied and feeling useful/helpful. I always tell her thank you and how I appreciate her doing it for me.

Now if mobility or alzheimer's/dementia are in the picture I don't know what to say other than you could check out the posts and information available dealing with those issues on this website.

Good luck and I hope things get better for you.
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I'm somewhat in the same boat. I am 54, married, have a 13 y/o daughter and 87 y/o mother. Until I found this site I thought I was going crazy. For me there is not enough time in the day to take care of everything and it seems like "Murphy's Law" is a constant companion. In the mixture is having to deal with a difficult parent (argues with you or gets mad over every little thing, doesn't want to do this or that, wants something done right now and never seems to appreciate anything you do for them - Drs. Appts, bills, taxes, shopping, etc. -, then tells you you do nothing for them); household chores (paying our own bills, cleaning, cooking, minor repairs around the house, yard work, etc); school age child (homework, school functions, friend get togethers, etc); and finally my husband's needs. I have no real "me" time; lost contact with what little friends I had; there's no time to fully relax (always something that needs to be done). Does this sound like what you're going through? If it is you're not alone. I hope you find this website helps you. Just post your thoughts and feelings and I'm sure people will respond. Hang in there and by the way, you ARE doing a great job.
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