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I am on year 10 of caring for my mother. I was living in an apartment when dad was diagnosed with dementia and cancer. Moved home temporarily to help. So much for temporarily, eh? My mother is legally blind and has lots of other health problems including broken hip and diabetes. I have siblings but they act like since I live there, am single and have no kids (they don't have kids either) that it's all my responsibility. When they do come by they usually just make the situation worse by upsetting mom. I call them the "sea gulls" - they swoop down, sh*t all over everything and fly away. My friends all gave up on me a long time ago, and I haven't had a date in 8 years. Too much baggage for any man to take on I guess. I don't know what the answer is, except to try to carve out moments for yourself during the day. When mom is resting I go outside with a cup of tea and a good book and just relax for a minute. I know this isn't going to last forever, so I try to do small things for myself in the meantime, like buy good smelling bath products and pamper myself a little, or when mom is getting her hair done at the salon I get a pedicure and manicure. Small things, but they keep me sane (well, fairly sane anyway)...
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This is hard. I am a full time caregiver for my parents and it is hard. it would be easier if we all could live in the same house for I spend all my time going back and forth. I don't to get to do anyhting or go anywhere for my self very much. My husband had rather me stay with them at night and the way it is but I sure get weary.They want to stay at their house also and that is the best. I Dread winter coming on for the cold is hard to go back and forth all day.I get so tired and weary and feel guilty when I lose my temper and patience. I have 1 brother who lives a few states away and comes in about every 6 months for about 2 weeks but I am still tied down I have to set my dads dr. appointment and have to stay close for if I just take off this long my dad will get weaker and then I have to work harder when my brother goes back. I get really angry as I have to give up everything and go without so much just to do this. I had to buy a lift van to take my dad back and forth anywhere. They paid some on it but I have to make payments each month I feel guilty when I get so angry as they get weaker I need to be stronger but I just get worn out. Good Luck to all the caregivers out there.Stay strong and rest everytime you get the chance you get. For if we totaly give out the elders will suffer also.
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DeDe51 -- What you do sounds very similar to where I'm at. I, also check on mother each day, make her something to eat and have finally come to terms with the fact that until something happens which will make her relocate, then this is what we will do. yes, she does get meals on wheels also, which helps, but there are numerous needs as you know. I'm right at the place, where the chips will fall as they fall, because mother's ups and downs are way out of wack and absurd. There are days where I have to retreat and then i go back in there. I find that if they socialize, they're better off, but that's easier said than done.
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P.S. I also have offered several times in the past to take her to adult day center or a senior center to get her socializing with people her age, but she refuses....
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My mom will not move in with me, and refuses to leave her house for assisted living setting, etc. She is bipolar, and add dementia on top of that, it is a fine line when she is "herself" or when dementia kicks in. Right now I go day to day, and unless something happens to have her relocated, it is what it is. I will check on her this afternoon and make sure she takes her meds and fix her a sandwich, even though she gets Meals on Wheels. Take care, all.
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The line is not straight that's for sure for caring for an ill elder person. Believe me, you're not talking about dealing with another capable person, so draw the line when you have to ask that question. I agree with cp54.
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Where do you draw the line between doing too much for your parent and not enough for yourself? ANSWER: As soon as you reach the point that you ask that question. And it is NOT easy to do! Good luck.
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yes planeman, there are options if you have quite a bit of money. Assisted living costs are very extremely high and they tend to charge extra for things that are sometimes needed.
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There are options that go beyond a nursing home or nothing. Have you examined something called, "assisted living"?. Often you can even move some of your parents; furniture in to make them feel more at home. Some assisted living places have a nursing home along side the other option so that if the time comes it is already taken care of.
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Just checking in and thankful for all the helpful answers, and that I am not alone.... mom finished her last antibiotic for another UTI yesterday, and I took a "day off" today.... prayers to all going through this... it ain't fun, but looking for the positives to gain from it, and keeping a sense of humor when I hear while vacuuming her house (shut your mouth; get the h*&^ out of here).... :)
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@ sosad2....It almost always seems to land all on the daughters..even when the daughter/sister also tries to maintain a full time job. Being an only child it was inevitable in my case. I am fortunate in the respect that I was able to take my retirement but it's not what I thought my "golden years" were going to be. I want to keep my mom with me at home as long as possible and as I stated earlier finally gave in to Hospice care. So far so good...albiet the intrusion at times can rattle you. There are so many of us out here it's amazing. I know 4 ladies that I graduated with doing the exact same thing and we have a little circle of "caregivers" on a social media site that lets us gripe, vent, cry and sometimes celebrated little joys. It helps to know we are not alone..Bless you all for what you do.
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I wish i could give you a clear answer, but to be honest there are no lines. You can set boundaries, but with my experience lately, the boundaries will continue to change. I have been a caregiver from different angles for years. This past year has been such a tremendous strain that I see no end in sight. I am definitely in the sandwich generation, finally working a full time to help my kids attend college, but I'm back in the caregiving mode juggling demands. It's a 24 hour job, even though she doesn't live with me because I have been advised not to do that, I'm still running over every day almost, and there's not much she can do on her own, but not bad enough to be in a nursing home. It's about her attitude., and it's so sad. I have three brothers and it's all on me.
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I moved in with my Mom after my father passed over 9 years ago. That last year of his life was a horror. He had dementia and my mother was frightened and called me and my sister at all hours of the night. We both worked full time then and I missed a lot of work. Finally, when my Dad passed, I moved in with my Mom. As the years passed, she got more and more forgetful and my life was not my own. The last couple of years were the worst. She had been diagnosed with dementia, but also had other health problems. The hallucinations and delusions were making my life hell. I had no time for myself and could barely get any sleep at night. We could not get any help in the house because she would not allow it. We finally had an assessment done by a Geriatric Nurse who advised us that my Mom would never accept inside help, as well as other things. For the last 2 months she has been in a wonderful NH, but is still bothering us to come home. How do I get passed the guilt? I know when she was home, I was so depressed and could not go anywhere without getting my sister to come and stay with her...and then she would tell my sis about all the weird people I brought to the house. But now when we visit her she still makes me feel horrible and depressed. My life feels horrible still. She makes me feel so bad. How will I ever get past this and have a life again?
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I'm sorry I meant JonathaninOregon.....you are an inspiration. You will be blessed. Thank you for sharing your story.
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Mark...you are an inspiration. You will be blessed. Thank you for sharing your story.
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My alcoholic, disabled mother-in-law lived with us for 10 years before she died. To do right by my wife, I had to serve my MIL. After we got her to quit drinking (that was fun), helping my MIL helped my wife, which helped my marriage, which helped me. So the more I did for each of them, the more I benefited. It was exhausting work, and I have a bad back, blown knee, three hernias and shoulder pain. But my wife and her mother spent a decade apologizing and forgiving one another for their failings, I learned to watch, facilitate, apologize and forgive right along with them. I paid a lot for the experience, but I got a lot out of it because I made it a priority to do so. If you just look at what you give and what you lose and how bad it all is, you are setting yourself up to lose, suffer and be victimized. Modify how you think about it and you can save yourself years of grief and earn for yourself years of healthy pride, daily celebration, and spiritual growth. Good Luck. God Bless you all.
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Meemaw,
My advice is to juggle your time and emotions as best you can, but when it gets too much you must prioritize your relationships. Your partner/spouse must come first, then your children and then and only then, your parent. I look after my elderly father (82 yo) - when he was 55 his mother-in-law (my Grandma) moved in with my parents and lasted less than 5 months. He said "ENOUGH" and she went off to a nursing home. He had none of us kids living at home, just him and Mom (unlike my Sandwich Generation who have 30-something kids at home) and he prioritized - that is how it is with him now - a take it or leave offer. Tough love worked for us when we were kids in the 60's and it he gets me now.
You may have heard to instruction in aeroplanes "....when the oxygen mask comes down fit yours first then help others with theirs." If you are suffocating you are of no value to your parent. Look after you and your family first, then you are in a better position to help others. Hope this helps.
Verlaine
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Hats off to you CrystalBrrfly I have helped my parents for many years but just being a full time caregiver last few years meltdowns from caregivers and parents I think seem to be common but sad. Good Luck
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Being that I was caregiver for both my parents for over 10 years (they resided in their own home during that time), and then for my mother for an additional 8 years now in my home after my father passed away... I wish I knew the answer to that question... along with how to draw the line without creating a lot of drama and meltdowns from my mother in an attempt to draw that line.
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I tell my dad everyday he is taking advange of me by not trying to get stronger but he just doesn't get it. I am at the end of my rope. I go back and forth all day and get nothing really done for myself. I complain but it just hurts their feelings. The local nurseing home would not be as good to them as I think they deserve but they don't need me to be unpatiance either but I really don't think anyone could do this around the clock without feeling this way. I really try to not say anything but sometimes it just over whelms me. The part that bothers me the most is we could hire some help but my mom would be so nervious I would have to stay to babysit them and I refuse to babysit anyone else. I read on here other peoples problems and I am blessed it is not any worse. My dad has been a selfish type person so not trying and me doing everything doesn't seem to really sink in and my Mother is so blind by my brother and his livein that I get so angry for they do no wrong. I am having to live almost pennyless to do this and hate to take money but do take some pay sometimes. I get mad as everything is to be split down the middle when something happens for they think that is fair. I will have so much work to do when this is over it will take the rest of my life. They have been pacrats and so have I . I am trying to get rid of as much of my things as I have the time to do so but I can't even have a yardsale for I am so tied down. I have quit my job 4 years ago and am retired now but had a year without income so still paying for that. I have bought a lift van which my dad paid part of but I still have payments and gas to go back and forth and my brother who flies to his liveins family can't come in as much to help me. For it cost too mush and my mom sends him some money to come home on. I have just thrown in the towel of ever being close to my brother. I have never been good enought for him. After all these years The last straw was last time in when I am carrying the whole load of my parents and he has my stuff in his suitcase I just happen to see it as I walked throught the room took it out and never said a word no reason to start a fight over such small issues. I told my Mother once that they get into my stuff when they are in and she just said I have so much was the wrong answer for me. She is so blind aout everything so I just try to not say much just give him half when it is over and say goodbye this is a shame but I just can't run after someone who doesn't want me anymore. He has no kids so I think in the furture he wil be lonley. I just ge mad at the Christmas present send to my Mom for the livein which my Mom is so proud of. some 2 year old candy filled ornaments for the tree which cost 1.00 new. 2 years ago. This is a retired English teacher who has lawyers and Dr 's in her family so I know she has to know better than this. I am a poor country girl and I know better than that as a gift. I am sure her family gets better presents than that I don't care about my self on gifts and if that is all someone can give that is fine but I consider this a slap in the face from someone who could do better and the knowledge to do so. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Just offering a little assistance that I have had to get involved with now since I am living full time alone with my mom in advanced AD. I had to give in and get help from a wonderful agency (fully funded with moms medicare). The company is Odyssey Hospice and they are WONDERFUL. They are all over the US so you might want to check and see if they are in your area. I feels such relief just knowing mom is being attended to at home with nursing visits and bathing. Just those small chores have taken a load of the pressure off.
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My mom has been living with me for the past 7 years. She does not like to leave the house except for doctor, dentist, and get her hair fix. She is on a set scheduled that she made forself years ago. She watches her mass on t.v. The places she use to like to go she says it makes her nervous now. She had a stroke or brain hemmoraghe 21 years ago and has not had physical therapy and her inactivity has made her very stiff and unable to move around a lot. I want to get sitters for her so I can go places without worry. She cringes when I say this and says she does not want this. She says it makes her nervous to have other people in the house. Nursing home is out of the question because she has money that is in my name and I have 3 more years to go before the nursing home prblem will no longer exist. They will not take her money then. What should I do? I need help. I have 2 other sisters but one lives in Seattle and the other lives here but only does for her on her two days off from work. She doesn't visit those days just takes her to the doctor or go grcery shopping for her and that is it. She is gone as soon as she drops her off. Give me advice. My sister in Seattle is a dr. of psychology but her only advice is what she thinks I should do when she does not know what is going on. She comes in once a year for 4 days and usually she comes in for a special occasion happening in New Iberia or Lafayette. What do you have for me?
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I feel for ya Jade1950! You are an Angel! I am sorry you have had bad experiences with caregivers. I know God has the perfect caregiver for my mom. We are down to chosing 1 between 2 we have interviewed. I know there is someone out there to help you! As I stated in my above comment....get a camera! Let them know it is there & you can watch from your laptop or phone. We too have had problems with my husbands sister helping out. She stole over $60,000 in credit cards & has made it even harder for us to afford help! Where there is a will there is a way! Have faith! Keep looking & don't give up! I found caregivers on care.com. Don't let those bad experiences with caregivers stop you. Take care! :)
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I have been taking care of my parents for the last 3+ years. Every weekend at their home. Then my Mom died July 2009. I continued going over to his home every weekend and worked full time, as well. I have 3 brothers and one sister. The brothers would once in awhile take Dad for a weekend. One brother hasn't been around in years. The other two are married and have a life! I'm divorced and have no life. If I complain to my siblings, I sound like I'm a mytar. If I send out an email to all that I want to make plans for a weekend and need someone to take Dad (he moved in with me 12 mos ago), I don't get a response in a timely manner..then they have plans. I'm so exhausted at times and I know I have lost my temper with my Dad, as he does things without thinkging (85yrs old) and it isn't his fault. I have used caretakers when I was working full time, but I have had bad experience with all of them. Either they steal, lie about their time, talk on the cell phone all day and then do a lousy job of light housekeeping. A couple of them couldn't even work the dishwasher. I'm venting! Thanks
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Wow, this is my exact situation.
My mother in law has Alzheimers and my hubby & I have been her fulltime caregiver the past 3 years. I have not slept in my own bed since January. We live 15 minutes away, own our own business & work out of our house so my husband stays mainly at our home & I take care of her. I am only 35 & can feel stressed & like I have no life. I will tell you it is worth it in the end. You do need a break & there need to be boundries but I would not (at this stage) place my mil in a home. We have been interviewing caregivers to come in to help out. We are looking at 4 days caregiver & 3 days us. Are you scared to leave them alone with a caregiver? I just installed a camera yesterday & it is FABULOUS! The caregiver will know it is there. We will slowly acclamate everyone to this new arrangement. I understand your parents dont want help but maybe give them the option. Tell them how you love them but you need help. Say "I can either hire outside help or we will have to go the nursing home route". I applaud you in the care you have been giving. You are doing a wonderful job but as I stated earlier Boundries need to be set & you need a break before you hurt yourself & your marriage. Best of Luck! Feel free to write me anytime. :)
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I don't know I have given up almost everything for my parents and am not doing anything for myself. My husband and I don't go anywhere and this is not fair to him but what am I to do. We live close so I spend the night with the parents for it is not fair for them to move in with us . My husband had rather it be this way. He does get to go but I hardly ever go anywhere for it is easier to stay close than try to go anywhere. It is hard for the other option is the nurseing home as they don't feel conforable with anyone else in the house. If we hired outside help I would have to be there to babvysit I am very weary and tired as my brother lives off and comes in every few months for awhile but I am so tired when he gets here I don't want to do much but just rest. I am glad I have found this site I sometimes feel guilty to complain here but caregiving is hard even when you think it is the thing to do.
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