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Caring for my mother is in itself stressful. My sister is a co-caregiver who stresses me out as well. Often when I leave there to return home, my nerves are frazzled. After a three week gig of 24/7 I have finally returned home. I live alone so it is very quiet and peaceful, particularly on a Sunday afternoon. I'm now feeling as though I don't want to go back, even for the holidays which would break my mother's heart. Has anyone else ever found themselves in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

The Holidays. Family. Nightmare. I get it. Take care of your needs first. We all need peace and, for some of us, being with family doesn't bring good tidings of comfort and joy. Find a good therapist who can help you work through your problematic situation...or get you to a place that allows you to separate the family circus from the peace you have inside. Sometimes it takes some time to find the right mix of technique and personality to arrive at the right therapist, but do this for you. Wishing you Peace during the Holidays!
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Darla3 Dec 11, 2018
I could not have said it better ArtMom!! I agree 100%🙏
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I have two siblings--brother is head injured and has never done anything but drink since he was 15. Sister lives 45 minutes away and visits mom maybe once a year though she was my mother's adored favorite. She'll come around to get her inheritance, though.

My mother loves and encourages chaos. I help her out at certain pivotal points but do not live there. No way will I go there Christmas day. She'll have her noisy pack of hangers-on and users. I am staying home.

Maybe you can find a way to reduce your time at your mom's by hiring help or letting her be alone more. These old people aren't babies--do they all really need constant company to survive? If they are so helpless then they should be in nursing homes. Don't give up more of your life than you really want to--you can't get it back.
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Gerip1092 Dec 11, 2018
Amazing how so many of us are dealing with the same issues!
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Salutem,

I feel that the most realistic answer is, enjoy the blessing of being able to go back to your home, to your quiet and peaceful place, and also value the blessing of being able to participate in the care of your mother, even if it stresses you out; we, all caregivers, experience that and can relate. Try to work on yourself, as to how to “block the chaos”. It is very hard, but possible. When you are with your mom focus on what needs to be done and to have quality time with your mother. Avoid confrontation with your sister because at the end of the day, you both are trying to do your best. This journey is tough for everyone, including for those that don’t participate!! I would think so, because most of them would have to deal with guilt at some point...or with karma!

Concentrate on what you do, more that on what others do or don’t do. It’s the best way to make this journey more manageable. And I mean what I say about being able to go back to your place where you can enjoy solitude and calmness. Many caregivers don’t have that luxury. Make the best out of your time alone! Do what you want, do things that feed your soul! which includes doing nothing at all.

And I wouldn’t miss Christmas with your mom! Remember Christmas is an specially great time to make memories that you will cherish forever. Remember you will go home afterwards but you’ll have made your mom happy even if with a little sacrifice. Try to make the best out of it!

Good luck Salutem!!
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Isthisrealyreal Dec 12, 2018
Karma? people are not required to put themselves at the disposal of a toxic parent and have their hearts and heads destroyed. It's nice for you that you had parents you could care for, not everyone is so blessed. You really shouldn't judge people until you walk in their shoes. This journey is hard enough without having someone imply you are bad for protecting yourself.

Salutem, I'm not implying this is your situation. You are doing a tough job the best possible way. It just creates stress on stress dealing with our aging parents who won't let their children hire outside help.
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Why are you staying there 24/7? There are round the clock CNAs if she needs anything. This is part of your stress. Are you and sister there the same time? Maybe shifts would be better. I knew sisters that one visited one day the other the next. Both held down jobs.
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If your siblings can't do right for doing wrong... If you can't cope with them and can't cope without them...

I think it's probably not you or them, it's the situation itself. And presumably they too are finding it pretty rough going.

So. Taking all things into consideration, what (thinking of ideals) would work for all of you and your mother too? What would you like to happen given the fact of your mother's stroke and disability?
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Why are you staying over? If mom can’t be by herself there needs to be round the clock caregivers.. if that’s not affordable then a custodial nursing home ... they accept Medicare Medicaid and any other sources ... mom’s money and resources are to be used to keep her up in a nursing home or any other means of care , not for the kids to receive after she is gone.. use it fo get her where she needs to be.
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salutem Dec 11, 2018
#1. we do have one caretaker who is there a few hrs. per week and mom doesn't even want that. she's not comfortable around strangers, and makes a fuss about it. She wants family around her. I don't appreciate the suggestion that we're scrimping on her money for her benefit.
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Just as a comparison, when my first husband and I separated, we had our two daughters 50/50 time. When they were gone to his house, I felt lonely – the silence was deafening. When they were at my house, I felt like there was no peace in my head. I learned that it’s just an inevitable part of an on/off situation. Do you have to be there together with your sister? Perhaps keeping that distance might help.
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Also when An aging parent can’t help themselves ...they really have no choice but to accept outside help. They will get over it. My father was the same way when he could no longer bathe by himself and my small framed mom struggled with it.. until we got home health set up to come out twice a week to bathe him and they don’t struggle like my mom did not did it take as long either.. first my dad was against it stating he was not going to let some strange woman bathe him! Mom told him then he will have to just lay there and stink.. she finally put her foot down on this because he was bullying her into doing for him as usual.. now he doesn’t argue about it anymore... put your foot down and tell the ages parent u have no choice.. get set up with home health... it’s worth it and they will get over it
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Salutem:

Not everyone has loving parents or siblings. People who do can never understand.

I second the suggestion to use your mothers money for medicare Certified Nurse assistants, which they pay for.

Or a qualified nursing home or care facility.

I am sorry that your parents did not plan for their old age care.
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I’m sorry about the stress you must be feeling. I’m wondering if you might feel a bit more re-energized over time in your current peaceful surroundings. Maybe you’ll feel you can do it once more, just for your mom. Truth is, there will come a time when she’s no longer with us and being able to look back without regrets is important. On the other hand, maybe your sister is feeling just as stressed as you are. Is it necessary for both of you to be there at the same time. Would it alleviate some of the stress if you took turns caregiving.
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rocketjcat Dec 12, 2018
From Salutem’s original post I dont think they are there at the same time. I read it as if they alternate, but that’s just my impression.
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