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How does one deal with this? A primary caregiver gets a bad flu, the kind where you have to stay in bed for a week. In the meantime, the one being cared for, who is used to years of having every hourly need met, gets angrier and angrier. Incidentally, the one being cared for will not accept nor pay outside help. Whatsoever do you do?

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Well. What would happen if the caregiver were not sick with 'flu, but dead?

The caree, the care recipient, might not want to accept outside help and might still resent paying for it. But that would be just too bad, wouldn't it, don't you think?

Dead or very ill. It doesn't matter which: the *point* is that the caregiver is hors de combat.

So if this is you, call in paid support (assuming you know where to get it). The bill goes to your mother. You can do the necessary arguing about it when you're better.

By the way. If you persist in driving yourself when you really shouldn't, it's far from impossible that your mother might have to do without you permanently, no joke. Harden your heart and your head and don't become one of the sad statistics.
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keepingup Apr 2, 2019
Hugs. Thank you.
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This actually happened to me a year ago! My mother doesn't sound as demanding as yours but we managed to get through it because we had no choice.

I was fatigued and pretty much bed ridden for the better part of a week with a low grade intermittent fever, It hit me hard and fast so there was no way I could have hired someone at the last minute. I can't count on any friends or family to help out on a good day nor would I want to expose any of them to the highly contagious Flu. Consequently I never even asked anyone for help as that often results in disappointment anyhow,

I moved in with Mom 4 yrs ago which eradicated any travel time. If that was a factor I don't think I could have done it..I was THAT sick and would have had to move in for the duration of the illness despite the risk to Mom.

I was out of it for the first 3 days and have to admit they were the "lost days." I hydrated and toileted her when I did so for myself. Of course she got food as well....mostly hand-to-mouth kind of stuff that I always keep stocked. I prayed she wouldn't get it and she didn't. Oh yes and a kind soul from work insisted on dropping a huge pot of chicken soup on my doorstep. That was REALLY what got me through it!

So I guess the moral to my story is always be prepared for anything. Keep Meds groceries and supplies stocked not just for your LO but for you too. People sometimes find me "anal" or too proactive (is there such a thing?) and an "always thinking" kind of person but it has served me well especially as a Care Giver.

Be kind to everyone you meet as you never know who might step up to help. The "soup savior" person from work being the newest member of the team was finding it difficult to fit in. I supported her through that journey and she paid me back two fold when I most needed it.,,,without even having to ask her!
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Playitagain Apr 5, 2019
Great advice. I’m in my 70’s with Addison’s disease. My husband in his 80’s has mild dementia. I’m not supposed to be around any stress like loud noise, hot summer days, & the list goes on. My husband forgets my condition now & is very demanding now. He just got out of the hospital & I’m exhausted from it all. No friends or family around to help.
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You take care of yourself first. Do not be cavalier about the flu or your health. Flu can turn into pneumonia. Flu can infect your heart, brain, muscles, and kidneys. Flu can cause death. Less scary complications of flu include sinus and ear infections but those aren't any fun and can be debilitating all on their own.

Your mother does not get to act like a spoiled child throwing temper tantrums just because she doesn't want anyone but you taking care of her. My goodness how selfish can a person be? Does she want to see you into an early grave??

Stand up for yourself or, in this case, go to bed, take care of yourself and get well. Then, make changes to this arrangement you have with your mother. Her needs are only going to increase.
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gdaughter Apr 6, 2019
People with dementia become clueless and have no idea of what their words and behaviors have on others. It's a brain disorder, and it's very hard sometimes in bouts of bad behavior to remember that since they are functional in so many other ways. It isn't selfish, it's dementia.
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These are great answers! I just think when they refuse help, you say I’m sorry you feel that way but this is how it’s going to be. End of story...they want to be in charge but they aren’t. If they get mad so be it, they need to be taken care of like a child. Remember when your child refused to put on a coat...you made them put it on. It’s just what we do. Take care of yourself and get well.
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keepingup Apr 4, 2019
It strikes me that we work so hard never to be a problem, to be the problem solver, it is almost revolting to us (me) to admit weakness. And people who are not familiar with the household have NO clue the degree to which RUNNING the house is your responsibility. That is why something as simple as a a bad flu is terrifying. Private mmm message me, please?
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I had to deal with this because I did get really sick. I asked the home care agency to come during the first bad week for a couple of hours and get the meals fixed - and just let me rest ( and one parent actually came and tried to open my bedroom door, which I had locked!) It was made clear that there would either be help in the home, or there would be a visit to check out nursing homes. I get in groceries and order as many things as I can by internet - like some bulk items. I have used instacart and people who do errands and don't charge a whole lot to do it. I make sure that I have a month's worth of their medicine and my medicine. When I see things like OTC flu or cold medicine on sale, I buy it. I registered them with the local transportation agency in case they had an appointment, and I couldn't take them. If I absolutely had to call in siblings, I would, but avoiding the bad attitudes if possible - it would have to be a real emergency.
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keepingup Apr 4, 2019
I took notes on your terrific specific helpful answers. Thanks so much...hugs🐹
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The caregiver prioritizes getting well, realizing that the flu can become very serious if not given the attention to recovery it requires. The one being cared for is forced to make other arrangements. Sounds overly simple, but it’s also exactly what has to happen for both to be adequately cared for
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I'm sorry to hear about this. I don't have much advice to offer, but I can tell you that you don't want to allow this type of thing to escalate into something far greater. This is what happened to my sister as my Dad's care-giver but it grew worse because she was bending over backward for Dad - giving into his every whim making sacrifice after sacrifice. The caregiving lasted until she came down with CANCER. Her husband had enough of Dad and his attitude of entitlement, history of being a 'taker', not working, lazy, etc. So, he enrolled Dad into an assisted living facility for 3 months. I've been appointed to find Dad a new living situation. There's not much help out there - even with Medicaid Long Term Care and his SSA there's still not enough money to afford an Assisted Living Facility. I was strongly cautioned by an Elder Care Attorney NEVER become the 'Guardian' but let Dad become a ward of the state. So, now I'm looking at state funded programs and VA domiciliary homes.
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keepingup Apr 4, 2019
Thanks, much, really, good warning. And I'm so sorry for what you've been through.
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If this is you, yor profile says Mom has Dementia as such, she now has no ability to reason. They become like children and as such are self centered. She doesn't make the decisions in your home, you do. You wete notvable to care for her then hire someone. And if she has the money, use it.
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You walk away and take care of yourself and call the Area Aging on Aging to go in and assess her for caregiver assistance. If u live with the person it's hard to get away but I would still call the Aging Office. Even though my mother is going to live between my sisters and my house we r going to get some assistance from the Agency, not full time but a few hours. Who knows maybe the person u r caring for will suddenly do more for themself.
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Much depends on the level of function of the loved one. If they can get around and use the bathroom themselves an occasional home aide is all you need the caregiver may recuperate. If the level of care is severe and end stage, that is entirely different. My mom has end-stage Alzheimer's and can get sick with pneumonia even with the slightest cold. Her care is so intense and she cannot communicate to others what she needs, the disease is that severe. My mom is on hospice, so if I ever get that sick I will have to transfer her to a temporary nursing home, or at least get her hospitalized so she will not catch what I have. Hospice at least has "respite care" which I can put her in a nursing home for 5 days maximum, so that is a kind of insurance for me in case I get that bad off sick. Your options are get another family member to do the total care, or put them in such a facility or hospital. It may not be what you want to hear but there are no other options. In other words, the more helpless and dependent the LO is, the higher level of assistance will be needed; with mom's care it is 24/7 around the clcok.
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gdaughter Apr 6, 2019
It's an outrage that the respite via hospice is limited to 5 days. There should be an emergency clause that allows for beyond that. I am having memories of my being ill a couple years back. I am usually in very good health but got nailed with bronchitis. Folks were able to function at that time fairly independently. I was in bed, exertion was difficult (hard to breath at times). And then I developed a loss of appetite (plus barely had strength to get myself food and didn't want to impose on elders, though a friend delivered once or twice). The bronchitis began to improve, but the not eating resulted in my barely able to function I was so weak...all in all it lasted nearly 3 weeks...
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