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I'm currently in the "push your pride to the side" stage in caregiving but cant get over a empty tank of energy. Getting away don't seem to fill the hole. I'm sure I dont share this feeling alone so if you could I'd love to know if any tips on how to get over this hurdle.

Peace and Love
-Jamie

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Dear Jamie,

So many adult children have this sense of duty and its hard to get over this hurdle. For myself I had so much anger and resentment. I tried to keep going and going but I was just digging myself deeper. In hindsight, I tried to keep my dad at home, but maybe I should have looked at putting my dad into a assisted living or nursing home care sooner. I'm not someone that is very good at setting boundaries. And there was no validation or acknowledgment either. It was a vicious circle. Take a step back and really ask yourself how do you want to spend every day.
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Pretend that your caregiving days have ended. What will you do?

Start making that plan today. Start organizing your plan with goals that you can work toward now.

Stop leaving your life in limbo...move forward. Even if it is just reading and dreaming about it each night...start now. The deeper you get into a plan, the more satisfied you will be day to day.
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Hire more help if possible. I recently hired a nephew and niece to pick up and set up the meds, to buy and prepare the food and to pay the aids. Nephew also does things like change batteries and light bulbs, niece fills in when an aid doesn't show and already knows what she's about. Aunts meds are a bit complicated so she understands how to check her pulse and bp and decide which bp med to give. That's huge for me. Takes away a lot of the stress. They go over to give the dog meds when needed or other unusual chores that pop up. Recently niece and her son built a little dog run for aunts dog who is now blind and couldn't find his way back to the house from her large back yard. They have dinner with her one night a week and are in general plugged in. I pay them a one hour a day fee. Some days they don't need to do anything. Other days they may be there a couple of hours. It works out. We just started in July so still in the beginning stages.
I live two hours away. I was amazed at how much I had to do that had been on the back burner for a good while because of the weekly trips. Before when I was there I seldom had time to just sit down and visit. Now aunt and I have more time together. It has really helped.
During this time my husband and I took an out of state trip and really felt like we were on vacation knowing that I had this extra layer of help. Everyone's situation is different. I know this might not last but for now I am enjoying it.
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For me it is little things each day. I changed my diet. Put an elliptical exercise unit in the room where mom is. Made my desk a smaller rolling table so I could move it around the house. I have my grandkids come and hang with me... That relieves my stress. Our children come over. I take short breaks and go get a pedicure, or go to the park with the grandkids. I have taken a 4 day vacation once. It was nice but I think the little breaks are far more rejuvenating for me. When I took the vacation, it required a lot of prep before I left, I worried the whole time I was gone but had a great active time, and I came home physically exhausted and needed to jump back in. The little things a few times a week, don't require prep, allow me to relax, I don't worry much because I am close if needed, and I come back rested. I guess everyone relaxes different ;-)
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Jamie, in general, the cure for burnout is regular respite. Not hours, but several days at a time, on a regular basis. Can you do that?
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