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In the last year I have had to deal with so many unpleasant, stressful, sad events.. all while maintaining my full time job and caring for my parents.


This last year my mom as well as my dad was diagnosed with dementia.. alzheimers.


This last year I had to euthanize my dog of the last almost 16 years. She was my everything and provided so much companionship, comfort, love. The evening that she was euthanized I had to go to my parents and pretend like all was ok when my heart was breaking.


This last year I had a sore on my face very close to my eye that wasn't healing. I had a biopsy.. and yep.. it was cancer. Had another procedure to remove more of the skin around it to get all the cancer.. and I was terrified i would lose my eye or a large part of my nose. Thankfully they removed it without any major deformaties.


In the last year my dad got pneumonia and was in the hospital for a week and rehab for a week. I had to take care of my mom and get full time caregivers to stay with my dad. My mom got bronchitis so I was having to deal with her sickness, my dad, I got a cold, had to keep working as I had a major project due at work...no help from siblings of course.


This last year my siblings have distanced them selves even more and my 2 sisters have not even called my parents or me in months.. My brother had a hairbrained scheme to take care of them at their lakehouse and be paid an enormous salary. He backed out when I said no to his request for 4 weeks vacation, holidays and all weekends off.


They didn't even call for Mothers Day ... :(


Sorry about all the negativity in the post.. its just so much .. or at least it feels like it to me. I am so ready for a little happiness in my life.

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katiekay, I really believe that our parents forget how old we are, that we are grown adults. They are in denial of their own age. I had a heck of a time trying to convince my parents that I also was a senior citizen, even waving my AARP card and Medicare card didn't sink in with them. Hey, what about my own age decline?

No way could I continue to buy 30 bags of mulch and carrying the bags around their yard... that ship had sailed. Dad said that Home Depot would load up my Jeep with the bags.... then I mentioned, how do I bring home the employee to help me to unload the mulch??? Oh.

One time my Dad asked for me to retire so I could drive my parents more often back when they lived at their house, by themselves. They would want to leave the house 3 or 4 times a day. Like, there is a sale on soup at the such and such grocery store.... and a sale on bread at another store. You get the picture. Dad could spend 2 hours at Home Depot and have one light bulb in his cart at the check out.

Are we having fun yet?
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Thank you all for the comments.. and the empathy and advice.

NYDaughter... I do miss my dog .. and really miss having a dog. When she passed, I was actuallly her caregiver as well because she had limited mobility. I plan on getting another dog at some point as I really miss that unconditional love and dose of happiness they can provide.

My parents are still in an independent living apartment with caregivers. I am basically running an assisted living.. with me taking one shift. Caregivers call me all day, I have to deal with them taking time off, with really bad substitute caregivers.... etc. . My parents hate having them there and don't understand why they cant be alone.

I have been going every evening as I don't have caregivers then.. I tried hiring some during that shift but my mom had enough of them sitting around in their small apartment.. and kicked them out. The caregivers only do the barest minimum at all times.

I have been looking at memory care facility .. and that is something that has taken a lot of my time. I go back and forth with some days they seem so much more functional then the people in the memory care.. but i think moving them to this type of place is the only way I am going to survive this.

I have looked at AL and I really think they are going to need to go to memory care.. they would be so confused in an AL. I have looked at memory cares attached to assisted livings and didnt really like them as much as the stand alone memory cares.

The other thing is the massive stressfull event of moving them.. how will I be able to handle that all alone? That is one thing that is really stressing me out right now. Not the physical part of moving their stuff.. but of actually taking them and leaving them there. They still expect to move back into their house at some point..

My parents think they are way better off then they actually are.. they do not realize the huge stress I am under.. they slip around in time so they don't realize how long this has gone on.(they have been living in this apartment for 3 years now) When I come in the evening.. they think I have been having fun all day(instead of working) .. and that I am there for a leisurely visit.

Moving them to a memory care would be a dream at this point... i could at least have some time off. I worry all the time about things suddenly getting worse. I never dreamed things would be like this...

Anyway.. thanks for the thoughts and prayers.. I do need them.
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With longterm I no longer have to worry about diapers or toiletries. I do Mom's wash, only problem is getting the different CNA's to realize this. There is a doctor affiliated with the LT. He has seen my Mom b/f when he has taken over for her primary at the hospital so I feel comfortable having him. This means I don't have to get her to the doctor he comes to her. Basically, all I will need to do is visit.
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Maybe its time to think beyond Independent living. An Assisted Living may be the next thing. They are not going to get better. You are going to need all the help you can get. I don't know how you have done it this time with working a f/t job. I'm retired and it was too much for me after almost two years. My Mom just transferred to longterm because he money ran out. She was in AL eight months before this. I'm adjusting to how the longterm works but I feel confident that my Mom may get better care in LT. For one thing, there is always an RN or at least an LPN on duty unlike the AL where nights were usually CNA's and weekends. There are two residents there that were at my Mom's AL and they seem to be doing very well.
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Turn off your phone for a couple hours, make yourself a cup of tea and just unwind. Its a lot! But you'll come through just fine. I thought I was losing my mind last year...FIL in memory care, but son travels full-time so I'm the "default"...full time job...going to grad school at night...and my own 77 yr old mother living alone in her home 30+ miles away. Some days I just wanted to gas up the car and run away! Find some small things that make your crazy days more pleasant. Don't feel the pressure to overly babysit, they are in a safe place with people trained to help them.   If you feel the care is not adequate, consider moving to a place that gives you better peace of mind.  Take a deep breath and be good to yourself.  
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Sometimes we all need to 'hang it on the line,' so to speak, and it's ok to look for sympathy. Shoot, I think most of us here are looking for a hug.

I am not a religious fanatic, but I do believe in God. I pray for patience and strength and most of all guidance. Answers for me have come at the weirdest times and in the craziest circumstances - but so far, I have been blessed to see the road ahead.

You are looking into a never-ending tunnel and my heart goes out to you. You need care and are stuck having to give all you have and receiving little in return that you can see. For what it's worth, I am praying for you and for your sanity.
Hugs,
RayLin
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katiekay, I see that your folks are living in Independent Living.... strange, it is called "independent living" but why is it that WE are so tired???

How often do you visit your folks? My Dad was also just a couple miles down the road in Independent Living and eventually I had to cut back on visiting him to twice a week for a few minutes. He had a private caregiver in the morning, and by afternoon after lunch he was zonked out and napped a lot.

Even knowing my Dad was under a watchful eye, I still would panic when the telephone rang. Dad was a fall risk, so any time he fell the Staff had to notify me. Some were ER calls in the middle of the night. Numerous times I had crashed and burned trying to manage everything [I also had outside employment]... in fact, going to work felt like a vacation for me :)

Eventually the facility said it was time for my Dad to move to Assisted Living/Memory Care in the same complex. Dad was agreeable as long as it was the same chef who did the meals :) Yes, the new room was studio size, but I told Dad it was like a college dorm room, so he smiled. Dad had more eyes watching him. Plus knowing the building was secured at dark so he wouldn't wander. But the stress was still there big time :P
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You are a strong and courageous woman, katiekay. I don't have any answers for you but I am sending good vibrations your way.

I understand the heartbreak of putting down a dog and losing a faithful companion. Can you give yourself the gift of a dog from the pound? A new companion seems like the least you should do for yourself.
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It has been a terrible year for you, katiekay. I know you're stressed out to the max. All of this seems so wrong, but I don't know what the answer is. If families would pull together it would be the best thing. But the majority of people seem to be only interested in themselves and not even grateful to the one carrying the load.
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