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This is my second caregiving role. First was in 99 when my father contracted ALS. Thankfully, The Lord took him quick (Feb 2000). Then I was working a job part time and school full time.
Today, I find myself taking care of my mom, she suffered a bilateral stroke (both halves of the brain). I find myself once again a default care taker. But now, while I don't have a job, my health is much worse today. I have several health problems (diabetes, sight, low hemoglobin, dialysis). But since I'm the only member of the family she hasn't turned on, it all falls on me. When I get done with dialysis (MWF 6:30-11am), I find out what mom needs from the grocery, what appontments she needs to go to. And some light cleaning (she fired her home health care and a cleaning lady I set her up with). I can't do it all. My sister lives 600 miles away, so she's no help. Whatever I suggest to make her live easier, my mom just out of hand rejects.


I'm 48, might die at any time, I'm lonely, I'm mega depressed and hopeless about the future.


I'm burned out.


Am I being selfish to try to take time for myself?

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With some aged parent I think there sadly becomes a point where they stop seeing you as their child. Instead what they see is a tool - a way to facilitate their own lives and allow them to continue to live as they want. They can or won't see how absurd or unreasonable this can be. I went round after round with my mom as to why it would be impossible for her to live at my house - my health, adult disabled son at home, hubby's health, no bedroom, steep stairs etc. none of it mattered. One day I said "don't I deserve to have a life of my own"? To which she replied "don't I"? Mom was 88 at the time, wheelchair, diapers - unable to do any ADLs. The only way mom could have "her own life" - living with me was if I sacrificed my own. I wanted to scream at her "you had yours"! When mom was my age she had retired early, was traveling the world and when at home her days and evenings were filled with classes, lunch dates with friends, playing bridge - doing whatever she chose, whenever she chose. When my grandma and older aunt needed extra care - mom put them in nursing homes - only visiting once a week, and even then, when it didn't interfere with something else she wanted to do. YET now I was suspose to move mom in with me and be her full time care giver? It's hard - but you've got to realize that your needs have stopped becoming even the slightest consideration when it comes to your mother getting what she wants. Time you have to look after you first.
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OMG.. Yes.. your life just as important as Moms..and NO are not being selfish. Stop enabling your mom, put your foot down and focus on you immediately!!!!

Someone needs to be looking after you..it should not be the other way around. I agree.. siblings being 600 miles away is no excuse. This burden needs to be immediately lifted off of you.. !!

Seems like when you start caregiving you disappear... this is happening to me as well even though I don't have the health issues you do (yet anyway). Everyone asks how my parents are.. never how I am. I am disappearing in all this... and you are too.

Sounds like you have to choose yourself right now.. there is no choice in all this.

((Hugs))
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Just say no. Call APS and inform them that your mother is a vulnerable adult. Due to your declining health, on doctor's orders, you are no longer able to care for mom.

I would sent a certified letter to the same effect to mom's doctor.
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First of all you cannot take care of anyone else if you do not take care of yourself. I know you want to be respectful of your mother, but she is being selfish ( sorry if this is upsetting) to expect you to be doing everything and she dismisses people that you are trying to help her accommodate and provide her with optimal quality of life at the expense of your own. You have a lot on your plate. There are resources out there. I am a retired nurse of 28 years and took care of my mom with Alzheimer's who passed in 2003 and now care for my father who is 91. It takes a toll and please do not feel guilty or selfish about thinking of your life. You deserve to be happy and have quality in your life. Adult day care was a great option for my mom. My dad had care-giver guilt by finally agreeing to let her go Monday thru Friday for 8 hours. Before that, I would take my mom out while working full time on my days off which burned me out fast. We don't have control of how long these processes take. Please contact the department of aging in your state and see what options you have. Not sure how many siblings you have, but again, your mom needs to accept what resources she gets and is lucky to have a VERY LOVING DAUGHTER that is helping her. This site has a care plan suggestion which I think would be helpful. And you know what? The sister living 600 miles away? No excuse. There are things that people can do to acknowledge and show appreciation. How bout a spa gift certificate sis? How bout you fly here and give me a 2 week vacation/break. The job you are doing is a 24/7 no weekend, no vacation, no holiday job....if you got paid 10 dollars an hour times 24, times 365.....I'm grateful to know there are people such as yourself that truly care about their parents....
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syvyn11, stop enabling your Mom, that was my big mistake with trying to help my own parents. I was giving up my health so that they could lead a healthier lifestyle. Wait a minute, what is wrong with the picture?

My Mom also refused caregivers or someone to come in to clean. I think part of it was due to money, they didn't want to hand over one thin dime as they thought I could do the work for free. Yeah right, when? During my lunch hour from work?

Do you live with Mom or does Mom live with you? What happens is that the child/adult dynamics takes over, where Mom is once again the adult and you are the child. Oops. There is never a good ending when that happens.

I know it is hard to stand up to a parent. What ever I said to my own folks fell on deaf ears. In their eyes I was still that young healthy person instead of me being a senior citizen with my own age decline.
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You swing by the grocery store after dialysis? Stop! Now! Inform mom your health will NOT permit you to continue caregiving. Period. Set up home health care and a cleaning lady and tell mom she better get along or else she will be doing without. Does she have dementia? Is there some reason she doesn't get how poor your health is? You need to make a believer out of her now for your own sake. Your life may depend on it.
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