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I thought I should open a new discussion for this question/topic. I've been struggling with the feeling that I'm not doing enough. I take care of everything for my dad at his house in the morning then head to see my mom at rehab. I live an hour away from rehab. I'm getting run down and need a day at home and feel guilty about it. I have Addison's disease so sometimes I'm just so tired I can't think. No one gets it because I "look" healthy. My husband is great, but is often traveling for work. I definitely have that Catholic guilt thing going on. Do others experience this? How do you handle it? My mom is now is a safe good rehab, so why do I feel like I need to be there everyday? I feel bad that my dad is lonely and try to be there as much as possible too.

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I research everything for my parents. Damn auto correct.
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All, thank you so much for your responses. I really do appreciate it. I didn't come to visit my mom yesterday as my husband retuned home from his long trip away and I wanted to have a nice dinner and dessert for him. I was with my mom this morning at the doctors, got back to rehab and all her flowers are gone. I didn't visit for one day. I have to get a grip with the guilt. My dad needs eye surgery. I too reseated everything for both my parents and ensure they are safe, but I can't be everything to everyone. I'm looking into getting some help for my dad with laundry, cleaning, and meal prep. I can't do it all. Thank you all.
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It does sound like you are doing a lot and may be overextended. That's very common with caregivers.

I read a lot on this site about the guilt that many caregivers have....even when they are doing much more than a normal human being should be expected to do AND when they shouldn't feel guilt. From what I read, guilt is something that is normal in caregivers and that you are taught to feel that way, HOWEVER, I am different. I don't understand why good people who do their best feel guilty.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's. I was taught to do my best, to follow that little voice inside my head, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and to honor my elders. I'm not perfect, but I strive to do the right thing. As a result, I don't have guilt issues when it comes to the care I provide for my parents who function well, but do need some help AND my cousin who has severe dementia. I am her DPOA,, HCPOA and only advocate. I always do my homework regarding their issues, advocate to the best of my ability and make the time to ensure they get the care they need. I treat her as I would a parent, Many observers mistake me for her daughter. They can't believe the devotion to a cousin. She is my priority right now.

My cousin is in Secure Memory Care. I may feel frustrated about issues that arise regarding her condition at times, but I don't feel guilty. I visit, call, research, advocate and love her to the best of my ability. I do my best. I am proud of the way I provide care for her and my parents. I have no reason to feel guilty. I'm very grateful that I never was taught to treat myself that way.

I would work to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself credit where credit is due. Reward yourself regularly for being a loving and kind person. One day you will get many jewels in your crown. When you preserve your mental and physical strength and health, you are helping your loved ones as they also benefit.

I wish you all the best!
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Age, you should also take this time to re-evaluate your parents' living situation. Is it safe? Should they really be living "independently" (which may cause your health to decline)? This may be an opportunity for change.
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Agecare, I can't add more to what everyone said. Part of being a good caregiver is feeling guilty. We can never do enough. It just shows you care. You have Addison's, though, so stress is not a good thing. Your parents both realize this. Maybe you can tell them when you'll be by and tell them that you are going to take certain days for yourself to try to keep your health good. They should understand and I bet they will agree with you. They may even suggest that you take an additional day for yourself. This would be good, since it gives them a chance to show some caring back to you. I'm sure they appreciate all that you do.
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Everybody needs a break, take one. That feeling tired, close to burnt out may be why you feel you should do more. It is because before, you could do more without feeling so tired. So you are obligated to take breaks. Take a break and enjoy it. Then take some more until you don't feel so guilty. imop.
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Age, you feel guilty because we seem to be from a generation that was programmed to feel we must be all things to all people. We were programmed with broad ideas of honoring and caring for our loved ones, expected to personally do whatever is deemed necessary. While wearing a freshly pressed frock and pearls.
Unfortunately, expectations collide with the realities of our own abilities, health and responsibilities in this modern day. So we're always left feeling like we're falling short.

Throw it off and look at what is realistic. If you keep pushing and end up sick, then everyone loses.

Mom's safe at rehab, has help so you can step back a bit there.

Make a list of all you're doing for your dad and see if you can't simplify there. Could Meals on Wheels be an option? Is he able to do basic cooking/microwaving? Could a cleaning person be brought in to do housework and laundry?
Can bills like utilities be set up for automatic payments? Yes, I know parents aren't comfortable with this, but everyone needs to adjust - I tell my mom this is helping me be able to help her.

Is grocery delivery an option? Is Dad able to attend the local senior center?

It's not selfish to take time to recharge, it's critical, it's reasonable.
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Age, if I get what you're saying, it's that you should be self-sacrificing, and not selfish in the face of your parents' decline.

Being that way is fine if no one is depending on you. You are going to have to practise self preservation if you want to have strength left for your parents' advocacy and care.
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Before my mom's recent fall I was at my parents house every Mon - Thur. I still need to do my dads laundry, grocery shopping, food prep, bills, etc. even though my mom is in rehab. It's really challenging trying to do everything I did for both of them at home now that my dad is at home alone and mom in rehab - while being with her. Since mom's fall, I've been going down to see them both most days. I live about an hour away. Wished I could split myself in half.
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Ah yes, the Catholic guilt.... [sigh]. I remember bouncing between seeing my Mom in long-term-care, and seeing my Dad who had remained in their single family home but had caregivers to help out. Plum tuckered out, right?

Back when both my parents were living on their own in their house, I would only see them any time I had to deliver something to them [such as groceries] or to scoop them up to drive them to a doctor appointment. Or if there was a call to help with yard work or to fix something in the house. And to pick Dad up after he fell. Numerous calls to a point I would panic if I saw their phone # on my Caller ID.

But as they started to really age, it was becoming more difficult because I was in my own "age decline" with my own set of health issues, just didn't have the energy anymore. But my parents still viewed me like I was still 35 and could conquer the world. I was lucky to conquer the grocery store being I was a senior citizen myself :P

By the time my Mom went into long-term-care and Dad needed Caregivers, I had a light bulb moment.... I was enabling my parents to continue their life while I had to change mine. Therefore, I stopped going daily to visit with Mom [sadly she wouldn't remember if I had been there or not].... and I felt since Dad had Caregivers to talk to, I started to limit visiting with Dad. It was hard to do at first, but eventually it become more of the norm.
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