Follow
Share

Hi, I've posted here before. My mother is 90 (going to be 91 in August) and my dad is 85. I act as my mom's primary caregiver. She needs to be monitored round the clock, and I'm happy to do this because, under no circumstances, do I want her going to a nursing home, but lately I've been feeling a bit resentful about the fact that I no longer seem to have a life. It's not too bad as I'm a very introverted person and have a lot of solitary hobbies (reading, writing, listening to music, playing solo board games), but I sometimes feel like a prisoner in my own house. I do have a woman who watches her if I have to go out shopping or go to school (I'm working on my MA, but I'm off school for the summer because I'm working on a book project and the manuscript is due in January). She only charges 15$ an hour, which I know is cheap, but I can't seem to get any financial aide and I've already gone through more than half of the money the family has socked away just to pay for my mother's caregiver. The woman works privately - I've applied to the VA (my dad's a veteran) for possible spousal care to help with the money, but have heard nothing yet. In any case, because of the expense I try to keep my outings brief and well spaced apart.
What's worse is that my mother has developed an intense fear of being alone, so, even when I am home, she'll call me into her room about every 20-30 minutes just to make sure that I'm home and she's not alone. I try to keep my patience, but it's hard. I love my mother very, very much and I want her final days to be comfortable and happy - but I just can't help feeling resentful at times. On Saturday, for example, I had made a luncheon date to see a friend, the first time I've done so in many weeks. My mother's caregiver called me the morning of and said she couldn't make it because she was ill. I asked a number of my neighbors if they could just watch my mom for a couple of hours, but each of them was either ill themselves or couldn't make it. I actually broke down in tears (privately) because I had been looking forward to this all week. At that moment I felt so low, I felt as if I were a prisoner.
It's only very recently that this has started getting so bad. My dad was very independent and could often see to my mom's needs when I needed to go to school or visit a friend. Last October he got a horrible UTI which took away all his strength - he could no longer stand or walk. He was in the hospital for six weeks and then went to a rehab facility, from which he'll finally be coming home this month (I hope). Yet I know, when he does get home he will probably not be the way he was before and may need round the clock care as well.
I'm sorry I've gone on so long. But I just get these feelings and I feel guilty for getting them because I love both my parents so very much and I want to do this. But, as I've said, I feel almost like a prisoner sometimes. Can anyone else relate?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Yes, Charlie97, one day at a time is the answer. I can never get too far ahead of myself. I just focus on today. What has to happen today--that is it.

Good luck and thanks for getting back to us!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, everybody, for your kind and insightful answers. I'm feeling a bit better today. Just trying to take it one day at the time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, and I have found that people become quite defensive if I talk about how things really are.

Like my husband's children who live in Germany and California--we are in PA. I have stopped telling them how things are--they just think I am exaggerating and complaining or they tell me how well their dad is doing. And these are really nice people, btw. I really like them but they just don't get it.

Of course, he is showboating in front of them. I just wait and let them visit and see for themselves. He can't showboat forever. Once they took him on a three hour excursion while he was very sick. He slept for five hours afterward--and yet they told me he WANTED to go on the excursion as proof of his good condition. Sigh.

In fact, one will stay with my husband for a week this month while I vacation with my nine-year-old grandson. He is in for a surprise... Just having a conversation with my husband is very hard. A) he cannot hear well, and B) he stutters and stops with his speech so that I am only semi-conscious by the end of a sentence. Good luck with that, Buddy. It i easier for me to communicate with my two-year-old granddaughter who can hardly talk than with my husband. Whew, talk about frustrating!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I feel isolated and resentful all the time. I was at a family gathering on Sunday and I looked around and thought "These people who are most closest family and whom I see quite often have no idea what is going on for me, while total strangers on the internet understand my life completely." As a caregiver, I think you're almost forbidden to speak about what's really going on for you, unless you have a partner who supports your feelings. My family doesn't want to know that I'm sick of Mom or that I dream of being somewhere else. Nobody asks me how I'm doing - they don't want to hear the answer. You're not only imprisoned but silenced to boot. That's the thing that's so isolating, and that causes such resentment. At least for me.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Oh, can I ever relate to how you are feeling! Just over the past month or two I started having feelings of resentment towards my mom, primarily because the dementia has started making my mom say some pretty nasty things at times. We also have a caregiver coming in a few hours a week for respite care. Just about every time she comes my mom throws a fit stating, "I don't want her here! I don't want a babysitter!" Of course, sometimes the caregiver is unable to come either because of illness or due to other reasons, and there are times when I really needed the break badly but was stuck at home with my mom. Yes, it does make you feel isolated sometimes knowing that you could be out living your own life like "normal" people who are working, going on vacations, etc. That is why I decided that I needed to take a break from mom because I started to feel resentful. So my husband and I made plans to take a vacation and had made arrangements for Mom to go to an assisted living memory care unit. Then about 2 weeks ago my mom started having atrial fibrillation which exacerbated her CHF and had to go to the hospital. She ended up having a UTI as well, so they kept her for 8 days and we had to reschedule our vacation. (The last one we took to Orlando we ended up having to leave early after only being there for 3-4 days because she ended up in the hospital with a UTI and became extremely confused.) Anyway, we have rescheduled our vacation for next week. Because of all of her recent heart concerns I had the case manager at the hospital send her to a skilled nursing facility temporarily for rehab instead of having her go to the ALF because the ALF doesn't have nurses overnight, just the aides. She has been at the SNF now for a few days and I am relishing in some much needed free time! Of course, she has called me blubbering like a baby because she is lonesome for her family, so I end up going there at least once, sometimes twice a day anyway! But it actually feels good to be able to go for a bike ride or go on an outing and not have to be back by a certain time to relieve the caregiver. I'm very pleased that I found a pretty good nursing home which is located only 5 min. away from our house where 91% of the people end up going home after a brief stay for therapy. They are also on the Top 10 list for being one of the best nursing homes in the U.S! So there are some good nursing homes out there and then there are some el stinko ones! Anyway, perhaps like me you just need a break from your mum. My mom has also gotten more fearful about being alone, so now they have her on an anti-anxiety medication. I hope my mom does okay while I am on vacation. I am also hoping that some of my other siblings will step up and come to visit her. Anyway, it's only temporary. Once she's done with rehab they will want to discharge her home. I have had thoughts about leaving her in there, but I want to see how she does after getting a break from us too to see if it changes her outlook on us a bit. This time when she says, "I want to go home" I hope she means our home, not her Mom and Dad's home in Minneapolis that she grew up in as a child. Because that is where she thinks her home is. There is nobody there to take care of her anymore, and she hasn't lived there for many years!

Perhaps as mentioned you could check into some respite care for your mom either at an ALF or a SNF just so you can get a break! I think it will do wonders for my outlook and help me recharge my batteries as well since I was starting to feel run down. Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

charlie97,

Things change. What worked for a long time may no longer work. That is how this goes. Your mom is more fearful, to be honest, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Things don' t get better. They deteriorate.

The name of the game is to be prepared: and to do that you need to read, read, read on this site to educate yourself. You will get decades of vicarious experience. So, read all the posts that come to you.

You will discover that you are perfectly entitled to your feelings of isolation and resentment. Everyone has them in some measure from time to time. I would like very much also to encourage you to join a support group for caregivers. They are pretty much everywhere--call a local church or the Area Agency on Aging. In the group you will find people who understand, share ideas, and maybe have a few laughs.

Good luck and big hugs. Please keep writing and let us know how it goes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

charlie, I feel isolated most of the time. I know it is why I come onto AC. There is no one here to really talk to or be human with. I'm not used to being so alone. I know how you feel. It's like we are all floating around on little boats alone out in the ocean and our motor is broken.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Your not wtong to have those feelings. But you should reconsider the nursing home for your benefit.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes, I can relate, Charlie even thought my parents and I aren't under the same roof. There are times I resent the facts that my parents had a fun filled exciting retirement of over 25 year and never needed to help their own parents.

I resent the fact that I will never live to be my parent's age, mid-90's... I will be lucky if I reach 75 because the stress has taken its toll on my heath... I am in age decline decades earlier then that of my parents. Good heavens, I saved and was fugal all my life for this???

I bet if our parents were decades younger and we asked them if we should give up all aspects of our life to care for them, I bet they would have said no.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.