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Ann
Reply with quote  #16 
Elder care giving is impossible unless you really desire to wind up disabled, abused, exhausted, broke, isolated, and basically living in a slum-no matter how hard you try to do otherwise or how intelligent you are. Elder people betray their promises to you in a myriad of unexpected ways-and, trust me, there is nothing you can do about it. You will become a slave, a nurse, and a constant lay doctor.Your family will be torn apart. Churches get sick of you and so does everybody else. You won't be liked at all. People will run from you. Or condescend.Or worse, blame you for any and every problem they can that is even remotely connected to your parent. Your outings will be to ERs, hospitals, and nursing homes.You will be a total nervous zombie 24/7 365 if you do survive. No amount of meditation, etc., is going to do the trick for long. I have done this out of love for twenty years. I wish I could tell you that you can manage this- but there would be no truth in saying that to anyone. Elder care cannot be compared to child care. Unless you want to say child care is almost like doing nothing by comparison. I mean, it becomes unbelievably unbearable what the caregiver goes through. Misery seems like a mild word that just doesn't encompass all that you feel, think or become. If you are not physically dead, you will be in every other way. And if you love them like I have, I cannot tell you not to care for them. But then, do not wonder what has happened to you. You knew.
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #17 
Your post really resonated with me, Ann.  I came here tonight because I was feeling pretty low, and when I saw your post, I realized that lots of us feel alone.  Caregiving can be such a lonely and exhausting experience.  And it's true...no one seems to care about the stress we experience. 

The only thing that's keeping me sane is the belief that there is a heavenly afterlife.  I just hope I don't do something drastic in the meantime that sends me to a different place. (My mom is about to be kicked out of yet another assisted living facility and the thought of moving her again is making me have lots of uncharitable thoughts and words.) 
 
But I do have some good news to report....my dentist is getting a lot richer because of me.  I've broken three teeth since April due to grinding.   And yes, I do have a night guard....but I probably also need a day guard....and maybe a body guard.

And definitely lots of right guard.

Lots of right guard.
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #18 
I think the constant crisis after crisis is what wears us down.  As caregivers, we are either in the middle of a crisis, trying to regroup after a crisis, trying to prevent a crisis, or waiting for the next crisis to happen. When you are under constant pressure like that, you need a release valve.  But sadly, for most of us, there is grossly inadequate support. Intellectually, I understand why two of my siblings have chosen to walk away from the carnage, but emotionally, I wish they could provide some emotional support.  But like everyone else, they are tired of hearing about the crises.  It's much too draining.

I have tried to put boundaries in place to prevent burnout, but the pull of the medical professionals has drawn me into the latest series of crises.  Our current eldercare infrastructure is really not set up to handle the increasingly complicated and long-lasting needs of elders who are living well into their nineties and hundreds.  And if you pile mental health issues into the mix, the challenges are out of control.

We could walk away, but for many of us, we would find no true relief with that choice.  So instead, we move forward, feeling like we are trapped. 

As I said in my last post, my only relief these days is spiritual.  I keep clinging to the idea that there is a deeper lesson embedded in all these experiences.  I just have to find the energy to calm down long enough to make time to pray.... 
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StrongMaple

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Reply with quote  #19 
I totally agree Splotchy.

I try to be positive as much as I can but some days I'm so burnt out I think it will be the end of me first.
I finally have come to the point where my own survival is paramount.
It will be interesting to see if others come out of the wood work if I say I can't do it all anymore.

I made a list of things that make me feel better. I try to do at least one of them a day or when I have more time or when things are especially bad.
Just having them written in front of me helps me to see I have options.

My list:
Meditation
Nature walk
Swim
Listening to motivational speakers online
Bike ride
Baking cookies
Mailing a letter
Coffee on the balcony
Walking my friends dog
Self spa day
Local photo safari
Etc
If I can do one thing a day depending on my energy is it good self care

But yes there are many days I just think I can't go on but somehow I do.
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StrongMaple

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Reply with quote  #20 
Oh and dreaming about going back to school!!!

Looking up courses....

Dreaming about my future!!!
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