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Old 11-14-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default Caregivers and Stress

i have thrown myself in the position of caring for my aging mother, again. i went to a stress management seminar for the caregiver yesterday and it was quite enlightening. i'm still processing all of it.

Anyone else in the caregiver role? A parent, partner, child?

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Old 11-14-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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i have thrown myself in the position of caring for my aging mother, again. i went to a stress management seminar for the caregiver yesterday and it was quite enlightening. i'm still processing all of it.

Anyone else in the caregiver role? A parent, partner, child?

I have done it before and I KNOW I will have to do it again one day. It is extremely stressful please make sure that you have a support system so that you can get some me time away
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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I have done it before and I KNOW I will have to do it again one day. It is extremely stressful please make sure that you have a support system so that you can get some me time away
My mother is no longer critically ill, she is still fragile but not on deaths door. She weighs 89 pounds.

She is demanding to say the least.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Red's mom lived with us for 7yrs. It was always stressful and it took a great toll on Red. Her mother had dementia and as it got worse it became undeniable that it was time to let go. Having to put her mother in a nursing home was not easy but it actually extended her life. As the counselor explained, once a person reaches a point where they know no one around them it is time to let go. The facility we chose for her to live in took her without any expectations and that was the answer. Red could no longer deal with watching her mother fade. Red needed to let go for her own sanity. The people where Red's mom lived knew her how she was not how she use to be. That is the hard part of letting go, you think your care and love will bring them back, the truth is it won't. It becomes a guilt trip for a lot of people.

Dee I don't know your exact situation but I will send positive thoughts your way. It's not easy and I commend you for deciding to take this on. Your mother has a great daughter and I hope you know that about yourself.

Peace!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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My mother is no longer critically ill, she is still fragile but not on deaths door. She weighs 89 pounds.

She is demanding to say the least.
I have cared for 2 partners who have passed and I got all wrapped up in caring for them that once they were gone I was lost. I felt I didnt have a purpose anymore. I wish I had more of a support system to help me get out and have me time. I have learned the hard way and I hope you dont.

Its feels like you dont doing all you can to take a few hrs a week just to be U. you will need it take it and DONT let anyone keep u from it
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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Red's mom lived with us for 7yrs. It was always stressful and it took a great toll on Red. Her mother had dementia and as it got worse it became undeniable that it was time to let go. Having to put her mother in a nursing home was not easy but it actually extended her life. As the counselor explained, once a person reaches a point where they know no one around them it is time to let go. The facility we chose for her to live in took her without any expectations and that was the answer. Red could no longer deal with watching her mother fade. Red needed to let go for her own sanity. The people where Red's mom lived knew her how she was not how she use to be. That is the hard part of letting go, you think your care and love will bring them back, the truth is it won't. It becomes a guilt trip for a lot of people.

Dee I don't know your exact situation but I will send positive thoughts your way. It's not easy and I commend you for deciding to take this on. Your mother has a great daughter and I hope you know that about yourself.

Peace!
Thank you

((((( Red )))))) for Red, it must have been hard.

My mother and i calcified this role reversal in my twenties. Nothing that has happened over the years was without my consent.

So much of what is happening now brings up old stuff.

She is extremely CLINGY. When i don't invite her to do things, she becomes snarkly at me.

People say not to take it personally, how can i not? It stings!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #7
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I have cared for 2 partners who have passed and I got all wrapped up in caring for them that once they were gone I was lost. I felt I didnt have a purpose anymore. I wish I had more of a support system to help me get out and have me time. I have learned the hard way and I hope you dont.

Its feels like you dont doing all you can to take a few hrs a week just to be U. you will need it take it and DONT let anyone keep u from it
Do you think for some it's a calling? Like some folks always seem to end up in a caregiving role.

In my group yesterday there was a lady there who was widowed, then her boyfriend who she was also caring for didn't want her there anymore. She was so lost. She said the same as you , she felt she has no purpose. Why do we feel we have to be caring for someone to have a purpose????

i was not asked to do this, i chose it.

i moved back to New Orleans, bought a house with an apartment/cottage in the back to put her in, because she wanted to be closer to her kin, only she has complained about just about everyhting and not found any happiness.

She wants to be IN my house. i want to live alone, and for the most part she is in here anyway, i don't want her here when i wake up and go to bed! There is no reason for her to be.

i was dillusional when i thought she would be happy in her little home. She clearly is not, and reminds me daily that she wants to be IN my house.

Bottom line is that there is old stuff.. that i will never be enough and she will always be miserable.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
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I live 15 mins from my mom and have for the past several years. I take care of things she needs to have done, take her to regular doctor appts out of town to see her heart specialist and her vascular specialist. I help fix the house when it needs something , work on her car or van, etc. etc. My mom needs me around, so I am here. We lost my stepfather in 2010 so I remained close by. I would much rather be living in Austin, but mom needs me, so I'm here. My younger sister lives in TN and helps with what she can like online banking for her, helps pay mom's bills, and sends money or whatever should I need something for the house I cannot afford to get or if mom needs anything. My older sister stopped helping period. She's a bitch and when mom goes, I"m gonna blow my ever loving mind at her about it. I was asked by my younger sibling if I would stay to help mom and I promised her and my mom I would. Hence, I"m single and cannot take on the responsibility of looking to date anyone let alone a relationship. I have already enough on my plate with my own issues and making sure mom is alright. She's the only mom I have to do what I have to do for her.

Dee, I pray your time with your mom will be good times with her and that you don't become overly stressed. I know my own mom can be very demanding among other things.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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I live 15 mins from my mom and have for the past several years. I take care of things she needs to have done, take her to regular doctor appts out of town to see her heart specialist and her vascular specialist. I help fix the house when it needs something , work on her car or van, etc. etc. My mom needs me around, so I am here. We lost my stepfather in 2010 so I remained close by. I would much rather be living in Austin, but mom needs me, so I'm here. My younger sister lives in TN and helps with what she can like online banking for her, helps pay mom's bills, and sends money or whatever should I need something for the house I cannot afford to get or if mom needs anything. My older sister stopped helping period. She's a bitch and when mom goes, I"m gonna blow my ever loving mind at her about it. I was asked by my younger sibling if I would stay to help mom and I promised her and my mom I would. Hence, I"m single and cannot take on the responsibility of looking to date anyone let alone a relationship. I have already enough on my plate with my own issues and making sure mom is alright. She's the only mom I have to do what I have to do for her.

Dee, I pray your time with your mom will be good times with her and that you don't become overly stressed. I know my own mom can be very demanding among other things.

i have decided that i can't worry about what others won't do. My brother checked out LONG ago. i have to do what i need to do for me and let the rest go.

Some ask me how i can be so good to my mom with the upbringing that i had. i have my crosses to bear, she has hers.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Do you think for some it's a calling? Like some folks always seem to end up in a caregiving role.

In my group yesterday there was a lady there who was widowed, then her boyfriend who she was also caring for didn't want her there anymore. She was so lost. She said the same as you , she felt she has no purpose. Why do we feel we have to be caring for someone to have a purpose????

i was not asked to do this, i chose it.

i moved back to New Orleans, bought a house with an apartment/cottage in the back to put her in, because she wanted to be closer to her kin, only she has complained about just about everyhting and not found any happiness.

She wants to be IN my house. i want to live alone, and for the most part she is in here anyway, i don't want her here when i wake up and go to bed! There is no reason for her to be.

i was dillusional when i thought she would be happy in her little home. She clearly is not, and reminds me daily that she wants to be IN my house.

Bottom line is that there is old stuff.. that i will never be enough and she will always be miserable.
Dee, my mom has not been happy since I can't remember when. She argues with me, yells and screams at me, etc. etc. etc. and sometimes I just have to step back and say ok, she's not the mom I used to know anymore. My mom doesn't want to live with anyone or have to depend on anyone, it makes her nuts because she's independent and thinks she can afford to go it alone, when in reality she can't. It seems that with aging comes a part of unhappiness for some, like my mom.
Could it be that your mom is afraid to be alone ? I don't know her but sounds like it.
When my stepfather died, I took the brundt of my mom's anger and since then it's not ever changed. She's nice to my sisters but I"m the one that gets yelled and screamed at and told things that stings really deep, that are truly ugly. I fully understand where you're coming from . I just can tell you from experience, to keep going to therapy, it will help you learn to step back and not take it personally as much at times.....not all the time......but sometimes you'll be able to.
If you need anything let me know.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by girl_dee View Post
Do you think for some it's a calling? Like some folks always seem to end up in a caregiving role.

In my group yesterday there was a lady there who was widowed, then her boyfriend who she was also caring for didn't want her there anymore. She was so lost. She said the same as you , she felt she has no purpose. Why do we feel we have to be caring for someone to have a purpose????

i was not asked to do this, i chose it.

i moved back to New Orleans, bought a house with an apartment/cottage in the back to put her in, because she wanted to be closer to her kin, only she has complained about just about everyhting and not found any happiness.

She wants to be IN my house. i want to live alone, and for the most part she is in here anyway, i don't want her here when i wake up and go to bed! There is no reason for her to be.

i was dillusional when i thought she would be happy in her little home. She clearly is not, and reminds me daily that she wants to be IN my house.

Bottom line is that there is old stuff.. that i will never be enough and she will always be miserable.

I dont know if ppl r called to take care of loved one or not.

When both of my partners got sick and we knew they were going to pass I CHOOSE to stay.

I can say that neither of them really was one to complain however I know that no matter what you do for some it will never be enough. I had a friend who took care of her father and he was a piece of work.

By the time they had to find a home for him there was so much animosity tween all the family members it wasnt funny.

I swear if i have to take care of my parents i will but my brothers better b there to give me a break when needed
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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I'm the caregivee. My wife is the caregiver. I think that a person who has gone from being productive and successful and even adventurous has a right to be angry with themselves when they lose those qualities unwillingly. That being said, I don't think it's right to take it out on your caretaker. I know I've done this, but the times are few and far between. Usually it's happened after a lot of frustration has built up and she's wanting some recognition for what she's going through too, and somehow, I haven't done that.

It can start easily, maybe she was putting my leg wraps on, and making me feel like she was rushed or maybe she inadvertently bumped my other leg while passing the wraps over and under. Of course I'll say Please be careful, be careful of my legs. She'll get exasperated and claim that she is, with that tone that means she's heard this before. Maybe I'll feel the wraps are too loose and say so, and she'll say they aren't, and of course within a few hours, they are so loose, they've come undone. It can be the smallest of things. A tone. A sigh. A look. A certainty of being ignored, rushed, refused. I imagine it's the same for nearly everyone.

We've worked it through, but still we can have our days. She just needs to get out of the house, go to a movie, go out to eat. Just go away. I can't really go away. Maybe I can go to another room and stay there so she has some time to herself. I try to do as much for myself as I can, but even I had to come to grips with what I can't do. She worries about going too far in case I fall or get hurt (a brush with a empty cardboard box tore my leg open and it took months for that tear to heal).

I think we've worked out a lot of things, and she meets with my doctors after I have, in case there're things she's concerned about or wants to talk about privately. I also have to remember to recognize her, thank her for cooking, tell her what I did like about it instead of what I didn't like about it. Offer to fold the laundry since she's washed and dried it. Try to keep my side of the bed made when I'm getting up so that she doesn't have to. My arms aren't too badly affected so I offer foot rubs.

The most important thing I have to do is that when I'm frustrated, I have to remember not to take it out on her. She's likely just as frustrated as I am. I try not to deal with social security or things that will get me upset when she's around at all. And most importantly, I have to remember to thank her sincerely for what she does for me. Usually at night before she goes to sleep. I want to make sure she knows that I know that she's valuable to me and not just some health care giver that I got stuck with.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:19 AM   #13
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When my grannie finialy became so forgetful she didn't know where she was nor could she deal with the live in sitter I finealy went to night school to finish high school and cared for her myself,this went on for a couple of years.One morning I got up to my mother asking me where she was,I said check the bathroom,well grannie had some how unlocked the safety latches and was no where to be found.She was almost 80 at the time,I called the police,any and every one I knew,the mounted patrol that I belonged to got involved so for three days no one knew where she was.Then a friend of ours who owned the old family grosery
about a mile from home called to tell us they had her at the store,they herd something going through the garbage cans' thinking it was an animal so went to check it out then found her then called us.She was starving,covered in bug bites whit scratches plus bruises.I went to pick her up.thank goodness she knew who I was,I had her checked out by a doctor that said she was just a lost person who was probly on the river banks from the injuries she had but no one had done any thing to her thank goodness.We put her in a care facility that took really good care of her.BUT,I was the hardest thing I had to deal with at the time.We all blamed our selves for not being more aware of her roaming the house at night,but she had never done anything like that before.
Till the day she passed I went every day after school,brought her home on weekends and holidays there she was put on meds to help her be easyr to deal with.I'm glad she had such good care at the home but wish I could have done more,now I know I did all I could so did mom.The other family members,some did what they could some fell into the void.
Dee just take it one day at the time,go to what ever help group you have,as for the family that dosent feel they could help you cant' change them,I know I have tryed.One thing that could help is adult day care,I worked in one for a long time it was godsend for the families of the people that came that came,we had a nursing staff with a staff that really cared for everyone.I will send you all the energy I have to send.Take care .
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:04 AM   #14
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I love this thread. Even for those of us who aren't primary caregivers now, there's a time when many of us will be on the caregiver or caregivee side in the future. Whichever side we fall on, I think it's helpful to have more understanding beforehand.

And as the daughter of a primary caregiver, I'd love to know how those caregivers here are most in need of support. As a caregiver, what most do you need from your loved ones who are not in the caregivee role?
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nat View Post
I love this thread. Even for those of us who aren't primary caregivers now, there's a time when many of us will be on the caregiver or caregivee side in the future. Whichever side we fall on, I think it's helpful to have more understanding beforehand.

And as the daughter of a primary caregiver, I'd love to know how those caregivers here are most in need of support. As a caregiver, what most do you need from your loved ones who are not in the caregivee role?
I take care of my mother- not living full time with her, but 2-3 days a week.

It was interesting to think about the question of what support i need.
When I was recently hospitalized and then recovering, my friends took up my responsibilities to mom- and that was an amazing blessing (not least because it involved travel to her).

Also fascinating to have to be the one receiving the care, instead if giving it. (A short video about my illness is in my signature link)

I'm single, and starting off trying to schedule dating around eldercare can be tricky and/or embarrassing. I know I should think "If someone can't handle my devotion to my mother, it's a bad match!" But what if the woman is really hot and I just want to date her? Anyway.
When I had to live with my mom (she had a more serious situation then) it was also awkward to not be able to bring women home.

People have told me that I'm "tied to my mother's apron strings" and that it's usually a gay (male) clichè to fret over one's mother. As always, it comes back to sexism and homophobia I guess.

Ever since I started taking care of Mom I've wanted to make a dykeumentary about how lesbians - who were often kicked out their families for their sexuality (and/or gender expression) are the ones who end up doing the eldercare. Is there already such a film? If not, should we make one?
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:46 AM   #16
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Default What an important thread.

How incredibly emotionally draining for any of you who find yourself in a caregiving situation with someone you love.

That being said, my situation is being the primary medical POA to my male parent. Did I mention he is a POS?

I believe it may be easier to deal with a parent whom you loathe as opposed to having warm and fuzzy feelings to someone you adore and like?

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Happy_Go_Lucky View Post
How incredibly emotionally draining for any of you who find yourself in a caregiving situation with someone you love.

That being said, my situation is being the primary medical POA to my male parent. Did I mention he is a POS?

I believe it may be easier to deal with a parent whom you loathe as opposed to having warm and fuzzy feelings to someone you adore and like?

Any thoughts?
I struggle with the thought of one day being the caregiver of my father. I KNOW its going to fall on me. We barely speak he was still tried to b emotional abusive I learned to turn that off long time ago. I'm still dealing with his.chit from childhood damn sure don't want to deal with new chit now or in thefuture. Both of my brothers just hang around thinking when they r gone there is some money to get. We all were raised by these.ppl where they think they have money is beyond me.

I pray daily that if it comes to me caring for him that the anger, and fear I have for him will not show and that I will make WHATEVER time he will have left will b comfortable and some hoe loving
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #18
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Nat, to answer the question of what I need from loved ones because I am a caregiver to my mom..............
I need support, I need relief, I need to have a life of my own and not just one that encompasses mom. But the latter will have to wait as I don't live in a community that has any lesbians around, so I have no close friends near and I haven't seen the few friends I had in Austin in a long long time. I do once in a while, save up money to go see my cousins and stay gone for a few days, but it costs me a financial hardship to do so because I live on a limited SSDI income. The only person that I can talk to about my stress levels when mom gets into her "moods of yelling and ranting" is my shrink that helps manage my care for my ptsd/anxiety and depression. I know mom doesn't mean to do and say the things she does, and that she truly does appreciate me helping her when she needs my help. I know and understand how she feels as well. I get it. I too have lost a a part of me in my disability and not being able to work anymore, I"m physically disabled on top of the other.

Ok, hope more people post. I have subscribed to this thread. Thanks Dee, for starting it.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:07 PM   #19
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Kat's dad is dying of lung cancer. He is refusing hospice, so as we get closer, we are making the 6 hour drive each way to wenatchee more often. Every other week now. Winter is coming, and all routes in involve mountain passes. But, we want him to do this the way he wants. On his terms. We make sure he has food that's easy to prepare, but he has now started the wasting away portion of the program. We hate the thought of him slipping into the pre-death unconsciousness alone. She calls him every other day, because more than that would just irritate him.

They both know she's calling to see if he's still alive. I think it comforts him, I think it makes her anxious. One of these trips soon, we will go there and I will come back alone because it will be close to the time. I don't want her to have to do that alone, but I can't work remotely.

This is hard stuff, our community is getting older and so are our parents. Thanks for starting this thread, Dee.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #20
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Today's stressors came in the mail for mom today.
Letter 1 from social security stating they are taking away her SSI.
Letter 2, 3 and 4 are taking away her food stamps, medicaid, and assistance in paying her medicare payments and assistance with her RX costs.........trickle down effect from a mofo typo in the system between VA benefit amounts she will be receiving Dec.1st and her SSI/Social security being notified electronically. SOMEWHERE SOMEONE WITH FINGERS THAT DON"T WORK AND A MIND THAT CANNOT COMPREHEND that she actually receives 110 from VA NOT 220 in Dec. 2013 caused this f'n problem. NOW I have 15 days to get the system fixed so to RESTORE mom's full benefits of everything they took from her. THIS KINDA SHIT PISSES ME THE F OFF. I am so freaking stressed out today from making calls that would do nothing for her today, that it's pathetic. Turned it over to my younger sister to see if Social Security will talk to her, she's signed on as someone that can talk to them about mom's case with her case manager, even though mom was sitting in the room telling social security to talk to me about this to get it resolved before DEC 1st.
Why can't they get this shit right?? IS it that f'ng hard to do that job? JESSSUS H CHRIST man.
I hope that mom will move to TN to be near my younger sister whom handles most of the issues like this, so she can take care of her better than I can. My sister bought a home for her to move into but mom refuses to go there.
Mom cried so hard today when she read those letters then blurted out she was better off dead. I had to step in and get her mind right and tell her it was going to be alright. The stress that she already lives under with not enough money to live on and now this, just broke her today. All I could do was tell her it would be alright that we ...my sister and I... would make sure it got fixed. Then I find out that next year, the VA, Social Sec. and SSI are all giving a 1.5 percent pay raise next year in Jan 2014. so I'll have to go through another reporting of mom's income changing as soon as she gets that increase and deal with that then Before they start saying AGAIN that she owes back pay because they overpaid her like they did this year and the year before. IT's a never ending fucking battle with the gov't. and I'm just sick of it. Why can't they just make it more simple and do the job right the first time.
SMFH@ the system.

Anyone else dealing with this kinda shit yet???? I hope not.
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