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I need help! I am new to this forum so will go slow at first. I truly hope I can find help here with my problems and get some replies that will make it easier for me to cope.
I am the sole care-giver for my mother, aged 88. I have 2 sisters and one brother but no support from them. I am beginning to feel depressed and cry for no reason at all. I suppose it's just burn-out from the stressed out situation I live with each and every day.
My mother is quite healthy in body but has dementia and each day I see her going down-hill more and more. It has been over a year since I was away from her for more than an hour or two and it is taking a toll on me!
Some days it is hard for me to even be nice to mother and I know this is wrong. Is this normal for me to feel this way? I resent her for not letting me have some kind of life
for myself. I am 66 yrs old . Theres so many things I want to get out and do and theres no way I can leave her alone for more than a feew minutes. Are there any orginizations that can help that are free? Just someone to take care of her for a few hours a week so I can get away from this apt.
Please help me somebody!

Sincerely, Annie
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Hello Annie and welcome...

{{{{Annie}}}}

You are not alone in the range of emotions you are feeling. It is so difficult to watch our loved ones deteriorate right before our eyes. You do so much and at times I am sure you feel helpless. The truth is that in some ways one is helpless during these situations. You cannot control or change this process your mom is going through...thus the helplessness.. but you are in charge when you make sure you get your needs met which you are wanting to do.

Firstly, the site here offers so much in the forums and articles etc in terms of how others have handled it. Your mom may have clarity one minute and the next it's gone. It is not unusual for the caregiver to get plugged into this. Just remember that there is a spirit which is eternal alive and thriving from within. Talk to her soul..see if you can play act and get into the space where she is coming from in the moment rather than trying to bring her back into your own reality or world.

To help you find respite so that you will be able to have some time for yourself, it would be helpful to know where you live to help you find what is available. In the meantime, call churches, nursing schools, senior centers, your local alzheimer's association, the National Family Caregiver's Association and see what volunteers might be available to you in your area.

In the meantime, until you can get some assistance, it is truly up to you to take some time for yourself. While your mom is sleeping, take a nice bath with candles...do something nurturing for yourself to feel good about you... a way to let go of your worries, frustrations etc is to write daily.. write everything out so you can begin your day free to feel good without running the same repeated thoughts in your mind... posting here at the boards, coming to chats, getting involved with people online in a safe and nurturing environment is a wonderful, uplifting experience. Knowing that you aren't alone is so important. This site along with many other sites have become life forces for the caregiver. Another good site is www.ec-online. If you are on AOL there are also good chats.. keep reaching out..this is a positive step on your part.

Please keep us posted.
richest blessings
Gail
Annie:
I truly sympathize with you. We are of an age, although I am caring for my husband.
It is so hard to see time go by with only the one focus in our life. I feel myself aging by the hour. Ha! Ha! And since, at our age, we are growing weaker, we find it so hard to do all the things that have to be done. I wish I could advise you of an affordable way to get out, but I cannot. I use the local library for reading material
and videos. And I thoroughly enjoy my E-mail friends and these message boards. I have even come to enjoy errands, such as a trip to the pharmacy or grocery store. The hardest thing for me is persuading myself to
go do the housework. That was never one of my favorite occupations.
I pray that you will find some help. Remember that God's spirit is within "You"
and he wants you to ask him for help.
Sincerely,
Nina
Gail, I thank you so much for the prompt reply to my post.
I think just being able to say those things out loud has already helped! I've read enough to know that care-givers have plenty of problems with their emotions and I'm not alone. But I'm ashamed to admit that I don't like my mother sometimes. I love her or I would not be doing the things for her I do but it's so hard to like someone who makes your life so miserable!
I'm going through a period of real self pity right now so just bear with me and I'm sure this too will pass.
I am a naturally happy person and don't like to see the way I have become in the last few years. I want some of that back and will do just about anything to get it!
How do I tell my sister that she's not being fair to me by leaving this all on me? My oldest sister is not able to help but the one sister is younger than me and could do so much more than she does. I'm not good at confrontations so need advice on what to say and how to say it that won't absolutely alienate her from me. She has medical problems too (Arthritis) and has some really bad days. But then so do I. I have to go to therapy three days a week right now for the arthritis in my hip and lower back. I've just been leaving mother alone and I worry the whole time I'm gone as I never know if she might walk out-side and fall or not recognize out apt from the others and not be able to get back in. I've tried to time it to where it's when she takes a nap that I have to be gone. I feel like the therapy would do me lots of good if I didn't have the worry about her.
Well, I feel like I have un-loaded enough for one day. I'm going to try to find the orginazations that are open to these problems and get some help. I'll keep you posted on what I find. Thank you so much.

Sincerely, Annie



[This message has been edited by GRM4LOVE (edited 03-25-2001).]
Hi Annie...and Welcome...

Glad you found this site..It helps to vent...especially where there are others who totally understand where you are coming from.
I am not sure where you are...but here in Canada we have a couple of alternatives which do not cost...Home Care Respites..although if it is a Home Health Aide you would be charged a nominal amount...but anything to do with the Nursing Department would not cost. Also we have something called "Day Centers" in our hospitals and in some of the nursing homes where a person can leave their "caree" for a few hours during the day. They have people to assess them there and also things for them to do, depending on their conditions. I know this is Canada I am talking about but perhaps if you call around you might find something similar wherever you are.
Your emotions...trust me....are quite normal...We are only human...and it is only human nature to want everything okay, everyone back to normal and healthy. Unfortunately that is never the case, especially with the elderly, so we must try our hardest to have faith...and learn to cope.
When I was caring for my mother and was stuck at home a lot I eventually learned to find things I enjoyed to do at home. I was very into crafts, computers, gardening, etc...It wasnt the same as being able to come and go as I pleased, but I learned to enjoy fully all of these things nonetheless...plus most of them were things I could do together with my mom and we would spend many enjoyable hours together doing them.
Please keep posting here..So we can find out how you are doing...
My best to you...
PrairieGal...
Dear Prairie Gal,

Thanks for the advice. I'm in such a much better mood today as I can see that there are so many others in the same situation as I am and I am not unique in the feelings I have.

I would love to come to chat some time and wondered when they are??? That way I can have instant responces to questions. I go to chat on my classmates site and love it even tho I don't type as fast as most of the others.

I am going to look into the resources open to me here where I live and will get back to you guys and let you know what I find! Just knowing that help is out there somewhere is enough for me this day!

Thank you for caring,
Annie
Morning Annie...

It IS good to know you aren't alone isn't it...I know it certainly has gotten me through a lot.
For a chat schedule and various topics just click on the "CHAT" at the top of the main page for this site...its next to "messageboards"...there you will find a complete list of chat times and the topics each chat is sort of about...although anyone can talk about anything bothering them at any chat..
I am SO glad you are feeling more optimistic about everything...Keep the faith..
PrairieGal
Hi Annie,

I too am fairly new to this site. I have found it a wonderful place to vent when I feel the need. No matter where or when you post a message someone will answer you quickly and with comforting words and advise. Sometimes just reading other messages and replies helps to see that yeah, I'm not Alone in This. I just went to my first Alz. support group meeting last week. I had met a woman on line playing a video game !!(if you can believe that),that had a chat section. She is a facilitator at her local Alz. Assoc. She has been after me to get going and to get myself to a meeting. My Mom is 74 still living alone in the early stages of Alz. It was an uplifting experience. The men and woman there were so kind and understanding because they are experiencing the same emotions and concerns. They have resources for you to help guide you through the tough times and decisions you must make as the caregiver. Contact your local chapter of the Alz Assoc. They can direct you to meetings in your area. Also your local council on aging. They might be able to find a day center near your area where you can leave you loved one to attend one of these meetings. Some may charge a small transportation or day fee. They have many that are in the morning as well as afternoons. I'm in Massachusetts and fortunately they have a wide range of help here. Although they do not have much where my Mom lives many surrounding communities will welcome you. Good luck in your search for help. I urge you to attend a support group meeting. I cannot wait until next month to attend the next one. Remember you are not alone. It does a world of good for "our inner spirit" to find that there is help out there, you just have to find out where to ask. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Candy
Candy:
I think you are right. In my opinion, you are acting wisely to find a support group as you begin this journey with your Mom. I am sorry she has to spend her years this way. I pray that Medical Research will soon come up with something that will help her or, if at all possible, will completely heal her and others with Alzeimers.
Isn't it wonderful that she can still do things and be on her own at this point.
Remember that Jesus said that he "would send the comforter"; meaning his Spirit. I have returned to that Spirit for strength so often over the years and will continue to do so as I try to be there for my husband. I pray that he too will be healed but, if I cannot have that, then I am sure I can depend on that Spirit within me for peace and strength as I try to encourage him to make the best of this part of his journey.
Thank you for posting. Your E-mail was very encouraging.
Nina
Hello Candy,

Welcome...it is good to know you feel safe here and that you are finding support and comfort.

Thank you for sharing what you have gained from the support group. We don't realize the value of support until we reach out for it and allow ourselves to receive...it is a blessing indeed...

Keep us posted on how you are doing. It's great having you be a part of us..

Richest blessings.
Gail

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