Tell us how your doing, the mind and body are constantly at war with eachother but you have to know when to let which one take charge at the right time. We are here for you. We don't know everything but we have been through alot in the last 20 years of caregiving. We'll help you and you can help us. Give us a ring.

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Hello. I'm new to the group, so will give a brief bio. 44 y.o. woman, divorced, no kids, disabled with vertigo for 9 years. Caregiver to my 82 y.o. father, who has dementia, and my 76 y.o. mother who just died 5/1 after a 6 month struggle to recover from a surgery induced stroke.

Life is pretty terrifying and overwhelming right now. There really isn't anything out there for disabled caregivers, and am hoping to find some sort of social structure here. I don't get out much, so life is pretty isolating.

It's a down week. A family friend died - he worked with my mother, my brother and me for a very long time on the local emergency squad (ambulance). I made dinner for the family since it would be something Mom would do and I am so keenly aware of the inability to make the simplest choices about eating.

I dreamt of Mom last night - that she was weak, but able to speak and walk. And how I cried at the joy of that knowledge. She was frail, like her mother just before she died. But I knew somehow we'd make it through.

Losing Mom is very much akin to losing a spouse. She and I had grown so close these last few years - we could (and would) talk all day, and still learn new things about each other. I honestly think we shared more than she and Dad ever did. It wasn't the best marriage in the world. Plus, with Dad's growing dementia, it was - and is - so hard to hold a conversation with him.

So, I do hope for a little comeraderie. It's what i need most right now.

Leslie
Welcome Leslie, we will be talking.
Leslie,I am sorry for your loss.And feel your pain Of dealing with the dementia of your dad.You were lucky to have had a close relationship with your mom.My dad who died 5 1/2 years ago was really my family's primary caregiver.My Mom who is 92 now lives with me.She suffers from anxieity disorders and was solely dependant on dad.Now I have assumed his roll.Isolating is a good word.My husband died on 9/13/09 was my sanity.he would offer a buffer for me.Now that he's gone I get a little support from 1 brother and my sister.Thankfully my mother's physical health is good although she is getting frail.So I'm limited on activities outside of my home.I will tell friends come on over but that is few and far between.Wish I could offer more.But as we know,misery does love company.Good luck and stay in touch.Vent when you need to.
Dear Kathleen -
That's my mom's name. the world is certainly interesting in how it connects people.
You wrote:
.My husband died on 9/13/09 was my sanity.he would offer a buffer for me.Now that he's gone I get a little support from 1 brother and my sister.

I am so glad you had someone to help you! And I do so understand the feeling now that you're alone. People just don't realize exactly how difficult it is to cope with this stress alone. My sister, who is the most understanding of my 2 siblings, understands, but for brief moments. When our mother went to my sister's city for medical testing and such, she was ready to jump off a cliff after a single week. And that was only dealing with Mom, not Dad too. My brother, well, my brother and I don't speak anymore. Mom's death actually made that a wonderfully easy transition. I would have been done with him years ago if it weren't for Mom asking that I keep trying. He's useless, as family members go. It seems me asking for assistance (and only with things I phsycially wasn't capable of alone) was never phrased in the right context. His words, not mine.
An example - When Mom's surgery went horribly wrong, I took over the duties of calling the hospital twice daily so my sister didn't have sole responsibility of the task (surgery was in her city, rather than Mom's home town). I told the rest of the family that I'd email them twice daily with updates, but that many phone calls for my disability were impossible. All but my brother were fully accepting of the compromise. I told him he could call the hospital instead of me, or he could call Sister daily - it was his choice. He did neither, and still griped about it being done by email. But the few times we did call him - when something was very wrong - he didn't bother answering because he was either busy or resting. 6PM. Wouldn't even pick up when he heard the answering machine (we're not into VM - LOL - we like the old fashioned stuff).
So - I get no help from him. Little from my sister since she's out of town. None of us has kids. None of Dad's family (that cares) lives near by. And all of Mom's family, save her sister - whose husband has health issues - is able to come and help.
I have virtually no friends, due to the vertigo, and it seems too few people are willing to help for helpings sake anymore. Even just to have coffee and give me some 'real' conversation. And that's where I miss Mom the most.
It's hard.
Leslie,I hope I don't drive you crazy with my venting.I have 2 brothers that live locally.the one that took over after dad's death,embezzeled most of her savings,moved his son into her house,sold all of her worldly possessions and lived off of her annuity.So when I confronted him,he says,now get this,"Mom spent alot of money!"I whisked her away,took over her accounts and rebuilt her savings.Now he won't talk to her!I could care less.But she did nothing wrong,and I have been silent hoping he will talk to her before she dies.This year on the anniversary of my husbands death,we had a celebration of life,with all of my family and friends.But because I didn't invite him,she wouldn't talk to me!As long as she's alive I will attempt to have a relationship with him.But once she's gone,I will wash my hands of him.My younger brother will help,he'll give me a little grief but always comes through.Sister lives 1,000 mi.away and tries to come down 2-3 times per year. My husband always said "that old woman will outlive us all".I'm afraid he might have been right!
Hi everyone, I have been reading all this but I can't make time to respond till later when I have a little help here, talk to you soon. Carlo
Kathleen - no worries about venting. It's so nice to know someone else has one of "those people" in the family. I have to say my brother comes by it honestly. Both sides of Mom's family could squeeze blood from a stone, given the chance. My grandfather said of my grandmother, "Bessie's the only one in the family not born with a hatchet in her hand." So, yeah. I know your brother. Even if I've never met him, I know him.
I'm so sorry that he took everything she had! That's one reason I pushed Dad to make very difficult decisions now - because we didn't with Mom and it burned us all terribly. It will continue to until all of the medical bills are settled - over a half a million and counting. She woudn't have wanted that, but without a directive from her, the neurologist telling us she had a very good chance, and her showing us she wanted a chance, our hands were tied. But because of hopsital screw-ups, she remained on a vent for 4 months rather than a couple of weeks.
So now I'm his POA and the house is in all 3 childrens' names, and written so that no 1 of us can sell his/her share without consent and first refusal by the other 2.
I just got back from getting some medicine, so am tired and more than a little dizzy.
Thank you, Kathleen. it's so good to not be alone!
Leslie
Leslie, I am facing surgery in the next day or two and I will be back to talk to you as soon as I can, so sorry I didn't respond sooner. Carlo
Leslie Hawley said:
Kathleen - no worries about venting. It's so nice to know someone else has one of "those people" in the family. I have to say my brother comes by it honestly. Both sides of Mom's family could squeeze blood from a stone, given the chance. My grandfather said of my grandmother, "Bessie's the only one in the family not born with a hatchet in her hand." So, yeah. I know your brother. Even if I've never met him, I know him.
I'm so sorry that he took everything she had! That's one reason I pushed Dad to make very difficult decisions now - because we didn't with Mom and it burned us all terribly. It will continue to until all of the medical bills are settled - over a half a million and counting. She woudn't have wanted that, but without a directive from her, the neurologist telling us she had a very good chance, and her showing us she wanted a chance, our hands were tied. But because of hopsital screw-ups, she remained on a vent for 4 months rather than a couple of weeks.
So now I'm his POA and the house is in all 3 childrens' names, and written so that no 1 of us can sell his/her share without consent and first refusal by the other 2.
I just got back from getting some medicine, so am tired and more than a little dizzy.
Thank you, Kathleen. it's so good to not be alone!
Leslie

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