Caregiving for Caregivers

Who is there for us? When we are up 2,3, or more times with a family member during the night and all day too. We have to learn how to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. We need to support eachother everyday, everynight.

Location: Niles, Illinois
Members: 42
Latest Conversations: Oct 12, 2017

Discussion Forum

What do I do now??

Started by Angelina Rael Smith. Last reply by Diamond Oct 8, 2012. 1 Reply

Hurt feelings--Am I too sensitive?

Started by Connie. Last reply by Connie Feb 29, 2012. 6 Replies

Is this the right group for me? Yes!!

Started by Connie. Last reply by Connie Dec 20, 2010. 9 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Carlo Cacioppo on July 25, 2010 at 11:36pm
To all you wonderful and caring people out there who try day in and day out to hold it together, to enrichen the lives of those we care for and cherish. Your ability to share what each of you are going through is your strength, therapy and your respite time all rolled into one. I am still a full time caregiver for my mom in the chicago area and because mom cannot be left alone ever again, I need to share and soak up what all of you are feeling and sharing. PLease continue to come here and let it all out without hesitation. I too am have a very hard time with siblings but on a very extreme scale. They want us out of the house and would rather put mom in a nursing home, (I caught them all discussing it and the male of the three thought he could get a restraining order to get us out), because all they want is to put mom's house up for sale even in the unstable condition that its in and get the money. My wife is disabled and has trouble caring for herself let alone my 89 yo mother. I will try not to purge on all of you because I need to be here for you and your situations before my own. Please continue as I said to come here and talk to us. We are here for you 24/7. God bless you all.
Comment by Kathy P. Slaton on July 23, 2010 at 10:45am
Kathleen, Thanks for the comments! It's good to know I'm not in this alone. I also have a brother that lives in Mass. while my sister and I live in SC. What upsets me most is my sister and I offered to send him the money to visit here for only a week, to give us a break, one that we sorely need right now. He refused to come because he said he couldn't afford it and couldn't get off work, and had a lot of other things going on. When my sister called him last week he let it slip that he and his wife were "tired" because they had just returned from a weeks trip to the beach! It not only angered us but hurt to know that his mother had been asking for him, but he wouldn't come. If my mother knew any of this, she would be devastated. I have been praying for him daily, that he will eventually see the "error of his ways", so to speak. He was/is her "golden child" and in mom's eyes could do no wrong. I'll remember you in my prayers also, because living with my mother would never work for me, even though I live alone. I admire you for that. My husband passed away 4 years ago July 13, my son died the same year in Nov. (which happened to be Mom's birthday) and my 15 year old granddaughter died in June 2006. I still have days that I am grieving one or all of them and try to talk to Mom about my feelings, but it seems to go right over her head. At least I can say that no matter what I try to talk to her about, whether it's complaining about something, talking trash about someone, or trying to tell her the latest news from church, etc. (just to have something to talk about) I know she won't repeat it because she doesn't remember me telling her anything. I just pretend that she's one of my best friends that I used to talk to. And, at times I find that hysterical. Laughter sometimes makes a person feel better, at least for a few minutes. My sister and I have discussed having an aide come in a few days a week, but right now it's a money thing, and neither one of us can afford it. I am on disability and have a very fixed income, and so is my sister. However, because I am alone now, Mom thinks that I should stay with her longer each day than Sandra, my sister; she has a husband to take care of and I don't. But home is my sanctuary and most days I can't wait to get here, just to be around my things and my books...I read a escape from the everyday...
I am truly sorry about your husband; I know what you must be feeling right now and to have to deal with an aging mother makes things even more difficult. The pain never really goes away, but lessens over time. Even after 4 years, I have days when I can just scream as loudly as I want, and I do. It helps some, and then I have a good cry, sleep a little and then I feel a little better. I read a book right after my husband died titled I Lost My Husband, Not My Mind. If you have a chance to read it, I'm sure you would enjoy it. It is funny and serious at the same time and like you said at the beginning, I could have written the book.
Thanks for listening and understanding. Hope I get to talk to you more in the future. Have a wonderful day!
Comment by kathleen caylor on July 23, 2010 at 8:36am
Kathy,I could have written your letter!!Except my mom lives with me.My mother resents my time away from her.I have to work,my hubby died in Sept.So I need health insurance.I only work 2 days a week,I had it set up to have an aide come in for 2-4 hours for those days.Well she responded"I'm not going to pay for a babysitter!!My husband would be a buffer but with him gone I can't go any where.And God forbid I go out with friends!I have a sister that lives 1000 mi.away that comes down 2-3 times a year and a younger brother that lives locally,he will come when called but never volunteers.So ,when she complains about being alone,I remind her that I can get someone in if she wants.But it is her choice!!On the days I work,I make sure she is busy.Laundry to fold,she makes my bed and unload the dishwasher.She also likes scratch off tickets.She won't try to entertain herself otherwise.Good luck,Any other suggestions or input would be appreciated.
Comment by Kathy P. Slaton on July 22, 2010 at 12:07pm
My mother will soon be 91 years old and still lives alone. She has vision problems and lately her memory is getting bad as well as her hearing and has difficulty walking more than a few feet. Also, she gets confused if she is in a crowd and can't follow a conversation or sermon because of so many distractions (to her, anyway). As with most older people, she asks the same questions over and over, such as "What day is this?", etc. Most of the time she doesn't remember what she ate for lunch 30 minutes ago or where we went. Basically mom is in good health except for the things I mentioned and considering her age. However, because she lives alone, she gets very lonely and lonesome. My sister and I take turns staying with her during the day and we see that she is ready for bed before we leave, making sure she has had her meds and changed into her pj's. Mom is able to stay alone at night and we call to check on her frequently when we aren't there. She has always been very active in church and with several close friends. In the last 2 years, Mom has lost most of her best friends that she socialized with. The problem my sister and I have at present is finding enough things to keep Mom busy. She wants to go places and do things, and any place she wants to go we try to oblige her, but mom is always ready to get back home only after a very short while. I feel quilty when I try to talk her out of going because it's a lot of work for such a short time. Mom also gets very jeolous when my sister and I talk to each other, so most of the time we have to fib and tell her we haven't talked to each other. My sister and I used to do so many things together, but, unfortunately we're unable to do that now. We both have families but don't have as much time to spend with them as we should and they are being neglected. And when mom finds out in some way that we have done something with them, the jeolusy is there. There is so much more, but it would be a book, but I wondered if anyone had any ideas that would keep Mom busy that she could possiby do. Most people would recommend a nursing home, but she wouldn't do well there because she is a very private person and couldn't tolerate having a roommate and wouldn't tolerate having a sitter come into her house because she trusts no one. My sister and I are very tired and at times very depressed. Thanks for your comments.
Comment by Carlo Cacioppo on July 19, 2010 at 11:00pm
so how are you doing tina?
Comment by Carlo Cacioppo on July 14, 2010 at 10:17am
Hi Tina, I can't say the the ache ever gets better because its always there. But as every day goes by, then every week, month and year, we find ways of dealing with the heart ache that we thought would tare us right down to the ground. Situations change our feelings without us even knowing it happened. Sometimes we see a movie or tv program that stirs up alot of similarities about our loved ones and that gets the tear ducts flowing. Occaisionally we see people or see people do things that look similar to what we remember about someone. God has a way of keeping the memories alive in our hearts and sometimes he helps us through it by throwing us a curve to see how we handle it. But all in all he gets us through it so we get strong enough to get through the next little tidal wave when it hits. Its all about surviving each and every little emotion as it comes along. I call it Having a dad day. He is in my head all day and its hard to hide that from people so I look for a distraction to help me out of it. I say, "dad can I get back to you in few minutes I really need to do this and I will talk to you soon, ti amo". Do whatever you can to distract yourself whenever necessary if things get too intense. Its ok to do that. It doesn't mean you don't want to think of them. It just means that that particular moment is not a good one. In time you will be able to pick and choose your "Mourning Time" and you will feel better and others will be proud of you.Take care and come back and see me soon.
Comment by Tina on July 13, 2010 at 9:29am
I was my mothers caregiver until she left me on August 20, 2008. She lived with me the last year of her life. And even tho she could drive me crazy at times I miss her more than I ever could imagine. Not a moment goes by that I don't think of her. Does the ache in your heart ever get better?

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