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I am a part time caregiver of my 92 y/o Grandmother who suffers from dementia and is totally dependent. My friend lives with her full time with 3 days/ 1 night off (set schedule), but freely takes off more time when she needs it (this week 4 days off/2 nights off). I have been managing my Grandmother's life (medical, financial, etc) since 2006. She had 2-T.I.A's in 12/10 and I moved in with her until February 2011 when I found out I was pregnant. I had to move her into a home for dementia residents. She lived there until November 2011 when she was found unresponsive and sent to the hospital. She was bleeding internally somewhere in her GI track (I discovered the facility was giving her prescription blood thinner plus another residents blood thinner!). No way could I send her back so I found a way to move her into a rental home with 24/7 care. My friend just went through a break-up, had to close her retail store, and loooved my Grandmother. She was willing to move in and care for her full-time. I was able to get her meds straightened out, off of her psychotropic drugs and within a week, had her out of her wheelchair and walking again with use of her walker (has neuropathy from spinal stenosis). She made a total comeback! She has been full speed until about 3 weeks ago when she began sleeping all the time. I have been searching out caregiver support for to offer my friend because after this amount of time it seems like she would have some level of burnout. Luckily, my friend doesn't appear to have any form of caregiver burnout (thankfully). I talk to her about it all the time and she assures me she is totally fine..... Ironically, through my search I realized that, in fact, it is ME that is suffering from caregiver burnout. I literally go from my house to my Grandmother's with my 18 mo. old daughter and a few of my dogs in tow (we have 8 dogs/ 3 cats-i was big into rescue before my pregnancy surprise). My husband and I own 2 businesses (restaurant and a bar). I have not had a "day off" since November 2011 when I was in a wedding out of town. I am at the point now that I can not stay focused, I am deeply depressed, I cry daily sometimes multiple times throughout the day. I feel hopeless. I feel overwhelmed. I have completely lost my happy. I am in so deep now that I don't know how to dig my way out. I prefer to stay away from antidepressants as treatment.... Help! -Sorry so long..... Shannon

Shannon, Well there is a two part answer to this. First you need to see you doctor and ask about antidepressants. They will help for the short term. Then you need to slow your life down a bit where you can. Prioritize your time and learn the word NO. Sometimes we just can't do all the things we want. You need to care for yourself as well as for other people. You have a lot on your plate at the moment and it will wear you down. Just slow down a little now so you don't hit the wall later.
Hello Shannon no need for
Hello Shannon no need for sorry for the long version is always the best.I am no expert however I am a family caregiver 24-7 no help of 2 elders for 5 years. I would have to say personally you need to look elswhere for your depression for you basically fill in when your friend cannot be there or needs time off for whatever reason. I think your life has just consumed more than you can provide being a new mother along with the business your share with the husband along with having to manage the life of your grandmother. You have lost the me time and spread way to thin no wonder you are breaking down.Time has come to take back yourself for not only do you suffer so do those around you and yes even the rescue animals they feel you too. Find a trusted daycare or person you can trust to be with your child for a few hours a day,yes I do know how hard that is for a new mom but your child suffers with you. Stop taking the dogs with you everywhere you go yup they are special but they need thier space too. All can be for one day a week and take that day to be you whatever it is you like to do be it a day at the gym...a walk in the park...a good book whatever. Trust those around you for you seem to have a network your not using for feeling you have to be involved in a 24-7...relax step back tomorrow always comes we dont drive the world one day one step but never lose and your family will all be in your HAPPY
Hi Shannon,
Hi Shannon, I used to think that someone in my family would SEE how burned out and stressed and depressed I was and offer to help me. I waited and waited....It wasn't until I fell apart that anyone realized that I was drowning. When this happened my brother took over. Our dad lives in a nursing home but having a loved one in a nursing home is pratically a full-time job what with insurance and medicaid, etc. Now my brother is drowning in it and too stressed out. My point is that it is up to YOU to ask for help. No one is going to step in and offer because they don't know what to do. It is your responsibility to tell people what they can do to help. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself until I fell completely apart. I don't recommend that method of getting someone to help you. Do you have a sibling or another relative? Can your mom/dad help? Can your grandma afford private pay assistance a day or two a week so that you can get away? If the answer is no to any of these questions I would suggest that you call your grandmothers primary care Dr. (or whatever Dr. she sees the most) and explain your situation to them and let them put you in touch with a social worker who can then talk to you about what you need. As stresed out as I was, I had to work to get relief. It was and is a job. I can't do everything all of the time and there are times and days when I will not assist my brother. It's self-preservation. Yes, I feel bad that he's carrying the load but I did it alone for 5 years. He's so stressed out after just 2 months! I cannot and will not sacrifice my mental and/or physical health any longer. So Shannon, when you get some help take it any way it comes. You may have to go and look for it and I know that's a pain and causes resentment but you have to be your own advocate because I promise you, no one is going to help unless you ask.
hello, I am only a month into caring for my parents who both have very different but serious illnesses. I am already at a loss of what to do and where do I go now feeling. My siblings live in other states and dont really understand the magnitude of whats going on down here.I am 34 caring for my parents I moved into their home because they were financially and psycially not able to take care of them selves. well, I have exhausted all of my funds and resources and to top it off the transmission went on the car so now no transportation. I left my family to do come help them and as happy I am to be here for them I'm loosing everthing and everyone in my life including my partner and kids. This is the first time I got to vent and it helps. I would appreciate any input on my situation...Im lost.