New - Scared & Alone | Caregiver Action Network

New - Scared & Alone

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New - Scared & Alone

Hi!  I'm new here as of today and looking for some outside support and help from others who are in similar situations! A little (or a lot) of my situation.

A year ago, I took my mom to the ER as she was out of it. Come to find out her Doctor prescribed Morphine for increased hip paid and her body just couldn't handle it. She was on the verge of kidney failure, thank god I got her into the hospital! She spent about a week in the hospital at that time. During her visit she spoke with a social worker and what ever she said to the social worker about the living situation she was in with her ex-husband (my dad) of 30+ years, they advised me that she was not to return to that home and we needed to figure out a place for her to go... The only solution I had was to come live with me, so that's what happened... She has since recovered, gotten a new hip and is doing great! She still lives with me, my husband and my 2 children. It is helpful but also hard at the same time since we have a 3 bedroom house and 5 people living their.... She would be capable of living on her own, but financially can not afford that. So she's with us until something changes. 

Now the hard part of this whole caregiving gig, is the fact that this situation has left my dad living by himself. He is going to be 81 Tuesday and has declined in health over the years with the last year being the worst I think. He's slow on his feet, incontinent, has diabetes from a pancreas surgery years ago, depression my whole life (34 yrs), numerous other health issues and at times seems to just not care along with a recent diagnosis of dementia (yesterday). Him and I have never really gotten along, but I'm the only one that stepped up to help. He is very hard to talk to and it's hard to decipher if its his health or if it's just him as he has always been verbally abusive. I took over his financial POA to help him with managing his finances. I also took over medical POA and arrange all his medical appts, and medical issues. I set up in home nursing care and he has a home nurse that comes 1x a week along with 3 other homemakers to help clean, talk, ect. This has helped so I don't have to go clean his house every weekend, however I feel like I'm still doing everything for him because I'm still having to clean, take him shopping and better yet clean up his soiled under ware. YUK!!!! This is exactly how I wanted to live life (NOT!!!). On top of all of this I work full time, I go to school in the evenings (Rockin a 4.0 GPA though!),  I have a 10 year old boy and a 12 year old girl, my husband and myself to take care of. I'm getting very overwhelmed and having a hard time coping. I took my dad to the DR yesterday for his normal labs pre-visit prior to his actual DR appt tomorrow. They did a cognitive test and a depression test. He showed major progression with his memory and all the signs of dementia progressing rapidly. They ordered more labs and also an MRI. We meet again tomorrow for his actual DR's appt and will be talking more about the next steps. I'm scared of what's happening and how to deal with it myself. Any advice would be helpful. I'm scared, I feel like I'm alone in this even though my husband is trying to support and help, but it can be difficult for him too as he's over the tears and hurt I've been feeling for years from the verbal abuse my dad has done over the years. What's in the future? Where do I turn? What can I do? How do I emotionally deal with this? Every time I talk about it I start crying. 

Thanks for reading!!! 

Judith Sands
New-Scared alone

What you are doing for your parents is priceless. Some quick thoughts. Do your parents have an Advance Directive? Did they make your wishes known? Relating to your father, speak frankly with the doctor and see if the practice has a social worker to assist you. You need support and education relating to resources and options. Not fully knowing your situation (finances and resources in your community), a group home, assisted living or hospice may be options. 

You are carrying a tremendous load and need to take care of yourself to keep your situation in check. Find a way to recharge and tap into the offers of others by being very specific as to help needed. "Walk the dog", pick up groceries"...


your dad!

Hi there.

I just signed up for this chat website and yours was the first letter I read. I fully understand the feelings of anger toward your dad since he was verbally abusive to you. How do you love and care for someone who is just mean? My dad is also angry and argues with me (not abusive but close!) What worries me is how he treats my mom when no one is around.

My parents are both 81 and mom has Parkinson's. Dad is her primary caregiver, but I do live with them and work full time as well. I feel it is my God-given duty now to care for these 2 (at 56 years old) and sacrifice some of my time to "support" them. However, as difficult as it is, I loose it sometimes too. I do the best I can then sit back and watch the scene play out! A friend said once about her daughter that she cannot push her to do something that she wants her to do, she sits back and watches it like a movie. As I watch this "movie", I think of ways to add in some encouragement and love to both of them. When my dad gets hot under the collar I step in and tell him to go sit down. Mom cries because she is confused and dad just thinks everything is ok! No one really knows what to do. The brain is a mysterious and complex organ. It sucks to watch it deteriorate and see the person that we once knew become someone else.

My only suggestion would be (what I do) is read my daily readings for inspiration about MY life and try to keep my own head together. Because if and when I loose it - it does not CHANGE anything! After my explosions it's all still there. So I am taking time for myself, whether it's going for a walk, a drive, a nap, (an AA meeting), WHATEVER. I realize my well-being is just as important so that I can provide the love and strength that we all need to ease them into the next stages of their lives... (I hope that makes sense)

 - With Love, LisaZ

Hi, my name is Shannon. I
Hi, my name is Shannon. I have been a care giver most of my life (proceed to my greeting if you'd like). I understand how everything you're trying to do right by everyone can be overwhelming. Please try to remember you are definitely NOT alone in this. It sounds like you may be dealing with depression as well. It actually happens in caregivers more than you would think ( I once was a home health aide, caring for other people's loved ones). I have some suggestions, one of which you have already done. You've reached out, which is always the most portant step. I also suggest talking with ur doctor about a referral for a counselor/psychologist & psychiatrist to prescribe antidepressant/antianxiety medications. You mentioned your children are 10 & 12. I would suggest they start some chores. Laundry (the 12 year old can absolutely do their own, just show them how to work washer/dryer. Dishes, taking out garbage, sweeping/mopping/vacuuming, these can all be done by them to help you. Give them an allowance for helping you with these things, with bonuses for bonus work. You never mentioned how old mom was. If she can, have her help with things like dinner, taking care of kids, etc. I would suggest having a conversation with her on how she should best handle punishments, etc. If she grounds them for a week because of backtalk, so be it. If you think it's too excessive, have a conversation with her, then you & she talk to the kids about the compromise you both came up with. As for hubby, tell him to buck up, he's got to help you make runs (doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, & hey here's a thought, taking on the kids & helping your mom while you take time for yourself. IDC if you walk the mall for an hour & buy nothing. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE & GET A RESPITE ONCE IN A WHILE. Get your nails done, get to a mini spa, ANYTHING. Listen to your type of music any chance you get. You may need to have a family meeting, especially with your mom & husband & just tell them you're overworked & overwhelmed. Above all else, take it easy on yourself, you are only one person. On the day's everything just goes wrong, remember you're only human & you are an amazing person who is taking care of kids, husband, mom & dad, with a job & a 4.0 GPA in school?!? You definitely rock!!! As for dad, you may have to get tough with him, especially on his bad days. Let him know that in no uncertain terms will you deal with his verbal abuse. Remind him of who you are & you are not your mom. If things get to be to bad for him, you may need to look into a nursing home for him. There are good ones out there. Of course if u just need someone to talk to, I can always lend an ear. As I said, I understand you have a lot on your plate