A COMMENT, NOT AN ANSWER
I SO understand the REALITY of what this caregiver is sharing:
quote from anonymous commenter:
"Count your blessings. Some one else is caring for your parents 24/7. Try doing that and keeping track of giving their 14 medications on time and getting refills at the right time and keeping track of doctor appointments and getting them to appointments and being sure that you have their wanted foods on hand and having their bed and laundry clean and laid out and jumping every time they call your name to come pickup their magnifying glass or idnetify the bird that you just identified 10 minutes ago and keep track of paying their bills and filing all the paper work where it can be found again.
If your parents are in a facility, and you see them once or twice a week with phone calls between, you have it made.
I know this sounds like a rampage, and it is."
Bless you and Bless you and LOL...
I SOOOOoooo identify with your "rampage". Your Ulysses-like stream of consciousness I couldn't possibly improve upon to make people understand 24/7 caregiving REALITY.
I have only one parent, 94-year old stubborn as a mule mother with dementia (unspecified,) which frankly I believe is sometimes "selective" dementia (read: FAKED). She should have been on the stage and screen, she is SO convincing when she does her shtick about "feeling too badto go..." to the adult daycare (that the citizens of our wonderful county subsidize with their taxes).
If it had NOT been for this group of outstanding, caring, loving elder care professionals, I would long ago have put Mom in a nursing home ...or simply gone mad. THEY were the ones who (gently) gave me the headsup that my mother was "faking" it to get me to jump through hoops.I found out that was absolutely TRUE and stopped "hopping to" to meet her demands when I suspect she is just jerking me around.
Mom is so ungratefui, so ornery, so into playing games that I am overwhelmed by the growing feelings of anger and disappointment with her conniving, and I truly feel flashes of HATRED for this behavior, though I am trying to remember the woman she once was. The shell that is left here is a horrid one to deal with.
I've dumped $30k of my money, using it to be able to stay with her and not go completely insane by trying to work fulltime AND take care of her, but now I'm broke. And the idea of simply letting the house go and starting over at 60 is not attractive, but there you are. I don't care, at this point. Foreclosure would be a relief, at this point.
I feel I am NOT alone in having manipulative parents who are taking advantage of the "child" returning to give care. So if I MAY offer a bit of advice: If your parents are demanding, step back and see if you are "enabling" them in their selfishness. Get a professional to assess them (I'm sure Medicare will pay for this..they did for Mom) and get them to evaluate the level of dementia, explaining the WHOLE scenario to the psychologist, how their demands are exhausting you and you simply want a professional opinion of waht you may be doing wrong or if your parents are TRULY unable to comprehend what they are doing to you.
Pull your "guilty child" emotions out of it and look at the job as a professional caregiver yourself.
Give yourself a couple of hours a day at least that you say, "I'm going to be napping/reading/staring at the wall/whatever" now, mom and dad, so please dont call for me unless it is an emergency, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? THANK YOU.
After all, at a regular job, you at LEAST get lunch and a couple of breaks a day, don't you?
If there are siblings who won't help and that makes you furious, start right NOW to Foggeddaboutit. It will just make you NUTS! Letting go of the resentment helped me TREMENDOUSLY! It's just another way to bring yourself down VOLUNTARILY. They won't change, anyway, you know?
And overall, if youv'e been doing it over a year and you know that caregiving is making you depressed, despondent, and miserable, STOP AND THINK.
Start CHOOSING which hoops you want to jump through, or if you want to jump at all.
Periodlically, at the end of the day, sit down, have a glass of wine or cup of coffee and ASK YOURSELF:
"Is it TIME for me to stop doing this?
IS what I feel MISERY?ANGER? DEPRESSION? EXHAUSTION? Is it ALL THE TIME?
And say, " I AM WILLING to let myself know what I REALLY want to do"
Remember, nobody can actually FORCE you to take care of anyone. That's why Medicare and Medicaid were established.
And if there are assets you are trying to preserve,
Think: IS IT WORTH IT TO SACRIFICE THESE HOURS, DAYS, YEARS OF MY LIFE
SIMPLY FOR MONEY?
And listen to your own HONEST ANSWER.
To keep going or walk away.
it's YOUR CALL.
All those people who talk about the "blessings" and "rewards in heaven" you are earning
are full of it. Ignore them. At a certain point, Christ died. It was an agreement with God.
God didn't TELL you you HAD to do this. YOU are not CHRIST.
I don't think God means for us to sacrifice our own health and wellbeing in the caregiving process.
It is psychological, financial, and emotional suicide for many of us.MOST of us.
Listen to you OWN HEART.
This is YOUR life, don't forget. Your parents have lived most of theirs already.
"To thine own self be true."
I know if my mother was actually, totally "here" today, she would tell me to put her in a home and live my own life. this person I care for every day is *not* my mother. Not anymore.
A psychic I met by chance a few years back said my own energy was keeping my mother alive.
That made me think. Six years ago i felt alive and up to this task. Now I feel empty, dont remember what it's like to feel spontaneous and happy, Would simply like to walk out the door and keep walking.
Who knows? Maybe I have enabled my mother to suck the life force right out of me.
After all, she is so afraid of dying.
And I was always a good child.
IS that what is happening to you?
To all you who can feel joy and love and remain giving caring carepersons, I salute you.
To those who are buckling under the weight, i say, save yourself.
The world is made up of all kinds of people .We all have different talents. Use YOUR talents wisely.