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Really, Really Struggling...
I'm 32 and pretty much gave up my life to live with and take care of my Grandmother with Dementia. I quit my job, moved 45 minutes away... I can't leave the house, let alone the room she is in for more than 5 minutes unless someone else is here or its bedtime and shes asleep.
Nights are too short. Days too long. I'm always exhausted!!
Getting her ready for bed is a fight as she hates her Depend underwear... I get hit, kicked, told to go to hell. But she needs to wear them otherwise I'll never get the bed and carpet cleaned.
She not purposefully tries to poison my dog many times a day, my dog is never left alone with her and have trained her to not accept food from anyone but myself. She tries to give her chocolate and cough drops.
My dad is in the hospital recovering from a stroke, I've been recently ill myself.
I don't know what to do... I'm beyond stressed, depression taking a turn for the worse.
Given all that has been going on with your dad, your illness and your grandmother, would respite be a possibility? Could she afford that? It's around $150 a day. Other options would be adult daycare or bringing in a caregiver. Facility placement is always the least expensive solution. This is the Alz hotline number and they are staffed 24x7:
You’ve made the first step—you’ve opened up about your pain. That’s the beginning—you let someone else know you’re hurting. There is help out there. Start with the 1-800 help line. Ask about respite programs, in-home care, geriatric psychiatrists, medication, communication techniques—every bit of help you can find. I told my 84 yo father just recently that we can’t do this alone. We need a community with us.
Check in again, Tinie27–I want to know how you’re doing.
Btw, you are doing the right thing for your dog. It is hard I know, but it is the best thing. You are incredible for the sacrifices you’ve made. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Thank you so much! Telling me that what I do doesn't go unnoticed and that I'm not alone helps big time!!
I'm struggling with telling my family its too much for me to handle on my own... but I don't like to fail. My depression is on my shoulder always saying, "theres a way out, way out of it all..." I have struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past.
I did call the #, will call back tomorrow was hoping to sleep...the lady was going to let me talk with a care counselor I think she called it... though no luck with sleep so far.
My wife was very resistant to Depends also. She ripped them off and said "this is what babies wear." I went to Amazon and ordered some "incontinence underwear," which in this case were black lacy panties with a big pad in them. Washable. She was okay with those because they looked like regular panties. A few days later I started to put Depends inside these panties, and she didn't object. When she looked in the mirror, everything was "normal." I don't think Depends are a comfort issue, they're a dignity issue.
The bullets below are from a talk I give on caregiving, based on many years as a 24/7 caregiver. (I put these on another thread, also). You might want to look at these (you will recognize them), and consider how long you are prepared to go through this. Almost half of dementia caregivers die before their LOs, mostly due to stress, which is a killer. Here's what caregivers are up against:
The caregiver is often exhausted from lack of
sleep due to having to be alert all 24 hours, even when they are nominally
sleeping, lest their LO get up and wander, fall, choke, vomit, or something
else that’s dangerous.
The caregiver is constantly frustrated by things
disappearing, work constantly being undone, spills, food on the floor, etc.
The caregiver has to do all the chores they once
had to do, all the chores their LO once had to do, and more chores that neither
had to do, but have cropped up due to this disease. Some of these new chores are very distasteful
The LO's lack of cooperation on such things as
dressing them or getting them to the rest room is a constant source of
There are no days off and no sick days for a
caregiver, almost no chance to ever relax.
They are “on duty” 168 hours/week, the equivalent of more than 3 full time
jobs (even allowing 7 hrs./night sleep).
If somebody told you a friend was working three full-time jobs, the
normal response would be, "That's crazy.
They're working themselves to death!"
In addition, this disease is not inexpensive,
and many have great financial stress added to the mix.
While all this is going on, the caregiver is
constantly grieving. They grieve for
their LO, and to a lesser extent for themselves because they no longer have a
life to speak of.
Dear dear Tinie, you are not alone for sure. I also want you to know that you do not have to be perfect. Please do not feel you need to shoulder caregiving alone. Especially if you feel depressed and suicidal thoughts are creeping in. (Happens to the best of us.) I hope you share these thoughts with a counselor or family member or someone you feel you can trust. I felt better having an antidepressant adjusted and also having a family member giving me respite on some Saturdays. Being a caregiver is emotionally and physically taxing. It was difficult for me to ask for help. But please do look into any help from anyone you can. 24/7 care is too much for anyone.
Remember again that we care here. This board has helped me so much. I'm sure you'll find it a great resource, too. Take care.
Hi Tinie --Good on you reaching out for advise .
After you hopefully get some respite it maybe time to take a step back and review what you have committed to.
You are young and spending your prime working , mate seeking and family making , years on this project. Restarting it all at say age 42 will be much harder.
If you decide you want the family to come up with another plan for your grandmother, you will not have "failed." You helped as much and as whole heartedly as you could.
You deserve a full life for you. Take care.