Is anyone else the primary caregiver for someone in their family?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TennisPlayer, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. TennisPlayer

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    Oct 23, 2009

    My dad has been home for 2 weeks and so I've been driving him around to all of his appointments. I was just about to drive him to a walk-clinic nearby but then my mom got home to take him. I hope he's going to be okay. He has been feeling muscle pain in the back of his legs. When I googled it it could be his cholestrol medicines. I was going to "go home" today after this morning's dr's appointment but I have a hard time leaving without someone else being around to make sure he's okay. My plan is to leave early in the morning when it's light out. I don't want to drive home in the dark if I'm feeling emotional.

    Anyone else suddenly a caregiver to someone in their family? It's tiring/emotionally exhausting but I have to help dad out since I don't have a day job right now. I just hope he really gets better soon with everything going on so he can enjoy himself more! It's hard seeing someone in pain or weak, etc.

    I toss and turn when I sleep at their house since I just sleep on the couch but I feel like I need to be here. So hoping for a better night's sleep tonight!


    Thanks for listening.
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 23, 2009

    I am the only sibling in my family that is responsible for my mom. She doesn't live close by, but if something happens to her (she is 90 years old,) I am the only one who will make decisions, etc. It's daunting to think of, but I have no one to help me out when the time comes. I work full time and run my own household so that will make it that much more difficult.
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2009

    TennisPlayer, your position is a tough one. Carring for a sick parent is emotionally and physically exhausting. I've been going 140 on weekends to help take care of my mom and dad. Mom has fallen and has been in a lot of pain, nothing is broken, she's just in a lot of pain. They're the sweetest and loving people in the world but it gets hard. I'm tired from having worked all week and dealt with second graders. They have somene staying with them from 8 to 5 M-Sat, but are alone on Sundays.

    Hang in there, hope your dad gets better soon. Watching someone suffer s heart breakin.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I was the primary caretaker for my mom when she was dying of cancer - physically and emotionally exhausting. Take care of yourself as best as you can. I always seemed to be the strong one on the surface but I would fall apart in the car all the time. Actually I am glad I did it - I can look back and said I did my best to make her last months as bearable as possible. My sister mostly stayed away because she was uncomfortable and regrets it now.
     
  6. Blue

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    At one point in my life, I resigned my job and moved 300 miles to stay with my parents. My father was dying and my mother was in Chemo. It was the best decision I ever made. I got to spend some wonderful time with my father, and my mother needed my help.

    I tried to care for my mother, but I could not deal with her dementia. I found a place for her in a wonderful care facility.

    Your best is good enough.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 23, 2009

    My mom isn't old, sick, or in need of constant attention. She does, however, have to have someone to take her places because she doesn't drive due to a brain tumor that causes seizures. She hated to give up driving, but Dad was retired by the time she was diagnosed. Over the past 7 years she's gotten used to the idea of not driving. Then when Dad died in March, she's felt bad about having to have me take her every place.

    She doesn't even go many places. Church on Sunday, the doctor, and an infrequent trip to the store. We attend the same church, and she's only 3 miles from me.

    When my dad got really sick in March, I took off work and moved in with my parents to help care for Dad. It was a lot to deal with emotionally & was physically tiring as well. But I am glad that I was able to do it.
     
  8. TennisPlayer

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    Oct 23, 2009

    What do you do when your recommendations about something get turned down by the person you're trying to help whether it's bringing something up to the doctor, etc and they don't want to? If you really think it's in their best interest, what do you do?! I'm trying my best to be patient but this is a new role for me and I'm doing it alone.
     
  9. Special-t

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    Oct 23, 2009

    I lived with my mom for about 4 months before she passed away.
    It's probably the thing I'm most proud of in my life and I've given the advice to others that they will never regret this time spent. So when my husband's mom and dad came down with terminal cancer at the same time a few years ago, I encouraged him to live with them during the months they were sick (I'd go down and stay with them on the weekends).
     
  10. TennisPlayer

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    Oct 23, 2009

    Yeah I appreciate being available but sometimes I just feel pulled to be 2 places at once since I am married. I don't want my husband to feel like I'm neglecting being home either when I decide to stay here a day or two. I'm doing their chores when I'm here since my mom works long hours as a -surprise- teacher, hehehe.
     
  11. Special-t

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    Oct 23, 2009

    It kinda matters what it is and how lucid your dad is. If you think he's having a reaction to his meds - or something serious like this - I'd call his Dr. and let him know. If it's something much less serious, let your dad maintain as much control over his life as possible.

    By the way, I got my mom Life Alert so I felt more comfortable leaving her home alone. I sold her on the idea by stressing that if there is a fire or a burglar, she just had to press a convenient button for help ... and ... if she happened to have health emergency, it would be there for that too.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    You will be torn but it won't be a permanent situation and I am sure your husband will step up to the plate.

    You walk a fine line on the advise thing - you have to remember he is an adult and still capable of making his own decisions whether you agree with him or not. State your opinion, don't nag and let it go.
     
  13. blindteacher

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    Oct 23, 2009

    Tennis Player, this must be such a tough situation. While I'm not the primary caregiver of someone, I'm on the other side. My wife has been my primary caregiver for the past few months and I can't thank her enough. She's done so much to help me.

    I always feel so awful about being a burden, but as someone who is able to function thanks to a great caregiver, I hope that I speak on behalf of your father and other elderly or disabled people when I say that I can't thank you and other caregivers enough. People like you make a huge difference in our lives.

    :thanks:
     
  14. TennisPlayer

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    Thanks, that was nice to hear. I know he appreciates my help and I'm learning that if he says something that isn't nice it's because he doesn't feel well at that time.

    Oh good, they just got home so I'll ask out things went.

    Good night everyone!
     
  15. Blue

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    Oct 23, 2009

    Sometimes you just have to over ride the wants of your parents. My father did not want to disturb the ER people, so waited until morning to go in. He immediately had emergency surgery in the waiting room. From that day, I decided not to let them get away with putting off medical stuff.

    My family got power of atternery over my mother. That helps so much now that she has dementia and can't make decisions.
     
  16. Dzenna

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    Oct 24, 2009

    You are in a very touchy situation. My DH's mom will be 91 in January. His dad died at 93 a year ago. We are the primary caregivers. We felt very uncomfortable stepping-in regarding medical issues. FIL was very lucid but not giving medical personnel correct information, nor was he understanding what the doctors were saying to him. He would be in ICU saying to us, "I think I coming home tonight." Our roles changed from children to care providers. We had to speak with the doctors and nurses directly. At first, we felt as if we were invading their privacy.

    The last year of FIL's life was really tough. We managed medications, made medical decisions, and cared for MIL too. DH and I both work. We felt like we were neglecting our own children. We spent many nights in the hospital or at their home and our children ate fast food at home.

    MIL is now in a senior living center. She lived for a short period of time in her own home (her choice). That was really tough. She did not want to live with us. We had to buy food, manage her finances, drive her, manage her medical care, clean, etc. It is wonderful that we don't have to worry about her day to day welfare now. We still drive her to church, MD, do her laundry, and manage her finances, but we know she is safe and healthy.

    Trust your gut, you know what is best. Remember, something has got to give. So if your home needs cleaning, or you have piles of laundry, and eat fast food for a while, so be it.
     
  17. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oct 24, 2009

    I am the primary caregiver for my mom. She doesn't want my sister involved in her personal affairs, and my brother doesn't live nearby. She is battling brain, lung and spine cancer. And I also work fulltime and have 3 elementary aged kids....I'd love to move her into my home, just because it would make it so much easier for me (she lives a half an hour away), but she has 2 large dogs and we have no yard for them....

    My dad is still around, but he isn't very "nurse-worthy" if you know what I mean. I'm responsible for all of her medical appts, medicine refills and scheduling, personal hygiene, outings, etc. Fortunately, my aunt comes once a week and does her hair, and takes her on small errands, and we pay my aunt to do her cleaning, and my dad does take her grocery shopping on Saturdays. I go every Sunday and do all of the laundry and other errands (drug store, craft store, Target, etc.), and prepare 2-3 meals that can be reheated throughout the week. While I'm there, I help her bathe. I go on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well.
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 24, 2009

    KimRandy, you really have a lot on your plate. Is there a senior meals on wheels that could bring food in? And, senior services might have some services that would not cost anything.

    Being a caregiver takes such a toll on the family.
     
  19. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Kim- You do have a lot on your plate. You must really be organized. My hats off to you!
     

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