Caretakers like me? Single not by choice

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Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/27/2011 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
My boss and co-workers know about my mom's condition (Parkinson with Dementia) I tell them about my ordeals nearly every week. I always shake my head in disbelief when they ask me why I don't date or if I want to try on-line dating. My only explanation for this absurd question is that they think I don't have time to look yet I would have time to see someone if I had the chance??? I am the sole caretaker for my mom and that alone should be explanation enough.

Does anyone share my predicament? My immediate thought is to yell and say I don't even sleep through the night because I have to take my mom to the bathroom 2 times a night and I rush through trips to the supermarket because every extra minute i use up I'll have to pay the lady watching my mom for me while I'm at work. Instead I say I'm too old or there is no one out there for me. Yeah I just make excuses that regular people can relate because they don't know what it's like to care for someone to the extent that i do.

That's why people say Alzheimer's is the long good bye. It lasts years and outsiders forget that there is so much care involved and goes on and on and on... You tell someone you have a family member with Cancer and of course the issue of dating would never be brought up. I don't get why people think it's different.

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/27/2011 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not single - been married for 22 years, but I understand what you're saying. It's hard on a person to be a sole caretaker. Even though I had my kids and my husband to help me out, it still felt like I was the only one. My gma was a bit stubborn and wouldn't let my husband nor my daughter help her however my son could do no wrong. I still had a hard time just getting out of the house. I could only imagine how hard it would be to actually go on a date or to just go out and have a life.

Yes, people just don't understand. But that falls into the category, if they haven't walked in your shoes, how can they possibly know what it's like? That sort of thing. You can either ignore them or explain to them what it's like. If they understand - great! If not, walk away.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/27/2011 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I've talked about my mom to them almost weekly and they act like they understand my hardship but this clearly tells me they don't. I see my friends about every 6 months or so and I've limited them to about 2 or so now because the more friends you have the more time it takes to see them. So in your situation it would be like someone asking you if you ever thought of joining a gym or a social club to meet new people. Time is required to do everything. When that's lacking there is no further discussion needed. People that only have themselves to worry about really live in a bubble.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/27/2011 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   

Bella, I'm not single either, but I was the sole caretaker for both of my parents -- not an easy task and as patient as my husband was, I know he was feeling like he was by himself a lot. But, at least I had some respite by being able to go home and have the caretakers take over. Not that they weren't calling all the time though! Even though I didn't live there, I still took care of all the shopping, doc appts., meds, etc. (and still do even though my Dad has passed) It's not easy and there is no time in between working and taking care of their needs. I don't even feel like I've had time to fulfill being a wife.

Now here's the part I have to admit I feel bad about. about 2 years ago, one of the ladies in the office was the sole caregiver for both of her parents and she lived with them. They were so ill, but she worked and had full time caregivers and she told all of us constantly about what was happening with her parents. We sympathized, but now I know I didn't sympathize to the full extent. Why? Because I didn't really know what she was dealing with. I knew, but hadn't walked in those shoes. Now I can fully sympathize with her.

Just wanted to say that I can totally feel your anguish. It's not easy being a caregiver ((hugs))


Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/27/2011 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for truly understanding. Do you know the ironic part of this is? These people say stuff like this and then forget about it but the person on the receiving end gets hurt for days afterwards. They don't care to begin with so they make comments the same way.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/12/2011 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
We understand more than you think. I was sole caretaker of gma, and my mother seriously only gave me 4 hours a week off. What I finally did is called Adult and Family Services and asked for the Worker who handles In home Elderly care. I managed to get on a program where I could have 20 hours a month off, and it was paid for to have a registered nurse watching gma. It takes a special person to do what we do, and don't forget it. But remember in order to take care of them, we must take care of ourselves (Sherry drilled that in my head). I managed an entire year taking care of Gma and being in chemotherapy at the same time. Her medication was needed adjusted, my mom wouldn't listen. It got to the point where I decided to listen to Sherry and everyone else when gma had me corned strangling, kicking, biting, hitting, trying to pull out my PICC Line (an IV that Stays in your arm even at home), and much more. I did only thing I could do, grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket, dialed 911 and hit send then shoved the phone in my pocket. I prayed that the dispatcher heard me despite it being in my pocket. Gma gets worse if you talk about her and not to her when she's in one of those states, so I simply kept directing it at her, "grandma please stop hitting me, grandma please stop strangling me" 'grandma you have alheimers" I said alzheimers because police are more familar with alzheimers than dementia. I was alerting them of the situation they were coming into that way. They sent police and medics. The police talked her into going to the hospital by agreeing I was a crazy lady and if she got in the ambulance she wouldn't see the crazy lady again. At the hospital, she attacked a few hospital staff, and won restraints and the netting over the bed. Then a trip to the mental ward, where she attacked them, but they managed to get her on a wonderful med. The point of the story, do not let it get to where it got me. If it wasn't for Sherry, I don't know what I would of done. (love ya sherry )
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 11/12/2011 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Good gosh! you poor thing. Luckily for me, my mom doesn't have a mean bone in her body so she's never attacked me. She was always a victim of circumstances so she never acted out her frustrations. She always kept bad things to herself. Of course i get days where I am just completely exhausted from working full time and then having to do instant laundry because she peed out of her diaper and onto her bed sheet when I forgot to have her sleep on top of her liner or have her slide off the couch and takes me 40 minutes to get her up and having every muscle in my body in throbbing pain from lifting dead weight. Then there are days where she smiles and hugs me and pats me on my back when i sit next to her. I try to focus on those days and imagine being 5 years old again and having my mommy protect me from the evil world we live in.

I haven't slept through the night in over 5 years. I feel so different from people around me who go out and have dinner with friends or go to the beach or travel. Geez I just want to get more than 5 hours of sleep in a row for once. That is heaven to me. These are things my older sister gets to do but not me. Same family different fate.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/12/2011 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Why dont you call Adult And Family Services. I qualified due to income 20 hours a month... If i was exhausted, I'd have the respite nurse come in for 4 hours and I slept. I transformed the indoor garage into an office, with a hide a bed couch... I seriously would just go in there and sleep. You need to take care of yourself hon, so you can take care of mom.
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 11/12/2011 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I do have someone watch her from the time she leaves daycare center to the time I get home from work which is 4 hours a day. That's all I get. I live in California and the state is broke. The daycare centers are about to close at the end of the month due to budget cuts and I don't know what i will do then.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/13/2011 3:36 AM (GMT -6)   
The end of the month is in a few weeks, I'd definately make some calls if I were you. Perhaps on your lunch hour at work?
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 11/13/2011 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Make calls to who? I'll just have to pay out of pocket to have someone watch my mom during the day time in place of daycare center. I just have to remember people are hurting all over. At least I have a job that I like so to me that is my free time away from home stress. One day at a time....

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/13/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Adult and Family Services. You qualify for respite care. It is based on your income on how many hours you can get. If you are that high incomed to not qualify they can at least point you the right way
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 11/13/2011 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I do have this service. For us it's called in home support and I already have as many hours as the state will allow. Unfortunately like I said the hours I have only covers the time my mom leaves the daycare center to the time I get home from work. I still don't get a break after work. When I complained about the lack of hours i receive I was lectured by the social worker that it is only a supplement to help out, they are not responsible for my mom, I am. Enough said. I also do not like to be monitored or screened for fraud which is happening a lot in the state. I'm self sufficient and I work to support my mom and me and I'm grateful for this additional help. I shouldn't complain. I think people get too comfortable with govt assistance and start to demand it as if they are suppose to get it.

Nothing is free in this world. You get govt money then you get watched like a hawk. I prefer my freedom.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 11/15/2011 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
It really does depend on what state you are in. I too am in California and there are limited services compared to Pennsylvania where my husband's parents live. They have several resources to help with care for my mother-in-law who has severe Alzheimer's. They now have full time care provided by the state...not sure that's ever going to happen in California given the state of our state!

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/15/2011 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
ahh, go one state above, and we have great elderly resources. ~per the rainy state of oregon
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
We are thinking about it Smurfy! We are nearing retirement age; and now have high deductible health insurance thanks to my "large" company giving into corporate america thinking -- not sure if you have some sort of insurance for retirees? If not, then maybe we'll go to Canada, ha. :-)

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 12/23/2011 12:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I am not single but we had each parent with us when they needed care. I worked full time and had a paid caregiver for 9 hours during the day, then i cooked, cleaned the house, did everyones laundry, picked up meds, took parent to doctor, to hospital. when we had to have a caregiver at night I had to check every 2 hours to see if the caregiver was sleeping or not.

I was exhausted every day when I went to work. When that parent passed away then 1 month later another parent stayed with us. Both my husband and I are only children so no siblings as backup.

I understand how you feel,eventhough a woman is married dont assume the husband helps in the care of a parent. It was like I was single.

I will pray for you and take care of yourself

Soft Hugs
Betsey
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of tibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected leg continously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/ metal removed in July//then total knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take oxycontin,flexeril,cymbalta,vicadin for BT

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 12/26/2011 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Betsey,

If you had to check on the caregiver every 2 hours then why have one at all? It's like doing the work anyways AND paying someone to do the work again. Yes I understand the woman always do the grunt work but.... at least you had your husband for heavy lifting work if you needed it right? My mom always slipped off the couch and it always took me at least half hour to an hour to lift her back up. This is when a big strong man would come in handy. I tried looking into getting something to help with that but what I have found is crazy expensive so never mind.

Being an only child is not much different even if you had siblings. There is always one person who does all the work anyways. In my family that would be me. I am the youngest of 4 but the only one living with my mother in the same state so lucky me.

I always cringe when I hear people being older parents. Those poor kids will be doing what we're doing that much sooner. It's always "oh I'm healthy and more responsible now then when I was younger so having kids now is way better" Yeah, if only people stay healthy until they are 100.

Thank you for understanding what I go through. It's good to know I'm no alone.
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