As I sit down to write this blog post, I can’t help but feel the weight of exhaustion and frustration that has been building up over the years. Being a family caregiver for my elderly parent in declining health has been one of the toughest challenges of my life. I try to stay positive and focus on the good moments, but the emotional and physical stresses are beginning to overwhelm me. I do not mean to complain as I write this, but simply to lament some of the struggles that we face as Family Caregivers.
It Started All-Too-Fast
It all started when my mother’s health started to decline rapidly. At first, it was small things like forgetting where she put her keys or having trouble walking long distances. However, over time her condition deteriorated, and she started to need more help with everyday tasks. Before I knew it, I had become her primary caregiver, and my life changed completely.
The first few months were tough, but I was determined to do everything I could to help my mother. I quit my job, moved in with her, and started learning how to take care of her. I would wake up early in the morning to cook her breakfast, help her get dressed, and make sure she took her medication. It was a full-time job that left me exhausted at the end of every day.
As time went on, my mother’s condition continued to deteriorate. She started to have trouble speaking and would get confused easily. I found myself spending more and more time taking care of her, and less and less time taking care of myself. I stopped exercising, stopped seeing friends, and stopped doing the things I loved.
The Heavy Weights of Caregiving
The emotional toll of being a caregiver is something that no one can fully understand until they experience it themselves. Watching someone you love slowly slip away is heartbreaking, and it’s hard not to feel a sense of guilt and helplessness. I often find myself questioning if I’m doing enough for my mother or if I could be doing more.
The physical toll of being a caregiver is just as challenging. My days are spent lifting, bathing, and dressing my mother. I’m constantly on my feet, and my back and knees ache at the end of every day. It’s hard to find time to rest and take care of myself when I’m so focused on taking care of someone else.
The financial burden of being a caregiver is also something that can’t be ignored. Between medical bills, medications, and equipment, the costs can quickly add up. It’s not just the financial burden that’s challenging, though. Being a caregiver can limit your job opportunities, and it can be difficult to find a balance between work and caregiving.
Doing My Best
Despite all of these challenges, I try to stay positive and focus on the good moments. Seeing my mother smile or hearing her laugh is what makes it all worthwhile. Knowing that I’m able to provide her with the care and support she needs is a source of pride and joy.
But there are moments when it all feels like too much. When I’m up late at night, worrying about my mother’s health, or when I’m so exhausted that I can barely keep my eyes open. It’s in those moments that I find myself longing for a break, for someone to take care of me for a change.
In conclusion, being a family caregiver for an elderly parent is an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. It’s a labor of love that requires immense sacrifice and dedication. While it can be overwhelming at times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My mother has always been there for me, and now it’s my turn to be there for her.
Made-Up, not Make-Believe
The preceding article has been a fictional, yet heartfelt, account of the struggles faced by a family caregiver. While our journeys as caregivers may differ in specifics, the paths we are on remains extremely similar. Our days may be emotionally exhausting, physically taxing, and seemingly impossible, but this too shall pass. Be encouraged. Remember to treasure these precious moments that you have been gifted, because they will not last.
Not a Happy Visit to Mom’s
There is a sad dilemma which plays out in many homes during holiday get-togethers: The kids come home for what they thought would be a short visit – then encounter an emergency situation with their parents.
In some cases, the parent had slowly declined over the past year and had reached a point where a care decision could no longer be delayed. Some decisions, however, to be made now and the kids knew that it had to be made quickly.
Quick decisions were necessary because (1) Mom or Dad’s health required immediate action; (2) the kids had very little time to act; (3) they couldn’t just go back home without doing something.
Many of these kids did take some action such as doing family meetings, seeking immediate medical attention for their declining parent and taking actions to make homes safer.
But they knew they needed to do more and are still struggling with the question of what to do next. It is for this reason that we wrote Mom’s Christmas Shocker. This book discusses the very situation that we discussed herein, which is how to make a difficult decision such as discussed above in a very short period of time.
To read more about Mom’s Christmas Shocker click on this link to go to the page where this book is discussed in greater detail.
Were YOU Shocked During a Recent Visit?
Were you shocked over the Holidays when you visited your parent and realized things are worse than you thought? You have your own life, work and responsibilities. What will you do? Let our eBook help you with your “speed planning”.
We’ve been there & we understand.
That’s why we wrote a book to help you make the best decisions for your parent as quickly as possible.
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link ~> help.mom/cc <~ and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
I find the things I have read very helpful . Thinking about getting book. I’m looking into getting Medicaid for my mom now . Hopefully if she ends up in assisted living, they will cover it ? Her health has been declining do to AFib. She is 92 and has lived with me about 5 yrs now.
Hey there. Thanks for your interest. Regarding Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) and Medicaid, each state has different policies concerning eligibility for Home or ALF Medicaid. Generally speaking, eligibility for this type of care falls under a Medicaid Waiver program. Unlike Nursing Home (NH) Medicaid, this type may have a waiting list even after you are eligible. You should check with your local government office that manages Medicaid in your state for more information on qualifications and application process. There may be a spend down required to become eligible and I highly recommend seeking out help from a qualified Elder Law Attorney that specializes in obtaining Medicaid for individuals going to an ALF or NH. They will be able to help you preserve assets (if applicable) and guide you through the process. We run our own Elder Law Firm here in Arkansas and more information can be found at https://go.arkelderlaw.com but again, each state has varying policy concerning programs offered and eligibility. Help Me Help Momma is a separate business/community we run to help caregivers. Elder Law Practice is our law firm here in Arkansas. Good Luck!