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I am a Caregiver

 

I am a caregiver.

I am a caregiver who gave up my career to care for my mom. I am a caregiver who took on a second job to pay for care. I am a caregiver who lost my job because I missed too much work caring for my spouse.

I am a caregiver who cries alone in the bathroom. I am a caregiver who can’t remember the last time I felt anything. I am a caregiver who is angry at the hand I’ve been dealt. I am a caregiver who laughs when I am nervous about what the doctor may say.

I am a caregiver who is a single child and wishes I had help. I am a caregiver who has several siblings, but wishes I was an only child. I am a caregiver who sees asking for help as a sign of weakness. I am a caregiver who asked for help and got it.

I am a caregiver who forgot to eat yesterday. I am a caregiver who eats because it’s the only joy in my life. I am a caregiver who eats once a day because my dad’s medication is too expensive.

I am a caregiver who kept my mom at home but wonders why. I am a caregiver who found a facility for my wife but can’t bring myself to move her. I am a caregiver who placed my mom in a memory unit before she really needed it just to get my life back. I am a caregiver who hired help so my mom could stay home and thinks it was the best thing I ever did. I am a caregiver who chose a facility for my dad and thinks the same thing.

I am a caregiver who answers every call from my mom. I am a caregiver who lives next door to my mom, but wishes I lived across the country. I am a caregiver who lives hours away and is thinking about moving my mom in with my family. I am a caregiver who never picks up the phone when my dad calls.

I am a caregiver who prays my mom will die peacefully soon. I am a caregiver who is hoping for many more years. I am a caregiver who doesn’t know what I’ll do when my dad is gone. I am a caregiver who has a list of things I want to do when I have the time.

I am a caregiver.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. August 13, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Posted by Debi

    I am a caregiver to my Mom. She started having signs of dementia about 4 years ago, I took it as she just lonely since my Dad had past away and she just over thought everything. She now lives with us full time, she fell in March and she crushed her spinal cord in her neck area. Surgery went well and she was in a rehab but she was very upset and always angry there. I brought her home to make sure she is well taken care of. I do all her bathing for her and she is unable to walk now. She is afraid of falling even when I am there with her. She has slapped me and called me bad names also, but I would not put her in a home no matter how hard this gets. She is my mother and I will take care of her til the day she dies. Debi

    Reply

  2. March 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Posted by carol smith

    I am a care give, who has been blessed to be able to care for my Mom and now my brother-in-law. I Thank God for letting me be useful, what is life for? :)

    Reply

    • March 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Posted by Cat Koehler

      Thanks for being a caregiver, Carol! Your family is lucky to have you. Cat Koehler

      Reply

  3. March 10, 2015 at 10:41 am | Posted by brenda hay

    Loved this. Thought you would too. Brenda

    Reply

  4. March 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Posted by Marilyn Lund

    My husband, 72 yrs old, had to retire from his mgmt job of 48 years because of his memory. Once he retired he was home but was still able to drive. Never got lost . . . . but would go into stores shopping, which he always loved to do, but couldn't find the right word for what he was looking for. I am working 3 jobs and knew he was happy shopping. But 2 times in 1 week stores called the police thinking he was confused. Picked up by the police. Had to take his car away, not because he could drive, (He was able to drive fine and never got lost) but he would keep going into stores. Since my 3 jobs are my lifesavers, I didn't want him sitting here alone with no car so I put him in Active generations Daybreak program where he stays till I pick him up after lunch. This is a Blessing. Once he gets in the car he wants me to take him to a store, which I have done Many Many times, still can't find what he is looking for. Once we get home I have 2 dogs to take care of, I have a 9 month old lab, I would have never gotten and he is a handful. Also a 5 year old shitzu. Jim takes a nap and I do my computer work for my jobs. Then he is up and want's to go somewhere and on and on. Time to make supper. I don't Have 1 Minutes peace once he comes home. He takes care of himself, dressing, bathing.... But he wont leave me alone once we come home. He gets mean and calls me terrible names, have been slapped in the face a few times. PLEASE any suggestions Thank you Marilyn Lund

    Reply

    • March 10, 2015 at 10:49 am | Posted by Cat Koehler

      You must be frustrated, Marilyn! We all deserve a little decompression time. Could you take an hour after work to come home and relax or get a few things done before picking your husband up? Or even sitting at a little cafe or in your car for a bit to decompress could help. Jim sounds like a man after my own heart - loves to shop! Perhaps you could schedule a shopping trip each week and put it on the calendar. Help your husband create a list of things he'd like to look at or buy in the days leading up to the shopping trip. This will give him something to do while you're tending to the dogs, dinner, or work, and it will provide a guide for him once you're out shopping. You could also pick up a few catalogs for him to look at and mark what he'd like to buy - this would also give you some time. The slapping concerns me, Marilyn. Have you discussed this aggression with his physician? I urge you to talk with the doctor about it to see if there is something they can do to help. Good luck! --- Cat Koehler

      Reply

  5. March 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Posted by Ann

    Powerful!! I suspicion that each individual caregiver has felt many of these things, and many of them at the same time.

    Reply

  6. March 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Posted by Judy

    I am a caregiver who has 2 step sisters and 1 biological Brother. My Mom raised all of us as if we were all her biological children,did the best she could.The step sisters have moved several hours away,but my Brother lives within 10 miles or so from me. In the five or more years I have cared full time for my Mom, who has Dementia/Alzheimers,I have had 1 weekend away after asking for help from one of my stepsisters.I did this so I could attend my High Schools 50th Reunion.My Brother by birth has given me 1/6 of 1 day!!! He kept our Mom for four hours, and came back telling me how difficult it was.My Mom is now getting beyond what I can physically and emotionally handle.I refuse to beg for help!!I will check into respite care,or some other services.These people will be first in line for their 'inheritance' when Mom dies,and I will be the first to tell them they deserve nothing!!Why does care giving always end up the responsibility of only 1 child in a family??

    Reply

    • March 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Posted by Cat Koehler

      It shouldn't have to be so hard, should it, Judy? I'm so sorry you're going through this. Perhaps you could sit down with your three siblings and lay out the realities of you mom's health, the current care situation, and what you see as the options moving forward. Clearly let them know how you are willing to contribute: I can care for Mom full-time M-F if the three of you can provide care on the weekends from 9AM - 7PM each day and for a full week twice a year. You can provide the care yourselves or pay for someone to come in and care for Mom. - They will probably balk at this and say they can't do that. Listen to them. When they're done, ask them how they think Mom's care should be handled. You can get some more tips on sharing the care at http://www.caregiverstress.com/family-communication/solving-family-conflict/. Good luck, Judy! ---- Cat Koehler

      Reply

  7. March 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Posted by Vicki

    i associated with this I'm a full time carer for my mum and I'm trying to convince her to go into respite for a few days and she is refusing to

    Reply

  8. March 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Posted by Eleanor

    After another up and down night with my husband, I am totally exhausted. Read this and cried for Him, myself and all the others!

    Reply

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