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I'd like to join a chat room

Question: Is this a web site to chat with other caregivers? I need this as I have been taking care of my mother for eight and a half years.
Dr. Amy: This site does not have a chat room; however, readers can (and do) add comments after any letter, if they like, and start a conversation with others. A letter that I wrote in 2011 about chat rooms received a number of comments, and people shared their experiences in this way. I am filled with compassion when I look at the posts that have come in.
At the same time, as I mention in the above-noted reply to a reader, there are a number of caregiver chat rooms. Many are organized around a specific disease. For example, some are hosted by organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Here is the link to this chat room.
I think chat rooms have a lot of potential, in that they allow people to talk to others without leaving their homes. Sharing your struggles, reading about other people’s challenges, and seeing that you are not alone can bring a real sense of relief.
I know that sometimes, due to exhaustion, stress, and the endless pile of work, it may feel that snatching a few minutes to join a chat room is all you can manage. I also know it can feel like an added burden to hear that you need to take care of yourself— some caregivers feel selfish and guilty taking time out.
Having said that, I do want to encourage you to attend to your needs as well as the needs of your mother. Sometimes, we do not realize how much negative emotion and stress has built up inside until something happens that overburdens us. It can be the case of the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. In addition to joining a chat group, I encourage you to think about the food you eat, exercise, meditation, prayer, and respite care. How might these, too, improve your wellbeing? Speaking personally, I find physical exercise helps me cope with stress. As always, if you have not been exercising regularly, talk to your doctor before beginning a new workout routine. I send you peace and strength.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 3, 2021 at 1:06 pm | Posted by Karen

    Dad is 84 has Alzheimer’s. Mom is 75 and takes care of him 24/7. I’m the only daughter. I cook, clean house, cut grass, shop, pay bills and stay with them all day everyday.l, 7!days a week. My husband takes care of house and car repairs. But that’s not enough.I don’t know how much longer I can do this before I explode, I’m concerned about my marriage. I hate my life right now, please no judgment. Anybody else out there feeling hopeless?? All I hear is she needs a break well so do I-from HER and him. Please tell me someone else feels like their life is over.


  2. October 3, 2020 at 12:15 am | Posted by patti

    just too long of a story. been caring for my husband for 5+ years. No help, no relief, no get away. I also work part time. worked full time for 30 yrs. I hate to make this sound like a "ME" situation, but it is. for the last 3 yrs, he does not get out of bed, but to walk a few steps to a chair, or wheelchair. Is living in the living room. I do everything. including care of him. and it is medical, as well as physical. would be so nice to ask questions. I want to quit work, I am almost 63. I am tired, and just tired. is there help. ask me anything.


  3. May 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Posted by Ron

    My mother has Parkinson's disease. That stupid name. I hate it. Anyways, wanted to speak to anyone who had or has a love one with this horrible disease. Any disease is horrible, but my family got struck with this one for whatever reason. Is there anyone gping through the same thing?


  4. August 30, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Posted by Jimmy

    Does anyone have advice for me? My name is jimmy and for over a year I've been full time caregiver to both parents, mom has Alzheimer's and dad has 6 months to live , his bone cancer took a turn for the worse. I gave up my job moved back home and it's 15hrd a day 7 days a week. I'm trying extremely hard with mom, I know it's " the disease " that makes her say things, but now she keeps saying " dad isn't sick at all he's only looking for attention " etc etc. I think I've done pretty well, but I'm really starting to feel the burnout, along with financial times as well. To add it all together? I'm also in recovery from drugs and alcohol, so all of this tests me everyday. I love my parents, I chose to be here but I need advice thanks in advance


  5. September 28, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Posted by C laddladd3383

    In struggling with my 87 yr old father...I'm the caregiver have stage 4 cancer....I can't d o it...ugh. My back has metal in it...what moron decided I'm the guy. I just can't give him the care he needs. But I don't wanna c him in a home. U guys goin though this too?.


  6. August 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Posted by Carol

    My husband suffered a major stroke four years ago this last June 29. I have tryed everything to help him to get some of a normal life back and so far Nothing has helped. His health has been slowly going down hill and he refuses to do anything to help get back to a some what normal life. We have no support group here in the town I live in. I have my mom whom I talk to about this but, she' s like me what do you do to get someone to understand life doesn't stop after a stroke. HELP


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