Marriage And Caregiving Have More In Common Than You Think

Pam Plencer of Johnsburg, Illinois, the primary caregiver for her mother reports, “I’m always tired. A lot of nights I can’t fall asleep because I’m thinking about the events of the day.” Pam adds, “Caregiving has probably affected my sleep and my immune system.” Research proves that Pam is unmistakably correct. The people in my story aren’t the sort to abandon their mother because she’s old. I admit that, while I don’t miss my family, I do sometimes miss the story we used to tell, the one about a bunch of people who loved one another no matter what. As numerous studies have shown, the stress levels are higher in caregivers and it’s important they unwind once in a while to stay physically and mentally healthy. The majority of part time nannies have some other commitments to her work, study, or family. That didn’t work, either. If there were, it would be a snapshot of my parents and me, taken on an Easter Sunday more than a decade ago while both my mother and father were still alive. As Alzheimer’s disease overtook her, my mother was the first of us to forget these things.

Stuart’s mother recently became ill and requires constant care; his brother and sister aren’t helping, and Stuart’s looking for a way to stop being mad at them. Fibbing was a venial sin, but if your brother walked out on his wife and kid to shack up with a heroin-addicted cocktail waitress, it was best to pretend he hadn’t. It’s also advisable to keep the lighters and matchboxes out of sight and you have easy access to a fire extinguisher. If you have hired a nanny, then your child will also feel more comfortable in the familiar surroundings and his/her napping and eating time will remain unaffected. It can be particularly disheartening if you feel that you’re in over your head, Dementia Training Online if there’s no hope that your family member will get better, or if, despite your best efforts, their condition is gradually deteriorating. And when you get to that point, both you and the person you’re caring for suffer.

While caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, it also involves many stressors. During the 15 years I spent as my mother’s primary caregiver, I heard this story endlessly from strangers and friends: “I’m caring for Mom (or Dad) and none of my siblings is lifting a finger.” Sometimes, the deserted parent in the story had been an ogre; more often, they’d been, like my own mother, beloved by all her kids. We’d be eating cold ham from paper plates and wearing troubled expressions – Mom because she’s not sure where she is; Dad because we’ve arrived late for brunch to discover everyone had eaten without us; me because it’s finally sunk in: None of these people at this party is going to change their mind and start helping me care for Mom. I tell Deanne my theory that modern American culture supports a me-first mindset, encouraging us to choose an easy life over helping Mom exit hers.

People often told me how sad it was Mom didn’t recognize her kids, but I was glad. After we hang up, I head to the internet where I read an article about “within-family variability” that suggests letting go of expectations, and another about “caregiver sibling resentment” that says honest communication is key but nothing about how to talk to people who never showed up in the first place and who prefer to prevaricate. When I tell Hank I don’t want to be the victim in my life story, he suggests reframing my abandonment. I don’t mention that I still tell that story, but only to myself. I mention I’ve rarely spoken to my family since that day. We need to take care of our emotional needs by spending time with friends and other family members. 55a02af2e4b0ecec71bc2c44″,”caption”:”Make sure your parents receive the appropriate amount of care by assessing the caregiver’s degree of speciality, Inside Elder Care recommends.

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