Are you exhausted?

Are you just completely overwhelmed, tired, at your wit’s end trying to figure out how you are going to be able to keep this up? And, are you wondering why in the heck you’re even trying to help? You don’t get thanked anyway. You’re always the bad guy even when you’re busting your tail trying to help. This caregiving thing can really suck. It’s a lot of work.

How can you even sustain this at this point? You really are just hanging on a thread with no end in sight. Everything you do is an uphill battle. Trying to get through to the physician is a gauntlet. The nurse is supposed to call you back. She’s going as fast as she can with a thousand tasks all yelling at her to do. It’s never-ending the barrage of tasks that you have to try to get done in one day just to try to keep mom or dad happy. And, it’s not working. They are not happy. Thought about throwing in the towel?

You’re not alone. It’s ok. You can feel that way and you are in good company. Caregiving for a family member takes a toll on you and them. It’s not easy for either one of you. This is where I tell you have to get help. You have to figure out how to get some help. Or, you have to figure out how to get out of the house. Or, you have to figure out how to get them out of the house so you can have some alone time.

Getting help is not bad and a sign that you are a bad caregiver. I dare say, when you decide that you don’t need help, that’s when you’re showing signs of being more about yourself than about the person you’re caring for. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Get over yourself. You are not that important. You are not the only one who can care for mom or dad. They’ll be just fine with someone else. Even if they tell you they are not going to be ok. There are great trustworthy loving folks out there either outside of your family or inside of your family that can help you and carry some of the load.

When a senior gets to the point when they no longer can read the newspaper, change the channel on the television or maybe stand, they are in trouble. And, you’re in trouble with them if you haven’t figured out why, what, when, where, or how you’re going to get some help. This is a scary time for them. Their whole life has changed and you are stuck on being a hero. Not a good thing. I’m not trying to pick on you, really. I just have taken care of thousands of seniors at the end of their lives along with some of the best caregivers in the world. When your eyes are open and you can really see, you’ll see life through mom’s or dad’s world and get a glimpse as to what’s going on in their heads causing them to be grouchy, clingy, despondent, or several other behaviors that are hard for you to handle.

The key to handling the strained relationship with mom or dad at times is just to put it in perspective. You’re not their whole life. They have memories. They have their little world that really means a great deal to them. So, don’t worry. You are not all they think about. It’s ok if you don’t please them. It’s ok if everything you do just seems to be met with criticism. Don’t sweat it. Just smile and see them as the way cool mom or dad who used to bust their tail to take care of you. Just see them as loving you and trusting you so very much. You don’t have to make them happy. You just have to get your head on straight and play offense. Have a plan. Go to the coffee shop, take your notebook to bed, get up early and have your cup of coffee and make a plan. You’re a smart person. You can do this. Don’t be such a baby gripping at everybody about how hard you have it. Just make a plan. God Bless You. He is helping you. Your parent or loved one is precious to Him and you are privileged to be running alongside them at the end of their race as they get ready to cross the finish line. God Bless You and God Bless this great country we get to call home, The United States of America!