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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 06/12/12

How do you survive LONG-term caregiving?  I am in my 12th year and exhausted to the point of wondering if I will go before my 92-year-old mother.  My father died in 2010.

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Name: Private Caregiver Support
Location: Illinois
Date: 07/24/2012
Time: 01:30 PM


IT IS OK FOR YOURSELF TO PUT HER IN NURSING HOME 2004 My Mother 80 years old in Nursing Home 2005-2007 My Father 82 years old in Skilled Nursing Home My Brother, 68 is a cancer survivor for the past 8 years Stage5 Throat-Cancer, Stage 4 Lung cancer removed one lung. Has pancreas small tumor inside and does chemo monthly he is still at home. 2010-2011 My other brother died of cancer was in a Nursing Home 2003-2012 My Mother-In-Law is 90 My husband sold his (paid in full) mobile home and land to keep her in her home we ive with her. But, we ran out of money and live on S.S.. My husband is 70 and I am 65 the Lawyer said, we can't afford to caregive her anymore. We need to take care of ourselves. There comes a time when hard decisions need to be made to take care of yourself. IT'S OK TO PUT HER IN OTHERS CARE.

Date: 06/21/2012
Time: 12:47 PM


Remember you cannot do it all. no one, except you, expects you to be "Super Human." After 13 years of caring for my parents and my mother-in-love, believe me you must take out some time for yourself and leave guilt out of the picture. Even a few hours will help give you a new perspective. I feel blessed to be my age and still have living parents. The Lord has been good to me. I feel I am honoring Him as I care for them! I am grateful to be His hands and feet.

Name: S. Christopher
Location: Arizona
Date: 06/16/2012
Time: 06:21 AM


Hang in there! This is my 20th year caregiving to my disabled Son. I write poems,I read, I try to relax when he rests--my forms of escape. But most of all I think of the good times and hug him and tell him how much he means to me--this makes us both feel better, because we have shared a smile of happier times.

Name: Lewis
Location: Australia
Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 08:55 PM


I am in my 13th Year, you must look after yourself first and foremost. How that is done, everyone is different. My mother is 89, and my father 86, so I know how being a carer can tax one's resolve. The fact you managed to care for two people, speaks volumes.

Name: Bette
Location: Delaware County, PA
Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 07:03 AM


Please contact your Area Agency on Aging and see if your mom qualifies for services! This may relieve you of some of your many duties for several hours a week. Also, find out about Adult Day Care Centers. Even placing her fo one day a week can give you time to visit your own doctor and dentist, do chores without worrying about her, go get a manicure or a facial, go to the movies and have lunch with a friend, or just take an uninterrupted nap. Consider approaching family members for some help, especially if they've ever said to you, "If there's anything I can do....." Tell them that there now IS, and ask them to lend a hnd.

Name: Janine
Location: Virginia
Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 06:23 AM


You are already making a good choice by reaching out to other caregivers in this website. I cared for my mother and father for a few years and I know what burnout feels like. There are a lot of websites with forums for caregivers to share their experience and helpful tips for those everyday activities. I learned to take time for myself and not feel guilty about it. Use whatever down-time you have to enjoy an activity that is relaxing or interesting to you. You'll be a better caregiver to your mother. God bless you. I would encourage you to bookmark this site, if you haven't already, and keep coming back. You are not alone.

Name: Dennis Zegarac
Location: Burlington IA
Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 05:48 AM


I can appreciate the fact that you are worn out or wearing down. What you need to ask yourself is: What are my options for relief and be open to all the possibilities including placement of your loved one in a long term care setting. This is one of the hardest things to face but the reality is that ultimately for your own health and well being it may be the option you need to seriously consider. Obviously, if you pre-decease your loved one you will not be around to enjoy the last days of their life. I know it sounds harsh but we meet with any number of families facing the same thing you have expressed. As an Area Agency on Aging we are always available to discuss options for caregiving families. You might also want to consider professional counseling to help you cope with your situation; doing so is a healthy step and should not be viewed as a failure. Good luck.

Name: Tina O.
Location: Texas
Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 05:23 AM


I have been on this journey for 18 months now and I already wonder how much longer can I go on. Caring for my aunt has already wrecked havoc on my physical health; relationships (family, friends, coworkers); job performance etc. in this "short time." There are days that I feel like "this is it" I can't go on like this much longer. Since you have done this for 12 years, I need to ask you what have you done to survive 12 years? Were you caring for both parents at once in the past? To have survived that difficult period and the death of one parent - you're doing something right to have held strong all this time.

Date: 06/12/2012
Time: 05:09 AM


You need a break find someone who can sit with them at least once a week. I do caregiving services for that reason.



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