Three days of respite care...
Not sure I should be posting tonight as I feel like crap and am not sure what I'm saying. I came "home" yesterday after three wonderful days and nights with my son, his wife, and 3 grandboys ages 12, 7, and 5 at an indoor water park that also had a great variety of other activities. Had the best time ever!
The kids were a pure joy, and the time away was wonderful. I found relaxation I haven't known in a very long time.
So what's the problem?
I came back. I put quotation marks around the word "home" because it's my dad's home, not mine.
I gave up my home two years ago. I took an early retirement and quit my job.
I pretty much have no friends now. Going out, means eating somewhere by myself.
Yet, I don't date, because I feel like I can't handle one more obligation or complication.
I've decided that it's very possible to die from loneliness. Today, after a wonderful time away, I woke up angrier than hell at the whole world. Angry all day. Crying off and on. Now more depressed than anything else. I realize I have no balance in my life.
Going away was wonderful, but now that I'm back I'm not sure I can deal with this anymore. I think I've failed Caregiving and want to walk. But the conflict is, I can't desert my dad at this point. In the meantime, I have no life. Almost 62 and have taken care of others my whole life. So I'm angry and depressed today and feeling lonely and hopeless.
Dulcie, I read your post and it brought tears to my eyes. You are not alone. There are so many caregivers feeling the same way. The feelings you are having is so normal. But, What I think your body is saying to you is, you need a change.
So, lets explore what your options are. You have moved into your dads home. Is it in your name? Or is it still in your dad's name?
I get the impression, that your dad does not qualify for any community services. I am going to play devils advocate here- because, I want to understand what is going on.
Why do you perceive placing your dad in a NH as a failure? Why do you expect so much from yourself, when your physical, mental and financial future is really being affected?
Why do you feel that you can do this alone? Is placing him in a NH, and you advocating for him, a failure or an acceptance that you are human and not super human?
Who is going to take care of you when you are ill?
Who will take care of your dad if you are no longer able to care for him, because of illness?
You know, we lost Keith, one of our members, to death. He was young, in his 50's I think.
I spoke to him several times, and he could not bring himself to get off that caregiving roller coaster. It cost him his life.
His mom, Lily, god bless her, may still be living for all I know. I have so many caregivers here- that are on the same roller coaster.
They cannot see that they are having an adverse reaction to their health. Did you know that caregivers, even 3 years after the caregiving journey stops, continue to suffer the effects of chronic stress.
I understand where you are.
So, the tough choice here, is - why do you view making yourself a priority as failure?
As hard as it is, and I know that, when I say this, I have so many of you think I am terrible- but, I must say it- I do not see placing someone in a nursing home as a failure. It is a necessity, when the caregiver is not longer able to do it alone.
In fact, caregiver burnout and stress is the reason for elder abuse and neglect. Caregiver burnout, stress, and guilt causes people to make poor decisions. Decisions based on emotion and not logic.
So, please be gentle with yourself. You need to make some tough decisions. I am here for you, no matter what you decide to do.