care takers forget to take care of themselves

@winterose (39918)
Canada
March 29, 2008 1:43pm CST
yes I know your loved one is sick and needs you, but do they need you 24 hours a day, does it mean you have to give up your entire life for them? Are you not a person that is more than a nurse? Do you not have family and friends and places you want to go and things you want to do? You don't have to feel guilty for being human and having needs, and you don't have to neglect your love one either. If you are having a problem making a good balance there is help please tell us your story Caring for a person with a chronic health condition--especially some forms of dementia--takes a toll on the health of the caregiver: It can cause increased stress, lowered immune function and premature aging. How to reduce the risk? Ask for help from friends and family, take time for yourself, and tap into local services such as adult day-care facilities and Meals on Wheels. Visit eldercare.gov, or call Eldercare at 800-677-1116
4 people like this
5 responses
@sherrir101 (3670)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Yes, caretakers forget to take care of themselves. Both Bruce and I have Multiple Sclerosis and when one of us has an *episode*, the other one ends up sick in the end. We are each other's caretakers. We wear our systems down taking care of the other one's system. I know this last time Bruce got an episode, I took care of him and wore myself down tremendously. I ended up getting sick due to my system being worn down. Thank God we don't have these very often, because neither one of us like to ask for help.
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Its great that you have each other. What do you do though if both of you end up having an episode at the same time? Is there anyone else to help?
2 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 08
Thank God that has never happened. But my mom is near enough. And my sister, Jodi is a nurse. (Bruce and I did have the stomach flu a couple weeks back at the same time)
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
29 Mar 08
yes it is great you have each other and a backup as well with family and you have found a fun outlet mylot and more, and yes you would get sick after caring for someone in need, I do too, that is why we must always take care of ourselves too.
1 person likes this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I am a caretaker for my Mom. Physically her health is not too bad. She's had heart surgery, high blood pressure, and diabetes but her real problem is mental. She is bipolar with paranoid schizoid affective disorder (meaning she has some of the symptoms of schizophrenia but not all). It does get to be hard because she is real nervous during manic stages and follows me around the house making me nervous. She is on her meds but they put her on the new ones and it doesn't keep the moods in check like the old ones. I would like to take a break sometimes but Mom can't be left alone for long and has never wanted to stay with anyone else either. I am lucky though. She likes to get out to the house and go places (she almost has to most times) which is better than being stuck in the house all the time. I know some people are caring for bedridden people who need constant attention. I definitely think in cases like that they should get out of the house on a regular basis. You can't take care of others as well if you don't take care of yourself.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
29 Mar 08
but what about your life? can you go out with friends without your mom, can you have a boyfriend? can you just go and sit in the park and read by yourself, please talk to her doctor and explain you need some time to yourself too, see what can be done, you don't have to do it all on your own, even if your mom is bi-polar you have a right to some kind of a life.
1 person likes this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I'm married so sometimes I go for a short drive after my husband is home if I'm having a hard day. I don't get out much by myself anymore.
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
30 Mar 08
A large part of the reason that the former roommate is a FORMER roommate is because she was expecting me to come home from work and do stuff (wanted to use a different word here) for her. "Tell me as soon as you get home. Wake me up if I'm asleep." "get me (this)" or whatever as soon as I got home from work! Telling me what I should be doing for her and not doing stuff that she could do for herself. I gave her some rules to live with to continue living with me and she broke them once too often. then she had a big breakdown, called the cops and stuff (want to use that word again.) I told them that I wasn't putting her out at that moment, I had given her 30 days to find a new place, we'd checked with the tenent's coucil and that was perfectly legal, she had signed a contract before she came home that she would abide by the rules and she hadn't. I have fibromyalgia, I didn't need that stuff (want to use that word AGAIN) I didn't need to be working a full time job and come home and taking care of her. Now I'm retired and she's actually my client for the health care company, but she's been out for 3 years, I gave her 2 years before starting to work for her. she now appreciates what I do for her and most of the time isn't calling me when I'm off work.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
30 Mar 08
I am so happy she is okay now, that is good
@tjades (3592)
• Jamaica
30 Mar 08
This is so true. It does seem to hold true for so many other areas aas well: The dressmaker hardly finds time to sew herself a nice dress. The furniture maker does not spend as much time making top class furniture for his home as he does for others. Pipes in the plumpers house are crying out for attention. Cooks spend so much time trying to ensure that others are satisfied they forget to feed themselves well. The teacher spends less time with his/her child than he/she does with other children. It is a wicked cycle but apparently takes a lot of discipline to break. We all really need to take some time out pamper ourselves sometimes. (lol)
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
30 Mar 08
you are absolutely right, I hadn't looked at it that way but it is so true.
@KrauseHome (35291)
• United States
30 Mar 08
This is so True. I have known people who are Caretakers for others, and it seems their life gets so wrapped around that they never take time for themselves, and their Health, and such deteriorates in the process to where they usually end up needing a lot of help in the end as well. Back when I was in my Early 20s I worked as a live-in care giver, and even though it was an experience I will never forget, I could never do this type of job again. For me, it is too demanding with no FREE time for yourself. If I would ever do Health Care again, it would be Home Health where you go in and visit someone, help change their bandages or something like that, and then leave. You might have 6 people a day you see, but you do have a home life to go too, and time for yourself if you take it. These people could learn a lot from this discussion. Good one to bring up.
1 person likes this