Care Givers Fear

Sleeping - Hate having to watch to make sure he is still breathing.
@webeishere (36353)
United States
June 11, 2007 8:41am CST
As most my friends here on myLot know I take care of my elderly father. In the past 12 years he has had 4 strokes and one small heart attack just recently. Now he lives with me since 2004 when he had his last stroke. he called saying he had to live with me as he couldn't nor wouldn't trust himself alone. Now taking care of my father is like taking care of a baby at times. He does feed himself. he trys to cook for himself ever so often but I don't trust him enough to leave him in the kitchen alsone lately. I do the cooking for him. Sometimes I will be gone and he can and does use the microwave for TV dinners or leftovers to reheat. I have to bathe him also. Ewwww! Anyhow this is the worst part of caring for a loved one as I do. He has a set routine of when he gets up and eats and when he sleeps etc. The problem occured this morning. When he wasn't up for his usual 8 a.m. breakfast I had to go check on him. The thing is with his ailing health I check on him a lot. making sure he is breathing first and foremost. This is a bad fear I have of finnding him passed awasy some day. So I have this need to ALWAYS check on his breathing when he doesn't get up. When he is napping on the couch etc. I hate being the one to find him passed away but I know it'll happen one day. It's just the fear of it when it does happen. I secretly always hopes that when he does leave it would be during the time I leave to get my wife or when I am gone. I don't nor want my wife to be the one to find him. But I don't really want it to happen in my presence is all. Just a fear and all that I have. Just wanted to state this as I just checked on him and woke him up for breakfast. Any comments or suggestions? I am going to search into joining a support group for caregivers and a few others also maybe. Thanks in advance. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB!!~
18 people like this
20 responses
@Fulton (219)
• South Africa
11 Jun 07
Hi Grandpa Bob. I have great respect for people who take care of the elderly, seeing that we all grow old. It sounds like your doing a great job, and it must be difficult sometimes. It saddens me to see old people being neglected and shoved away somewhere. We had a case resently about a guy who had his mother locked up in a little room in the backyard. They only fed her bread and water, you should see what the poor thing looked like. Him and his wife is currently awaiting trail. - Ronelle Fulton, South Africa
3 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Thank you also friend. There are some seniors placed in homes with alzheimers and their families don't even visit thinking that they don't know them anyhow. The point is that it's a loved one. Thanks again. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
12 Jun 07
My friend, I also share this with you....my Mother has lived with me for several years after her aneurysm...she has no short term memory at all...not 5 minutes worth...I also must bathe her and remind her to brush her teeth and things of that nature... I am also very fearful of the day that will inevitably come...I have a 5 year old son and they are very close...she plays with him and watches Dora, Spongebob, Diego and such with him....enjoying it as much as he does...she has a childlike mindset anymore and absolutely can not be left unattended.... I, also, frequently get up through the night to check on my Mother and my son.....her breathing patterns are well known to my memory although she has scared me a time or two..... I am a caregiver and a support group is a wonderful idea...it would provide much comfort and valuable information with you at times....I think that the years that I spent as a geriatric nurse helped some but still I share your fears resoundingly...
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
i GOT A CALL TODAY FROM THE LOCAL hOSPITAL. tHEY HAVE A FEW DIFFERENT GROUPS AND THEY ALSO HAVE SOME CLASSES FOR CAREGIVERS. gOING TO CHECK BACK WITH THEM ON tHURSDY. happy postings from grandpa bob !!~
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
12 Jun 07
First off- let me say how wonderful it is that you can take care of your elderly dad- I think it is a great thing for him! My dad is in his 50's- so I'm not in the same boat- but I thought I would share my dads story- My grandpa (dad's dad) got pretty sick a couple of years back and ended up in the hospital- He got out and went back home- My gram is still alive- It got to the point where she could not take care of him- He would not do things she asked- like get up to use the bathroom- clean up- eat, anything- He got mean- I think it was senile- because most of the time he had no idea who we even were- My dad stepped in- He basically lived there everyday- slept there towards the end. He too, bathed, helped feed, and took alot of abuse (mental) from my gramps towards the end- It was the saddest thing to see- what was happening to my gramps- and to my dad- My dad would cry- But he did it- He stayed right there until my gramps passed away- Still to this day my dad said it was the hardest thing he ever did- So I say Bravo to you- It' has to be hard taking care of a parent- I understand- I would never want to be the one to find him gone either- but you are doing a great service to your dad- I would look into a support group also- but just know how happy you are making your dad!
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Thank you very very much also.
1 person likes this
@vanities (11410)
• Davao, Philippines
11 Jun 07
well right now i am also taking care of my mom, but not like as your dad..my mom was stroke but was able to recover immediately..she was diagnose as TIA..its a kind of a warning for an impending future stroke..at first 2 days of her sickness im the one who also bath her...but since onward , shes independent already..and recovering and unto this date i think she regain her strength and acts normally again...and i do hope it wont happen again ..its her first time to get sick aside from a normal fever or colds...im too is thinking of that.. i mean passing away ..but i just leave it to God i guess...
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Good luck and best wishes. parents need us also as we needed them once.
1 person likes this
@archer1811 (1099)
• Philippines
11 Jun 07
HI! you're a great son, i admire you for doing that in your father, their are only few people like who's willing to take care of your father and even sacrifice just to show your love to him, some children bring their parents into the orphanage when their old and i hate that, after their parents take care of them eversince they start breathing on then suddenly when their parents get old they dont have the time just to spend and take care of them. I admire you grandpa bob!!! Keep up the good work. By the way, your fear is also my fear too, am afraid of the time that my parents even my father in law or mother in law have to leave us, as of now i dont want to think that yet, what important is they are still strong and whenever they need us we always here for them and we love them so much. Go grandpa bob, just spend the most quality time for your father as long as he's still on your side, continue showing all your love to him, and God will grant you all the best that you ever wanted to your dad. I salute you for taking all the sacrifice only to show your love to your dad.
2 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Thank you very much. That's the one thing all the family has said of themselves, we do not want to be in a home of any type. So that's why I take care of him. Thanks again. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I think it's wonderful that you are caring for your dad. I used to work in a nursing home and an adult care home, and I saw so many lonely, sad people whose families stuck them there and then never visited. So what you are doing is commendable and admirable. I know it's not easy, and yes, some day he will pass on, but I am glad you have this time with him.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Thanks for these kind words also. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Bob I've never been in the possition of caring for a loved one but I think I told you before I worked for several years in an adult foster care home. It is difficult - I loved each one of the residents as if they were family and even now still think about them and keep them in my prayers. I would highly recommend you find a support group - you need encouragment and support as well as 'time out'. Am keeping you all in my prayers also.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
I took some "ME" time this evening. I just returned from another trip to the casino with an A.A. friend. Was there 6 hopurs and had a blast and a lot of stress removed from my shoulders being there. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~ (I lost)
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jun 07
You've been given one of the hardest jobs on this planet. I know how you feel. I took care of my mom towards the end of her life. I don't think it's appropriate to tell my story here, but I lived your fears. It's totally normal to feel the way you do, so please don't let the guilt from your feelings get to you. It's only humane. Try to think about how you're getting to spend time with him. Make some good memories with him and tell him that you love him everyday. My brother lives with guilt because he didn't make the time to be with my mom, although he's a very busy man. It saddens me to see how much this bothers him even though it's been several years now. I know that what I had to endure will never pass, but I don't have the regrets that he did because she was here with me. You could have a look at this site to see if it has resources for you. I wish you the best of luck from the bottom of my heart Grandpa Bob. http://www.aoa.gov/prof/aoaprog/caregiver/carefam/carefam.asp
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
He isn't the love you type so that phrase was seldom heard around our family except me and my mom to each other. But he knows the love is there as I do. Thank you very much also. And like myself you've also a kind and deep heart. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA NON !!~
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
11 Jun 07
This is an excellent discussion topic. I know it must be difficult to be in your shoes and I think most of us kids will have to be at one point or another. I know that I would do as you do and keep my parents at home and make the best of it to care for them. It is scary to have to worry if they are breathing or not because they aren't on their usual schedule. I understand your secret hope that he doesn't pass in your presence, just peacefully in sleep. It is difficult to have those fears and to live with them daily. You are a very strong person and I think that is a great idea that you join a support group to help along with talking to people that really understand your position. Take care hon!
2 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
12 Jun 07
The other really hard thing which has gotten worse is the dementia. I have to watch him when he takes a walk up and down my driveway or to the mailbox. I don't ;like the idea of him wandering off either. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Your a good guy Grandpa Bob. I would have done the same thing but my mom and dad are both gone. And I think its a great idea to join a support group for caregivers. I dont blame you for having that fear of finding your dad gone. Its only natural I wouldnt want to either. Your a good guy.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
11 Jun 07
And thank you also. There are many different groups here. That's one problem. I don't want to get bogged down in groups again. Hahaha!! HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@vonn1378 (706)
• Philippines
12 Jun 07
Hi GrandPa Bob!! I appreciate people who took care of their elders because in my country there is a close family ties and we show how we love and respect our elders. I can feel the fear ur into though im not in a situation like yours. But just show all ur love for him as long as you can and fear not coz God's always there to give strength. Don't worry too much in waking up one morning that he's not breathing anymore coz that will just add stress and fear in you. =)
@Bren57 (37)
12 Jun 07
If your father lives in your house it is inevitable that you or your wife will find him one day. It may be when you return from an outing or it may be when you check on him in the morning hours. You will not be able to determine how or when this time comes. Just make the best of the precious time you have left with your father. That way you won't have any regrets afterward.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 07
I know exactly what you are talking about. I was my mother's caregiver most of my adult life. She had one mini stroke after another it made her completely incontinet. I don't know if you went through this but my family never lifted a finger yet were quick to critcize.I was constantly checking on her when she was sleeping or napping to make sure she was still breathing.If i were you I would highly suggest a caregiver's support group.I don't know what i would have done without that support group.I am now in the position of having to care for my father-again no help from the family but lots of critcism - which is extrememly hard but there are no support groups where i am now.if you have one near you ,please take advantage of it
2 people like this
11 Jun 07
Well your doing a great job buddy. I know when I'm older I'll be the first on to jump at chance to look after my parents, although I doubt my brother will especially if he marries who he's dating. It must be very hard though and I can't give suggestions although I look after my son for most of the night. (between turns) Still I hope you find what your looking for and god bless! ~Joey
2 people like this
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
11 Jun 07
I'm sorry to hear about this , grandpa. I know what fear means. It will leave us powerless and not be able to control our own faculties. I'm doubly sorry that I can't provide any more helpful ways to deal with it. My grandmother was 98 when she passed away. She single handedly raised me and my sibling whilst my parents were out working. Her last five years was spent bedridden and we had no choice but to hire a nurse to tend to her. Everyday, when I came home from school, I had this fear of seeing her. Deep in my heart, I knew she will not be staying with us much longer. But I refused to accept this fact and selfishly prayed that she will have more years to live. On the day she passed away, the school administrator fetched me and my sibling and told us about our grandmother. I can't say I'm glad that my grandmother didn't passed away with us beside her. But it was less painful for us this way.
@MsTickle (25050)
• Australia
13 Jun 07
I know your fear Grandpa Bob and I really feel for you. recently, I lived with my Dad for nearly 2 years. He's fit and healthy and active but not as strong as he used to be and he's gradually slowing down. He also gets quite confused and forgetful. He's 94 this month and lives on his 120 acre property by himself. He too has a routine so if his waking up time came and went the adrenline would start a slow but steady pump through my body. Especially if I hadn't heard him get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Unlike you, I was too scared to look in on him. For some reason 2 of my siblings were actively encouraging me to leave even though Dad needs someone. He has said he wants to die on his property and doesn't want to go and live somewhere else. I know he has to go sometime and he's had a hard life but a good one having done everything he wanted to do. I just don't know what I'm going to do without him.
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
13 Jun 07
He has lived a long life already. I am glad he is still healthy also.
@susieq223 (3742)
• United States
12 Jun 07
I know what you are saying, Grandpa Bob. You know, I think, that I take care of my terminally ill husband. At times when he is really sick, I do watch his breathing, often waking at night to see if he is still breathing. I have mixed emotions about it all. I think when the time comes that I see him not breathing, there will be some relief. Relief to know that he is no longer suffering and struggling to breathe. (He has emphysema) Even some relief to think that my waiting is over, too. On the other hand, I fear that moment also. I don't know what I will do when it comes, and I know it is coming. We have elected that he will die at home if I can continue to take care of him. Since I am the only caregiver, I'm quite sure I will be the one to find him. I hope I can be holding his hand when it happens, though, rather than having him go when I am not in the room. I guess whatever happens is going to happen, though. Right?
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
13 Jun 07
Yeah that relief is what I know will come some day. His relief in passing and my relief in his passing also. I just hoope it's peaceful passing is my concern. HAPPY POSYTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB
@Sherry12 (2475)
• United States
13 Jun 07
That is very nice that you are taking care of your father and are so concerned about him. Your fear is normal. I think joining a support group would be very helpful for you.
1 person likes this
@someonesmom (5765)
• Canada
11 Jun 07
This discussion takes me back many years, Grandpa Bob, to when I was a teenager. I was 18 years old, and the sole caregiver for my mom, who was dying of cancer. I prepared all of her meals, helped her to bathe, and to use a bedpan. She was totally bedridden at the last. Back in those days, there weren't nurses to come in, or hospice care available, etc. etc. Her wish was to pass away in the hospital, so we (her kids) wouldn't have the memory of her going at home. They took her in about a week before her passing. I really feel for you in this situation, and think a support group is a wonderful idea. I wish they'd have had these types of things, back during my mom's illness. Also, someone suggested here, hiring someone to give you a bit of a break, and this may also be a good thing for you. It's important to look after yourself as well, as I ended up quite ill (after mom was taken to hospital), and wasn't there because of this, when she did pass away, although my brother and sister were. I can understand your fears too, about finding your dad, as I'd be that way now too, but back then, I was so young, I didn't really realize that this could've happened to me as well, with her. My thoughts are with you, and I can tell you're doing a great job looking after your dad.
@anup12 (4180)
• India
11 Jun 07
It is a very nice discussion really.I hope you get maximmum responses for it.
1 person likes this