I feel like I'm neglecting my own well-being, but I don't know where to start in prioritizing my needs

Hey guys, I’ve been feeling somewhat overwhelmed recently. I feel like I’m neglecting my own well-being, but I’m afraid to be seen as selfish by my family. I’m taking care of my father with Alzheimer’s, and it’s a lot. I barely have time to take a shower at peace. How have you managed to find balance and take care of yourself while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s?

Oh, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I experienced the same issue when I first started taking care of my mom. I eventually realized that I can’t help her if I’m burned out myself. So, I started going to therapy and it has helped me a lot in finding balance.

I agree with LoneWolf – therapy really helps. When I first started caring for my grandma, I also set aside some “me time” each week to do things that I enjoy and help me relax. It can seem like a waste of time to be out doing something fun when there’s so much to do at home, but it’ll catch up with you if you don’t take that time. Caring for family like that is a huge responsibility

That’s a great idea, MJimenez. Caring for my dad has been difficult, but I found that exercise helped me a lot in managing stress. I made it a point to run a few times a week. I guess I’m afraid of my family complaining that I’m not committed enough, but man it’s hard to be on call 24/7. Therapy sounds like a great start, and to be honest, I haven’t been asking for help because my family is big on guilt, so I feel like this is the least I can do. I’ll give both a try.

Also, remember that asking for help from others is not a sign of weakness. There were times when I asked my siblings to look after mom when I needed some time for self-care. And a friend told me recently about respite care, you might want to have a look at that too.

Yes, that’s so important! In my family, it’s hard to get that support because everyone is dealing with their own stuff you know? Family drama, work, plus we all live far from each other. And we’re not really great at communicating, so there’s a lot of unresolved issues. But we’re working on some type of system so that we can all pitch in.

That’s a good start, MJimenez. Sometimes things just suck and we gotta make the best with what we have. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself, Participant 1. Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s is not easy, and it’s essential to recognize the effort you’re putting in.

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I’m currently caring for my aunt with Alzheimer’s and I can definitely relate to feeling overwhelmed. I’ve learned that joining a support group has been really helpful for me to connect with other caregivers going through similar situations. It’s crucial to acknowledge our own emotions and needs, so that we can continue providing the best care possible for our loved ones. Keep up the self-care, reach out for help when needed, and remember that your feelings are valid!

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Thank you all for the insights, it’s such a relief knowing I’m not alone in this journey. Caregiver1, I truly empathize with you. There have been so many days where I’ve felt the same way while caring for my mother. Please remember that self-care is not selfish, it’s crucial for you to be able to provide the best care you can. Do not hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, or support groups when things get overwhelming. Wishing you strength and resilience in these challenging times.

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I was a caregiver for my father, and after his death, for my mother. But had Alzheimer’s.
I first thing is to try to have an understanding with family members that you, and you alone, will be making all decisions for your father’s care, as you are the only one who knows what it’s like to be a carer for an Alzheimer’s victim. I had that assurance from my two sisters. It got sticky when one or the other sisters interferred with my decisions but didn’t want any part of caring for our parents. My bro-in-law, sent a nasty letter to me, saying that since I had a grown family and no wife, it was my "responsibility to be the carer. That was the last time I ever spoke with him. Things get difficult before ever getting to the caring. Both parents went to DayCare and enjoyed it a great deal. This gave me about 7 hours during the day to do what I needed to do, or nothing! I also was able to hire a lady, from a chance reading of her ad in a local throw-away newspaper. She, and her sister, were saints! Raised by a nurse mother so they knew about nursing care so some degree. They had zero experience, which was great because I trained them and they were made a part of the family. Both of my parents welcomed them as if they were new family! Best and most important rule: don’t disagree with anything that the patient says; there is a lot more going on in their brains than most family AND doctors recognize, but it is difficult for the victim to speak as we expect them to. If they want to call me Shirley, and my name is Fred, does it really matter? So start talking to them about Shirley, have a laugh, everyone is without stress of a wrong name, or wrong anything! No locked doors in my parent’s home - your parent is not to be treated as a caged person maybe trying to escape! They are probably as bored and you are fed-up. Get over it, let them go outside, use your skill to know if they need a walk, and walk well behind them so they feel free, not caged. Change everything you can to reduce / eliminate conflicts! I can go on for hours. I was spent, washed up, many times. But there were always ways to recover. Neighbors, if only for 15 minutes; church members, the Day Care was extraordinary. Drives in the car - often to nowhere; sometimes to a restaurant: when you have a moment, tell the server to make sure everything in cut to mouth-sized bits, make no special fuss! Meals were never a problem, even when my Dad lost his ability to speak except for yes and no. Ask only questions that require the word/words that your loved one can say. Problem addressed. It isn’t all fun, and there are times I wondered how I would go on. But a good laugh with either or both parents, was like a magic pill for me - until the next crisis. And there always will be. Your Alzheimer’s Wing of our local hospital was an immense help as well.
Ask me and I will try to reply. My Dad lived for only 4 years, once diagnosed. He was in super good health to start and throughout, but he lost the ability to differentiate between swallowing and breathing. God bless him. My Mother was diagnosed 4 months after my Dad died, as if she knew she had to be strong for him. She lived for 7 years and both sisters shared her care after the first two years of her illness. Again, super healthy except for Alzheimer’s. Bless her as well. W

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Sorry for my typos! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Wow, ibz1492, you have shared so much valuable insight and information. I’m currently taking care of my mother with Alzheimer’s and I’ve had my share of tough days too. It’s really comforting to know there are other people out there who get it. I’ve juggled between respect for her autonomy and fear of her safety but your perspective on their freedom makes a lot of sense. Also, I hadn’t thought about meal tips, and that seems like something very practical and easy to implement.

I appreciate you sharing about your own struggles and how you found ways to solve or alleviate them. It gives me hope, reassurance, and a feeling of community, which is much needed during this time. Bless you for the kindness you’ve shown to your parents and to all of us here for sharing your priceless experience. I’ll definitely keep your words in mind as I navigate through this journey.

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I gain a lot of comfort by sharing my experiences, it is my pleasure I assure you. It has been many years since my parents left us and my memories are only of the laughs, the fun and may very funny things that happened during those 12 years.

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It’s truly heartening to hear such optimistic and amused recall, ibz1492. It reminds us that, despite the challenging circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in, joy and humor can still be found. Your experience has resonated deeply with me and provided a wholly new and comforting perspective on the path I’m navigating. Your practical advice and insightful observations will no doubt be incredibly helpful moving forward. Thank you for being so open and willing to share your journey. It’s further reassured me that it’s possible to teach and bring light to others even amid challenges. Bless you.

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Reading everyone’s experiences and advice has been incredibly helpful. I am just stepping into the role of caregiver for my mother with Alzheimer’s and it’s great to find a supportive community who understands what it’s like. ibz1492, your story was particularly inspiring. It’s encouraging to know that even through this difficult journey, there is room for humor, joy, and love. Thank you to everyone for your empathy, advice, experiences, and uplifting words!

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Thank you for all you input and advice. I just started caring for my mom with aphasia/dementia, theres been good days and not so good. I try to maintain my sunny disposition and do all those things you recommend. We moved to another state and am trying to get all my important/imperative tasks taken care of that go along with it through going to all her new dr.s visits, and getting her situated. Its been overwhelming. This community is so helpful! It shows us we are NOT alone, even if we are physically, but the insights and recommendations give such hope and inspiration. Thank you!! God Bless!

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lovingdaughter, sounds like you’ve been through a whirlwind of changes and adjustments lately. I can imagine the challenges. Remember, it’s completely okay to feel overwhelmed. Transitioning to a different state, managing new doctors, and settling your mom in a new environment is tough. But, you’ve got this! Remember to breathe, take things one step at a time, and also carve out some time for yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes each day. You’re definitely not alone.

And Michael58, joining a support group is a great idea. It offers an understanding and empathetic environment to discuss challenges, get advice, and find comfort in knowing that many are facing similar situations. Thank you for sharing that valuable insight. It’s always assuring to know that our feelings are valid and it’s okay to seek help.

No matter how challenging the day gets, remember, this community is always here to lend an ear and give advice. Keep your spirits