"I am the solo caretaker for my wife who is a 71-year-old diabetic, totally paralyzed on one side of her body, excessively overweight, incontinent and, in my opinion, an alcoholic because of the amount of gin and whiskey she consumes. I do all the housework, prepare all the meals, [do] all the yard work, do the laundry, make the beds, do the shopping, etc. ... In addition, I bathe her, medicate her, put on her braces, test her blood and help her get up or down when she needs help ... I don't want to put up with her constant demands every hour of the day. That's one of the reasons I don't want to retire although I will be vested next week and eligible to do so. She's constantly at me to retire and be home with her all the time. Am I being selfish not wanting to quit my job? I'd appreciate any words of wisdom anyone out there in caregivers' land might want to offer ... " -- O.
A member responds:
"First off, I want to commend you for a job well done. I was a caregiver to both my mother and father for the past three years. And I know exactly what you are going through. It got so bad with my mother that I actually bought her a bell and she would ring it when she needed something (which was about every five minutes) ... It was tough but I felt I was the chosen one. My mother passed away in November and I miss her dearly.
"My only piece of advice to you is to tell your wife that you have a life. And try to set some guidelines. I did this with my mom, and it seemed to work. Any time she would step on the rules we set up, I would remind her and we would go on. "You should start doing some of the things that make you happy. Just let your wife know that that is what you are going to do, no matter what. She will reach a point and start to accept you and your life. "If you need to vent or just need to talk, post a message and I'll get back to you ..." -- R. For more words of wisdom, join the ThirdAgers Caring for Loved Ones discussion. - - - - -
Source: Health & Wellness