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Support for Caregivers


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Ok, despite having been a caregiver for almost 4 years and being a moderator on this thread devoted to family members/caregivers, I didn't appreciate how hard that role is until last week.

I've been very involved in mom's care, but I live 500 miles away so I've been researching and advocating and offering support by phone and visiting as frequently as I can. But that's different than the hands-on 24/7 caregiving I discovered her last week of life. We were fortunate in that mom didn't need 24/7 care until the end. When I got the NC at 2:30 am on Saturday morning I got a few hours of sleep and went to the hospital to see her. I pretty much didn't leave, except to come home to shower, change and take delivery of the hospice equipment for three and one-half days. If she slept, I got a little sleep, but she didn't sleep much. The last night it seemed like every time I laid down she needed something. She wan't being difficult, she truly needed me to help her. But I don't see how one person does this for more than a few days. After 5 days I was about to cry I was so tired and so frightened.

So all of you hands-on caregivers out there have my complete admiration. Remember that this forum is a place where we can ask advice, share experiences or just come and vent when we think we can't take it any more. Trust me. Any of us who have been there will understand the need to vent and won't think any less of you for it.


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Susan, I wrote this long, well thought out sharing, and bam! Got a DNS server error, and it was gone. Dang!

Anyway, I was my Mom's caregiver from 1989 (breast cancer) to 1991 (bypass surgerys for PAD), to 1992 (liver failure) to 1996 (lung cancer). She almost died so many times that I called her the Energizer Bunny, who keeps going and going and going....when it just seems she should not keep surviving these traumatic health events.

It took a terrific toll on my physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I emerged from it a better, more compassionate person, but wow. What an ordeal.

When she died, while I was devastated, and still miss her, a part of me was glad that her long time suffering was finally over.

Judy in MI

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