Elderly Parents Caregiver Stress: 10 Steps for Relief

Elderly Parents Caregiver Stress: 10 Steps for Relief

Care giving is an extremely stressful task – mentally, physically and emotionally.

Caregivers are generally 'on call' 24/7, with very little help from other family members. Care giving, as many caregivers find out, can be a physically and emotionally demanding, draining and frustrating task that may take its toll on health, spirit and psyche.

Caregiver Stress

Most caregivers, regardless of age or the needs of an elderly parent, go through periods of stress and anxiety. Caregivers must also take care of family responsibilities as well as the needs of the aging parent, communicating with doctors, dealing with appointments and emotional issues caused by dementia or Alzheimer's.

Today, nearly 80% of individuals diagnosed with dementia or various stages of Alzheimer's are taken care of at home by adult children or other close family members. In such situations, the caregiver is at an increased risk of stress.

What issues are difficult for you when caring for Mom and Dad? Click here to see what others are saying and to share your own experience.

If you are a caregiver, answer the following questions to determine if you might be under some level of stress.

  • Do you feel that you spend so much time caring for your elderly parent that you don't have any time left over for yourself?
  • Do you feel your health has been compromised because of the physical, emotional or mental demands of care giving?
Caregiver Stress
  • Do you sometimes wish you could leave the care of your elderly parents to someone else?
  • Do you wonder what the future holds for the both of you?

Caregiver Stress - Common Health Problems

Many caregivers suffer from health problems related to stress, including but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Physical injury
  • Increased risk of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Decreased immune system functions and more illnesses
  • Higher mortality risk

Take into consideration the fact that a caregiver may be required to spend an average of 70 hours of care every week for an aging parent who has been diagnosed with moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer's. For such reasons, it is vital that caregivers not to neglect their own physical, mental or emotional health.

Stress Relief for Caregivers of Elderly Parents

Caregivers who practice stress relief measures and try to stay as active as possible feel better about their situation, and themselves, than those who don't.

Taking care of the caregivers should be a major priority of family members and friends of those who take care of seniors.

Caregivers themselves can take charge of their health by following a few guidelines for relief every day. Here are 10 ways to nurture your own body, spirit and soul, even if you are taking care of a senior 24 hours a day.

Caregiver Stress
  • Take time for yourself – Even if it's 5 minutes at a time, try to find a few minutes for yourself every day. Go outside. Sit down and meditate. Watch T.V. Read a magazine. Just take 5-minute increments for yourself as often as possible throughout the day.
  • Exercise – 15 minutes of stretching, yoga, dancing… anything to help your body and spirit de-stress.
  • Get Outside! – Every day, try to go outside, even if it's for a few minutes – open the windows – a breath of fresh air can be invigorating!
  • Eat well – Eat well-balanced and nutritious meals, remember your vitamins and drink at least 68 ounces of water every day.
  • Sleep – This is a tough one, but do try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. If you have to, schedule naps when your elderly parent naps to make up for lost hours.
  • Smile – Try to find something to smile or laugh about every day.
  • Listen to your body – Don't ignore your aching back or your growing depression. Listen to your body and take care of it.
  • Ask for help – Don't be afraid to ask for help. Many people are more than willing to help, but are afraid to butt in or imply that you can't do it yourself.
  • Zone out – Read, meditate, pray – do something that brings you comfort and relief – do it every day without fail.
  • Set limitations – Don't push your body to the limit. If something's wrong, get it taken care of before it becomes something much worse.

Nurture the Elderly Parent Caregivers

Taking care of an aging parent may offer a sense of accomplishment and pride, but it also takes its toll in obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

If you are a caregiver, find community resources to help. If you are the relative of a caregiver, do what you can to make her life easier. She deserves it. For a great site with more information on helping with stress issues please see


What Stress are You Feeling as a Caregiver?

How do you Cope? Is it your siblings or your parents...your spouse? What do You do for Relief?

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I am the sole survivor in my family and I have medical, legal & financial Power Of Attorney. My brother ( her "baby" ) passed away Oct. 2009 & my daughter …

Caring for Dad 
Dad is 91, and has been reasonably well given his age. He lives with me. I am a 60 y/o RN who was forced to take early retirement because of back problems. …

Full time Carer for Elderly Father 
My stress relates to not being able to have any sort of life of my own, due to having to care for my elderly dad. Also, I do not have any emotional support, …

Mum has Refused to Wash Herself  
Mum is in her 80s and her and her bed smells really bad: my father or I makes sure the linen is changed regularly and her clothes cleaned; but she refuses …

Keeping it Together... 
How am I keeping it together? I am not a religious person.... more spiritual, and I do pray and ask for help to be a good care giver and to always do …

Concerned for my Mom 
I am deeply concerned for my mom. For 25 years she lived with my alcoholic brother. They spent a great deal of time yelling and screaming at each other. …

Where did Our life Go? 
Hi, my husband and I bought a house together with my Mom when my Dad passed away. My Mom is 80 years old and is blind, she also has a aneurysm and a tear …

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I feel Frustration, which Causes Resentment then I feel Guilty for Feeling that Way! 
My Mother is a great person. I owe her... in this life and maybe others. She had always been needy even when I was a child. I have tried to stay close …

Anger and Frustration 
2 years ago my 84 year old mother fell and broke her leg. We have been living together all my life and I have one older married sister. I am single. The …

Stress from Outsiders 
My particular stresses come from my job and from friends. My job is somewhat understanding of my care giving responsibilities but the stress comes in the …

My Dads Wife 
My Dad remarried (in 2000)after my Mom died in 1995 at the age of 79. My problem is the woman he married is a very private person who dislikes having anyone …

Mom doesnt want to be Bothered with the Assisted Living Events depends on Me Only to Talk to 
I love my mom very much and she is depressed and wont do anything to change her mood. I know she is 88 yrs.old and living in assisted living with activities …

Resentment, Imposition 
My parents were far from perfect parents and even worse grandparents to my children. They became homeless and guess where they wound up. And now my …

Isolated by duty 
Care giving of my mother has nearly cost me everything. I'm a 45 year old single parent to a 14 year daughter and caring for my 77 year old Mother. I …

Demanding Selfish Father 
My Father is 80 and in a nursing home. My Mother has advanced Dementia in the next building of the nursing home. My Brother lives in Dubai, a university …

Caregiver Stress - My life is flashing before my eyes, I'm trapped!!! 
I'm 23 years old and have been caring for my father in law for 2 years. He had my husband very late in life and if 82 years old. At first I knew it was …

Caregiver Stress - It's Never Enough... 
Because I quit my job and helped my dad care for my mother until she died, my siblings expect me to do the same thing for dad. The problem is that I loved …

Caregiver Stress - A Hamster on the Wheel... 
I am an activities director at an assisted living, plus I have had to recently move in with my 85 (almost 86 year) old stroke victim mother. After …

Caregiver Stress - Caring for My 96 Year Old Father 
I am the daughter of my 96yr. old father . Last year my husband,2 daughters and myself moved from our home and moved in with my dad to care for him. We …

Caregiver Stress - Never Going on A Vacation: Money Worries 
Up until I was able to get the medical services for my mom, my sister and I paid thousands of dollars out of pocket in order to keep her out of nursing …

Caregivers are People Too 
For the last six years I have been taking care of all of the medical, physical and emotional needs of my mom since she was diagnosed with dementia then …

Caregiver Stress - What Stress as a Care Giver??? 
It's a let me count them experiences: 1) trying to get her some place safe and affordable. 2) enduring petty miserable sibling's attitude but absolutely …

Caregiver Stress - My Brothers do not even Respond to Phone Calls when my Mother is in the Emergency room. 
She recently spent 2 days in the hospital and neither brother called or visited her. I am so angry I don't know what to do with it. This has been …

Sibling Caregiver Anger and Resentment - A Different Take 
Enjoyed reading your informative site but you forgot all of the siblings and family members who WANT to help out, who have offered help, but have been …

Care Giver Stress - When do I Step In? 
When do you know to step in or not? My mom and dad are not eating healthy. My dad is healthiest, mom is in pain and on so many medicines she is always …

Caregiver Stress - Narcissistic Mother  
Caregiver Stress from Elderly Mother I am 53 - still a very pretty, active female - who moved in with mother (I think I might have made a big mistake!) …

Dealing with Elderly Parent and Making a Life 
Dealing with an Elderly Parent and attempting to have a life is more difficult than I imagined even a few years ago. Now that my Dad is in his eighties …

Caregiver Stress - I just came home and cried... 
It is a little comfort that I am in company of others in taking care of my parents, but today I felt like I was going to break. I tried to make it a nice …

Elderly Parent Moving In - Changes in Lifestyle 
My husband and I have just completed moving an elderly parent (my Mother) into our home permanently. It has been a difficult adjustment for all of us. …

Caregiver Stress 
I can't tell you how stressed out I am caring for my elderly parents. I have zero support from my brother and two sisters and all they seem to do is second …

Stress and my Elderly Parents 
Stress and my elderly parents go hand and hand it seems, as they are constantly worried about almost everything. The guilty feelings I have when I get …

When will it end? 
I need to vent. To voice my feelings and be understood. I am caring for a home bound, wheelchair bound parent. I have been doing this for several years. …

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For Whom the Bell Tolls 
My Grandma fell ill and everyone else refuses to help take care of her so yours truly (the oldest grand-daughter) was elected to help out. I did so …

Strung Out and Hung Out to Dry 
I have an elderly parent who has severe Alzheimer's/dementia that I helped care for in her own home up until recently. This is my Mom we are talking about …

How to cope - from someone who is in the middle of things 
Hello fellow caregivers. Today I feel the need to write this article because there are so many of us in the same boat. A boat that is not always afloat …

Stress , Please Help. 
I need someone to help me and answer my questions to my e-mail. I am taking care of an elderly 24/7 . I have 2 hours everyday for myself as a break. …

What happened to MY LIFE? 
My mom passed away June of 2015. She and my dad were together 67 years. I am a 60 year old daughter who has been single for the past 35 years - and have …

Caring for Elderly Mother 
My mother, who is 84, lived with us for a month recently after a long hospital stay, and expected to be waited on hand, foot and finger, constantly calling …

No Intimacy any More, no Life  
Hello My mother is 88 years old, I am 54 and my daughter is 27! We live together, my daughter and I have our own bedroom, but mother sleeps in the living …

Caught in the Middle 
Hello, Where do I begin? I didn't realize there were so many of us out there till I got on this page. I am taking care of my boyfriend's father 24/7. …

Caregiving 24/7 
I am a live in caregiver and have been doing this since April 2011. The time off I was given is every two weeks off. I am under stress and have asked …

We're OK the Rest of the World is a Pain. 
My mother is now 85 years old. She's worked hard all of her life and deserves a time to rest. She worked until she was 80 as a book keeper and until …

My Sob Story 
I am 72 years old and live with my elderly mother who is 94 years old. I have always lived with her. She was an over protective mother when I was a young …

Resentment for an Elderly Parent 
I am an only child of 55 who cares for her elderly mom of 95. She has carers as I live a long way away but I am on the phone everyday to her. I have battled …

National Caregivers Day! 
Is there one? There should be one. Someone call Hallmark. They wouldn't hesitate to jump on the bandwagon, imagine all the cards they would sell. There …

Mean 
My mother is 88 years of age she in good health. My hubby and I and 2 kids live with her. She hates me and talks bad about me to her church friends. …

I Don't Know if I Can do this Anymore Not rated yet
I work full time and take care of my mother at nights and the weekends. She has some form of latter stage dementia combined with a traumatic brain injury …

Trapped  Not rated yet
I'm just like everyone else here and don't know what to do! My grandfather moved in with my wife our three kids and myself about 5 yrs ago and it's been …

Taking Care of 96 Year Old Mother and 87 Year Old Mother in Law Not rated yet
Both my mother and Mother in Law cannot walk without walker. Mother in law can barely walk 15 ft. Both are from India and absolutely vegetarian. They do …

So Many Same Story?  Not rated yet
For the past year or so my mom who is 83 has been showing the early stages of dementia, forgetting simple dates names etc,,, it has slowly progressed but …

Trapped Staying with Mom Not rated yet
I am a 52 years old woman who had to move back to my parents home 10 years ago for financial reasons. When my step father was alive for the first three …

Advocate for Those Who do not Choose Not rated yet
We do not choose to be in the state we are in but it is the cards we are dealt with. Our fear is we will lose our mind, or are losing our mind, because …

Chugging Along at Almost 90 Not rated yet
As I read others comments I noticed there seems to be a trend of NPD mothers in their late 80s to late 90s and recall reading an article that NPD mothers …

No Fun Being Power of Attorney Not rated yet
My husband is POA over his parents. He has a brother that is just hateful. My husband has done nothing wrong but yet his brother don't believe anything …

I Thought it Was Just Me Not rated yet
I have resentment for a sister I used to idolize as a child, but really have developed negative feelings for her since she does nothing to help my mom …

My veteran grandfather Not rated yet
So I am a 17 year old and I am a caregiver of an 87 year old Korean war veteran. His wife died when his daughter was only 15 years old. So he hasn't had …

Caring for Two! Not rated yet
My family and I have been caring for my elderly parents, mom 88 and dad, 90, for the last 2 years. We recently took dad, he has Alzheimer's, to a nursing …

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Tired, Mad, and Sad Not rated yet
Hello, I have read many posts here and would just like to acknowledge all of you.I can relate to many of your stories. My husband and I have been caregivers …

Stress Not rated yet
I am 62, retired and moved back into her house, after some 40 odd years, to be her driver and housekeeper. Mom is 88 and bitter because she lost most of …

I Don't Know How Much More I can Stand... Not rated yet
My mom is a very sweet lady, most of the time. She has had pretty serious health issues, tons of food and drug allergies. 3 times in less than a year, …

Hired Caregivers have a Rough Job Too... Not rated yet
I am a long time caregiver for elderly and mentally ill adults and yes we are not paid fairly and treated like dirt by the person we care give for...their …

Why do Parents do this to Their Children? Not rated yet
I for one never thought I would end up having to care for my father as he's had health problems for years, and frankly we figured we would bury him first. …

Anger, Resentment being Stuck with Elderly Parents Not rated yet
I always remember how happy I was the night before my wedding because I'm finally free from my mom. Unfortunately, It was short-lived. I am 57 but my mom …

Never Been Away  Not rated yet
I am 57 l have never been away from my mom. Never been married no kids. We are Jehovah's Witnesses. When I was little I watched my dad abuse my mom because …

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done Not rated yet
I'm going into my 14th year of caregiving for my mother. My father was ill and asked if I'd take care of her, that she wouldn't live more than 2 years …

Should I try Making her Remember or Does that Make it Worse? Not rated yet
Sometimes my mother seems fine but she can change in a few seconds. My father has been dead for almost 6 years but she forgets. She will try calling his …

There are so many of us! Not rated yet
Wow, reading your stories and then all the subsequent comments..... there are so many of us out there - adult children left to care for an elderly, difficult …

Thank You Lord for this Site! Not rated yet
This is refreshing to see others realize that their hopes and dreams have been squashed by their elderly parents. Until now all the blogs/sites I …

Narcissist Spouse Not rated yet
I'm 58. Mother Narcissist just died, Narcissist Enabler Step Dad mad I confronted him and "outed" my N-mom. Him too. They both abused me and now I'm in …

Tired of Dealing with Bed-Ridden Dementia Grandfather and Abusive Brother Not rated yet
I am 25 years old and my 36 year old brother and I are the live-in caregivers to my two elderly grandparents with dementia. Grandma is still able to get …

My Experiences as a Qualified Nurse Not rated yet
In the early 1980's, I qualified as a first level registered general nurse for the NHS. I was so very proud to be part of an honourable, albeit sometimes …

I Feel Your Pain! Not rated yet
I too, take care of my mom, 91 years old. She has a lot of heart issues and spinal stenosis which makes mobility very limited. She too requires a lot …

The Stepkids have Checked Out Not rated yet
My husband has six grown children who mostly don't call or visit their father...we have been married twenty two years...he raised my son from five to adulthood. …

You Can Check That Off Your List Not rated yet
My brother and his wife just left from their yearly visit at my moms. They usually come twice a year but he informed me that they are so swamped at their …

Today... Not rated yet
Today I don't have to go anywhere I don't have to do anything I don't have to talk to anyone Nobody can see me Nobody knows what I'm doing It's …

I have a Brother who lives far Away but Could Fly in for a Weekend but Won't. Not rated yet
The baby lives in California. He is the youngest of 5 and retired navy. He can afford to come visit our mom but has given every BS excuse. "It isn't in …

Scared Not rated yet
I have moved in with my 90 year old mother who is in a wheelchair. She has been hateful, mean and controlling all our lives. I have one older brother …

I am a Prisoner to Keep My Mother Happy Not rated yet
My mom has Alzheimer's so I brought her to live with me, until I lost my job, then I moved into her little place. It is nice for her to be in her …

My Life, or Lack of It.... Not rated yet
Thank you for sharing and the opportunity to share a bit of my life! I find it very hard to be placed in a situation where one has to make the decision …

I do not Know What to do Anymore!!! Not rated yet
My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year, but is in remission at this time. He has had a few pin strokes also. But he has been doing very well. …

Double Whammy Not rated yet
I not only care for my 93 year old mother, but also have my 42 year old son, who suffers from depression and anxiety, living with us. We all get along, …

Difficult Nights Not rated yet
One of the most difficult things I have found in caregiving for my mother who has end-stage heart and renal disease is the fact that she is unable to sleep …

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Living with Alzheimer's Not rated yet
I might as well finally call it what it is...it's Alzheimer's. My mom's mind is stuck in tracks of convoluted memory, she forgets what happened last week, …

Communication  Not rated yet
Mom is 93. She is losing her memory and can't process information like she used to. Conversation is getting so difficult. She is either not receiving …

For Better or Worse...Till Death Do Us Part Not rated yet
Well, I think I might be doing better as I've gone from the "Anger and Resentment" category to the "Difficult Issues" category. When I was in the former …

Stubborn should be Classified as a Mental Illness Not rated yet
Being stubborn got my mom to the point of an invalid...she has many fears and compulsions....during this latest crisis which would have been avoidable …

Family Issue Not A Sister Issue ~  Not rated yet
I have been caring for my MOM going on 2 and a half years now. She was diagnosed with a form of dementia. I have 3 brothers. It seems they feel since …

Overcaring? When do you know? Not rated yet
I am caring for my 87 year old mother I and am the last of a big family. Several of my siblings think I over care for mum. I have worked in aged care …

Reality  Not rated yet
Boy was the wool pulled over my eyes by my three siblings, I have never been close to my father until three years ago when my sister calls and says she's …

Premium Cost for Substandard Care Not rated yet
We recently had to place our loved one in a retirement home in what you might say is a beautiful area to reside. The care at this center is supposed to …

Care Giver to a Very Self Centered Mother-in-Law Not rated yet
My husband and I are the major care givers to his mother who lives with us and has been with us for the past 14 months since her second husband has passed …

Feeling the Irritation Not rated yet
I am 44 years old with a husband, five children and my 78 year old mother. I am the youngest Of 5 children yet only one of my sisters and I take full …

Caregiver for Mother Yet ill Myself with no Help or Understanding from Brother Not rated yet
I live with my mother and have most of my life. A lot of this is to due with me often having health issues in my life. However, roles have somewhat reversed …

Her Infantile Ways Not rated yet
My mother is 92 and of course tired. I feel a lot of compassion for her especially since she lost my brother four years ago. (He died in his sleep). I …

Every Little Thing is Like Moving a Mountain Not rated yet
84 year old mother who declines every year this time of year then gets better. In the last three weeks, we've had: two hospitalizations, two MRI's, kyphoplasty …

My Grandmother very Stubborn, in Everything. Not rated yet
Hello. I'm caretaker to my grand mother and I'm her grandchild. Studying home collage now, so I'm the only one that have a lot of free time to handle this. …

MOM is Always Angry with Me,  Not rated yet
My dad passed about a year ago. My mom is 86 and has had a rough period of adjustment. I understand that completely. My husband and I try to go up every …

Sometimes I just Don't Cope Not rated yet
My mom has fallen 3 times 2 days ago and twice today, face down...why...she does not have her walker near her. She doesn't walk so her leg muscles have …

After Many Years of my Mother being Out of my Life: now She's Back with a Vengence Not rated yet
My mother, always a selfish and self-centered person, married a man 35 years ago who no one much cared for, moved further and further away from her family …

Caring for my Mother who is 84 Years Old Not rated yet
I've been doing this for three years with no help from either of my sisters.... I'm tired and I feel trapped. My husband has been in remission for two …

I am Exhausted and Feel I have Used a lot of my Life on my Parent... Not rated yet
My mother, whom I (and many others) consider a great artist, has dementia... I don't know if it is Alzheimer's or not. She recognizes me and everyone else, …

Lack of Privacy Not rated yet
I would say it is a lack of privacy....(as my 87 year old mother sleeping in my living room). Also, my daughter of 27 who lives with me and I have no mother …

My Mother has Others wanting to Help her but Refuses It. Not rated yet
I live out of town from my aging parent who has always been difficult, even in her younger years. Now she is 80 and lives alone. She has many people wanting …

Cannot Cope Any More Not rated yet
My mother is now 87! It all started in 1987 when my father died. At the time I was getting divorced (Had a daughter of 3 )and AT the time it seemed the …

Giving Care to Parent Not rated yet
Family and friends think its just great that I am taking care of my disabled mother, who has incontinence, but it is a tremendous amount of work. …

Stress Not rated yet
Since I made the decision after my Dad died 4 1/2 years ago that I would take in my Mom I have felt abandoned by my family. My 2 sons are quite adamant …

Expectation of my Mother-in-Law to be Treated Daily as if She was Visiting Royalty! Not rated yet
We have lived together for almost 10 years. In the beginning, she was mobile, still drove, did volunteer work, was social. Over the years, she has …

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Frazzled, Tired, Used, Resentful, and have Feelings of Guilt. Not rated yet
My mom is in her 70s. Married the 1st time at 15 and lost two children at birth. That husband was a kid and ran around on her. My father was his friend …

Fighting Over Finances Not rated yet
My sister lives 5 hours from my family and mom. Mom has been going down for the last 6 or so months. She gets extremely stressed when my "older" sister …

Demanding Not rated yet
Always demanding to have another cigarette. When she is suppose to cut back, and yelling for another cigarette. She has a small kidney and the tar is destroying …

Music and Assisted Living Not rated yet
So many times I read (google search) about music companies donated acoustic or other guitars to public schools or music universities for the students. …

How do We Afford This? Not rated yet
My 87 year old father has been ill for years but it has only now come to the point where he will need to live with one of us (I have three siblings). …

Caregiver to Aged Mother Not rated yet
It is very frustrating when everything falls on one child to do everything and no one else wants to help. Further strain as Mother won't go to respite …

Part 2 "Unfair Judgement From Male Siblings Re: 90 year old MOM Not rated yet
HI! I would like to "THANK" everyone for the support received, regarding my " Unfair Judgement from my male siblings.... After, talking with younger …

CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMIC Not rated yet
I've been in the caregiver role for almost four years, and I've contributed here before, but the last couple weeks have me at the end of my rope. …

Frustrated Not rated yet
Widowed mom lives in Oregon, I (only child) live in Texas. Mom seems very angry all the time, doesn't want help from anybody, like my cousin who took control …

Almost made it to the Retirement Line, but Not Quite Not rated yet
I think the hardest thing about the stress level you feel as a full time carer is that you often do not know you are in the middle of it. It is so easy …

Stressed to the Max between Spouse & care of HIS Parents Not rated yet
We moved in with husband's parents 2 yrs ago when, MIL (mother-in-law) had stroke. My husband has a difficult time getting around & had advanced to the …

24//7 care of my Mum, Who has Dementia Not rated yet
My mum has been living with our family for about 3 years. I have 3 older brothers, and the two eldest refuse to help with her care. Both my husband of …

"Town Without Pity" Not rated yet
Beginning in the 80s, I noticed that various friends, acquaintances and mostly family members were lecturing me about my lack of concern for my mother. …

Get Power of Attorney Not rated yet
I got power of attorney today and now able to legally manage everything. It also means that I can legally keep my brothers who are hanging in the wings …

Caregivers are Angels in disguise or in tshirts and jogging pants ,lol Not rated yet
While the other 5 siblings have jobs, medical problems and a LIFE... I have done all the care, all of it from bathing ..shots ... financial... housework. …

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