So Tired From All My Parents' Doctor Appointments That I Hate Seeing One Myself

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caregiver, S. Hager (North Carolina)

I have multiple illnesses and receive only SSI, though I did try to work some freelance after getting disability. I am currently living with, and trying to look after two parents. They are in their late 80s/early 90s and very luckily have only mild dementia. I attribute some of this to the fact that I am there and, being a person who is interested in many things, create a stimulating environment. Unfortunately trying to do everything and manage household, appointments, repairs, cooking, cleaning, taking care of problems, budgeting, etc., has worn me out to the point where I have adrenal gland dysfunction—from the stress of putting everyone else first. My health is really going downhill and I feel that no one cares. My doctor has fussed at me for not making appointments for myself, but I am so tired from all the parents' appointments that I hate spending any time in a doctors office. Plus every time I plan on seeing a doctor, my mother wants me to take HER to an appointment. I do not have a social life. I used to do crafts and have sold art, but my career has basically stopped.

To make matters worse, I live in an area where there are few resources. I am usually told that most resources stop about twenty miles away, in the big city. Local leaders seem to have no interest in improving the situation for elders and caregivers here. Some much smaller towns have programs that help caregivers, but not here. I was told once by a person in state government that my town could get programs started—if only someone in leadership would step up and apply. My state representative does not seem to care, and wants to know why this should be the state's concern. She apparently feels that the government should not offer any services. I told her that I could only conclude that SHE must not be a caregiver . . .

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