Am I Technically a 'Caregiver' in the True Sense of the Word?
Hi everyone -
My mother, in her 90s, doesn't live with me. She lives in a "retirement community" - not assisted living, but they do take all meals in a dining room, the staff cleans her apt. once per week, there are plenty of activities, although she doesn't choose to participate in many. So - she's not in my home, which seems to be the main situation for most on this board, from what I see.
WHen I look through the web, "caregiver" seems to apply only to those whose relative lives with them. The moniker doesn't matter to me; I'm just wondering how to look for what I'm looking for!
I have sole responsibilty for my mom when it comes to her socialization (she has no friends left and isn't interested in making any, and her whole world is me, which she reminds me of continuously), health-wise (watching for changes/ailments, etc.), appointments, etc. etc. She is incredibly able-bodied for her age, and her memory is fair, but getting worse quickly.
I have incredible respect for those of you and all people who care for their relatives in their homes; I don't know how you do it and my hat is off to you. My situation is, obviously, very different, but I still am drained and spent. I love her very much and am not complaining about what I do, but it works on my emotions, energy level, and life in general (I'm often too emotionally and physically tired from a more-than-full-time job, long commute, and my care giving to do more than lay on the couch with the clicker. Of course, that is a self-fulfilling cycle. I find myself emotionally "down" and lonely (I don't have a family of my own).
I guess what I'm looking for is some advice as to how to interact with others who might be in the same situation. I've thought I should find a support group, but since my mom doesn't live with me I don't know that I'd fit in.