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Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Posted by Meshchan on Jul 19, 2020 1:00 pm

In 2019 my father's prostate metatisized into his bones. Not much can be done for him. Chemo is not suitable for him and so far he has refused radiation treatments. He is accepting pain management but that is all. My Mom is/was his principal caregiver. As a family, we were coping until my Mom's diagnosis with uterine cancer. COVID struck just as her surgery was moved up. Luckily she was able to have her surgery just as all the hospitals were shutting down their ORs. My best friend and caregiver - my 13 year old dog - had to be put down the day after we found out Mom needed chemo treatments as well. We are 1/3 of the way through Mom's chemo treatments. She has had pretty much every rare and never seen before reaction to her chemo. In the first 6 weeks I had to take her to Emergency/UCC and she's been close to dying twice. I am on a full time leave from work to take care of my parents. They are "too" healthy for provincial homecare if you can believe it. I'm in charge of all their groceries (online), cooking, driving to appointments, consults, cleaning, telephone consults, updating their friends via an email chain... if it's inside the house it's me. My brother who is still working in an office mows the lawns, takes care of the pool and gets groceries or prescriptions we cannot get delivered. It has been since March 2020 that I have been in isolation to keep my parents safe and so that I can enter their house. I am so tired, lonely and overwhelmed with all of this. None of the support groups are operating due to COVID and very few of my friends truly understand what I am going through. Any suggestions of good books to read? Insights? What you do to help yourself as a caregiver? Help!

Re: Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Posted by Laika57 on Jul 19, 2020 1:28 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. Mine has kept me at least partially sane though all this.
Don't really have much advice. I listen to books and play sudoku to keep from thinking too much. It's not really working.
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Posted by Brighty on Jul 19, 2020 2:04 pm

Meshchan‍  I'm so sorry  for what you are going through and losing your dog on top of it must be devastating.     You need some  help with all this and you need a break.    On the news I see all the time advertised a mental health  site called 'Wellness together  canada.'   They set you up with a social worker or physhiayrist to talk to on line.   There is also the oncology  social  worker who will talk to you by phone and might be able to set you up with some resources  for care for your parents.     Family doctors can also be a great resource for referrals.     Most social workers will do on line or phone calls.     Let your doctor  know of your situation.     This kind of stress can affect your health too .   Your friends  may be able to help you by preparing ready made meals and dropping  stuff off at the door.       They can go with you for 'social distance ' walks outside in nature  or have zoom meetings with you....you can do things by zoom like having card nights,  game nights. . Movie nights... I know its not the same as in real life but you need the break and distraction.     Don't be shy let let others know this is too much to deal with by yourself.    We also have a cancer info line.   1888 939 3333.   Let them know of your situation  and they may be able to come up with resources  you need as well.     Thank you for hsving the courage to reach  out.  Help is here.    You must look after yourself  too and not get too run down or you will be no good to care for anyone.     Please  reach out  if you need anything else.   
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Posted by Trillium on Jul 19, 2020 9:39 pm

Sorry for all you have to take care of on your own and then with covid on top of it. My goodness that is a lot on your plate, Meshchan‍ !

I’ve been feeling very lonely lately with the caregiving of my adult son with a disability and the issue of isolation with covid too. Some days are ok but lately I have more days of overwhelm.
Brighty has given you so many resources. The one I found most helpful was talking to the oncology social worker who gave me resources of people I could talk to and said I really needed to talk about my situation and express myself surrounding my issues.

This support group has been the best thing for me and thanks to the social worker I now am connected by phone with support people in regards to my sons disability. Also, the local cancer support organization she referred me too has a wonderful therapist who recommended their yoga nidra zoom class. I’ve done yoga many years ago but this is more like mindful yoga. I really like it and zoom yoga works! You do feel like you are there with a group of people. Also I did a face to face meeting using social distance and masks with the therapist.

Burn out is a very real condition for caregivers on this intense journey so please act soon with some very good self care. You need to be in the best shape yourself to help your parents. It’s not selfish - it’s self care, because no one else can do it for you. 

Warmest hugs for you

Re: Caregiver Overload! Help! COVID Keeping Me Alone!

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 27, 2020 3:12 pm

Meshchan‍ - How is this week going so far?

We have some good info on cancer.ca for caregivers you can find it here: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/caregiving/taking-care-of-yourself/?region=on

Trillium‍ and Meshchan‍ I invite you both to view our recent webinar: Caregiving for a loved one in the time of COVID-19 it is 29 minutes long and has really great tips. 

I hope this helps,