posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:25 AM
If you are in Australia I have a wealth of knowledge to share, but I suspect your in the USA.
All I can say from my experience as someone who volunteered helping those in need, for your own sake, do NOT do this alone. There must be some way to
get some form of home care from the Govt. A couple of hours a week is not good enough from them.
From my volunteer experience, I have a good idea of your pain, I saw the total relief on the faces of the caregivers (family) when I picked up their
'dependants', & I saw how their shoulders slunk when I dropped them off at the end of the day. For each it was just one day a week, but it helped SO
much, even if it just meant they (family) had the chance to do shopping/washing etc. If she is bed-ridden, I guess that changes things a bit.
It is far from an easy job & anyone who hasnt done it has no idea (& I could go home at the end of the day), nomatter the condition, & all I can say
is, you cant do this alone, even as a family. Again I'm speaking from an Aussy POV, but the only reason I still don't volunteer is due to Govt
funding cuts, so I can understand this is probably most of your problem.
For your own good, & the good of all those around you, do NOT take this on alone, I did just 4 hours a day (1-4 days a week) & it wore me out, & I
didnt have to do any of the 'medical/hygene/toilet' things.
Be proud you do as much as you do, but know you cant do it all. I worked in (again volunteer) rescue years ago, & the 1st lesson is (as in any 1st aid
course), do not put yourself in danger, you cant help if your dead ! I know it sucks, but you must look after yourself first, if you dont, your niece
will also suffer, & believe me, even a 90yo with dementia can tell when your struggling.
I wish you the best of luck, honestly, but you cant help her if you fail yourself. Keep her socialised, so I guess that means get her friends to
visit. They dont need to change a bag, but saying hello for 30 minutes once a month is not much to ask of a friend. As soon as social contact is lost,
people die, & I must add, this was the same for those whose family stuck them in a home when our service shut, those put in nursing homes actually
died quicker than the few who could stay at home, & it wasnt due to a lack of care, but social life. She NEEDS something, anything, to look forward to
!!! It's a big claim, but one I can sadly prove. If she is on the net, your way ahead, those I helped had no idea about computers, so if you see her
losing her ability to use a mouse, stay ahead of her issues & find a solution before it's needed. Look at Hawkings, he was meant to die decades ago,
but he kept active.
I know this wont help your workload, but how about giving her something to do on the net, a course or something. You never know, she may be able to
use Skype to counsel others in need. I know it wont help the hygene tasks, you have several issues to deal with, but if she is busy in her own mind,
believe me your emotional load will drop.
I must add, do not feel guilty about a nursing home, one day, guaranteed, the care they can give will surpass your ability. Start your research now
(I'm 40 & already know exactly where I want to go). There are some good ones out there, finding them is the issue.
Stay strong, & PM if you want.