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I know how you feel! I am caregiving for both of my parents, who have now moved in with me to save money on caregivers. A year ago and for many months afterwards my Mom came home from rehab after multiple falls and fracturing her spine. I was staying with them then to save money on nighttime caregivers. She was waking up every 2 hrs to go to the bathroom! After 2 months night after night I was so exhausted I couldn't function. I started paying someone for 2 nights a week - even that helped. But eventually went to 3 nights a week and I did the rest. Eventually my Dad needed care too (he had a feeding tube for awhile and would forget he was attached and try to get up and out of bed.) and my niece died and I hit bottom so for several months we paid for 24 hr caregivers - now a huge bill on that so my parents moved in with me.
We have a live-in caregiver now who is WONDERFUL and much less expensive than agency/hourly caregivers. She does 5 nights a week and I do two nights so I can sleep and work during the day. My mom recently started sleeping 7 or 8 hrs a night though so that's helping!
I also have fibromyalgia so I know the importance of sleep so well! A few things we've tried:
- Natural sleep enhancers - easy on the system, not addictive or side effects. Ask at your local natural health or vitamin store. They can help people sleep for longer periods of time.
- Can she go to bed a bit later so she sleeps later? That helped us. I'd rather be up later at night than up early in the morning!
- Part of my problem was that I didn't sleep well as I was always worried I wouldn't hear her and she'd get up and fall. I now have a bed alarm, a clip alarm to her nightgown and an extendable bed rail that keeps her from getting out of bed. I sleep a lot better!
- Could you set an alarm for the time she needs to get up (like 8am) so that her body gets used to being awakened at that time and perhaps she'll rest easy knowing she won't wake up too late?
- Can you have the day caregiver come a bit earlier so you can then sleep in while she takes over?
For you - pay attention to the signals your body is giving you. We know when we are about to crash, so try to take naps, cut back to two nights a week or something to get the rest you need. I know that's easier said than done when your Mom's needs are so great. You are doing a wonderful thing - you are an amazing daughter! I always know that, like you, I am doing all I can for my parents who are wonderful wonderful people, and I won't have regrets.
You can follow my AARP caregiving blog at blog.aarp.org/authors/amygoyer