One of the hardest jobs in the world is caregiving. Everyone should do it for a little while to understand just how tough it is. Add dementia and other mental illnesses to the list of issues of someone who requires care, and you begin to wonder how anyone does it while maintaining their own sanity and well-being. The sad truth is, few do. "Caregiver Burnout" is something too many of us face on a recurring basis.
Caregiving is one position that will be in great demand for the foreseeable future. Have you ever heard a child say "I want to be a caregiver when I grow up!"? Some may pursue nursing or go to medical school. Some become teachers or run day care centers. But caregiving a person 'round the clock (often more than one) as an unpaid familial obligation is a role few of us envision for ourselves. It's incredibly difficult, and too many fall into it by chance. Planning for it is preferable, but if you don't have that luxury, then learning to cope with it is essential for your survival.
There are numerous resources available, and you will find some of them on the Resources page. I encourage you to seek out support. And remember:
1) Your health and well-being MUST come first. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else.
2) Guilt is a useless emotion. As a caregiver, you are exempt from guilt. You are doing something very honorable and you are doing the best that you can.
3) Asking for help is not weakness. Strong people ask for help when they need it. Smart people find resources and take advantage of them. Be strong, be smart and ask!