You have to make the time. It is so important for you. After the first 18 months of caring for my sister I became depressed and realized that my patience was waining with her. Set a specific time and day, weekly if possible, and take that time just as seriously as you would any job at appointment. Make arrangements with a friend or family member to be there to give you that break. You need to make it a priority. Sometimes I would just go have a cup of coffee somewhere, or I'd go to the library and read a good book for an hour or two. Those were times when I was so stressed that I didn't want to go anywhere with anyone. I just needed some "alone" time. I think you'll find that making it a scheduled time every week, it is easier for you to take the time, and its also easier for your loved one as it becomes a routine event. You have to have the time to be good to yourself, because the struggle is going to get more difficult. The hard part for me was getting past the guilty feelings I had about needed the time away!
We have daily living centers in our area that are amazing. They offer lunch and activities. They also come to pick up Mom and bring her back home. I highly recommend them.
Some support groups offer care sitting for your loved one while you were in the support group. Visiting Angels is another approach. I would suggest googling for your area.
I totally agree with Fbkspeggy/sam Balance is the key!!!
Mum goes to dementia day care a few days a week. I went overseas last aug and she went into repite care for 5 weeks. You really have to make the time, put yourself first or else you will be too tired to be your true self. hugs
I am the sole caretaker for my father who will be 97 on the 9th of January...I have a brother who lives 16 miles away but he doesn't come that often and usually never to help with the needs... dad's condition is such that he can not be left alone at times when I go to my own medical appointments... it was at a point where my appointments were going to have to be canceled....we are in a rural area coverage to be with dad for 4-5 hrs to allow me to travel to my appointment and back is considered respite and they don't have it available in my area.... so we had to go private pay... but we were able to get home instead senior care to start coming in.... won't start til the first of the month... but that will include some respite for me to spend time with a friend... which hasn't happened for a long time... dad is pretty much attached at the hip....so I am looking forward to the freedom of knowing that I can get to my appointments and to know that there will be times when I will be able to catch up with my friend....