Burning out.

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I'm new here. Moved in with my parents last summer when they started needing help. (Ages 88 and 93) Thought I could take care of my mom as my dad was doing fine. Then his health declined...and I feel swallowed up by THEIR life! I feel like I AM DISAPPEARING!
It snuck up on me...and i find myself not sleeping well, not eating enough and crying too much!
My brothers and sisters won't help except for visits...and my dad won't allow a healthcare giver to come to our house.
They don't want to go to a nursing home...and would stay in their home if I left.
I feel love towards my mom but never got along with my dad..so that increases the anxiety and stress!
I feel so alone!

13 Comments

Jan, there is a time where a parent has no choice... they hire a Caregiver..... or they move into a continuing care facility which is elder proof.

It's time to start saying to your parents "Sorry, I just can't do that". How I wishes I had found this website 6 years ago before I started to spoil my parents because it is hard to cut back. I never expected my parents to age like this. I'd thought they would keep walking 2 miles a day for exercise forever. My parents still live alone, but I know that could change in an instant.

Plus living under the same roof as Mom and Dad probably creates the "adult/child dynamic" where the parents still consider you a child even if you are also a senior citizen.... and we do we know :P

Yes, it effects your health... I have developed a faster age decline then I ever imagined. I know I will never reach my parents ages [mid-90's].

So think about how you are going to broach the subject of your parents needing to hire some help or move. I wish you luck.
Thank you. I just got the advice to move out from my sister too! The main stressor for me is not the workload so much...but that my 88 yr old dad is still in charge of everything. He won't give power of attorney to any of us...and even controls what groceries we buy. I'm 59 and have been single for 17 yrs....I don't like being controlled. But my dad says he will put my mom in a nursing home and I want to take care of her!
I think alot of our stress comes from uncooperative parents.
Wish I could but my dad would never let me take my mom. He controls all the money. I don't think she would leave him anyway. I think the best thing for all of us is to get out more! I'm not doing that. You know...take art classes or volunteer. Also vacations away seem to make them appreciate me more when I come back. I am seriously thinking about getting my own place nearby...but I will feel guilty.
Nuts to guilty. If you have the option to vote with your feet, move out to that apartment as sharp as you can. Then you get your own life running smoothly, and with the time that's left over from that you work out how much support you're able to offer your parents. Any shortfall between support from you and their actual needs, that's what your father gets his wallet out for.

You are the archetypal person who should be putting on your own oxygen mask before you help the other passengers on the 'plane. Guilty? - hooey!!! Look after your own needs or you won't be able to help your mother. Best of luck, keep posting.
What everyone has said. Get your own place so you can build your own life. and so dad realises that you are not under his control. Decide how much of your time you want to devote to them. You may not be able to look after your mother the way you want to at this point, or ever, as dad is in control. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. This is false guilt. "False guilt has nothing to do with what's true and accurate...it is usually the fear of disapproval in disguise." Others here have faced parents who refuse outside help, Eventually they have to accept it, or move to a facility. After you move out you can ask for a wellness check, if you feel they are not managing well enough. Contact your local agency on aging and social services to find out what the local resources are so you are ready. Even without POA medical you can give information to their doctor. He cannot give you information but you can tell him your concerns. As cm says - look after you and come back and let us now how you are. (((((((hugs))))))
Dad's in charge? Dad is competent? Move out until he finds out otherwise, or until mom requests something different. Don't try to get in between your parents.
Can't help people who are competent and don't want any help.

Your are presently in a position of dependency by living in your parent's home. You've got to get out from underneath that by moving back out on your own.

Your dad doesn't want anyone to champion their situation and thus will have to wait for a crisis to happen for that to change. Hopefully the crisis will not be too bad.

emjo has given you good advice as have others. Take care of yourself because you matter, no one else will take care of you and you are the only you that you have. Keep in touch!
Such great comments from all of you. Thank you sooo much! Your advice and support is already making me feel less alone!
I guess it's apparent I still fear my father a little. So getting out would be best for my own health!
Roosevelt once said that "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”:Move beyond the Fear, plus any sense of Obligation or Guilt and live free of the F.O.G.!! Good luck and keep in touch!
My caregiver situation is strange because my childhood was strange. My dad was strict and ruled the roost. My mom never stands up to him. So now...none of us kids can make any decisions for my parents because he won allow it.

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