Why do I always feel guilty?

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My mom passed away two years ago and we took my father in. He is 84 ,alert and still drives. Minor health problems but is still able to care for himself. Mostly we took him in because it would save us time from driving to his house to clean, cook and do wash. My mom did everything, he never cooked a meal, did wash or anything like that. He admits that he is lazy. He has worn out his welcome here and we are all resenting him for being so entitled and selfish. He gives me a hundred dollars a month and thinks that is enough. He has the money to go to assisted living but in his mind it's a nursing home and he won't even go to tour the place. His bedroom is a mess and he leaves a trail of junk wherever he goes, newspapers, coffee cups, his teeth on the table, underwear on my bathroom floor. He finally admitted it wasn't working out because we now fight all the time. He might move in with his sister who is a widow. I am so happy but I have guilt!!! The poor woman has no idea what she's in for and I don't want to tell her. I secretly can't wait til he is out the door! My mom was ill two years before she died and I cooked all their meals the whole time. I am tired. My brother helps a little but I always have to ask. He takes him when I ask but never offers. I know I will have second thoughts and guilt when he leaves...if he leaves, but I really want him out. Thanks for listening.

7 Comments

Please do not feel guilty. You tried your best and your sister may be able to convince your dad that he would be happier in a place where he can make new friends and take part in activities. In addition, he would have regular cleaning and laundry services available to him (like he did when you mother was alive). It sounds like you love your dad very much, so be sure to visit him while he is at your sister's and when and if he goes into an assisted living facility. Good luck.
Don't feel guilty. His sister probably has a clue about his entitled behavior, she grew up with him. Also she's of a generation that might view it as "normal" for the man to do nothing and the woman to clean up the mess and fix the meals.
Oooh, I know how you feel, Ahemby. My mother is one of the laziest people on earth. It is nothing new. She has always been lazy. She is old now, so uses it as an excuse for being lazy, but I've known her for a long time. Funny thing is that she is not too "old and hurting" to go get a snack, only to take the trash and plates back to the kitchen. She sticks them under her table for me to finally harvest later.

And help cleaning the house? Forget about it! It ain't gonna happen. So I have a choice -- let the house be filthy or clean and feel angry about it. I've learned to lower my standards, but there is only a certain amount of dirty I can stand.

Enjoy your break from your father. I wouldn't be surprised is Sis asks you to take him back after a while. Maybe the two of you can share the aggravation of being unpaid maids.
Ahemby, let's look at this in a different way. Your Dad is 84 and seems to be mostly healthy. Are you willing to act as a servant to a mostly healthy adult for possibly 10-15 years?? None of us are! He is going forward with his life and moving to your Aunt's home. That is fine. You can take him on outings from there to restore your relationship and give your aunt a break (bring her along sometimes as well.) With any luck, he will contribute more to her than he is to you. Personally, I don't believe that adults should live with other adults without a major contribution. That goes for adult children still living at home as well as aging parents. Contributions come from mowing lawns for the younger crowd, to financial and errand running for the older crowd. Living in your home, turning it into a trail of destruction and having you wait on him hand and foot is NOT appropriate. There are many caregivers on this site that have no choice but to do EVERYTHING for their loved ones. They lack financial resources, alternatives and the senior truly requires full care. Ahemby, you are NOT abandoning someone without alternatives. You and he are recognizing an uneven state of affairs and rectifying it. Praise the powers that be for this turn of events and restore your family.
Just a point when my mum was going into respite at the NH i asked alot of people about the place, now this is very interesting anyone I spoke to said "DAD" loved it and goes regularly and looks forward to it? "MUM" hated it is never going back food was awful etc....
Now im not saying its the same for everyone BUT if these dads AND the majority were "looked after by wifey all thier lives" NH is great beats living alone at home trying to open a can!
Just interesting of course the MEN who have had thier wife or daughters to it all for them suddenly find themselves in a NH "LOVE IT"??
Just had a "lazy" moment here I had to share with you ladies. I cook, and I do mean cook the old fashioned way , three meals a day. I love it, but it is a lot of work and there are days when I would like just one meal off.
SOOO tonight we sit down to dinner and hubs picks up the pepper shaker to use and nothing comes out. FIL says "Oh that has been empty for a few days" M says," well why didn't you fill it or at least tell us?" FIL says, "It's NOT MY job!" I kid you not!
Grrrrr! That would have tipped me.

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