Since my father moved in with me I have become depressed. I feel like I have no control.

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My 79 year old father has moved in with me a year ago and since then has become very confused of what day or time it is he also is very forgetful and becomes very mean with me when he loses his keys (punching walls or throws things at me...yes he is still driving. His license was suspended several times because he was passing out while driving. His Dr has filled out the dmv forms so he can continue to drive. He is also becoming very argumentative with me over everything. He is not clean on himself or his surrounds. I can no longer work full time because he get upset with me if i'm going for any length of time. I am becoming very depressed because I feel I no longer have any control.

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vstefans, I like that line, "... the reality that you are the truly stronger one, or at least the more humane and realistic." That is a very good thought. I sometimes wonder how I was the one chosen for this job.
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InTheStorm, I can tell you kind of know this already, but if you are the one trying to do your best and provide full-time dementia care, you are NOT the one who needs to feel guilty. Some day it will be over. You will feel a mix of emotions. But among those emotions should be a little pride and a little peace because you will know you cared and did your best. You may have a hard time with second-guessing yourself, what if I had done this instead of that, but still, you cared and tried to do right. It is very normal to feel mad and impatient with a person for having dementia, a) because it is very hard, repetitive, and often thankless work and b) just because you wish so much that it wasn't so; and it is tempting to think that because they have moments of doing better or being more "with it" they could be better all the time...and the sundowning thing is extremely common in this situation as well.

Your siblings may just not be as able to tolerate or understand what is going on as they ought to be, as you are...not that it makes it fair for one person to have the whole burden, but just the reality that you are the truly stronger one, or at least the more humane and realistic. Many years ago I had a book called "The Secret Strength of Depression" and gave it away to someone who needed it even more than me...wish I'd kept a copy! And, maybe at least the sibs could spring for the cost of a little respite care for you though. You are in our prayers.
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PS
I understand depression too. I was the baby of 5 and my father (like many out there), was an alcoholic and abusive to me and mom. Then mom started to drink to cope, so I have really been taking care of her for a very long time.
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Thank you. I needed that. You are right. Do I continue to be angry or bitter or take control of what I cannot control? I am only two weeks in to realizing I am really alone. It was only two weeks ago my sister announced she was done, so, I guess enough is enough. This is a shock to the system to say the least. I remember back when mom and I talked about dementia and if and when it would happen to her. The stroke brought it on suddenly so I guess neither of us were prepared. Dear God I wish we would have had a better plan but there is no place that will be better for her than with family. If she were to really go away in her mind and require "serious" care, then is when I will face alternative care.

There is no winning in this situation, only guilt...I am guilty of being angry. I am guilty of upsetting my home and my family with my anger because I can no longer do for them what I now do for her...my husband is the best (he is patient and kind and full of worry that I might get sick), but imagine how my sister must feel. I wonder how she can sleep at night?

I just need that break, you know? When I sent her to my sisters, I would cry because I felt that I was doing something horrible--like dropping a frantic child off at daycare, but I knew that she would care for her (maybe not exactly like me, but she would care for her) and then I had time...time to get it together, go to a movie, eat out, walk the dogs without worry. I am just trying to cope so thank you. I will try harder.
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I feel for you. It is very difficult to deal with someone who is stubborn. I agree you need to talk to a physician. Have you tried a Natural Holistic Doctor? A proper diet and needed supplements can make a huge difference to improve health in general, including mental, emotional and physical health. We are what we eat. Let food by thy medicine are two very significant phrases that contain precious wisdom. As for you, you also need to learn to love yourself so you can take care of yourself. Unfortunately we cannot change the past, circumstances or other people but we have absolute control of how we respond to all of those. It is not easy and it takes work, but even waking up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to meditate and reflect, to breath and stretch can set up the stage to calm ourselves down and begin the day in a positive note. I am working very hard myself to do this and it is making a huge difference in my life. I rebelled for the longest time against my destiny (taking full time care of my elderly and disabled mother) because naturally we all want to live our lives free of the responsibility of caring for another human being. That is why there are alternatives for the people who can afford it financially, but for those of us who are not financially able to use other alternatives, we are basically stuck with the responsibility and we have two choices: Get bitter about it or try to make the best we possibly can to work on our own responses to our circumstances. Easy to say and very difficult to do, but it is possible. I have suffered from depression practically all my life and yet I have found the way out of the dark tunnel and it is an every day battle against myself to continue to conquer the depression. Not easy, but possible, sometimes one minute at a time.
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Yesterday, my mom said, "I am no trouble to you."

If you were my mom, you would be very happy in your older age in my nursing home within my home. I wake up and you are sitting on the side of your bed waiting for your pills and coffee. Next, you get a hot wash cloth, your hair combed, your clothes changed, and a hot bowl of oatmeal, juice, prunes & toast. After breakfast, I warm up your coffee, make your bed, and then...I get a sip of my coffee.

Before you know it, it is lunch...you get a cup of hot soup, half a sandwich, more pills, and a cookie. Then you get a cup of hot tea. By then, I may have had time to take a shower and check my emails and "attempt" to think of what I need to do for my full-time job of which I work from home. After lunch, if you are my mom, you get to sit snug in a easy chair and watch old time movies with a blanket and wait so that if you see me pass by your room, you can ask me the same question you asked me 4 times already. I try to have patience. Some days are better than others, but it is the anger that grabs me in the back of my neck as I envision my retired sister and retired brother going about their day, coming and going without worry, that takes my breath away.

If I am lucky, mom takes a nap in the afternoon. It is almost exactly like when you raised your baby except you have to make sure her oxygen is hooked up properly, her blood pressure is within range, her oxygen level is where it should be. You have to pray she uses the bedside commode if she gets up as you happen to step outside to grasp a breath of fresh air or in my instance, run upstairs to throw in a load of laundry. Daily, multiple times, she asks, "Do you have a bathroom in this house?" The bathroom is just a few feet away and my floors are marked with painters tape with an arrow showing her which way to go, but she forgets to look for it every time. And when we actually get to the bathroom, she says, "Is that the toilet?" But then there are those lucid times when she knows exactly what is going on--that is what trips me up. That is when I stop and think I am going to go crazy. During the early evening hours, confusion really sets in. She becomes agitated, she wants to go home, why don't I let her go home, she talks about her childhood, she thinks she is my sister (she is 84). After her breathing treatments and 3rd round of pills, I try to get her settled in bed knowing that if I put her in bed too early, my morning will be destroyed but I really really just want to sit down and watch a movie with my husband. Last night I got her to bed but she woke up at least 4 times during the movie asking me if she took her pills, she has to go to the bathroom (the commode is 1 foot from her bed but she forgets), can she have a snack (even though I set a cookie at her bedside with ice water that is always fresh)...and then the next day, it starts all over again. We have family...but they use the excuse that they did not want to bother me which is why they do not stop over or call.

I know I am repeating myself, but the deal was that my sister took her for a month and we would trade off...but mom isn't happy with my sister. My sister knows that and maybe she made my mom unhappy for a reason...hmmm, so just another excuse as to why she cannot help.

One of the happiest days of my life was my work agreeing to let me work from home and now it is a nightmare because after all is said and done with caring for mom, I work into the wee hours of the morning to get my work done. Do I ask to return to work? Will it call my sister's bluff and she will step up to the plate and take care of mom to save mom's precious savings account? Because I think that is all she cares about.

They told me to put her in a nursing home but if I am the one that is taking care of her, it will be ME that puts her in the home. She is in my home, under my care, and I am the one who gets to face HER face when I walk away from her.
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Hi "notwellmyself",
Dad was in WWII and he has SS & military pension and combined that is probably too much to apply. Unfortunately he won't allow any of his family to do anything on his behalf. He adamantly believes he is absolutely fine. He believes that I am the cause of all his problems and believes that I was in league with the first doctor and now with the nurse to tell people he is crazy. While he is okay at home, we don't talk much. My brother said just to let him do what he wants and only step in when the actions or behavior get too weird. Your advice sounds great!

What I do is try to do little kindnesses such as preparing the coffee pot for him, set place setting out for his breakfast and have his newspaper ready for him. I will bring home little treats or treasures or games/puzzles he might like but none of that is recognized. We have tried to do fun things together but he is a great complainer and has to be critical of just about everything. His social filters are gone so he makes disparaging remarks about other races and ethnicities so I have told him I don't like being out in public because of the way he behaves. He also takes small gestures from women at church or other places as flirtatious overtures and drives potential friends away. I still try but some events have too much stimuli and he zones out for a few minutes and then come back to himself and move on like nothing happened. Additionally, he has nervous energy so he races through art shows, museums, etc.

I am afraid I will have him at home until he passes or have to wait until he is so far diminished that I will be able to do something.

Anyway, thank you so much, everyone! I love hearing what others go through and the ways they handle situations and cope. I have to work more on helping me and keeping me healthy and that will be better for him too. We shall see... one day at a time... :) Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
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My husband became very ill about 5 years ago and is no longer able to do the things he once did. He has always been a "volatile" person, but when his depression over the situation got worse so did his anger. It became a regular fight and with my health issues and caring for my parents I wasn't sure I could take much more. Now, when he starts yelling, I just tell him he can not talk me that way. I am not mean or argumentative, I just tell him he can not do it. Admitedly, there are times he hangs up on me when we are on the phone, but he is fine when he gets home. He might walk out of the room, but when he comes back, he is over it. On the rare occasion that he continues to yell, I'll remind him a few times. If he does not stop, I leave. It takes two to argue & I can always go for a walk. Thus far it is working. Might try that. Good luck.
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Stressed StPete,
Was your father in the military? If so, at his age he probably served during the periods where he can get financial help. It is base on needs vs income. It is different for more current veterens than it is for those of WWII and Korea. I don't know much about it because my father makes too much as military retired to qualify, but someone on here may know more about it. You may also find someone at the VA that might can tell you something about it.
To both of you, we will all be pulling for you.
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inthestorm,

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. Have you tried counseling for yourself? As for your sister having POA and not wanting to help, I would suggest you getting POA yourself for your mom if she doesn't want to help take care of her anymore. I mean, you should be the one with it anyway if she doesn't want to take responsibility for your mom's care, and you are the one doing all the work. It makes me angry too when family doesn't help, but they sure as heck don't mind telling the caregiver what to do. That's messed up. If your sister doesn't want to give up POA I would tell her flat out, "Okay, if you are so worried about keeping it, then you need to step up and help out with mom." I don't think it is unreasonable to want some help. If she still insists on keeping POA and not helping you out, then I'd get a lawyer and see what your options are from there. Just explain that you are the one who has been solely responsible for your mom's care, and you would like some say so in what happens to her. I feel your frustration with the situation, but if you are the one giving up your life to care for mom, then I feel you should be the one in charge of her medical and legal decisions. That's how I feel about it anyway. Best wishes to you and your mom. I hope you will seek out help for yourself too. You won't be able to help your mom if you aren't healthy enough yourself. Believe me, I've been there! Have you tried hospice or other caregiving agencies in your area for respite? It sounds like you need a big break. They can be helpful in giving you one. (((Hugs))) and prayers going your way.
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