I don't know how I do it sometimes.

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I am a caretaker to my Dad. I get him up in the am before work (full time) and supper at 5 after work and then putting him to bed in the pm, I am taking care of 2 households...paying bills, shopping, cleaning, organizing, trips to the Dr when needed and I have a personal life. It all has been since June. I was too busy at first with all the running around.to start to deal with all of my emotions. Took 3 weeks of my vacation in a 4 month time frame getting him all settled back home. He gets around with a walker but has a lot of trouble with his numb and stiff fingers. I went though alot of emotions as far as anger because I didn't chose to do this and I have 1 sibling who lives as close to my dad as I do ( live in the country, same road) but has not been up there since July. I am frustrated and and everyone keeps telling me just hang in there. (easy for them to say) I can hire a worker when I need to but that is limited because there are bills to pay. I just really don't want to do this for very long but Dad is not ready to go to the nursing home. I never thought I could do personal care work like I do with him and deal with unexpected accidents (especially when I have to go to work). I know I am doing what is important and my Dad is very grateful but I just want my own life back.


Have you checked the Area of Aging and Disabilities in your town? They have programs that are based on his income for respite. Homecare agencies to come out and help you dad do minor housekeeping, laundry, and sometimes grocery shopping. Or if you just need someone to sit with him. These are all income based and if it's low enough it will be paid for by the state. Check into it..it's been a good thing for me with my mom.
I understand totally where you are coming from. Good luck and God Bless.
groovy1, I know what you mean. You did not choose to be in a situation where you have to make a choice about caring for Dad. You and your sibling were both thrust into a situation where choices had to be made. Your Sib made one type of choice; you made another.

I believe it is very important to recognize that you made a choice, and that you can change your mind. It is wonderful that at least Dad recognizes that you chose to do this and is grateful -- it is amazing how many parents simply expect caregiving as their due and only complain. I hope you feel proud of your choice, in addition to the other feelings you have about it.

Now you can start thinking about choices for now and for the long run. Does Dad have any assets? What is his income? If he has assets, this would be the time for him to liquidate them and use the cash to pay for some of the help he needs. If he cannot afford help, look into financial aid. I am talking about things like someone to do the laundry and clean the house, someone to help him bathe (if he needs that), perhaps someone to provide meals. I suggest calling Social Services in your county, asking for a needs assessment and learn what he might be eligible for.

Also, I suggest that you arrange regular respite for yourself. Easier said than done, I know, but having some days off is important to your mental health and to your ability to stay strong enough so you really have some choices.

And then explore the options for your Dad. What if he didn't have children (or a child) to help him? Would he be in assisted living? A foster home setting? Does he need a Nursing Home? What would happen if you became incapacitated? Or if you decide you do not want to continue providing his care? Have a detailed plan in place. I think you will find that will reduce your feelings of being trapped. You really do have choices. The social worker should be able to point you in directions to explore.

You are doing a very kind and generous and loving thing. You do not have to do it forever and you should not continue to do it alone. Get help. You have choices.
My Dads income is just over the limit to receive services so he pays for everything himself. I just have to budget things throughly. He gets meals on wheelsso that is a check in during the day.I usually hire a worker to do a 5-8pm shift or a 6:30-8 am shift, I can do that maybe 5 days out of the month. I never thought I would have to schedule a babysitter at 54 years old. I guess I have to stop feeling sorry for myself.
My husband's income was over the limit to receive services, so we had a "spend down" amount that he paid out of SS -- like a deductible. Services over that amount were covered. I am glad you are able to budget so well now! But if his needs increase, don't let the "over the limit" thing stop you from exploring further.
Everyone says to keep hanging in there and I know I have to. I sleep very well at night knowing I am helping my Dad. Mostly because I am jsut that tired : ) Thank You for all your help and support.
Groovy1 I was in your shoes no more than 5 months ago. But then my mom fell at her apartment and I found her. She had rhabdomyolisis so she spent 4 days in the hospital to recover and flush the proteins out of her muscles. That was the beginning of my journey. You see my 91 year old mom has Lewy Body Dementia and now lives with me at home. She is now in the last stage...can't walk, talking is minimal, won't eat, and drinking little because swallowing is a struggle. Her brain is slowly shutting down and her abilities are fading. But I am so glad I have endured the ups and downs because she needs me and I love her. It's the hard job I've ever done...but I feel pretty good that I stuck it out. Good luck...take rest when you need it. Because if you don't take care of you...you can't take care of him.
Sorry..should read "the hardest job"

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