End of our rope with caregiving at home.
I know many of you have been at the "end of the rope" when it comes to caring for an elderly parent in your home. We've come to that place over the last month and wanted to share this fork in the road we've come upon. Dad has been living with his youngest son and things have gone from bad to worse. He is in a beautiful home with everything from his own room, bathroom, TV, internet, etc. and is surrounded by people who love him , but to him, it isn't enough. At first, when he was still recovering from a lengthy illness, he was sweet and easy to be around. Now, as ALL of his doctors tell him he is FINE and can resume his normal activities and he is MAD. He wants to be waited on hand and foot. If he's not, he refuses to eat or bathe or take his medications or do anything for himself. Because none of us can be with him 24/7, he has stopped eating. His weight has plummeted drastically and his doctors have told him if he doesn't start eating, he WILL DIE. He tells his doctors that his kids would be "happy then", which of course is not true. While in recovery, he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, but he refuses to fill the prescription for the anti-depressant, brushing it off as "crap" and not wanting to take another pill. This is a pattern of behavior that has repeated itself over the years and it is evident that this cycle will continue to repeat itself for the rest of his life. He's good for while, then he gets sick (he has several chronic conditions), gets better, becomes uncooperative, belligerent, controlling and verbally abusive and on one occasion physically abusive, then he gets sick again and the cycle repeats. This "hunger strike" has been going on for several weeks now, and we are all just done with it. My brother was out of town last week, and dad admitted he ate nothing but a bowl of soup over 4 days even though he had enough food in the refrigerator to last a month. So we are starting down the road of searching for a nursing home and financial aid for him. I know it won't be easy and when the time comes, he will fight it tooth and nail. But there does come a time when things get so out of your control and you cannot oversee their activities 24/7 that it has to be done. I know some of you are reading this and thinking "OMG, is she talking about MY parent?" All this is to say, you are not alone. WE are MANY. We are not cruel people who want to do away with our parent, even if it seems our parent is being cruel to us at times. We are mom's, dad's, brothers and sisters, parents ourselves. We do "get it." But we can't always DO IT. God bless to all. This journey we are on doesn't have to be taken alone.