I'm exhausted...mentally and physically!

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My Dad is going to be 91...and I feel terrible that sometimes I just wonder...how much longer? I have read some of the posts and realize that I don't have it as bad as many, but when you are in it all day - all by yourself - it is a struggle.

I've been dealing with it since 2010, but now he lives with me so it is 24/7. The stress of caring for him, his meds, his appointments, his boredom. Getting him out and about is difficult, but he is bored if he stays home.

I work a very demanding full time (and then some) job. I have a commute on top of that. When I get home, I have to get his dinner ready, clean up, get myself situated for the next day and then get his next day things ready - setting out his medicine, getting his meals ready etc. Doing laundry helping him with his shower - and any other little request he makes.

I don't believe this is a new characteristic, but he is exceptionally narcisstic. He thinks ONLY of himself. I am dealing with an acute medical issue right now, and he never even asks how I feel...and if I should say :"I really don't feel well today", a typical response from him would be - "Oh I feel pretty good today" - he has no sympathy or empathy for anyone but himself.

Although he is not abusive, doesn't curse or hit me...he can still get around most of the time by himself, can still dress and feed himself and is not a drain on me financially, his presence is not a pleasant one. He's critical of everyone - doesn't have a nice thing to say about anyone - except himself. He has gross behaviors (sucks the food out of his partials after eating -- whether at home or in a restaurant!), farts wherever he wants to...coughs and sneezes in public without covering his face...there are just too many things to tell...

My sister lives out of state, and she helps when she is in town. I complain to her to get it out of my system. I am glad that I am able to provide him this care - I feel that it is the least I can do, but I have no time for myself, am totally mentally and physically exhausted.

He is the oldest living person in his family. His father passed at 53. His mother passed at 89. His brother passed in his 70's and his sister just died last week at 85. He has one remaining sister left (83) and a brother (80)...as terrible as it sounds, sometimes I can only make it through the day by thinking - "how much longer can this possibly go on?" - and then I feel so guilty for thinking that.

I'm so sorry - I know there are people out there that lost their folks and are grieving them still. I should be thankful and grateful that I still have my Dad...but I'm just so tired....


We all know where you are coming from.... and please don't compare yourself with other caregivers because each of us have our own tolerable level... some are hands-on caregivers and some are logistic caregivers... even the logistic caregivers who are not hands-on get burnt out, too.

Ask your Dad if he is happy living with you, or would he like to be around people of his own generation where they can talk about things they have in common. Either at a day time senior center [if there is transportation] or for him to move to an assisted living complex. Chances are he will say *no* because majority of those in their late 80's and 90's will refuse to even visit such a place because they have a stereotype image of an asylum. Most senior complexes offer a free lunch to visitors and then a tour. You never know. Your Dad could make new friends, have new buddies to chum around with.

Oh my gosh, never tell a guy who is in his 90's that you don't feel well, they don't want to hear it, all they think is you have a *female issue*, that's what my Dad calls it, and he's 93. And if you are standing upright and moving about the house, then you are ok :P Women aren't suppose to get sick, they are the caregivers.

My Mom, who is 97, not long ago taught Dad how to use the vacuum, and how to run the washing machine and dryer. At first Dad didn't want to do those things, but boredom pretty much forced his hand plus Mom's frown.
Welcome Jamielee!! You'll find that you are not alone on this website:) You will also get some very good advice. Like frequentflyer suggested, have a serious talk with your dad about how you are feeling tired and worn out,, if he'd like to be around people his own age... if he doesn't then I suggest you have some HELP come in and take over some of the duties you've been carrying. If he is a Vet, they offer a lot of assistance. You do have options but you m ight find yourself having to get stern and do what's best for you.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are!!
Why don't you consider assited living or nursing home?
jamielee, you have my complete sympathy. Our parents can bring such misery into our lives when everything becomes about them. I would love so much to be able to enjoy my life again. If my mother would go into assisted living, I would be gone in a heartbeat. I do the same thing you do and wonder how much longer. Today was an especially bad day with my mother's inconsiderate behaviors and remarks, so I am feeling especially angry.

One thought is horrible to me. What if they outlive us and this is all we'll ever have. We really need to do something to put some quality back in our own lives. It's like someone put a vacuum cleaner in and sucked out all the pleasure. :'(
Jamie, another thing to think about is what if you physically injury yourself where you can barely take care of yourself. Will Dad still expect 3 meals a day, the house cleaned, and the laundry done?

We have had caregivers on this forum who have had broken bones which made it impossible to help out as a caregiver, and not long ago another caregiver who had a heart attack. The heart attack was the catalyst that force the caregiver's Mom to have to go into a nursing home as the Mom needed 24 hour care.

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