I have feelings of resentment caring for my aging parents as they had a home in a warm state and left their elderly parents in my care.

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I didn't realize my inward anger but I had little children and a husband, plus his business to tend to and also had to take care of my grandmother through many health issues. My parents didn't seem to care about my needs and now I am giving up more for their needs and find myself struggling with anger. Shouldn't I love them anyway?

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I so agree with what you say,I/we my husband and I have up everything to be here and take care of elderly parents,its been 3 long years,and counting,I actually am begining to hate myself now for all the awfull feelings of anger,resentment,I am feeling all day every day
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Act don't react. Can you go deeper, and find out what kind of person you strive to be. Then act that way. You sound like a loving person racked by anger over the selfish mistreatment of you by your parents. I suggest a sit down adult to adult, not parent to child, conversation, about your anger. If it is not cleared up, and you are still angry, talk to a therapist before you do anything. Hate and rage will destroy you. Then if you still can't find it in your heart to take care of them, rest easy. Karma is a bitch, what goes around comes around. You put in your caregiving time with your grandmother, while they enjoyed their retirement. Explain to them that this your time to enjoy your life. You earned a little selfishness.
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Oh my gosh, I also feel resentment and all I am doing for my parents right now is their "driver" as they stop driving years ago, but they are independent otherwises.

When they were my age [mid 60's] Dad was retired, they were going on vacations, going to the movies, going out to eat, going shopping, etc. Now at my age I can't do any of that because I am getting their groceries, taking them to appointments, running errands, plus I am still employed.

My parents have no understanding what they are acquiring from me because they never had to take care of their own parents when their parents were older. They each had siblings who lived near the parents that helped. My parents had lived out-of-state and used that as their excuse for not being there on a daily basis.

Maybe I need to move :]
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Recently spent 2 months rearranging my Mother's life: probably not unlike other stories. Previously was told by her that her life was none of my business. Then...boom...one more stroke tipped her over the edge and I had to take over. Assessing the situation; getting her back into rehab and then figuring out she needed long-term care; applying and receiving Medicaid and the learning curve; getting her Part D (gee...why hadn't she done that already); seeing all the money she had squandered leaving her penniless; forking out thousands of dollars emptying her home and getting it ready to sell. She's always lived alone and doesn't get along well with others and is quite self-centered. Dilemma: because they only had a single room, she has been able to have that room for the time being. However, because Medicaid won't pay for a single room, when a semi-private room becomes available she will either have to take that room or our family will have to make up the difference. I am afraid that if she shares a room with someone she will end up being asked to leave. I will then have to again take weeks off, from another state, to find alternative living. If I pay, more chaos for our family as I have two children in college (paying the full bill). Stuck and resentful.
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It is so helpful to me to read that others feel the resentment of caring for a parent. My two main emotions right now are guilt and resentment. My mom also considered herself independent but she never learned to drive because she was too "busy" so it was up to my dad and sisters to take her everywhere she ever needed to go. He's been gone for years now and she has been in my home for over a year. Thank God I have two sisters who do help but I am the one she mostly stays with. I just want my life back. I am 64 and my husband is wanting to retire next year. When she first moved here she wasn't wanting to pay us a dime and went back to "all she had done for me" of course forgetting if we were going tit for tat my list would be much longer what we had done for her. I just feel like I am in a nightmare I can't wake up from. She can still feed herself and go to the bathroom by herself but other than that she's helpless. I have to give her a shower, get her dressed and undressed, smear some kind of sports crème on her legs every night because she insists she can't sleep without it. I just feel so resentful that my life has changed so much and I am no longer free to come and go as I please without having to arrange everything around her. She has sneered about her friend of hers who insisted her daughter who is my age move in after her husband passed away but she is clueless seeing how hard this is for all of us. She just doesn't seem to care because we are keeping her out of a nursing home. I feel so angry and then I feel guilty because this is my mother. I wish so badly she would say you girls have done enough now get me in a home but she never will. I dread having to come in some morning and find out she has "conked out" as she puts it but she doesn't care I might have to go through that because it's all about us taking care of her. She resented taking care of my Grma briefly at one time and she resented having to care for my dad when his health failed so why she thinks it's okay to do this to her girls is beyond me. I will never allow my kids to feel obligated to do this for me. They have a right to their own lives.
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caringone,
While I think it is wonderful that you are taking care of someone else (which I see is in a nursing home) who is not even kin to you, I think you are possibly transferring your anger about the family of the person you are caring for onto those here or possibly even a fear you have of your own future. If you are visiting a person in a nursing home, it is not the same as taking care of a parent 24/7 in your own home. Home care of someone who is totally bedridden or someone with dementia is a totally different experience. Please try to listen a while to those who share their experiences before you judge or "shame" them. They have a right to come here to express their concerns and feelings however negative they might sound to you.

Yes, I am very aware of what people had to work with in order to take care of the elderly and ill at home many years ago. My mother took care of her mother back in the 1940's when she had cancer. I have a letter my mother wrote to her mother when she had gone to some health restoring clinic in hope of getting help. In the letter my mom tells her about the "electric" being put in the rural area they lived in and how people were buying the new appliances including wringer washers. So that means my mother washed my grandmother's bed clothes and linen by hand and even the poop diapers. It was very hard on her even when she was in her early 20's at the time. I took care of my mother in my 20's and early 30's when she was elderly and had cancer not because she washed my diapers as a baby or did so much for me, but because of a deep love I had for her. I can tell you that I turned her every two to three hours 24/7 for close to 2 years (not including the years before she was this bad off), changed her diapers, bathed, clothed, gave insulin and other meds, and got her in and out of bed with a hoyer lift and even got a reclining wheelchair to get her out into the fresh air when she could no longer hold herself up for more than 5 minutes. I can say I have said many a time "when you change your parent's diapers, then we will talk" to someone who was clueless about something. I also washed my child's clothes diapers even during this age of disposable everything.

The difference in taking care of one's child as opposed to one's parent is I assumed the responsibility of bringing another life into this world by the decisions I made just like my mother and her mother and so on, so I was obligated to care for my child. We do not ask to be born nor do we have the control over where or to whom we are born to (though some belief systems do believe we choose.) We are not legally obligated to take care of our parents and as a parent myself I did not make the decision to have a child so someone would be there to take care of me in my old age. I love the scene in the movie "Look whose coming to dinner" where Sidney Poitier tells his father this in a very poignant way. Please watch it.

My mother did not want to be a burden to me as she knew what it was like to take care of a dying mother and later her father. I also do not want to be a burden on my child. I do not want my child to feel guilt or shame to take care of me. I want my child to make up his/her own mind out of a deep love for him/herself and of me. I cherish the time and privilege of taking care of my mother (and father) and would never have chosen a different path even in hindsight. Yet that being said, others may have not had the best childhoods or the best circumstances to be a caregiver and I would be very reluctant to begrudge anyone for choosing how they approach the role of caregiving.
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What you owe your parents (or spouse) is to put them in the best place to take care of their needs. Whether in your home, their home or a ALF or NH.
While you may have the luxury of staying with them 24/7 (and have family who will help out as no one can do 24/7 care competently) - many of us have to work.I am fortunate as we can afford someone to stay with my husband while I work. But neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay someone to stay with parents or spouse in a private home (unless they are on hospice or are coming off hospitalization -very limited time). If you and/or your parents can't
pay for caregiver for times you are unavailable - to give parents (spouse) best care, a ALF or NH may be best care placement for them.
Not a matter of not loving them, but doing what is in their best interest when they can no longer do for themselves. A babysitter for a child can be a teenager from the neighborhood - a caregiver for an adult with dementia and incontinence, etc will need to be experienced in elder care and run $20 per hr or more. Unless you are rich or can do caregiving yourself (and have family willing to help) just do what is in your parents best interest needs wise.
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Caringone: shame on YOU for your lack off support and empathy, only offering snide, judgmental and unkind remarks without even thinking to offer a positive solution/suggestion to an overwhelmed family member facing the death of their loved one and not coping well. There are MANY, MANY parents out there who should not have been, expecting their children to give up their childhood AND their adult-hood as if that's the only reason their children were entitled to be born. Would anyone want their children to resent them and treat them like that??.......of course not. But, How about answering this question; would you want anyone to treat you with the same mean, cruel, guilt imposing, BIBLE-BULLYING and caringNONE way have here if you found yourself at your witts-end ??
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Thank you for all you wrote Judyjudy, as wow, you gave me some ideas and options to look into!
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Puggle: How shameful of your parents to behave that way. Truly, truly shameful and there is no excuse for their selfish behavior. Cattails.
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