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?

32 Comments

I'm having a hard time with "love" too. I just can't seem to feel it for my parents, and they're not even remotely half the work that most people deal with here. I don't know how to answer your question, but I can relate to it. I'm kind to my parents, and affectionate but its a charade. If they both died today, I wouldn't shed a tear. It must be part of dementia, or just a part of aging, where elderly parents just don't seem to realize or care how much life they suck out of their children. I feel for you.
I don't think it would be wise to take my parents into our home, but can see they are both suffering with memory loss and it will be the next crisis that puts them somewhere. How to balance when, where and under what circumstances is tough. Also, how do we begin to know if the money they have will hold out? Their monthly income is very good, but we know the savings could be gone quickly in assisted living situations.
Ellenjay, I don't think it would be wise for you to take your parents into your home, either. Smart of you to figure that out before the next crisis.

Whether their money holds out or not is not really your problem. You are not obligated to pick up where their money stops. When they start (or you help them start) applying for long-term care, all will be revealed.
Ellenjay,
Agree. Don't think about taking them into your home. It will kill you and you need to live your own life. I'm in a similar position. I very much resent having to take care of my parents but because my other two siblings took off. I have no support from them. I'm on my own and it's really, really hard to have a life outside of their care. I know my parent's money won't hold out. I had to put dad in a NH after his last fall in December because they couldn't afford in-home care and he can longer care for himself. I feel bad but that's the way it goes when you don't plan for your future and they didn't. I have my Mom on a public housing list if she can longer afford to rent. I would recommend you do the same and also putting them both on a list at a local Nursing Home. If you don't come from a hospital, most places want you to "be on the list." Otherwise, do some research NOW about continuum care facilities in your area. Look up what that means. As i understand it, it means you go in as independent and as your needs arise, you then go to their assisted living facility and then to their skilled nursing facility. Good luck and stay strong.

-SS
I have the same thoughts about my mother...not caring for her own mother. When asked by her brother to have their mother come and stay with her for a couple of months, my mother replied with, "I'm a widow, I am alone, I can't". She did have her mom come for a couple of weeks at a time but there was never any big commitment. Now, I have had my mother in my home for 8 years and in the last year, she is really declining. I have to do "everything" for her. I often think about how selfish my mother was - only wanting to be alone and read and do her art. She never even learned to drive which gave her another excuse for not having to help others, including her own children as they were growing up...if we wanted to go somewhere as a 6 year old, we would have to ride our bike. Everyone always had to get her to the store, church, doctor appointments (and this was when she lived on her own - ha, on her own...that is a farse). So, yes, I feel anger but in our circumstance, it was the right thing to do. I am not saying that I would have done things differently earlier on but now I have to see it through. I often wish I had no one to demand my time and effort but I wonder what I would do if I wasn't helping someone....probably sit and rest a good long while and then, when I was ready, I would go out and help someone! Do get your brothers to help. I have three brothers who do not live in town and they do nothing more than visit once in a while...pat me on the back and say "great job"! I don't know if I helped you Ellenjay - but I got some things off my chest! Have a great day and be true to yourself also remember that anger is fear in disguise...fear of loosing your own independence, fear of neglecting your husband and children, fear of neglecting yourself, fear of feeling guilty if you don't help. Face your fears and decide what is right for you and your family and do not feel guilty if you allow others to step in and help. :)
Ask myself if I'd want my children to treat me like I treat my parents, caringone? Why, "no", I wouldn't want them to feel what I feel right now. I wouldn't want my children to help me in the bathroom and clean up my accidents. I wouldn't dream of it. I wouldn't dream of moving into their homes and disgusting their children with my accidents and drool and nuttiness. I'd much rather be placed somewhere and let them enjoy their lives. My hat is off to you and your caring of two needy people. While that might be fine for you. It might not be fine for some of us. We're entitled to resentment and guilt and our own lives. My grandmother moved in with us when I was 7. She was there for 15 years. I was subjected to more vile episodes than the average kid, and I swear, I will NOT do that to my own family. And, actually, your "shame on all of you" comment really insults me. Anyone who cares for an elderly person is a good example to their children, no matter how much they're willing to sacrifice. Personally, I think keeping my parents at a safe distance from my children better preserves their relationship. The kids don't need Nana pooping all over the bathroom to better endear themselves to her.
Hi, I can only say, do not take them into your home. I love my Mom dearly but thought I would be able to care for her at home and am becoming resentful at having given up my life, and turning 62 and retiring and not being able to be impromptu about anything. I am not trying to figure out how to get her in assisted living to enjoy an active and social time the rest of her life.It will be a lot more doable to attend to her a few times a week as opposed to 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Everyone needs to consider their own special curcumstances when making the decision whether or not to take a parent into their home. Talk to lots of people who have done it or have decided to not do it. I don't think it's a good idea to do it out of guilt because that will just cause resentment, never a good thing when trying to care for someone. I have taken my mominto my home and even though I love her very much and she was always a good mom, it is very difficult and sometimes I wonder how I'm going to do it. I'm 63 and my husband and I are now retired, but it's tough. I can't even imagine how much harder it would be if I resented her. Good luck and please keep reaching out.
To caringone. I gave up my job to stay home & care for my MIL. It feels right to me & is working out well, however it isn't right for everyone & they are entitled to their feelings. Your profile says that you are caring for someone in a nursing home. Let me tell you there's A BIG DIFFERENCE in caring for someone in your own home 24 hours a day compared to visiting someone in a nursing home!!!!!!!!!!
caringone...is the friend you are caring for in a nursing home?

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