I resigned from caregiving tonight.


I am so hurt right now im ready to run away. Today was difficult; worse than yesterday. Dad refused to go to rehab after surgery and demanded he come home to my 24/7 care (which I am not qualified for) He was quite ballistic and I finally gave in just to get him out of the hospital. This house has old door ways that are not wide enough for wheel chairs and it is so hard to get him to the bathroom and I kicked him 3 times (and felt extremely guilty, although I think he enjoyed wincing). After I told him yesterday that Carmie (Niece, RN) said to tell "Papaw" it was much better (even though maybe not fun) to be in a rehab rather than home health and she highly recommended it and he didn’t total discount it. Then when today just wasn’t safe getting around and he said he would consider it and I was elated! Yea, 2 – 4 weeks of me being able to get long term health care set up and a carpenter to make the doors wider and pull the carpet up to get some easier ways to live. 3 weeks to get caught up on work and personal health. As it is, he needs me at every minute and I need to get back to work. Not to mention to strife its caused my marriage.

So, I asked him again tonight. I said dad, we’ve had an extremely day and a half that scares me because its not safe. And Carmie is a big girl now and she loves you and she is qualified to make this decision regarding rehab. Here is why it is good for you: safety, supervision, intense pt, etc etc. I said dad, I have to tell you it is very difficult for me and I need you to do this for me right now too. I need to know that you are safe and I don’t have that confidence yet, especially after today. I will, and you will come home, but I cant give you 24/7 and even if I could I am not qualified. And you turn to me for decisions, and Carmie says and blah blah. And Im asking you for your best good, and also for mine. I NEED you to be safe and I NEED to rest.

And he looked at me and said “no”.

I said why?

He said “because I want what I want when I want it. And I don’t do what I don’t want t do.” “And I never asked you to do this and I don’t really need you. You are doing it to yourself”.

I said “dad, you just discounted everything I have done for you in the last 10 years. and don’t give me that shit that you don’t need me because look at you. you are 91, you just had surgery. You cant drive. You cant even walk. All I am asking is that you do whats best for you and for me, . This once”. You need it. I need it. I'm losing my business because of lack of involvement. Please let me make one decision. PLEASE.

He said “no”.

I said, then I quit as your caregiver. You are on your own. I suggest you take tonight and after you get sober you bring up this conversation and understand that I love you, but I have to love me first. And since you obviously don’t value my contribution and don’t trust my advice, I will remove myself from that position and then when you fall again, which you will, press that button on your alert and 911 will come after you. But then, if you get them to send you home, you will need to line that up yourself. I love you. But Im going to bed now.

He said “give me a hug”. I said I already have. Lots of them. You just never felt them. And I cant give you enough. I cant be your wife or your unpaid employee anymore. I am your daughter and I have loved you my entire life. But I have to let you go because I cant die over you and you wont give.

I wont be coming in to wake you up tomorrow. You know why? Because I don’t want to. And I want what I want when I want it. So if you decide you want me back in your life, get in your wheel chair and get over to my side of the house. I will be here until about 9:15, and then again after noon. Goodnight. I love you.

I don’t know what else to do. I know that I will not follow totally through, but I also know that I have to take control and with him, there is no easy, slow way. I am POA, but they still have him as “normal memory loss” so I don’t even know how much power I have. Does anyone know? I wanted him to love me. I think I finally realized its not about me so really anyone will do. He can afford it. He just knows he can boss me around and doesn't know how to get that control with the world outside of me.

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I have some amount of experience with alcoholism. Both of my fathers brothers, my mother's sister, my mothers best friend's husband, my father's best friend and later his wife, a best girlfriend, a few other friends here and there and two significant others. l can tell you that when they detox in a clinical type environment, with strict people they don't know, they can do pretty well. Partly because they think of it as temporary and partly because when they feel better, they think they can drink again and just control how much they drink (NOT!).

So, consider very deeply and wisely before you bring your father home do the same environment where he undoubtedly would expect to drink again. If he was unable to drive or otherwise get around and yet was a continuing alcoholic, someone was in enabling him by buying his liquor. This is not a judgement, its done with the understanding that it is sometimes easier to tolerate their behavior when they been drinking then to try to get them not to drink.

One of the things AA tries to teach is not to put yourself back in the environment where you did it before. Please believe me, he will be coming home with the belief that he can drink again, he can get his hands on the booze, he will just control it and limit himself (NOT!)

With the care he needs is you have described it, he would do better in an ongoing structured environment and you can be his daughter, visiting him at his "new digs", not his wife, not his parent, not his jailer, judge, jury or executioner, so to speak. No, better if you have a residential place that suits his medical needs lined up for him when he is ready for discharge from rehab. Easier to walk away from an argument there then in your home. IMHO, bringing him back to your home at all is sending the wrong message from the get go. Is he going to be happy? Maybe not, but he will be safe and he will get use to it. You and your husband haven't been happy for 10 years. Time for your life...NOW!

Countrymouse, you crack me up lol.

As someone who went through a 5 month period caring for someone in and out of rehab before finally being admitted into long-term care, I would suggest really giving thought to if you can handle him coming home again.

My aunt went into and out of rehab 3 times over 5 months or so. It started with her not taking her medications, hiding them, and lying to everyone about it. As she gained water weight and got weaker without her meds, she dumped more and more responsibilities on me, even though it was her choice to stop taking the medication she needed to live. She got to the point where she was morbidly obese, could not walk, and was extremely incontinent, while being on 12 liters of oxygen at all times.

I knew she wasn't going to be able to live at home anymore when she left rehab the first time. Without the strict rules and supervision of the nursing home/rehab center, she made herself sick again within a month of being home each time, which resulted in another trip to the hospital each time, starting the whole cycle over.

I hoped that she would see, coming home each time, that it just wasn't safe to be there anymore. But she just kept blaming everyone around who her helped for not helping more. It took a doctor in the hospital telling her she would die if she went home for her to finally accept that a nursing home was the only choice. And even then, she wouldn't accept that her refusal to lose weight, stop smoking years ago, be more physically active, and manage her diabetes were the real reasons she was in the situation. It was always "after all I did for you, this is the thanks I get", as if I could wave a magic wand and cure her of her illnesses.

Give the matter serious thought, and keep it firmly in your mind that things will only get worse, not better. If you decide to bring him home again, you are going to have to set some hard boundaries to preserve your own sanity and health, which is a difficult thing to do.

kazzaa, as a specialist in these things I can explain: it's a case of irregular conjugations in the English language, goes like this -

First person singular: I am firm.
Second person singular: You are stubborn.
Third person singular: He is a pig-headed fool.

You can have quite a lot of fun with these… x

Daughterlinda my friend just had her mum home with her for 3wks after her mum had a triple bypass like your dad she refused to go to rehab my friend nearly had a breakdown with the stress. Back away and get him into a facility the stress will make you ill.
Stubborn is not the word id use there has to be a stronger word?

Eh dont want to stereotypic the "irish" but the NH my mum went to has a small bar!!!!!! And most residents can have a drink if they want obviously depending on their meds etc..

Daughter Linda you are a true inspiration and teacher to me. I just wanted you to know that you are helping others out here by posting this situation and how you are handling it. I know you are looking for help. But you are also giving help to others by sharing and I truly appreciate you doing this. Thank you and best of luck to you!

Good for you! You have a right to live your own life and if this irascible old man does not appreciate your diligent efforts, time to cut the cord ----and I mean the "cord" of guilt, as well. He will adapt to his living situation in time so make preparations for his new living situation and get your life back. You have been a dutiful and loving daughter ---all of God's blessings upon you!

Good for you! Your dad sounds just like my husband and I have felt just as you do. We love them, but we don't want to die for them, and shouldn't have to. My husband is too far gone to follow through with just letting him do what he wants to, but maybe your dad isn't. Thumbs up to you!!

If he's not staying sober in your house, I'd say get him out of your house and into a NH that can do rehab or a group home that will let him drink. It's OK for an elder to have a beer or a snort or two for fun, but if he's not sober enough to take care of himself or to discuss his future, that sounds like a lot of drinking.

On a side note, you might ask his doctor if he's supposed to drink after surgery. Alcohol can increase bleeding risks, especially when combined with antibiotics.

For the next time he goes to the hospital, be aware that the hospital CANNOT discharge him to your home if you tell them you can't provide adequate care. YOU decide whether you can provide care or not, based on what care they say he needs and whether you are physically and mentally able to provide it AND whether you can get time off work.

It sounds like you did the right thing in a sensitive way. Can I hire you when I need to stand up to someone? ;-)

Please also consider whether or not it is wise to bring your father back home. Find out what kind of care he will need and if you can provide it without causing too much stress on your marriage and yourself. A recovering alcoholic, or an active alcoholic are not easy to deal with, never mind one with additional health problems. On your profile you say you have a very intense job. Sounds like an explosive mixture to me,
Please make sure you are looking after yourself and your relationship with your husband. That has to come first. (((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

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