The idea of taking care of dad on my vacation makes me ill.

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VENT: My dad has suddenly decided he wants to go to the beach. He is weak, we've been through a heckuva year. Actually it's been five years - some good, but this one really stretching me - so much, it's the first time I've quit a job in less than a year, in part because it meshed so poorly with the amped care my father needs. The thought of taking him - when he increasingly snarls at me and the kids, when I need to transport toilet seats, and hope there's no problem with dialysis (he's been to the center before and it's been fine) is making me sick. Mostly, to be honest, because he's not very nice. He's starting to have cognitive problems. The condo we go to is a favor from a friend. I'm so tempted to tell him that the elevator isn't working - which would kill his ability to go (my husband stays at home - and Dad lives with us) But how crappy would that be to 1) lie to my Dad 2) deny him the beach trip when this has started to feel like his Holy Grail. On the other hand, thinking about hauling all of the stuff, taking care of him, dealing with his snarky comments, makes me sick to my stomach. Plus I have normal mom stuff with two teens and a 23-year-old and his girlfriend. I want to cry. Actually i want to go to the beach without any of them. Help me. I'm seriously thinking about lying.

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Dear tiredonlychild,
Have a great time and don't waste a second on guilty feelings if possible. A person can only take so much. Having taken my mom on beach vacations several times, well -it's not much of a vacation. No wonder you were dreading it. Have a great time and when you get back you will have more energy for the challenges ahead.
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Tryingmybest: "The big push right now is to keep them in their homes and put the burden of care on the children (daughters usually)."

And of course the elders want to stay in their homes. The medical personnel most times (?) just want what makes it easiest for THEM. Someone in the family will take care of the elder? Oh, that's great -- removes the medical folks from any kind of responsibility!

It just sickens me the way all the care is usually dumped in someone's lap (usually just one child, usually the daughter). I am so glad that more and more people are beginning to realize that it's very UNhealthy for it to be dumped on one person. And glad that more of these adult children are simply saying, "NO WAY."
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Hey everyone - just wanted to fill you in. At the beach. Dad bailed at the last moment. He didn't want to pay the money for the hotel. I'm happy. And guilty. But to be honest, I'm going to get over it because I'm SO EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH MY KIDS HAVING FUN. (I pray he is fine at home with my hubby.)
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Just to clarify. I didn't mean we should sacrifice our well being to be caregivers I just feel we are under pressure by society to do all we can, even at our own expense. It's up to us, to decide for ourselves how much we do and give.
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Years ago, we went to Las Vegas with friends and our kids, and yes, my mom. Recently, a friend was waxing nostalgic about how much fun it was and how much fun it was having my mom there. Not quite so much fun for me, however, as I was a daughter primarily, not a wife or mother. I can't imagine expecting my kids to schlep me around like that. Our generation ready got blindsided on this caregiving thing .... I should add that I did learn from this-when we had another chance to vacation with our kids, my mom stayed with my sister as I knew that logistically, it'd be an even more difficult trip for me.
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You are so right Tired! There is no empathy for our generation of caregivers. There is TONS of of advice out there about how we should DO the caregiving but the expectation is that we do it even if we sacrifice our own health and financial security in the process.

Our parents are living much longer than the former generations and they often develop debilitating conditions that require years of care. Paid care, assisted living and nursing home care is far more expensive than a lot of elders can afford. The big push right now is to keep them in their homes and put the burden of care on the children (daughters usually). In the end I think this is unsustainable.

I certainly don't want my own children to ever be in this position. My husband and I have already started talking to our kids about it.
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Tired, I had to chuckle. I had this thought one time of my mother telling me she'd wait for me in heaven. All I could think is Nooooooooooooooo! I would know I hadn't been forgiven. :(
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SueGeo --- I am SO sorry for you. Again, I still can't wrap my head how mean these parents are - last night I screamed at my husband, I don't WANT to see my parents in heaven - that if it's MY heaven, then they'll EMAIL ONLY. (Trying to find some humor in the worst of situations.) I can't imagine all of that - the berating, the irritation, the lack of awareness of others' lives - their precious daughter's life - no one - NO ONE - would give a damn if not for mostly daughters. It's SO frustrating. BTW, for anyone who cares- I found this amazing site called daughterhood.org .... and this blog post called to me -- especially this graph. "The job of taking care of aging parents can be a total life destroyer. It takes your money, your time, your ability to work, your friends, your relationships, your ability to do the things that you love, or to take a rest." Personally, as a former journalist, I think the Great Untold Story is how caregiving destroys women's careers - right at a time they need to be packing as much away as possible - because I'm pretty sure that the world is going to be turned upside down and I don't see MY children doing all of this for me. Anyway, for a great pick-me-up read - seriously...check this out... https://www.daughterhood.org/the-burden-of-self-care/
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Sue; you might want to point this on a new thread but.....

1. You mother is NOT your responsiblity. If she wants to live unsafely, it's on her, not on you.

2. You can call the local area agency on aging and ask for a needs assessment. It would probably be great if you were there for it, because she will "showtime" like crazy and tell them that she's just fine.

3. You can go with her to her next doc's appointment and tell the doctor what you're observing and that you'd like to hear doc's assessment of what level of care Mom needs.

4. If your mother wants you to quit your job to take care of her she either a) is a gold plated narcissist, b) has dementia or c) both. We have careers. We need to save for OUR retirement. No mother in her right mind wants to clip her child's wings like that.

5. You might ask if she's going to replace your current salary and benefits.

Start your own thread!
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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this conversation but I need to vent and perhaps solicit some suggestions for my mother - 87 years old and she's very angry and frustrated with me that I don't quit my job of 37 years - which I dearly love - and need for my own sanity (financially and otherwise). I've tried many times to hire caregivers for her and she fires them or refuses to allow them to come into her apartment (she refused to stay in Assisted Living facility - so we gave in and moved her into her own small apartment with the condition that she would get 'home help' when the time came). The time has come and gone...helpers are 1)Lucky to get in at all 2)Get fired soon thereafter. Yesterday was the last straw; I took her to the grocery store - before she could even get out of the car she wanted to tell me that she'd been thinking the night before and had come up with a solution - she'd figured something out - the something she'd figured out was that the new caregiver, T. who my husband had met exactly one time - and passed her info on to me (she works for a local elder care organization and was looking for new clients - yeah!) was and I quote 'having the hots for my husband!) She's always suspicious and says that this one 'has eyes for me' or that one is asking questions about her or my husband, etc. etc. That there is always a 'sexual' intent to sneak around and have a relationship (nothing could be further from the truth as my husband and I have a very happy/solid marriage, besides we're 71 and 64 years old - so shopping around for a 'good time' are just not on our agendas!!) It is a ridiculous conversation to have and I refused to engage in that discussion with her. She accused me of 'not wanting to hear the truth'!! Really?

Well, I got her into the store and I stopped in next door for an appointment that lasted only 1/2 hour - back to the grocery store I found her and she exclaimed that's she'd barely gotten started - I said I've really got to be getting back to work - I thought she was picking up only a few things - well obviously a misunderstanding her as she'd come to buy up lots of stuff to 'stock up' - however the caregiver was supposed to come over and clean out the (stuffed, filthy refrigerator) and packed freezer - and she's buying pork roasts, sausages, 5 quarts of creamer, milk, etc. I asked her to wait until after caregiver gets fridge cleaned out - that was the second time on this trip that she started yelling at me - making snide remarks about 'why don't you just do what I'm asking you to do for me!!! Refused to let me help her to the car; refused to let me help her put her credit card in the machine at the check-out. Made a real scene. I finally got the car loaded in the pouring rain (at her insistence that we not wait any longer for the rain to pass - since I'd rushed her to wrap up the shopping - because I had to get back to work).

It was a lunchtime mid-day outing - but she forgets that only the day before I'd taken 4 hours off work to help her order some flooring/window treatments for her apartment - two days in a row of being unavailable at work is pushing it. My boss is very understanding, but will only tolerate so much of my absence.

At any rate she was so angry on the way home (10 minutes) she spewed so much hatred at me - incredible, disappointing and saddening. She brought up everything she could think of in those ten minutes to tell me how awful I was, how I should get in to see a psychiatrist because I must have schizophrenia (my sister does) and other insults hurled at me until she was out of the car and headed back inside her apartment...basically told me not to come back and she'd never go shopping with me again...ugh...she fired the caregiver who was scheduled to come in today to clean out the fridge; called and cancelled all the improvements we'd ordered. I have no idea what to do about her now. She lives 3 miles away....I have a full time job, a home, pets, husband, etc to take care of, so life goes on - but not sure what to do about her and her anger issues...

I think her mental state is declining and I've called her doctor and left messages but he will never call me back. Instead he asks her about me - and then she tells me ' I think my doctor is 'sweet on you'. He's never met me! I'm at a total loss today as to what to do, if anything. I'm burned out and exhausted after the last two days of dealing with mom...I guess I'll go bury myself in work, etc and wait to see what her next move will be - maybe she'll get someone to come in and help her. I could have someone contact her (from local caregiver organizations, but I'm completely out of ideas)...
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