I CANNOT do this anymore. I want my life back from caregiving.

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My Mom and Dad have been with me for 2 years. My 2 sisters promised to help., well that is not the case. I have 5 grandchildren that I want to be able to enjoy. My husband and I have worked hard to be at a point in our lives where we should at least be able to go out to dinner once in awhile, never mind being able to take a vacation. My husband is a very patient and caring person, but I think even he is at the end of his rope. We have made quite a sacraifice to care for my parents. Mom has demantia and cannot remember anything for more than 2 minutes. Dad was an abusive alcholic my entire time growing up and is still very stubborn and uncoperative. What are my options. What can I do. I feel such guilt and responsibility for them. Medicaid is almost impossible to get, because Mom and Dad made around 40K with sell of their home. I need help. I cannot do this anymore. Any encouragement or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I cannot continue to go on the way things are now.

22 Comments

You need help. Can you put the screws to your sisters and tell them they either help you, or mom and dad are moving in with them? At least take some time off with your husband somewhere. Put mom and dad in a respite apartment in an asst living facility for a week. Most asst living places have them. Get the heck out of dodge for a respite please. Your marriage should come before your parents. I know that's easy for me to say, but I truly believe your first responsibility is for your husband and then children. I always worry about women that put their parents before their husbands. Then the husband finally has enough and leaves, the parents are gonna die anyhow, and then the woman is left with nothing.
I LOST MY LIFE FOR 10 YEARS WITH MY BELOVED MOM, AND 5 WITH MY BRILLIANT DAD. BOTH DIED IN 2010; 6 MOHTS APART. STILL RECOVERING, AND WOULD DO ANYTHING TO HAVE THEM BACK. SPENT THE LAST 5 YEARS OF THIER 65 YRS OF MARRIAGE IN NURSING HOME; ALZIEMHERS ,SP, AND DAD HAD BREAKDOWN WHEN 5 YEARS PASSED AFTER MOM LOST ALL SHORT TERM MEMORY DUE TO OVER ANETHESIA DURING KNEE OPERATION. SHE NEVER RECOVERED,AND WAS AWARE SHE HAD LOST HER 'MIND'; SHE WAS SO SMART, AND MY BEST FRIEND. IT IS OUR DUTY TO CARE AND LOVE OUR PARENTS; FOR WHEN THEY 'LEAVE' WE LOSE THOSE WHOM WE HAD SINCE BIRTH. GIVE, AND REJOICE YOU ARE ABLE TO DO SO, WHEN THEY DID SO MUCH FOR YOU ALL OF YOUR LIFE. MY OPINION, ONLY. I WISH YOU BEST OF HOPE, AND RESTORATION OF YOUR VITALITY. KAT
Put Mom & Dad in an assisted living home. My Mom has been in an assisted living home for 5 yrs. It is expensive but you have to "spend down" all that income from the sale of the house, as an elder care lawyer told me. Yes I have spent down now because of the assisted living home. Mom has been very comfortable in the assisted living home. My husband & I have gone on vacations and didn't have to worry about her care. We go get Mom for Sunday dinner, take her to the mall etc., then never have to worry about her care because someone is always watching over her, NOT US. She has enjoyed her time because she is with people her own age and medical problems. This week I will be placing her in a skilled nursing home.Her money is "spent down" and hoping to get her medicaid in 3 months to pay for medications & nursing home. Her medical condtion now needs her to be in a nursing home.
I do have a little guilt, but I need my life too. She has lived a long life and never had to take care of an elderly parent or husband.( Dad died 8 yrs ago) I have been Mom's Legal guardian since then. I understand because I say it everyday, I DON'T want to do this any longer. But she is my mom, my 3 other siblings tell me she is your PROBLEM. They have no contact with her maybe a call every other month, never a visit from them. SO in closing, your MOM &DAD need to be in an assisted living home so you can have your life back. HUGS!!! I understand.
I should also add that my mother-in-law is VERY sensitive to the fact that she does NOT want to burden her boys. She and her husband loved doing things together when the empty nest set in, and she often tells me that she wants that for her boys also. Therefore, living with her kids was NEVER an option in her mind, not when she had money to take care of herself. Her doctor is Asian, and his first response to her not being able to live alone anymore, was to rotate between the 3 boys. Live with one for 4 months and so on. She automatically dismissed that option when she talked to him (while I held my breath).
It depends on your values and your parent's personality to decide what to do. Sometimes making a small change can make a big difference. Getting a two hour break 3x a week and a night out every other week might be enough. If your parents have any money, use it to give yourselves a break by hiring a caregiver to come in as needed. Just a thought. Choose the way which will leave you with the least regrets.
I can certainly sympathize! You certainly need help....do you have hospice coming in for your mom? Here they even have free sitters to come in 2 times a week and sit for 4 hours at a time..they have free bathers, will get your mom's drugs for free....and they are marvelous! Some of the hospices have their own respites...they will remove your mom for 5 days FREE.....then let your sisters take your dad over! Your mother's physician can order hospice ....that should help some....
BUT before you keep giving your life up and your sisters live their own without any assistance.....Get your parents OUT of your home!.....Give the money they made for their sale of their homes to the nursing facility...To be honest with you, your Dad may be happier somewhere that there are people his own age around! Assisted living and some nursing homes have programs to keep their patients busy
I would not hesitate to go forward in some manner.....Your family needs you too! Two years is an eternity with a dementia patient!

There are so many places to assist you in finding a suitable spot for your parents.....GET HELP immediately! Blessings to you and your family
oh my goodness; you sound like you have had the same problems I had!! I was blessed, though it was a great hardship. My father cursed me and told me to leave florida; so I went home to New Mexico, where we had all 3 kids join us, and have all been successful. Once I left, my Dad moaned and groaned, and pleaded for me to come see him again, but the pain went too deep, and the cruelty also; my brother went along with it, until he got Dad after Mom died, and then my brother was all apologies,and regrets,and since I love him so, we have totally reunited...and I praise God for that blessing. I was his BIG sister,and always took care of him, and protected him. When Dad went 'mad' on my brother, he suddenly understood all I went through. He had to care for him for 6 months, and it was rough. I cared for both Mom and Dad for 1 1/2 years,until Dad went truly crazy, and told me to' See if MY God could get me out of this one!" I took that as a promise my God would,and he did, and I pray he will do the same for you!! God bless and free you from bondage.kat
What an angel you and your husband have been to take in your parents and care for them. You're a smart lady to recognize it is no longer working out! There are many options for their care - yes it will cost money. But isn't that why it is there? First pay yoruself and your family something for the care you have given. Next call about senior apartments, using aides to help your dad with your mom's care. another option is assisted living (AL) apartments where their needs are assessed and then help is given in those areas. They will use their money to pay for care, and most facilities will assist them in obtaining Medicare when their personal funds run out. Always check ahead with AL to be sure they'll accept a year or two of personal payment and then allow for Medicare to take over.
I promise you that when you stop asking GOD for what you want, He will grace you with what YOU NEED!!! Also, your selfish sisters will answer to their creator when standing before him. "And, where were you two when your sister needed help with mom?" You (we) always have a choice, my friend. I left Atlanta, my home, business, friends and moved back home, in their house, ugh, however, my LORD knew I would make the right decision. I did!!! I have a brother five minutes away and an estranged sister two hours away. No help from them either. Mother has Alzheimer's but she took care of me; she also made a choice...Giving me life, that included my sharing it with her, however long that might be! Please hang in there... Let us know how you are doing, okay?
There is such a fine line between caring for a parent and caring for our own psyches....which comes first? For me, it rotates on a daily basis. Just when I think I have had enough (also on a daily basis) I cannot fathom placing my Mom in any insitution. It would take not being able to care for her at home adequately, before I would make that choice. Am I putting my life on hold? Yes. Do I regret it? Sometimes. I think that if I somehow had a magic ball and knew how long I had to do this, it would make it easier. But I just know that dropping her off at an ALF or NH would just about kill me...I don't think I would get out the door...but, that's me and my situation.
You, my dear, are on the verge of a serious breakdown. If you are a person of faith, you must know that God does not expect us to sacrifice our life and health beyond the reasonable.
Get some respite time so that you can think clearly and make decisions that you will not regret. You must have some peace in your life and with your choices.
Sounds like your parents may make enough money so that you can afford in-home care. I just hired a lovely woman who Mom really likes. She understands the mood swings of an elderly person, so I don't have to hold my breath. Even though I just hired her for a few days a week, it has lifted such a heavy weight from my shoulders. It is also good for your parents to interact with others.
I have always appreciated your posts in this forum...you have helped so many; including me. Take care of yourself...I know you wouldn't ask this question unless things were very serious.
Good luck,
Lilli

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