Where is my life going?

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Moved back home to care for my mom who passed from cancer in April. Now it's me and my 83 year old dad. He has several health issues, non life-threatening at the moment but he needs me around to help him with the house and other daily tasks. I have a part time night job so I can be around in the daytime to go to the his many doctor's appointments. i don't regret coming home to take care of my parents but some days I want to cry wondering what is going to happen to me when my father passes which could be years from now. I'm 56 years old, I have no friends here, no money to really do anything and no motivation to do anything worthwhile. My siblings tell me they appreciate all that I am doing and offer support but they have families, jobs and all live several hours away, it's just easier for me to do everything. i know people will tell me I'm depressed, I already take medication for that. I guess I just need to know if everyone else in my position feels the same


I'm sorry you are feeling so alone Alone247, but there are many others in similar situations. You are doing several good things, like trying medications, working part-time, and coming to this site. All excellent ideas, imo.

Your dad could live many more years, but no one knows the future. It might help you feel better if you got more information about where you stand for when your dad does pass away. I think I might consult with an Elder Law attorney. Do you have Durable Power of Attorney for your dad? What do you expect to inherit? Are you providing help in the home with dad in order to inherit certain funds or the house? I'd talk to dad and find out. Don't be shy, jut pragmatic. A lawyer can help put that all in writing, if necessary. Does your dad already have a Will? That might give you some assurance for the future.

And if you aren't expecting anything, like Life Insurance, investment accounts, etc., then you can start now to build your future. Age 56 is not old. You have options. I'd get the info and consider them.
While I haven't been in your exact position, your post did bring a few ideas to mind. Can you set up a care agreement and receive some compensation from dad for his care? Can you join a book discussion club at the library. It doesn't cost anything and you will meet others. Typically it meets just once a month. Are there any friends of your parents who can offer some diversion to Dad? Some houses of worship have caregiver support groups. So does the United Way and other organizations. Join one and meet others in your situation. I am sure I don't have to tell you that your role will become more demanding. Reach out now so you have a network in place.
Even if the money is not an problem, the loneliness is. It's nearly impossible to date anyone when you're still living with your parents. People aren't going to flock to the house for a party. And if you're not married, you wonder if there's someone to share your life on the other side? And what if you ever need care, who will be there? This is a huge concern for those of us here who are not married and don't have kids. Siblings don't help much, because they have their own lives. We're it. We have to make a life for ourselves in some way. I've found there are a lot of men out there looking for a woman my age (64). The trouble is that they are as old as my mother. :-P The good ones that are 50-70s are still happily married.

I think the best thing we can do is conserve our money and be independently happy at the end of caregiving. I think the Golden Girls had it right -- sharing expenses, but having separate lives.
I'm glad you've got a part-time job. That keeps you out in the world and not so alone and isolated. I'm 65, never married, no kids. I have a brother on the other side of the country and I'm 14 years into caregiving for my mom (and 9 years for my dad before he passed away). I've learned it's a marathon and not a sprint.

You need to make some friends (even other caregivers) who you can vent to. I have one good friend who is in a similar situation. We listen to each other about our folks. I started a women's group through meetupdotcom and have organized a lot of activities through my group. And it's where I met my caregiver friend.

As others have said, get out and do some social things, whether you feel like it or not. Exercise, do something in your local parks, go to library events, join a faith community...whatever you can find to meet some other nice people. They're out there, looking for you too!
Alone247 -- it seems to be the same for all us Caregivers; I long to visit my own adult children, more often, enjoy their children, not be on call all the time! I have been caring for my nearly 94 yr old mom 11 years in our home; prior to that I helped her substantially in her own home for many many years. As well I have a "professional type" job. I feel sorry for all the people who need caregivers & as well for the caregivers. Every day is a new day. Sometimes I just ride out a bad day & hope the next day will be better. We are not machines.
I am also glad you have at least a part time job.. use it to try and make some friends you can see and enjoy out side of work if possible.. even go to a movie (cheap theatre) or a free concert! Push yourself to get out once in awhile if you can.. it could save your sanity
Alone, Dad is only 83, so make your home the place everyone comes for frequent family gatherings, or just a few simple pot-luck dinners. You won't be alone, and after Dad is gone, maybe for more care in a nursing home, you can keep the house and continue the dinners. (Breakfast or lunches are less expensive).
The Golden Girls is a great idea whose time is now.
Alone, if the house is big enough, share the rent with like-minded people.
I'm in a similar situation, with my FIL living with us, now 12 years. He is not a joiner and is perfectly happy sitting day in and day out watching TV in his den. My husband and I take care of his every need, and it's definitely not ideal! He keeps us tethered to our home, and makes it difficult to even enjoy having company over as he is completely Narcissistic and must put a negative spin on everything and everyone. It makes it tough to have a social life, as we can't in good conscious leave him home alone anymore, due to him being a fall risk. Things we never planned for, when we took on this responsibility so long ago. Now, as time is wearing us down, we are trying to come up with a solution, but its difficult, as my husband's feelings of obligation run deep. So, I struggled with the same feelings as you have, but luckily I have 3close sisters, and I am able to get out, but still live with the guilt that I've left my husband home to deal with him. Prior to him coming to live with us, I spent the previous 15+ years, helping to care for my own parents prior to their passing , so I've been at this a long long time, but they were a delight to care for compared to my Narcissistic FIL! Thankfully I had help there, but I do feel I've put my time in, all the while working, raising 4 great kids, and trying to be a good wife and DIL too! I wish I knew the answeres, but at this point, it's one day at a time. Good luck!

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