Is being miserable worth it when your taking care of a parent?

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I've been taking care of my 81yr old father for years now. After a massive heart attack, accompanied with Diabetes and prostate Cancer he doesn't care to live or eat in a way that's conducive to life. He is so ungrateful. He's always lived a life of selfishness. He was an abusive husband. He has 100 kids which he's abandoned all. Im the only one who will care for him. Growing up he always put me down and wasn't around much. It's like caring for a child who's always defiant. I can't even expect him to drink water in a day without monitoring him. He lives with my family, my daughter and my husband. Currently, I'm pregnant and feel completely overwhelmed and miserable. I can't put my pregnancy or family first. He has no real retirement money so any assisted living facility will be just above poor. Im trying to care for someone who makes it so difficult when he refuses to do the required minimum. He'd be happy if he could smoke weed, eat greasy food and not be told what to do. But if I put him in a facility I feel he will be dead in a year. I feel completely burdened and I don't know what's the "right" thing to do.

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Top Answer
They can certainly paint their caring child into a corner. What do we do when there is no where else for them to go but they're making life miserable? I don't think there is an answer except to decide who is most important -- your father or your family (including yourself). If you choose your family, help your father find subsidized housing that he can afford on his SS check. A lot of older people do that, so he should be able to. Look around at the senior apartments and find if anyone works with the government to subsidize. Contact your local HUD and explain to them you're looking for housing for your father. They may know of some things. Good luck!
No, if you place him, I'd bet he won't be dead in a year. I visit my mom in her NH daily, and when walking around there, I've noticed that the men residents there seem to get plenty of attention and that they enjoy each other's company, maybe even more so than the women.  This NH has one outside patio where they go to smoke and play cards.  Some of these guys roll their own cigarettes out there.  I get the feeling if somebody wants a greasy cheeseburger, somebody would probably make him one.  Seriously, it would not surprise me if they manage to get something stronger now and again.  Place him and visit often. You'll never feel totally free from guilt, but you sure don't have to put up with his bad behavior.
Not your fault he did not plan ahead for his own care. Your family comes before him so in my opinion you need to put him out. Place him in a state run facility if none of the rest of the family will help. Most of us do not want to be a burden on our children and it sounds like he is continuing his selfish ways because you let him get away with it, so get him out. Don't feel guilty about it either.
My mother in law was able to get SSI which paid for assisted living. I used Council on Aging for help and they told me what was available. I loved my mother in law but having to work meant leaving her home alone which just wasn't working. Don't let him guilt you into putting up with caring for him. You need to put yourself first right now.
I agree with those who present a tough love approach. You have been very generous, but with a baby on the way, I think it's time to retire as his caregiver and focus on the health and emotional well being of you and your family. You have done enough.



Sad, ask yourself why you are doing this.

When you are a parent, your child HAS to come first. Next come your own and your spouse's needs.

Your parent is an adult. Most of us had parents who cared for and nurtured us. I never felt as though it was my obligation to provide a home for, or to provide hand's on care for my parents. The obligation to provide care does not work that way, in my opinion.

Why do you think he'd be dead if he resided elsewhere?
Don't let him come first over your family. Put him in an assisted living or nursing home as soon as possible. It sounds like you don't owe him anything but you do owe your baby and family all of you.
Dear Sadsmile,

I'm sorry to hear how you feel. I know its hard when there is no validation and acknowledgement for your efforts. Dads can be tough.

Please know there are always options. When we start using words like miserable its time to make a change. Talk to social worker. Talk to the town office. There has to be options for your dad. I know no one wants to move to an assisted living or a nursing home. Given his age he could be struggling with dementia as well or side effects of his medications, so maybe that is why he is not cooperative. Try talking to him and see if there is any willingness to change. And if not, do what you have to for yourself and your young family. Don't be like me and let the anger and resentment overwhelm you and in the end affect your ability to continue to advocate for your dad.

Thinking of you and hope you can find a better option.
So sorry that this has been difficult for you. But you should know that the fact that
you are thinking about change, may mean it is time...I placed my FIL in AL 8 months ago.His health is not good, lots of medications and for the last eight months he has been on an even keel. The one thing that did change, is I visit and support him...I am
no longer on the spot 24/7 and subject to his bad moods or worries. My family did care for him for 7 years.. and moving him to another living situation, put me and my family first. I am no longer depressed and wanting to run away. Contact local senior
agencies and get help- and do not back down when he fight you and your family.
You have a baby on the way...it’s a no brainer...Abusive parent goes to ALF

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