Am I am horrible person? Over a year now I have taken exceptional care for both my mom and dad and now I feel like I can't do this anymore. Is it normal to feel this way?


I am becoming more depressed everyday. I feel as if I am losing who I am at a very high rate of speed. I enjoy nothing in life anymore and could care less if Mom and Dad lay in bed all day. The Doc and Physical Therapist say they need to be getting up and walking around at least 3 times a day. Everytime I suggest this I go up against a wall. I am told that they are old and tired and they just want to lay in bed all day and I should respect that. I am so depressed, because I am here with them 99% of the time. No family help as promised in the past. To be honest at this point I have no idea what I would do if I did have time to leave the house. I have lost my sense of living and doing the things that I've enjoyed in the past. Today my entire family went on an outing for my grandson to see Thomas the Tank Engine for his birthday. I again am stuck here with the parents, because my siblings are to busy to be bothered with them. I don't know how long I can continue to do this and if I decide to no longer care for my parents where will they go? I am very depressed.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.


I really like Crowe's suggestion to be sure that the family agrees that there needs to be "100% participation" , meaning that all will indeed attend the meeting on the day and time it is set up. (In our family, we have found that if we all agree to, let's say, set up a date for a family reunion, there are always a couple siblings who end up not attending. This is much more serious than a social family reunion.) I also agree with him that an arbitrator would be a good idea. I might add that if there is any way that your siblings could share in the process of selecting the arbitrator, that would help too, I think.
Helpful Answer (0)

Before you have that meeting, I'd see if a social worker in the area of elder care or maybe even a social worker at an assisted living or a nursing home and get their wisdom for dealing with this for I'm sure they have seen this before.

I would not go into the meeting like a begger asking for bread, nor would I go in with a chip on my shoulder. I'd share the facts of the situation, i.e. 'your parents are not doing what the doctor wants them to do and you are burned out from doing this care 24/7" which means some changes need to take place which is the point where I would get very specific about what exactly you need various people to do. I think you also need a to list out some consequences for the continuation of the status quo.

This situation and given how family dynamics can be, you might even need an arbitrator to come in and help with these negotiations.

Your parents can't have their cake and eat it too anymore than your siblings can while you are their dying slave.

If possible, I'd try to get as much of the family on the same page before taking these negotiations to your parents. This is so serious that I'd emphasize to each sibling that there must be 100% participation on a day and time when everyone can come, if that is reasonably possible, plus this meeting is going to take some time to process so try to pick a part of the day which will give you a good amount of time. I really would look into finding an arbitrator for this. Such a person will be able to say things you would love to say and get away with it that you can't because for them it's not personal, it's just the business of arbitration which means by some things being said by an arbitrator your siblings just might hear it better coming from an outside, objective third party.

I'm not even in your exact situation, but I'm feeling angry for you!!! I wish you well, Keep us posted. We are in your corner.
Helpful Answer (2)

Thanks everyone. I have decided to once again have a meeting with my sisters and express to them how much help I need. They told me going into this what each of them would do to help, but apparently they have forgotten those promises. If they are unwilling to assist me, then we are going to have to come up with other arrangements. I suggested an Elder Day program, but they have both refused to even give it a try, yet they sit and complain that they have no one to talk to. I'll figure something out.
Helpful Answer (0)

bmo1959, so many good answers/suggestions here. You are the opposite of a terrible person, you are a wonderful, giving person. Now you have to take care of yourself. You count! You mentioned the word "depressed" a few times....remember, there is ALWAYS hope. So believe that and gather your strength and take some of the suggestions named above.
Helpful Answer (0)

I agree, you are not a terrible person. You are doing your best under an extremely stressful and wearing situation. What is terrible is that you like so many here also have to do it alone or it feels like it. If there are senior centers in your area, contact them for support and information on what assistance and respite is available to you, get their health care providers in the loop about how overwhelmed you are and that you need some help or a break or just someone to listen and give a rats butt what all you have undertaken out of love and kindness. You have pout your life on hold as the designated drudge of the family and they go about their lives like they have no responsibilities here and it is all taken care of...That is a terrible person, someone who sees that another is struggling and does not even blink let alone think to offer support of any kind. I know what you feel, you feel trapped, and jipped and worn out and scared and alone. You don't have to, you deserve love and compassion and support, support you will have to go looking for, it rarely comes looking for you. You are in the situation one "ends up in" not "goes looking for" Granted you choose to be here, but in a desire to help your loved ones, Now you feel buried alive. That is unacceptable. Elder care is grindingly stressful work and you need as much help and respect as your parents. I believe we would all encourage you to seek help through any local agencies you can to give your self some breathing room and make this situation if not perfect at least not so wearing and isolating.
Helpful Answer (0)

First of all, you are not a terrible person.

Second, it's a bit tough keeping up with two threads asking the same question.

Third, who has durable and medical POA?

What are the reasons that you necessarily have to be the person doing all of this other than you were willing to?

Do your parents have much retirement, a long term care insurance policy, health insurance beyond medicare?

Have you told their doctor that you are at a breaking point between trying to take care of them at home and their not following doctor's orders without any help from your siblings?

Have you told your siblings that roughly 60%+ of caregivers die before those they are taking care of and thus by not helping they are driving you to an early grave.

I strongly lean toward throwing down a line at this point. Siblings if you will not help and parents if you will not co-operate with what the doctors tell you to do which I've been trying to follow for over a year now, then hey mom & dad, I'm going to ask the doctor to write an order for each of you to be placed in assisted living or in a nursing home because I'm totally melting down and refuse to be a martyr anymore. Also, I think, that you need some counseling about boundaries and asserting yourself plus it would not surprise me at all if you are not crashing under a very deep and dense load of F.O.G. , i.e. Fear, Obligation and Guilt.

Best to you, Keep coming back and posting and let us know how things are going.
Helpful Answer (3)

If you are there 99% of the time caring for them, where are you that 1% of the time? Come on, fess up. The non-caring/supportive siblings will need to know that when they are kicking you in your ribs while you are on the floor crying from depression...I'm kidding on the first part of that...but, seriously, you have chosen this road to take care of your parents, you cannot back down now. I realize the struggles and the worries and the daily caretaking can become monotonous, tiresome and a drudgery. Now, it's time for you to pick yourself up out of that depression and get ANGRY.You have the right to be angry being treated the way you are being treated, and being left out of family things because they have dropped it all in your lap, while they go off and enjoy life without any responsibility. FIRST OF ALL, talk to your parents and let them know you are willing and able to take care of things for them, but there has to be guidelines set. They MUST work with you if you are to be successful in this. See if they will go out to elder functions in the community, church gatherings, etc. And while they are gone, you take time for YOU. You need time for you too. Secondly, get the siblings together and beforehand, make up a list of things they can do to help you out. Hand them their copy of THEIR duties, and reinforce with a strong hand and a stern voice. You CANNOT take family unloading on you without a fight. Stand up for your rights, and the fairness that should be shared in the responsibility of taking care of your elder parents. If you do not speak up to them , they will think you are OK with the way things are, and sometimes, people are just too wrapped up in their own selfishness to realize there is anything wrong or that somebody in the family needs help. You are being selfless, a bit overboard I must say, and you need to get P.O.'d and let your voice and dissatisfaction with family be heard LOUD AND CLEAR!
Helpful Answer (1)

Hi..I'm new here but your question really hit home for me too. I care for my Mom in my rental home, along with my Husband and we both work full time. I take her to dialysis for treatment three times per week and have had to change my work schedule several times to accomadate to the point that my boss told me I will be unable to do that again. My employer has been more accomadating than I can reasonably expect but just the same, with the constant Doctors appts, and hospitalizations and rehabs, I fear I will lose my job.
In addition it is taking a toll on me physically, I have not been diagnosed yet but am being tested for Rhumatoid Arthritis and have had chronic Asthma and Bronchitis all year. I am only 45 and feel like I'm falling apart! I too have lost my life and do not find joy in anything. I care about my Mom and unfortunately I come from an extremely disfunctional family unit and my brothers are out of state and absolutely no help and never will be.
I can count on no one
Oh, there is really so much to tell...tooo much for this venue..I need counseling but do not know where to turn without insurance.
May God Bless you and I hope you find your way.
Helpful Answer (0)

Wow, your post hits home with me. I feel just like you do. I have one sibling who lives out of state. I do everything for my parents. I have hired help and they have fired them. They don't want strangers in the house, only me. My mother refuses the Physical Therapist's help. She has later stages of dementia. My dad's thinking is clear, but has multiple health far, I still have them in their own home. Plus we have to help out with taking care of my mother in law, too. So I certainly understand what you are saying.
It is so unfair that your siblings would have a family outing and not include you. It's time for a frank talk with all of them. You need to call a meeting together, and have everyone choose what they can contribute to your parents' care. Each one should take a day and handle chores for you.
You are a caring and loving person to do all of this for your will be rewarded one day. I know what you mean about no life...I don't have one either. On top of taking care of my parents, my son has a family restaurant which I help run. I have started to make some changes...I asked the only 2 relatives I can get help from to pitch in, besides my daughter and a niece. They have made small contributions, but it's better than nothing.
I actually have tears in my eyes for you...I feel the same way. I have reached out to my community for help...last week, I got the Visiting Nurses Assn to finally come in (the first time my parents refused their help). That's 2 days a week. Check out your local Senior Center and see what they can do for you. I wish you well.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.