I don't want to take care of my father anymore. How do I approach the subject of assisted living outside of our home?

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That just sounds horrible does'nt it. My husband and I have been caring for my father for 15 years. He has lived in our home in an in-law suite that we built on for him. I have two brothers and two sisters and only one of them has just recently started helping us. My father has had 12 cornea transplants, has diabetes, arthritis, is depressed and sits in his part of the house all day now doing absolutely nothing but trying to watch tv and listens to the radio. I have tried to get him outside help by having someone come from the office of older adults to talk with him and offer him transportation options during the week so he can get out. He refuses. My husband and I work full time. I have to schedule all of his many doctor appts. late in the day or use vacation to take him. We have no real time for ourselves. He makes us take him shopping every Saturday whether he really needs to go or not. I understand his need to get out but he refuses help outside of ours. How do I approach the subject of assisted living outside of our home. He gets angry at everyone and everything that is not done the way he wants it. I want my life back. I have sacrificed 15 years for him with no appreciation. Maybe it would be different if he were a nice old man but most days he is not, at least not to us. When he is around other family members or out in public he is a totally different person.

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You've gotten some wonderful tips here. I just want to emphasize that you are not "horrible" for thinking and feeling the way you do. You've done so much. Changes need to be made. Think it through, but do what you must. I loved the comment above that said most people don't want to move to AL - until they get there. Once they adjust to having peers for company, many if not most, love it. It opens up whole new horizons and many bloom. Of course, this is not always the case and it does depend on finding a good AL. People in AL also need family care. They just get extra care, and that is good for a lot of people.
You know, I've heard Dr Laura say in the past that 'honoring your father and mother' means: making sure they are fed, safe, being taken care of. She never said that the honoring part means the parent has to LIVE with the child. I don't agree with everything she says, but in this instance I do. Why is it the only alternative that many adult children consider when they want to 'honor their father and mother'? Not everyone can do it and not go insane. There is no shame in saying that 'I'm just not able'.
Your job as caregiver is to make sure that the person's physical needs are taken care of and that they have a chance to socialize and have activities if they want. Ensure their environment is safe. You can't make someone happy if they are inclined not to be happy.

I always recommend that caregivers take time out for themselves because you will be able to give more in the end that way.

One suggestion is to get a home health aide for all of his or her waking hours.

Many elderly parents do not want to go to an assisted living facility - until they get there. It's freedom for them
You need to do what's best for you at this point. I truly understand your situation. Pray about it and ask God to help you make the decision, and forget about everyone else's comments. When you enter into peace with your answer, you can believe that's from God.
My parents (mom dimentia/parkinson's, dad - alzheimers) have lived with me and my family for over a yea now and I wish they were somewhere else. it's a smelly, confusing, stressful, depressing, expensive, smelly dirty bizarre, sleepless nightmare. They don't know who I am, they don't know that they live here, I'm taking care of 2 strangers. I am burnt out . I want out.
Elaine...I am so with you on that one..almost have the same situation. For the past 12 years I have been doing my mom's bidding. For the past 12 years I have given up Sundays to take her shopping and do various things. She would never ever take up the notion by me having someone else do it...never. So now as she is declining I am even more stuck. She refused to go to an NH, even though she claims she is so bored living alone. I come over there on Tuesdays and Thursday eves and am there practically all weekend. She has a caregiver 20 hours a week. She has her nasy hooks into me until the day she dies or has to go for some reason into an NH...and then her nasty little quip of 'NO WAY' of not going into a NH will change...I can't wait. She has Narcissitic Personality Disorder and they don't change until their dead. I have researched this subject and nothing changes these types of folks...they train a family member to do their bidding..it's a sick type of personality. So I am totally burned out...can't wait for this hell to be over with her. She has been my nightmare all my life and it won't be over until she is gone gone gone!
I'm addressing this to everyone who has commented. Hind site is twenty-twenty but these situations can be avoided with planning ahead of time. Get your parents needs and desires written down while they are in their right mind. Discuss a plan and pick out the living arrangements. Every situation is different so have different scenario's in place for different health care issues. Most parents don't want to be a burden on their children or grandchildren. When these situations are planned out ahead of time, arrangements can be made to place in independent "step down" LTC facilities. Parent's and/or grandparents can visit different facilities and be in control of there own future.
FYI, In my experience as a nurse working in LTC, 9/10 times, the older they get, the more they revert back to child-like behavior. And as with children, boundries need to be established and followed through with. Most of the caregivers commenting in this thread are being manipulated to the fullest extent. Your loved one is using the love and obligation you feel for them like a weapon. You are being bludgeoned over and over by the "guilt" mallot. The loved one is the Puppet Master and the caregiver is the puppet.
My second best advice for the caregivers struggling in this thread is this; Do you feel as though your loved one is getting the BEST possible care living with you? Are all of their psychosocial needs being met? Are they truely happy? Do you provide activities for them on a daily basis? How much time do you have to spend with them? It's not just the safety, nutrition, and medical needs that need to be met. It's so much more. Like children, they need A LOT of attention. Your loved one will kick, scream, manipulate, and guilt trip you all the way to a LTC facility but in the end, they will adjust and be happy because they KNOW, deep down inside, they are a burden to you but are too scared for any kind of change. Therefore they would rather torture you and live in the condition they are in because the alternative is too terrifying to even consider.
So, sit down, communicate your intentions with your loved one, visit several LTC facilities and include them in the process, then let them pick which one. It will provide them with the empowerment they need and put the decision in their court. The only decision on the table will be which LTC facility they have chosen. YOUR HOME is off the table! Be Strong and Good Luck Caregivers!
I feel for you. I finally threw in the towel and took my mother to a nursing home. I understand taking care of a parent that does his/her share (even if that share is very, very small), but to care for someone that truly doesn't care anymore is exhausting. And I don't think it is fair to the children, grandchildren, or anyone else that has to give up most, all, or even part of their way of living for no appreciation, consideration, or even a kind word. Consider getting him into a nursing home. He will be better because he will have all the care he needs and you will have your peace of mind back. Then the only thing you have to worry about is visiting every so often and keeping up with his well being by phone/visits/email/whatever. The guilt will be there, some stress will be there, but it all comes out fine at the end and it will be only part of your time, not your entire life. We weren't made to carry the burden of thoughtless parents or grandparents. I don't have kids, but even now I'm thinking of a niece and nephew that might be kind enough to take me in when I'm old, and if they are so kind, I sure am going to do my best not to be a big pain in the ass to them. It is simply not fair.
I so understand. It's a difficult place to be. We'll pray for you. We are looking at options for our situation, and it's against my parent's will, but have to do what needs to be done. So sad when it comes to this. Beggars can't be choosers? We sacrifice, but need to limit care based on their responses sometimes. I love my folks, but they cannot live with us. We are looking at options, and will see they get the best care, but it will be elsewhere. How terribly sad when it has to be this way...
I understand what how you feel, i have been taking care of my grandmother for 5years. she has 4 living children and only one steps up to the plate sometimes. My husband and i live our lives around her. she get up in morning from the bed to the chair, and worry about how many depends she has. and when she wants to talk how we hear about is Popa and the train, her grandfather put coal in the trains back in the day. (can you say Alzheimers). i know its not funny but i have to laugh to keep from crying most of the time. I would also love to place her in assist living, when shes mad at us she wants to leave and go to assist living, when you say ok i'll find you a place, then were putting her out. and trust me i know its the mind, this is not an easy thing to deal with day in day out. i think she would do well in assist living, she can cook when she wants to, dress herself, wash herself up, she won't take meds,nor will she drink water thats forced upon her, other then that shes in good health. we have a caregiver 4hrs a day while we're at work,that we pay with her money, Its just that she has taken a good part of our lives, we have very little time for ourselfs she always around. if we make plans to do something she get mad and that turns into a big problem if we don't set in the Den with her it's a problem even if shes sleep,everythings becomes a problem if its not her way. I love my grandmother more then life, but i dont know how much longer i can live like this. i'm only fifty. My husband tell me to do whats best for me because i'm going to be dam if do and be dam if i don't.
what's girl to do?

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