Is it wrong for me to not want to help my dad get dressed for the day every morning and get ready for bed each night?

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My dad is in an assisted living facility and has been getting along by himself, but things are getting more difficult for him and he needs more help. My two sisters think I should be willing to help him every morning and night. They don't understand why I don't want to do that. I don't have a good reason as to why I don't. I moved back home 3 1/2 years ago to be close to Mom and Dad. Mom died last year. I live just a few minutes from Dad and I only work 1 day a week. My one sister that lives here has a full-time job. My other sister lives 3 1/2 hours away. I also have a brother that lives about 30 miles away. The assisted living facility can help him with his needs, it will just cost more money. I go visit Dad 3 or 4 times a week and my sister also visits him several days a week. I am the youngest of us 4 kids. I'm feeling very guilty about not wanting to do more and I am kind of depressed about it.

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It's hard to see our parents aging, and even harder to have to be hands-on involved in their care that requires personal contact that you're not accustomed to. Dressing, toileting, feeding - all very difficult emotionally.

It may be time to sit all your siblings down for a family meeting about Dad. Explain that you are not comfortable performing these personal chores for Dad, and something needs to be worked out to pay the AL's additional fee for the increased help he needs. There is no reason why you should have to do this if you are not comfortable with it. Not everyone is cut out to do that and there's nothing wrong with that - don't let anyone guilt you into doing this if you're not comfortable with it.
Can dad afford the additional fees? Will that seriously put him at risk of outliving his money? Or will it just cut into possible inheritance? Why is the family reluctant to pay for what he needs, out of his own funds?
Then i think you have your answer - dad pays for assistance getting dressed. I felt the same way about helping my dad - i just couldn't do dressing, bathing, or incontinence. I got a lot of grief about it from others but you have to feel comfortable. No guilt.
And don't feel guilty. Really don't. Either do it, or don't do it. But don't feel guilty about deciding what's right for you. Hugs.
So, Pam, what I see as the downside of this is that you are tied down from here on in to being at a particular place twice a day for as long as it takes for dad to ablution and dress. In my experience, that can be a l//o//n//g time. It means you can't do things as spontaneously with friends. You can't decide to go out of town on a whim. Is that what is getting you down?

Would it make a difference in your perspective if you were getting paid to do this? Would it make a difference to your siblings?
Pam, my Dad was the same way about spending money as he was the child of the Great Depression.

Once Dad needed to move into Assisted Living/Memory Care, the facility would get him showered and dress prior to breakfast, this was part of his rent. Dad was paying around $5k a month and that included everything. Prices do vary from area to area.

Eventually I had slowed down the visits as Dad needed to get use to the routines at Assisted Living. I use to go daily, then 3 times a weeks, then down to once a week for a half hour or so.

We need to learn not to enable a parent once they are in Assisted Living, and let the facility do their job.
pam, I get where you're coming from. I set limits on what I would do when I moved in. I was totally uncomfortable with personal things like toileting, bathing, and dressing. I still am and won't do these things. Those things will have to be left up to professionals. I don't think there is anything wrong with feeling this way. We give so much already. We have to draw lines somewhere about what we are willing to do.
What does your father want, besides not spending money? This really is your decision, Pam. But want he wants might be a factor in your thinking.

I overheard a conversation between my aunt and mother, when they were in their forties. Knowing someone who just went into a nursing home prompted this discussion:
Aunt: After all the things I've done for my kids, they better not ever think of putting me in a home!
Mom: When I get to a point where I can't take care of myself, I want strangers to do it. If someone is wiping my butt it better be someone who chose that job and is getting paid for it!

In my 70's, and having been a caregiver, I'm with my mother. I would not want my sons or daughter-in-law or step-daughters to take care of my most personal needs. I could imagine living with any of them, but not after I could no longer take care of those things.

If your father would prefer not to have his children help him with this and you prefer not to, that would certainly settle the matter, I would think. But even if he wants your free service instead of hiring someone, you still have the option not to do this.

BTW, how old are you? I'm guessing 60s or 70s ?? You certainly can decide how you want to spend your time!

About your siblings: My three sisters mean the world to me. We don't always agree but we respect each other even when we are arguing. I like my three brothers, too, but the bond isn't as strong. A deep and sincere relationship with siblings is invaluable.

But it doesn't sound like your relationship with your sibs is deep and sincere. Your brother gives you the silent treatment because he disagreed with a decision about your parents? Unthinkable! If the relationship is soured that easily, it simply wasn't very deep on his part.

I suggest detaching from them a bit. I don't necessarily mean see them less often, but start giving their opinions less importance. Perhaps your relationship could be more cordial, but less profound. Don't rely on it so much. Do you have a few close friends? You can develop deep and sincere relationships with them.

You are a capable and valuable individual. You comfort level and quality of life is every bit as important as your dad's. Keep that truth firmly in mind!

Does anyone have a durable POA for dad? If he's still making decisions about spending money and he has the POA on his bank and broker accounts, don't ask him. This is where the decision making ability is lost and he does not have the ability to make a decision about hiring needed healthcare help.

If you get an order from the doctor for an aide to help with dressing, this *may* be a tax deductible expense. Talk to your tax advisor to find out exactly what is needed and tell the doc exactly the documentation needed. Keep the doctor's prescription in the tax records along with receipts for the assistance for the end of the tax year. Dad will be happier if it's doctor ordered AND "anything out of pocket is tax deductible." With the POA on the checks, dad need not ever see the bill.
I can relate to this topic because I have a personal reluctance to provide personal care for my mother. Above all else, I wouldn't want to buy into a responsibility that would keep me tethered to one spot morning and evening every day for an indefinite period of time. But leaving that aside, I don't want to do bathing, dressing or toileting for my mother. I will never agree to do it, although I suspect that she expects that I will do it if she needs me to. I won't. That's where I draw the line. I don't want that level of intimacy or familiarity with my mother's body. I just don't. I've done it for other people without a problem but NOT my mother.

This is already becoming a problem because I'm usually the one who takes her to drs appointments and procedures and several times the aides have called me in to help her get dressed and undressed. I muddle through that with as little hands-on contact as possible, but I would never agree to do it as a general rule. Yesterday, a doctor came out to the waiting room to give me directions on what Mom should and shouldn't do while on the toilet, and I asked him "Have you told her this?" No, he thought I was in charge of her bathroom activities. Noooooooo!!!!!!

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