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I feel like I need help. Not financial help. Not emotional help. Like tangible actionable help. I’m overwhelmed. I’m drowning. I feel guilty. I feel resentful. I feel like giving up. To say I was underprepared by the overwhelming nature of what caretaking is and how much it takes out of you is an understatement. I thought it would be easier – manageable even. I thought I’d have more help. I don’t know what I thought, I just knew that I had to take my dad in – it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do for my mom as well.

I feel like nothing is going to save me from the inevitable fallout. I feel that in trying to juggle the relationships around me they are instead all starting to fail. I am constantly worried about everyone and their moods and what’s on their plates and not trying to push anyone all at the expense of myself. I feel like my girlfrien is stressed, overwhelmed at not having a partner and a relationship anymore but rather living in what may be the expected reality of a married woman after 40 years. We both work full time and I try to be conscientious of her needs and her own stresses that have nothing to do with our home life. Adding to that however is the reality that our home life further compounds any other stress at any given time.

My mom is stressed. She is also diabetic with high blood pressure in her 60s and has become increasingly inactive, withdrawn to her room, and less reliable as a resource for help. I have to constantly remind myself that she is here with us for an entirely separate circumstance than my father, who is turning 88, and that they are divorced and had been living separately until now for 15+ years. Little things she used to be open to doing more regularly she is seemingly no longer open to doing. After our last blowup and how that affected me I am hesitant to ask her to do anything beyond what I feel she is willingly self-motivated to do – which isn’t much. I’m frustrated and burdened by the fact that she, unlike my dad, is mobile and independently able to do things but financially tied and reliant on me to do most things for her and/or in the very least in my company.

My dad on the other hand is financially independent and contributes to his room and board but in the realest sense of becoming a ‘caretaker’ requires assistance with everything else. His medical appointments are getting longer and more frequent. I spend hours each week sorting out his medications, contacting doctors, facilitating all aspects of his medical care – all aside from the time missed at work to accompany him to appointments and lab draws and to make sure that he is both receiving adequate care and asking/retaining the information we need to manage him at home.

Most nights I want to go home after work and immediately shut the doors and close off from everything but on most nights, I’m either stressing about dinner when my mom isn’t in the mood, which stresses not only me but solicits complaints from my father about ‘things not working’ out, and also solicits frustration from my girlfriend who like myself – had been at work all day and doesn’t want to deal with anything more for the night. I stress about managing expectations. I stress about the stress I know others will feel when said expectations are not met. I struggle to find a balance when my dad corners me with his laundry list of items and deciding between postponing things to the weekends or just dealing with things right then and there. But then come weekends – short precious weekends – and I find myself busy juggling with personal errands; communal errands (like groceries and household necessities); assessing bills and finances for my dad; chores – usually bed linen and bathroom towel laundry and/or cleaning the bathroom itself, or moving things, reorganizing things, etc for him; doing our own laundry; worrying about meals – CONSTANTLY – out of guilt that I’m not home during the week to help so I want to give my mom time ‘off’ but as there is increasingly little time ‘on’ – the resentment creeps in. And it’s not her fault, nor is it her responsibility. And none of this is my dad’s fault, and it is my responsibility. I'm their only child. I also feel like I’m stretched incredibly thin trying be a loving and responsible kid, a bookkeeper, a chauffeur, a medical advocate, an ATM, a friend, a lover, and a good person in general. I feel in juggling it all I am halfassed at best.

I don’t have the answers. My intentions are falling short. Everyone is growing restless and resentment is silently fostering in us all. I feel I do nothing anymore but constantly chase my own tail and by no means can time spent with anyone be considered ‘quality’ time spent with me. I can feel it. I’m drowning. I feel as though I started out as a person motivated by the purest of intentions and now grapple with my own darkness as the cloud of self-doubt, guilt, anger and resentment shield me from any hint of my former self.

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Jaspur, you really thought you could do it all, and do it all well, and found out you can't. Welcome to the club. Your average "working mom" has been a member lifelong. When you find yourself in the spot of not only having to prioritize the most important things, but then having to decide WHICH of the most important things will get done...Lord help me, I don't know what to tell you if there is no tangible help you can count on. It is a bad place to be. I will just pray for you that you are not there long and you will be granted a spare minute to find a geriatric care manager, home care aide, something or somebody who can reliably pitch in. See if you can get to the Area Agency on Aging and find out what might be available. Maybe one of the people who is missing the usual "you" would be willing to gather info for you even if they can't help with other stuff??
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Your dad should be in assisted living. Your mom could then be less of a burden.
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I really agree with the above comments. You need to know your "line in the sand". You're only human and have limitations. Both for your sake and theirs, there comes a time that they can get better care elsewhere than you can provide. Look into what's available in your area and depending on the level of care they need you should be able to find a place that is more suitable than your present situation. All the best! Whatever you do, don't feel guilty - you have done the best you can - realize that sometimes it shows more love to let someone else do the day to day stuff and you just be a very supportive son! You can end up with all of you resenting each other if this keeps up and you really don't want to live with that in the future!
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Nailed it. Hugs to you and your girlfriend...
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You are a Saint! You should not be doing everything alone. You must get tough, young man, and make a firm decision to find housing for your mother at least. Does your partner help you at all? I know working full-time causes burnout and tiredness but maybe she could be some help to you just out of compassion. I hope you find a solution soon because you don't want to crash and burn at such a young age. God bless you.
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Wow, Jasper, my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. For your mother, depression may be an issue (I know it was with mine, almost all my life she has been depressed, but very severely last year) but now she's seeing a psychiatrist she likes and taking anti depressants that seem to help. She is less withdrawn and more interested in doing things for herself.

I agree with many of the other commenters - about looking into ALFs - perhaps Medicaid can help your mother financially? The ALFs will arrange to take your father to his appointments, and he will be accompanied by someone. There's always a cost but perhaps this makes sense? Your employer may be very understanding but maybe you need some help with all these doctor appointments.

I know you feel obligated to do this for your parents, but it may be impossible for you to do all this under these circumstances plus a full time job. You have to take into account your own health (physical and emotional). This does not sound like a good long term solution and would be really challenging for someone who did not have a full time job.

My parents lived on my street and I was there almost every day. Soon it became clear the house was too much for them but my mother didn't want to move out. Their marriage has its ups and major downs. I started with a "Geriatric Consultant" who helped me find good doctors and a good ALF for my parents, which they now really like. Now they are about 20 minutes away, I visit once a week, sometimes more. There is always a list of duties for me to perform the minute I walk in the door. I know they don't mean to use me, but there are many tasks that are not necessary and the reflex is to just ask me to do it - even things they can do. This is why I dread going - it really sucks the energy out of me. I frequently feel guilt, but try to remind myself that guilt is better than resentment - where the costs can be too dangerous, to all concerned. Please take care.
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It's been a week, Jaspur. Come back and talk to us! How are things at home? What are you considering doing? We care.
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I FEEL EVERBODYS PAIN!!!!!!! I livew/my mother&I THOUGHT I could handle her physical, BUT DIDN'T realize the mental!! I've been told 2 go 2 h---, Im a bit--, I'm an idiot, GOOD thing I had miscarriage, DIDN'T NEED&COULDN'T TAKE CARE OF BABY ANYWAY! My siblings get pissed if she says ONE THING 2 them on the phone&WILL NOT CALL or come by, BUT she says NOTHING VICIOUS like she does 2 me!! They say, OH JUST REMEMBER THAT'S NOT HER!! WELL, I'm w/her 24/7, so whem she says the small things 2 them&they get mad, I WANT 2 say, OOOOOH, JUST REMEMBER, THAT'S NOT HER! Easier for them that are NEVER AROUND, THINKS IT SOOOOO EASY! I've had NO rest&JUST EMOTIONALLY DRAINED! TEETERING OVER THE EDGE, HANGING ON HARD:'( I PRAY FOR ALL OF US!! GOD'S BEEN MY ONLY STRENGTH THRU THIS!
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Do look at micro communities. Do look at private board and care/6 packs. Do go back and visit places unannounced. Do go back again and look, see, observe, smell....Ask for copies of the contracts so you can look at them on your time. Do check out Adult Day Care Centers...Can Mom or Dad go one or 2 times a week? They usually give you a day with parent to test the "waters" to see if it is a good option for them. Some offer chair excerises, music, games, bingo, geography - Where in the World is this? Lunch, socializing....You will need a doctor's okay...
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I agree with everyone else here - you are in the prime of your life, and you are not treating yourself with anywhere near the care and respect you are affording your parents (even though you feel you have fallen short). Take all that love and concern you have for them, and use it to visit them frequently, and to make sure they have the support systems in place so that you can live your life too.

When I was looking at senior facilities for my dad, so many people told me how their kids forced them into them - and they are so glad that they did! Your mother may think she likes living with you, but I think it will likely be better and more energizing for her if she is with peers. In any case, she is able to care for herself, don't let her use up the energy you need to care for yourself and do your job.

Your dad definitely needs support. That's been well covered here. You may want to get a care manager (see, for example, www.caremanager.org) to help you sort these things out if you or your dad can afford it.

I agree with someone else who mentioned depression. This can make your very complicated situation seem that much worse and lessen your ability to see your way out. I wonder if your mother has similar issues?

Good luck.
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REgarding Outside Care: 6 packs offer a one story homelike environment, with 2 caretakers. Depending on management and your budget, you can get a private or shared room. They normally supply 3 meals a day. To keep everyone happy, do bring in snacks for the whole house, not just the residents, but the caretakers too. Tell them the Icecream, juice, and cookies are to be shared. In the longrun, this may help prevent your rent from going up or not as often.... Make sure you bring in some movies. If you are moving mom or dad in, ask if you can bring in personal paintings, statues, or any memorablia to place in and around the house. They may actually like it. Remodeling? Ask board and care if they need the old refrigerator, BBQ, pots, pans, etc. Most likely, they will. I found out too late, this was the place I was to donate most of the things ... Anyway, finally signing out. Take in what you want to hear, absorb, think about it, and be flexible.....Geriatrics, there is no right solution , you will find the one that best suits you and your family. I also have geriatrics within 2 mile radius from home and work....It's makes me see them more often.. easier for taking them to appointments.
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I know. We are dealing with 3 geriatrics. Child is only 12 years of age. First hands on dealing with this situation. We have all of them in board and cares, aka 6 packs, as stated in another person's response. This is where my brain is at, at this moment. As stated before it is not written in stone. Looking at my family's history, who knows what will happen....My kid has a glimpse of what it will be like. I do need to slow down, and let child live the life child wants. Thank You. My friends feel the same way, I need to lighten up - just a bit....Child is absorbing compassion and unconditional love, and caring...Hopefully child will have a happy fulfilling life....Thank You.
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Er, lloveMom, with the greatest respect, I think you'd better wait and see how the child feels about it, don't you? And perhaps draw up a Plan B. No reflection or speculation about your child's trustworthiness, but what if he or she is President and therefore a bit busy? There is no knowing where life will lead...
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Stop trying to do everything yourself. I feel the same way about my family's situation...I have one child, tag, this child will be it when we get old. So when child turns 18, child will be on all accounts, and property...If we cannot trust child and decisions child makes, then who can we trust? We will move in with child if child messes things up :) It's okay, this is life... UPs and downs....As someone told me, when we were born we started going down the slippery slope of life. When the "ride" stops, it is time we exit...It is okay, we just have to make the best of it. HIre prt time help if you can or when you can.
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Well, your concerns are realistic. Dad is 88 years old, and Mom is getting older and more depending on you....So, you are it, the one and only child. Consider that a plus, you don't have siblings to argue with. Anyone else who argues with you, needs to step in. Don't feel guilty, these are your biological parents.... Do your best, talk with social workers, Hospice, anyone. Does your dad have a Living Trust? Since things are falling on your shoulders, perhaps Dad should be able to help step in and help your Mom, he Ex -financially enough to give you relief by allowing you to hire some outside help with your disabled parents....Dad is 88 years old...Mom is diabetic in her 60's....You need a sounding board, well, you got it. Take advice, sift through it, and sort out what feels right for you and your parents' situations. NOthing will ever feel 100% correct, but you will find the answer that best suits your family's needs, and you can always change it...Nothing is written in stone. Are you POA financially and medically? Start there. Or, get on all accounts jointly so you can see and take care of things yourself if the time comes that your parents cannot do it.
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You are doing so much for your parents, I know how you feel, I feel so guilty when I go out to dinner with my husband and my parents are left alone in their home. At least I have my sister to help me, but you are an only child and you are so young. Your mom is only in her 60s. she may live a long life, my parents are both in their late 90s and my sister and I are in our 60s. Your mom should be in an assisted living community. She will make friends and she will not be alone. My parents refuse to let us get them home care, but we are not moving in with them, and if things get really hard for them, then they can come and stay with us. Parents can be very stubborn and they need to realize that they need to meet you half way!
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amazon matchbox
carries my book free. lots of ideas. "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents"
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Huge hugs to both you and your partner in this situation. How could you be anything BUT overwhelmed?!? In addition to some really good advice above, I would ask if either you or your girlfriend has a helpful friend who would be willing to organize a MealTrain for you. Just one or two nights a week without the pressure of dinner can be blessed relief. Something like a mealtrain can also foster some social contacts that tend to get left by the wayside in the isolation of caretaking. Also, is there an organization like Comfort Keepers website: comfortkeepers where you are? They have flexible services that might be helpful until you can devise a more tenable living arrangement for your folks.
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There have been many good suggestions and ideas offered. I would only be redundant if I tried to come up with other ideas for you. The best thing I can offer comes from the airlines pre-flight instructions. If the oxygen masks come down, put yours on first, then help others. Seriously figure what your limits are. BE REALISTIC. If you don't take care of yourself first, you aren't able to help or be there for anyone else.
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You are trying to do to much for too many. Your mother needs another living arrangement, if she was in the home to assist with her husband after a long happy marriage --that would be one thing. They are divorced and even though she is 20 yrs younger and seeing her son under great stress, isn't attempting to assist this caregiving or living arrangement at all--needs to leave. She can take care of herself if she isn't that ill and doesn't have mobility issues.

Next, your dad is 88 yrs old with lots of old age issues and they will expand until he passes on in his 90's probably. I would use his funds to get a home health aide in the house to care for him while you work and time each weekend for you and your girlfriend to have time for yourself. Just like couples need babysitters for small children to attend to their relationship time, you need a reliable home health aide to care for your dad when you and your girl friend have date night. You may want to get a house keeper to clean the house once a wk or twice a month to further free up your time.

You still have the medical visits, portioning out the meds for dad, and getting his daily laundry done. Have the home health aides get him dressed and cleaned each day.

As an only child I know what it is like to care for an elder alone. Been there don that. But you need to have enough support (home health aides) to allow you to have some sort of a life. You need to do the part of caregiving: which you his son excel at ( being able to talk to dad, having time to share a book or tv with him, caring for his medicines and being the contact person for medicare/insurance and doctor contacts). If you are overwhelmed with the small details of caregiving --you are exhausting yourself and doing what you
think is a half----ed job of it.

Your heart is in the right place--but use your head to redefine the job of only child primary caregiver. For years I tried to 'fix" my father's old age. I could not "fix" his old age but I could make his old age (last years) as pleasant as I could. Old age will win in the end--it always does. It is not reversible. Accept that point and keep good days and bad days in perspective. If today was a good day--great but if it is a bad day the next day can be better.
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Also: Blame the doctor for their move. I am sure the doctor will agree to "recommend" a facility placement as being "better for their health and care" even though you have done a good job, the facility has more resources. For example: group outings and such.
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Thank you for being so open. You need to take care of yourself first. No guilt in that, it is necessary, not a choice. Talk to your parents' doctors, explain you are overwhelmed and see if they can get an evaluation for level of care needs. Then check out local places on line to see what ratings they have from family of folks who live there. Go look at them. Your mom and dad may need different types of homes. Then visit on a predicable schedule (write it on a calendar for each of them) and call in between visits. I encourage you to continue to take them to their primary care doctors, rather than in house doctors, and have them sign releases so you know what the doctor recommends, and get a non biased opinion of their health. That way you can know if their care is adequate for their needs.

It is better to have a facility with 24/7 staff care for them, than to have you doing 3 shifts a day plus an extra at work. That way you can take them out or home on Sunday for dinner and enjoy the pleasant parts of them.
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I agree with Laura Butler - a small assisted living facility would be a good option for your dad. Take one thing at a time. Once your dad is successfully placed, you can deal with an appropriate living situation for your mother. Good luck!
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jeannegibbs gave you FANTASTIC advice. All of it is spot-on and you absolutely should not be in this position at the age of 33. At 33, you should be living and enjoying your life without having the burden of being the caregiver of one, much less two, parents. It does not appear that you have any children involved which is both a blessing under the current circumstances and also a curse in some ways. Because, if you did have children of your own in the mix, the situation would probably never be what it is with your parents.....you would be (and rightfully so) way too overloaded with the children's needs/wants, etc. to have ever had the time to allow the circumstances regarding your parents to have come to this. So, I totally agree with jeanne.....you need to focus on getting your life back while gently getting your parents into other living arrangements. This won't be easy but once done, you (& your girlfriend) will be able to once again enjoy life. Good luck and keep coming back to this site....it is a wellspring of support and information.
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Locate an adult day care for your dad so you can take him there. Then start looking for an facility as explained by "laurabutler28". Just because you are an only child doesn't mean you have to carry both parents on your back at the expense of your own life. They lived there lives; you need to get your's back. You don't owe them everything.
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I am right there with you. When I took on caring for my grams I was so not prepared. Did not think about it, just jumped in. The past few month have been overwhelm and fatigue so deep. I empathize and sympathize.

I did some research for both the care of my grams and myself. Told my family that is it, they need to help more. Even if it is for no more than a phone call to talk with her. But I need more time out. I connected with Southern Caregivers here in San Diego County, reached out to my therapist I have not needed in over a year, and have been deeply self-honest. And honest with everyone else.

I obtained more information about dementia and senior health. A huge relief to know I am not insane, abnormal or morally deficient. I journal, pray and take time outs during the day. If I don't I lose my temper, just raising my voice adds to the problem. Arguing with someone who is incapable of understanding is useless. Now that I understand, it is easier to walk away.

My first suggestion is research the assistance in your area. Get out to groups that understand. Take those time outs. As for taking responsibility for everyone, I discovered I had some deep wounds to heal and have taken that time to do so. Self-healing is the most important gift we as caregivers can give ourselves. Especially when we are caring for parents or grandparents. The child wants to be accepted and parented, but our parents and grand parents are not capable any longer. Our roles are reversed and that in itself is very difficult to accept. Grief has been my companion for a few months. I finally listened and let it move on.

I send you blessings and hope that you find the help you need, Jaspur13.
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First and foremost get rid of the guilt. Recognize that your parents aging is a part of the cycle of life. We are born, we age, and we pass away. You did not cause them to age or get sick, etc and you cannot heal them or save them from passing on. In recognizing this myself, this freed me to stop trying to be super woman and to focus on things that I could fix which involved placing my Mom in LTC. It's not perfect, but it provided the help that I needed. I still support her and act as a strong advocate for her and work hand in hand with the nursing home and I will escalate issues to the nursing home administrators and owners, but it is still not the same level of stress involved when trying to do it on my own. Also, I would recommend that you get another girlfriend. If you marry her she should be your helpmate in good times and bad times. I don't know the whole story, but only what you have shared here. Her actions seem to show that she will not be able to get in the trenches with you to help you solve life's problem. She seems to be adding to your problems. You have some tough challenges now, but this will not be the last of life challenges as you will have many more. I would be concerned about committing to anyone who cannot support me during this time. If it had not been for my husband helping take care of my mother, it would have destroyed my health as well as my mental state. Before I accepted the depressed state I was in and started taking medication, with God's guidance, I took back control of my life. I will pray for you and hope that you take some of the awesome advice that has been provided.
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Dont know what to say except God love you! I have the same feelings and stress with just my mum to deal with I just cannot imagine what this is like but that it needs to change right now.

I do not want my mum in a NH nobody does but its the only solution left to me as ive no help or support from Gov or family and i mentally and physically can no longer do this without getting very ill.

We love our parents we want them to be happy but sometimes lifes throws too much crap our way and we are only human and must realise that sometimes things are not possible for the good of all.

I really feel for you as caring for two parents like this must be a huge stress dont feel guilty and sort this out soon so you can enjoy your time with them AND keep your sanity!
Hugs and let us know what happens youre not alone so dont feel guilty i have a sick stomach from guilt I should be happy to care for my mum but nobody told me how hard this would be! Venting here is good and so important where else can you let off steam i know most of us would be lost and very alone without this site as everyone here understands how we are all feeling and its perfectly normal to feel this way we do our best and its never enough how can it be we want to do the right thing but sometimes the right thing is to look after ourselves first i mean where would your parents be if you were ill and unable to look after them?
You will find a solution and get through this we all do in the end i am at my wits end and know that mum will have to go into a NH soon as im important too and my health is failing! I cant handle this on my own and as a family i shouldnt have to my siblings are all getting on with thier lives and im here tearing my hair out somethings gotta give now and im being positive that it will soon.

I light a candle every week for everyone on this site to help us on this long and hard journey and bring us peace when the time comes.

What keeps me going is that one day i will have peace and whatever choices ive had to make no matter how hard they are i was here for my mum and i did everything i could to make this better for her my siblings will not have this peace but that is thier own fault!
HUGS
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Your heading for a major FIASCO........ ((HUGS))
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You've been given some very good suggestions, but I have another one that goes hand in hand with all the others. I would try to find someone to do research for you....shouldn't be too hard if you put an ad on craigslist. I know from experience, how very time consuming(and exhausting) it is to research all those options. Dealing with Medicaid alone can be a long involved process. You will be adding more stress if you try to solve these issues by yourself. So, try to find & hire someone to be your assistant.....do research, make phone calls, find out what possibilities there are for your mom, do initial visits to Adult Care Homes/Asst Living Facilities. Basically a detail person that can go to work finding solutions that will work for you, your mom and your dad. Everyone is right. They should be out of your home. You will all be healthier and happier if you aren't all in the same home, with you stressed and overwhelmed. Doing the best you can for your parents does not necessarily mean taking them into your home.
My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.
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