I am getting close to my breaking point being my dad's caregiver and don't know what to do now.

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I feel like I am getting close to my breaking point and have no idea what to do. I am a single dad raising 2 boys alone. Their mother has no contact with them. I am caring for my dad who has been diagnosed by 2 different doctors with dimentia. He is being treated with medication (rosipridol and serouquel). He is a 2 time cancer survivor (prostrate and colon) and I cared for him through both of those times. I am doing this alone, despite having 7 siblings and his brother and sister. Noone will help me. I had to quit my job at the begining of the year to care for him while he was going through chemo-therapy. He put the house in my name awhile back (he still has mortgages) and signed a durable POA naming me his agent. My dad is a proud man, and has become increasing abusive. I am trying to juggle too many things and keep everything together. His finances suffered greatly before I moved back home with my kids after my divorce and we have gotten them straightened out but he is again starting to bounce checks and causes extreme problems between me and my children. I do not know what to do. Please help me...

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Hello everyone,

I just wanted to say that all of you are heroes. Taking care of an elderly person is not easy. I myself I’ve been taking care of my 73 year old mother who’s suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and she is legally blind. I get no help from my 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I do know what all of you are going through. I want to continue taking care of my mom and others. Since 2007 my mother and I have been going to nursing homes and visiting the elderly. Many of the nursing homes that we visited do not take good care of the people properly. We encouraged them by praying and reading the Bible to those who wants to listen. I am in the process of opening a nursing home in Buckeye, AZ if any of you are looking for a nursing home or if you know anyone who is looking for loving nursing home for a parent (s), please let them know about Buckeye First Nursing Home Care. Please contact me at the information below. I do not have a website yet, but you can check my ministry website at www.judithministryforgod.com

Thank you,
Judith Carter
623-466-9773
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DEAR SHYTER, I KNOW HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO BE THE ONLY ONE THAT FEELS THE NEED TO BE THERE FOR A PARENT, WHEN THERE ARE OTHERS THAT DONT HAVE THAT CARING FEELING. MY MOM HAS A BROTHER, THAT COULD REALLY GIVE 2 SHITS (SORRY). AND I HAVE 2 SISTERS THAT ALSO DONT CARE. WELL I SHOULD SAY, THEY SAY THEY LOVE MY MOM AND TRY TO GIVE SO MUCH ADVICE TO ME BECAUSE THEY CARE. BUT THEY BOTH MOVED AWAY BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. IM SORRY YOU DONT HAVE A GREAT PARTNER TO HELP YOU. #1 IS YOU.....#2 IS YOUR SON'S....#3 YOUR DAD. PLEASE TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS. TRY TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND THAT GRAMPA WAS THERE FOR ALL OF YOU BEFORE AND NOW WE ALL HAVE TO BE THERE IN HIS TIME OF NEED. KEEP TALKING TO US AND VENT ANYTIME YOU NEED TO. WE ARE ALL HERE FOR EACH OTHER AND ITS GREAT. HAVE A GOOD DAY..
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Hello, shyter. If taking care of your Father is what you wish to do while rearing your sons, that is commendable and a very tall order. The combative characterization is a symptom that sometimes goes hand-in-hand with dementia. It may help to think of your Father as your third son in some ways because of his dementia. By that I mean, you need to figure out what all he enjoys, what agitates him, and what helps to soothe him. His anger is coming from the same place as his pride because he probably recognizes his increasing loss of control in his life. The situation you describe probably signals that he needs someone else to manage his banking needs for him to keep him from bouncing checks. Are you up to that? It may be that you need to place a call to his doctor to talk to his doctor privately prior to your Dad's next medical appointment to let the doctor know about some of the issues so that the doctor may help you to navigate the situation with greater, rather than less objectivity. Somehow, you also have to carve out time for yourself, even if it means going to a movie or a walk around the block. For me, that time is often early in the morning, every Saturday and Sunday, before the world starts to stir, and sometimes late at night after my 83-year old Mother has fallen asleep. I may read, I may pray, or in the mornings, I may make myself a cup of coffee and sit in my garden at my bistro table, where the world stands still for a few hours. You need to recharge. You need to breathe. One day at-a-time needs to be your mantra, ok? Keep sharing. It helps to know that others have traveled the same path. Be kind to yourself and ask yourself whether you have done your best. If you have, what more could you do other than what all you are doing? Nothing more! Don't forget that there is respite care where you may screen someone to come into your home for a few hours while you go to a movie or for a drive. I am not huge on respite care, but it is a wonderful alternative in situations such as you describe. I prefer carving out time for myself here and there. That works best for me.
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Dear Shyter,

May I begin by saying that you must be a great son to take on all the responsibility of raising two boys and trying to help your father. It sounds like your father may be more then you can handle, especially if it is affecting your relationship with your children. It is a sad fact that some dementia patients do become very confused and combative. Have you considered placing your father in a facility that take care of dementia patients? As a caregiver myself, one of the hardest things to do is not feel guilty. Your two sons come first. I wish you all the best. Keep in touch and let us know how things are going.
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