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So many of you write detailing your struggle to care for your parents in your home - to the point it consumes your whole life and ruins your other relationships. Didn't your parent live apart from you before they got sick? There are great assisted living facilities available. Yes, it will be an adjustment for them but moving into YOUR home will be an adjustment too! Neither is "home" for them. So, before you tie yourself into a martyr situation, do your research. It is really frustrating to read letter after letter from people who know what they should do but don't! And, no, your situation is not special. Have you considered your parent may not even want to live with you and your rowdy bunch? If you want them to live with you, and all that entails, why are you complaining here? My vent is over.

I thought this was a support sight for those caring/cared for their elderly LO's.
I see it has become a place of knowing everyone's circumstances and judging them and their choices. That makes it hard for people who are desperately seeking help, to trust that they will not be judged for their questions,story or choices. Very sad. I hope new comers do not think you represent all here.

Shell you gave a great and true response. Thank you.
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Dear katiekat 2009,
I am so sorry for my comment. I was a little put off by your questions. I didn't realize what you had been through. I thought you didn't understand. But I just looked at some of your history and yes you certainly do understand and have been through an awful time. Your questions are absolutely valid. I'm so sorry for my defensiveness. My sincere sympathy for you and your mom.
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I kinda wonder if katie has ever had to deal with the situation.
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I think that family members become full time, hands on caregivers for many reasons. I'm not sure that not having any other option is one of them. I think that sometimes it meets a need for the caregiver, as much as is does for the person being cared for. Other times, it's due to some complexities within the family dynamics. I think it's more about preference than actual necessity. There are likely other options, but, none the family members feels comfortable with. I get that. What does surprise me is how high the caretaker's expectations are with regard to the person they care for. Also, their expectations of themselves is equally as high. With expectations so high, I can see how burnout would be great and the dissolution strong after doing it for a while. So, it's no wonder that the caretaker feels so disappointed.
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I understand what the OP is saying. There are times when I wonder how a person could allow themselves to end up in such a situation. And I also see where people don't realize they are getting into such a situation until it is too late.

Some say we have a choice and other say "I had no choice". Well yes and no. You have to be secure enough to live with the consequences of your choice. And for some that could mean they have no choice.

I am an only child. And I do have a choice. I know I could never live with my father. He would take over my whole life and I would resent ever second of it. I know I am not in a position where I could give up my job and marriage to cater to him. Notice I said cater. He is in assisted living and his needs are being met better than I could do on my own. I was his go to person for quite a few years when he lived on his own. In the end he really ran me ragged. Multiple trips to the ER for minor injuries, falls or my favorite....for no good reason other than he was bored. He refused to find alternatives to doctor appointments. I had to do it all. I finally put my foot down when he wanted to see the same doctor twice in one day and had no clue that was a major inconvenience to me.

My pet peeve is those who complain about a sibling not doing enough or anything at all. Sure it isn't fair. But that does not mean YOU have to do it all. Find other resources. Just because Mom doesn't want a cleaning lady to come in ...that doesn't mean you have to do it. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions including our parents. You wouldn't tolerate certain behaviors from your children but when our parents do it, that is a different story.

We all have to find a life balance. Figure out what you can do and still take care of yourself and that is all you cal do. If they still need more then professional help needs to be considered. Giving up one's life so a parent can age in place or have the illusion of independence helps no one.
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I feel the same, but I am also not in a 24/7 caregiver situation either. What's sad to me is seeing the guilt of caregivers who want to take time for themselves, or even just get a break-- and feeling they genuinely aren't worthy. Their sense of self is gone. And it's not that they wanted this to happen. Some things just get ingrained early.

I'd guess it's often a generational thing, where adult children-- and almost always it's the daughters-- are expected to give up their lives to take care of their parents. A friend of mine had older parents (she was a late-life "oops" baby) and even in her teens, her mother would mention how she "would be the one taking care of us when we're old and gray"-- and they already were old and gray! Her brothers, however, could go live their lives as they wished.
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This is the kind of post that I personally feel is emotional bait on AC. I understand the desire to vent.... Boy, do I! There are Whine threads specifically for this purpose, though. No need to make it a Question or new Discussion thread focused on a controversial gripe.

So there's part of my vent ^^^.

But the underlying fact is that AC is set up to be an anonymous support site. The entire point of the website is to help regular people who are at any stage of the process of elder care. It's a messy topic by its nature.

In my humble opinion, some people can major in the minors when it comes to caregiving. But this is part and parcel of caregiving life, too! The small things add up to feel like this big weight. It's SO much easier to have logical perspective when we're outside of the situation, and that's why this site works well imo. You can roll your eyes to yourself, ok then, but then keep it moving and allow someone the space to hand-wring if that's what is helping them sift through messy emotions surrounding elder care topics.

It's messy. It's case-by-case. There are some never-ending tales of woe on here that I frankly don't believe are true, but are instead some poor, lonely soul who is bored and wants to get some attention on this site. In the end, does it matter why/what people post? It's an anonymous support site, and that fact isn't changing.

Either be supportive, or don't, no one makes us do one or the other, however there's definitely no need to be directly negative to anyone else.... not saying you are doing that, Katie. I'm talking in generalities about this site and the posters here. You're welcome to ignore any poster whose stories/situations don't jive with you for whatever reason. (Reminder to self.... 🙄)

In the end, erring on the side of being kind and assuming the best about others is the right way. I hope I will always come back to that baseline approach.

I guess I needed to vent a little, too. I don't offer nearly as much help to others as some on here, and I figure if you brave and smart souls can keep it moving through all the different kinds of posters/people that are on AC, then so can I. Some of you are truly good examples. I'm grateful for the nice people who make up this site.

What am I rambling about lol...? Hugs.
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Some of us have no choice! Yes you can say there are always choices, but some people never look at all the variables that come into play.

Whether we are caring for a LO out of love and compassion, or out of poor decisions from our parents what difference does it make? We as caregivers have the right to vent about whatever this disease(s) has caused in our living situation. No one here thought as a young adult "hey, I hope my parents get a disease that makes them lose their minds, and have no financial plan, so we can grow up and have to make tough decisions and have our lives ruined!" And by the way, just because we complain or vent doesn't mean we don't love or care about them. The last time I check this was the place to come to for support and no judgement. But all I have seen here is judgement not from everyone but enough to make me wonder...people being judge because they had a loving mother where most of us didn't, but God forbid if we should be happy for them! Another is if someone took in a LO or moved in with a LO than what...we are trying to be marters? Again judgement!

No, it could be call "having little to no choice...not every city has the same resources and Medicaid may not always be the answer. Do I dare say that every situation comes with very different variables. What one solution may work for one person may not work for another. But that is life!

Furthermore, what are we to do because the last I knew there wasn't a place to drop off your elderly parent and forget them. No matter how bad of a parent they were, or how bad they have become that we *as humans beings* we cannot just walk away from them as if they never matter.

My final thought, if the LO is in the beginning or middle stage of Alz/ dementia or some other crippling disease but yet have enough to say, "what they want or don't want," than what? Are we to drag them to a IL, AL, NH and forget their rights...oh wait...we have the right to just walk away and leave them to their own devices and hope for the best! But again we would be judge for being inhumane!

And your right we are not special but our circumstances might be. As the old saying goes " don't judge another unless you have walked a mile in their shoes."

I am sorry that you are so frustrated by reading our post after post just think how frustrating it is for us trying to make the best out of a bad situation and having people tell us what we should do without asking them for their 2 cents. I am so glad that you can see things black and white with no gray area, and have all the answers.

This is not intended for those of you who are supported (not being judgemental), nor is it for those who answer questions to the best of your knowledge. It is for those...well you know who you are!


I'm out...peace!
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If you really don't get why some people find these decisions difficult, could you not at least accept that, for them, they are?

Not to mention that their choices may not be anything like as attractive or as obvious as you assume them to be.

I do sympathise wth your frustration to an extent, but I don't see how a 150 word victim kicking spree is going to clear anyone's mind.
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People need a place to vent.

Yes, in theory we should all just shut up and deal with it.

In reality, some of us are struggling to help LO make that transition to "elderly and dependent" and do NOT have financial depth to place our LO in places that are posh and lovely and perfect. In fact, I imagine very few people can realistically afford those.

Sometimes a 'stay' after a surgery simply becomes long term care. Sometimes there just are no other options for care, but to have the LO home.

Everyone's situation is as unique as the individual they're caring for. Don't slam us for trying to do the right thing--we all have different dynamics and family situations.

I think you're being a tad harsh on people. MANY of us simply cannot "put mom away" and go on with life. Some day you'll be old, I hope your LO take a kinder view of your care.
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I don’t think it’s a martyr situation.....sometimes it’s a question of trying to make your parents as comfortable as possible in their final years. That said....my situation is one which my mom REFUSES to leave her home and though my dad would gladly go to an AL facility, he will not force the issue. So we struggle with trying to make them as safe as possible in their home. Mom has already broken her hip and is SN. Physically she is doing the “work” to go home, but is miserable there. My fear is when she does get home old habits will take over and she’ll forget once again how to avoid being a high fall risk. She is 89 with moderate dementia and nearly deaf. Dad will be 90 soon. Considering the situation I will be realistic and not stand by and allow this to consume either mine or my sisters life. At 68 and caring for grandchildren, I know my limits. They will stay in place for as long as possible, but I can’t see this being a long term solution.
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There is a safety net in place for those far enough along to qualify for a nursing home and in some cases memory care, but people who need looking after for a long time before that who don't have a very large income or nest egg are basically screwed.
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Hello? Some people don't have a CHOICE, particularly those who have no siblings. The decision is forced on them. What are they supposed to do? Put their sick parents in the street? Even if the parent or parents are in care the facility needs to be monitored constantly to ensure optimum care. The same goes if they are in assisted living facilities. You can't just dump them there.

If you are a single only child like me you have less of a choice. Since I was a child both parents have been in and out of hospital with various illnesses, some minor, some serious. There was help when I was younger but as I got older it was clear that the main responsibility was on my shoulders. I managed to combine it with full time work and even did a degree by night but my mother was having major surgery while I was doing my final exams. I never got to use my degree because their health got shaky after that. My father is narcissistic and make my mother's life hell so I felt I had to stay around to give her moral support.

Don't judge until you walk in another person's shoes. I hope you manage to escape what most of us here have to deal with in varying degrees.
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I agree with you. There are some posters who revel in the fact that they are doing "the right thing." But it is perhaps only their perception of the "right thing." It is as if they post to confirm their self-appointed martyr status, although they frequently phrase it as just wanting to vent.

If they are doing the "right thing," then the implication is quite clear that others are doing the "wrong" thing.

Some people give up their lives, their health, their marriages, and their futures (including financial security) by becoming the 24/7 caregiver. I wonder if they have really thought the implications of this, particularly when it is THEM needing 24/7 caregiving someday. Will they expect their kids to then become THEIR 24/7 caregivers? Oh, many parents say no, but then when the time comes they most certainly DO expect that.
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