Mom has macular degeneration, neuropothy in arms, feet, and hands. I don't want to ever go to a nursing home so I started living with them, and now I feel like I am in prison, although I work all week, then come home and all of a sudden I am ten years old again. Ive lost any freedom i ever had, and I feel bad and guilty because I feel this way. She tells the checkout people my name and my business before I can distract her or she is mean to them. What can I do to not feel guilty and live with them and love them like I should?

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What specific kinds of help does your mother need? I take it that Dad can meet her needs while you work. What do you do for her the rest of the time?

I'm wondering if some or all of the things you do could be done by a hired service. Do you do house cleaning? Laundry? Make meals? Help her bathe? All of these things could be done by someone or different someones hired for the tasks.

What you can contribute that is unique and can't be hired out is love and comfort and shared memories. But that is pretty hard to provide if you feel like a prisoner or like a ten year old.

Something has to change here. One option is to set boundaries, insist upon respect, and reclaim your freedom. That will be very hard, but it is do-able.

Another option is to arrange in-home services for your parents, move out, and visit them as a loving daughter, not a hands-on caregiver. If that sounds financially impossible, start with the agency on aging or social services in your county and find out what programs may be available to help your parents get the help they need.

Best wishes to you.

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