I have alot of multitasking in my life right now. I volunteer at church some, I keep grandkids once a week and work part time several days a week. Also I am married and like to spend some time with my husband on weekends. I feel pressured and guilty all the time. I told her to come see me sometimes. We live in the same town and even though she doesn't drive my dad is still living and drives her. She is so comfortable in her home she doesn't want to go many places. Her doctor suspects she has Alzheimers and she is on medicine and has arthritis in her back also. Any advice would be helpful. Thank You!

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I know you feel like you want to be responsive to your mom. I also think you are being responsive to her. As you say, she has your dad. As I'm moving through the years of helping and caring for my mom, my only advice is for you to be absolutely sure you hang on to as much of your life as possible. My mom is very gently making me feel guilty all the time and I constantly give up time for myself because I've come to the point where nothing is enjoyable because I worry too much about her. So, any way you can hang on to your independence and keep your involvement to a reasonable, caring schedule seems best. I wish I was able to keep doing my own things (I've stopped working, I don't go to weddings I'm invited to, I cancelled a planned time at a concert with my son and his friends and the list goes on... ) and now I find I'm sitting around the house with lots of cancelled plans. I just want to scream.... don't do it! Don't do what I've done....

"Not today, Mom, but I'm coming over Thursday morning, remember?" Just keep repeating the decisions you've made.

As Mother's health declines and Father could use more help and some respite, you might consider giving up or cutting back on the church volunteer work to give you a little more breathing room to visit a bit more often. What is it they say? Charity begins at home?

But you definitely have the right to set your own boundaries and visit as often as you decide makes sense. No guilt is necessary!

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