My mother died three years ago and I have been taking care of my father ever since.

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I cannot thank you enough for the article. I never knew what to call the relationship between my father and family. I must admit he was born a narcissist and with old age mixed in, it is not pretty, add that to the family drama. He is now exploring "elder abuse". We have no social interaction, because as a female I do not have an opinion nor should I be treated as "anything" older than a 5 year old. I am angry frustrated and everything in between. I have children and a grandson and I have seen 3 times in the last 3 years. Once, to go to my daughter's wedding, once to bury my husband who died alone and I have no doubt my husband would be alive now if I had been at home with him. This has not made the situation with my dad any easier. Throw in family drama and I am at a loss. I know I need a break. I am burned out, depressed and used up, but can't walk away from him. Every time I plan to go home his health fails. Last time he ended in the hospital and it looks like we are headed there again. This time his doctor will put this on my shoulders as he "warned" me. I'm rambling. I apologize. I need some guidance here, please if there is a support group local or someone I can contact I would be so grateful.

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Dear Sue,

Sorry to hear how you are feeling. I have to agree with the others. You have done more than your share. Please consider assisted living or a nursing home for your father. Don't let the anger and resentment build any further. You have to live your own life too. I didn't and kept going till I lost all sense of compassion and judgment. It wasn't good for me and it wasn't good for my dad. Its been 6 months since he passed away and I still have terrible regret and guilt about the last year of his life. I wish I had done things differently.
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It is a gut wrenching and hard decision - but tell the hospital you are no longer able to care for him. No one says a child has to totally kill themselves in order to take care of a parent. You have done what you can, he needs more - leave.
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Sue, I truly hope you come back and tell us more about your situation.

I know I made it sound simple, and I know that in truth it's a gut wrenching plan of action. But has it occured to you that perhaps your dad's health might improve if had three shifts of young, rested caregivers? If he had a geriatric psychiatrist who could manage his depression medically? If he had activities available every day and people of his own generation to eat dinner with?
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It sounds so simple when BarbBrooklyn writes it. I know that it is not simple, or you would have done it before. But it is the right thing to do. Go. See your children. See your grandson. You need more than a break. You need to be totally out of this "job."
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You father is going to the hospital?

When he is admitted, make yourself known to the social work department. Tell them that you are moving back to your home and that they need to find a long term placement for your father.

Is there anything that would get in the way of doing that?
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