After nine years of care managing, my 95 year old dad qualified for Hospice on December 13th. His pain was severe but it's finally seeming manageable. However, there are still considerable digestive discomforts that are proving to be more difficult.

He has always been irritable and nasty to people, including me, but his discomfort has taken us to a new place of unpleasantness. His quality of life is so poor that I find myself hoping for the end every day, for his sake and mine.

I hate that there is still not an ounce of thankfulness for all the kindness he is shown by the people around him. I attempt every day to bring some comfort to him but I just can't wait to get away. I'm not sleeping well at night because I dread the misery of each day. Surely not everyone dies having such a bad effect on those around them?

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Maybe he wants to be left along to pass in peace. Some older people don't like a lot of people "fussing" over them.

It is hard to watch ANYONE go through the pre-death "routine". It's especially hard when it's someone you don't have great feelings about.

You feel guilty for not "loving them more" --even if they were unpleasant in life.

You feel guilty because you are kind of anxiously awaiting the "end" and that seems to us, to be "wrong".

In truth, death is as personal as it gets. It's NOT about you, not at all. I know that sounds terrible, as you ARE suffering and upset, but the relationship with dad was never good, right? Dying rarely changes people's personalities. It often brings old wounds and hurts to the surface, as you finally realize that nothing is going to be put to rest.

My daddy and FIL went quietly, after lingering for some time in Hospice. So glad I had nothing personal to "work out" with either of them. My MIL, on the other hand---she'd divorced my MIL 14 years prior to his death and was so incredibly angry with him--and he died, and she didn't get the last word in. 14 years he's been gone and all she can talk about is what a rotten person he was. So sad. (She refused to attend the funeral and then was so curious as to what may have been said about HER.)

You can't suddenly have a moment of clarity with your dad. Maybe, but don't plan on it.

Most of us have "unfinished business" with loved ones who pass. Hopefully, they're small and easy to put to rest.

Don't feel guilty about your relationship and don't feel guilty you don't feel bad. This is your father's choice. It's NOT about you.

Do what you can--and no more. I know if my MIL requires CG, I will NOT be the one doing it. Not one single thing for her. Toxic people--sadly, the person they hurt while they're busy hurting others--is really themselves.

{{Hugs to you}}

Hi Portmarly,
I was the caretaker for my 78 year old stepmother and 90 year old father when they were on hospice and for a while prior to that. There were times when they were feeling so badly that they were very crabby or disoriented but they had always been kind people so it was mostly easy to care for them even in those moments. However, I felt the same worry - I was away from my family, sleeping on their couch or rather, not sleeping more than two hours at a time because one of them would wake up and need help. I didn't have any idea how long this might go on and that unknown was stressful in itself. Because they were good parents and grateful for my help, I didn't want them to die, much less anytime soon but also felt fearful about how long I might need to be there and what might happen with them. I am very empathetic so it was traumatic in many ways to be there as they died, yet I am also very glad to have been able to be there. My stepmom passed unexpectedly, much sooner than we could have imagined. She had cancer and did chemo for 9 months. It didn't help, made her terribly sick and she decided to stop it. She went on hospice the next day, and two days later she woke up disoriented then went into a coma. Three days after that, she passed peacefully. My dad went on hospice a month and a half prior to her and in total was on hospice a little over three months. He had an incurable brain bleed, and every so often would have a stroke but would recover after a couple of days. About a month after my stepmom passed, he had a more serious stroke and went into a coma. He lasted nine days before he passed, and that was really an awful time for me, just feeling desperate, anguish and wishing there were something I could do to help him and save his life. While he was in a coma, I developed appendicitis and had to have surgery, had to hire someone to care for him while I was in the hospital. They tell us caretakers to take care of ourselves, or we will get sick. It is totally true, even when parents are not so difficult! Since your situation is so much more stressful, please take very good care of yourself and hopefully someone can come in to allow you to take time away so you can stay as healthy physically and mentally as possible. Wishing you all the best in this sad journey.

No matter what the problems are, it is so often difficult not to know how long things will take. How long can I tolerate his habits? How much time can I take off work? How long can I stay here sleeping on the sofa and not being at home for my family? It is so much easier to rise to a short term crisis, if you know that's what it is, when you are worrying that it might go on for weeks or months. Have courage, and remember that your life is as important as your father's.

Thanks Tiger55 for the reminder that they are being cared for by a team of professionals while I must rely on myself for my well-being. Blessings to you on this tough journey as well.

It's awful what you're going through, my mother is that way. Maybe you're not keeping a "healthy distance" from that situation. (Too many visits & phone calls), gives you no break from it all. Please impose some boundaries & limits on your time, (do things you enjoy), so you can remain healthy & happy. (Sadly, they don't know how it affects us). We have to take care of ourselves, cuz there are professionals taking good care of our parents. I wish you the best.💞✌

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