I am NEW here...50 year old man looking for support caring for mother!

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Hello, first time poster, glad I found this site. I am a 50-year old man, never married, and my mother currently lives with me. I moved my parents in with me when I bought my home, since my dad had Alzheimer's and needed care. My dad passed several years back, and my Mom is still at home with me. My brother lives fairly close by and helps with her sometimes.
The thing is, I love my mother dearly, but she is growing more and more dependent on me. I work out at a gym fairly far from home and usually don't get home until after 9:00. She always asks if "I'll be home late?", or "what time will you be home?" and I feel guilty, but I need MY time away from work and home. Dating is a real problem too, as I like to be up front with women about my living situation. While they sometimes symphasize and offer support, they quickly lose interest.
It is difficult, but I promised my dad I would take care of her. But I'm also aware that I'm getting older, and I REALLY need female companionship, and find myself caught in the middle, wanting to provide a safe, clean home for my Mom and wanting to finally meet a young lady and start my OWN family.

There is a lot of frustration and struggle for me, and it gets me down a lot. I just don't want to grow old alone, taking care of my mom until I can't do it any longer. My grandmother is still alive at 94, and my Mom is in reasonably good health. So I see this being a LONG-term thing, and I really need to address MY needs, and not ignore them or I may be a very lonely man for the rest of my life. It's scary, but I feel an 'obligation' to give back, care and love her as she did me and my brothers. I have 3 brothers and they all have their own families and are busy with them. I just want to know when it's gonna be my turn...

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Wow.. nine years! Would be interesting to get an update from Ironman. He may still be around.. he updated his profile info + 9 years:

50-years old, single man, never married-Currently finishing Master's Degree. Moved my parents in with me when I purchased my home, my dad had Alzheimer's and helped care for him. My dad passed away and now I'm caring for my 73 year old mother.

I am caring for my mother, Betty, who is 82 years old, living at my home and the primary ailment is general age-related decline.. his age is now 59.

Are you still around Ironman?
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Just letting people know..... the original post is from 9 years ago.
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The only options are to take care of her and put your life on hold, or hire 24-hour services in-home, or put her into a nursing home. All this can bring on guilt, but you have to be honest with yourself. You will become resentful with your situation down the road when you realize you lost the opportunity to be happy with a family of your own. There is two types of people in the World - those who want to start families and those who prefer not to. If you want to start a family for yourself that is a priority you shouldn't ignore.

Let's look at this realistically...You said you want to start a family, your 50 years old, time is ticking away. If you really, really want a wife and children you need to start on that goal now. Obviously, you can't start this goal until you place your mom somewhere or get outside help. Most "young" women today, don't want men with mom in tow. Sorry to be a downer, but that's how it works. Relationships are one on one, parents are third wheels. Building love with someone is a long process that requires time alone to share each other's company. So that's that. If you meet a woman who is understanding, maybe, but I seriously doubt it.

Trying to date while you take care of your parents is going to be a problem, some people have done it, and other's lost out.

So like everyone said above -- you have to really talk to your soul, write down the pros and cons, ask yourself how you deal with guilt and isolation. And start looking at a future mindset, not the present, but really far into the future. How can you make your mom okay and you okay without either being sacrificed to the extreme? It's always doable. But nothing that is unbalanced will ever do well in the long term. You can't unbalance yourself nor your mom. Seek a middle road if you can. I would first try some outside help to come into the home. Also, you said you drive a long way, you need to move closer to a gym/or your job. Living too far from a person needing care is going to wear you out.
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I know you are going through something very difficult. But its is a blessing that you are their for your mother. Who ever you choose to be with will be one lucky woman. The way you are their taking care of your mother. That's the way you will be with your woman are your wife one day. That's beautiful. Its will take a strong woman who will stand by your side to understand what you are going through. I do know what you are going through. Its not easy but you will meet that special person don't give up on love.
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Ironman
How are you doing, I sure hope that you are able to get your family to help-if not you do need to think of yourself-my counsuler told me I was waiting for someone to resuce me and it was not going to happen. Even little steps that you take will make you feel stronger-good luck and let us know how you are doing.
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It is hard living the way you are It can tear you apart I know it did for me It costed me my Marriage of 12yrs My Mom is 73yrs old and is totally dependent on my and thinks my life revolves around her I feel sometimes like a door mat She complains about everything and no matter what I do it isn't enough She is still healthy so there really wasn't any options for me but to have her live with me and be her Caregiver There is something called Respite Care where someone will come out and be with your Mom when you want to go out or when you will be home late and they will take care of her The only other option is to do like I did for a period of time in the beging I placed her in her own apartment and paid half her expenses That way she had a little space to herself and I had my space It worked great for a few years but then she complained it was getting to hard for her standing for long periods of time so I brought her back home with me If I would have know her Insurance covered Caregivers I could of set that up and she could have stayed in her own apartment So there is some options out there for you It all comes down to making the choose and helping your Mom to see it through your eyes I hope the best for you Blessings Deborah
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Brendalou, you have a lot of wisdom to share. It's still not too late for you, but it will be harder, since you mother has been with your so long. The day will likely come when you can no longer care for her. Neither of your parents would have wanted you to give up your life to take care of them. People say things though an emotional fog. You are right that your dad wouldn't want you to give up so much either.

Good care centers these days offer a great deal of activity and social life to a senior who is open to it. Most will take time to adjust, but then they find they can make friends, if they are willing. Thanks for your lesson to us all.
Carol
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Ironman,
I am a 48 year old woman also never married. My mother has lived with me since my father's death 23 years ago. I think the biggest mistake that I made was in not encouraging her to go into a retirement center or assisted living at that time. I also dealt with her growing dependence on me. It was bearable until her health began to rapidly decline about 4 years ago. Now I am in the position of either giving up everything in my life except my job or putting her against her will into a care center. I also made the promise to my father that I would "take care" of my mother, but I really don't believe that he would have expected me to deny my own life. I also really believe that my mother would have had a fuller life had she been with other people her own age when she could have enjoyed them. I know it is a hard decision. good luck!
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Guilt is probably the most common feeling caregivers have. It's at least right up there with isolation.

First - we never know the future, but so many of us make "deathbed" promises or promises such as "I'll always take care of him/her/you." It's unwise, but we do it because we think we are being kind. Then we suffer the consequences.

A good assisted living center would give you your time, your mother friends so she won't be so lonely and always looking to you for companionship, activities to enjoy, and help should she fall or become ill. There are many options in most areas. She will fight the idea, but if you find a good living center, she will adjust and likely grow to love it. She may get too busy for you! That happens frequently.
To to www.eldercare.gov to look for centers in your area. You will have to do your own checking for quality, but it's a jumping off point.

You have to decide if you want your own life. You are right that most women aren't going to be interested long if they know their future includes your mother living with you. This can be hard enough when you have a long-standing relationship with someone who knows and loves your mother. Someone new just won't want to deal with it.

You have hard choices, but your own self-imposed guilt is a lot of what is making it so hard. Drop the guilt. Get counseling if you need help with this.

Your mother and you can both have a quality life, if you find the right place for her. Visit often - every day at first, if you can. Help her adjust. Keep an eye on things to make sure the center is as good as it first appears. If not, move her to a different one. But if you don't do anything, you will be bitter. Your health will deteriorate. And your dreams of finding a woman and creating a family will go down the drain.

I now this is going to be really hard. However, your mother (and father) would *not* want you to do this to yourself. It's just that now she can't see it and you promised your father. But really - would they have wanted you to lose your future to care for them? I doubt that they would have.

Keep coming back. We're here to talk to.
Carol
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Hello I am too a first time poster. I wish you the best. I have seen a situation the same as yours. My cousin took care of his mother for years. He was not able to be in a long term relationship. The women did not want the responsibility
We have a homemaker that comes in everyday to help with my mother. There is also respite care that you be able to get. Would she be interested in Assisted living?
I also need support that is why I have finally got on-line. My mother moved in 18 months ago. I know what you mean about feeling guilty. I feel that every day. I am the only child so everything is in my hands. We have problems with her brother so that help is out of the picture. I was looking forward my freedom when my children got out of the house but that is not going to happen. My daughter went of to College but now she is back and decided in the last month to get married in September. I do not get much help from my children they have their own lives.
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