Mom just passed a few months ago and father was use to having her do everything for him. He no longer drives but still lives at home. Two of us have been doing everything from grocery shopping to home repair to yard work, doctor appts ect.... The other two siblings are "too busy" with their lives to help. I don't mind helping here and there but dad is expecting me to always be there on any of my off days and gives little regard for the things I need to do at my own home. I have been sick three times in the past few months, I almost always have a headache and I constantly feel run down and tired. I am on anti-depressants as well and don't think I can make it without them. I have explained this to dad, but I honestly think that he feels I am making this up. My health is probably the poorest it has ever been - I'm in my early 40's. I found a volunteer group that will help with chores and cleaning at dad's and I brought this to my father's attention and he shot it down. I am at my wits end. We need the help but dad doesn't see how demanding the job of caregiver can be. He calls every day.....most of the time for meaningless things (I am sure he is lonely)....but I have a job to do and a household to run in addition to him. His house needs major cleaning and he claims he can do it himself. He never has and I don't believe he could. He is in his 80's and doesn't get around very well. I simply do not have the time to add the cleaning of his house to my list....can't remember the last time I cleaned my house.


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Zepher The others have said it better then I could but I do see things from another view my husband just passed less than 3 months ago and is was 16 years of caregiving and got worse as the years went along. I was going to counseling twice during that time and of course told them all my problems and the last one said you are waiting for someone to rescue you and it is not going to happen you have to rescue yourself-I was mad as hell at here after I left her office but started thinking about it and realized she was right. The husband was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes more than I could keep track of rehab was at least 15 times. One day later one at a meeting at the nursing home I said I can not do this any longer my health is not great either and everyone in that room listened and agreed with me-I was so suprised I thought where was everyone 2-3 years ago when things first got imposible but I was happy that I finally spoke up. Since he passed now I am giving my sister a hand with our Mom even though I live a distance away but my brothers are good about taking me there. It already looks like you are starting to think about changes you can make and that is great-you will get stronger I had to with the husband he put such demands on me and made me feel guility if I could not meet each demand and would tell others I did not do much for him I could not speak up because his temper was so bad. It will take time for your father to give you any respect because he is use to getting his own way. The support group is a good idea-I went to a caregivers group and met a lady whose husband was made with the same cookie cutter and we have been friends for years even though both our husbands have passed on she was my biggest supporter the last few years, keep in touch here you will get so much support and you will be able to help others at the same time there are a great many caring people here it has saved my sanity since I have been here and others are still helping me so much-I had a bad week and was very wheepy even though I was getting of the house and others encourged me so much.

Thanks for your thoughts as well. I wish we could hire a professional organizer, the money just isn't there to do so. We had to help dad out with covering the funeral for mom as they hadn't planned anything in advance. Money is tight.

We have volunteer groups that will do the is just a matter of getting dad use to the idea.

I like your idea on the certified letter to my siblings. They somehow don't feel any responsibility to their father. He sacrificed a lot so that we could have a home and food on the table while growing up.

I'll have to work on not rehashing old issues ..... unfortunately new issues crop up every day with the siblings that aren't helping. I will have to become stronger than I ever have been.

I so appreciate your thoughts!

Thank you!

Actually there is a simple solution. I think that thinking too much and rehashing issues only adds to your depression, pain & weariness. Its like picking at a sore that never heals - you need to take a break from thinking about it and negative self talk, or others enabling those miserable feelings.

Hire a personal organizer to manage it and send in a housecleaner. Take two steps back from the problem. If this were not your family you would see clearly how to handle it. Send your two siblings a registerd letter and inform them that you are unable to cope and expect that the three of you will come to an arrangement for his care. Get your dad a new phone with speed dial buttons and make certain that your two siblings numbers on buttons 1 and 2.

Seriously, depression not only robs you of strength and joy, it also puts you into a vicious circle. Get out of it - nobody else can help you, so hire someone. Call the shots and don't be seduced into repeating the problems - only the solutions.

Well meaning as everyone is, what I have discovered is that rehashing the problem hurts your recovery. Find proactive friends who can brush past the baggage and talk to you about something else that you like - go have fun. For that matter unplug your phone.

Yes, maam. Bless your dear heart! And bless your husband for his support. I've been blessed with a good one, too.

What about putting some of your thoughts, hopes, and expectations on paper? Brainstorm with hubby, and call a family conference. Possessions? They are dad's not anyone else's till the will is read. (In my opinion.) Usually those get divided a-f-t-e-r death, right ??? I hate the greed involved... We're dealing with that in our own family. It gets sickening.

I hereby give you permission to think of, and care for yourself. You can keep the guilt if you want, but I don't recommend it. It is OK to care for yourself. Remind yourself that you are caring for your dad, too. So, you are NOT being selfish, but very loving as any wonderful daughter would. So I give you permission to put the guilt in the garbage can, and leave it there. That doesn't mean you stop caring for dad. Get him (and you) to a grief support group, and do the grieving you need to. Go just for you if he won't go. Give yourself that gift! Let someone who's "been there done that" give you a hug, tell you they understand, and shower you with encouragement and support.

Pick a Monday for your dad: say, "I'll do A, B, or C; but can't do E, F, or G. These are my limits. You choose, Dad." If he needs more help than that, ask you sis to fill in her specialties. Ask your brother, too, EXPECTing he will, putting it in writing, etc., from both you and your sister. Hope he'll help, but if not, it's on him, and not you. Just say, "Dad needs... Can you...?" If the answer is no, at least you tried. If you need additional help, say, from a Nurse, housekeeper, do it. (If Dad will comply, and pay for it, meaning him, not you.) That's best case scenario. Experiment till you find what works for you and yours.

And don't forget to love on that wonderful husband. They help us alot when we just don't know what else to do. Girlfriends are a great place to vent, in addition to totally burdening our husbands with the whole emotional package. So glad you posted here. I'll look for more. I'm sure others will be posting here, as well. Bless you, dear heart!

Secret Sister............Thank you for your kind thoughts! No one has expressed anything like this to me with this issue. You are a kind soul!

My siblings - one is helping almost every day in addition to me. One brother doesn't have a use for my father seeing as he can't get any possessions from him yet (so sad). I also have a sister who has only limited time for dad as she has children of her own - mind you, her children are in their late 20's and 30's (no, they don't help or call grandpa either). I am convinced that she and dad have different points of view and because of that she keeps her distance. She made big promises in the beginning of splitting up chores and such, but those promises were never kept.

I will definitely try setting boundaries. I guess I haven't done that yet because I constantly tell myself that dad just lost his wife and must be really lonely. My husband is a major support for me but I feel as if I constantly dump everything on him. It is so nice to get another perspective.

Mom's passing was sudden and unexpected and honestly, I haven't really dealt with it yet as dad has been my primary concern. I feel selfish if I put myself first, but I guess I have suffered for not taking care of me.

Thank you again for your kind thoughts!

Dear Zepher, first of all, I can tell you are a very loving, and caring daughter. It is apparent you want the best for your dad. God bless you for all you have done, and all you are doing. That's "angel material," and I salute you. No doubt, you need help. So sorry to hear you are struggling with your own health care issues. You do sound tired, and probably need a good, long rest. "But how?" I can hear you say. Many of us have been there, and many are there now. Many can relate to what you are saying.

Often, our loved ones' expectations are unreasonable. They are tired, themselves, or lonely, and often scared. They don't always realize they are putting heavy demands upon us for our help, time and attention. Some of their needs are extremely legitimate. Sounds like you need to have a battle plan. Have you thought about what would happen to dad if something happened to you? Who would care for him, then? Why aren't your siblings helping?

How are you at setting limits and boundaries? If you're anything like me, you're a take charge, take control person, with a soft heart. We wear ourselves out quickly trying to do too much for another, and disregard ourselves, denying our own needs. This can take a heavy toll on our own well being, as you already know. And that can sometimes lead to anger, bitterness and depression. None are good scenarios.

Who is supportive to you? Brainstorm with them about some healthy boundaries. This takes practice. So does saying, "Dad, I love you, but..." Tell him what you can and cannot do. If your siblings aren't willing to help, find an outside source to help you out, whether volunteer or paid. There are lots of options and services available.

No doubt your mom's passing has been very hard on your dad, and probably on you too. Sorry to hear about your loss. This is probably a difficult adjustment period for all of you. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, your dad needs, and seek help. I understand your stress, as I feel it, too, at times. But there are solutions. Remember, it is OK to take care of your own needs, and OK to set boundaries. Rest when you can, and I will pray for you that things will ease up as you find alternatives to what's going on now. There's lots of great suggestions on these threads, so keep searching till you find what works for you and your dad. But, please take care of you, too!

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