OK, I have just joined this site today and maybe just hoping to find others in similar situations, so I don't feel so alone. Sometimes I am just overwhelmed with feelings of resentment, followed by guilt. I have been reading some of the other discussions on this site and realize that many people are in much worse situations, so now I am struggling with more guilt in complaining and I apologize if my complaints offend anyone.

My mom passed away 2 1/2 years ago, leaving my now 86 year old dad behind. I was never close to my dad but once my mom passed, it became my "duty" to be there for him. Dad is still physically healthy except very hard of hearing and in the early stages of dementia. He still lives in his own house but expects me to be at his beck & call-I live close by. At his age, I know that his mental & physical health will only decline but after 2 1/2 years, I am already so tired of being "there" for him.

Since he is able to physically care for himself, my job is to listen to him & do things with him. I know, that sounds easy enough, and this is where I feel guilty for complaining but I am so tired of listening. My dad is probably one of the most negative & opinionated people I have ever met, and he loves to talk at you. He doesn't want to hear anyone else's opinions and the daily 45 minute phone calls are exhausting. When I go shopping, he expects to go along, and then questions any items I am looking at, wanting to know why I want something. I usually have to drop him off at home and go back to the store to do most of my shopping, after we have the lunch that I have no desire to have. If he's not being opinionated, he has to tell me long "stories" about things that happened 50 years ago. I have heard the stories now, more times than I can count.

The outings & phone calls leave me absolutely exhausted and usually follow with a long nap for me, and I just get further & further behind on my own responsibilities. Before my mom passed away, I was happily single and independent but suspect I am now joining the ranks of "depressed" people, even though I never experienced depression prior to this change.

I have never liked my father. If he weren't my father, I would avoid him like the plague, to be honest. I moved closer to be near my mom and never expected to be in this position and now just feel stuck. If I considered moving away, I would be viewed as this horrible person that abandoned her father at his time of need. I feel like my whole life is now on hold, especially when people are always saying how wonderful it is that I am here to take care of him. Why can't I see anything wonderful about it?

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A couple of thoughts...

You can't help your feelings. Stop fighting them.

Your father sounds like a very unpleasant person. You should limit your exposure to his negativity.

Your dad sounds lonely and needy. Has he been evaluated for depression? Does he go to an Adult Center? Why not?

Can he afford an Assisted Living center? Have you researched these?

Have YOU talked to your own doctor about managing this huge stressor in your life?

Welcome!! And (((hugs)))))

"I was never close to my dad but once my mom passed, it became my "duty" to be there for him." Who decided it was your duty?

"He still lives in his own house but expects me to be at his beck & call-I live close by." Why do his expectations define what you do?

"When I go shopping, he expects to go along. . . " Again, why do his expectations rule your life?

"If I considered moving away, I would be viewed as this horrible person. . ." By whom? Why would you care?

"Why can't I see anything wonderful about it?" Is there anything wonderful about it?

I'm sorry for the loss of your mom and that you're in this spot, but I think you have more power than you acknowledge to yourself.

Would you say to *anyone* else in the world: "here is a lonely, elderly widower, no specific needs as such, just generally wants a hand with domestic routines and socialisation. It's now your job to listen to him venting for three quarters of an hour daily, take him out shopping with you, sit through lunch that you haven't got time for and don't want to eat, and treat as your bestie someone with whom you have nothing in common and whom you don't like. Okay with that?"

Look. You say it became your duty to become his mainstay. Really? Says who? Anyone *apart* from you yourself?

It IS wonderful that your Dad has a first-rate daughter whose care and support he can always count on. He is a lucky man.

That does not translate to your being his only source of company and assistance. Plus, even more importantly, nobody can afford to be indispensable and nobody can afford to depend on one other person.

Your father is lonely. He would do better with a wider social circle that includes his peer group than with one younger person who, no matter how well-mannered, is fed to the back teeth with listening to him. It won't matter how opinionated and self-centred he is if so is everyone else in the group!

He doesn't need much in the way of hands-on care now but the chances are that he will do; and you, untrained, unqualified, unpaid, and starting off resentful and tired of him, will not be the right person for that role.

It would be much better to start looking around now for the right kinds of centres and facilities that can offer him opportunities for company and friendship to begin with, leading on to higher levels of care as his needs emerge.

This is not abandoning him or deserting him - you're not going anywhere, you will still visit him regularly and be his primary caregiver - it is a matter of making sure that his support network is wide and strong enough for his needs.

The shopping, just by the way - set aside a regular slot, weekly or every other week for example, that is HIS outing. It will be less stressful for you, and therefore quicker and less frustrating, if you're not trying to combine it with your own errands.

Make a start: go online and look at day centres, lunch clubs and similar set ups for older people in your area. The Area Agency on Aging is often really useful, with links to all sorts of other organisations. Don't take no for an answer from your father, either - the rule is, he can't say he doesn't like it if he hasn't tried it.

It is not good for you to be burdened with your father's care, but the other side of that coin is that it is not good for your father to be dependent on someone who, truth be told, doesn't like him. It's not your fault - you didn't volunteer to be his daughter! It is even possible, no guarantees but possible, that when you are well clear of the last two and a half years of stress and obligation you will begin to feel more warmly towards him, maybe even come to understand him better than you ever have.

I appreciate the comments and for clarification, my dad has stated that it is my duty to be there for him now and all his friends seem to think the same thing. Many of his friends are depending on one of their daughters, also. My dad has even stated that it is my turn to pay him back for raising me. He may have paid the bills but it was my mom that raised me, although he will never understand the difference. The "duty" is thrust on many kids from my dad's generation-many people had kids in those days, with the thought that there would be someone there to take care of them when they get older. I don't know how old you are who have commented but it is an expectation from many from that generation.

I have looked into retirement communities, groups, activities, etc, and there are an abundance of them around us, which we could easily afford but my dad refuses to consider even visiting any of them. LOL! He says he doesn't want to be around a bunch of old people. I know he is lonely and I have tried to find him resources to help with that-I know there are a lot of other lonely people out there who would probably enjoy having someone like him to spend time with but he won't even consider trying anything. I am an extreme introvert so I am not a good choice and know that. I like to be left alone and after so many years of being alone, it has been difficult to adapt to having someone else depending on me.

There have been a couple of times when I have tried to get a break from my dad for a day. Both times, he got in fights with neighbors and the police were called. He was actually arrested the 2nd time and we spent the next 6 months going back & forth to court.

I live just a few houses away and that makes it very difficult because he can see when I leave my house. I do go off to do things by myself but later, he will ask where I went, tell me he would have liked going and make me feel guilty for not inviting him and thus, I feel the expectation to take him. I do know he doesn't like to go some places so I will go to those places and not feel any pressure.

Unfortunately, I have to wait for the dementia to get worse before I can make him do anything and yes, I have spoken with our attorney about this. I can't make him get mentally evaluated and I can't make him go anywhere he doesn't want to go. I have asked him to ask his doctors about his poor memory and he just tells me that loss of memory just comes with getting older. I'm not permitted to speak with his doctors to request any kind of tests.

Want, other people's expectations do not equate to things being "your duty".

Read up on Fear, Obligation and Guilt. Your father is using these to manipulate you.

Read a book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. You need to start taking back control of your life.

Come up with what you ARE willing to do. One phone call a week. One shopping trip. He gets arrested?? Get Social Services involved. He clearly should not be living alone and both Adult Protective Services and the local Area Agency on Aging may prove helpful.

Do not let ANYONE tell you that if is your duty to move in with him or to move him into your home. He requires far more care and more socialization than one person can possibly provide. Lose the guilt, learn to say "no, Dad, I cant possibly do that" and understand that his anger won't kill you.

You can only control your own behavior. You may not be able to make him go to a nice AL or day center, but if he refuses to do what would work better for you, you should feel total justification in refusing to accede to his demands. His wants do not trump yours.

For clarification, I'm 66. My parents were both born in 1923. They told me and my brothers that it was THEIR JOB to launch us into the world so that we could care for ourselves and our families. It was THEIR job to save for their old age so they wouldn't have to rely on us. OUR job was to do the same for our kids, NOT to care for them in their old age.

Your dad and his friends sound like quite the selfish bunch.

You have to wait for your father to become mentally incapacitated before you can make him do anything.

You do not, however, have to wait for anything except permission from yourself to make decisions about what you do.

You can move house, for example. You'd encounter disapproval, no doubt. And? So?

The thing about your father's beliefs and expectations is that that is all they are. They are not the law, and they are not your own beliefs and expectations. What do YOU think you do, properly, owe your father?

This is about control and about boundaries. Your father has the right, as things stand, to control his life. But not to control yours.

Thank you, Barb Brooklyn. I will look up that book. He has always been an extremely self-centered person and I agree completely that he is manipulative. When things are not going as planned for him, besides getting arrested, he will throw in the suicide threat. He did that at one of his court appearances and while the attorney protected him, I remember being angry that they didn't take the opportunity then to have him mentally evaluated.

I would love to limit the phone calls to once a week. Once a day would even be OK but some days, it is 3-4 calls. The outings I have reduced because I do have some major home projects that need to be completed and have not been afraid to embellish on all that I need to do. If I am not creative and he wants to talk, he will show up at my door and ring the bell incessantly, with his face squashed up against the window, looking in, until I answer the door.

He will never move in with me nor will I move in with him. I made that very clear already. I did so when I bought this house to be closer and I will never change my mind about that. My home is my sanctuary.

My mom was like your parents and never would have expected me to cater to her like this. My mom longed to move into a retirement community but my dad would not allow it. My dad never treated my mom very well and never cared about what she wanted, if it wasn't something he wanted. My feelings now are probably based much on the way he treated her for all those 63 years they were married, to be honest. I have a brother, too, who lives states away and he wants nothing to do with my dad so hasn't even been here for a visit in over 2 years. He feels bad for me but not enough to help. He can only handle my dad for a couple hours, at most.

Thank you, Countrymouse. I will give some thought to what you have said later but it is late now and I need to get to bed. It is good to hear other viewpoints though because I have kind of been in a tunnel for the last 2 1/2 years, with no real outlet for other views.

Why is it the daughter's responsibility to take care of him, in his eyes? What about his son, your brother? Does he have a will or trust? If so, who is the executor/successor trustee? POA? HCPOA? He's 86, so has he arranged for any of this? (I hope so!)

Do you know anything of his finances? I'm asking, so that you know what will be the situation when he needs caregiving help in his home or in a facility. He's 86, after all, so when the inevitable increasing decline occurs, it can be fast and furious. (In his will, is everything divided equally between your brother and you? If so, how is that fair?)

I would call 911 EVERYTIME he threatens suicide. Have him taken to the ER for a psych evaluation. Tell them that there is no one to care for him at home (there isn't; he clearly needs 24/7 supervision).

And next time he gets in trouble with the law, I would not show up in court. The only way you'll get your father what he neds is by stepping out of this mess.

You should consider telling your father that you can no longer do the tasks he "requires" without payment. You need to visit his lawyer to set up a caregiver contract and set an hourly rate that YOU can live with. I'm sure you'd father's calculus is one of "why should he pay for AL when he's got a free daughter?" Make the daughter a paid part of the equation.

If he tells you that "you'll be inheriting everything" tell him that there will probably not be an inheritance left after years in Memory Care. And that Medicaid will most likely put a lien on the house if they get involved.

There is a statistic, 40% of all caregivers die before the folks they are caring for.

Your mother is part of that group, whether you realize it or not. She wanted to move to an easier way of life and have the retirement she longed for. Your father forbade that.

Please don't allow yourself to be his next victim. Yes, I'm being dramatic. But it's the truth.

I feel your pain! I must admit you are smarter than I was. You did not move your dad in with you. Nor did you move in with him.

My mom lived with me for nearly 15 years. I took care of both mom and dad in their home before that. Also cared for my oldest brother before he died. Would I do it all over again? Nope! Certainly not. Hindsight is 20/20. I would do a lot differently. By the way, no one has a perfect family. You aren’t alone there either. So we get your feelings about your dad. No judgment from me. I had the opposite of you. My father was the reasonable one. It’s my mom that I had issues with. My caregiving days are behind me now, long story...

Caregiving is exhausting and we all know it so please don’t feel badly about acknowledging how you feel. We get it. It’s a challenge even in the best of circumstances. With difficult people it’s far worse.

I would say to go ahead and tour assisted living facilities in your area. Collect information along with what each facility costs. Narrow down your choices.

Look at a few nursing homes in case that is a better fit. You can have an assessment done to determine. Assisted living facilities do assessments before entering.

If financial help is needed speak to the facility. I was told sometimes it is possible to negotiate price. Also if your dad is a veteran during wartime he may qualify for additional assistance. Don’t discount anything.

Next contact reputable 24/7 365 private caregivers and document prices and services they provide. He would be paying for three shifts. This will be very costly!

Assisted living is cheaper in comparison. They provide everything and offer more.

Give dad all the information. Lay it all out on the kitchen table! Do not tell dad that he has a choice of not choosing one of these options. Simply say to him, “Pick one!” or “Which option do you prefer?”

You can assist by telling him beforehand the advantages of each or pros and cons of each, if he will listen. If you feel he won’t listen, then just leave the information for him to read on his own.

Could anyone else tell dad about these options? Does he have any close friends or other relatives, a pastor of a church, anyone at all, social worker? Don’t count on your brother. He hasn’t been there for you in the past.

I have the utmost empathy for those who really wish to end their lives due to various reasons. I do not have sympathy for those who use it to manipulate others. You do not have to live like this.

Your dad must make choices and so do you. Please don’t be complacent as I was because it only gets worse. Nearly 15 years sucked the life out of me. You are already burning out. Don’t reach the stage I did. I wish I had listened when others tried telling me to let go. Let me leave you with one final thought, then I promise to shut up.

Sometimes we feel strong by holding on and thinking that we can do it all. We feel we are doing what we are ‘supposed’ to be doing. Sometimes real strength comes from knowing our limitations and simply letting go. We are not failing them if we let go but we are failing ourselves if we hold on.

Want, as NHWM points out, it's a very good thing to have Al's and NHs that you've already toured in mind BEFORE the inevitable fall or illness that will land him in the hospital. Once he is there, it will be the job of the discharge planning department to tell him that he can no longer live alone.

Wantmylifeback I am going through something similar with my mother. She is 95 years old and lives alone. The doctors say she is competent and can live by herself. She takes her meds on time, cooks food in the microwave, she can go up and down 13 stairs to the 2nd floor bedroom. I live 15,minutes away from my mother. I limit my time going over there. She won’t let me help her bathe or wash her hair or change her clothes or anything. She is a hoarder and a gambling addict. I have been listening to people here on this forum who have great advice!!! Walk away!! Don’t get involved!! Live your life!! We are only on this earth a short time. Use it wisely!! Do what makes you happy!!

I truly appreciate everyone's comments and you are all 100% correct! My heartfelt sympathies to you, NeedHelpWithMom-I can't even imagine what all you have been through.

I have told my dad that if he is ever arrested again, don't expect me to bail him out or see him thru any court appearances. I told the attorney the same thing and he can just charge my dad for his time. The attorney and I have both told my dad to mind his own business and leave the neighbors alone, and now that he realizes that many of the neighbors have video cameras set up, he has been acting a little better. He's not very tech savvy and I have him believing that there are probably more cameras out there than there actually are. He had a real wake-up call when the attorney got the video from the arresting officer's body-cam, too, and when we all were watching it, he knew we were totally disgusted by his behavior.

He did try to kill himself one night, by taking a bottle of my mom's blood pressure medicine. All it did was get him all constipated. I could not stop laughing, and for a few days, I made autopsy jokes about his constipation and he hasn't mentioned suicide since then. If he ever does talk about it again, I will call 911, Barb Brooklyn.

Finances are not an issue. I don't think my dad even spends 10% of his yearly income, which is quite generous and will be there for the rest of his life. He has free medical care for the rest of his life, too. He is a 100% disabled veteran, which comes with a lot of benefits that I was previously unaware of. His will leaves everything to my brother and I, split 50/50 but my brother and I have agreed that I will get paid for my time first and I keep a daily journal of each phone call, outing and other expenses. I am joint owner on all of his accounts so when the time comes to put him in AL or NH, I can take out what is owed to me, before it is even considered in any assessment, and I have my journal as proof of what is owed to me.

I haven't toured the facilities around me but there are many and I will start to visit them. I found one where my dad could actually have his own cottage, while having access to all the offerings of the facility but my dad refused to go with me to see it. When I saw it online, I thought that I'd love to live there so was very disappointed that he wouldn't consider it. They even allowed pets, which has been his excuse for not wanting to move. I'll start going around and collecting brochures.

I do agree, Barb, that my mom was a victim and have always thought that. It was so unfair that she was the one to die first because she should have been able to have a few years to enjoy her life and do things she wanted to do. I did make it clear to my dad that if he insists on staying in the house, he would need to take over the tasks that she used to do. I will not help him clean, do laundry, cook for him, etc-I have my own house where I already do those things and don't have time to run 2 households. When he complains about all the work, I just say I know, since I have all that work to do, too. I do check on his cats and once found the water bowls empty. I put a real guilt trip on him, threatened to take the cats and he has made their care a priority since. I think he knows that one day, he is going to have to move but is still clinging to his independence.

I am sorry that you are going thru similar with your mother elaine1962 but it sounds like you are being more sensible than me. I am going to try to be a little tougher and put some limits on time demands from my dad. I did ignore his last couple of voicemails since they weren't important and the world did not stop!


You sound pretty smart to me! I’m not worried about you. Everyone needs to vent and have support. We care. Reach out anytime. Vent anytime.

You are on your way to sorting things out.

Want, you sound like a very smart, capable, compassionate person! The sort of daughter any father should be glad to have. Vent away!

WMLB, it sounds as though you are setting good boundaries! In your shoes, I'd take a vacation from the stress you've been under!

Oi. This bit:

" brother and I have agreed that I will get paid for my time first and I keep a daily journal of each phone call, outing and other expenses. I am joint owner on all of his accounts so when the time comes to put him in AL or NH, I can take out what is owed to me, before it is even considered in any assessment, and I have my journal as proof of what is owed to me."

Not without your father's consent to this arrangement, you don't.

After your father's decease, your brother is of course free to give you any share of his legacy that you and he have previously agreed is fair. But you can't alter the terms of your father's will; and you can't consider yourself owed compensation for your time (though you can claim back actual expenses) without agreeing it beforehand with your father.

You should do that, actually, anyway. Once your father does lose capacity he won't be able to consent and that avenue will be closed off to you.

You say it is "your duty to...." Who assigned you this duty? Your father? Other family? Because a duty is something we assume. Such as we join the Military Service in order to assume the duty to defend and protect our country.
You say it is "my job" to listen to him. What are you getting paid for this job? A job is something you voluntarily take on and are compensated to an agreed upon amount; a job is an agreement; it is a contract.
The repeated stories? I get a lot of that. It works to giggle and say "You told me that; you aren't getting frequent flier miles here, and neither am I." or I say "I can finish this story for you". But he has a sense of humor. This seems a family gene for us, the repeating of stories.
You say you would be "viewed as a horrible person if....."
So WHAT? Viewed by whom? And why do you so respect the opinion of others while you view your own feelings and opinions as absolutely without worth?
The position of "family doormat" is not really a job. It is more a volunteer position. It is one without compensation, dirty, with a good deal of punishment and self-sacrifice. Like all voluntary positions, it is assumed by choice.
When we have abusive unpleasant parents they are often excellent at ONE THING and one thing only....that is to train their children by instilling guilt, fear and a strong sense of ultimate worthlessness.
You have a right to a life. But no matter I tell you this, you will not easily believe it, because I have not raised you, I have no power against the years of training you got. I kind of raised my children with the ice flow theory. That is to say, when I am old, weak and helpless, PLEASE for your own sake and for mine, take me out to the ice flow and leave me there.
I honestly believe that you need counsel and advice of a trained professional. You are currently living hoping for the crumbs of "oh, what a good daughter you are" to be scattered about you. They won't be. You are responsible for yourself, to make yourself a good life. A good life includes giving, but that giving is from strength and honest love. Not from guilt and duty and obligation and fear of the judgement of others.
I am so sorry you are going through this, but without professional help I don't think you will ever see it as your choice, or as an option. Your father is not even helpless at this point, but that will come soon enough. I so wish you the best. Please seek help. You Dad is operating out of habit. But so are you, and you are giving up your life. Voluntarily. It will never be so simple as to say "I want my life back". You must TAKE it back, and boy, is that ever hard work.

I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me if mine is redundant. Tell your father you've gotten a job from 9 am - 5 pm each day, or whatever time sounds good to you, and therefore, you are not available to him for ANY reason during those hours. You'd be happy to speak with him on the phone or take him out for whatever reason during X times, on X days of the week, but that's it. This is your new schedule, unfortunately, so he has no other choice but to abide by it. 45 minute phone calls are OUTRAGEOUS and exhausting, especially with a toxic, negative individual. Therefore, in your new role of Boundary Setter With Father, the new phone convos won't last any longer than 10 minutes and a timer shall be set to remind you it's time to hang up. Oh, someone's ringing the bell! Or, oh, someone else is trying to call in! Or, oh, the oven timer just went off meaning dinner is ready! Or whatever else you can think up to let you off the hook (or receiver, as it were).

Let common sense prevail here. Give only SO much of yourself and your time to a person that is an Energy Vampire. Otherwise, an EV will drain YOU of every ounce of energy you have, leaving you an empty vessel.

All the best!

The first thing you need to do is move farther than walking distance from him. After my mom died my father thought nothing of driving to my home and just letting himself in. No he did not knock. Scared the daylights out of us a few times. Was told not to do that but he never listens.

Start touring AL yourself and narrow it down to three. Stop the daily phone calls. Plan a shopping day that is just for him. I know when I took my father shopping I could never pick up an item I needed while we were out. He would get upset as he expected the day to be all about him. So give him a few hours once a week or every other week and that is it.

Hi i can totally relate to your situation. The only difference is i live in the same house as my father. He is 83 with vascular dementia. I too have never got on with him. My mum died 7 years ago leaving him and me. Its a constant struggle. I am 44 single male cant even have a relationship because of him and i dont want to bring a lovely lady into my environment with a toxic father. I can so relate. Happy to chat with you more if you want.

I See a Somewhat Dejavu of Me last Year, Dear...Why did I have to Move away Three Months before MOM passed Away...I feel guilt Ridden even to this Day....However, It is In God's Hands, he took me away so my Sister NOW who lives Closer, Can Care for Sad Dad...She is at his Beckoning Call and All, Exhausted, Has many health Issues Herself but if She deserts Him, h ewil go into a Nursing Home, He'd be Alone.
Hope this helps, My angel of Mercy.

I feel a lot like mom is the same age. She struggles to carry on a conversation . She mostly talks of negative things of past when she was 8, or talks badly about my deceased dad. She tries but truly struggles to be happy and talks about her depression non stop. Over the years she has been on many meds. I start out happy but usually end up sad at the end of the nearly everyday interactions. She lives 5 minutes away. I do her meds, MD contacts, help her shop, and all church interactions. Everyone sees her as upbeat???? The public face..we get the real face. Only 2 years and I am wearing down also. I remain time or energy for a partner. She, like you dad , can do most daily care herself. I pray daily for the strength needed to give upbeat care and attention to is often exhausting indeed. And guilt rears it’s ugly head at times!

I also urge caution about how you will be paid at some point. Here's what I did: I was the only local sib and only daughter. I was expected to transport my mother places (and this took hours). Sometimes there were other issues. (She lived by herself, although she should have been in AL.) At one point I mentioned being compensated to my mother, and she got mad. "You don't pay family!" was her response. (My feeling was that you also don't expect one family member to do everything.)

When my mother was hospitalized (then rehab, then permanent NH placement), I told one of my POA brothers that I couldn't continue on without compensation (I was spending entire days at the hospital...she was there for 17 days). He readily agreed, and offered to compensate me for my past time (I jumped right on that). I added up an approximation of my hours for the previous few years, and was then paid a lump sum for that. And I would submit a monthly "bill" from that point on.

No taxes were taken out -- these would be considered "gifts" to me. No concerns about Medicaid look-back, as my mother would never qualify for Medicaid. Besides a trust, she had excellent LTC insurance that would kick in after 30 days self-pay.

My mother took me and another brother off the POA in a fit of pique, so the other two brothers were left as POAs. That ended up being to my benefit, as the POA document stated the POA couldn't pay themselves. But the POA could pay ME. Ha! (BTW, my rate of pay was agreed upon to be $20/hour, and that included no personal/hygiene care.)

I might not have asked for pay, except that my mother insulted me, told me my time wasn't worth anything, that my "sonny no-show" brother's time was much more valuable than mine (this was the brother who would go nearly 2 years without visiting her, and he lives just a few states away), etc.

go to and look upon local vet benefit offices in your area. Go visit and find out what benefits he has that will help you. For example, did you know they will allow aid and attendance for 4 hours daily and pay for it? They also have long term care centers that you should look into. Bottom line: Do NOT sacrifice your life. You will regret it. And NO guilt. You must live your life.

"I feel like my whole life is now on hold, especially when people are always saying how wonderful it is that I am here to take care of him. Why can't I see anything wonderful about it?"

It IS wonderful... for him. For you? Not so much. I hear the same thing, and "annoying" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Having to deal with a negative, opinionated and overwhelmingly critical parent can be crippling. It's the story of my life, and now I've literally lived with it for the last 10 years. Mom has always been that way, and it isn't getting any better as she ages - in fact, it intensifies. And when you add having to cook, clean, change Depends, get them in/out of bed, give meds five times a day, etc. to listening to the incessant griping, moaning and complaining, it'll drive you bonkers in short order. And the worst part is, you start getting negative yourself - and that's the last thing you want.

My life is on hold, too - and at 62, I'm not sure that I have much hold time left before the call drops! My husband and I have plans for a happy, peaceful retirement, and all I can do is pray that we can enjoy at least a few years of it together - just the two of us. Some days, I'm optimistic - and some days, I feel like there will never be light at the end of that tunnel.

The previous respondents have given plenty of good advice, to which I'll add only one thing: Get out of this situation while you still can. Otherwise, you'll be looking down a vista of wasted years.

Best wishes, and welcome to the group! We're here for you.

As usual, wonderful, experienced, heartfelt advice here. Also, you seem to have the gumption you will need to set the boundaries that will save your sanity and your health.

You are fortunate that there are funds that will pay for his care. My parents were frugal children of the great Depression, so I am grateful mom can live in the best community available here. She deserves it.

As suggested, tour facilities and narrow them down to top three. As soon as his dr determines that it is not safe to live by himself, your brother should help you figure out and carry out the logistics of moving your dad to an appropriate community. If that is not possible, there are funds to pay for a senior manager to assist you. Moving him will be a difficult step, but you will NEVER regret doing so

We know your dad will resist royally, but keep your boundaries in place and the rationale that you are helping him live where he will be safe. That was my mantra...thanks to advice written by folks on this site.

I am also an advocate of scheduling regular sessions to speak with a counselor/psychologist, preferably someone with experience counseling adults with elderly parents. Maybe start with appointments every 2 or 3 weeks, and you can later take it down to once a month check in sessions.

If you have an Alzheimer's/dementia support group in your area, join it. In my small city, there is a group for spouses, a group for adult children, and a group for men whose wives live with a variety of dementias.

Welcome and know that we fully understand the necessity of creating boundaries. You will get through this.

It is inevitable that taking responsibility for an aging family member is going to take a toll. Even when a family member is easy to get along with, you will get tired, frustrated etc. When you have a difficult person to care for, the toll is even greater, You are already seeing that it is making you resentful, stressed, and that you are becoming depressed.
Where does the idea come from for you that you have to pay so much attention to your dad? If he chooses to rely on you for so much, that is his choice. There are many communities that offer activities for seniors. It might be donuts once a week or cards, or a luncheon once a week. Look into it, share the info. If he doesn't want to go, that's his choice. It does not mean that you have to keep him entertained. Seniors benefit from face to face time. He can take exercise classes at the Y and chat it up with other seniors, Instead he fills in the void with you, Don't feel bad that you don't fill in the void, feel good that you are giving him the opportunity to connect with others.
If he is so negative and unfriendly that he does not want to reach out to anyone but you, then you have a responsibility to take care of yourself too! You can go to the Y and do zumba or something, If he doesn't want to go do a class of his own, then he gets to sit home alone and miserable. And if he or anyone else thinks, you are being neglectful, you have to learn that you can't live your life trying to please people by destroying yourself.

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