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Hi it sounds to me like you are depressed and suffering from burnout. Plus of course you are grieving loss of your mum. I can only say to you somehow you need to take care of yourself. I'm not saying you should move away but get some help. Contact social services. This in itself will be stressful getting the help you and your Dad need but stick with it. Then set boundaries as far as poss where you have time out for you. I was primary carer for my mum for years. It got to stage I couldn't go away, even after being with her all day I couldn't switch off when I wasn't with her. I am now seriously ill myself probably brought on by stress. My mum is now in a care home. She knows how poorly I am but when I can visit her she still just wants to talk about herself and be nasty to me because I don't go often enough. She has always been negative self obsessed and jealous of others. Her dementia hasn't changed that. I love my mum but I've never liked her. I sometimes feel my illness has been given to me so I have no choice but to see her less. Do something positive for yourself.
(8)
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Please don’t feel alone. I am in a similar situation, but with my mother. She is not a sociable person although she did enjoy being in a nursing home when going through skilled rehab and nursing. At least, she seemed to enjoy it - she was in a good mood, did the activities and made friend with other members and staff.

She he was here for 22 months with my husband and I. It was a disaster. (Husband is now retired.) Now, she is at her home /her request. She is mobile and coherent. My older brother lives with her, but he still works. I go there twice a week to help, take food or get her out of the house.

Mom will not go to a senior center, has run people off due to her negative attitude and relies on me for outings/entertainment. My older brother occasionally takes mom out a bit. My younger brother rarely calls or visits mom. My relationship with mom has been strained. I have distanced myself from her somewhat.

I think your your father needs to take some responsibility for his own life. He is, after all a grown, mainly capable man. I think you need to give yourself a break and try to realize that you have your own life to live. It took me a longgg time and a lot of stress to finally know that I cannot “make” mom happy no matter what I do or don’t do. Good luck with your difficult situation.
(10)
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WARNING WARNING WARNING! You are in the burn out / resentment zone... next stop Depressionville.

Maybe my my opinions are too strong, but I just had to respond to your post.... I hear you and can completely understand your frustration! Believe me, you are not alone. First, I was not close to my father either (never participated in my life), and if I did not care for him as a person like your situation, it would be near impossible to give up the life you are living to help. It sounds like he is lucky to be able to get around like he does, and does not require a ton of help there. However, listening to negative commentary all the time is exhausting. I think he is using you as a substitute since your mother’s passing and expects you to keep him entertained and in his company.
Maybe I am selfish, but as far as I am concerned, those sacrifices are reserved for those who have cared for and participated in my life. Just because someone is a parent, etc., does not automatically invoke the rest of your life to slavery and caregiving.
As for what other people think.... to H—- with them. I too hate the “How great it is that my FIL lives with us and what we do for him” 🤬. I want to scream..... it is not pleasant, fun or tolerable. My 31 year marriage has come dangerously close to collapse.
So, with that said, I would advise you to really step back and look at this situation though objective eyes and not guilty eyes or what others think you should do. If you have the ability and latitude to move as you suggested, then I would consider it. You do not owe anyone an explanation for your decision. Believe me, those people will not be around once you have gone crazy....
You really have to be careful about the precedent you are setting with him.... it will get worse as time goes on and it will become harder for you to get your freedom back.
Situations like this can become toxic before you know it. Please please do not wait until you are at the end of your rope to take action. Again I just don’t think you “automatically” owe your life to his care and companionship. There are plenty of outlets for the elderly.
I hope others on this site will be able to help you as well. Please feel free to reach out anytime as we are all hear to support each other. Blessings!
(12)
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Boy, for 3 days you received a lot of responses. You can see you are not the only one.

My Mom was a sweetie pretty much thru her whole dementia. Staff at the AL and NH loved her. My Dad passed before her but I am pretty sure he would have been a pain. Living with me would not have been an option. But boundries would have been set. I did it with my Mom too.

I set up one day a week we went shopping. This would be the day to go to lunch and run errands. Fridays she went to dinner with us. Sundays I took her to Church. I was lucky my disabled nephew lived with her so she wasn't lonely. He took care of Meds and meals.

Call your local Office of Aging and see whats available for the elderly. Is there a Senior center nearby. Ours the ladies play cards. Is there a Senior Adult care. Moms picked her up, she had breakfast and lunch. Activities. Those who could do where taken grocery shopping and to Walmart. Some of the men sat in another room watching TV and talking. You have to get Dad to realize that you are not his wife. That you have a life of your own and need to live it. Put your phone on "do not disturb". On my phone u can allow the ones you want to ring thru, the rest go to voicemail.
Do you work? If not, get a nice p/t job. This will make you unavailable. When u visit, you can make them short. If his calls are really not important, tell him u won't be taking calls before 9am and not after 8 unless its an emergency. (My family already knows this) That you don't take calls during work unless an emergency. Really, you need to do this to get ur life back.
(4)
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Does dad have any man friends that are like-minded or equally opinionated? Maybe they could visit. Are there any hobbies or interested that you could steer him towards trying again? Dominoes, cards, church groups, etc.

Depending on the finances, it might be time to get a little help at his house. Some cleaning, preparing some meals, or other things that he may be lax on. Don't take him on certain shopping trips - include him for the grocery trips at Wmart type store where you would be able to get pretty much anything he would need (and your own groceries) like the Rx meds, personal, home items and the food. If he can be let loose in the store, make him get a basket and give him his list. It's actually better for him to do these things because he is completing some tasks.

The timer suggestion when the phone rings is good. Turn it on and when it goes off, you have to hang up - someone calling on other line, food cooking, laundry is ready, etc. Maybe you don't need to abandon him, just put some other people in charge of certain tasks and do come/go visits that aren't quite so taxing.

If you know any of his friends/family that have moved to assisted living, take him for a visit and talk up the good points while you're there. Maybe he is ready for a change to be around more adults his age.
(3)
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I know my sense of humour has taken a battering and isn't what it was in the olden days, and I really don't want to preach, but I couldn't see anything funny at all in the parasuicide/cry for help, the outcome, or in the OP's use of it to silence her father on the subject.

Whether he's attention-seeking or playing to the gallery or is genuinely unhappy isn't the issue. He has the right to express himself. Mocking his expression of what he's feeling, however melodramatic it might be, is wrong.

I also know from experience that taking care of a parent with whom you have a problematic relationship is tough going and you need all the light relief you can get. But seriously? - if things between any caregiver and a parent are that totally lacking in sympathy, it's time to step out of the front line.
(4)
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"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."

Although threats and attempts at suicide are not funny laughing matters, like you, I did laugh at the result of his attempt! Fortunately it was not the worst outcome, but it did teach him a lesson!
(5)
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My late father was a fairly foul individual, who made my childhood a misery, (I’m an only child) but when he became ill I came under *immense* pressure to “do the right thing”. Thankfully I resisted this from the outset because when it became clear that as an adult I was no longer someone he could manipulate he turned his attention elsewhere and started dragging well meaning female ‘friends’ of his down. (Yes, he was a misogynist and he liked being one).

Some people enjoy being miserable and making others miserable with them. Society also conditions women to be the carers, a thankless task in the main. Distance yourself from him if you can, you will thank yourself in years to come. Good luck!
(7)
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Do the right thing as a decent human being. Though it is difficult, one needs to set aside their own personal issues and pay attention to the job at hand. I'd suggest resource in the community to see what options are available, either through paid or volunteer help. When you rise above your personal resentment you will personally benefit. Life's growing pains can bring you unbearable misery or an opportunity for personal growth. There's just one thing wrong with running away.... it all catches up to you one day.
(1)
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Ok. Life has s hard, especially where aging parents with all the ailments are concerned. Now, I would announce, not request that he is going to do some activity/hobby to meet other people his age that he can get connected with. Weather it’s painting, any activity you think would peak his interest and he can do that. Believe me, I went through the same thing. You won’t feel guilty then, and all that stuff he says will be new to other people. He could make a new friend! Then you can do what you want on you’re time. There’s probably stuff for you to do in the area too, so you won’t resent not moving right now. Then just travel and look. Take occasional weekends off for you. I caved to the ‘there’s nothing I want to do’ speech. And now I wish I would have been way more forceful, but loving and firm.
(3)
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I would tell your dad that you are going on vacation and that you have arranged for him to go to an assisted living community while you are gone. You would be surprised how many seniors go to an assisted living for respite and love it so much they don't want to leave. He may say he doesn't want to go but tell him that you need him to go so you can take a much needed break.

You may think and he may tell you that he will hate the experience but you would be surprised how many senior fall in love with a assisted living community once they experience life there.
(6)
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You have received so much great advice, that all I have to add is a tip/trick.

My former mil is a Negative Nelly, I have been hearing the same complaints from her since 1991. If I had to call her, or she called me, I would put on the stove timer. It is quite loud and annoying when it goes off. I woudl warn her at the beginning of the conversation that I had something in the oven or on the stove and did not have much time to talk. Once the timer went off I said good bye.

Now as you are renovating, you can tell him you are painting or tiling or whatever project you may have on the go that has time constraints. Give him 5 minutes, then hang up.

I would also tell my former mil if we were out together that I did not want to hear her complaints about her ex husband. If she complained I would not take her out again. As she does not watch the news, read anything, she really had nothing else to talk about, but eventually she learned.

It is all about boundaries.
(13)
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Who is it that you think would view you as a "horrible person" if you stopped catering to your father's whims? Friends? Family? Maybe yourself. If your father is managing his own health and safety and if gaps can be met with hired help, you do not need to subject yourself to his selfish negativity.
Do you need or plan to stay in the same town? If not, you could move and be independent somewhere else. Can your father's care be managed from a distance, or if he declines greatly, can you move him to facility?
Could you arrange a break from being at your father's beck-and-call, like a trip for a month or more? It might help you clarify why you need to separate yourself from this situation.
(2)
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i am sorry that this is happening to you. You are a very good person or you wouldn’t be struggling with these feelings. I want you to think only one word: BOUNDARIES. I also came to this site 8 years ago when I was in the exact situation as you with my mom. Everyone told me to set boundaries. I ignored the advice not knowing exactly what they meant and thinking it would be too hard and my mom wouldn’t respect them anyway. Well, it finally got to the point where my physical and emotional health suffered greatly. So I decided to get some help with setting boundaries. It has been a long hard road and I am still having to reinforce those boundaries but it has lessened my feelings of resentment and guilt. You will start feeling better and your dad will slowly understand that he has the responsibility for his own life. Stop feeling guilty for wanting a life of your own. You don’t want to completely cut him out. You just want healthy boundaries between his life and yours.
(4)
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Dad has needs and can't fend for himself. He also has a prickly personality and your relationship is like oil and water - doesn't mix well. It seems you realize this and resent the fact that you are obligated for your dad's care and socialization.

Try looking at this another way, you are responsible for making sure his needs are met.... not for meeting every need. Make a list of dad's current needs; be specific. Brainstorm how those needs can be met - you, family, his friends, people from his faith group, paid help...

Decide on which needs you could meet that don't feel like "sucks the life and joy" out of your life. You should probably see him at least weekly.

Farm out the other needs to others.

FYI - his dementia may be mild now - the pushy attitude, the calling all the time, the repeat stories. It will get worse with time. It may be a good idea to talk to a home health agency about part time and full time caregivers. At some point, he'll need round the clock care from reliable help.
(5)
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I, too totally understand your feelings. I’m 55, we moved my mom to live near us 4-5 years ago as she had early dementia. I’m an only child. As her dementia has snowballed she can’t be alone for any amount of time. I’ve basically moved in with her while my husband is in our condo nearby. 2 days a week I babysit my grandson(was 4 days) so I have to leave her alone for 4-5 hours. Her dr has told me she needs to be placed somewhere. Her repeated questions drive me crazy but with her I remain calm. She also rambles. She also has a fetish for rocks, yes rocks! She’s brought in thousands and has them everywhere! She doesn’t have LTC, and can’t afford MC. Medicaid will take all her income except $77. She’s wracked up thousands of dollars in CC debt. I’m certainly not happy and I’m drained. But I feel it’s my responsibility to take care of her. My mom and I haven’t ever had the relationship I have with my daughters. She’s very negative, and extremely stubborn. I like you feel trapped and very guilty. What have you decided?
(2)
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This is not a person that can be left all alone. You need to find other caretakers, even if you call them "housekeepers" to check in on him and help with the shopping, laundry, whatever. Stop taking him to the store, for starters. If the phone call is too long or too negative tell him " I have to hang up now" and do it. Take a vacation.
(9)
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OH...so similar...but you have made me realize how lucky I am in that at least my dad is positive and upbeat and can be a little more independent...but I have said before if I were his wife, I would divorce him. That there is is wife--my mom with dementia who is basically "gone" as far as being his chef, laundress, housekeeper, admin asst and all the rest. So I am his "wife-y". I am just back from a few days off (I live with them), and here we are again. In our case dad has discovered how to shop for his own essentials (milk, juice, pastry and sometimes a frozen meal) and he is driving...seems like your dad or you need to find some alternate transportation sources so he can get out. Or maybe you need to be busier. I know the feelings of resentment and the anger that builds up. I realized till the day one of us dies I will rarely be able to do things to his satisfaction...but there are minor exceptions. Yesterday he was perturbed because I trashed some delicious homemade cheesecake, that I had made, because at some point mom with dementia took it out of the fridge and put it on the counter with the danish. It was room temp when I felt it which means the danger zone and rather than anyone getting sick, (and no doubt me being the one to clean up any messes) I ditched it. He was livid. Said he'd take his chances. ANd did I mention he's deaf? So he is LOUD when he speaks and the communication takes more effort which I am sympathetic too, but until you deal with that you have no idea of how draining it is. Is it worth the energy and money to move and then still feel obligated to get back to check on dad or be there in a crisis? Many of us here don't see anything wonderful about doing what we're doing, but we're good people and we just go on knowing it won't be forever. But you need to try and carve out time for yourself and learn to say no. Make some limits so you can survive. I was on vacation last week and spent half of it cleaning spots in the house neglected. Getting some cleaning help is expensive but I am looking into it. IF you're not worried what dear old dad would think about you, you might want to pursue a caregiver agreement so that you are compensated for your efforts. Thanks again for making ME feel better:-)
(5)
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HI 'want my life back',
You are not alone. The only difference between your situation and mine is that I never resented my dad, although we did have some bad times b4 he stopped drinking & smoking.
I'm at a crossroads as well bc I don't get compensated enough for what I do. I have ome brother in Atlanta I'm in Florida as smart as he is he has no concept as to what I feel with with dad. I got all his equipment take him to medical drs ect. We had a family meeting, never again.
I am thinking of leaving but I know that in the end I would be resented.
I do suggest that should look into in home care b4 leaving. If he is a vet they can help with that and it's free. There is also Elder options they have good resources. Definitely get a transition counselor before leaving so you won't beat yourself up in the long run. There are other things I'm going thru similar to yours but too long to discuss online. By the way my dad is 94, 95 in December, stubborn as heck.
I wish we could talk .
Also, Elder Options has a class called Savvy caregiver training. You get out of the situation for a few hours and meet people going through similar situations. I wish I had taken it years ago but it does help so much, please look into it. Get a support system outside and inside the family dynamics b4 just leaving.
I am going to speak to my minister and counselor this week.
Good luck , let me know how it goes
Angela H
(3)
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Boundaries need to be set. He does not run the show. You have your life. Guilt is a horrible thing and very unnecessary in order to go forward. I am my mother’s caretaker for 8 yrs. She tried to run our lives 8 yrs ago after Dad died. She needed daily help in remaining somewhat independent due to very poor eyesight. I was almost drowning in trying to maintain what she was used to. Fast forward 8 yrs. She is still here and requires more help now. But the boundaries I put up that she wasn’t going to run me still stand. If she needs any more help, she has to go into asst living or a nursing home. Sorry, but I cannot do any more. My mother is the one who I have a difficult relationship with. My dad was terrific. He never would have expected me to turn my life over to him like my mother did. I feel better with these boundaries, but it took time and energy to enforce them. Make a plan and deliver it. I don’t think you are a horrible person to feel the way you do. We are not born caretakers. You are responsible for yourself!

PS - If something happens to your health, what will happen to him? This is what happened to me. My health went downhill on a sleigh-ride and this really woke me up! Don’t let it take your health for you to stop feeling guilty. It’s your life. Do what you have to do to get your life back. There’s help out there and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Look into the services available with your Office for the Aging and let them assess things.
(6)
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I still have both parents that are 88 and 87 years old. Mom is not in good health but dad tries to take care of her to keep her out of the care center! They both are so negative on everything from the way doctors look ,they do not know anything to food not good because too costly. People tell me all the time I am so lucky to still have them, which I am in a way but it is so, so hard to be quite when I and my husband are disrespected by them. My husband does not like the way they treat me, so he stays away. The only thing we talk about is mom and her health to dad's old stories. I feel that the roles have changed to me being the parent and they are the children!! You can not walk away from children as they need love and attention! You do what you can for your dad and get lots of time for yourself to think back to the good time in your life. There is a lot of us with the same thing going on in our life. Talking it out with other people sometimes help, I have my husband. I am the only child!!
(5)
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Right there with you. My FIL died 2 years ago. We have always lived close, together, but did not have much interaction as both in-laws were very willing to tell us how to run our lives. About 1 month after my FIL died, my husband said I just realized I never had a relationship with my mom. His grand mother, who lived with them, basically raised him. MIL lives alone, some mild dementia, otherwise healthy, with family history of longevity, expects us to meet her needs. she is judgmental of everyone. She criticizes my husband frequently. She does not criticize me, because I will challenge her as to how she would have done it. And point out to her that her way was no better, just different or problematic. When she she tells me negative things about other people, I give her their possible perspective. She does not frequently retell stories. She does fabricate where the memory fails, or adds frivolous details and leaves out important facts to give to meaning to the story. I may ask a few questions to try to may sense, and let her know I am listening, but not too many or she gets defensive. Most times I just answer, "that's interesting", or "yes" or "I see".
Others on this sight have asked 'who the others who are judging you and why does that matter?', but is it it 'others' judgment that is causing you guilt or your own. My husband does not set the boundaries, and tries to please her, then vents to me. I get from him that he feels he should have feelings for his mom and should be her caregiver, and a desire to have her approval/love. These are all guilt trips he places on himself. He does also want to negate the complaints his mother makes to her sisters. I have told the sisters she makes her own choices, and is rarely satisfied. If they would like to do things for her they are more than welcome.
We do more small trips to get breaks from her. I have told her since she wants to be independent,(because she does have finances to go to a residential facility) she needed to ask friends/neighbors to take her for groceries. I will take her to the doctor, because she does not hear well or listen well. I have also asked to her to ask friends/relatives to take her to activities. She very rarely has done that. We do take her places, but we do not want to be her only social support. So I have called relatives and asked them to visit or take her out. Having these other contacts, lets her tell those old stories to others, and gives her something new to talk to us about.
We probably have another ten years of this, so we have to set a pace we can live with.
(5)
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I can fully understand what you are going through, especially since I have a very similar situation and actually sitting in an airport, travelling to see my very elderly mother. I made the difficult decision to move away from the state my mother lives in 8 years ago. My decision was job-related and my husband and I explored several options for my mother: moving in with us (2 rooms plus bath just for her!); relocating her to a small home very close to us where we could take care of her and things. She came down to visit us 2x in the first couple of years but expected us to live exactly the way she wanted. We took a lot into consideration to make her comfortable but when you have a spy for a parent with the undercutting remarks, it makes you think twice. In the long run, she was very vocal about the idea that she would NEVER live with us or near us.

I agree with many of the comments I read. Find him a senior center with programs that might appeal to him. Even an Alzheimer/dementia program might help. If you go with him several times until he gets comfortable, maybe it will stick and maybe he will meet some other people to “share the talk and wealth of his stories” with.

My mother is now 96, has late-stage dementia, lives alone with 24/7 hr CNA care now. She has been lonely but made her bed. Part of her decision to not come with us was because of my brother, who lives in the same state as her. Unfortunately for her, he has minimal contact with her and I manage everything for her from afar.

You do need to live YOUR life, too. It is not easy but you have to tell him NO mor often and try not to feel guilty about your decisions and your life. The older they get and the more dementia kicks in, you will find it becomes more and more like dealing with a small, willful child. It is VERY difficult to make these decisions and develop a more detached mindset but will find more peace, have more time for yourself and not be so tired trying to satisfy him. It took me a very long time to move beyond the guilt over 8 years but you can’t live your life all around him. The depression and exhaustion will hurt you much more than learning to manage him differently. I hope everyone’s comments help you with some ideas and a resolution to make you a healthier, happier person.
(11)
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I'm in the same boat. I am 52. I moved back to my hometown and then unfortunately my parents moved into the same subdivision as me (down the street). My parents were wonderful growing up but for some reason spent a good bit of their retirement years drinking and arguing with each other. I became the voice of reason, the marriage counselor, the one who went to medical appointments, brought food, went on runs to the liquor store when they were unfit to drive, etc. (this began when they were in their late 60s!).

Fast forward a decade and dad has been in a memory care home for 2.5 years and I am now mom's only "friend" (I use that term loosely). Mom is a depressed and toxic person. She has no friends and there is no family within 1,000 miles. I am an only child, I am all she's got. I work 6 days a week and try to fit my "life" into the 7th day (this is usually yard work, house work, errands). I speak to my mom every. single. day. - often multiple times per day, sometimes starting at 5 AM.

Mom is 77. Her mother lived to be 95. If my mom lives as long as her mom, I will be 70 when she's gone. That's another 18 years and will eat up the rest of my 50s and all of my 60s.

This is NOT where I expected to be at this point in life. I'm so resentful and angry. Plus, I am responsible for the oversight of my dad's care at his facility because my mom decided he is no longer her responsibility (after 50+ years of marriage), so I get ALL of the phone calls from his facility (he falls a lot, needs Depends, calls from the Hospice nurse, etc.).

No, there is nothing wonderful about having this dumped into your life. There was no way to plan for this, it is not "normal". Growing up, getting married, having kids, working at your career, then hopefully winding down to enjoy some rewards. Having an elder dumped on you for a decade or two is not part of life's plan. We are NOT bad people for feeling resentful. I feel like I want to run away. I'm not sure I will even grieve when one or the other dies, I think I will just feel relief.
(15)
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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.
(10)
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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.
(9)
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"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.
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go to VA.org 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.
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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.
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I feel a lot like you..my mom is the same age. She struggles to carry on a conversation . She mostly talks of negative things of past years..like 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 single...no 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 her..it is often exhausting indeed. And guilt rears it’s ugly head at times!
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