Follow
Share

I didn't realize my inward anger but I had little children and a husband, plus his business to tend to and also had to take care of my grandmother through many health issues. My parents didn't seem to care about my needs and now I am giving up more for their needs and find myself struggling with anger. Shouldn't I love them anyway?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
I so agree with what you say,I/we my husband and I have up everything to be here and take care of elderly parents,its been 3 long years,and counting,I actually am begining to hate myself now for all the awfull feelings of anger,resentment,I am feeling all day every day
(1)
Report

Act don't react. Can you go deeper, and find out what kind of person you strive to be. Then act that way. You sound like a loving person racked by anger over the selfish mistreatment of you by your parents. I suggest a sit down adult to adult, not parent to child, conversation, about your anger. If it is not cleared up, and you are still angry, talk to a therapist before you do anything. Hate and rage will destroy you. Then if you still can't find it in your heart to take care of them, rest easy. Karma is a bitch, what goes around comes around. You put in your caregiving time with your grandmother, while they enjoyed their retirement. Explain to them that this your time to enjoy your life. You earned a little selfishness.
(0)
Report

Oh my gosh, I also feel resentment and all I am doing for my parents right now is their "driver" as they stop driving years ago, but they are independent otherwises.

When they were my age [mid 60's] Dad was retired, they were going on vacations, going to the movies, going out to eat, going shopping, etc. Now at my age I can't do any of that because I am getting their groceries, taking them to appointments, running errands, plus I am still employed.

My parents have no understanding what they are acquiring from me because they never had to take care of their own parents when their parents were older. They each had siblings who lived near the parents that helped. My parents had lived out-of-state and used that as their excuse for not being there on a daily basis.

Maybe I need to move :]
(2)
Report

Recently spent 2 months rearranging my Mother's life: probably not unlike other stories. Previously was told by her that her life was none of my business. Then...boom...one more stroke tipped her over the edge and I had to take over. Assessing the situation; getting her back into rehab and then figuring out she needed long-term care; applying and receiving Medicaid and the learning curve; getting her Part D (gee...why hadn't she done that already); seeing all the money she had squandered leaving her penniless; forking out thousands of dollars emptying her home and getting it ready to sell. She's always lived alone and doesn't get along well with others and is quite self-centered. Dilemma: because they only had a single room, she has been able to have that room for the time being. However, because Medicaid won't pay for a single room, when a semi-private room becomes available she will either have to take that room or our family will have to make up the difference. I am afraid that if she shares a room with someone she will end up being asked to leave. I will then have to again take weeks off, from another state, to find alternative living. If I pay, more chaos for our family as I have two children in college (paying the full bill). Stuck and resentful.
(2)
Report

It is so helpful to me to read that others feel the resentment of caring for a parent. My two main emotions right now are guilt and resentment. My mom also considered herself independent but she never learned to drive because she was too "busy" so it was up to my dad and sisters to take her everywhere she ever needed to go. He's been gone for years now and she has been in my home for over a year. Thank God I have two sisters who do help but I am the one she mostly stays with. I just want my life back. I am 64 and my husband is wanting to retire next year. When she first moved here she wasn't wanting to pay us a dime and went back to "all she had done for me" of course forgetting if we were going tit for tat my list would be much longer what we had done for her. I just feel like I am in a nightmare I can't wake up from. She can still feed herself and go to the bathroom by herself but other than that she's helpless. I have to give her a shower, get her dressed and undressed, smear some kind of sports crème on her legs every night because she insists she can't sleep without it. I just feel so resentful that my life has changed so much and I am no longer free to come and go as I please without having to arrange everything around her. She has sneered about her friend of hers who insisted her daughter who is my age move in after her husband passed away but she is clueless seeing how hard this is for all of us. She just doesn't seem to care because we are keeping her out of a nursing home. I feel so angry and then I feel guilty because this is my mother. I wish so badly she would say you girls have done enough now get me in a home but she never will. I dread having to come in some morning and find out she has "conked out" as she puts it but she doesn't care I might have to go through that because it's all about us taking care of her. She resented taking care of my Grma briefly at one time and she resented having to care for my dad when his health failed so why she thinks it's okay to do this to her girls is beyond me. I will never allow my kids to feel obligated to do this for me. They have a right to their own lives.
(2)
Report

caringone,
While I think it is wonderful that you are taking care of someone else (which I see is in a nursing home) who is not even kin to you, I think you are possibly transferring your anger about the family of the person you are caring for onto those here or possibly even a fear you have of your own future. If you are visiting a person in a nursing home, it is not the same as taking care of a parent 24/7 in your own home. Home care of someone who is totally bedridden or someone with dementia is a totally different experience. Please try to listen a while to those who share their experiences before you judge or "shame" them. They have a right to come here to express their concerns and feelings however negative they might sound to you.

Yes, I am very aware of what people had to work with in order to take care of the elderly and ill at home many years ago. My mother took care of her mother back in the 1940's when she had cancer. I have a letter my mother wrote to her mother when she had gone to some health restoring clinic in hope of getting help. In the letter my mom tells her about the "electric" being put in the rural area they lived in and how people were buying the new appliances including wringer washers. So that means my mother washed my grandmother's bed clothes and linen by hand and even the poop diapers. It was very hard on her even when she was in her early 20's at the time. I took care of my mother in my 20's and early 30's when she was elderly and had cancer not because she washed my diapers as a baby or did so much for me, but because of a deep love I had for her. I can tell you that I turned her every two to three hours 24/7 for close to 2 years (not including the years before she was this bad off), changed her diapers, bathed, clothed, gave insulin and other meds, and got her in and out of bed with a hoyer lift and even got a reclining wheelchair to get her out into the fresh air when she could no longer hold herself up for more than 5 minutes. I can say I have said many a time "when you change your parent's diapers, then we will talk" to someone who was clueless about something. I also washed my child's clothes diapers even during this age of disposable everything.

The difference in taking care of one's child as opposed to one's parent is I assumed the responsibility of bringing another life into this world by the decisions I made just like my mother and her mother and so on, so I was obligated to care for my child. We do not ask to be born nor do we have the control over where or to whom we are born to (though some belief systems do believe we choose.) We are not legally obligated to take care of our parents and as a parent myself I did not make the decision to have a child so someone would be there to take care of me in my old age. I love the scene in the movie "Look whose coming to dinner" where Sidney Poitier tells his father this in a very poignant way. Please watch it.

My mother did not want to be a burden to me as she knew what it was like to take care of a dying mother and later her father. I also do not want to be a burden on my child. I do not want my child to feel guilt or shame to take care of me. I want my child to make up his/her own mind out of a deep love for him/herself and of me. I cherish the time and privilege of taking care of my mother (and father) and would never have chosen a different path even in hindsight. Yet that being said, others may have not had the best childhoods or the best circumstances to be a caregiver and I would be very reluctant to begrudge anyone for choosing how they approach the role of caregiving.
(9)
Report

What you owe your parents (or spouse) is to put them in the best place to take care of their needs. Whether in your home, their home or a ALF or NH.
While you may have the luxury of staying with them 24/7 (and have family who will help out as no one can do 24/7 care competently) - many of us have to work.I am fortunate as we can afford someone to stay with my husband while I work. But neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay someone to stay with parents or spouse in a private home (unless they are on hospice or are coming off hospitalization -very limited time). If you and/or your parents can't
pay for caregiver for times you are unavailable - to give parents (spouse) best care, a ALF or NH may be best care placement for them.
Not a matter of not loving them, but doing what is in their best interest when they can no longer do for themselves. A babysitter for a child can be a teenager from the neighborhood - a caregiver for an adult with dementia and incontinence, etc will need to be experienced in elder care and run $20 per hr or more. Unless you are rich or can do caregiving yourself (and have family willing to help) just do what is in your parents best interest needs wise.
(6)
Report

Caringone: shame on YOU for your lack off support and empathy, only offering snide, judgmental and unkind remarks without even thinking to offer a positive solution/suggestion to an overwhelmed family member facing the death of their loved one and not coping well. There are MANY, MANY parents out there who should not have been, expecting their children to give up their childhood AND their adult-hood as if that's the only reason their children were entitled to be born. Would anyone want their children to resent them and treat them like that??.......of course not. But, How about answering this question; would you want anyone to treat you with the same mean, cruel, guilt imposing, BIBLE-BULLYING and caringNONE way have here if you found yourself at your witts-end ??
(7)
Report

Thank you for all you wrote Judyjudy, as wow, you gave me some ideas and options to look into!
(2)
Report

Puggle: How shameful of your parents to behave that way. Truly, truly shameful and there is no excuse for their selfish behavior. Cattails.
(2)
Report

How hard! I sure did not have anything like that! So sorry for all you went through.
(1)
Report

OMG!!! You are living the life I had late 80's early 90's. I was married with a baby and a 5 year old daughter . We just moved from Chicago to Arizona. My grandmother lived in Florida and my Grandfather just passed away so my Dad didn't know what to do with my Grandmother. . My parents also moved to Arizona maybe about 6 months later, but in the mean time my Dad said as long as you are living in Arizona and we are moving out there soon can you take in your Grandmother for a short time. I said sure no problem. Of course my parents move to Az. and completely forget all about my grandmother. I take her in not knowing she had Altzheimers. My parents knew this, but they didn't tell me this. Now what kind of parents do this to their child. They didn't want any responsibility in taking care of my Grandmother at all. I would get so mad. My grandmother would take a whole bag of sugar and pour it all over the house, she would pee in cups and put it under her bed, she would poop and draw all over the walls with it, my 5 year old daughter caught my Grandmother cooking tea on the stove in a plastic cup. She could of burned the house down. My life for almost 4 years was hell. I would tell my parents what she was doing and they didn't want to talk about it. They ignored me and my Grandmother. This was not a healthy environment for my kids. Than my inlaws came in from Chicago and wanted to take all of us on a trip and there was no way we were saying no. We needed this trip. So I call my Mom and tell her we are dropping off my Grandmother because we are going out of town. She tells me no. Do you believe it? They had nothing to do with my grandmother all this time. I wanted to go and have some fun with my inlaws who I love, my kids and husband and she says no. Well there was no way we were listening to her. We went to my Moms and dropped her off and left. While we were gone my grandmother tore apart my parents house. They finally saw what I had been telling them. My parents then put her in a home where she should of been all these years cause she was so bad. So now my parents have gone thru altzheimers. Both are now gone now. My Mom passed away in january and I found it extremely hard to care about her. It's sad and when she died I barely shed a tear. What my parents put me through. Horrible.They were very selfish and I think it came back at them and bit them both in the butt toward the end of there life. I will always love my parents, but I didn't like them at all.
(9)
Report

People who do the "shame on you" crap, always do it from safely behind a computer screen, because they know if they tried that in their real life, someone would kick their butts!

My Jesus doesn't do the shame thing, so don't use His name to pull that stuff.

As far as parents go, what they sow also shall they reap. If we wish to be well loved and cared for in our old age, then we should be sure to love and care for our children now for they will certainly choose our living situations at some point, LOL!
(7)
Report

JudyJudy: Lot's of good info in your post. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. Cattails.
(3)
Report

This is a very difficult issue. As a medical social worker, I run across this problem daily. Some people can handle the care of elderly parents and others simply cannot, for whatever reason. Unfortunately too many people do not provide for their old age and some are abusive, demanding and totally wreak their children's families. Others are sweet, gentle people who are a joy to be around, but have children who simply don't want to be bothered. This is not a simple question where you can make a one size fits all determination. Do what you can. Know your limitations, both financially and emotionally. Contact a social worker at the hospital, Nursing home, Adult Protective services, the County Welfare office, or you local Church for advice and support. Check the Internet for information on resources. Make sure your elderly parent has Parts A,B, C and D of Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan, no matter what. Check on-line and see what sort of resources your State and County have. If they are Vets, the VA may have resources for you. Check websites for whatever diagnosis your elderly parent has. Many have all sorts of info and resources available. Call a meeting of your siblings and insist they take part in determining what needs to be done for your parent, even if you have to threaten to pack Mom or Dad up and leave her/him on their doorstep! And sometimes it helps to sit down with your parent and tell them how you are feeling about the way they are treating you. You do not have to be bullied by them or their demands. Set a schedule you can live with and stick to it. Eventually the parent will get used to the way you want things done and comply. They may need psychotherapy or a support group. You may find that you do. You cannot argue with the parent or siblings who the parent complains to. Set aside some money somehow and when a sibling attacks you because Mom or Dad is complaining to them , offer to send the parent to them to manage! Once a year, pack the parent off to the sibs for a week or two, just to give yourself a break. Believe me, it will stop the complaining about how you are managing things. If they brag about how wonderful it is with Mom/Dad, and chastise you, say, "oh I am delighted to hear things are going so well.Since she/he is so much happier there, I think you should keep her/him! I really have done all I can".

Sometimes local Senior centers have some sort of day care programs that the Parent can attend to give yourself a break and them a chance to socialize with others their own age. Older people are often depressed. Even low grade, chronic pain can grind them down so they don't want to do anything. they will say they are not interested in anything you suggest doing. Sometimes you have to insist they do go to the medical appointments or other things they might enjoy once they actually get there. They are not likely to "feel" like doing anything. Their diet is often poor because they do not eat properly. This adds to the problems. Juicing can often be a way to get good nutrition into an older person because you can get a lot of concentrated vitamins and minerals into the juice that they could not eat if they were still in vegetable or fruit form. Many local libraries will deliver books, audio books or DVD's for free to homebound people. There are cd's available that will change the actual brainwaves when listened to, hypnosis cd's that help with pain, healing cd's for improving functioning. Some will help you cope as well. Check into Byron Katie's work. Dealing with an elderly person who has chronic pain/depression is like dealing with a toddler in the "no" stage. You have to often insist they do what they need to do for their own good. Be respectful and compassionate, but don't tolerate "temper tantrums". either. Remember they are frequently afraid, hurting, tired of living and afraid of dying. they may have little to look forward to and little pleasure in life. Sometimes you have to be creative to help them try to do something they used to enjoy or discover new interests. They need to feel useful, have a reason to get up, be important to someone. Help them find this reason again.

Good luck!
(10)
Report

Has anyone noticed that when "shame on you" judgemental messages pop up on these forums that the posters almost always justify their self-rigteousness by bringing in Jesus?

I know that many compassionate and nonjudgemental posters are also Christians, so I try not to judge a whole religion by a few vocal people who are sure they know what God wants for a situation they know little about, but, really, if I were trying to find a religion, these kind of posts help me to see where not to look.
(9)
Report

You are a very loving person, burnwajaco! Thanks for sharing with me!
(1)
Report

Give a hug, I understand what you are feeling. I took care of MIL . She only lived 2 months after we found out she had cancer. i did this gladly as my DH was an only child.
My Mom lived 3 years with lung cancer. One of my sisters and I took care of her.
My other sister was living with Mom when she got sick. She moved out. Said she couldn't deal with it. Mom was able to live in her home till the end.
Now on the other had my father is 80 and mean as hell. He has always been very abusive.He abused all 5 of us. We put him and his wife in an assisted living home. I am the only one who even talks to him at all.
The sister who moved out on Mom. I took care of her for about 5 Years. She had End Stage Renal Failure. Her 2 Sons packed up their families and moved out of state. I had her POA medical and all.
Now my DH has dementia & AZD
. So does my baby sister the one who helped so much with Mom. He children are
caring for her.
Do what feels best for you and your hubby. Hugs and prayers for all.
(5)
Report

I think the stories of several generations of families living under the same roof 50 plus years ago is not as accurate as we've been lead to believe. Yes, families did share the old family home, but it was more often a case of necessity and there were usually promises on the part of an elder to leave the family home to the adult child who was taking care of them. Often, those elders didn't put the promise is writing and squabbles and hard feelings were the result.

Of course, there were the family farms that required all children to help, but again it was a matter of survival and farming was a way of life and support. Elderly parents who owned the farm needed their adult children to continue the farming to keep them afloat and again, the promise was, we'll leave this all to you if you help with the farm and take care of us in the bargain.

I don't really believe that there has ever been a time when caring for our parents or loved ones has been easy or necessarily bathed in the light of values and cohesiveness that folklore would suggest.

There was plenty of child abuse, of the worse kind, that went on then too. There were plenty of parents who used whatever asset they had to manipulate their kids and inflict pain and guilt on them. Lots of skeletons were kept in the closet, but most of us know someone, our parents or grandparents who suffered terribly in the good old days and at the hands of those who raised them.

My hat goes off to everyone who does their best to help their parents or loved ones. Being a care giver is very difficult and confining. At the same time, I celebrate the right and good sense of those who realize that they can't do it or don't want to do it for whatever reason. Recognizing a bad situation before it takes you over is a sign of wisdom.

We should do our best to make sure our elders and loved ones are safe and cared for. There is no requirement that we must sacrifice our health, happiness, and sanity to keep them in our homes.

Cattails.
(7)
Report

I agree every situation is different I take care of my MIL with vas. Dementia I just barely got help once or twice a week from her OWN daughters and I'm on a time limit during those times. My MIL is progressively getting worse falls at least once a week because she refuses to use her walker with me she's also starting to get combative by taking swings at me because she can't do what she wants to. Again no support from my husband. I am so burnt out with my own health issues I don't even know what to do anymore. My husband truly is in denial when it comes to his mother. I don't even know why I was picked to be responsible for my MIL. It is a 247 job without breaks or time off!
(2)
Report

oh my goodness. old people are hard to live with. they are giving up their own home to live with someone sometimes and that is hard for them. my mother is living with my sister and they are not getting along. she tried living with another sister and they couldnt get along either. i have no room for her. one bedroom apartment. she wants to try to live on her own again but her doctor told her that she needs to be around people. she still sees people in the nightime and i dont think she can live by herself again. i just dont know what the solution is. i feel for all of you out there. sure they took care of us but taking care of them is a lot harder than taking care of children. i am trying to figure out what to do by making some phone calls. wish me luck! god bless all of you.
(5)
Report

Ugh. I really loathe it when someone preaches about the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Allah, or whatever flavor of religion, thus trying to impart that they are superior in some weird way. And, then, to hope that the target of their wrath spends their old age alone, unvisited by children. WOW. That must be a teaching I'm not familiar with, and I've got to admit I had to laugh out loud. But, you know, this discussion isn't about who is right or wrong in the way that they care for an elder. Every situation is different. And, as a rational adult, if I don't start ignoring the venom dotted with religion in self righteous tirades... I might let it bother me... So I'm going to go read elsewhere, and you can rage on, unnamed commenter!

Ellenjay, you know you're situation better than anyone, and you, like everyone else here, needs to do what you feel in your heart is right. It is insanely difficult. Don't be made to feel guilty over what you can or can't do. :) Good luck! xx
(8)
Report

caringone...is the friend you are caring for in a nursing home?
(2)
Report

To caringone. I gave up my job to stay home & care for my MIL. It feels right to me & is working out well, however it isn't right for everyone & they are entitled to their feelings. Your profile says that you are caring for someone in a nursing home. Let me tell you there's A BIG DIFFERENCE in caring for someone in your own home 24 hours a day compared to visiting someone in a nursing home!!!!!!!!!!
(10)
Report

Everyone needs to consider their own special curcumstances when making the decision whether or not to take a parent into their home. Talk to lots of people who have done it or have decided to not do it. I don't think it's a good idea to do it out of guilt because that will just cause resentment, never a good thing when trying to care for someone. I have taken my mominto my home and even though I love her very much and she was always a good mom, it is very difficult and sometimes I wonder how I'm going to do it. I'm 63 and my husband and I are now retired, but it's tough. I can't even imagine how much harder it would be if I resented her. Good luck and please keep reaching out.
(3)
Report

Hi, I can only say, do not take them into your home. I love my Mom dearly but thought I would be able to care for her at home and am becoming resentful at having given up my life, and turning 62 and retiring and not being able to be impromptu about anything. I am not trying to figure out how to get her in assisted living to enjoy an active and social time the rest of her life.It will be a lot more doable to attend to her a few times a week as opposed to 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
(5)
Report

Ask myself if I'd want my children to treat me like I treat my parents, caringone? Why, "no", I wouldn't want them to feel what I feel right now. I wouldn't want my children to help me in the bathroom and clean up my accidents. I wouldn't dream of it. I wouldn't dream of moving into their homes and disgusting their children with my accidents and drool and nuttiness. I'd much rather be placed somewhere and let them enjoy their lives. My hat is off to you and your caring of two needy people. While that might be fine for you. It might not be fine for some of us. We're entitled to resentment and guilt and our own lives. My grandmother moved in with us when I was 7. She was there for 15 years. I was subjected to more vile episodes than the average kid, and I swear, I will NOT do that to my own family. And, actually, your "shame on all of you" comment really insults me. Anyone who cares for an elderly person is a good example to their children, no matter how much they're willing to sacrifice. Personally, I think keeping my parents at a safe distance from my children better preserves their relationship. The kids don't need Nana pooping all over the bathroom to better endear themselves to her.
(8)
Report

I have the same thoughts about my mother...not caring for her own mother. When asked by her brother to have their mother come and stay with her for a couple of months, my mother replied with, "I'm a widow, I am alone, I can't". She did have her mom come for a couple of weeks at a time but there was never any big commitment. Now, I have had my mother in my home for 8 years and in the last year, she is really declining. I have to do "everything" for her. I often think about how selfish my mother was - only wanting to be alone and read and do her art. She never even learned to drive which gave her another excuse for not having to help others, including her own children as they were growing up...if we wanted to go somewhere as a 6 year old, we would have to ride our bike. Everyone always had to get her to the store, church, doctor appointments (and this was when she lived on her own - ha, on her own...that is a farse). So, yes, I feel anger but in our circumstance, it was the right thing to do. I am not saying that I would have done things differently earlier on but now I have to see it through. I often wish I had no one to demand my time and effort but I wonder what I would do if I wasn't helping someone....probably sit and rest a good long while and then, when I was ready, I would go out and help someone! Do get your brothers to help. I have three brothers who do not live in town and they do nothing more than visit once in a while...pat me on the back and say "great job"! I don't know if I helped you Ellenjay - but I got some things off my chest! Have a great day and be true to yourself also remember that anger is fear in disguise...fear of loosing your own independence, fear of neglecting your husband and children, fear of neglecting yourself, fear of feeling guilty if you don't help. Face your fears and decide what is right for you and your family and do not feel guilty if you allow others to step in and help. :)
(5)
Report

Ellenjay,
Agree. Don't think about taking them into your home. It will kill you and you need to live your own life. I'm in a similar position. I very much resent having to take care of my parents but because my other two siblings took off. I have no support from them. I'm on my own and it's really, really hard to have a life outside of their care. I know my parent's money won't hold out. I had to put dad in a NH after his last fall in December because they couldn't afford in-home care and he can longer care for himself. I feel bad but that's the way it goes when you don't plan for your future and they didn't. I have my Mom on a public housing list if she can longer afford to rent. I would recommend you do the same and also putting them both on a list at a local Nursing Home. If you don't come from a hospital, most places want you to "be on the list." Otherwise, do some research NOW about continuum care facilities in your area. Look up what that means. As i understand it, it means you go in as independent and as your needs arise, you then go to their assisted living facility and then to their skilled nursing facility. Good luck and stay strong.

-SS
(3)
Report

Ellenjay, I don't think it would be wise for you to take your parents into your home, either. Smart of you to figure that out before the next crisis.

Whether their money holds out or not is not really your problem. You are not obligated to pick up where their money stops. When they start (or you help them start) applying for long-term care, all will be revealed.
(4)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.