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Hi, Im new. Youngest of 3 siblings. All male. My mom has ...rapidly progressing Parkinson's like full blown just about every symptom from the textbook. I am a recently graduated doctor...so everyone at home looks to ME for the answers.


But, I don't have all the answer. I only have limited experience so far.


I am also engaged, and I often feel like caring for my Mom ....evelopes everything else, even my relationship with my fiancee.


I often end up arguing with my family, because they expect me to be at Mom's side 24/7 just bcuz I am a doctor....as if I have no personal life of my own.


Can anyone else relate? Any other guys out there caught between keeping your wife happy and an increasingly weakened needy mother ?

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Exvee,

Im a 65 year old man. Went through caring long distance for parents with no sibs, no help.

whether you’re a man or woman has little to do with the challenges of elder caregiving. It most often falls to the women in the family.

I don’t have an easy answer for you. You mom will get worse through the years. You have no choice but to stand up to your sibs and demand your life. She needs paid caregivers in her home or placed in a facility.

There is is no shame in this. No one, male or female should ever be forced or guilt tripped into giving up a marriage, career and life for caregiving.
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Reply to Windyridge
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I think the "rules" should be the same for women and men and for wives, husbands, and unmarried folks. And if I were making the rules, they'd include the following: 1) A person with a disability or an illness should receive care from paid caregivers, if possible. 2) No one should be a caregiver 24/7. 3) Family caregivers who are in relationships should prioritize their partners and children, not the people to whom they're providing care. 4) Every available family member should contribute to caregiving, with time and hands-on care, money, decision-making, and supporting the other caregivers.
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Please, don't become your mother's caregiver. My ex-husband became his parents' full-time caregiver several years ago. His siblings were happy to have him do so. Why wouldn't they be? This "job" was a major factor in the destruction of my marriage. I think that a person's spouse and children should be the person's top priority. My ex made his parents his top priority and was encouraged to do so by his dad (his mom has Alzheimer's disease and didn't know what was going on) and his siblings.
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Exveemon Aug 31, 2019
Yep. I know they would only be to happy to leave me as caregiver. I remember once I spent an entire weekend with my fiancee...I didn't call home ahead of time...and it was this big argument amongst us...and I was like ...WTF...I'm always shifting MY schedule for Mum's sake...was it so impossible for them to take care of Mum for one measly weekend ?
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There are not very men on the site.

My ex took/takes care of his mom with Parkinsons. She was diagnosed in her 60s, shes now 80. There were alot of fights with family and with me over the family and her. I took care of her for years and I was done with her and it.

Just because it is progressing fast at first does not mean it doesnt plateau. He spends hours per day doing wound care on legs, changing diapers every 2 hours, meds, dr appts and dealing with her fat lazy ass...sorry, I really dont like her.

As a result, Im gone, relationship with son is destroyed, he isnt on speaking terms with his siblings or other "family", has had a couple heart issues and has no life or friends anymore.

I cant speak from the male perspective but I know what it does to a person. You need to figure out what you want and not feel obligated to take on the responsibility.
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Exveemon Aug 31, 2019
Yikes ! That's terrible ! I was hoping for a more positive answer. I have had my share of arguments with my sibblings about my need for personal time. Both my older sibblings already have wives and children...and I would hate to see my dream of starting my own family go up in smoke.

Arguments usually end with "But Exveemon, you are a doctor, there's no excuse for you to abandon your duty (rolls eyes) to mom"

There have been times of friction between my fiancee and I about how much time I dedicate to my mum and how much time I give her. Luckily so far she has endured...I really hope mom's condition plateaus....if I lose my fiancee whilst caring for my mum....I don't think I could ever forgive my sibblings.
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Your mother is only 69. She may well live another 20 years with Parkinson's if she is committed to doing the hard work of living with the disease i.e. daily exercise, medication management, good nutrition, positive outlook, etc. Do you want to live your life around your mother for 20 years?

"I often end up arguing with my family, because they expect me to be at Mom's side 24/7..." It does not matter one bit that you are a doctor. Expecting anyone to be a caregiver is wrong. That is a very personal decision - for a man or a woman - and only you can make it.

Your mother's needs will only increase. You may not get to practice medicine, you may lose your fiance, and you may bankrupt your own future if you succumb to the fear, obligation and guilt that is being thrown at you by your siblings, who already have their lives, now don't they?
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AlvaDeer Aug 31, 2019
I know I am not what the writer is asking for, as he wondered if there are other men on the site. The few men I have seen on the site seem to be the caregivers of their own spouse, but there certainly are some. Whether man or woman I would absolutely agree with NYDaughterInLaw. You may absolutely lose your own life in caring for another for the next 20 years. If this is not the position you wish to hold I would not continue in it.
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How can you do the work of "being at my Mom's side 24/7" and do the work of "being a doctor?" Doctors often work very long hours. Who is with your Mom when you are not?
To be frank, I would not marry a man who was taking care of his mother in his home. While I might thing that love can overcome all, I do know that one the blush is off the rose it would be me sitting at home while my doctor husband was off being a doctor, certainly at least one half of the time.
I don't consider it worth argument. I would simply say that I was sorry, but I intended to have a life now, that I was a newly graduated doctor and would be hard at work developing my practice,that I was marrying, and my wife didn't sign up for me and Mom but for me.
I would hope that Mom would have excellent placement in care and visits by the entire family. But no one in the family is required by obligation, by job,by guilt or by anything else to do hands on care. Mom may well and easily live at least another 20 years, just as NY DaughterInLaw says. During that time, you and your wife may actually raise several children. That will be plenty to do right there.
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A good friend of mine (man) cared for his mom for 3 years with the help of one home care person (also a man). He did fine, but he did not have another job. My son helped me care for my mom for 4 months out of the 7 years I took on. He was really too young to do it long term. There is no difference whether man or woman. Care giving is difficult, especially when it is for family. You most certainly cannot do it alone. Find home care for her that you can oversee and visit her often to make sure all is going as well as possible. And live your life.
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@Exceemon "if I lose my fiancee whilst caring for my mum....I don't think I could ever forgive my sibblings."

(Gently) Why could you not ever forgive them? You are allowing their expectations to rule your life.

There is a huge amount of emotional stuff surrounding dealing with family -- even during easy times. This is not an easy time.

What kind of positive answer are you seeking?
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AlvaDeer Aug 31, 2019
I so agree. The choice is not in the hands of the sibling. It is in the hands of EdVee.
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So...... "If the wife is caring for her mother" the husband should just accept it and be strong and supportive
but if
husband is caring for his mother, then he is failure as a husband ?" Why are the rules different if it's the man who has the sick parent ? I really wish there were some men here to tell give me some advice on how to balance this.

Sigh...in any case I have made the small step of moving out of my parents' house. I still visit very often, but I make it a point of duty to not spend the night.
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TXGirl82 Aug 31, 2019
I would never say a husband who is caring for his mother is a failure as a husband. Man or woman, a person who is caring, hands-on for a parent without help, will eventually have a hard time simply surviving, much less maintaining healthy relationships with others. There are only so many hours in a day.

Btw, I believe adult children should care for their parents if possible, but I think that "care" can mean involvement in making sure their parents are cared for by someone, somewhere safe. Even that doesn't always work, as some elderly parents won't cooperate.

How can there be anything wrong with refusing to run yourself into the ground in order to provide round-the-clock, hands-on care to a parent? Steeling yourself to stand up to your siblings is the first step in finding a better long-term solution.

From reading your responses, it seems to me that you don't quite believe you have the right to say no to your siblings.
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Since culture is a factor sometimes in dealing with elders, is there an expectation within your background for family to step up rather than hire outside help?
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