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Anyone else caring for both parents? Dad is 94 had a stroke, mom is 86 barely able to walk, can't remember, disorganized, and basicaly doesn't want to care for dad, just wants me to step in and do it all. I can never do enough, everything they have is literally falling apart, there is simply not enough time in the day to take care of their home and mine, and there is so much junk everywhere. I could and do work all day mowing and raking gumballs and trying to clean and organize sheds and fix floors and walls that are falling down, we have put new floors in the house, new breaker boxes, and it's still needs so much, so I can be about to drop from the heat and work, covered in dirt and sweat, and say I need to sit down and eat and drink some water and cool off, and she will say, wait come here I need you to look at something. So I go to her and it's something else to fix, my God, it never ends. I am so sick of Dr.s and pills, there are so many pills, and everytime she or dad had a slight pain, they have to go to the Dr. and the doc gives more pills, when do we lose the understanding that we are not going to live forever?


Anger, then guilt, anger, then guilt, its a vicious cycle.

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Not my parents but my step father and his wife. He is 90 and in terrible health, she has dementia. In February my brother and I went to AZ to sell their house and put them in AL.

They were hoarders, we dumped, dumped and dumped. The two of us spent 12 hours a day, tossing and sorting. In a week we have it cleaned out, painted and up for sale. In the meantime we placed them in AL. We sold it in 5 days.

We knew that we would have to move them to FL and we did in July.

Neither my brother or I are equipped to be caretakers, so there was no discussion, they were going to be placed in a home.

I will help them, but I am not going to give myself up for them. If it were my mother the same would apply. I see no need for me to pretend to be Florence Nightingale.

Why not consider placing them in AL, your mother is not going to change, it is up to you to change you. Your thinking, your emotional mindset, there are tools available to combat anger and guilt.

Start by putting yourself in the drivers seat, them in the back seat. My Best.
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Reply to DollyMe
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You can't do this without killing yourself. Say "no, I cant do this anymore".

Find them the appropriate level of care and move them.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Me! I am an only child. My parents moved a few houses down the street from me in 2004, which turned out to be a real bummer! I won't go into all of the gory details of the past decade, but lets just say it's been drama & ugliness from drinking, to marital problems, falls, etc.

Dad: I saw his decline into dementia. Mom was drinking heavily, verbally abused him, refused to care for him. I had to place him in Memory Care facility in early 2017. I oversee his care there - visit weekly, receive all of the phone calls that he's fallen, needs more Depends, etc., and I handle all of the billing and long-term care paperwork.

Mom: Still lives at home down the street, alcoholic, smokes, refuses to care for the house, herself, or take any responsibility for my dad. She calls me multiple times a day. Yesterday I had to place her in a mental health hospital. This is her fourth stay there in a year. Sadly, she will probably be home next week. She uses a walker. She refuses to consider ANY other living arrangement and at this point she's not far-gone enough for me to force her out of the house.

Mom is only 77 and in this shape. Dad is only 81 and in this shape. I've had a front-row seat to the sh*tshow for a decade (which is now 20% of my life), and probably still a ways to go.

I still have their house and belongings to dispose of at the end of it all. A house that is not being maintained and will have to be sold as a fixer-upper.

I run a small business. My last day away from work was Labor Day - I've been working 7 days a week. My own house is a mess. I can't keep this up much longer.
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Reply to Upstream
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Last1standing Oct 4, 2019
i am so sorry, i am thankful neither of my parents drink "anymore" but the pills are almost as bad, dr.s keep them so doped up they fall at the time. i find myself wondering how the did we get here?
ive been doing thus for 5 yrs. i just cant imagine doing it for a decade or more. you are a very strong person. i truly pray things get easier for you, somehow.
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Call and speak to your Department of Aging.  Find out about all alternatives including Adult Day care, respite services, in-home services, long term care services, etc.  You owe it to yourself and ultimately to them to not get yourself mentally and physically sick.
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Reply to patriciaasmith
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You are not alone. My brother and I take care of both our parents. Dad 96 has dementia Mom 88 is close behind. She has given up on doing anything for him or herself. We put them in memory care 7 months ago, trying to get them the best 24 hr care available to them and help relieve some of the stress they have put us under. It has help a great deal but there are still daily battles and needs to be meet. We do our best and try to still live our own lives but there are times when you just want to scream. Sometimes you need to just step back and reassess the situation. Each day presents new problems. Keep it all in prospective. Good Luck. Sending prayers.
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Reply to Bobandflo
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Ricky27 Oct 5, 2019
Thanks for your perspective, I found it helpful.
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Hello L1s,

You sound like a decent, caring person and very normal in the guilt/anger cycle.
I care for both parents, and have similar personal issues.

My folks are the same ages, and in somewhat better shape than yours. I do have siblings, who although they mostly don't get why I'm burned out (I'm not working and live "for free"), they step up as best they are able sometimes.

That being said, if I were in your position, I would start with hiring a caregiver. If that doesn't give you some much needed relief and assistance, take the steps to have them placed in a facility. It is not a failing or deficit of character on your part.

Caregiver burnout is finally being acknowledged, and there are organizations to which you can turn. Start with alz.org

I wish you well.
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Reply to Ricky27
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It sounds like there is no option but to look for Assisted Living or Memory Care for them.
Begin to look into Medicaid applications if necessary.
If either are Veterans you might be able to get some help from the VA contact the Veterans Commission office in your area they can do some research to help determine what can be done to help out. (Do not pay for this service, there are people that will charge)
It might also be time to talk to an Elder Care Attorney to determine next steps as far as POA?, Guardianship? lots of other things to clear up.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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While you're considering possible alternative care ideas for your parents, perhaps there is one thing you could do to try to reduce their numerous medications whi;e they are still under your care. While their doctor can't talk with you directly about all of your parents' health conditions, I think you could talk to him about looking at their multiple medications to see if she could recommend to them that they discontinue some of these meds or to decrease their frequency. For example, some physicians may write renewals on an original prescription in case the prescription is likely to continue to be important; if it's no longer needed, the patient is advised to discontinue taking it. So there may be some prescriptions that their doctor will easily advise them to discontinue. There may be others which their physician doesn't even realize they're taking, even if the office asks for a list at every visit. Most of my doctors have a nurse or assistant who checks my meds list at the beginning pf the appointment, but I don't think the doctor is normally notified unless I have a question. And if their doctor is not a geriatrician, he/she might not really be attuned to the idea that more meds in the elderly may make things worse rather than better.

On a related point, you could also ask the doctor for advice about frequent pain issues that currently necessitate a visit. Perhaps your parents want to see the doctor when they might safely wait awhile to see if things gat better or worse. If the doctor could suggest some of this to your parents in writing, even if they are unable to read it, you could show them the letter and what's suggested. If the doctor is not inclined to listen to any of your concerns, I think you might consider finding a geriatrician who could give a second opinion, again, assuming your parents would be willing. In my own old age, I've found some doctors still tend to throw medications at problems, while others are interested in reducing meds in seniors. I've also made decisions about health issues I'm simply not willing to investigate. If your parents are still able to comprehend, perhaps they could understand that some health problems are now better ignored, To date your parents have been reinforced for complaining about every little pain, getting a trip out of the home to go to the doctor, and getting another med to "fix" things. This narrative may need changing!
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Reply to caroli1
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Guilt?
So along with everything else above you must have killed someone or something?
Someone named Cindy Laverty wrote an article updated on the site here in August 12, called How a "fix it" mentality Leads to Caregiver Burnout. It was so good. You should find it if you type it into the search above.
This just cannot be made right, and the fact that you are willing to sacrifice your very life to it won't make it good either. Please begin now to discuss with family the necessity of placement for your own health and well being. Join the land of the "inadequate and severely flawed humans" limping along out here doing well as we can, but acknowledging limitations and that we are not Saints.
I never really understand the guilt thing. I just don't. I know my limitations, what I am capable of and what I am not. Yes, I might wish I were a better person, but I do the best I can with what I've got.
Your parents could likely enter ALF together, and have several rooms together. But whatever the circumstances, you owe it to yourself to have a life. This is the only chance you will get for that, you know. I won't even tell the tired old Eagle and Eaglets story again, but the duty of care you have is to your husband, your children. And you owe love and respect to your parents, and providing them the best care you can without sacrificing your own life. If you MUST feel guilty or depressed occassionally then by all means, curl up in the fetal position and allow yourself to mourn all that is unfair in life. Remembering that only the good grieve over tragedy. The narcissists and the psychotic personalities don't are at all.
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Tiger55 Oct 5, 2019
Hi Alva.
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I'm looking after two parents in nineties. I have tried to sign them up for anything I can get, One is in Palliative care and the other in Hospice. The doctor put her in Hospice so that I could get needed help at home. I tried to get them into adult daycare but they would have none of it. I am also in a respite program. The local COA has not been helpful - have gotten more help by contacting the state Dept of Aging. My complaints have paid off, since my area is now getting more resources, though still far behind those in urban areas. I was doing everything all by myself for a long time - siblings have finally felt guilty and have stepped up to help some. It is still exhausting, but the additional help from Hospice is appreciated and I made a vow to myself that any of their money from Social Security that could be spared would be used to hire additional help ( though we are having trouble finding GOOD people) Yep - the house is messy and the yard could use a lot of work - Hospice nurse said, don't worry because you can only do so much.
Contact a social worker in your area and see if local churches will come and clean out sheds, do minor repairs, etc. There is one church in my area who does this for elderly people ( and more of them need to step up and help those who need help!) My parents will run me ragged too - I just walk off and ignore the complaints. Told them, if you want this done, then hire someone to do it!
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 9, 2019
Great practical advice for others. Thanks!
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