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My elderly daddy was in a Nursing home for over a year and his physical and emotional health was rapidly declining after being told that he could never return to his home after a fall and rendered him unable to walk or get around without assistance. After a bit of convincing from myself and my family he agreed to come live with me and my Husband. He has been with us a little over 4 years now and is doing well. I have a caregiver come in a couple of hours a day to get him out of bed, bathed and ready for the day. I prepare his meals and put him to bed in the evening. But, now i'm feeling trapped. I can't take a day off, My husband and I can't go anwhere that requires an overnight stay or that is too far away. My husband and I find ourselves very agitated and frustrated at the situation as well. We don't regret having him and feel guilty for feeling this way as he is so happy and doing so well but, we are losing us? Our lives revolve around him now. I often find myself getting very impatient with him, not wanting to spend time with him at all and resentful. This is not in my character at all. I have always been a daddys girl and he has always been my hero but that;s all different now. He's become very selfish and is an "all about me" person now (only with me), which he NEVER was. He doesn't seem to appreciate anything I do most of the time and rarely says please or thank you. I feel like a maid and servant to him at times. I have a hard time concentrating on my Full-Time Job a lot due to worrying about him. ie, his Health, Drs. Appts,, caregivers showing up, how am I going to pay for this or that and the list goes on. I can't imagine him not being with us as I truly love him and know that he's where he should be but, how can I get back to being me? I want to look at him that way I did without feeling the way I do. I want to like being around him and look forward to seeing him again. I don't wish any harm to him and would love for him to live forever but, I am tired and just need a break from it all. We financially can't afford to pay anything more than we do already so, here I am..Homebound and a beck and call girl and my frustration is growing larger and my patience growing thin. I love him so much but, sometimes I have a very hard time showing it as even the slightest things he does annoys me. What can I do to find some balance and peace for us all?

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Many of the people on this message board could tell exactly your story. Your father is not the same person he was when you were growing up. His world is smaller and smaller until he only focuses on himself. This is extremely common for the elderly. And, since he requires 24 hour care, this falls on you. But it doesn't have to.

You feel obligation to help him as you are his daughter...sometimes this means realizing that no single person can care for someone 24 hours a day. In fact, 3 shifts of people at 8 hours each are needed to care for someone in his condition. By putting him into a care home you are not abandoning him...you are getting him the best care possible. And, when that happens and you are no longer responsible for the every day care and trapped in your home, you WILL become daddy's girl again. You will be the advocate for his care, you will be the visitor who can share happy moments, not the snippy frustrated angry person you are now. Not only will he get a higher level of care, but he will also get his daughter back. And you will save your marriage. Find him a care center (probably a nursing home with an option to move to memory care when necessary) and EVERYONE will have a better quality of life.

Angel
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What is his income? SS, pension? I hope it is all being used to pay his way, including respite care.

You and hubby are due for a second honeymoon, right? As you budget for it, include the cost of additional help for Dad while you are gone.

You are never going to be Daddy's Girl again. Heck, you are never going to be a girl again. We grow, change, evolve, improve, decline ... and our relationships evolve, too. That doesn't mean you can't have a close and satisfying daughter/father relationship, but it isn't the same as it used to be. Accept that, and work with reality.

When dad was your hero and you were his princess you probably never thought of needing to set boundaries. He is treating you like a maid? Don't respond like a maid. Help with what he needs help with when he asks nicely, but don't help with things he could do himself. Establish the chores he contributes to the household with. With mobility problems this is obviously not mowing the lawn or vacuuming the carpet. But there are surely a lot of things he could do that would be helpful (and incidentally contribute to his self-worth.)

The nature of the relationship has changed, but not in a direction you like. Accept that it is never going to be what it once was, but work on steering it in a healthy direction. Even if you can't be Daddy's princess, you don't have to be his maid!
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I am an only child. After dad had his stroke I tried my best to keep him in his home. I felt that it was the only place for him. 24 hr live in aides......8 in 3 months. I had to do their grocery shopping, take the clothes to the laundromat and take dad to his appointments. I lived 30 min away. I lost me. I was so mentally exhausted that I gave up doing anything that I enjoyed. My life revolved around my dad. One appointment with his doctor, he looked at me. Doc told me I couldn't keep up the pace and that dad had no stimulation at home. I then started looking for AL facilities. Best thing I could have done for both of us. He adjusted quickly. People around him, always something going on, etc. I will say that he has dementia, so maybe the transition was easier, but it was guilt that kept me from not placing him in the beginning. There's nobody but me to do for dad. I'm still his little girl, but a happier girl.
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For your own marriage to succeed, you will need to stop being "Daddy's girl", grow up and put your father back in a facility so professionals can care for him. You can visit, and what you are experiencing is caregiver burnout.
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You need to find a counselor or a mental health professional who has experience supporting caregivers to help you work through your feelings. You say he does not need 24 hour care but it seems like he needs mobility support to be able to have some independent functions. I believe he might also need a Mental health professional to support him and maybe anti depressants would help his crankiness. Offer him empathy when he is cranky. Saying Daddy, I know this is difficult, I am sorry you are struggling will go a long way. You definitely need some time to recharge. If you go online and pull up any article on compassion fatigue or a caregiver stress assessment you will be able to recognize where you are. The cure for what you have is self care and self compassion. You are trying to care from an empty vessel. Many personal care / assisted living facilities offer respite care. You could take him to respite care to go on vacation. As an aging life care professional and a counselor I often recommend respite care in a good personal care home. Often after a short stay the person being cared for likes the place and wants to stay. In our area there are personal care homes that accept someone's social security as payment. I have found that the socialization that someone receives in personal care can reduce the crankiness because they have a purpose. Then you can visit daily. You are in a fog of overwhelm. It's much like the feelings of having a new baby. I am saying prayers for you.
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I also was daddy's little girl until the last three years of my father's life. He became difficult to deal with and only cared about his needs. He lived with me and my family for 15 months and when that became difficult for all involved, he moved to a lovely assisted living facility. Still I was never more than a phone call away and I did not get much relief from being the only person in the world who was willing to deal with my father in those last difficult months. He was very hard on me, but bragged about me to the staff at his ALF, how I took such good care of him and my son with autism. Looking back, I am glad I was able to be there for my father but relieved that I am no longer caught up in such a stressful situation. My advice would be to set limits on what you are doing for your dad and make time for you and your husband. Perhaps a friend or church member would be willing to stay with him one evening a week. You may not be able to get away, but you need those little pockets of time for yourselves.
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If you have been doing this job for four years without a break, you will be burned out and it is no surprise. What job could anyone do for that long without proper time off for rest and recreation?

You are doing pretty well to remember, even, how much you love and care for your father deep down; and that you really do is clear from everything you say.

But in all the stress and labour of the care you've been providing, even the strongest emotional bond can be broken beyond repair. So before you get to that stage, rethink the whole schedule. Look at the budget, remembering that Daddy's care can quite legitimately be charged to Daddy's income, and work out a proper diary that includes real time away for you and your husband together as well as routine support at home. It's a need, not a want. Without it, the bad feelings that are so painful for you are going to get out of control.
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He doesn't need a skilled nursing facility, but he would really benefit from assisted living if that's financially possible at all. He'd have the distraction of new relationships and things to do all day. You say he's "just unable to walk." That's huge! No wonder you're burnt out!

If you and/or he are too resistant to making a move to AL (please, at least go look at a few of them) or the $$$ just doesn't work (again, check into actual rates before you say it's impossible.) look for a senior day program for him.

I agree with others who've said that the reason he's so demanding of your time and attention is that his world has gotten much too small. That leaves him only to focus on his own immediate needs and desires. He needs to have something other than himself to occupy his thoughts.

Not to harp on it, but if you really want to become the daughter again (instead of feeling more like unpaid, unappreciated help), a move to AL can really help with that.
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As Jeanne mentioned, please make sure that you are using dad's resourses to pay for dad's care...not your own.
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Finding a good Senior Group Home in your area would be better then a nursing home. When my dad could no longer walk or do the thing's he used to I toured different group home till i found a good one home cooked meals, people his age, his own room we decorated like his house,tv in his room,we brought animals to visit,doctor on call when needed,2 or 3 caregivers round the clock .I was Daddys girl too whenever he needed me ,my husband would always go and do his handyman work at home.I to thought about bringing him home to my house,but in reality I couldn't be super woman without ruining my own life .it's not selfish I visited him everyday and still helped when I was there he would ask when is he going home but I just changed the subject and he would talk about something else I knew I found a good place and could live with knowing he was cared for I hope this helps you
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