You moved our parent hours away from the rest of the family to be near you. Now you complain you "are the only one doing anything". Why? You moved our elderly parent hours away from the rest of the family(including the grandchildren) in order that you would have them closer to you. Those of us left behind did everything we could think of to prevent this move, including letting you know we would not be able to visit. You did it anyway and now complain all the time and are furious because you are "doing everything alone". You made this mess and now want to blame it on all your siblings who did not want this situation to take place from the start.
I like this discussion and that fact that you're spicing things up a bit but in all honestly, some of your comments are bordering on arrogance. Just sayin.......
If you are trying to say that there are always affordable services to take the place of family caregivers, I think you're very sadly mistaken.
Also you comment THEY WILL NOT ALLOW OUTSIDE HELP, THAT IS NOT THEIR DECISION. well at some point it's not but my Dad will just kick them out right now if I send anyone, carpet cleaners, caregivers, meals on wheels etc. when he becomes clearly incompetent yea, I'll make my moves. But for many of us our oldsters are still in control. It will be crisis driven for me. Next ER trip, bad fall, Dad can't remember anything at all, in comes the help or off they go to a facility.
It's a lot easier to blame the caregivers for being "martyrs" than put yourself in their place and understand the pressure they're under from their parents, their parents' friends and neighbors, and the whole rest of society to step up and help the old folks out.
Also key would be, prior to taking on the responsibility of caregiving one would have access to FULL DISCLOSURE about the often unfolding changes, responsibilities, and expectations of caregivers as the recipient of care need's change. Impossible to predict! It would be ignorant to believe there is this: "Will you be the only caregiver?", and the answer is a one-time, lifelong, "Yes". And no one tells the caregiver ahead of time: They will fight you on this, at every turn, both your parents and siblings, spouse, and extended family. That does not make anyone a martyr, imop.
There is a delicate psychological and emotional balance going on here in a good way, with desperate caregivers getting support, venting, having successes, and then helping others.
Your presence here is welcome, as Windy stated. However, if your statements mess with any of the dear people who are well-loved and understood by us all here; if we have to put them back together after you have enjoyed your time here, some of us are gonna come through the screen and give you a virtual SPLATT.
There are many caregivers who don't have the option of bringing in outside help because there is no money to pay the outside help or to enter assisted living. Many elderly are not impaired enough to qualify for Medicaid but still require a lot of help, especially those who can no longer drive but who live in a place where there is no public transportation (or who are not capable of using what public transportation there is). My mother needs help with something nearly every day. Grocery shopping, doctors appointments, housekeeping tasks, changing batteries and light bulbs, taking out garbage, bringing in mail, a whole long list of stuff. It can easily steal an adult child's independence, as it has mine. Many people here are in worse situations. Lots of people can't get away for a few hours, let alone a few days. That steals your life and your independence for sure.
Becoming caregiver does not mean Dad or Mom is entitled to be a great big PITA. They are still our parent, but they are not entitled to dwarf our needs with their demands. For example, they "will not allow outside help" - That is NOT their decision to make.
I have always taken ownership of my decision to care for my mom, but as you said there are many others who are angry at family members for not helping more. I think in a lot of cases people jump in to help in the midst of a crisis and then unfortunately find that the crisis has morphed into a long term commitment for which they didn't plan and aren't equipped to handle.
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