Both of my parent's have mild dementia. I moved in with them to take care of them. Big mistake! Any advice?


I worked full time then had to go down to 2 days a week. Hospitalization in an out. Both of them. Health doing down fast, both are 83 years old. I had to give up my life to care for them. The problem is they say I should take care of them, Dr. visits, bills, shopping, the house, yard, and all above! Plus they say I have to pay them half of all expenses, house, water, electric, food and so and so on. I work and take care of them but I have to pay them also? Why would you do this to your child? My mom is the worst, she is mad at the world all the time and insults me everyday and doesn't care to hurt my feelings. They can't afford paid help. I am at my wits in. I wish I had my simple life back. Don't get me wrong I love my parent's dearly and just can't put them in assistance living, that's not for them. Any advice is appreciate.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing


Yes I do live in the US. Thank you for your answers! Sometimes just hearing an outside person put their thoughts out here helps me not feel so down. I do have a problem feeling guilty when i do say no to them, but life is real not fantasy world.
Helpful Answer (0)

SPRINGBIRD, I was surprised when I read that your parents expected you to pay half of the expenses related to the house. Half? Seriously???

In all things considered, your parents should be paying YOU for being their caregiver. If you weren't around, they would be paying a caregiving Agency around $30/hour or more to take care of both of them, or living in senior care that they could afford after selling the house.

You are no longer working full-time, thus are losing salary big time... and not only salary but the benefits offered by your employer, such as health insurance.... payroll taxes to built up your Social Security and your Medicare.... paid vacation days... paid sick days.... profit sharing... matching 401(k), etc. All those benefits you are losing ARE worth money.

Time to stop enabling your parents. I know it is not easy, it's down right hard. Tell your parents you can no longer do the yard work, make up a "theraputic fib", it's ok to do that. Cut back on taking your parents to doctor appointments. I found back when I had broken my upper arm and couldn't drive for 6 months, my parents who were in their 90's, survived not going to the doctor every other week. And find other things to cut back on doing. Eventually your parents will get the idea.

Note that close to 40% of caregivers pass while taking care of their love ones. Really bad odds. Now what?

And for goodness sake, up your hours at work. Going to work help makes you feel sane in this crazy journey at elder care. If your parents complain, tell them you cannot afford not to keep working.
Helpful Answer (3)

Are you in the US, Springbird? Is your cultural background different than mainstream US? This will just help us understand your situation better and not suggest solutions that only apply in the US if your are not here.

You ask "Why would parents do this to their child?" My big question concerns why would an adult child accept this kind of treatment?

What was your relationship with your parents like before they developed dementia?
Helpful Answer (6)

Do you have any siblings?

I’m not asking in terms of any expectations of getting them - if any - to help with the work load but wondering about complications should you be able to get your parents to enter into a caregivers contract with you. And depending on the amount of work you’ve doing for them - you should probably have one. One where they pay you - not the other way around.
Helpful Answer (3)

The current AARP magazine has an interesting article on family caregivers --- and what things are important to maintaining your own security. I am sure you can find it online or at the library. This  care giving responsibility could go on for years. And trust me, you can't do it all yourself. Get a counselor, member of the clergy, social worker --- whomever to discuss this with. You need someone who will help you explore alternatives. And you have to be very open minded and consider all options. You will be of no help to your folks if you are a basket case yourself. First things first.
Helpful Answer (3)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.