My mom had a severe brain injuring stroke in the fall of 2016. Since then my dad has not left her side except to go home to shower and sleep. At first I was going to the hospital two times a day ( for the first 6 months) & have recently started to go once a day to the assisted living facility she is now at. I usually go for an hour to an hour and a half, and I take my dad food everyday. If my dad has a doctor or dentist appt, he asks me ( only child) to stay with her. I have done this for the past several months, but it's starting to take a toll on me and my family (my husband and 2 children). I don't think my dad understands, or is even thinking about me, but I just can't continue at this pace. I'm also doing his laundry and bills, which I don't mind, but is time consuming. He goes to facility at 8am and leaves at 8pm or later. If I don't bring him dinner, he doesn't eat. I'm really stressed and need to cut back on my time. I love my parents and want to visit almost every day, but I can't be the "go to" when he needs to leave. I feel that she would be ok to be alone for a while. Please let me know what anyone thinks... I go from feeling guilty to feeling resentful to feeling angry. It's been so hard seeing my mom like this ( she has brain injury), but I feel like my family is starting to feel the strain and my dad is oblivious to me having a full plate with my husband, our kids, & all of my responsibilities. Am I selfish? Please advise... please let me knue how to talk to my dad without hurting him and making him angry. He's gone through so much, I don't want to make it harder on him, but I can't keep this up.

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Thanks everyone, just knowing that others can relate really helps. To answer some of your questions, My mom's brain injury has affected her short term memory and a lot of her long term as well. From where she started (hemorrhagic stroke in a coma, tracheostomy, feeding tube) she's doing really well, but she's almost like a person with severe special needs right now. She can eat with some assistance, use the toilet with help, stand with help. She has all of the muscular ability, but she's not walking. I feel if she weren't so dependent on my dad constantly being there, she might improve more quickly. She constantly looks to him for everything. As far as taking my dad out for a meal, he will only go with someone else if I am there. Recently he had some dental work and asked if I could stay with my mom all day. When I told him no, he clammed up and said just to forget it. I told him I could come later in the day, so we compromised and he left at 2:30 when I got there and I stayed 5 hours until my mom was in bed. I barely saw my children or my husband that day, & I felt really resentful because it was completely unnecessary! She could have been alone for a few hours and I could have checked on her before her bedtime, but I knew he would get angry if I suggested that. One person had suggested bring him food to take home do he could bring sandwiches, etc., he will also not do this. Every meal is take out or something I make him at my own house. This Friday, she is going to see her doctor, so since she is difficult to move my husband is taking off of work to help us get her there and then back to the facility. When I talked to my dad last night, he said that he wanted us to take her following the appt to drive by there house to see if she could remember it ( about 40 minutes away). I told him "no", that my husband couldn't take more time off, & again I Gould sense his frustration(?) ander(?) because he basically stopped talking and just gave me short answers for the rest of the conversation. I felt so angry myself when I got off the phone because it doesn't seem like he realizes how much we're helping and sacrificing. He also asked me to stay with my mom for a day so he could get his paperwork and taxes done?!?! I told him I could come for 2 or 3 hours, but that was it. I just feel like this is going to come to a huge argument because I can't give him what he wants. Once she comes home , he does have money for aids, so I have to tell him to use it. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Your dad is so firmly attached to your Mom he is afraid to leave her side in case he looses her. My hubby totally exhausted himself when I was hospitalized by not leaving my side. He was afraid someone would make ill advised decisions about my care if he did not check everything they were doing. In my case he was absolutely correct and the staff did need watching in that particular hospital, he was still exhausted for months after that.
Dad is not going to change so it is up to you to make things easier for him.
Have him make appointments at times more convenient for you to stay with Mom. By all means continue to help him out with the things he just is not capable of concentrating on right now but again at our convenience not his. Do his shopping when you do yours and stop running out every time he thinks of some thing he needs. these are rules you can apply and will not impact Mom's care. is there anyone else who can sit with Mom? Are you children old enough to stay a couple of hours while you take Dad out for dinner, and how about hubby can he do it. Dad probably has no idea he can buy his meals at the facility that's the way men are. Took my hubby a while to discover the cafeteria and he knew better and he always purchased a personal pizza because he did not want to have to make decisions.
Is there a friend who would sit with Mom? even if you had to pay her. If you can spend at least half a day with them both and see what unnecessary things dad is taking on.
If it is time for hospice they will have volunteers who can releive Dad for a few hours. She is probably not elidgeable at this time but you can get her evaluated.
This difficult for you but there are ways to make this work better.
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My aunt did this. My uncle had dementia; she was finally convinced by their children to move him to a lovely AL where he was well cared for. But she insisted that only she could care for him.

She died of a heart attack a few months after he was placed. He lived there, happily, for another few years.

I think I would go with dad to his next doctor's appointment and discuss this situation . If you can't do that, mail, email or fax dad's doc about this situation. It's not healthy; it's not adaptive.

Why on earth are your parents paying for AL if they aren't going to use the care?

With regard to your own situation, it's of your father's making it seems. I considered the idea that mom's care was beyond what the AL can provide, but if that were the case, they would not have accepted her as a patient, or would have asked for her to be transferred. Or is it possible that they have said that she can only stay if someone is with her during her waking hours? In which case, she needs to be transferred to a facility that CAN adequately care for her.

I'm afraid you're going to need to say "no" to dad. "Dad, I can't do this anymore; tell me why you think someone has to be with mom all the time?
might be a way to start off.
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Mom is now in an assisted living facility? I take it that means she can handle many activities of daily living. Is that right? Does she feed herself, for example?

Why doesn't your dad buy at least some of his meals there?

Certainly you are not selfish, but your father is. It is totally understandable. I am not critical of him, but because he is in this state of mind it is up to you to set some boundaries. You can't spend that much time and energy away from your family. Not fair to you, and not fair to your family.

He can spend as much time there as he wants, but why does he think she needs constant companionship? Is there something that the ALF can't handle?

My husband had dementia, and each of the few times he was hospitalized I arranged family to be there around the clock. But this was for a maximum of 5 days. And it was very wearing on us. Hospitals are simply not good places for person with dementia to be alone. But ALFs ARE supposed to be places that can handle the needs of those they accept. And this is not for 5 days. This is for the rest of her life.

What do you do with her for an hour to an hour and half every day? What would she be doing if you weren't there? Does she/can she participate in the activities at the ALF?

"Brain injury" can cover a wide range of symptoms. Tell us more about your mother and her needs. And keep in touch!
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I'm so sorry to hear about your mother and your dad. Poor guy. It sounds like he is lost. Can your parents afford a helper? Someone to spell him and perhaps take over some of your chores for dad? I wonder if you could go to the home, pick up dad and take him out for a meal? I really don't know what to suggest but want to acknowledge your question. Hopefully someone with experience on this topic will answer. Perhaps you could meet with your mothers drs and get a prognosis and then go over that with your dad. Let him know that you both have to pace yourselves in order to care for mom and the rest of the family. You might want to also speak with your dads dr and let him know what dad is doing. He may need an antidepressant. Help him buy food that he can carry with him. Fruit. Supplement drinks. Sandwiches. He can make himself a meal and take it with him. If her situation is long term perhaps he should consider selling his home and moving in with her? What do you expect will happen? Is your mom on hospice. Take care of yourself and come back and let us know how things are going.
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