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I tried to meet all his needs, he totally depend on me, he becomes sad if I said to him to help himself, lastly he suffers depression as he feel himself not able to do the things he could before.. is it my fault to stay with him?

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I have to admit I thought there were a lot of great responses here and people are unbelievably kind and supportive. I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I guess I'm a bit frustrated with these types of questions. Why is there so much guilt when it comes to our parents? I'm not saying we shouldn't try to help, show some compassion, kindness, etc., but I keep seeing messages from caregivers who are totally miserable, feel trapped and yet go on and on in this predicament. The person they are caring for obviously has mental issues (along with the physical issues) and often have been abusive in the past. Still, the child allows this to continue and feels guilty for not doing more. I'm not saying that's the case here, but I often find myself thinking these caregivers need to see a professional because to feel this hopeless and unable to see that some things are totally unreasonable means there are more problems than the ones being stated in these posts.

Don't get me wrong, my dad died recently and while he was a good person and I loved him, he was also a pain. He was that way before he got sick and I was grateful that despite a lot of resentment on my part it did not prevent me from spending time with him and helping both him and my mother. One of the things I did before we got to this point was see a therapist. It helped a lot. In the end I was much stronger for both of us.

Read what these people have said to you and if the answers are not enough then get some professional help from a therapist for yourself. Good luck.
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Many times people compare taking care of elders to taking care of children. They are totally different things. Young mothers can stop work to raise their young children if they want to. There are usually husbands to take up the slack and the wife is young enough to reenter the workforce after the children enter school or daycare.

The children of elders are typically 40-60 years old. Caregiving duties can last 10-20 years. Often there is no husband or family support. Inheritance cannot be depended on, with the high cost of end-of-life care. While caregiving during their pre-retirement years, future social security goes down steadily. So the caregiver can end up pretty much with nothing in the end. I don't think any reasonable parent would want to put their child in poverty in order to take care of them. And we shouldn't want that for ourselves, either.

The only way I am in favor of quitting a job is if the care receiver pays enough to keep their child out of poverty, and the child continues to pay SS and income taxes.

I work at home, so thought I could fit everything together well. Was I ever kidding myself! Caregiving takes so much time and emotional energy that it is like having several children, none that are willing to do anything around the house. My business has suffered terribly, so I am not even sure it is good advice to take on full-time caregiving even if we work from home.

Wish there were better answers for people in the US when their parents health goes south. The main problem from what I see is that the whole family does not get involved. One person normally pays the full cost of doing the work. Let's face it, we are not The Waltons in the US.
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You should not quit your job. Consider getting help to come in or getting him to a day care center where he will be with other people instead of home alone all day. They sometimes provide transportation to and from also. Medication will probably help, but he is probably very lonely, if he is home alone all day, everyday. Sometimes a small pet helps. A kitten or cat takes less effort to care for, but can bring alot of enjoyment for a lonely elderly person. Plus having something "dependent" on them gives them purpose.
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TheirDaughter, you're not in trouble with me, I totally agree with your response! I believe the main reason why there's so much guilt is because the parents installed it long ago and it's really hard, after a lifetime, for it to recognized and/or dealt with now. I can't change my past, both of my parents are gone now, but you can rest assured IF I installed the guilt button on my kids, I've worked hard to remove it.
drhope, quitting your job and changing your life because you feel guilty is a huge mistake. There are other options. Often times guilt will turn into resentment and you'll be miserable.
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Yes, DON'T quit your job!!! I did that stupid thing, thinking Mom would be gone in a short time, and I could go back to work. That was almost 5 years ago, and Mom is still here and here I am almost 64, with very little retirement. Don't quit, you'll be sorry.
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Teresa, I had just written about working from home. You will be surprised how difficult it is to put the two worlds together, particularly if a parent has dementia and/or has narcissistic traits.
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I think the reason this site is so important to all of us is that these issues are complex. We 'give' thinking it's 'the right thing to do', it's what we want to do, and we are faced with unexpected, unplanned emotional, financial, factual and spiritual struggles that can become confusing.

I completely agree with TheirDaughter. Therapy helped me a lot. It was difficult finding someone old enough to have a sense of what I was dealing with, never the less it was helpful to talk with someone and sort through the issues. Fortunately I have the medical benefits that enable me to seek such help through my insurance.

I am a huge believer of getting help from a therapist. They may be available through insurance or through other means. If the one you pick first isn't so helpful, try another.

The encouragement from people on this site, from my loved ones and even people in the gym and my bereavement group constantly reminds me to seek help where ever I can find it.

It is easier for me to sit and struggle in my own head. Where I've made real progress is to go out and find and accept help from others, either paid or free...

As for not making my own kids feel guilty, it's hard to say what I will be able to do when I am sick and elderly myself. I hope I will have the self discipline not to make them feel guilt, but no one is perfect, least of all me. When I don't think I'm doing something... my boys often tell me I am making them feel guilty none the less. Surprisingly...
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teresacanady, I mentioned working at home in my earlier post in this thread. It is possible when the parent is mostly independent. However, when there is dementia or narcissism, it takes a toll. For example, my mother wants to go to the doctor a lot. I tell her I have to work. It is met with a "You don't even care if I die. And you're not making any money anyway. I want you to take me to the doctor NOW." WWIII declaration that in one exchange hopped on the pity train, belittled me, and tried to take control. I want to say I'm not making money because she won't leave me alone for more than a few minutes at a time. I am reminded of mothers who try to work at home with a house full of children. The big difference is with children, we are the boss. With parents, they are. And parents can become so angry when they become self centered and someone won't drop everything to tend to their present want. And we can become angry, but have to hold it inside.

This morning is quiet, so I've been able to get some work done. Thank goodness! I had better quit writing. I'm making myself tense just thinking about some of the days here.
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One small thing that helped my mother TREMENDOSLY... she signed up for a Health Bones exercise class at the library. She went twice a week. The people who took the exercise class were age ranges of 60s through 90s. They were all delightful people with interesting lives and varying levels of fitness. She fell in love with them and it was the high point of her week. They all brought a joke to class. They laughed. Some of them took excursions to the movies or out to lunch. They helped each other. Those who could drive would drive the others. It was a miracle.

When my mom wasn't healthy enough to go, sometimes I would bring her there and I too fell in love with the people there.

Maybe try to find something like that for your dad. I know the women in my mom's class would have fallen in love with your dad, they would laugh together and care for each other.

Hope that's a helpful tip. Maybe the first few times you could go with him.

Another idea... I attend two book clubs at my library. They are well attended by men. It is a great source of community and the friendships are wonderfully stimulating. The men do huge reference searches and bring a wealth of knowledge.

I don't know if your Dad is able, but I hope you find things for him to do that will bring both of you joy!
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Hello! A agree there are a lot of really good responses already... I agree, do not quit your job. It is possible to find really loving kind care-givers to come in as companions for your father, and do some light house-keeping as well. If he is not safe on his own, then decisions need to be made about care. Either hire live-in care, or find a suitable care home for him. Some people live in themselves, as I did, it was a terrible burn-out for me. I recalled that my parents lived really great lives in their 40's and 50's, being far from their parents, they would visit a few times a year. They never even considered giving up their jobs. Fact, it is hard to find a job, and even harder once you take years out to take care of a parent. Older people have harder times finding a job...there is agism out there. So please think really carefully about your life too, and take care of your self. It's awful to see a parent going through dementia, but it is also a fact that care-givers face much higher levels of stress and illness than their peers, and often die before the person they are caring for. On the other hand, if your parent is at the point of palliative care, and you can take time off from work, that is another option. People with dementia can live a very long time. So please take care of yourself first, it is the kindest thing you can do for yourself, and your parent.
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