Are you considering, or in the process of, walking out on your role as caregiver?


To me, being a caregiver is a two-way street. If the person you are caring for is capable of, but choosing not to care for his/herself, then should you really continue to put the effort in despite their requests for your assistance and their spoken desire to heal and move forward? Based on some recent actions (that are in line with their past unhealthy actions) of the person I am helping I really want to walk away and leave them on their own. However, as this is my mother and the grandmother of my son it is a heartwrenching decision.

I understand that it is ultimately my decision and a very personal one as I have all the information (which is far too much to put here) but would like to hear from others whom have had these feelings or are going through similar situations at the moment. Thank you.

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How I wished I would have said *no* more often instead of jumping each time my parents had called to have me drive them somewhere. Now I have them spoiled, and I am now trying to pull back telling them I don't have time, maybe next week. Boy, how they can make me feel guilty, but I am trying so hard to ignore that.

As my therapist had said, my parents made their choice not to move into a retirement village [they could have easily afford it].... thus my parents have to live with the choice they made. I was never part of the discussion.

The more I think about it, when I get to my parents age, who am I going to call? I am an only child and have no children. Will I starve? Will I never see another doctor again? Of course not, I will find a way to do these things. I am sure my parents could do the same if they tried.

Another thing I need to remember, I am not a *professional caregiver*.... I can't lift my parents if they fall.... I hate to cook so I don't think my parents would want toast for breakfast, and peanut butter & jelly for lunch or dinner.... and I hate housework. If they want the house clean, hire someone, they can afford it.

And I plan to continue to keep my outside job. My Dad never left his job to care for his parents, and my Mom never moved close to her parents to care for them. Why should I stop my life when they didn't?
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Pamstegman, great advice. I also have felt like I've been too much of an 'enabler' with my mother. Just putting in my two cents worth: it may be time, and you may be ready to stop assisting completely. If not, it's perfectly fine to take smaller steps. Limit the contact, don't call back immediately if she calls. If she's a non-compliant patient w/her meds, diet, exercise--I would drop all oversight of this (I have done this actually. It's my mother's business what she chooses to do, and at 84, I'm not going to bust my a** micromanaging her 'health', such as it is). If there is an emergency, she has her medic alert pendant that she can use if she's able to, and there's 911.
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Thank you! That is basically what I was thinking to do. I know it won't be easy and that it takes strength either way. After all, generally we aren't talking about someone that we just met. We are talking about our mothers and other loved ones when it comes to caregiving.
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This is where a counselor helped. We knew mom needed Assisted Living, but she would not budge. We took her to look at several places, in hopes she would pick one. Nope. How to get her to go? PULL BACK, the man said. Force her to realize she cannot manage on her own. Don't jump and run every time she calls with a minor crisis, and tell her to call 911 if it is a major one. Don't rush to the ER, wait till she is in a room. Talk to her MD about meds for the agitation. She won't take them, PULL BACK and tell her why. Be honest, be direct and when she says she is going to kill herself, tell her "That is your choice. Not mine." and walk out the door.
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