I've been taking care of my 92 year old Dad for a little over 2 years in my home. I've taken on his care and all his responsibilities, sold his home upon his wishes, and take care of all his needs. Since I work full-time as a teacher, I've hired caretakers to be with him while I'm at work. I am not married and have no children. Most days we get along pretty well. Today, however, he woke up angry with me and refusing to take his medications. He tells me that I am the problem and that he doesn't want to live with me. I have a brother who lives 5 hours away but his wife won't be so tolerant of Dad's moods. They also have been known to take advantage of Dad financially to the point of wangling 10s of thousands of dollars out of him. Dad wants to go live with my brother and called him up to tell him that I refused to let him (Dad) visit my brother and his wife because I thought they would "kidnap" him. Nothing could be further from the truth. I called my brother to let him know about Dad's medical problems - the life threatening edema he would get if he refuses one of his many medications that he doesn't like - the fact that he is getting bed sores because he refuses to lie on the one side of his body that would let the sores heal, the many trips to doctor's offices for one thing or another, etc.
I personally feel let down by my father. It is one thing for someone to be ungrateful for the care they are getting but it is something else when they accuse the caregiver of meanness which is what he has accused me of. This hurts terribly.
I waver between feelings of anger at his accusations and feelings of depression that this man I've loved and respected all my life (I'm 58) obviously has no love or care for me anymore, let alone any appreciation for anything I've done for him. When my mother died 22 years ago, I spent 20 years visiting him, taking care of his needs, every chance I had given that I lived 4 hours away. Then he fell, broke his pelvis and after rehab, came to live with me. I nursed him back to health and he can still walk with a walker and take care of many of his own needs. His judgment is not what it used to be, however, and he is a definite fall risk so he really needs someone who loves him to watch over him. I've not wanted to put him in a nursing home or assisted living because I really do care for him. I was afraid to let him visit my brother fearing that my sister-in-law would place him in a nursing home and then get access to his savings. She may well do so now. With taking care of my Dad for so long, I haven't many friends to call who I can confide in who understand the situation. The one close friend I do have advised me to let him go and let happen whatever will happen. She reminded me that the stress of this and situations like this is not good for my health and that I deserve to have a life of my own. Somehow, I don't know how, I still feel guilty that all the care and love and patience I've had and given have not been enough. I just want to cry. I feel like I've failed. Can anyone help?