My dad is 90 and now alone after his wife died last month. My family moved back to the area last fall for several reasons, one of which was they were both approaching 90 and I anticipated they would need help. It happened virtually immediately with serious medical issues for him, and her ending her hospice journey. He is dealing with grief, loneliness, and ill health. I have been with him every day for 3 solid months between 4 and 12 hours a day on average ( during chemo some days were 24). This chick is exhausted! I have enlisted my brother to come on Sundays so I could have a day with my own family... but dad wants me there then too! We have a cleaning lady who comes once every 2 weeks from senior services and he wants me there too, so I can keep an eye on her. I have recruited my sister in law for weekly dinners which she loves to do (alone now that other brother passed) but he puts her off and just wants me.
I love my dad- but I’m struggling. We were 12 hours yesterday at doctors and the emergency room.... I went over today to drop off a prescription and make sure he was set for the day and came home. He didn’t want me to go but I had a migraine and told him I had to take care of myself with some rest.
It broke my heart. I can’t be there every moment and he won’t come live with us despite being an extreme fall risk and his refusal to give up the stairs in the home. I worry constantly and am frazzled. I haven’t had time to unpack our house or get a paying job.... a source of contention in my marriage.
I just need him to get back to a modicum of good health ... but I fear it will never improve. What / how can I be there for him without sacrificing my entire existence? What are the words to use in conversation to help him feel better about being alone/independent? I suspect he has depression- totally normal- but would never admit it for help. But I also cannot be his whole world- it isn’t healthy. His ill health currently is preventing his driving for the most part- so that’s depressing for him too. 🤦♀️😬