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My husband and I both work full time and have our own health issues. My 2 older sisters are no help whatsoever with my dad. He's always been a difficult person that seems to be worse as he has aged. I've always been upfront and honest about what we can and can't do. I'm tired of the guilt and manipulation, when I have told him we do the best we can and its not our fault he has no one else to help him. What do you guys do to handle it?

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I would tell him point blank if he is not happy with what you can do he is free to make other arrangements. Call his bluff. He thinks you will take his abuse and feel guilty to do more. Let him know there is a point you say "DONE".
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" I'm doing the best I can, this is all I have and it has to be enough"
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Seems I always give the same advice in these types of situations. But - lol, I do believe in it.

Learn to identify the difference between feeling guilty and feeling badly.

Guilt implies that you've done something wrong. You're doing the best you can in the way you are dealing with your father. You've done nothing wrong. Nothing to feel guilty about.

However, chances are your father is having some health and possible mental declines - much of which isn't unusual as one ages. But that doesn't make it any easier for him or for you.

Feeling bad about a loved ones declining health is natural and normal. It would be more concerning if you didn't feel badly about what your dads going through.

Think about what you can and want to do for your father - set boundaries. Communicate these things to your father - and perhaps prepare a list of businesses with their phone numbers - businesses that can take care of some things that you're unable to do. This usually takes having some funds on your dads part, to pay for the services - but not always. Contact the County Department of Aging and Disability where your father lives - see what services they might be able to suggest and/or help with.

As the fabulous actress, Bette Davis once said "Getting old isn't for sissies".
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Oh, yeah, the guilt over not doing more. I am familiar. My mother is a bottomless pit of needs and she does not appreciate or even acknowledge all I do for her. I have to find satisfaction for a job well done within myself because it will never come from her.

My job is to set and reset boundaries with my mother to protect my own health and peace of mind. For example, I have started screening all my calls. Recently my mom called on a day I was slated to work. I saw her name come up but didn't answer. If it had been a true medical emergency, she could have activated her LifeAlert wristband or called 911. I did immediately listen to her voicemail, and it was not an emergency. She wanted an item from the grocery store. Since I had just done her grocery shop for the week, I was irked by both the call and the request.

To recap, I did not take her call and I did not run her errand. Did I feel guilt? Heck, yeah, but I also felt empowered.

My advice: Find support in a group of caregivers, either online or in person. Think about setting healthy boundaries. Delegate. And realize that this situation could drag on awhile. I have read some comments here that caregiving, afterall, is a finite amount of time. But another comment came from a caregiver who said her mother is 105 years old and going strong. In that scenario, my situation could drag on another 15 years! That has actually stiffened my backbone. Good luck! You are not alone.
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"Mom, I'm sorry that I can't be up to your expectations."

That is a complete sentence. No additional explanation needed. Rinse and repeat as needed.
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Man oh man do I empathize with many here. A couple days ago we found out my own (79 yo) mother's cancer has returned after 20 years of remission. Apparently she mentioned to my aunt, who's just off a year of cancer treatment, that she's going to seek out therapy to make helping her easier for others in her life - so my aunt called ME to tell me that she thinks helping her isn't a burden, she's always positive and bla bla bla.

I just about laughed in her face. She's been *tremendously* difficult, incredibly high maintenance expecting others to come over and keep her company or call her to spend hours on the phone virtually every day. (She had no children so much of the responsibility has fallen on another cousin and myself.) Wonder why it never seems to occur to her others have needs of their own.

YES on the setting boundaries. I'm in the process of finding a therapist b/c I can really see I'm going to need some help dealing with *two* old women with serious health issues.
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A therapist once told me that guilt is when you accidentally drop a baby off a cliff. Otherwise, don't let them get to you. You are doing the very best you can, and it has to be enough. The person being cared for has many ways to throw out guilt... don't take it in. Being a caregiver is a 24/7 strenuous "occupation," but those being cared for don't realize it (or choose not to). Of course they want you all to themselves, to provide for whatever needs they have, to be there when they call or ring the bell, to care only for them.... who wouldn't like this? As a former caregiver for my sister, I know whereof I speak.  It was fortunate that I was able to cope with 11 months of caregiving at home (by myself), but eventually she had to move to a board and care home, where she had to share one caregiver at a time with four other people. It was not what she wanted, but it was what I needed to do for myself. (She passed a month ago.) I don't regret anything. My health was suffering, I was losing weight, and I felt like I was in some sort of a prison.  The lack of freedom was like having one foot nailed to the floor. Putting her in the board and care home was so necessary and a life-saver for me.
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CDNreader, He already lives in a great group home Thank God. But he still thinks my husband and I are at his beck and call. He has all of his mental faculties so there is no reason he can't talk to the medical professionals that come to the home or the owner of the group home, yet he always tries to push it off on me. He calls me at work even though I have told him to call only when it is an emergency, not just to tell me something. Both my husband and I have told him repeatedly we can only do so much. I also told him that I wish he had someone else to help, not always relying on my husband and I. Recently I told him again no calls at work unless it is an emergency but you could tell he is not listening. I've gotten to the point that when he calls at work I ask if its an emergency and if not I tell him I'll talk to him later and basically hang up on him. I've keep telling him he can't dump talking to the medical professionals on me just because he doesn't want to deal with it. I've taken to telling anyone that calls me to talk to my Dad or the owner of the group home where he resides. Just can't take the stress anymore.
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I think u have set ur boundries. I would tell him that personal calls are not really welcome by ur workplace. Tell him that his call interrupt your work. If he is in a group home they should be able to take care of what he wants. Also...when he complains tell him to call his other children. I found that my Mom always depended on me and I did it. Wish now I had told her to call my other siblings.
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Kootiebear, you might take the approach that if you become exhausted and or sick, or worse, you wouldn't be available to help him, at at all. So you have to maintain your health for when he really does need help.

Rationing your assistance helps you help him. That might be a bit confusing, so give him some time to rationalize it.

To demonstrate, you can take a few days off from caregiving for health reasons - it's not dishonest to say that you're mentally exhausted. Probably most of us are. You can add that you saw one of your regular doctors and were advised that if you don't take better care of yourself, you might end up with a catastrophic illness and be hospitalized yourself.

Don't feel guilty about this; it's true. None of us really knows when a health disaster may strike us.
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