Family and friends distancing themselves from the caregiver. Why?

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This is 4 moths now into the care of my elderly parents. They were injured in a car accident--not their fault--the guy ran the red light. It has been ups and downs, but mostly downs. I have the POA. Dealing with their banks, now 2 lawyers--one for the car accident since their insurance company is refusing to pay up due to their age. 88 and 90. Car insurance company is now saying it was their fault, due to age. Then the elder care lawyer to get them on Medicaid. All the paperwork is continues. Social Security is no prize either. But I do it. They are both in a great nursing facility, but that changes week by week. One week, they are ready to go to Assisted Living, the next week no. I have 2 I have interviewed and liked. The others, no. Mom and Dad still get regular--a few times a week, visits from pastors and people in their church. That is wonderful. When this first happened, it seemed like everyone just rallied around us with phone calls and emails and help. I guess I should consider myself lucky. I have 1 good friend who is going thru kinda the same thing with her elderly father and a cousin going thru the same thing with her mother. They have been my lifelines. Others seemed to have backed off. So I do not email or call them anymore. Let them email or call me. I am careful with these folks and try to stay upbeat and talk about their lives and children, not so much about my parents. It is funny, they were so here in the beginning to offer help and encouragement, now nothing. I guess when you go thru a crises, you find out who is really there for you. I have sought professional help for me with all of this. That is helping me to keep my sanity. Why do people distance themselves after awhile?

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
Because they themselves are drained and may need a time of refreshing or it may be that they just don't care to involve themselves anymore.

Involvement takes a great deal of energy!



Top Answer
Missey, I am finding myself pretty much alone, too. My parents have always been hermits, so have no social contacts. When I moved in I had great hopes that I would keep my old friends and make new. Neither of those things happened. People continued with their own lives and my own life started orbiting around my parents' needs. I was probably as guilty as my old friends of not keeping in touch. One problem that is the case for me is that life became so stressful and boring at the same time that I didn't feel like very good company. It was the most I could do to take care of my parents' needs and try to keep my own business going. It sure does get lonely, though, especially because my mother is dreadful company.

I have a feeling that if I started reaching out more that there would be plenty of people there. Sometimes I remind myself that there are a lot of lonely people in the world hoping to make contact. All we have to do is reach out... if we can ever find the time and figure out how to do it. It is harder when we get some age on us than when we were young.
@JessieBelle, I can really relate to what you wrote. Although my parents for now are in a good nursing facility and have good care, I am the one going thru all the paperwork, lawyers, bill paying, etc. I am thankful they have good care. My father especially was pretty much a hermit and my Mom, who used to very social followed suit. When I visit them, daily, I am greeted with a father who has really withdrawn and "just wants to die" and a mother with a boatload of complaints. They do not want to be there, they want to be home. Medicare/Medicaid will not pay for 24/7 care at home. I cannot do it due to my own physical reasons. I am not mad at my friends at all. That is why when I do talk or email to them, I keep it light and focused on them, not my circumstances. I will tell them my parents are the same, no improvement. But I do not get into all the details of it. I am thankful for my 2 friends who are my lifelines and the people of my church. Some family, but not all. I have a cousin whose father had a massive stroke about 6 years ago. He is completely bedridden and now his mind, which had been sharp, is starting to go. She has gone on with her life, she visits, only for an hour or so, once a week. She also has a great husband and 2 wonderful grown children for support too. They go on trips and really seem to enjoy life. Her mother, my Aunt, has also stopped going daily, just 2 times a week for 2 hours. She has also started to live life again, knowing her husband is in good care and taken trips with friends and family. My parents, whenever one of them was in the hospital, the other would be there from morning to night. I have cut my vists down to every other day. For my own sanity. One thing my parents never wanted was to spend their last days in a nursing home. They wanted to die in bed at home. But not to be and Mom reminds me of this everytime I visit. I know it is so very hard on them. They say they are "trapped". I just try and put it aside.

I am thankful for this blog. It gives me a chance to reach out and contact others in similar situations. It does help a great deal. Thank you.
There are a lot of people like you out there. Caregiving is a lonely job, despite the fact that you spend so much time with someone. This site has been so great for caregivers, even if it's just to get some sympathy from others who understand what you are going through.

"Out of sight, out of mind" is how I think many people handle the prospect of someone they care about going into a nursing home. It is painful and distracting to think too much about it, so they put it aside and go on about their lives.

I know how sad and frustrating it can be to visit someone in a nursing home, and get only negativity thrown back at you. It may be little consolation now, but down the road I would bet you look back and feel glad you went to visit them as much as you did.

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