My 81 yo father has many health concerns as well as dementia. I’m living with my mother and him, and my mother and I take care of him. He was still able to do some things for himself until 2 weeks ago. Now, he needs to be lifted in and out of bed and moved about by wheelchair. His communication skills are limited, and he is unable to attend to any personal needs. We both love him absolutely and feel lucky for the time we still have with him. He began receiving hospice care in home last week, and it has been a great emotional trauma to think that this means we are losing him.
My brother lives abroad and visits a couple of times a year. He and I have never been close and to this day, we have never discussed how to care for our parents. It appears assumed that I’ll handle it, no problem. I don’t protest because I’m happy to do it, regardless of how difficult it can get. I’m very close with all his kids, and it’s been our practice that they all come for vactions, and at some point, their parents leave for a private vacation, and my mother and I care for the kids. Again, it’s never discussed - it just happens and I go along with it. I love the kids, so it’s not a bother, and I don’t complain about how presumptuous it is to ignore me most of my life, but just randomly make plans that involve me taking care of his kids without ever talking to me first. Whatever, that’s how it is.
BUT, with the next month-long visit 3 weeks away, I made a point of saying that I’d like at least one parent to be here so that neither my father nor the kids will be neglected. We also had planned a short trip I would take with one of the kids, but that would leave my mother alone to care for my dad and a grandchild, which she physically and emotionally is not fit to do. My brother is my mom’s favorite, so now she’s upset with me for interjecting that I’d like some back-up to help out during their visit.
I feel like I’m missing something. How am I selfish for feeling that the sudden prospect of my father dying and recently becoming a complete invalid should mean that at least 1 parent be here full time for their kids? I can’t be a babysitter and a caregiver. I just can’t. I love those kids more than anything, and I’d still like them to visit, but not at the expense of my father’s care. Mom’s mad and basically accused me of cancelling the summer plans because I refuse to back down off of this. What am I missing?