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I am a bit overwhelmed reading the vast majority of posts that hate what caregiving their beloveds has brought to their life. My dad will be moving in with my family shortly and the passion and the zeal with which the majority of you feel this is terrible decision... concerns me and makes me wonder why any of you do it at all. Save for financial concerns. Silver linings appreciated.

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The people who manage to carry it off without any worries are not as likely to post of course. I think lack of support is the biggest factor that leads to burnout, and just how much support and what kind is needed is something that varies according to our personalities and the type of care we have to give. Most of us here began caregiving with the best of intentions and an "I can do it" attitude, often the despair you read here is the result of caregiving that has gone on too long or has pushed us beyond out capabilities. If you read back far enough you will find evidence of my own spiral into total burnout and you may think I am a horrible person based on some of the things I wrote. The thing is, this is a safe place to come and scream, curse and cry, and even when our posts are full of venom you are really just seeing a tiny glimpse of our lives.
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My life's philosophy has always been "no regrets".

While I didn't move my mother into my home and provide hands-on care as so many of the brave souls have done - as you see by their posts - I did dedicate six years of taking care of every detail of her life.

My own situation of having a sevearly disabled adult child living at home would have made it impossible to give either the care and attention they each needed - had my mother lived with us. But honestly- had it just been hubby and me I doubt if I would have moved my mother in. As it was, my mother was extremely difficult to deal with. Moms life practically became my whole life - I neglected myself, my husband and to an extent my son.

I was completely out of my depth - knowing little about dementia and being totally unable to draw any boundaries. I say with complete honesty, I was teetering on the edge of emotional and physical collapse when I found this site - and the good people here saved me.

So silver lining? Yes. I know without a doubt I did the very best I could for my mother. That every decision I made on her behalf was in her best interest. I treated my mother with love and respect until the very end.

Was I perfect? No. But - I did the very best that I could. And - for the rest of my life I can go forward knowing that - with no regrets.
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Hi there,
I see you are care taking your dad who has mobility problems. I'm also guessing that you had a fairly normal, loving childhood and have a pretty good relationship with him now. Lucky you. I'd give anything to be in your situation.

My 94 year old mother is in stage 6-7 Alzheimer's. Our family history is that she "got caught" and they "had" to get married. Both were alcoholics, had bitter physical fights and divorced 5 years later. I'm an only child. (I'm happy no other child had to suffer in that family.) A kid was the last thing she wanted.

Mother was narcissistic and thought of herself first. Only the best and finest for her. She conducted herself like a queen. She never hugged and kissed me (thank God my dad did) and pushed me away when I wanted to hug her.

Fast forward 60 years. She can no longer afford the memory care home. She was falling a lot there anyway and broke her wrist. I have been taking care of her for 4 years but now she lives with us. On top of being completely confused, she is mean, screams frequently, is demanding, needs total assistance with everything (toileting, bathing, eating, dressing, medicines, walking, etc.). At lunch today she threw her sandwich at me, screaming and shaking her fists in my face.
Now, with our less than wonderful family history and her Alzheimer's and normal demanding attitude, do you think I'm singing about how wonderful it is to take care of her? It's easy to criticize our attitudes but, until you've walked a mile in our shoes, you can't really say how "bad" we are. All of us are doing the best we can.
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How people feel depends much on the personality of the care receiver, their relationship when the caregiver was a child, and the length of time someone needs care. If a parent is an angel and a great parent, then it doesn't wear as heavily on caregivers to be with them for a few years. However, if the parent was a neglectful or abusive parent who still treats a caregiver poorly, then it gets old fast. We tend to lay blame on the caregiver because the care receiver is old. Many times it is not the caregiver who is at fault. They can give years of their lives, only to be mistreated by the parent and criticized if they try to protect themselves. I've not seen this in families where parents love and respect their children.
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So, I think that "kids" who were neglected and/or abused, who caregive because they think, magically, that their abusive parent will begin to love them are almost always disappointed in their caregiving experience.

Kids whose parents have dementia/mental ilness that prevents them from appreciating the sacrifice that their child is making are similarly disappointed.

Kids who have a dysfunctional family relationship, in which one sibling has always been considered slow, less able and gets stuck with caregiving are often angry and resentful.

But there are often situations in which bringing an elderly, disabled parent into a private home is simply not the best idea. In a good care facility, your parent has medical supervision, socialization and on site access to services. For those of us who live in zones where there are hurricanes, tornados and awful snow, having a parent safe and sound in a facility with a generator can be a Godsend.
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Dear outdoormelle,

It is good of you to bring your dad home. Everyone is so different. I think for some people there is some regret in letting an elderly parent move in. I think we all start out with the best intentions and then our parent's needs escalate and this can be increasingly stressful.

For myself, as the oldest of my sibling group, I have always been the default caregiver in my family. My mother divorced my father and he had no one in our town. I don't regret living with my father or caring for him. But I do regret not getting more help. The lack of support and understanding from siblings lead to burnout, anger, resentment, depression...but I hope my dad knew I tried.
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I moved across the country as soon as it was clear my Mom needed me.

We have always been very close. We always talked a couple times a week..very often more. I know her feelings were very strong against going into a nursing home....she saw how awful it was for her Mom.

So...once I arrived...I discovered my Dad was in even worse shape...and advanced dementia too.

I never gave it a second thought. I was surprise to learn my brother would be no help at all. All he wanted was money.

So, I admit it was hard dealing with my Dad. But to my great surprise, when I started make plans to put him in a nursing home because it had gotten so bad...he suddenly died.

My mother survived him by only 10 months. She was always a dear, sweet, easy going. A pleasure to be around. That did not change. But..the TIA stole everything from her. She stopped being the Mom I knew. Sharp wit, wonderful sense of adventure, all gone. But..I never for a minute regretted living those final years with her.
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This is a safe place to vent. This forum has helped me keep my sanity -- and I share this website with everyone and anyone who is - or about to become - a caregiver. As a matter of fact, I think this is so helpful because it often lets you know the good, bad and ugly and allows you to get a baseline view of reality about your own situation. I thought I was THE ONLY ONE who felt the way I did, and then I found out it's just normal caregiver angst, or more seriously, burnout.
Seriously, move forward with best intentions and know this is a safe place on the days when things don't go to plan.
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After living with my mother for 46 out of my 56 years., yes 10 years without her when I married at 23, and was out of state for 10 years. , I will never ever live with my daughter. What people posted here is 100 percent correct. Marriage dynamics change. Parenting your own child is never easy with grandma piping in every time a time out is necessary. And it goes on as your child's life does. Always hearing their opinions on what you should do At this point , it's just the norm. My mom didn't have dementia when we decided to move in together when I was 33. She does now. I'm an only, so is my daughter. After living this life , the best thing I can do for my daughter is to never expect from her what was from me.
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One more thing to add to Jeannegibbs' list, use your parent's money to pay for their care (and that includes paying you).
We hear again and again from people who cared for their parents for years, even decades, only to have the promised inheritance split equally with non caregiving siblings or gobbled up by medicaid. People give up jobs, renovate their homes, and hire in extra care all on their own dime while mom & dad bank their pensions and leave their savings untouched, and that is just wrong.
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