I am married and live 150 miles away from my Father. I am his CPOA and his only caregiver. I have Friendly Visiting go to visit him once a week and a lady who comes in to clean once a week. I usually go once a week to see him but it is a 4 hour drive there and 4 hours back which only gives me about 4 hours with him and that includes getting his Ensure and a few groceries in and a little housework. I talk to him at least 2 hours a day. His dementia is getting worse and he is at the stage now where he hates everyone and everything. It takes all my willpower not to yell at him. He has all his finances in order as far as I am concerned. I am his CPOA, I am joint with him on his house and Bank Account. I just feel lost as I feel like I should be doing more for him but don't know what. I work part-time (5 days a week) and some weeks I cannot get down to see him. My husband will not drive there on the weekends and I do not drive. We do not have any children but I just got out from 7 weeks of cancer treatment last July 2009 and I still get tired very easily. Does anyone feel as helpless as I do and feel like I should be doing a lot more. My husband said maybe I should quit my job (which I love) and stay with him 3 days a week and come back home for 4. I have thought about this but I think he would drive me crazy. The couple of times I have stayed overnight he has kept me up all night wanting to talk and I am used to 9 hours sleep. I just don't know what to do.

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Check into options of getting your father closer to you or find care that can be with him as often as possible. The process is difficult, trust me I know! I made the decision to leave my home and move back in with my mom. I still feel today that I made the wrong decision because now my life is 'on hold'. I trust in GOD that it will turn out for 'my' good in the end. I do the best I can and I know GOD is pleased with my best. GOOD LUCK to you and know that you are not alone!!! You all are in my thoughts! Much LOVE! ((HUG))
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That was my first thought as well. Seniors often balk at the idea of moving closer to their caregivers, but it is unreasonable, in my opinion, for the caregiver to move or to try and commute long distances, particularly if one is married and/or has kids. Also, seems like two hours on the phone could be a bit stressful in itself. As much as I love my parents, it would be for me!

Would it be feasible for your dad to sell his home and to move into an assisting living arrangement near your home? If not, what about having him live in an accessible apartment near your home and having him attend an adult day care center through the work week? The one in our neighborhood is outstanding. There are many activities: painting, playing on the Wii, watching old movies, board games, memory games, piano playing and singing, as well as occasional gardening, knitting, bingo, bowling, chair hockey--in addition to daily exercise time AND the ability to sign up for physical therapy, in-house barber/hair styling services, toenail trims, and so on, offered on site. Some insurance plans will pay part or all of the cost (my dad's nursing-home-care policy pays for most of his).

Best wishes to you and your dad. Most definitely you are not the only one who feels helpless. My situation is quite a bit different from yours; my parents are in their mid-80's and live fairly close, but I feel helpless with regard to certain situations, most of the time. It's tough, but all we can do is the best we can do, right?
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Both the drive and the worry are going to take its toll on your already fragile health.
As much as seniors hate the idea, at some point many need to move closer to their caregivers. I finally convinced my Mom to move near us and I think that she transitioned quite well. It is still a lot of work, but at least I am closer now.
Also, your father's dementia will get worse and it will become a lot harder for you to care for him long distance or be able to manage in-home help.
My suggestion is to start looking for good care facilities in your town and begin the conversation about moving. You cannot keep up this crazy pace.
good luck
PS: (I don't think that quitting a job you love is a good idea...)
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