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My husband and I have been taking care of my 73 year old father for a little over two and half months now. He requires 24 hour care. It looks like dementia might be creeping in. He forgets my husbands name. Two other people can be in a room with him and he has to yell for me. It’s starting to really wear me down. I’m just so frustrated with things. To the point that this evening my husband and I had an discussions about how to put a depends on!
I am able to get out of the house a few times a week. But that isn’t seeming to help me or my attitude.
How do you cope, survive, manage without resentment?

Resentment is useful. It is a warning that you are giving too much.

If you are giving too much, it is time to reassess & make changes.
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Sunnydayze Feb 26, 2021
I loved how you defined resentment. I agree! Thank you!
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In order to care for an elder in house 24/7, you really have to WANT to do it, otherwise, the resentment and anger will set in & it's hard to get rid of. I know I could never do it myself, so I placed my folks in Assisted Living when their care needs required it back in 2014. Dad passed in 2015 and my mother is now 94 with dementia, and living in Memory Care Assisted Living, incontinent and wheelchair bound. I would literally have shot myself by now if I had her living with me........no way would I be able to do it! It would have ruined my marriage as well, to be quite honest, because we would have no alone time and no privacy.

If you feel you can do it, great. If not, look into Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing for your dad. He's still pretty young at 73 so you can be looking at a lot more years of care ahead. Be honest with yourself, and don't let GUILT drive your decision. My mother has had a very good quality of life AND care in Assisted Living these past 6+ years, and I believe her life has been extended as a result of the excellent care she's received by the attentive staff.

If you choose to keep caring for your dad at home, you may want to look into therapy to help you develop some healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the stress.

Wishing you the best of luck moving forward.
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Kmulheman3 Feb 24, 2021
Thank you for your input
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I think we all may go into Caregiving with a "romantic" outlook. Really TV, when I was young portrayed people with Dementia as little old men and women sitting in a rocking chair staring at a wall. It is so not like it. I think part of my problem caring for Mom in the 20 months I did was I always planned to place her in an AL. I was trying to sell the house and with that and her savings I could place her in an AL and after at least paying 2 yrs she could go on Medicaid. I was able to place her. Mom was pretty much in her Dementia by the time she came to my home. She could only feed herself. When she got a shower I had to direct her where to wash thinking it was better she did as much for herself as possible. I ended up doing the job. Then dress her. Got her meals for her. I was retired only 3 yrs and watched an infant grandson till Mom came. My youngest had been out of the house 4 yrs. We did what we wanted when we wanted. Slept late and then, it was like having a small child in the house again. I could be doing some thing around the house all morning. Going by Moms room lots of times but just as I sat down, she called me. And I don't do waking me up in the middle of the night since I don't sleep well anyway.

If it gets too much, don't feel guilty putting him in an AL if he can afford it. My brother and I both felt that our responsibility to Mom was making sure she was safe and cared for. I did that.
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Well, I never had any family need to move in with us and so I cannot say how I would have handled resentment in that situation. (Not well, knowing what I know now)

BUT...

I have cared for elderly parents in their homes and have burned to a crisp and fallen down, never to return.

I learned the hard way that DH looks on ME as being an extension of himself, and anything I did for his parents was just the same as if HE did it.

Well, he never got on hands and knees and scraped dried poop off the carpet and peeled gross, messed underwear from under the bed or whatever hiding place his father had found. He didn't scrub with bleach behind the toilets and clean carpets that dad had bled into after a fall. He didn't have to get 'nasty' with his dad to make him shower. HE didn't dress open, oozing wounds that wouldn't heal. HE didn't do 2 am hospital runs b/c his father couldn't read a thermometer and thought 101.2 meant '102' and he had to go to the hospital when his fever spiked.

He didn't live with 46 years (and counting!) of his mother's hateful, nasty attitude towards me. HE wasn't required to stand on a small throw rug all during a visit because she didn't want me to sit down.

I did all this, and much, much more because I thought that's just what you DO for lo's. My attitudes have shifted 180 degrees to the opposite.

My FIL died, so caring for him, while exhausting, only lasting really hard for about a year. His mother will never, ever die, so she's in our lives at some level forever.

I simply went 'lights out' with her. I don't speak to her nor see her. I resent that she treats my DH like a stupid child and yells at him over things he did as a child. So he climbed the giant willow tree when he was 5? He got down and was fine! She had the tree cut down so he couldn't climb it again. Duh. There's a couple more trees in the world, lady.

I don't do much for my mom. I have a lot of resentment towards her over her being a pretty poor mother and much worse grandmother and a completely checked out great grandmother. I did way too much for her and now I do nothing. I'm not happy with this 'middle of the road' but I cannot change it.

Feeling resentment towards someone you 'should' love is such a mixed emotional mess. I just adored my grandparents and thought that was what being a g-parent was like.

It can be, certainly. But it often isn't.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Welcome to the forum.

Our lives change drastically when we allow loved ones to move into our homes.

Even if a family is fortunate enough to have outside help, it is still difficult to achieve a healthy balance.

Caregivers will eventually burn out if stretched past their limits.

Many caregivers do eventually place their parents in a facility as their needs increase.

The bottom line is even though there will be ongoing challenges in meeting your parents needs if they are living in a facility, at least the load will be much lighter than if you had the entire situation in your home.

I understand how difficult it is to decide what is best for your family.

I cared for my parents too.

I did a lot for my dad but it was a lot easier to care for my father because he was not living in my home.

It became very difficult to care for my mom who lived with us for 15 years in our home.

I felt the weight of the world lift off of my shoulders when I no longer had the full time responsibilities of being her primary caregiver.

Please do not ever believe that surrendering caregiving in your home is a lack of love for your parents.

The most important thing is that they are receiving proper care.

You do not have to be the person doing the hands on care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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My parents used to say "the greatest gift we can give you is not having to take care of us when we are old"
How I wish more parents had the same attitude. Every family has its own dynamic, there is obviously no right or wrong answer other than do the best for you and your husband. Visit care facilities when you have the chance. Talk to the staff, they deal with situations everyday and can give you great advice. Sadly, there is nothing more guilt inducing than resentment towards a parent at the end of their life. You must remember - you have made the brave decision to admit you are hitting a wall. The next step is a plan to place your father in a care facility where you can visit as often as possible but still have a life.
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BurntCaregiver Feb 28, 2021
Twithdogs, you have some cool parents. If only all parents would be so good to their kids.
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Caring for a loved one in the home is not for everyone. It can be done, but as you are discovering, it can be very overwhelming and frustrating. If you are feeling this way after just 2 1/2 months, then perhaps it's time that you start looking for the appropriate facility for your father to be placed in. That way he will receive the 24/7 care he needs by trained professionals, and you can just get back to being his daughter. Wishing you the best.
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DianneKK Feb 28, 2021
I agree, these sorts of feelings after only 2 and half months is a warning sign. I say only, because I'm going on year 12 here!! Many here, even longer! Look into facilities asap. His type of disease will need professional care and to go ahead and transition him while he is still present will be better. For him & you. Don't beat yourself up! Not everyone can do live in care & honestly most of us are wondering when we get our own home & lives back. It doesn't mean we don't love our parents! We all have the right to live our own lives. Not for the faint hearted at all. It's been so hard but I still wouldn't trade the time I've had with mom. But she doesn't have dementia. That type of disease truly needs specialized skills and care. Sometimes in loving and caregiving we have to make the really tough choices to make sure their needs and safety are met.
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I agree with the others you have to really want and be capable of doing it because if not it will result in anger and resentment and as in our case a total disaster for everyone involved. Remember it’s a full time job and not everyone is cut out for it and it’s nothing to be ashamed of It sounds like you are just trying to make sure he gets the care he needs. Good luck
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Reply to Maine127
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Remember that dementia tends to be progressive, gets worse over time and never better. You and your husband are probably realizing that you need more help to provide 24/7 care. Ask family members, friends, members of your faith community... to lend a hand. If you still can not secure enough help, look into paid help: home health aides, adult day program at a local facility, assisted living, and residential facilities. The staff for each type of care can help you navigate the type of assistance your father needs and the costs involved.

How to know you have enough help? You'll know that you are are the right track when you and your husband can:
get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night
eat 3 healthy meals at a reasonable pace without stress
have "time off" to meet your own health care needs
have "time off" daily and weekly to nourish your soul in activities you enjjoy with people you value.
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Reply to Taarna
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You need professional homecare workers to come and help with your father.
How can you and your husband expect yourselves to know how to do the work of a professional in-home caregiver without any training or experience in it? If the two of you are together trying to figure out how to put a Depend on someone, then you need some help and that's okay. It's to be expected that you would feel a lot of resentment. Very suddenly and recently your life and home was hijacked by a situation you have no training on how to deal with, yet it now requires your attention 24 hours a day. Every need, every demand from A to Z. So please don't guilt yourself for feeling resentment over all that. There needs to be homecare services coming to help.
A good CNA with homecare experience will not only help with the caregiving, but they can teach you the proper way to put a Depend on someone, how to safely transfer them, how to do their hygiene care and many, many other things. These daily caregiving tasks can result in serious injury to your father and yourselves if you don't know how to properly and safely do them.
Please, go online to a caregiver website and start looking for potential caregiver help. If you hire privately you will be able to vet a person better than an agency does and the pay can be negotiated. Good luck with it.
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