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I have been caretaking for parents and their home for past 7 years. My 79yr old mother has health and mental issues, my hard of hearing 85yr old father does not, but is an alcoholic. When my brother passed away who was caretaking for them, I returned home after living 3,000 miles away, for 12 years, to help my parents, because I felt it was the right thing to do, and mend things with my mother. I am the "black sheep" in my family and my mother always resented me because I am different, and don't do things her way, and she resents me. She is verbally abuse to me and my father, and continues to live in the past. At first I lived in their basement for 3 years, then moved by myself about 15 minutes away from them. I am 60 with my own issues but still went there to clean and do what was needed, I am now feeling burnout. I have a sister who only sends me a text when, she wants to tell me what I should be doing, and other family members who complain about things. None of them visit regularly, offer any help, and don't want to listen to my mother misery, and negative hurtful words, about my dad and his drinking, and the other same old complains that are same thing every day. I am the only one that visits, or tries to get things done. When I try to talk with my family about solutions, they pretty much tell me they don't want to hear, and I should just deal with it. I finally snapped on my sister after I got a text New Year Day, about the hoarding and my mother complaining about what not is getting done. I know what needs to be done, I am willing, with help, but every time they prevent me from doing or getting it done, then turn around, and cry about me doing nothing. I have told my mother hire someone, she doesn't want strangers doing things inside house, and doesn't want to pay people, which they can afford. They fight me about everything, blame me when not done, pay me peanuts, and constantly complains about me to everyone, when I only have their best at heart? Any suggestions?

Your family doesn't want to be a part of this.
Your family doesn't want to help with this care.
It has been a lot of time with them telling you that. I have to tell you I am cruel and selfish enough that I am in their camp. I would not want any part in this as well. I would not be bothering YOU, telling YOU what to do, but I would have walked away and stayed away, and would have told you as kindly as I could that I would not take part in physical care-taking for my parents.
You can't change your family. You can't change your parents.
That all brings us to the New Year starting gate for YOU.
What are YOU willing to do to reclaim your own life? Or will you choose another decade (at the least) with caregiving? If you do choose the latter I can promise you there will not be any reward in it. You will sacrifice your own life and there will be NO thanks for it.
I would suggest a therapist and a determination to comb through everything, realizing the therapist (if a good one) won't want to hear complaints about Mom and Dad for too long, nor complaints about the siblings and other family too much. The therapist, if a good one, will want to HELP YOU. YOU. YOU. To comb through this, to find a way to resign care whether that be placement of parents, guardianship of state for parents or a simple resign and move to France after telling family you won't be around, and they will have to do as they choose. Give your parents the numbers for APS and for the Council on Aging and for 911.
I know this all sounds so mean, and many consider me a bit of a mean person, but I have decided in this new year that I can no longer attempt to pussyfoot nicely about what I need people to hear from me. There just isn't world enough and time. dmarie, I think you already KNOW much of this. You come across as a very intelligent person. You are well spoken. You know in your heart your choices are to continue as you are, or to move away. I know you must fear guilt, but quite honestly guilt assumes that you can CHANGE this and you can't. It assumes you are a god or a fairy and you have some magic wand you can wave and everyone will be well behaved and helpful. You don't have that and it won't help enough.
I am so sorry you are going through this. I am so sorry you have gone through it so long, because the longer you are enmeshed in it the more difficult it is to extricate yourself; but you are now of an age where you may die before your parents. I am 80. My daughter (eldest) is 60. Is she now to sacrifice herself for the decade I may live (I am, unfortunately I sometimes think, fairly heathly; what if she is not?) for me? I hope to all that is good and just not. It is why I have worked and saved and maintained distance and independence, it is why the link between us now is love, not dependence. With all my heart I would hope she would walk away and save herself. I hope you will, as well. My heart goes out to you. And to your parents as well. You have ONE LIFE. You are not responsible for your parents; they were for YOU. You are to pay that love and caring forward for your OWN family, whether blood or friend-family.
Good luck. It's a new year. I hope you will consider all the advice you get here, sift it out to what will help YOU and leave the rest of it where most "good advice" goes to die.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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rovana Jan 2, 2022
Excellent post!
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Clearly, your "helping" is not helping them and causing you angst and unhappiness.

Have you considered leaving them alone to deal with their own problems?

I understand that you thought that it was the right thing todo, but no one should put up with abuse. From anyone.

How about you take a 2 week break and see how things change?

The only control you have in this situation is your behavior, helping or withdrawing that help.
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Sendhelp Jan 2, 2022
Barb,
The best advice of the New Year!
It applies to my most recent struggles when it comes to narcissists that came out of the woodwork this last holiday season.
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I can only echo what others have said and what I was thinking as I was reading your post.
Move again, this time about another 2900 miles away.
Often what happens is there needs to be some catastrophe that will MAYBE motivate people into changing what is wrong. Your family has not reached this point. (sorta like an addict reaching rock bottom before they can work their way back up)
When that happens they can pay for the help that they need.
They obviously do not have your best at heart.
Please start the new year off by setting boundaries for yourself and for them.
Treat yourself with the love, respect and caring that you do for them. You will appreciate it, they don't
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Beatty Jan 4, 2022
Yes. Need to be far enough away they cannot get under your skin.

I hear New Zealand is nice.
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Protect yourself. I've been on this Insane Train for over a decade, I'm an only child, both parents comingling alcohol & prescription drugs. I found that nobody cared, nobody. Primary care doc, hospital ER doc, skilled nursing folks (went through all that with both parents). My mom has done multiple rounds in a "senior" substance abuse facility. In the end, it was always dumped back into my lap. There was never a solution, things only got worse with each passing week, month, year. Dad eventually ended up in memory care (because my drunk mom refused to care for him in any manner), died in 2019, and I am still stuck overseeing her care. I found you just can't help those that reject help and are hell-bent on following the downward spiral, especially those who will take others down with them.
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Reply to Upstream
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Why has it taken you 7 years to acknowledge the family truths that you were aware of before you started?

Why are you paying any attention to what your family says (thinks, gossips, wants, etc.) when you KNOW that as long as you’re with Mom and Dad, THEY don’t have to do ANYTHING?

What will it take to remove yourself from a negative and dysfunctional situation that has entrapped you? You have PROVEN your willingness to take part absent their approval and WITH criticism and insult.

What will YOU need to do to take yourself out of this and make decisions on your parents’ safety and care, without depriving yourself of what YOU need?

Give yourself permission, then act. Seven years is enough. Whose turn is it now?
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Reply to AnnReid
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You've done your best with your parents but they need more help and support than you can provide. More than any one person can provide. It's time for you to walk away from the caregiving situation you're living in. You cannot help them. Your mother established you as the family scapegoat a long time ago, and no matter how hard a scapegoat tries it's always in vain and never enough. Put in a call to APS (Adult Protective Services) and explain this situation. That there is an elderly couple, your parents, who are in a high-risk situation. Both are non-thriving adults and there is also alcoholism. They cannot live on their own. You can also ask the local police department to make regular wellness checks on them too. This is all you can do.
Before you go, explain to your mother that if she continues being stubborn about not allowing in homecare help, the state will take over and put them both in a care facility against whether they want to or not. They can and they do. Your family also needs to know this.
I've been an elderly caregiver for almost 25 years. I have worked for many elderly people who were managing well enough in their homes and who had family help who were put into care facilities because an overly zealous social worker or visiting nurse insists upon it and wants that company bonus. This happens all the time.
Show your family this post. If they think that will never happen with your parents, wait and see. Tell them to 'F-off' in the meantime. If they're not helping in any way with your parents' care, they don't get a say.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Alanon really helped me when I was dealing with alcoholic father. I leaned how to set healthy boundaries.

Hugs.
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Reply to brandee
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Move back away 3,000 miles. Suggest ALF for both of them & assist in selling house to pay for care. You can look around for facilities…start the process. One thing for sure..this has to change or nothing will change! The only thing worse is it will be 8 years. You don’t want to end up where your brother is. Take care of YOU!!! Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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I keep seeing these kinds of calls for help. To be brief which is not my best trait, time to give notice that you will be moving soon. Their options are to get other family members to take over or move to an AL or NH if no other family care to help. Not being appreciated at least by absentee family who love to give advice in spite of their absence says its time to wrap things up on your part. Out of patience with the patients, and family.
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Reply to Rick10
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Step away, drop the rope, take a long break.
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