My father had surgery two months ago. I told him after the surgery he would not be able to care for himself. My stepmother has been in a nursing home for 15 months and my dads health is declining. He fought me tooth and nail to not come to my home so I could care for him. He finally relented and said it would only be two weeks, and now it’s been two months. It is very difficult caring for him because he did not raise me and my brother when we were 7 & 9 years old. After my mother died, he remarried and his wife did not want us. He sent us to live with our maternal grandmother. Now he needs me and my heart is not in it even though I am caring for him. I won’t abandon him in his time of need but I’m going crazy and am burnt out. How do you work through those types of feelings?

Put him in the nursing home with his wife. Seriously, even if he was the greatest father in the world you're not responsible for his care; and you sure as hell should not be feeling guilty for not wanting to be a full time caregiver to a deadbeat Dad. If he won't go to the nursing home, send him back to his own home to rot.

One of the most common trends I've seen on these forums and elsewhere is people that have bad relationships with their parents getting roped into caregiving and destroying their lives from it. Don't let that happen to you.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to ZippyZee
shad250 Jul 10, 2020
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You have no earthly idea what "caregiver" means. Are you ready to change your parent's diapers, keep them clean, bathe them, brush their teeth (oral hygiene is absolutely essential to prevent pneumonia), feed them, and manage their bowels such as giving them an enema before they get impacted. Medications...insulin... Been there...done that..for YEARS. On top of that your siblings think caregiving is easy because they never had to deal with diapering, enemas, bathing them, feeding them...taking them to the emergency room over some UTI or respiratory infection...and when they "sundown" they will keep you up for hours with incessant talking saying the same thing over and over and over and over again. Keeping them safe and preventing falls IS a full time job in itself on top of the needs of living.

MEANWHILE you lose your job because caregiving is a FULL TIME JOB. And your life savings dwindles down to zero. Oh...your own siblings may fight over the estate after your parent dies.

Go a caregiver. And LOSE YOUR OWN LIFE.

Been there..done I"m 60 and having to start over again. On top of this CoVID-19 mess.
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Reply to cetude
DILhagen2 Jul 10, 2020
You summed up “caregiving” perfectly and the toll it takes on the family members. I’m so glad my MIL has the money for caregivers, as my husband can’t possibly do all those duties and has stated that he will NOT be involved in toileting his mother. So, naturally the sister in laws felt that responsibility was mine. The 2 sisters are already p.o. that we haven’t “helped” in the way they wanted us to...BUT...MIL has a lot of money and they’re finally hiring through an agency to care for her in her home. That’s the difference I think: if the loved one has the monies for outside shouldn’t fall on the family members.
Im hoping you find peace and joy again as you start over. You still have many good years left. Today is a new day and another chance. Best wishes
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Although not my own personal experience many *many* on this forum are and have been in your shoes. I respect you for not just cutting and running -- just in that alone you are doing a merciful thing. You are under no obligation to care for him (I'm pretty sure forum sages will speak to you about F.O.G. : Fear, Obligation, Guilt and how to overcome it).

After you come to peace about "rehoming" him, you need to know what you actually can do about the situation.
- do you have durable PoA for him? Does anyone?
- has he ever been medically diagnosed (like it is in his records) with dementia, ALZ, Lewy-Body or any cognitive issues that affect his capacity to make rational decisions for himself?
- your profile says he can't afford in-home care, but do you know enough about his finances to know if he can private pay a facility, even for a short while?

Perhaps your father needs to know that if he doesn't cooperate APS will be called in and the county will pursue guardianship of him. They you are fully released of all of his care: medical, financial and anything else. Maybe this is the path you should take anyway. This is the "retirement" he planned for.

Answering these questions will enable the forum to give you practical suggestions. I know you will get all the moral support necessary to move forward in getting your father the appropriate care he requires. I wish you all the best and peace in your heart during the process. May it go quickly and smoothly!
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Reply to Geaton777

Seems he needs care that is difficult for you - maybe just emotionally and maybe a lot of work. Please consider helping him into the same nursing home as his wife. Then, you can visit without the emotional burden that is causing you to feel burnt out. I would also suggest that you would benefit from counseling - either group or one-on-one to deal with your hurts from family life in the past. It is always better to get to a place of healing while the "difficult person" is alive than after they have passed.
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Reply to Taarna

First you have to recognize that you are not responsible for his care.

It does not change if he was a wonderful father or a crappy one, no child is responsible for providing care to their parent.

Next providing care, if you choose to do it, does not mean you have to do hands on caregiving in your home nor theirs.

He can go live in a care facility.
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Reply to Tothill

Please, dear friend, do not ruin your life. Please.
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Reply to ChangesThatHeal

A very difficult situation and bless you for taking him in at all. Find a nursing home or even maybe a rehab facility that will take him. In caring for someone does not mean you physically have to be there or do all the work. See that he is cared for by others.
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Reply to kmich0001

Lol, Cetude pretty much summed it up for me (preach it, sister!). No laughing matter really, but sometimes just need the release. Yes, 24/7 full time job and SO MUCH HARDER than caring for a toddler. And if you should have any health problems while caring for him, QUADRUPLE the stress level. The work involved in getting him into a facility (may be a mult-month process), with whatever means necessary, will be worth the frustration and stress once he is settled and you have some semblance of normal back.
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Reply to HVsdaughter


Clearly you are a caring person. Despite what happened in the past, you have been willing to help him out.

So, what is the reason he is still there? He fought with you because he didn't want to move in, so what is the issue? Why is he still there after 2 months instead of 2 weeks? Failure to improve following surgery? Additional medical issues? Or has he just gotten used to being waited on and lets you do all the work?

If he has "recovered" from the surgery, you need to discuss his plans going forward. He would need to take on his own self-care, even if it is in stages, to become more self-reliant, and then move back to his own place.

If he hasn't "recovered", what is the issue? Has he failed to try to improve? Is he just being lazy and letting you do everything?

You shouldn't have to "work through" any feelings. Either he is capable to care for himself or he isn't. If he isn't, then he needs to seek LTC placement. Where was he living before? House or apartment? Is that still open for him to return to? If he has a house, but can't care for himself, he needs to sell it to pay for the LTC. If there are no assets, Medicaid.

Again - you are a very kind-hearted person to insist on taking him in, despite the past, but it IS time to move on. You can see to it that he either gets help in his own place or moves to LTC, and then you can choose what interaction you wish to have going forward. Rather than wallow in these feelings, use that energy, be proactive, and formulate a plan!
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Reply to disgustedtoo

Imho, I full well understand the concept of caring for someone who was not a father to you when he should have been. His life now became a dilemma that encompassed you since you are a caring person. Since the two weeks has now clicked down, perhaps he should be placed with his wife in the Nursing Home.
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Reply to Llamalover47

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