Hello all, I'm a single child since my brother passed away 10 years ago, I'm now in my mid 40s and I'm married with 2 beautiful kids, my mom is 70 and my dad is 73 and both of them are staying alone and I'm staying with my wife and kids in a separate house. Since my brother passed away 10 years ago, I have come to realized that I'm the only child now and I have to be prepared to be the caregiver to my aging parents and since last year I have been going into depression and anxiety all the time as I cannot stop thinking about the problems, and so called nightmares that I have to face in the event their health deteriorates further. My mom in her 70's now is diagnosed with 1st stage Parkinson's and mobility is becoming an issue as she cannot walk by herself without someone to hold her arms and she can fall and unbalanced herself anytime, my dad still is able to walk but in a slow pace due to occasional leg pains and such, but he is still good and he still drives around, for the past 3 years my dad has been bathing my mom as she cannot be left alone in the bath room fearing of fall as she has fell many times. I have worries left and right coming and not a single day pass that I don't think of them, I'm fighting my anxiety and depression now and they don't know what I'm going through and it is only occasionally they see that I'm not happy and irritated, I'm also working to ensure my family gets food on the table and I'm trying hard to juggle what I'm thinking and such. My close uncle has been trying to tell me to get your mind in control and stop thinking about them as this worry of yours is no help and you cannot do anything. I'm also getting phobia over their phone calls especially at night as there are few instances that my mom fell at night when going to the bathroom and my dad will ring me up to rush to their place to help her get back up as my dad isn't that strong to help her up. I'm so worried all the time and cannot stop thinking about them and I always have this bleak future of them and it worries me that when the time comes how would I take care of them? What do I do? What happens if my dad is hospitalized and how would I go about taking care of my mom and my dad? How do I handle my work, my own family and them?

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It might be good to begin planning now for the future, such as looking into home health agencies and AL and skilled nursing facilities, the pros and cons and costs of each, etc. You will most definitely need help when the time comes, and it will ease your mind to be able to have a plan in place.

You might talk to your parents also about putting a POA for financial and medical in place, as well as advance directives, and how they want their affairs handled in the event that they become unable to make those decisions for themselves, and get an attorney to put it in writing. That way, you will already know what their wishes are and can carry them out.

I understand about the anxiety. I've been experiencing that with my mom as well. It's just never knowing what each day is going to bring, whether there will be a crisis of some sort, or a fire I have to put out metaphorically speaking. Also juggling taking care of kids, work, and a family is rough.

I've learned through this process to just try to take things one day at a time, some days I do better than others at that. Therapy helps me to talk it out, and be able to learn how to cope better with the major changes.

Venting on here and getting advice has helped me keep my sanity as well, as there are so many others going through the same thing, so it's good to know you're not alone. Plus have gotten some good input too.

Be sure and take care of you as you go through this process. Taking care of your physical and mental health is so important. Hugs to you, come back here anytime, we're here for you.
Helpful Answer (3)

I agree with part of your uncle's advice. Work on your own problems first. As you say, it sounds like you might be experiencing depression and/or anxiety. Both of those conditions can be effectively treated. Getting help with your problems will not only make you feel better, it will make you a better caregiver/decision-maker when the time comes. Generally the treatment includes medication and talk therapy and some life-style changes. Are you seeing a therapist now? Have you ever?

Instead of thinking only about the "bleak future" ahead for your parents, give some thought to how to brighten their present. Would they enjoy going with you to a botanical garden/conservatory/garden shop? Could Dad push Mom in a wheelchair? It might help him walk. Or you could push her at a slow pace. How about a museum? A children's museum can be very appropriate for elders. Take Mom out for lunch, and give Dad some time to himself at home. Or just go play cards with them, or a board game. Or bring over your ice cream maker and make some ice cream! Focus on doing what you can to add pleasure to their lives now. When they need caregiving, it is important you help them to get what they need, but not necessary that you provide it yourself.

First, though, get treatment for yourself.
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