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Choosing between my child's happiness and parent's. I'm glad you asked "how do you do it?" because I'm close to losing it, in tears all the time. I'm a single parent of a teenage girl who lives with me full time and have no siblings. My 84 year old father with Parkinsons also lives with us. It is primarily through the sale of his home that we were able to buy this one. Although I pay ALL bills and the mortgage, I still feel indebted. Plus culturally I was raised that your older people stay with you until they pass away. But I work full time in a very demanding job. My daughter has long-standing social anxiety and depression issues. My dad is not the joyful type. He's a good and nice man, but not positive. Nor is he active. He is always ...there. Napping sitting up or shuffling around. Griping. My daughter is losing it slowly, getting more depressed each week with him in the house. She loves him but needs a break. He literally refuses to even go out of the house for even an hour (me to take him for a visit with his sister who lives 5 minutes away). She just asked for an empty house for an hour, to lounge on the couch freely without "bothering" him. I literally feel like a mild to medium heart attack (mine) would be welcome just to give me a break that I don't feel guilty about taking. And to open the door to him about looking to move to assisted living before I collapse. How do you start this conversation with someone from an ethnic group where the elders don't go into homes? And how do I manage this guilt?

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Thank you JessieBelle, and JB0928.

My daughter would love alone time in her own home - when she can just hang out in the living room and watch TV, which she can't now because he's always there (sitting and napping, or laying on the couch and napping).

No, he's not a veteran. He's a 35 year immigrant to the country, but with the Parkinsons he can barely get by in English any more either. I will look at respite care.

Just need to convince him to go as he tends to dig his heels in.

Thank you all again.

Me
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In life there are times when everything around seems gray. A bad mood, do not want to do. These are the first signs of depression. Most often, this condition happens in the autumn, when the lack of sunlight in combination with nasty weather depressing every day. But depression can begin and bright summer day. If you notice any of these signs is that you need to find the cause of the depression or see a specialist.
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Is he a veteran? If so you should look into some of the VA benefits available like respite care or even day care for those with the need.

There are also agencies who function as information hubs for those dealing with aging and parental aging. There are probably a few respit & temporary care options out there.

Other than that, if it comes to it, take the "what would mom want if she were in the right mind approach" and have a tough talk. I'm sure your father wouldn't want to hurt his granddaughter like this nor overly devalue your home life and happiness. Just keep that in the top of your mind, find the words and let them know what's happening (not a discussion but an information relay like "dad, here's what's going to happen"). 10 minutes of tough and steady communication can save you years of pain.
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Ethnic or not it's a toughie isn't it. We all face many of the same challenges no matter the background. For context, I'm black/Cherokee/west Indian. My family holds similar views but I'm married and live in my own home which helps.

My parents act like I'm not married and just expect me to be at their beck and call. When things came to a head last year, I sat down with them and told them how it was going to be....period. I was respectful but sat down some boundaries and acted on them, the first was in home care. Were they furious? You bet! But I'd had enough and was not going to jeopardize my marriage and job. I told them my friend needed a place to go in between jobs and would be 'hanging out' with them which they accepted. They call it therapeutic fibbing here and I've done it regularly. Not happy about it but you do what you gotta do sometimes.

You must put yourself and daughter first or they won't have either of you around to help them. You must accept this whether they do or not! Do you have friends or better yet do they have friends or family that are in AL or NH care? If so, recruit them to talk to your parents assuming it's working out okay. Go on some tours and let them think they would be volunteers. Don't feel guilty for preserving your life that's not an option if YOU want to live. You certainly have enough clues to tell you what I'm saying is true! If not, expect disaster to ensue where you can't help, either because you're sick or dead. Tough to read/hear but true.

It will take time to work through it, but the time will come where something will happen that will force a decision none of you may like. Another thing I started doing was not being too available which only enables them to depend on me more and not look at other options. Their house is falling down around them and I've cut back some on helping so now they are starting to accept that AL will be the answer. Sometimes the wheels have to come off to drive needed changes. You'll get over the guilt. Just recognize you need to be alive in order to get over it! Let them scream, holler, be mad and guilt you to death. Take one step of courage at a time, you can do it. If not, they will own you and they may out live you as a result. Don't let that happen!
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I know what you mean about someone always being there. Wouldn't it be refreshing if they would just go somewhere occasionally? Or if someone else would come pick them up to take them somewhere? Everyone needs some alone time in their own space, but caregiving families often can't get it.

Your situation is a difficult one, since your father has so much invested in the house. Since he is ethnic, I don't know how well he would blend with others in assisted living. I really don't know what the solution to this might be. Do you think your father might entertain the idea of assisted living and if he could afford it? I wondered how severe his Parkinson's is and if he would require special help beyond what most AL facilities offer.

I hope that other people have some good advice for you. I have a feeling in your position I would just wait until what needed to be done becomes clear. I can't say that it would be the best strategy, though. I think you'll just have to go with your gut feelings on this and know that someone is not going to be happy. It is an unfortunate circumstance.

Is there a special place you could arrange for your daughter to go so she can have some alone time?
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Sorry, new here. Just realized I started my discussion as a comment to someone else's (and that's why it starts oddly). But basically, who else feels they need to choose between parents and other family members? And for those who are of an "ethnic" group where elders stay at home, how do you bring up the subject of a nursing home??
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