How do I tell my Dad I don't want him to live with us forever without feeling guilty?


Dad has bladder cancer and has been living with me, my husband and 4 kids for four months now..Its hard. He cries at the really small things, he keeps telling me how much he missed (home). he went to visit my sister for 12 days..Dad moving in was a temporary solution, he had health issues. Now he has to get his bladder removed. I don't know how to tell him that he cannot live with us forever, I want him out in a couple months..I want my life back. I know that may sound cruel, but he has had a knee replaced, epilepsy, now bladder cancer. He is constantly complaining about his knee, life, everything... It is really hard living with him on my family & I.

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kimmy - it might be helpful for you to start the research on nursing homes in your area. We had 48 hours with my mom and it was hairy. If you have a friend in healthcare, he/she may be able to give you good feedback on facilities. Also, you can go online and research their ratings from the state Joint Commission. Transition from the hospital is far easier than from a residence, for a lot of reason including Medicare coverage.

With your sister, you need to set that boundary that you have a husband, 4 kids, a home and Dad's needs will increase. She may not like this option, but if you are expected to care for Dad in your home, you have full right to determine what course of action is best for all.

emjo references parental guilt - we all have that with regard to our parents. We have fewer and fewer options, and that is what it is. But we have full control over whether we have parental guilt regarding our kids. Grab those moments helping with homework, cheering them at games, cuddling at night. Be present in those precious times with them.
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kimmy - I responded to you on another thread. I agree with guestshopadmin. When it comes time for your dad to be discharged, tell the hospital social worker that you cannot provide appropriate care at your home and refuse to take him back. Then they are obliged to find a suitable place for him. Either he can afford to pay or he goes on Medicaid.
Re the guilt for not doing what a parent expects of you - some parents play that game very well. Sounds like your dad does and maybe did in the past. Also it sounds to me that he never intended this to be temporary but always intended for it to be permanent but was not open about his intentions, or he changed his mind, but without discussing it with you. You need to set boundaries - that being that you cannot look after him in your home any more. He won't like it and will press the guilt buttons in you, but as guest says - what about your health? This is a impossible load. What about your husband who is "putting up" with this for you? What about your son who gave up his room? You could feel guilty about any of these things. Parental guilt seems to occupy a more important position for many of us, but it doesn't mean that it is more important. Yes, talk with your sister about his care being beyond you. Draw a line in the sand and don't step over it. (((((hugs)))) Come back and let us know how you are. Be sure to take care of you - you deserve it, your husband deserves a wife who is not overloaded and your children deserve a mother who has time and energy to make them a priority.
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In terms of guilt, you cannot make your father young and healthy and able to live on his own again. We take care of our parents to the best of our ability when they need our help in sickness or the end - this includes getting them the right level of care. Your home is not staffed 24/7 and you will burn out. You need to take care of your own family, too. The guilt? Won't you feel guilty if your own health fails when you burn out (not if) and your children are caregiving you? Talk with social worker at hospital and with your older sister.
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Kimmy, when the surgery is done, your father will be in hospital right? When the discharge discussion comes up, you *can* refuse to take him home. You can tell the social worker at the hospital that he needs a level of care you cannot provide him at your house now. The hospital workers may try to guilt you - your sister may try to guilt you. But please know that once he is out of your house and at the hospital, you can refuse to take him back to your house. His health is now affecting the entire family and the obligation to keep him in your home with a level of care like this can damage your family long-term. Please think about it - (hugs).
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We all agree that he should go into a nursing home now, Dad refuses.
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My husband is super annoyed but yet will continue to allow my dad to live with us because he knows that all I want is for my dad to be happy, so my husband says whatever makes me happy. I know though there are alot of things that my dad does intentionally to annoy people. ex. turns up his radio loud in the mornings, has his radio on 24/7.. among other things. My kids do not like him living there, my son gave up his room for my dad.
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I am the middle child out of 3 other siblings. The oldest is my sister, who has helped alot and taken him in to her home as well. Dad always wants to come back right away to my place. My brother, second oldest has not offered at all for my dad to go to his place. My youngest sister(the baby of family) has told us that she will not let him stay with her. So me and my oldest sister try to juggle the responsibility back and forth, but he always comes back to my place and wont stay anywhere else. It makes it hard on my family. I love my dad, but he refuses to even consider a home. Dad makes me fell guilty all the time, by telling me he hopes he never has to move again, etc. My family has been very patient with him, but sometimes he does things on purpose to get attention. I just dont know how to tell him that he cant stay there forever. Help please!!!
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I hear your pain. It is an often repeated story of several caregivers who find even having a parent with fewer health problems to be a challenge for an adult child with a husband and children.

I don't think that he would qualify for assisted living, but could he afford going to a nursing home or would he qualify for medicaid to pay for it?

In the short term, does he have the resources to pay for some caregivers to come in and help?

What is his outlook on going to a nursing home or have you talked about it?

What level of care does his doctor said he needs at this time and has the doctor told him that he needs that?

Has his doctor said that his cancer is bad enough to place him in hospice care? If so, that is an option.

What's your husband's input about all of this? What does your sister think needs to be done? Do you have any other siblings who could be consulted about in order to put together a family plan?

I assume that you have his medical and durable POA? Unfortunately if he is not willing to go on his own to a nursing home, you want be able to force him with just a POA? The only means to force him would for a doctor to diagnose him as mentally incompetent and then go to court to file for guardianship. That's expensive and I hope you don't have to go there.

I hate to paint such a gloomy picture, but that's all that I can see?

I hope and pray that you can find a solution soon that will work both for you and your family as well as for your dad's safety and care.
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