I took my mom, who is in ALMC, to see my dad, who is in a SNF. He said he wants to come home. I know physically he isn’t able to come home. He has Parkinson’s and is on hospice. He is barely able to even stay up in the wheelchair very long until he’s ready to go back to bed. I asked him how could we manage getting him up, changing his diapers, giving him sponge baths, etc. and he said I’ll take care of that. I can get the nurse who used to come to come again. That is exactly why he had to go into a nursing facility because my mom wouldn’t let anyone help him. All the above, as well as we’re not financially able to pay for 24/7 nursing care. My heart is breaking and am so tempted to bring him home regardless. How do I cope with the guilt?

There is nothing wrong with telling him the truth couched in a pleasant way. "Dad, as soon as you are able to ambulate and shower on your own, you can come home. But Doc has to sign off on it. The big thing is for you to work on getting stronger and pass those tests." You don't need to argue and give the logical reasons why - his brain is broken and he cannot see that he has these physical limitations. Throw "the doctor" under the bus as someone for him to be angry with instead of you. He needs someone to blame quite likely, and you don't need to volunteer for the position!
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to surprise

What would you advise ME to do in the exact same situation? Then do that.

By your description, you know how physically challenging caring for your dad can be. That's the rational side of your brain.

The other side is completely governed by emotions-guilt included and is being a bit irrational right now. This is the area of the brain that reacts emotionally. You are making decisions on guilt because you "feel" bad and that rarely makes for a good decision.

You could try talking to a therapist if you have the mental health coverage. They can guide you out of making big decisions only on feelings. Also setting boundaries and getting over FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt).

I don't think giving into guilt, moving him home with you then feeling guilty that you have bitten off more than you can chew because you can't do it anymore, will be a healthy scenario.

You have provided a safe environment for him. Tell yourself you aren't responsible for his happiness. You have done your best but you can't give in to every whim just because you want to please him and rid yourself of guilt.

Remember all the candy at the checkout aisle in the grocery store when you were a kid? Do you remember how often your mom or dad let you get one of those candy bars and let you eat the whole thing? Hardly ever.

There are times we have to turn the table and do that with our folks.

I just said this over and over to myself;
"I'm doing this for your own good. I've done everything I could for you and you're in the best situation I could provide for you."

Stay strong.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to SueC1957

This last spring, I wound up assuming responsibility for my Cherished Loved One because the power was out in her then residence for 8 days. She thrived at my house, and loved being with me, and I loved having her with me.
Because of that weather, I was not responsible for the care of my precious 2 year old grandchild, who was born with a moderately severe orthopedic disability. I care for him every other week, and my heart was broken to have to tell my CLO that I wouldn’t be able to take care of them both.
SO, THE GUILT. I love both of these dear people SO MUCH, and THEY love EACH OTHER! I could ONLY say that I couldn’t deal with both at the same time after trying to figure out EVERY possibility that I COULD do it, and finding that OBJECTIVELY, I couldn’t.
You have investigated every possibility to have your dad at home OP, and have determined that bringing home would not be a good choice for his welfare or for yours. As much as you long, as I did too, to make a haven for him with you, that is not possible. Guilt is a good tool when it leads to a good result. Guilt that causes suffering for things that can’t be steals time from making things better where he is.
If your mom can’t enter the solution, and your dad can’t, and 24/7 care can’t be provided, perhaps your mom CAN come up with some ways to make his life in residential care more acceptable to them both.
I do understand where you are, and grieve with you. This life problem is one of making the best choice from a bunch of bad choices, then finding a way to live with what you’ve chosen.
Many of us are in sympathy with you.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to AnnReid
Hurtbabygirl Aug 7, 2018
Sadly my mom has dementia. She doesn't even understand the shape he's in, thus the predicament of both of them having to be in separate facilities. Thanks for caring.
You are only one person, if you try to be a dozen you will be down too.
Don’t give in to guilt. We all want to do more than we can. Frequently there are others who want to offer an opinion, but won’t back it up with work or money.
Make the best of the situation. Be appreciative to the care givers in the facility. Spend time with your dad when the two of you can just be together without you struggling to lift him etc.
We all second guess our decisions even when we are doing the best we can.
When he asks to go home gently change the subject. It is not a valid possibility.
Be strong and don’t give into guilt.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Jakjak

I wouldn't give in. I know it hurts and makes you feel guilty. but by having your dad where he is. THAT is the BEST  - like you said, you cant do all that care.
I cant cope with an aging parent either. it gets tough - and then I do my best to just keep going. take a deep breath and maybe unwind with a nap. or do some strenuous chore back at home. just nod your head in agreement to your dad, and tell him "I understand" but remind him he is under a doctors care and you feel better knowing he is ok where he is.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to wally003

I have been through hospice a few times, each time the person did not live a week.
Spend as much time as you can with your dad. Let him know how much he is loved.
i also say keep him in your prayers. Remember how your dad was.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Browniewiseman

Reach for the bottle of Heartbreak Medicine (self love and self acceptance of circumstances) and move forward in the name of common sense. Remember that you were brought into this world to live a life of purpose as well as your parents, and you can always let them know your crusader cape is a one size fits all. No need to feel guilty...feel worthy and confident enough to leave Dad where he is. HE UNDERSTANDS, TRUST ME!
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Reply to coppertino

I am transferring my mom tomorrow from rehab facility to LTC facility. Of course for her I ll tell that it is just should be better place with better doctors. Part of this is true as I hope for a better doctor. But I am also in terrible terrible feelings, as I am failing in a care for her. She can not stay home alone mostly because of her dementia, that progressed this year tremendously and my inability to pay for 24/7. yes, I know by mind that I am not leaving her without me, I was coming every day in rehab and will be coming every day in LTC although everybody saying that I should cut visits to 3 times per week at least, but for now I cant....
but I feel your pain and I don't know how to resolve mine:(
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to poetry21
Hurtbabygirl Aug 7, 2018
I feel your pain. At least we know we're not alone in this. Others are dealing with the same pain.
i think you should keep in mind that you should feel guilt only if you let him live in a questionable place where there is either limited care or none.

So if living with you would be the above then he should be in a place with continual care available and you can visit him regularly to oversee the treatment he is getting and enjoy each visit.

it seems that having him get best care possible wherever that is would be your choice.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Betsysue2002

Dear Hurt - You should not feel guilt - you have done nothing but be supportive of your dad - there is the wish of us all to be 'home' but many who do go home don't recognize it because where they want to go is so very idealized in their mind - you seem to be wisely listening to the professionals in this matter

Your guilt feeling is wasting your energy that would be better spent helping them so what I wish for you is that you look at why you feel guilty about something you have no control of right now - your asking here was the right first step in realizing that the guilt you feel is not helping you or your parents -

Some people feel guilty also by habit so look at yourself closely to see if you are one of them [do you feel guilty when you see a policeman even though you have done nothing wrong?] - habits are easier to break once they are seen for what they are

Try to look beyond those feelings & realize that while your dad's wishes are important but he is only 1 person of many in the family - you can't do everything people wish for otherwise we all would just wish for good health & that would be the end of it - but we live in a world where at times not only the hard choices must be made but finding the balance so that the most individuals are maximized [for their own safety at times] is a hard thing to do
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to moecam
Hurtbabygirl Aug 7, 2018
Thank you so much! I will go back and read your reply when I battle this.
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