What do I do when I'm sure that I cannot continue to take care of my Dad?

Follow
Share

Memory issues - stroke weakness, I am in tears today. He has dementia and Alzheimer's, he had 6 strokes in 3 days in 2013 and has been in my care for over a year now. I simply feel like I cannot go on. I work full time and spend all the rest of the time with him. I feel ashamed and selfish but I am worn out.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
24

Answers

Show:
Toss away the guilt, no single person can do what three shifts of nurses and aides need to do. Did you feel guilty about taking him to the ER? Of course not. You should feel good about getting him proper care and saving your energy for enjoying his company instead of exhausting yourself.
Helpful Answer (17)
Report

It sounds like your Dad needs 24/7 care at this point, in other words, three shifts of caregivers, people trained in how to lift someone whose had a stroke, socialization and activities to keep him mentally sharp. You can't possibly do this by yourself, even if you weren't working full time. What is there to be ashamed of? That you're not superhuman? How are you selfish? That you want not to be on call 24/7? Even doctors who do 36 hours shifts have a break room where they can sleep and get compensated for their time.

When you find the right care situation for him, whether it's a small board and care home, Memory Unit or Nursing Home, there will still be LOTS of caregiving and advocating for you to do. You just get to do it with a good night's sleep and some peace of mind. Be well, and post back.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

It breaks my heart to see someone suffer like this and I'm not referring to your dad. You're expecting the impossible of yourself and your expectation that you can work 24 hours a day indefinitely are unrealistic. Everyone's solution is different but I highly recommend you transition your dad to professional care and get on with the buisness of living...

At my support group a couple of weeks ago a very wise man who had cared for his dad for many years shared these wise words, with the group of caregivers...

"You've got to take care of yourself and your relationships. At the end of the day, your parents will be gone and what will you be left with? " ~Wise Man

It's not being selfish. You cannot advocate and care for him if your cup is empty and you have nothing to give! That's burnout and it doesn't help him. I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a BUG hug... Listen to the wise words of the people on this forum and keep reaching out for help!
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Talk to your dad's primary-care physician, who can help you get him placed immediately in the best nursing care for him. It's time to turn the care over to those who can best provide it.....and then you can visit him as often as possible and enjoy him. I cared for my dad long past the time when we might have gotten nursing help and it would tough beyond description.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

First and foremost do not feel guilty. I recently lost my mom to dementia. I brought here to live with me out of a nursing home in another state. Months went by and of course I could see her gradually get worse to the point of her getting out of hand. It was a hard decision, since I had made her the promise she could live with me until her death. My health was already bad to start with, 3 stents and part of my heart was dead from not getting blood along with other health issues. The stress of caring for my mom was taking its toll on me also. I had to face the hard fact I was no longer able to take care of her the way she needed. She needed around the clock care. The doctors were so helpful in choosing a nuring home that specialized in the type of care she needed. She stayed there for 6 months and passed away there. To this day I dont regret it. I visited her 3 or 4 times aweek. She was about an hr away. I called and talked with her every day. Stop by randomly and saw the love and care she was given. Ask yourself this question, what will happen if you get to the point you cant care for her who is going to take care of you and her. Love and yourself to get her the help she needs. God be with you both, the road is not going to get easier, but there are people that will help you and her along the way.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Maybe you could start with Home Health care, your/his doctor can get you started with that. Home Health people gave me names of places, their opinions of the homes, etc. And I went from there. After 5 years of taking care of my husband by myself, I put him in an assisted living dementia unit. Very painful, very hard to do. I still cry. He has been there 2 months now, and alzhiemers is progressing quickly. It is still hard for me mentally, I feel guilty, but there is no possible way I could continue to care for him myself. You must start thinking about yourself.....I heard this many times, but I finally had to accept it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Deb - My heart goes out to you. You gave it your all. I don't work at all but care for my demented Mother full time...Keeping her fed, clean and safe takes everything out of me. I don't know how anyone can do this while maintaining a full time job. Please seek help and forget the guilt. It will only make you sick. Take care of yourself and GOD bless you. You are amazing!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Check with his primary care doctor as to what are his prospects. Once you know what likely lies ahead then you can decide what type of care he needs and he can afford. If he has limited financial assets (if you are his only asset --any a caring one), then placement in a high quality nursing home would be what to search for. Find out if he is eligible for veterans benefits (aide and attendance) or if he had a long term care policy. These programs or insurance, might make it possible for you to keep him at home, and continue to work outside the home. Sadly, most elders never get long term care insurance thinking it is "expensive" but it is a bargain once you need it. It can give the family options to nursing homes funded by Medicaid (health system for the poor).
Don't feel guilty about finding working full time and caring for a senior stroke victim--you are one person. I kept my father home but he needed me and home health aides to make it possible and to allow me to continue working for income for the household. He had a small long term care policy and that assisted as well. Still caregiving is a lonely road to walk and the caregiver does feel overwhelmed. If caregivers are not feeling overwhelmed then they are not too in touch with the situation they find themselves.

You can only do your best. Your know your dad, his likes and dislikes, try to get him the help you both need. Be persistent with the professional medical folks who are always to busy to spend time on your issue. Don't allow them to "blow you off" as you investigate in home health care programs and nursing homes and the quality. Hang in there.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Honey, honey honey----one person cannot do everything by themselves. Do not feel ashamed & do not feel selfish. Of course you don't want to see your father put in a nursing home, but when you get to the point where your own physical health is at risk, you have to do what you have to do to maintain your own sanity. If you get sick or break down, you won't be able to take care of your father anyway.

Do you have any siblings? Perhaps you can talk to them & get some temporary help until you figure out what to do.

Who takes care of him when you're working? Is he left alone? Or is there someone there with him?

You need help. Alzheimers/dementia & stroke weakness are tough to handle on their own, but you're dealing with a combination of all of them. Try home care agencies to see if Medicare/secondary insurance will pay for any of it. Discuss it with his doctor & find out what the best avenue is to handle it. It sounds like you don't have anyone else to lean on, & that is important when you're taking care of an elderly parent.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You need help bad! Your commitment is definitely there but you cannot do this job alone. When you are tired you think all sorts of "rebellious" thoughts but they are normal. I worked full time, my sister didn't and took my mom in when she got really bad. I went over there every weekend. I didn't realize how tired I was from working full time, worrying, anguishing and getting up everyday earlier, either to go to work or to care for my mom, and when she passed, I was tired for a long time. Even with hospice care and a caregiver, we got tired. It's hard work even if it is rewarding and heartwarming. If you don't take care of yourself, you will be no good to anyone.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions