It has only been 4 months and I am depressed and in shock. I am overwhelmed with his medical appointments, doctors, cooking, cleaning. I have lost over 20 lbs from stress, anxiety and often can't sleep. We are in the same home. This may sound selfish but it feels my life has changed forever and it's a matter of time where I meet my end. How can anyone possibly also have a job plus being a caregiver for a parent?
I can't do this. How do you know if you really can't do this?
He will not go to any home care.
Badly need some support and encouragement.
I am just scared and in shock.

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If it has only been 4 months and you are asking the question then IMO the answer is you can't. If you were cut out for it or could manage you would have worked out a plan, have caregivers coming in when needed, not mind helping with personal issues or being up at all time of night and still be able to do your job no problem. But you can't and very sensibly you have realised this and not thought it will get better in time. Logic tells you it will only get worse and you will get more stressed and more resentful. Which bring one to that infamous statement - "He will not go into any home care" - so many carers go on fighting because their elder says exactly this. There are many types of care available to him depending on the level of care he needs and inspite of what a few on here think many of them are very good. They are not home in a household, but they are an opportunity to meet people, do activities, be cared for, and to have visits from his son which are pleasant and not a battle. Whether he says he will not go into any form of care or not is not his decision alone. Get some brochures, go through with him go on visits, but make it very clear you cannot give up work and the chance to save for your old age, leaving you to rely on the state if you are lucky just because he doesn't want to accept he is getting older and needs more care than you can give. It can be done nicely if he co-operates, or you choose if he doesn't but you are far too young with your own needs ahead to have your life dominated by that one line - He will go into a home for care one way or the other, he has to to maintain your health - he can go with choice or you will decide for him - and you will feel no guilt in doing so because it is best for your both in the longer term even if hard when first thought about.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TaylorUK

IF you are asking yourself already you.may.not be able to care for him. Have you considered the possible implications, now and for your own retirement, of you.not working? You.need to consider that.

Find caregiver support meetings in your area.
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Reply to gladimhere

Would it be fair to say Mom is in over her head right now? Dad's care needs are too high for her to manage ie Dad's canoe is sinking & Mom can't keep him afloat alone?

So you joined her but Dad's health needs are now sinking you BOTH?

This is where you may need to (figuratively) tie Dad's canoe to a tree on the bank so you all stop. Mom & you take a breather. FLOAT. Think it through. Then talk it through.

Have you had a good heart-to-heart with Mom or Dad?

What is their insight/interpretation of this situation?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Beatty

"He will not go to any home care".

Change that to "He will not go to any home care * willingly*".
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Reply to Beatty

I have recently spent 2 months living with my mom in her ALF (an Atria facility) bc she needed the extra support and all I can say is J wish mom had moved there years earlier. It seems like something to avoid but it’s such a great solution for people who can function mentally. Go visit dome places. Then bring your dad to the ones you liked best. If he refuses, that’s his choice. But don’t be his hostage. You are going yo have to draw hour own boundaries. Since he’s the one needing help, he needs to compromise. I think you said he’s 82? This could go on a long while. You need a solution that works for you. Tho you’ll still be doing plenty, having the break from living with him will be huge. Get out.
Good luck!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to WendyElaine

As soon as you need to ask is when you know you can't do this.

Sometimes we just have to put our foot down with our parents and tell them that things need to change. Period! Then have two viable options for them to choose from.

My brother and his wife used to get mad because his 5 children minded me and were a pleasure to have around, unless you added the parents. I explained that I never threatened them, if I said I am not telling you again, I didn't, I physically stopped the behavior by removing the child from the scene. If I told them that they would receive xyz punishment for doing something, they got that punishment for doing xyz. I also gave them choices, example: the bedroom needs to be cleaned, their choice was to do it with or without punishment, because the bedroom being cleaned wasn't an option. They knew the rules, the boundaries and that I wasn't just talking to her myself speak. It made it easy for them to function in my home.

You have to treat others this way as well, including a parent that wants to be taken care of. Some things are not part of the equation, like you remaining his 24/7 caregiver, not part of the issue, it's not going to continue. Here's the choices you have dad. I would make an ER dump the punishment for not picking one of two options. But, I don't say I am done, unless I am DONE!

You matter too!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

When I started this journey I felt exactly the same. I even felt anger ..Anger that my friends were enjoying retirement and I was not. {I was 68 when this started {mom 85}. I had moved 700 miles and sold my home to help. The appointments drove me crazy..Mom loved doctors. She had about 9 to chase. I got a mental health counselor. Slowly I stopped all the “specialists”…mom has lived better and healthier the past 2 yrs without all the appointments…slowly we weaned off about half the meds and she still lived…. and functioned better. Then I found a lovely assisted living building and I set up a schedule for me to visit 3 days a week ..about 15 hrs a week. Doctor {one doctor, one dentist} visit is on FaceTime every 2 months and I take her for massage 2x a month to satisfy the medical attention need she likes. is better and I am better!! I will admit I still believe I will spend the rest of my life taking care of moms guess is she will be 100 and I will be 83 doing this…Life. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Sadinroanokeva

I don't have any advice, but just want to say "Amen Sister." I hear you and can fully relate. I feel helpless
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Reply to Sadallthetime

OK. We hear you. Taking care of a senior parent is not for sissies.

Here are a few ideas:

1 - You need helpers. Ask family, friends, members of your faith community... and consider paid help. Helpers can preferably watch your loved one for a short period of time. Other folks may be able to lighten you load with other tasks: laundry, housekeeping, yardwork, running errands, picking up groceries... Paid help can be sitters, home health aides from an agency, adult day care (usually Monday - Friday in a facility or private home), and residential care.

2 - Get your essentials! Everybody has essential needs that must be met. Sleep 7-9 hours - preferably uninterrupted. 3 healthy meals at a reasonable pace. Enough time for daily hygiene needs. Time off personal health care needs and appointments. If you can not meet your own essentials while caring for another person - it is time to consider other living/caring arrangements.

3 - Get some fun. Everybody also needs "time off:" "some" daily, "more" weekly and a "long weekend away" at least quarterly to recharge your caring batteries. Do things that you enjoy with other people you enjoy being with. You should have a list of people who will provide care while you have fun.

4 - Consider your resources. Ideally, any financial expense for care should come from the loved one who is being cared for. If your senior is short on funds, consider helping him or her apply for Medicaid/public assistance. Most states/provinces and governments have set aside assistance for seniors in various forms: meals on wheels, visiting healthcare aides, "free visits" to health care schools... Use everything your senior qualifies for.

5 - Plan for "that day." The sad thing is that most seniors will develop serious health issues - or their care givers will! There usually will come "that day" when you realize the care of the senior has become a 24/7/365 job and you really can only care for 12/3-5/much less than 365. Many times "that day" coincides with an illness or injury to the caregiver that requires hospitalization. When "that day" arrives, be prepared with a list of residential facilities that your loved one can consider his or her new home. Start by researching and visiting the "top 5" near you. Most of your research can be done online.

Now that you have read this list. It is time to get real with your loved one. Explain that you want to help care for him or her. If your senior parent needs round the clock caregivers, explain that you can not possibly do this all by yourself. Explain that you are able to do ______ hours per day and _______ days per week. Then, work together to create a care plan that meets everybody's needs.
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Reply to Taarna


The very first thing you need to take care of you. I suggest you become unavailable. Seriously, change the dynamic to fit dad’s needs into your schedule - not the other way around. Your schedule prioritizes your work, your exercise and your mental health time (something that makes you happy). Get a calendar and block out that time; highlight days and times you are available for dad. “I’m not available” is an acceptable guilt-free answer.

It’s not selfish. It’s the foundation of your ability to help in constructive ways. You have to recognize when the energy vampires come and stop them from harvesting your soul. Funny enough, there always seems to be a solution when push comes to shove. They’re either too lazy to look for it or smart enough to realize you’re the easy button.

I suggest you think like a manager who oversees but delegates tasks. (I recall a reality show episode where the female team cleaned all night while the male team hired cleaners & worked on their presentation. Guess who better utilized their time and energy.)

A maid service is cheaper than therapy; hire them to clean.

Simplify cooking with store bought or frozen meals; cook larger amounts and freeze multiple meals. Order out when you aren’t up to preparing a meal. Let mom cook if that’s her thing. Or get Meals on Wheels to deliver for mom and dad.

Call the county health department for free (or dead cheap) senior transportation to take dad to and from appointments (assuming there’s no one else in the family to drive). I found Uber impractical for running errands. Set up Zoom video doctor appointments. You might have to help him link to appointment but it’s a few minutes vs drive-wait-drive.

Drive dad or arrange for the county to transport him to a local county senior center every day, some days, all day or not - he might enjoy the company even if he does the I’m-not-going-you-can’t-make-me thing. Maybe start with “Dad there’s a speaker talking about (whatever)” and if needed “Mom wants you to go with her” (make her your accomplice). If he refuses to go, fine; he sits home alone because you are not available. The centers also provide lunch so one less meal to cook and mom can go too.

Learn to end or walk away from a conversations that go in circles or is intended to wear you down or guilt trip into submission.

If there are siblings or others, enlist help. You can’t force them and there have been a lot of posts about siblings who don’t step up, but if you try, be specific in your ask.

Move out of the house. No kidding. Author Fern Pessin wrote a book about her caregiving experience and said she needed enough distance from the parents to stay sane and be able to give care without imploding.

Finally, refuse the guilt trip if you can’t make it work. You tried, you gave it your all. You tried new strategies. Dad may refuse to meet you halfway and if so, that’s on him — not you. (And it will take steadfast consistency to get dad to understand there are new rules.)

One more finally: breathe and love yourself enough to come first. You matter. Not because dad needs a caregiver, but as a unique beautiful soul with a future. Happiness is momentary and you deserve those moments, but in between you deserve to be mentally and physically well. God bless.
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Reply to Erikka

No one knows how they deal with things until we try. I tried moving my mom into my home, but as much as I wanted it to, I couldn't make it work. I wasn't sleeping well, and the constant togetherness, and the challenges of her increasing dementia were beyond me.
I convinced her to "try" assisted living and she has been there, moves to Memory Care now. Now, I'm the daughter who advocates for her with the staff and her doctor and visits multiple times a week for about an hour at a time. I took her our to eat and to get her hair done one her birthday, and bring her to my home for a few hours on the major holidays and mother's day. Due to covid restrictions, I can't hang out in the inside common areas, just in her room, but when I can again, I'll participate in an activity or meal there.

Bottom line, you need to take care of yourself. Taking care of your mom doesn't have to mean moving in, and doing everything for her. It could be moving her to a independent/Assisted living so she can have her life, socialize and not have to cook and clean.
It could be researching the resources available to her, for respite care, an aide to come to help care for your dad, maybe get the family to gift them a cleaning service for Christmas.
Since you've been diagnosed, I assume you have a therapist. If not, get one.
Look into part time jobs or volunteer opportunities. That gets you out of the house and gives you an excuse to limit your caregiving. If you can get your depression symptoms under better control, you can look for full time work, and move into your own place.
Once your dad is in the hospital do not agree to discharge to home. Unless he gets 24/7 caregivers from an agency not you and not your mom.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Gracie61
Simon53 Oct 26, 2021
Thanks everyone

These are all heartbreaking decisions. I'm just very fearful of my mental health right now.
See 1 more reply
My husband invited my mother to move in with us.

6 weeks later, I was in the same situation as you. Unable to function, physically, or mentally.

It was unsustainable.

We moved my mother, who had moderate dementia at the time, into Memory Care.

You CAN make changes, a little at a time.

This is the right place to learn how.

As another poster always says, “You matter, too.”
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to cxmoody
Simon53 Oct 31, 2021
It is unsustainable.
Ive now lost 25 lb
I am drowning.
It’s okay to admit you’re in over your head, and wise to know your limitations. This situation isn’t good for you or your dad. Tell him you’ve got to change things. If he’s capable of deciding on a new plan include him, if not act in his best interests. And of course he won’t accept home care or changes as long as you’re being the plan for everything
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Reply to Daughterof1930

Get a new job, move out, and retake your life. You are not responsible for their poor decisions.

Your parents are very selfish people if they're willing to let their son destroy his future to care for them.

If they're too selfish to accept outside care, leave them to fend for themselves until a medical emergency forces the situation.

Do not drive them anywhere, do not cook, clean, or do any upkeep. Nothing. If they cannot live independently they need a new living situation.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to ZippyZee
Simon53 Oct 26, 2021
Thanks everyone.

I am clinically depressed and on meds.

I don't know how I can work.

I can't abandon my mom to care for him.

I feel like I am going to have a heart attack and just lie in bed.
This is a very overwhelming situation, no doubt. We never know what we are getting ourselves into when we agree to do caregiving. But you have really jumped into the deep end and moved in and taken over way too much responsibility!

You are not being selfish to think of yourself!

Are you currently working? If so, get more paid help for your parents ASAP. If not, still get care for them and draw some boundaries and stop running around so much. I agree with someone else - cut back on doctor appointments unless they are very clearly needed. My mom's doctors always say things like - come back in 3 months to follow up. Nah. If there are things to actually followup on or a big issue that really needs to be looked at, fine. Otherwise, cancel the routine "just come in so I can bill your insurance" appointments. OK, I'm terribly cynical about the $$$ - sorry!

"He will not go to any home care" This is untrue. If he NEEDS to go, then he MUST go. If he has a diabetic sore that will not heal, as you say, he will likely need an amputation at some point. I have no idea how quickly these things go but it wouldn't be a surprise. After the surgery, he MUST go to to rehab to be able to learn how to become independent enough to come home. Set very clear goals that must be met for him to return home - if he is in a wheelchair - must be able to transfer himself from chair to car, back to chair, into bed, onto toilet, etc etc. It's hard and takes effort and practice. Otherwise, he just can not come home unless he has 24/7 hired help (NOT YOU!) and even that would be challenging to say the least.

I'm not sure about your mom's condition and what she is and is not capable of. I made the mistake of doing too much for my mom. You need to get her back to work! LOL. But seriously, what can she do to help herself and your dad? Gently push her to do more and more, if that's at all possible.

Hire someone, with their money, to clean. Cook. Stay with them so you can get out. You need to do things for yourself and clear your head.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100

You answered your question in your post. You know now you can't do it.

"He seems happy with nurses, workers and my sister and I driving him to dozens of appointments."

Maybe his appts need to be re-evaluated. Does he need to go as often as he does. I found that Moms PCP had her coming every 2 months, when I asked her why, she didn't know. Since Mom was healthy other than B/P and Cholesterol, I stopped taking her unless she needed refills or she was sick. Her specialist I went to 6 months to a year depending on how stable her tests were. Have Mom check out Senior transportation with Office of Aging.

Seems your parents can afford help. If so, have them hire a housekeeper to come in once a week, bi-monthly or once a month. How dirty can a place get.

"I just lie in bed answering the door and cooking and cleaning."

Does Mom have health problems? I know some people over 82 that can keep up a house and cook a meal and travel. Why can't Mom answer the door? And once you do a good cleaning, its just upkeep. I use the Swiffer dust clothes and mops. I am 72 and do no more than I have to. Sandwiches are served on paper plates. Less clean up the better.

Look at what you do, are you disabling your Mom. Are there things she can be doing ur doing? Like you throw the clothes in the washer but Mom folds them and puts them away. You wash dishes but she sits and dries them. My father too was difficult. Mom had waited on him hand and foot. But when Mom went to another State to care for my sister, I found out my Dad was capable of certain things.

Now Dad and that sore. Yes, he will probably need to have that leg amputated. And at his age, recuperation is going to be long. He may need a 2 man assist. If so, a NH maybe where he will need to be. And this needs to be done while he is in Rehab. Get a 24/7 need eval. Everyone will need to be on the same page. Mom can not care for him and either can you need to get back to work. It will be an "unsafe discharge" to return him home.

I know with depression you are probably lucky you get out of bed in the morning. And everything you need to do is overwhelming. You need to set boundries for yourself. What you can and can't do. Your SS is calculated on the last 35yrs you worked before collecting. So, you need to work. I think if you got out of that house some of that depression would lift. Once you start getting a salary, you can hire someone to come in and clean and do laundry maybe even cook an evening meal. If there are CNAs, they can get breakfast and lunch. Then start saving to move out. You can get someplace near by to check in, help, but you will have a place of your own to veg out. Decompress.

You know your limits, no one else does. If she is capable, Mom is responsible for Dads care and hers. You just give a helping hand.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Simon53 Oct 31, 2021
Thank you so much you understand.
Your health is very important. Listen to your body -- you must step out of this situation ASAP.

You say your sister is amazingly supportive. Have a meeting with her and tell her the truth. Your father's care is too much for you.

You are too young to leave the workforce. I bet your father isn't paying you for all the caregiving. What do you do for health insurance?

Your father refuses to go to a facility. And you can also choose to stop being his 24/7/365 slave.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to CTTN55
Simon53 Oct 25, 2021
Yes, you are right.
I am on medication to cope with him.
I am also here for my dear 82 yr old mom.
Please pray for me.
See 1 more reply
Simon, what are your father's mobility problems?

Do you mean you moved back in to your parents' home four months ago? Why? And where were you living before that?

What happened with the job?

What sort of support for your mother would free you to pick yourself up and get out there again?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Simon53 Oct 25, 2021
My father has advanced diabetes and a complicated infection and foot wound. He cannot walk and may need amputation.

After 15 months of working from home I was not performing well for work. I cannot manage people behind masks and laptops.

I moved back to help but I am just getting severely depressed just being here and they are not capable of maintaining the house.

My dear mother is 82. She can only handle so much and part of why I also moved back is to help her. Frankly my dad is an a-hole. If anything happens with her I don't know what to do.
Hi Simon
Is your father being treated for his depression? Are you?
You say he won’t go to any home care. No, he probably won’t as long as you do all you are doing for him. How did you come to be living with him? Whose home are you living in?
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to see if there are services available to help him or yourself as a caregiver.
Do not quit your job. You may have to move out in order for your father to qualify for services. I’m sorry you are going through this. I hope you find answers to help your situation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Simon53 Oct 25, 2021
I am clinically depressed and have lost my job.
He seems happy with nurses, workers and my sister and I driving him to dozens of appointments.
With this added role there's no way I can do my previous job in management.
This is all in a span of 4 months.
My life is over.
If I kill myself that just leaves my 82 yr mom and 47 yr sister and I can't do that to them.
This is insane.
See 2 more replies
It’s always way harder than we think it’s going to be. Just know that this isn’t for forever - it’s how things are right now.

You say that he will not got to any homecare, but if this is beyond you, he may not have that choice. Sooner or later, we all have to make that choice for our parents because it’s what is best for them. It’s not great, and you feel terrible, but we are not superhero’s. We’re just regular people trying our best.

If you can, look into getting some PSW hours to help take a load off you. My MIL lives with us, and we use her SS and old age pension to pay for 12 hours a week of care.

Also look to any family who can help and give you a bit of respite. We don’t get much - one day off a week most weeks (not this week tho, blah) but it all helps. We drop her off in the morning and they bring her back at night. It’s not exactly fair in terms of care, but we just look forward to an afternoon without the usual dark glares and her barking at my young kids.

Also, I think your gut is telling you what you want to know - you’re not feeling this, and you don’t think you’re up for the task. That’s ok! It doesn’t make you a bad daughter. It’s good to know your limits.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Lizbitty
Simon53 Oct 25, 2021
Its technically not forever but it feels like my career and life is over. He does have nurses and psw come in and my sister has been amazing.
I just don't deal well with change. It's naive to think life doesn't change but this feels surreal.
I just lie in bed answering the door and cooking and cleaning.
I'm in perfect physical health now but I can't see me being around in 5 years in this situation.
Thank you for your kind words.
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