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Giver for company or to take him out. He won't let me bring in a part time care. I feel like I am not doing a good job as a caregiver.

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Hi all - good ideas and info. It's natural to feel a bit guilty, you want the best for him, but you're doing the right thing (proven by the fact that you're happier!). Yes, talk to him about it so long as he stays reasonable... you know, how about when we're little kids and daddy finally comes home at the end of the day, and we wish he could be around more... why not reflect on that, and maybe talk to him about that too. When I was growing up, my (single) mother loved her job, worked weekends and nights sometimes (real estate), always busy. I balance my own feelings of guilt by remembering that when she had me at home she enjoyed being active and productive instead. Not trying to sound like a jerk, and it matters to me that she can't do that anymore, but we all have our time in the sun; he had his, and yours will be gone soon enough! Guilt comes with being a nice person, keep working through it.
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If your Dad is a Veteran, see if he is eligible to go to an adult day program or
if they have a volunteer Friendly Visitor program. Someone to stop by and play cards, reminisce or watch a fav old time TV show together.
There are Senior Centers that provide transportation to congregate meal sites where Dad could have lunch and chat with people while you are away at work.
Sometimes when I work with a vital interested Senior I suggest they Volunteer at the meal site to help out by offering companionship and conversation to some of the more disabled Seniors. Many feel good about "giving back".
but not so good about receiving services.
Good Luck.
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If we lose our identity by focusing entirely on our elderly parents, we gain nothing!
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Working will keep your sanity. I dont plan to retire until my mother passes away. I cant afford to retire anyway. I have come to realize that it isnt our responsibility to keep them entertained. Its not our problem if they are lonely and refuse to have someone stop by or participate in programs. We are responsible for making sure they are safe and taken care of. My mother is in independent living but refused to participate in some of the functions. She expects me or my sister to take her everywhere we go or whenever she wants to leave. I told my sister we arent her activity providers. If she doesnt want to participate then she will be stuck in the house. I am learning tough love.
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I agree as stated in my post, ramiller.
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One thing we have to think about as caregivers is our own future. Many caregivers give up work to care for loved ones, this is a wonderful thing, however our own Social Security earnings and perhaps savings etc..( our future) may suffer greatly because of it. That means we may not be able to pay for care we need in the future. We want what's best for our loved ones, but the responsible thing is to view the whole picture. Working as long as possible while keeping LO safe seem to me to be the smart thing to do.
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It's your life. You're the one who is earning the paycheck.
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I had the same issue with my Mom. I had to work during the day and I also felt like I was abandoning her. One idea I had was to canvas a group of her friends from church and set up a friendly visiting schedule with them so she'd have people coming over to see her regularly. I never did get around to it b/c we ended up getting an aid to come in each day through her Medicaid. But I always thought it was a good idea, and we still asked folks to come visit her. Don't beat yourself up, though. You're only human and just because our loved ones' lives need more attention doesn't mean our own lives suddenly stop.
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OldBob's idea is what we did with my Dad. Convinced him that the 'caregiver' was actually coming to do some cleaning for Mom. But Lisa, the caregiver, was middle aged and very experienced in dementia care. She managed to talk with Dad enough to find out he liked to knit and crochet in his younger days, and she 'brought in some of her work'...... That, alone, turned into a great friendship with him. She was with him, only a few hours a day, 5 days/week, but from then on, until he had to be placed into Memory Care. She even came to visit him there for awhile. He needed to feel he didn't NEED any help, but OK for Mom to want some help. But eventually, she was the one who talked him into taking showers, changing clothes and helped him drive to the doctor etc.... My Dad was a WWII vet and loved to talk about his army experienced, so I also called the local VFW and looked into volunteers with them. And he was writing his own life story, but when he couldn't do it on computer anymore....we paid for a 'story writer' to come by and take notes from him talking his way through what he wanted to write, and she wrote it and brought it back for him to critique. That was a 'Christmas Gift' to him one year....3 months worth of her time. But he sort of 'fired' her, because she kept putting her slant on the writing, rather than sticking with his style of humor or communicating....and he was able to notice that enough to not really like it....so he never did come to an official way to 'end' his story, but he got far enough, that I could finish it off now, because I knew the 'rest of the story' from all my years with him.... Another option might be looking into a senior day care for him....where a van would pick him up and take him to a local senior center, wehre there are activities and other seniors to play cards with, have lunch with and do other planned activities with. Your local area on aging would likely know what's available in your part of your town. In AZ, we have the Council on Aging, being part of our County governments, so you would check with your country. Then various groups are divided up according to neighborhoods or sections of the town or country to narrow down who to call and where the local services are.
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what are your dad's interests? My dad had a stroke a few years ago and can no longer move around much or do any wood working. But, he enjoys playing cards and cowboy movies. My step mom - through church, bowling team, and local legion club found other like minded retired guys and two afternoons a week some guys come over for cards or a movie. She is able to run errands then. It really bucks him up to have this companionship. I hope you are able to find something similar for your dad - he must feel lonely and useless. my dad does too and he is not the nicest person. I have asked him to record some of his memories of his parents, growing up, his siblings so that I can have them for my son - he is enjoying doing this because they are good memories and his long term memory is still good.
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I really like Old Bob's idea and chunkie munkie has a great point too. Dont forget that your Dad's health may decline over the next few years to a point where you need to care for him and reduce your hour hrs again, so grab this time for yourself while you can!
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Have you talked to him to see how he feels about you working more? Just curious as I know I have a tendency to project my guilt onto my mom (in my mind) Also, dont feel guilty, you have an obligation to your dad AND yourself. You deserve to be happy too, as long as Dad is safe and his needs are met, grab a little happy for yourself. Sometimes I think we forget to live while we caregive.....
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Maybe you could hire a high school kid to come and just be with him. I found that high school seniors who are interested in healthcare might like to come and read to him; put on the tv; watch a game with him;talk to him. It worked for me for a 2 hour stretch.
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Suzie, Bob's suggestion is great. I was also thinking you could prehaps bring in a male companion for him. There are many great male companions who could watch old movies with dad, if he can go out they could go to lunch or he could bring in something dad really likes. Again you could use Bob's idea bring him in to do some "fix ups " and at the same time establish a relationship with dad. Dont feel guilty, as long as dad is safe.
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This is a tough situation...Maybe you could start by bringing in a congenial lady every week o so to "clean" the house, but with the idea of just doing light things and to the extent possible to provide some company for pops...It might grow on him, and if so, you could gradually increase her presence. Just a thought.

Grace + Peace,
Bob
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