Leaving after caregiving for 16 months. Has anyone else left? - AgingCare.com

Leaving after caregiving for 16 months. Has anyone else left?

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I moved in to take care of my parents 16 months ago.
The job is too hard, so I am moving out.
I will still caretake from my own home, but living here is more than I can stand. I am married and have six children. It is too much. Has anyone left or kicked an elderly parent out after taking on the committment?

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God bless you! I am exhausted just reading all that you do for everyone.

I would clean my widowed Mom's house on my days with her, which neither she nor I liked, so it didn't get done very well. When we got her an aide, the expectation was the aide would do light cleaning. Well, Mom wanted talk and company not somebody cleaning what she felt was clean enough. (ugh, another story). So it still wasn't getting done. Finally we got smart and hired a cleaning lady who comes once a month on one of the days I am there. This way, I can oversee the cleaning and also keep my mom from bothering her while she works. Win-win for all.

I mention this because there is a big difference between visiting and managing. I didn't realize at first how much I missed actually visiting with Mom vs taking care of stuff for her. Now I miss it even more, because she has become more and more reliant on us to help her with practically everything. If your mom is an extrovert, she will want visits, not only from you, with and without your children, but also others (aides).

Lastly, is there a local senior center that perhaps you can take her to once or twice or more a week? Even if just for a bit (light exercise that is mostly socialization)? As you know with your children, delegate, delegate, delegate .... because you can't do it all. Though you certainly seem to have been doing it all. Whew!
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Thanks.. When we stepped up to do this job, we had no idea how hard it would be. We knew that it would be hard, but not in the ways that it actually is hard.
And we stepped up to do this because nobody else would. I have one sister who lives 2 hours away and wouldn't be able to just up and change her life, even though financially they are very well off and are empty nesters. They hate this area and my mom hates her area so its not like they could even comprimise. I have another brother who is in the military and who is always traveling. His wife has a full career and helps to take care of her father who also has Parkinsons, so it was us, or nothing. Or rather us and nursing home, and my dad about went crazy while he was in "rehab" so we had an idea of what a nursing home would be like for him. He does much better at home. It took a couple of weeks, but while he is very confused, he is at least in familiarity and lives peacefully, instead of trying to escape in the middle of night or trying to punch the nurses who were trying to help him.

When we first moved in, things were ridiculously difficult. I found out very quickly (within the first two weeks) that if my dad were to stay as sick as he was, that it would be way too much for me. When he first came home, he needed me to help him walk. He needed me to help him toilet. He needed me to change an occasional diaper. He needed me so much. My 4 oldest children basically stayed upstairs in their bedroom watching my then 1 year old and watching tv. Very very quickly I realized that I wasn't going to be able to handle it. I about had a meltdown. Then, as if things were not bad enough, my whole family, including my dad got the stomach flu all at once. It was a huge relief to me that my dad needed to go to the hospital/rehab center once again so I could sort of regain my composure. It was awful.

I learned very quickly while dad was in the hospital, that living with my mostly healthy mother was going to be very draining on me. Mothers never lose that urge to mother their children, but when you are that grown child trying to raise a bunch of children... well... I am sure I don't have to explain any of that to any of you. I suddenly remembered why I was such a rebellious teenager.

When dad got back from that rehab experience, he slept for 3 straight days, so he was pretty easy to take care of. I just had to change his diaper every few hours because my mom was incapable of doing it. After 3 days or so though, he decided to use the bathroom and hasn't looked back. We helped him for the first week or so, but he pretty quickly kicked us out and has been able to mostly handle it himself. He has an occasional accident, but usually can make it.

He is confused. he is slow. But he is steady, and pretty easy to take care of. Really, his only needs are meals and pills and help getting into bed at night. My mom handles all of that. I sort his pills into the proper container and she is able to do the rest. My mom can't take care of her house though. She simply cannot. And she is very very lonely. I think she is an extrovert. i am an introverted person, so being around someone who wants to talk all the time is very exhausting for me. Plus my kids need talking and my husband needs talking and basically at the end of every day, I have nothing left at all.

I had a good heart to heart with my mom on Sunday night. I was able to explain to her more easily why we were leaving. And I told her that if dad got sick the way he was sick before, that I wouldn't be able to handle it in this season of life. I simply have too many reponsibilities, and as much as I would hate to do it, we would probably have to put him in a NH. Because there is just no way.

I think I was a little too optimistic at the start. I want to avoid a NH if at all possible, but sometimes it isn't possible. It would take a huge toll on my family.

I think my mom understands better now why we are leaving. She is still so sad about it, but I think she understands. I told her that I just wanted to be able to raise my family the way she wanted to when she was 36 years old. That seemed to resonate with her. She must have thought about what it would have been like to have her mother or mother in law living with her while actively raising children. She said she won't begrudge me for leaving, but that she is so severely depressed because there is nothing left for her in life.

I WISH she would get a social outlet. I've led the horse to water on that one, but she won't drink.

I do plan on being there 3 times per week to clean and such. In time, I hope to have her hire a housekeeper and such, but right now I think its probably best if I do it since this was such a blow. She is fussing about money. They saved for retirement. My dad doesn't understand why she is so stressed out about it. He has told me how much they get and its about what my husband and I make each month, but they don't have a mortgage or a car payment.. so yeah, not sure why she is so upset about needing a medical alert bracelet and lawn care. Its probably because she just really doesn't want to see me go.

I am thankful that she isn't nasty to me. She can be to my dad on her impatient days, but thats a 55 year long marriage with its own issues. Its not my business. But to me she is very nice. She can be passive agressive towards me and she can give me the silent treatment at times which are usually at times when I just don't need them.

About a month ago, my husband and I were drinking a bottle of wine, and I realized that we were having wine just about every night because of this situation. So I asked my husband if we would ever feel at home here.. if we would ever be happy, and he said "nope. This is it."

The very next day, the pill thing happened.

Maybe it was a sign.

Either way, our days our limited here. Its looking like the end of July or beginning of August.
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You took that own on TOP of 6 kids?! Wow. You are amazing. I don't blame you one bit for leaving. I think it takes strength to recognize that it is too much for you.
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Toomuch, do you think your father's attitude might shape up if you were paying him (a nominal) rent?

I wonder, because I know my ex-husband's view of me changed for the better once I stuck two fingers up at him and went out and got a job. Didn't change enough to stop us splitting up in the end, sadly; but there are some men who offer respect only on strict cash terms. What do you reckon?

And, by the way, any moneys you are contributing to the household budget - well, I hope it's all written down. The widespread notion that mothers of dependent children are financially negligible gets right up my nose. You make sure every cent you pay for anything is properly acknowledged.
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WOW! Six children with the oldest only 11 and the youngest a mere baby?! Of course you have to leave caregiving your parents!! I am amazed that you were able to hold it together for as long as you did!

In my experience this is the very hardest job I have ever, ever, EVER done and I have only 1 kid, who was 17 at the time my husband and I had to move in with my 94 yr. old dad. Our daughter is 20 now, a big help (when she's home from college) and understands the struggles.

No WAY should you feel anything but relieved. Yes, they are your parents. But YOU ARE AN ACTIVELY INVOLVED PARENT RIGHT NOW and your children are your priority; your husband next, THEN your mom and dad.

It sounds cruel but in my opinion that's the way it is.

Don't look back, Emily! Keep on going!
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On a different thread, someone posted that their brother, who had lived with 2 elderly parents, a dad with parkinsons and a mom with dementia had committed suicide after living with them for I don't remember how long. Don't let this happen to you. Don't get so desperate that you don't see a way out. We all have those thoughts I'm sure from time to time. Care-giving is not for the weak of heart or stomach. Nor is it for a long term condition without help or respite. Take care of yourself.
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Thanks emily i wasnt saying your situation was easy its hard for anyone of us who just cant cope with this illness. You have alot of children and so young you have to put them first. My sister has 2 daughters 21yrs and 27yrs and tells me she cant help because she has children????? Go figure. I feel guilty everyday as i just dont want to be here and my mum was never an easy person before now shes impossible as much as i love her i cant look after her indefinetly every minute seems to be an argument shes as stubborn as a mule and gets nasty if she dosnt have it her way then she buys me things that i cant afford like clothes etc..then as soon as theres an arugment she will fling it in my face as how much she buys me. I used to feel guilty when shed buy me something but now i think i deserve it as im just constantly abused and manipulated.

I need to get my family together as she will have to go into a NH soon as her constant negativity is sucking the life out of me but its her house and if she wont go into a NH then what? she wont even get POA has all the docs fooled with her acting?
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Sherry1Anne, good idea IF the patient is not crude, crass, rude, nasty mouth person. My dad has a fondness (ahem keeping it nice here on the board) for young girls and can be downright filthy mouthed so having any grandkids around is a NO. But as long as there is no negative aspects, having the grands spend the day or the night is an excellent idea.
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I feel bad for you and your parents. Its got to be terrible for your mom. Any chances of buying a 2 family or hiring help for them? Oh god its so tough to get old, I put myself in your moms shoes and cringe. I put myself in your shoes with all those kids and cringe too. There has to be a happy medium. My moms been with my husband and I for 6 years now but our children are adults. I cannot even babysit my grandchildren or take them out without hiring someone. But.. thats what I do. Good luck.
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I am sorry Kazzaa. I know that many folks here have it much worse than me here.

:(
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