How do I mentally deal with parents who now need care? - AgingCare.com

How do I mentally deal with parents who now need care?

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I have taken on the task of caring for my Mother thru her many ailments. My Father is verbally mean, controlling, and all about himself. I am now the oldest surviving child of 4. I have been living with my parents in order to give my Mother the care she needs. However, all I hear is about my younger sister. I feel as if I am nothing more than a stranger in the home. I have sacrificed my own life, well-being, and health, bending over backwards to make my Mothers life easier for her. I feel worthless! It's as if I don't even exist in her world. It hurts emotionally as well. I have cried many times alone. Does it help? No. I am lost and need direction as I continue to make sacrifices no one else is willing to do. I was the only one to step forward when my Grandfather needed help. I was everyone's go to when my older brother passed. I may be a strong person, but even I need an occasional thank you for what I do. Someone to take my hand and say its okay. We understand.

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The last 3 years of my Mom's life, I only had 2-3 weekends off a year. That's the only extended breaks my brother's gave me. On the short breaks, my one brother would come home from work, and take my Mom downstairs to watch TV with her 3-4 nights a week for a few hours, then put her to bed with me. It's been 9 months since my Mom passed, and I'm still in therapy, trying to work myself out of the trauma of nearly round the clock caregiving. I didn't have a choice. You do! Go for it. The more refreshed you are, the better caregiver you will be. No parent WANTS to be a burden. You'll be making them feel better that you are getting a break.
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Something that we may not consider is that our parents may actually like it when we leave for a while. Maybe they get tired of looking at us and wish we would just leave them alone for a while. Chances are that they need a break from us, too. If we look at it that way, we would feel guilty NOT taking some time for ourselves. I think we owe it to our parent to give some them-time when they don't have to look at us for a while.

When I go places I get the feeling my mother really enjoyed me not being there. I don't blame her at all. She probably gets tired of looking at me day in and day out. The only complaint I ever get from her about going out is that I didn't stay long.

If your parent can still stay alone for a short time, or if there is someone to watch them, I think we owe it to our parent to give them a break from us.
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Get rid of the guilt card! It is important to take care of yourself first; otherwise you are giving up your life, health and wellbeing for another person. That is just not the way it should be...you don't/didn't do that for your children. Our first responsibility is to ourselves. Caregiving is tough work and if we aren't in our best shape how can we be effective caregivers. You need time away for yourself (and husband). Your loved one may enjoy seeing a fresh face and be more appreciative of you, as well.

If possible have someone in for 4-5 hours a few times a week and get a long weekend off each month. Call the different agencies in your area and even local churches sometimes have volunteers who visit the elderly. When siblings visit that is your time to run away and enjoy...take advantage of those visits.

You should be proud of what you are doing for your parents; there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty wanting time for yourself. Best wishes!
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How do I deal with the guilt of leaving my mom in my brothers care for a few hours every month or two. He stays here at her house with her those few hours but I still feel guilty. I would really like to get out more. Just me and my husband. He has been very good about the whole situation. We just had our 41 anniversary yesterday. Hoping to be able to do something this weekend. If not for the guilt.
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To Feathers - a BIG HUG to you and all you are doing sometimes a thankless job. I feel your stress level as I'm new to care giving having moved both my parents to the city where I live, one in IL and the other in AL. Even in these facilities there's lots of "extra" things to do/take care of for them. Thankfully my husband takes care of my dad for a lot of things. A huge stress level for sure. You need to make time for YOU and do something nice for YOU, don't make too many sacrifices. Let some things go, it will be okay. You have to stand up for what you need too. Take a break, take time off for you. It is okay and I understand where you are coming from. We need to learn to say NO more often and yes to us for our survival.
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Feathers so many others have been through what you are going through not that is any consolation. Maybe it is time to consider other oprions for your parent's care. I am assuming you are older and single. would you be OK if you moved out and help parents find assisted living. you can still help but you won't hehaving the stress of waiting for the other shoe to drop every day. you say your health has been compromised. Parents care is only going to become harder so if you are already not in tip top shape you won't be able to take good care of your parents. lots to think about.
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Feathers, the child who does the most for a parent is often the one who is most taken for granted. Maybe it is easier for our parents to idealize the ones who are not around so much. My mother idolizes my two brothers, who are rarely around. She treats me not so good. I suspect that the story of Cinderella was written by a caregiver.

I really don't think it means anything. Families have their golden children, their black sheep, and their useful children. I guess you can count caregivers among the useful children.

I make things easier on myself by thinking about if my mother's thoughts on me really matter. They do a little, but really not enough to be really concerned with it. It would be easier if she were nicer, but I can't make her that way.

One thing I wondered is if you need to live with your parents. I know for me that it is the only thing that makes sense, but I think of how nice it would be if I didn't need to. Having my own place would make things so much better.
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I think what can happen is that you stop being a "daughter" in your parents eyes and you become the "caregiver" [you can't be both]. The only way of reversing that is for your parents to hire a caregiver to come into the home so that you can once again be their daughter.
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