My Dad expects me to do everything yet he doesn't get angry at my other siblings who live out of town and rarely come to help. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Dad expects me to do everything yet he doesn't get angry at my other siblings who live out of town and rarely come to help. Any advice?

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I feel a lot of resentment and anger towards my siblings because I am the one who lives in the same city as my parents. I feel my Dad takes me for granted. He expects for me to be there everyday and help him with everything…I work and I do my best with Dr. Appointments, errands, etc…. However, he is always telling me that my siblings work so hard and he doesn't expect them to come to help. My siblings call every day (and feel they have done their part) One of them comes about 4 times a year and the other 2 times a year. I feel I have no time to myself and feel it is not fair. He gets angry if I don't go over everyday , but he never tells my siblings anything.

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Hi Care2love,
Your situation is what so many caregivers deal with. Your dad is used to you and you are in town so he thinks it's easier for you to tend to his needs. He also may prefer your help to that of your siblings but won't say so.

Whatever the reason, you'll have to stand up for yourself and let your dad and your siblings know that you can't do it all yourself. If your dad needs more help than you can provide and your siblings won't help, then let them all know that hired in-home help will be needed.

I know that this is hard, but if you don't stand up for yourself now you'll be having a lot more trouble later. Please keep in touch so that we know how you are doing.
Carol
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I couldn't agree more with bookluvr's suggestion that you disappear completely when siblings do make their rare appearance. Get out of the house, visit a friend, spend some quiet time at the library (my favorite!), go for a walk; heck, go to the grocery store or dollar store or any store and peruse the aisles! Let your drift and try to relax. Siblings who don't fairly contribute need to spend some good "quality time" with their parent to get a better feel for what you put up with daily. GET GOING AND GET AWAY!!
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You are not alone. There are many honoring sons and daughters suffering the same thing. I am afraid I do not have much good suggestions to you, because you and I are in the same boat.

I am a 43 years old man, single. I have a older sister 14 years older than me, married and have her own family. I have been living with my parents and taking good care of them all my life. My mom died 5 years ago, and the burden of taking care of my father loads on my shoulders.

Some suggested you to add pressure on your siblings, but in my case, it is even worse, my sister keeps adding pressures on me. From time to time, my sister would say to me, "pa says ......", and she that demands me to add endless services to my father. I felt betrayed, used.

From my own painful experience, I learn something that might be valuable as your references, I learned:

a. The caring of the parent(s) itself does not make me feel miserable, the history does - such as the parent(s) is not fair; They love the other sibling more than they love me etc. Such history make the caring of the parent(s) more difficult.

b. The actual time caring of the parent(s) does not hurt much, but the negative influence does - spending two hours daily caring the parent(s) does not hurt much, but if spending two hours with them resulting in ruined your entire day, or driving you to abandoning yourself to despair, feeling your life miserable, that's hurt.

Therefore, my advices/suggestion to you are as follow:

a. Beside learning to say no to your dad, hiring health care aids to lessen your burdens, also learn to identify if there is any history between you and your parents/siblings, if so, deal with them.

b. Make a chart to see how many actual time you have spent caring your dad. Identify if there is any negative influence that has bring forth to you. If so, you need to work on it. Do not allow yourself be ruined from taking care of your dad. Your most important task is, do not let taking your dad ruined your life, you deserve a good life. If you are not well, you cannot take good care of others.

I wish my advices to you do help.
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I think this is usually the norm when elderly parents and a child live in the same area or in the same house. The adult child does all the daily exhausting never-up-to-the-parents' expectations. The parents view it as their right and your duty to take care of them because they are your parents. It still irritates me that my father views all my siblings who don't live in this house as - Guests. I have made it known to my siblings that I won't cook for them or do their laundry. If they want, we can switch roles. They usually want nothing to do with caregiving.

Now, is there a reason why your father needs you to visit daily? Even though I live with my parents (when mom was alive), my dad wanted me to call daily while I was at work. He was bedridden mom's main caregiver. He was scared that he might collapse and no one would find him until I came home late at 6-7pm. IMaybe you can try to keep your visit short. Or call them instead if you're too tired to see them.

My siblings never called daily. Some of them only calls on holidays. That's it. Maybe the next time your siblings visit, you do a disappearing act? Let them take over with your parents. And use their visit for your vacation from the parents.
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This is your problem to solve. You cannot be taken advantage of unless you volunteer. And that's what you're doing. You need to take charge of this "project" that is "Dad."

No need to have a confrontation with him. "Dad, starting next week, I'll try to come over Tuesday and Friday after work. So let's get some groceries in ahead of that so we can get on a schedule. I'm worn out." Period. Don't argue with him; don't get into a long discussion about it. If he starts to berate or otherwise criticize you, just say, "Dad, I've got to go. Call me tomorrow with your grocery list so I can get you stocked up."

If he doesn't call you the next day (because he's mad), let it go until the next. Then call and see if he's made a list. If not, and if he starts arguing, "Dad, I've got to go now. I'll call tomorrow. Let me know what you need."

Get used to dad being angry for a while. You've set a horrible pattern for yourself that isn't working for you. For him? It works just fine. Any change in that will guarantee push back. Close your ears and relish the extra time you'll have. He'll get over it soon enough.

You don't say what all you do for him . . . if we knew that, maybe we could give some suggestions on how to manage your tasks so that, while he's not SEEING you every day, most everything's being handled.

It is completely unreasonable for a parent to expect daily visits. If he needs daily visits? He shouldn't be living alone. And I'd tell him THAT, too.
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This must be a common problem because boy, do I feel your pain!

I cope by telling myself repeatedly, "This man's mind does not work like it should," and that helps. Other times during a rant I simply tell him "Ya know what? I don't need to take this," and I walk out of the room.

It is painful, it is hard, it is neverending. And I've only been a caregiver for 2-1/2 years! Seems so much longer. Dad is physically very healthy with a heart as strong as a horse but his mind is deteriorating daily. This is the tragedy. I resent anyone telling me that I "want him dead"; I want him to have a clear mind!
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The closer you are to the fire, the more likely you get burned.
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This might be difficult but at least consider it...Tell dad and siblings you are going to take a week off at such and such a date to get away and recharge your batteries....Upon return you will be making phone calls and visiting dad, but will make no contact while "away." Then do it....repeat often...

Also tell siblings that you are falling apart and need them to step up and give you some relief...if they live too far away to visit dad, then they can pitch in some $$$ to hire CNAs to visit dad in your absences...

Best wishes,
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All of these are good suggestions and so hard to personally start. I found that when I pulled away for a little time, he wanted to know what I was doing. Dad was physically mobile and was on hospice for a year a half. He refused the hospice help and said he didn't care for them, only a select few. He said he didn't need them he had me. My sister only showed up when she needed money, but he always justified that she had to work. A statement she claims to this day. I was put down and told that I didn't work, but when I gave her the heads up that Dad was not doing well, I could see him going downhill, she ingore my statements and acted like she resented me, but claim her and Dad was very close. When he passed, she told me she didn't have any more family. (Our mother is still living and turned 79 yesterday). At one of the hospital stays at the beginning of the year for my mother. We were waiting for her to come out of surgery, she told me, I can bring something to eat or come visit, but don't expect anything else! Thank You very much! I struggle with anxiety, emotional rollercoaster. It's amazing how much it takes from you, career, independence, security, but I really got to discuss important things one on one with my Dad. I miss him....
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I feel your pain. Mom lived in the same town as my brothers and yet they did nothing for her. She moved closer to me so I could care for her because otherwise no one else would. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm not an only child. Not that it matters. I'm all she has. It is exhausting sometimes and its not like we can suddenly just stop caring for them. I can't go anywhere or do anything for fear mom will fall or something terrible will happen and I won't be here to fix it. I swear I will never do this to my children. Its hard not to feel resentful about our situations. All I can say is you are not alone. There are others struggling with the exact same thing you are and doing so all alone. I'm single. I have no one to help me. No support system. Nothing. I just keep reminding myself how selflessly my mother loved and cared for me as a child and that makes it a little easier to take. I'm so sorry for your struggles. I know them all too well.
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