I am the olderst of 3 girls. I am the go to daughter and the daughter who is most involved with the health and the REAL goings on of my parents.
Asking my sisters is not an option. I am unmarried with no children. My well being is now suffering because of the worry and anxiety it has caused. I am also always to blame and unappreciated. I do not want appreciation from anyone. But being disrespected because everyone thinks all I do either just " happens" or my parents thing " they actually do it themselves" . Is a huge issue for me.

If they were younger I would move further away and have totally autonomy. But they are getting old fast, and although they don't think they need me, I believe they do.
I am trapped.
Any suggestions. I rather be ignored than critisized. Maybe I do just go. Yes they are old. But I am now being treated as I was when I was a rebellious teen ager. And the unhealthy childhood caused me depression, and eating disorder , dropping out of school, and a fight like h*ll for a successful life.
I am 50 and I cannot allow the last 20 years of my life to mimic the first 20. Not to mention it is now posing issue for me socially and career wise.
Please help

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Old is one thing. Disabled is another. How much help do they need? Are any provisions for when they will likely need more help in the future, beyond "the caregiver daughter we have dumped everything on for most of her life will take care of us?" There should be. Your sisters escaped, and from what you wrote they may have escaped for a reason.

If you don't want to be your parents' caregiver you do not have to be. There are agencies which will step in when things go bad if someone alerts them. It is far better to have life care plans worked out if finances allow or if they could get Medicaid when they need it. If you do want to be their caregiver despite the risks to your mental health - they have made it clear they have every intention of treating you just like they did when you were young and under their control - you must make plans for respite and you must undertake the kind of counseling that will let you stand up for yourself even if they try very, very hard to impose the old relationship where they ruled over you and diminished your self worth to the point it is now or worse in order to use you to meet their own wants and needs.

The harsh realities are that they could both die before needing more care than you want to or could provide even if you wanted to; one could die and one could need care; or both could live needing full time care for many years and you will be retirement age before it is over, if you survive whatever they dish out.

Options: counseling for you, consultation with life care planner/estate planner or even eldercare attorney, contact Area Agency on Aging, comprehensive geriatric evaluation for your parents followed by family meeting with sisters who may be willing to play some small role as long as they don't sacrifice their own families in the process. And yes, just because you are unmarried without children and the eldest, it does not mean that you should do it all and they should do nothing. Maybe if nothing else they would chip in $$ for respite care or assisted living. You don't know until you ask and assess the situation thoroughly.

This is scary. And a steep learning curve. And it can suck even when you plan as well as humanly possible. But with good decisions it does not have to ruin the rest of your life and most importantly, NO, you are not "trapped." You have actual choices, and again, frankly, most will have downsides; some will be good, some will be miserable, and some will simply suck less than the others. You have to be in the driver's seat to pick the best course for you, and provide reasonably and responsibly for them if you can. Driver's seats are not always the most comfortable ones in the car, but in the situation you describe, that's where you belong.
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When you say that asking your sisters is not an option, do you mean that it's not an option for you or not an option for your parents? And if it's not an option for your parents, why isn't it? Are your sisters close enough geographically to help your parents out? Are they unwilling, or are they unable to help, or are they just accustomed to you doing everything?

What concerns me is this: What are your parents' options for help if you move away? Is there another plan that could put be in place for them. Can your sisters help them if need be? Can they afford paid help?

I would not stay in an unhappy situation if there were alternative solutions that could be put in place for the parent, even if the alternatives were less desirable for the parent or someone else. I have been planning to move away from my elderly mother for a long time, but it hasn't happened yet. In my case, my two older sisters both live within a few blocks of my mother, and one of them is married to a man who also helps when he can. I was planning to make my move this summer, but my BIL was unexpectedly diagnosed with a serious illness that has kept him and my one sister (his wife) out of commission for the last several months and for the foreseeable future. At the same time, my mother is having health problems requiring a long series of doctor visits and medical procedures in addition to all the regular shopping, errands, household tasks, etc that she needs help with every week. So reluctantly I've delayed my plans yet again. I can't leave all of this on my one remaining sister.

My point is, it's impossible to make any suggestions without knowing more about your parents' situation. Maybe you could share a little more?
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It's nice you want to help your parents and perhaps they do need your help and support. Depending on how well they are still functioning, you may be in a better position to know how much they need you than they do. Many seniors think they are just fine, when in reality they are struggling. I would observe and make an objective opinion. If you truly think they need you and you are doing the right thing, then make that decision and stand by it.

It's not likely you will be able to make your siblings to respect you, appreciate you or think a certain way. It sounds like this may result from old wounds years ago. The sad thing is that most people aren't going to suddenly start acting differently.

They must perceive things in a different way than you do. So, you could make a list of what you do for your parents, have the parents sign off on it and give them a copy. Maybe it would make a difference, but I doubt it.

I think I might get some counseling to give me support and some tools to deal with my frustration and hurt. If you can get your confidence up, you may likely care less about what others think. As long as you and your parents are okay living together, then I would not let the others ruin my attitude. It's not too late to have a productive life. There are community colleges, online classes, nutrition classes, etc. Set your own goals and stay focused.

Do you have your parent's Durable Power Of Attorney and Healthcare POA? Make sure you have that so that if they take a downward health turn, you have the legal authority to act on their behalf. If not, you and siblings could have a major clash or opinion. You can consult with an Elder Attorney about it. They can help with financial planning too.

So, do what you know is right and have peace with it. I wish you the best and good luck with your endeavors.
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