whats the most difficult thing? My dad is 83 and has dementia although he is still active and physically able. he can be stubborn but usually can be won around by bossing him or by cajoling.
My mother is 87 and a total nightmare, but she is terrified of how my dad has become. she has a difficult personality, a persecution complex and narcisstic behaviours.She is untrusting and suspicious. I can predict some of the issues ill have with her but its a huge decision and I may have to give up my part time job to do it. I would have support from my siblings but the day to day care and practicalities as well as the day to day difficulties will be my burden. My parents have been very good to me and I feel its payback time now .but im scared of the unknown terriortory,. any advice appreciated. negative or positive welcome. thanks everybody!

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Oy. There's not enough time or room to describe the pitfalls and what the most difficult thing about caregiving is. Read the posts on this site, get a sneak preview of what you'll be dealing with.

I appreciate that you want to care for your parents but you don't owe them just because they raised you.

Taking care of one elderly person is a full-time job. Taking care of two needs more than one person helping if you don't want to go crazy.

You will have to quit your job. And give up your life. If you're married your marriage may not survive. If you have kids they will resent the time you spend caring for your parents. You and your siblings may get along fine now but try not to count on their support as time goes on. However, you may be one of the few whose siblings are supportive. I had a supportive sibling but that's not the norm.

If your parents are able to go into an assisted living facility that's what I would suggest. Caring for then in your home may look good on paper but you have no idea what you're in for. Today your dad is a lovable curmudgeon, tomorrow he's throwing food at you and pooping in his pants.

And your mother is a nightmare now? Magnify that by 100 and that's what you're getting.

If you can possibly get an alternative arrangement for them then do that. And please take the time to read through the posts on this site. If caregiving weren't such a huge burden this site wouldn't be necessary.

You're right, it is a big decision. And this site will be here for you if you decide to take the plunge and move your folks in. Think very carefully.....
Helpful Answer (12)

Do they actually WANT to give up their home and move in with you? You can't MAKE them.
Is your spouse - if you have one- agreeable?
Whos is going to supervise Dad for the 8.10 hours you are away working.
Don't even think about working from home. Mom will demand your attention and interupt you constantly.
How are you going to manage Dr visits?
Don't expect any siblings to keep their promises.
Where is the money going to some from?

Yes of course you can do it - no problems.
Keep your job
Look after your own family
Maintain your social life
Have guests visit.
Go on vacation
Work in your garden
Continue with your hobbys

Is there maybe $6-8,0000 a month availabe?
Do you have a seperate wing attached to your house? or a cottage in the grounds?
You will need 4-6 caregivers for each 24 hours at $10-12 per hour each plus several extras to cover days off and vacations plus taxes.
Their quarters will have to be equiped with all the medical equipment found in a nursing home and absolutely handicap safe

Don't expect your parents to be grateful because you have taken this on out of love or because it is the right thing to do or worse to preserve their money.

So welcome to the club and an early grave. On the way enjoy depression, isolation, frustration devastatingly hurt feelings, early aging, new and worsening health problems, severe weight loss or gain, thoughts of murder and suicide and (fill in the blanks) Even a six pack of big girl pants is not going to get you through this. most people come here after they are up to their necks in poop and we try and help them cope. You are rare. You don't have to do it, There are alternatives. it won't be easy but learn never to take no for an answer and find a fiesty friend to give you back up. Good luck. You are a very good daughter for even being willing to take this on but you will be even better if you can find the proper care for Mom and Dad for the long term.
Helpful Answer (9)

Read and read on this site. Pitfalls are plentiful. You lose your friends, for one. You take on a 24/7 job and have no time for anything else.

What happens when your dad becomes incontinent? And, are you going to bathe him?

The truth is, your parents aren't going to get better and once you get them into your home, it will become their home. If they need a NH, then you are stuck trying to get them to consent.

I hope this turns out well for you, but chances are your own health will suffer, in the end.
Helpful Answer (8)

Your father has dementia and your mother is paranoid and narcissistic. And you are considering moving them into your house.

O. M. G.

Their health and emotional problems are not going to improve, and it is certain that the dementia is going to get worse. That is what dementia does.

Be a loving daughter. Let professionals in an appropriate care center do the day-to-day caregiving.

If you are determined for them to live with you, be sure you have in place
1) POA and health care directive documents
2) A personal care agreement and/or a room and board agreement, stating what they are paying and what you are providing.
3) A firm plan for respite care. How are you going to get away for a weekend? For a vacation? For needed time to yourself each week? Not planning on this before they even move in can be a fatal flaw. This could be your parents visiting your siblings, your siblings coming to stay at your house, professional caregivers coming in, or your parents going to a facility that offers respite care for a fee. But it MUST be something you can count on, and you need to plan it right from the beginning.
4) Figure out how you can keep your job. It may be your one reliable link to sanity. One possibility is for your parents to attend an adult day health program during the hours you work.
5) Your house, your rules. If Mother is going to fuss that she won't allow a stranger to come in while you are gone and Dad is going to refuse to go to day care, your are doomed before you start.
6) If your parents are capable of household chores, awesome. They should do what they can. That may not be realistic at their ages and with their problems. Hire a cleaning service. Simplify the meals. Hire someone to do laundry.
7) Look into what services your parents are eligible for. For example, perhaps meals on wheels solves the lunch need. If they qualify for Medicaid they may be eligible for in-home help such as laundry and light housekeeping. Take advantage of every benefit.
8) DO NOT promise them "I will never put you in a home." Instead promise "I will never abandon you and I will always see that you have good care." It is impossible to predict what the future holds. Be open to changes in plans, as appropriate.

It is awesome when a parent can have the comfort and reassurance of living with an adult child in harmony. At least it is awesome when it works. There are so many factors beyond our control that can turn awesome into a disaster.

I'm glad you are giving this a lot of thought.
Helpful Answer (8)

I re-read my post. I hate that I sound so negative. I'm sitting here trying to recall if there were any benefits to moving in an elderly parent. Or parent(s) in your situation.

Oh! This isn't a benefit but if they do move in make sure you obtain POA from each of them, and an advanced healthcare directive. There will come a time when they won't be able to take care of their finances or make decisions on their own and now's the time to have those things in place.

My dad lived with me. He was a very easygoing guy and easy to live with. It was easier on me to live with him than it was for him to live with me, I'm sure. I'm a neat freak perfectionist. But we grew closer. Amid all the stress and anxiety that goes along with caregiving we did grow closer. That was a plus. He didn't have dementia or any personality disorders so I had it pretty easy compared to most people but even under my better-than-average circumstances it was still the most difficult thing I've ever done.

OK. I'm done now. :-)
Helpful Answer (6)

Any difficulties you may have with your parents will be magnified when they move in with you. Lots of pitfalls there.

If you don't make a point for everyone to pull their own weight and take care of their own needs, then you will become the hostess with constant guests (them) from now on. Lots of pitfalls there.

If you can find any way to seperate their living areas from yours, that would help a lot. Like a duplex or mother-in-law suite or something with it's own separate entrance. The more separateness between you the better.

If there is any financial way to move them to independent living or assisted living, make that as equal an option as moving in with you. If Dad was a veteran, he may have benefits that will help with IL/AL depending on the benefits and the facility.

Siblings you think will be there to help - who promise to help - who say call me anytime - will disappear or begin blaming you.

I would advise AGAINST moving them in with you. Read every post on here.

It does sound like lots of negatives and it is.

For me, mom lived with us 28 months. Is now in AL. What I gained: insight into how she became the mother she was and the person she is now. Making the decision to have her move away made my husband and I closer but before that, things were very rough (and we've been together 28 years). Having Mom live with us helped me accept the fact that she had to live on her own and to understand my own limits. And come to peace with my decision. But all of this took effort and I'm not sure it was worth it, I am just trying to make lemonade from the avalanche of lemons I brought into my life.

Smart to post on here and ask.
Helpful Answer (6)

Pitfalls is too polite a word for what you face. It's more like a Black Hole that will suck you in and crush the life out of you. Look around at the posts here, from well-meaning children who try to take this on. Siblings don't help. Leave the caregiving to the trained professionals at Assisted Living. Your mother's behaviors will have to be modulated if she is aggressive. Living with her will be impossible without getting her on medications. Even then she may be constantly critical of everything you do.
Helpful Answer (6)

Hey guys. thanks for all the realistic sensible comments. I have changed my mind and let my siblings know it would be an impossible situation to maintain.
Helpful Answer (6)

Are you prepared for Mom to paint the walls with poop and Dad to pee in the flower pots. Are you going to give them a bell or whistle to call you in the night? "Oh I didn't want anything, just wanted to make sure your were here" Can you deal with comming home to the house filled with smoke because Mom burnt a pan again. How will you feel when dad goes through your personal papers? What will you do when either of them refuses to take a bath or change their clothes? Can you get them to Drs appointments when they don't want to got. Are you strong enough to transfer either of them from bed to chair. How will you feel when either of them starts being abusive? Physically or mentally? There is plenty more but if you can cope with all that go ahead. Your mother is already narsisistic and paranoid she is going to become totally obsessed. Either of them may start to wander, even if they don't mean to they will think of an errand to do while you think they are just sitting outside in the sun and forget how to get home. Then there is the car are they still driving? try taking away the keys - not pretty! Stop considering it and find them somewhere else to live. You can fullfill whatever obligations you feel from the care they gave you by taking care of them from a distance. You can not be young yourself do you really feel able to take on such a physical task?
Helpful Answer (5)

OMG! Don't do it. Check into assisted living facilities and visit them.2 elderly parents at one time with different medical and mental issues is to much for one person and if you are counting on any siblings to help,don't.
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