My older brother and I have been caring for my mother, who's unable to walk and stand, for almost seven years. Things were OK at first, but now I feel overwhelmed. I fear what will happen to my life if I continue caring for her, not to mention my concerns with the impact this is having on me mentally. I should probably note that I'm 29, single, and without children. This isn't where I thought I would be at this age. Also, I'm far, far below my earning potential, since I'm unable to work. Meanwhile, lots of my peers are doing well for themselves in my field of study. My brother also works, and has fewer caregiving duties. Lately, he has been drinking heavily, though, which is another thing I don't want to be around. l feel like I can't do this much longer, like it's ruining my life. However, I would need to start anew, find a job and home. That's all pretty scary, too. In fact, it's causing me to feel somewhat stuck.
Also, my parents were the best, so it doesn't feel right to place Mom in a nursing facility. If she knew how I was feeling, my mom would definitely say she doesn't want to be a burden on me. I've never expressed these feelings to her out of concern for her will to continue living. Additionally, I wish I had spent more time with my dad, who died suddenly from a stroke in 2003 while I was away at college, and I don't want to have those same regrets about my mother. It's all too much.
Thanks in advance for any insight on this matter, and excuse my grammar as I'm an emotional wreck right now. Again, my question is, how to be sure that you've done all that can for a disabled parent and it's time to focus on your own life?