Where do you draw the line between doing too much for your parent and not enough for yourself?

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I don't know I have given up almost everything for my parents and am not doing anything for myself. My husband and I don't go anywhere and this is not fair to him but what am I to do. We live close so I spend the night with the parents for it is not fair for them to move in with us . My husband had rather it be this way. He does get to go but I hardly ever go anywhere for it is easier to stay close than try to go anywhere. It is hard for the other option is the nurseing home as they don't feel conforable with anyone else in the house. If we hired outside help I would have to be there to babvysit I am very weary and tired as my brother lives off and comes in every few months for awhile but I am so tired when he gets here I don't want to do much but just rest. I am glad I have found this site I sometimes feel guilty to complain here but caregiving is hard even when you think it is the thing to do.
Wow, this is my exact situation.
My mother in law has Alzheimers and my hubby & I have been her fulltime caregiver the past 3 years. I have not slept in my own bed since January. We live 15 minutes away, own our own business & work out of our house so my husband stays mainly at our home & I take care of her. I am only 35 & can feel stressed & like I have no life. I will tell you it is worth it in the end. You do need a break & there need to be boundries but I would not (at this stage) place my mil in a home. We have been interviewing caregivers to come in to help out. We are looking at 4 days caregiver & 3 days us. Are you scared to leave them alone with a caregiver? I just installed a camera yesterday & it is FABULOUS! The caregiver will know it is there. We will slowly acclamate everyone to this new arrangement. I understand your parents dont want help but maybe give them the option. Tell them how you love them but you need help. Say "I can either hire outside help or we will have to go the nursing home route". I applaud you in the care you have been giving. You are doing a wonderful job but as I stated earlier Boundries need to be set & you need a break before you hurt yourself & your marriage. Best of Luck! Feel free to write me anytime. :)
I have been taking care of my parents for the last 3+ years. Every weekend at their home. Then my Mom died July 2009. I continued going over to his home every weekend and worked full time, as well. I have 3 brothers and one sister. The brothers would once in awhile take Dad for a weekend. One brother hasn't been around in years. The other two are married and have a life! I'm divorced and have no life. If I complain to my siblings, I sound like I'm a mytar. If I send out an email to all that I want to make plans for a weekend and need someone to take Dad (he moved in with me 12 mos ago), I don't get a response in a timely manner..then they have plans. I'm so exhausted at times and I know I have lost my temper with my Dad, as he does things without thinkging (85yrs old) and it isn't his fault. I have used caretakers when I was working full time, but I have had bad experience with all of them. Either they steal, lie about their time, talk on the cell phone all day and then do a lousy job of light housekeeping. A couple of them couldn't even work the dishwasher. I'm venting! Thanks
I feel for ya Jade1950! You are an Angel! I am sorry you have had bad experiences with caregivers. I know God has the perfect caregiver for my mom. We are down to chosing 1 between 2 we have interviewed. I know there is someone out there to help you! As I stated in my above comment....get a camera! Let them know it is there & you can watch from your laptop or phone. We too have had problems with my husbands sister helping out. She stole over $60,000 in credit cards & has made it even harder for us to afford help! Where there is a will there is a way! Have faith! Keep looking & don't give up! I found caregivers on care.com. Don't let those bad experiences with caregivers stop you. Take care! :)
My mom has been living with me for the past 7 years. She does not like to leave the house except for doctor, dentist, and get her hair fix. She is on a set scheduled that she made forself years ago. She watches her mass on t.v. The places she use to like to go she says it makes her nervous now. She had a stroke or brain hemmoraghe 21 years ago and has not had physical therapy and her inactivity has made her very stiff and unable to move around a lot. I want to get sitters for her so I can go places without worry. She cringes when I say this and says she does not want this. She says it makes her nervous to have other people in the house. Nursing home is out of the question because she has money that is in my name and I have 3 more years to go before the nursing home prblem will no longer exist. They will not take her money then. What should I do? I need help. I have 2 other sisters but one lives in Seattle and the other lives here but only does for her on her two days off from work. She doesn't visit those days just takes her to the doctor or go grcery shopping for her and that is it. She is gone as soon as she drops her off. Give me advice. My sister in Seattle is a dr. of psychology but her only advice is what she thinks I should do when she does not know what is going on. She comes in once a year for 4 days and usually she comes in for a special occasion happening in New Iberia or Lafayette. What do you have for me?
Just offering a little assistance that I have had to get involved with now since I am living full time alone with my mom in advanced AD. I had to give in and get help from a wonderful agency (fully funded with moms medicare). The company is Odyssey Hospice and they are WONDERFUL. They are all over the US so you might want to check and see if they are in your area. I feels such relief just knowing mom is being attended to at home with nursing visits and bathing. Just those small chores have taken a load of the pressure off.
I tell my dad everyday he is taking advange of me by not trying to get stronger but he just doesn't get it. I am at the end of my rope. I go back and forth all day and get nothing really done for myself. I complain but it just hurts their feelings. The local nurseing home would not be as good to them as I think they deserve but they don't need me to be unpatiance either but I really don't think anyone could do this around the clock without feeling this way. I really try to not say anything but sometimes it just over whelms me. The part that bothers me the most is we could hire some help but my mom would be so nervious I would have to stay to babysit them and I refuse to babysit anyone else. I read on here other peoples problems and I am blessed it is not any worse. My dad has been a selfish type person so not trying and me doing everything doesn't seem to really sink in and my Mother is so blind by my brother and his livein that I get so angry for they do no wrong. I am having to live almost pennyless to do this and hate to take money but do take some pay sometimes. I get mad as everything is to be split down the middle when something happens for they think that is fair. I will have so much work to do when this is over it will take the rest of my life. They have been pacrats and so have I . I am trying to get rid of as much of my things as I have the time to do so but I can't even have a yardsale for I am so tied down. I have quit my job 4 years ago and am retired now but had a year without income so still paying for that. I have bought a lift van which my dad paid part of but I still have payments and gas to go back and forth and my brother who flies to his liveins family can't come in as much to help me. For it cost too mush and my mom sends him some money to come home on. I have just thrown in the towel of ever being close to my brother. I have never been good enought for him. After all these years The last straw was last time in when I am carrying the whole load of my parents and he has my stuff in his suitcase I just happen to see it as I walked throught the room took it out and never said a word no reason to start a fight over such small issues. I told my Mother once that they get into my stuff when they are in and she just said I have so much was the wrong answer for me. She is so blind aout everything so I just try to not say much just give him half when it is over and say goodbye this is a shame but I just can't run after someone who doesn't want me anymore. He has no kids so I think in the furture he wil be lonley. I just ge mad at the Christmas present send to my Mom for the livein which my Mom is so proud of. some 2 year old candy filled ornaments for the tree which cost 1.00 new. 2 years ago. This is a retired English teacher who has lawyers and Dr 's in her family so I know she has to know better than this. I am a poor country girl and I know better than that as a gift. I am sure her family gets better presents than that I don't care about my self on gifts and if that is all someone can give that is fine but I consider this a slap in the face from someone who could do better and the knowledge to do so. Thanks for letting me vent.
Being that I was caregiver for both my parents for over 10 years (they resided in their own home during that time), and then for my mother for an additional 8 years now in my home after my father passed away... I wish I knew the answer to that question... along with how to draw the line without creating a lot of drama and meltdowns from my mother in an attempt to draw that line.
Hats off to you CrystalBrrfly I have helped my parents for many years but just being a full time caregiver last few years meltdowns from caregivers and parents I think seem to be common but sad. Good Luck
My advice is to juggle your time and emotions as best you can, but when it gets too much you must prioritize your relationships. Your partner/spouse must come first, then your children and then and only then, your parent. I look after my elderly father (82 yo) - when he was 55 his mother-in-law (my Grandma) moved in with my parents and lasted less than 5 months. He said "ENOUGH" and she went off to a nursing home. He had none of us kids living at home, just him and Mom (unlike my Sandwich Generation who have 30-something kids at home) and he prioritized - that is how it is with him now - a take it or leave offer. Tough love worked for us when we were kids in the 60's and it he gets me now.
You may have heard to instruction in aeroplanes "....when the oxygen mask comes down fit yours first then help others with theirs." If you are suffocating you are of no value to your parent. Look after you and your family first, then you are in a better position to help others. Hope this helps.

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