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I'm feeling trapped. There have been so many dramas/sagas recently, what with a vascular op that we have been waiting for since diagnosis in November (finally start of May), us moving house, then dad getting an infection, problems with his neighbours and then two short stays in hospital and the ongoing associated care after. I am so jealous of these other family's that get to have holidays while my life revolves around the monotony of care. Dad needs daily trips to see the nurse at present as he has developed a seroma at the sight of his surgical incision, this is half term and my dad is so grumpy, the children are resenting it and so am I. Sounds selfish but I'm afraid that's the truth of it. Any advice?

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Star, is the daily care thing a temporary situation, or is it the "new normal" from here on In?

Only you and your husband can decide what is right for your family. Does your dad need more help than you all are able/ willing to give Him?

Try not to compare your life to that of your neighbors. All families go through bumps in the road. The thing is to figure out the balance that works for you.
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Those feelings are not uncommon for caregivers, thank you for sharing, because many don't. Caregiving is not easy by any means. If your dad can afford it, I would try to find a licensed caregiver to help you, best to go through a company. You can hire them to come in for just a few hours a day or even less like every other day or once a week, you could hire one to take dad to some of his daily appointments after a few trips of you showing the caregiver the routine and getting dad comfortable with the idea. I also had a caregiver hired who went with me and my dad to many of his appointments. Whatever you do find some time for yourself, and it's hard but the frustrations of caregiving are not typically ones that non caregivers can really understand, that why this is a good place to share, vent and ask questions.
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PCVS, the thing is that "traditional" cultures used the lives of women, unpaid, insecure, to accomplish caring for elders. Nowadays, women need to work, build up retirement credits, savings, skills, etc. - to expect women to do the compassionate work of a society gratis is just not fair. When the elder they are caring for dies, then what future security does the caregiver have?
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Kids and husband come first. Parents next. Maybe the needs of both can be accommodated. If something has to give, it has to give on the parent side of things.

Pick out the services where having YOU help adds to the quality of Dad's life. For those things that anyone could do as long as they get done, delegate! Does it matter who takes Dad to all appointments? Does it matter who cleans his house?

When my mom was being assessed for assistance she said, "No, my daughters clean the house. I don't need help." And one of the daughters spoke up: "Mom we have limited time to be with you. When we are here we want to play scrabble with you, not scrub your toilet!" I think that is a nice way to look at priorities.
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Dad might need to arrange to get to some of his appointments on his own. Ask the medical team what options are available that other patients might be using. Dad will have to pay.
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PCVS, in mainstream US culture, we are raised to split off from our family to form our own "nuclear" families. It is not typical to "cut off" the family of origin. We do reunions, we do picnics, we do holidays, we sometimes do vacations with our parents and/or siblings. We stay connected. But we are not expected to disrupt our own nuclear family or our careers to devote ourselves to elderly parents.

I am a widow. I have an injured hamstring muscle right now and it is painful to bend over. I emailed a son that I was having trouble cleaning up some broken glass. He will stop by after work to do it for me. He has not "cut me off" but I certainly wouldn't expect to live with him or for him to stop work and take care of me.

Several factors would make it very difficult to implement a parent's-are-taken-care-of-by-children approach here.

1) First, it is against long-practiced culture. To be a successful parent means your children have gone out on their own, have careers, perhaps have families of their own. In mainstream US culture for parents to expect a daughter or son to give up their lives to care for them would be considered selfish and unhealthy, as Grandma1954 says.
2) Ours is a highly mobile culture. A couple may have a daughter with a successful career in Milwaukee, a son with a farm implement dealership in North Dakota, where he grew up, and another son who lives in San Diego and travels internationally. Mom and Dad have left ND and live in Arizona now.
3) We live longer -- much longer -- than at any time in history. The period over which older people may need care is MUCH longer than for previous generations.
4) Because we live longer we are much more apt to suffer from debilitating and extremely expensive diseases. Fewer and fewer people will have anything at all to leave to their heirs. Son can't think, "Well I'll care of Dad for a few years and then inherit enough for my old age." Nope. Son has to earn and put away enough for his own old age. And his own old age may well start long before Dad dies.

PCVS, I'm not criticizing what you say about your culture -- just explaining that that is not how it is for the majority of those in the US. (Canada? UK?)
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lindylu thank you, so much of what you say resonates. My children are so good and have always had to fit it with my parents and the things I've felt I have to do for them. We are in the UK and Dad lives in his own home but hates where he is ( but won't change) and has kind of given up since Mum died. He won't get any help apart from me and everything I do to try and improve things is a physical battle, he let his home get into a terrible state and over the last few years I managed to improve it some what but just getting cleaning done ends with him shouting at me. What you said about planting himself in the room and having no threshold for noise and play is so true! This is why he could not live with us. I think it is just that I feel so alone at times, he has very few visitors as he has either pushed them away or isolated himself from them. I am starting to feel a little better now and the advise and responses on this forum help. When I feel a bit stronger I am going to make some changes and try to restore the balance.
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PCVS - because you actually do not have children I think it's fair to say you can't possibly accurately project how you'd feel if you did.

I don't mean that as an insult - please don't interrupt it as such.
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Luv your post lindylu!
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Hi Star, I know what you mean about the cleaning! My grandpa couldn't see the food he'd spilled everywhere and would get mad at us for "moving around too much" when we were cleaning! When we started getting outside help, it did make a difference. He didn't like it at first but we had some really nice ladies he warmed up to quickly. It made a big difference to my mom who was getting burnt out -- once she starting getting a little break it was easier for her to see that we needed more help with him. I also found myself calling friends less or not talking to new people because I felt like all I had on my brain was eldercare and dementia stuff (luckily Agingcare is a good outlet for that.) I am glad you are starting to feel a little bit better -- it's just an ongoing process. Your kids sound very sweet!

Bella, thank you!:)
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