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I am a Registered Nurse. I live in my parents home and take care of both of them. They pay me $1000.00 a month. My sisters are not interested in helping. My parents are very stingy with their money esp. my dad. I am verbally abused quite often. My dad requires the most care. He is diabetic with multiple heart problems and unable to walk. I live in my old bedroom but I can't work because 8 hours is too long for them to be left alone. They make too much money for any kind of help. They have their mind so I do not have POA or anything. My retirement is dwindling with not working and I am depressed and anxious. I do everything but cook. My mom can still do that. It is literally just me. I have no other outside help. I am tired.

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Witsend52 - If you are not POA or legal guardian of either of them, there is no law holding you down. You have not one iota of legal responsibility for them.
What you do have is years & years of programming that you are going to stay put and take it.

If you don't fight for yourself, nobody else will. Your mom has to get fed up enough to want help. Your dad has to decline some more, most likely.
YOU are not some magic person who can solve all their problems and be the hero.

Sounds like your other two sisters figured it out a long time ago, and you just need to catch up. Sometimes you have to let Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall to get him the help he needed in the first place.

If it had been up to me, my mom would have lived in a senior apartment 15 years ago, but she was so defiant, stubborn, loud, hostile, and ugly to anybody who suggested she not stay in a 4 bedroom house she could not manage. I had to let her get to such a bad state before she would be helped. Nobody else in the family was stepping in. They figured her out ages ago and walked away.

You have to decide what you really want in this life and get moving on it. Time's a wasting. Be aware that the price is going to be that your parent will probably do every stunt possible to make you stay there and keep their cushy situation going for them. Without you there, they have to face reality.
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That's what I intend to do. My dad wants to do things but he wants someone else to do it for him. He won't empty his own bag and he yells for me or mom to do it. Mom will cater to him more then me. He has outbursts of rudeness and nasty behavior. He doesn't appreciate anything you do. My brother in law gets mad about the same thing. He was waking us up in the middle of the night several times with that bag. I finally told him that was enough. It would last all night. He threw a huge fit like a baby several times but finally stopped when no one responded.
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Witsend I was just doing the ironing and mulling over your thread, you know, like you do, and that's exactly the conclusion I came to: job first. Once you've got a pay check coming in you will feel so much more secure and confident. Best of luck with the interview :)
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Nothing changes, if nothing changes. I could never convince Mother to go to a doctor, change her clothes, or for that matter move out of her chair. The NH seems to. The change was immediate.

But, she didn't go until she fell and broke her ribs, The kicker for me, was when she didn't even go to my sister's funeral. I can see your dad being that way.

Make a plan. Tell them you are applying for jobs, because you have to build up your own Soc. Sec. and that they are going to need 24 hour a day help.
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I have a job interview Monday at a nursing home. Ironically Geriatrics in my speciality. I am going to start working weekends and just tell my sister she has to come over.
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My sister who is handicapped could help more by coming and sitting with them. She had to help some when I left.
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I know that sounded terrible but I will send them to her at that point if nothing is done before. If I had not come back from CO my mom would be dead from heart failure. I would feel terrible you are right.
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Thank u. Those vibes help a great deal. One of my sisters lives here but she is handicapped from an accident we were in a long time ago. Her husband mows the lawn. She and I have talked to them about nursing home care for my dad but mom won't do it. My other sister won't even talk to me. She thinks they spoiled me and this is what I deserve. She said she would take care of them if they went to her in Maryland (mom though, not dad). She lives in an Apartment. She lived with them herself for 16 years with her two kids. There is an 8 year gap in our age. I think I intimidate her too because I am very direct. She talks to my mom everyday but that's it. If they get to the point that they are not in their right minds my other sister and I have said we're sending them to her with big red bows on them.
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Snap! - I'm 52, too, or I will be in a minute anyway. Your parents are quite a bit younger than my mother was, though; and I know you'll be painfully aware of quite how long this project could have to run. Painfully and poignantly, I should say, because none of us wants it to end, so to speak.

If it's not a silly question, what do your sisters have to contribute to the discussion? Not interested in helping one thing, and fair enough if that's how they feel about it, at least in my view; but that doesn't actually mean that it's totally not their problem. They must have an *opinion*. They could conceivably stir themselves to add their weight to influencing your parents, which shouldn't be too much to ask. And you're right: unless and until one or both of your parents loses capacity, they are masters of their destiny and you cannot be held accountable for the consequences of their decisions.

Sadly, that won't stop you from feeling terrible about it if something happens to them, whether or not you could have prevented it in terms of practical reality. I'm sorry, I don't feel I'm helping much - but I am sending you vibes of fellow-feeling across the ether.
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I am 52. My parents are 84 and 83.
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I was here when it all came down and got trapped. My mother could be alone. My dad is the issue. He cannot and will not do anything for himself. It's a dysfunctional relationship all the way around. Mom has waited on him for years and years. When mom broke her hip she was not using her walker and actually was at the nursing home helping dad get into bed. He has an ileostomy (poop bag) that he drives everyone crazy with. If I wasn't here I am sure the state would get involved. She would absolutely not put him in a home. She also would not hire any help so one of them would fall. When I came back from CO she was all swelled up with CHF. I don't have POA or a contract because they will not give it up. My dad yelled at me over the bank statement the other day trying to say that I was costing him more money. He is the one that is really mean and always has been. I pointed out to him that he needed to look at the dates of when the checks were deposited not when they were written. My mom had been sick and kept trying to pay me again ( she got confused). Finally I just took the check and held onto it until the first. I am getting counseling help for myself plus looking for a job and then I plan on moving out. I know that I cannot do this and it is not fair. I am the youngest of three daughters. They could live forever this way. Dad needs to be in a home because he refuses to do anything for himself. I have had these conversations with them. It is destroying my mental health. I just don't want to get into trouble for leaving them but since they esp my mom is of her right mind. I don't think I can. When I was in Colorado mom wouldn't hire anyone. I have had someone come in and show them how much a CNA would cost. It didn't make any difference. He was nice for about two days then back to himself. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. It is nice to know I am not the only one out there. Thank u.
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Hi witness. In a way your situation is unique to these threads. Your parents have their minds as you say and that is a beautiful thing, though that may not last as long as we would hope. Secondly your Mother still cooks, bless her heart. Does she really want to go on cooking though? That may be your ace in the hole. Your father is the parent who needs the most and probably the parent who controls the bank accounts. You have already done more for your parents than many/perhaps most of us have done. It is time to look out for yourself. Because the alternative is you are going to get sick (I have) or you will have an accident. I know this. I tore my supraspinatis (sp.- you're a RN, I feel secure you know what i mean) straight away from the tuberosity. And still I went on cooking and making appointments and working along with the part-time CNA I am blessed to have at my side and who is really supposed to be providing respite for me. (She will be moving July 7 to Hawaii for ONE YEAR because her married sister begged her to come and "help her out". I was already mourning whenI thought it would be three weeks. Now I just pray, and this is bad but I am a desperate person in a desperate situation, I pray that Nicole (my Angel) doesn't get along with her sister's husband, even with her sister. Then Nicole will come home where she belongs! I pray that Nicole, who continually jeopardizes her own health, stays well and gets fit in Hawaii, that she sheds those twenty extra pounds and while she's outside getting all that exercise she starts to really hate the beauty around her: you know the big clear blue sky, all of that luscious greenery and beautiful year-round flowers in the many shades of purple, her favorite color, and as she runs on those wide, clean white sandy beaches, gazing at the sun-dappled, sparkling blue and green Pacific Ocean, I hope she thinks that's just too much nature, it's all so real and beautiful and gee, it's nerve-wracking taking in that beauty, day in and day out. On the other hand, Nicole's a smart cookie. That'll all be there if she ever wants to go back because she "wants" to do it. Yes, her sister needs her help (I don't know the realities of that though to be honest) and she's making big promises she may not be able to fulfill (the promises involve quite a of money and I'll leave it at that). One can be tempted by money, especially a good person who loves and is loved back by the person who is doing the promising. Oh gee I got off on a tangent. I really want to get back to you. You live in your parents home in your old room and this has made it seem so natural to them when in fact it is not. I don't know how long you've been divorced. But immediately, like yesterday you have to make it extremely clear to your parents that while you might seem to be living there, in fact you are not. This is a stopover phase in your life. Yes, it's wonderful that it coincided with being able to help them out when they needed medical assistance. That luck or fate worked out that time was a good thing. But (perhaps even because of that) you have come to realize that you allowed yourself to fall much too far behind in your own plan to re-build your life, sans ex-husband, that there are goals you have made and you have every intention to see they are reached. You went to college to become a registered nurse. You are not being true to yourself and you will not be fulfilling your potential if you fail to put that college degree and your skills to use helping other people as you dreamed you would. That you are a woman who is capable of supporting herself while working in an exciting field (okay maybe sometimes it's not exciting it's drudge work but it's what you want and need to do with your time) is unfortunately really still rare. Part of making that nurse's income is the additional benefit it provides you to save for your retirement years so those years will be as they should, a golden time in your life.

I don't know your age but if it fits you must make it clear to your parents that just because one marriage didn't work out you are not in a position to say you'd never marry again and who knows, even start a family. But these things, all so important in your life, will not get done if you are in your teenage bedroom, doing things around the house that it seems, other than your father, might still be done by them or by people who they are free to hire. If as you say they have money and so the usual agencies won't help out, these agencies will still provide YOU with advice and information. You don't have to tell your parents they need to hire someone to come in and help them. Have they told you they would like the "extra" help of an in-home aid. Or are you filling that role because 1) you are THERE in your teenage bedroom and 2) you are a nurse and helping comes naturally. or 3) you do things that easily could be done by someone hired to do that specific thing.

What I am trying to get at here, and it might not even be the appropriate avenue to explore, but have you seen that your parents need done (by hired help) the things that you have been doing? I understand your father is in a wheelchair and is diabetic. Is he incontinent and is dealing with this your responsibility. Your Mother still cooks. (My God that can be a lot of work; even before I brought my Mother here I was thinking of ways to get out of cooking those wonderful meals my husband and I used to share. Then what happened is I started cooking foods especially for her and I lost my appetite. My husband did I guess in sympathy with me. We eat things like yogurt and fresh fruit but very rarely did down to a dinner of our own.) Driving? Do your parents not drive, so you make and then take them to their doctors, etc. This can eat up tons of time; just dealing with phone menus can cost precious time and raise anybody's blood pressure! I guess what I want to say to you, and this could be redundant considering you are at THIS particular site, and considering I do not know the ages of anybody, but have you been put in a position wherein because you wanted the use of your old room for a certain period of time to recover from your divorce, you were also slowly worked into the position of being maid, secretary, butler and chauffeur to your father and mother? Would your parents still be doing some of the things you've taken up simply because you're there and you can do it faster, maybe better, and the look like they should not be doing those things or would they truly be not taking care of themselves, their home, and most important, their health if you were not there. At one time I too used to think it was nice to feel needed, that what I did for someone was helpful and was appreciated, and I'm slowly learning to all that, NOT SO MUCH. Good luck to you now that I've bored you to tears and ignored my precious doggie, Remy the dog would like you to know; he can be demanding too!). I guess some of what I'm saying is there might still be a time down the road when you will be needed to the point where your life gets put on hold. However if maybe some time now is spent taking stock of your situation, really thinking everything and every day through from an RN's POV (unemotional) and necessarily from a loving daughters POV (all emotion and what if's) you might realize that that time is not now though it probably will be there waiting for you. But until then you will be free to live your own life, although probably not in your teenage room in your parents' house. Please try not to rush things along.
Good night!
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Witsend, I really sympathise. It was the mother breaking her hip bit that really got to me: you think you've got everything sorted, you breathe a sigh of relief and get ready to get going again, and then ker-poww! They get you every time.

Some home truths need to be told to your parents about the reality of what your time - not to mention your qualifications - is worth and what care costs, and what they've cost you. But I'm not pretending it's an easy conversation to have. Any possibility of somebody else, like a social worker or an OT or somebody, having it with them?
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So they have too much for government aid - good for them!
Government aid is for people who are have-nots. It's not to avoid spending your own money. My very own mother was so angry she couldn't get any food support or anything because she had enough to live on, pay her bills, and put away. Really mom? Really? It's time they spend it on their old age care. That's what they earned it for.

This can happen several ways, one of which I call the "tv family" way. Everybody sees reason, agrees on the details, and are totally thrilled to make life changes. This never happens. Maybe it does, but those people never come to this site and I've not met any in person.

The other way most of us get through this is by exerting some authority and distancing ourselves to drive home the point, or some combination of both.

Mom & dad won't see what you bring until it's not there anymore. Sounds like they really need to be in a continuum care residence, where you can scale up care as necessary and they can stay together. It's fabulous. Or they need to hire in-home help, get on a public health nurse rotation, and hire transportation to doctor, grocery, etc.

We put my mom in a continuum care campus. She started in an apartment at one end. It was a normal apartment, but it had emergency cord in the bathroom, an I'm OK line to call every day, a small kitchen and 20 meals a month in the group dining room, activities, shuttle buses, and add-on services. She's now at the other end of the campus in secure memory care. The doctors go there. PT/OT is on site. So is beauty/barber, church, etc.

I know, mom & dad won't move. They're against it. Wild horses couldn't drag them, etc. Well... take mom on a tour of some places. They'll feed you lunch. They look like hotels. All the doors are really wide, there's no stairs. You can bring your own furniture. Mom will be able to see it's not an institution with iron bars, chains, and scary looking people confined to beds, moaning & howling.
Rent at these places varies wildly. It depends on how much luxury you need or not and where you are. My mom's apartment was $1350/month rent, here in MN, but it was "basic". That's all she needed. But it was the nicest place she's ever lived.

The other way is to move out, stop sacrificing yourself, and let them deal with it. "Tough Love"

At some point the perception of independence in-home is not worth it anymore, and they can flourish in a senior community or with more in-home & transportation services.
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There's one obvious solution and that's for your parents, or you, to hire some help for them. I don't understand how they can "have too much money for any kind of help."

You write that you can't work because they can't be alone for 8 hours. Use their money to find someone or someones to care for them during that period.

Given the family dynamics you describe, this would be the obvious solution rather than compromising your own security.

I'm not being critical, just pointing out what I see as an obvious solution. I'm sure your parents would prefer you, but it would be better in the long run for them to get independent help without anticipating that you're going to compromise your own security and health, and it's obvious that you're not enthusiastic about the solutions you discussed.

If you continue accommodating parents you describe as not being particularly kind to you, you're only going to eventually hate being trapped and resent them.

Step back, get a clear head and make decisions that are healthy for you.
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Sometimes when we are too close to a situation we can't even see the other options, but there are always other choices if we are willing to explore/take them.
Why don't you have POA, or do you mean it just hasn't been invoked yet? Do you have a caregiver contract? There are many on this site that have given up their health and wealth for their parents only to see their non involved sibs share equally in the estate. If you moved home after your divorce they may think they are doing you a favour letting you "mooch" off you parents. Realistically, what would happen to your parents if you weren't there???

As an RN I think you could expect a high salary out in the world. If you truly feel you WANT (not need) to live with and care for you parents I would suggest you find outside employment and use your money to supplement their care for the hours you are away. You might say it makes no sense to pay someone else, but you would have time away and outside social interaction and you would be contributing to you own social security fund for the future. You would still personally need to cover the other 2 shifts daily, which in my opinion $1000 a month would barely compensate.
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No, I do not have health insurance. I agree. I did this once before and moved to Colorado. They were in better shape then. My dad was in a nursing home at the time for rehab. Within two days of my leaving my mom fell and broke her hip. Then they were both in the NH. I came back and got them all set up when they were discharged and left again. A week to the day, my dad fell and broke his neck and pelvis. I felt quilty because no one else was stepping in and came back. I have saved their lives countless times by sending them to the hospital and taking care of them after surgeries, etc. I am going to get a job close by and move out. Thank u for your answer. We know these things but it helps to hear it.
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As you can imagine, your story is quite common. $1,000 is pitiful. Move out. Give them 2 weeks or what ever they need, but they both seem capable of picking up the phone and making their own arrangements. You need to be working one shift a day, with 2 days off and working on your own retirement. I wonder if you even have health insurance?

What is the plan, if your parents survive you? My sister cared for mother and the stress led to her early death. But, she wouldn't listen. Now, mother is hunky dorie, in a NH and is 96 1/2.
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