My parents are 88 & 89 and currently living in their own home. My Dad (89) had a heart attack and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I live 2 hours away, so I hired Home Instead care 2 days a week and meal delivery. I go once a week for Dr appts, grocery, etc and stay 24-48 hours. I have toured 4 assisted living facilities and narrowed it down to 2. Both are 5 min from me. I drove them here to tour them this weekend. Their chat today is how 1. They don’t need to pay for care at all since they feel they are independent. (Which they definitely are not!) 2. Want to stop home instead care and meal delivery since I come once a week.
Now a bit about me… have rheumatoid arthritis and have to have back surgery in Sept for a synovial cyst on my spine. I’ve been told my recovery time will be about one month. Therefore, my true caregiving is limited.
They refuse to see what’s best for them, and all of us. I might also add, they have a lot of money and continue to bring every discussion about their care back to dollars. Makes me so mad! I’m feeling a bit defeated, and don’t know where to turn for sound advice/help.
They made me stop the home health care and meal delivery. I’m taking them back home today and am worried sick about leaving them. How do I do what needs to be done and let them still have a voice? This is so difficult!
Thanks for any advice 🥰
I appreciate you taking the time to help me through this. I am going to lay out the new reality, and tell them I can’t come for 2 months.
time for tough love.
Many of us have or are facing the propped up independence of our parent(s). It just sucks! So big warm hug for you.
I would not do anything the help they had you fire did or would do. Nope, not cooking to have 14-21 meals x2 in the fridge or freeze while I am here, that was what food delivery was for. Nope, not scrubbing your toilet, doing your cleaning or anything else the home care help did. Doesn't make them happy? Well, you are the ones that say you are independent and don't need those services, so I am not doing what you say you can do.
As long as you prop up the delusion of independence by giving them one or two days a week, they don't have to change anything. Stop participating in the charade and see how things evolve.
I, firmly believe, we are ALL responsible to have plans for our old age and that doesn't include dumping ourselves on our loved ones. Time for them to face the reality and live with their choices.
2. Want to stop home instead care and meal delivery since I come once a week.
What would they do if you didn't/couldnt come one a wk?
Decide what you can and will do, not what they want you to do. You dont need to justify/explain what you can and will do. If you sense that an explanation/justification for what you can and will do is required by them...thats a red flag in my book.
In my opinion what you can and will do for them is met with a thank you. Full stop. Ironically if it is met this way with a genuine full stop after a thank you...we do more for that person...authentically. It just happens. Put you and your needs first....unapologetically.
I have had to assert firm boundaries with my parents, particularly my mum...she is very narcissistic/abusive/critical/demanding. She would have me 'helping' her every day and it wouldn't be enough! I go every 2 wks for about an hour. I dont think she's grateful for this and I am pretty sure she slags me off to other family members saying I dont do 'enough' for her. So be it. I'm doing me.
"Makes me so mad! I’m feeling a bit defeated, " Take back your power, own your feelings. Its empowering and work out why you feel so responsible.
I need to let them sit in their decision mot to decide. Thank you!
Your needs are very important, and being stress impacted, make them even more so.
“I hate to do this Mom and Dad, but my rheumatologist has told me that I can ONLY assume responsibility for myself, and YOUR doctors have told me that YOU need more are than you can receive while living where you are right now”.
“If I have to involve a lawyer to convince you that you must live closer to me for a while it will COST YOU A FORTUNE”.
“LUCKILY, there’s an ADORABLE place, a lot like a hotel, for you to come to RIGHT NEAR ME, so we can all figure out what to do after I’ve healed and started to feel better.”
You will notice that there are some “truth bends” in this script, and you can most certainly adapt AS YOU GO, but bear in mind that their SAFETY and WELFARE and in this case YOURS, are more important than useless facts.
You are confronting a painful but ESSENTIAL TRUTH- the THREE of you need a major change, and you need to be the motivation.
And it won't hurt them to do without a little bit if you can't make it for a week or two, sometimes a lesson needs to be learned first hand.
Don't be tactful or dance around the issue. Just "no, not doing this any longer. Your choice what to do next".
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