Hi, I've posted here before. My mother is 90 (going to be 91 in August) and my dad is 85. I act as my mom's primary caregiver. She needs to be monitored round the clock, and I'm happy to do this because, under no circumstances, do I want her going to a nursing home, but lately I've been feeling a bit resentful about the fact that I no longer seem to have a life. It's not too bad as I'm a very introverted person and have a lot of solitary hobbies (reading, writing, listening to music, playing solo board games), but I sometimes feel like a prisoner in my own house. I do have a woman who watches her if I have to go out shopping or go to school (I'm working on my MA, but I'm off school for the summer because I'm working on a book project and the manuscript is due in January). She only charges 15$ an hour, which I know is cheap, but I can't seem to get any financial aide and I've already gone through more than half of the money the family has socked away just to pay for my mother's caregiver. The woman works privately - I've applied to the VA (my dad's a veteran) for possible spousal care to help with the money, but have heard nothing yet. In any case, because of the expense I try to keep my outings brief and well spaced apart.
What's worse is that my mother has developed an intense fear of being alone, so, even when I am home, she'll call me into her room about every 20-30 minutes just to make sure that I'm home and she's not alone. I try to keep my patience, but it's hard. I love my mother very, very much and I want her final days to be comfortable and happy - but I just can't help feeling resentful at times. On Saturday, for example, I had made a luncheon date to see a friend, the first time I've done so in many weeks. My mother's caregiver called me the morning of and said she couldn't make it because she was ill. I asked a number of my neighbors if they could just watch my mom for a couple of hours, but each of them was either ill themselves or couldn't make it. I actually broke down in tears (privately) because I had been looking forward to this all week. At that moment I felt so low, I felt as if I were a prisoner.
It's only very recently that this has started getting so bad. My dad was very independent and could often see to my mom's needs when I needed to go to school or visit a friend. Last October he got a horrible UTI which took away all his strength - he could no longer stand or walk. He was in the hospital for six weeks and then went to a rehab facility, from which he'll finally be coming home this month (I hope). Yet I know, when he does get home he will probably not be the way he was before and may need round the clock care as well.
I'm sorry I've gone on so long. But I just get these feelings and I feel guilty for getting them because I love both my parents so very much and I want to do this. But, as I've said, I feel almost like a prisoner sometimes. Can anyone else relate?