Caregiver Stress - My life is flashing before my eyes, I'm trapped!!!

I'm 23 years old and have been caring for my father in law for 2 years. He had my husband very late in life and if 82 years old. At first I knew it was the right thing to do so i just dealt with it, it was suppose to be temporary because he just had diabetic foot ulcers.

But then as the months went on it was apparent that he was never going to recover. He can barely walk and can hardly lift his cup to drink. The hard part is he has no serious illness and is all there in the head. This is a good thing but at the same time he constantly tells me how he doesn't need me and that everything i do is so easy and nothing. My meals I make him are never good enough, nothing is ever good enough. I tell myself to suck it up and realize what he must be going through not being able to do anything for himself, but can't help but see my life flash before my eyes.

I can't do anything he has alienated himself from everyone in his life and i now see why nobody wants anything to do with him. My husbands brother hasn't come to visit in almost 30 years. And since there is no one else my husband and I have the sole task of taking care of him.

I am feeling very depressed because as my sole job is taking care of him i no longer feel any fulfillment, i am constantly being brought down.

Thankfully we can still leave him at his house which is a few doors down. I just have to be there from 9 till 7 and then he sleeps the rest of the time. But by the time i get to go home my husband has to sit there and calm me down and tell me I am worth it. I just wanted to write this down to vent because no one in my life can understand my parents don't even have to take care of there parents. Even my husband can go to work and escape for a little while, I'm trapped.

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You're too Young for This
by: Anita

This situation is totally unfair to you. You are in the formative years of your life where you need to be building your own family and career. It is like your life is being sacrificed for the convenience of others. The chances are great that your Father In Law may live several more years. How much of your life are you willing to devote?

It sounds like hubby and you need to have a serious talk about where to go from here. This situation is not good for you at all.

Elder Caregiver - Get Help!
by: Anonymous

This must be so exhausting for you! especially as he doesn't show any appreciation for your efforts. I'm sure that you took on this role through concern and compassion but nobody has those feelings in limitless supply.

I agree that it must be awful for him to be so dependent and frail, but its not your fault! You don't need to abandon him, just get help! Force the other son to play a part, involve social services, it's not selfish to want your own life back.

If you continue to offer this huge commitment you will become angry, bitter and resentful, give yourself credit for what you have done already and slow down!

Caregiver Stress - Set Boundaries
by: Fran

This is not fair to you. He is not your father. You need to talk to your husband and work out an alternative arrangement.

It is probably time for your father-in-law to move from his home to an assisted living facility. There are also home health care programs that may be available depending on where you live. You need to set boundaries and take back your life. You can be a compassionate presence in your father-in-law's life, but you do not have to assume such a huge amount of responsibility for him.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

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