Dad is 92 and has No-One Else but Me and My Partner
I feel a fraud because my dad doesn't have dementia, isn't in a wheelchair, and is relatively well. But he IS old, and very deaf, and has poor mobility, and is vulnerable to falls. He can't live alone, and had been neglecting the usual things like hygiene and nutrition, and was falling ill a lot. Two years ago my partner and I gave up our own home to move in with him and care for him - he did not want to move in with us and be in an unfamiliar environment, and I could see the logic of that.
I am glad I am caring for him and that he does not have to go into an old people's home, which he does not want - but I am just so tired! I work myself in the care industry, and when I come home after work, it just feels like I am still there. More cooking, more cleaning, more laundry, more patience needed to communicate, and the constant challenge of keeping my dad happy when he is increasingly irritable about his loss of independence.
His complaints cut me to the quick when I try so hard, but I know he can't help it, and I feel guilty when I get irritable back. My partner is very good and drives my dad everywhere,to the doctor, the dentist, the shops, to see friends.
But we don't have much quality time ourselves - we're crammed in a tiny spare room with all our possessions, and I daren't go out and leave my dad for long.
The last time he attempted to cook a meal for himself, he had a stroke! My brother does come and stay periodically to 'help,' but in reality it just means I just cook and clean for him as well when I get home from work!
The worst thing is dreaming of one day being free, and knowing that the only thing that can free me would be my dad's death.
I feel constantly, incredibly, guilty about that!
As it happens he is very far from dead, and is set to go on, and on, and on, neither improving or deteriorating, with my care. I feel trapped.