Didn't realize I was given that title (caregiver)until one of my siblings called me that.

by Maggie

My dad is 73. He lives out of state. Two years ago he came to NY very sick from his prostate. Without thinking about it, I took him in.

It's my father, a very loving father to us 3. He was very sick, he had surgery. He was discharged and recovered well. My father spent 3 months in my house. I had no help from my siblings at all.

Now he's back for his annual check-up. Even though my siblings live near me. One of them lives in the same building I do, they refuse to help with dad's appointment or anything else. I get very angry. I'm not the only child. This man was a great father to us.

One of them says he has cats n that's why he doesn't take my dad to his home. The other has the excuse she doesn't have space n her boyfriend suffers from OCD.

What about me?

I have a new marriage. I have a 1 bedroom apartment, I made space for him. I have my children n grandchildren. I have a life too. It's so much to sacrifice, n they're living their lives with no kind of interruptions. It's not fair.

I feel sorry for my dad sometimes but sometimes I feel anger too. I don't want to feel anger. I'm not that kind of person.

Then if I say something, they always looking for an excuse or try to make me feel guilty. I can't believe how they're able to sleep at nite, not giving dad the care and love, dad gave to them.

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Maggie in Bronx
by: Bonnie in CA

I understand how you feel. Completely. It sounds like you're in the same spot I'm in - my parent (93 year old mother) doesn't suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's but her body is so weak she has to have help. Us kids had some serious issues with her in years past, but nothing we couldn't somehow put into some kind of perspective so we at least didn't hate her.

So, all in all, taking care of my mother now (who lives with me) isn't all that bad any more; we've got adjusted to being together. But what IS unbearable at times is the lack of freedom I've ended up having.

I'm 66. My husband died 3 years ago and I hadn't even finished my grieving process when my mother moved in a year later. It was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement "until she recuperated" from a broken shoulder, or so the doc and nurses assured us. They lied.

So here I sit 2 years later missing my privacy and freedom to live and interact with my own children/g'kids because of my mother's needs.

Even with my siblings generous support, I am bound to living and making choices based on my mother's needs. It's no fair, but it's just the way it is and all I can do is continue telling myself that SOMEDAY I will have my life back.

I just hope when that time comes I still have enough energy and drive to enjoy the things that mattered so much to me on my own.

Hang in there. You're not alone, not that that makes any of us feel better. It is what it is.

Very Unfair and So Common
by: Anonymous

Yes, it is very unfair. Unfortunately all too common. I have been in an online dementia carer support group and it seems each caregiver 9 times out of 10, has this same issue.

It is mind boggling that many live in the same town. Those should at least be willing to do the trips to the check ups and such. I have found that my siblings only want to do what is easiest for them.

They want to give a pack of diapers occasionally and maybe some money occasionally - they only visit at Birthday, Mother's day and this year, they did not even visit at Christmas. It is a situation that one cannot prepare for. I have been doing this almost 6 years and it seems that I have aged so much.

I have begged so much and still have not had but one weekend off and that was a sham because the sibling that was supposed to take care of Mom left her with our alcoholic father and she was so unkempt and neglected looking when I got back, that I vowed never to leave her in their "care" again.

I would advise you to please get your siblings to go to counseling with you and see if they will sign up for at least the trips to Doc for check ups. You need that much help. It is all so draining. It is hard.

Wonder if anyone running for President has any ideas on how to help with Dementia caregiving? WE need a break and cannot afford it!

I hear you and I understand exactly how you feel!!!

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