I Feel Like I am Being Mentally Tortured

by Christine
(Maryland, USA)

My widowed father, now 82 years old, was very active until 1 month ago when he fell from his porch onto his head.

He has required 24/7 care since then mainly due to his imbalance and memory issues. Due to a separation 6 months, I moved in with him and because I live here, it has become my responsibility to care for him.

I am the youngest of 3 and the only girl. One brother lives far away and the other is not in good mental health and so I am the only sibling that is available. He has been ordered to receive physical, occupational and speech therapies 3-4 times a week on an outpatient basis.

His short term memory is a huge problem. During the course of the day he repeatedly asks the same questions over and over and over again (there being maybe 1-2 minutes between). I make him write things down to help but then he doesn't remember doing that either. I have to supervise him in the shower and although I begin by calmly explaining the importance of being safe (and repeating myself as many as 10 times), I end up having to yell at him to get him to sit down.

Getting him to take his medicine is always a hassle. It has taken any where from 20-30 minutes to do so. I have to stand there until he takes it because he got caught hiding it the other night.

He has started to become rude, inconsiderate, demanding and does not listen to me. There are a lot more issues than this but I feel this entry would quickly turn into a novel. I feel like I am being pushed to the limit and frequently find myself crying and feeling alone.

I used to have visions of meeting someone special but feel that I am stuck here with no time to myself and no future. I feel cheated and angry while everyone else enjoys their weekend, there is no end to MY week!

Other than that everything is fine! Ha Ha Ha!!! NOT!

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Similar Situation
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am in a similar situation in that I am trapped in caring for an elderly parent with no help from any siblings.

I work a 9-10 hour job on the outside and also take care of my elderly mother who is 90 and in poor health. I spend an hour every day after work visiting her and dealing with various issues. My weekends are totally booked up with her and various issues.

I have no friends and cannot go away or take vacations because her health is poor. One day I found her on the floor with a fracture and another day I found her with a life threatening nose bleed and she had to be taken to the ER. Another time I went over there and she had a fever and had to be hospitalized because older people can go downhill fast. Unlike your Dad, my mother is in her right mind and makes all of her own decisions. She has refused all outside help from friends, neighbors, and the church so there are no options left for me since my sister doesn't help one iota. I am at my wit's end.

As for the people who typically write in and state that you should get outside help, they don't seem to understand that this might not be a realistic option in many cases. In my case, my parent is a fully mentally competent adult who can make her own decisions and she has refused all outside help so there is no other option for me.

Get help for you and your dad
by: Anonymous

Hi Christine,

You are going through a lot right now and have a lot of responsibility. Do you work outside of the home too? Like the other writer said she is seeking outside help, is that something you could do too? Have things been changed so that you are made his legal guardian?

You deserve to have a break and to get away from the frustration of taking care of your dad. Do you think his doctor could recommend an organization to help you?

Good luck to you!

We are Important Too
by: florida

I am in somewhat of the same situation and feel for you. I am finding outside help to come into the home and looking at trying to get guardianship of my mom now. We as caregivers are just as important as the person we are caring for. My prayers for you.

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