Joint Caregiver

by Angela
(Michigan)

Hi there,

I am not the "chosen" main caregiver because my sister takes on that role much of the time.

However, I am the "chosen one" that can live with my parents for extended periods to help out. This is because I am self-employed and feel motivated to make sure my parents are safe when they are either alone or in a medical setting.

Unfortunately, I live 2,000 miles away, so when I come I have to stay in my parent's home or spend money I don't have. Right now, I am nearing the end of a two month stint. I have to deal with two siblings who are not very involved, one sibling (the other caregiver) who resents or overreacts to much of what I say to her. I realize that I could improve my communication; however, I am dealing with two parents, both of whom are experiencing cognitive decline.

I have few problems with my mother because she and I have mostly "gotten along." Unfortunately, my father and I never got along and it is very difficult to live in the same house with him for extended periods of time. He is regularly angry with me either because he has misunderstood what I am saying or because I have stepped over a line or done something I didn't realize would make him angry.

I "need" to be here for about another 10 days and I know I've hit the wall, as far as day-in-day-out interactions with my dad. Just this morning, he yelled at me and pounded on the counter in the kitchen when I tried to explain to him why a doctor wouldn't have ordered a change in my mother's status at the rehab center on a Sunday.

I KNOW I should have just agreed with his confused interpretation of the situation, but I am human and it is exhausting, and probably impossible, to anticipate everything he might object to. Also, I heard him telling my mom that "maybe they want her to practice walking," which is not only untrue, but dangerous, as she has a fractured hip.

Holding on,
Angela

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