What is Really in it for the Caregiver?
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)
I am in my mid 50's taking care of two elderly parents. I clean their home daily, cook and take care of doctors appointments, etc. I have two brothers near by who haven't done a thing for my parents since they feel it is taken care of by me.
I have expressed my exhaustion but they have no conscience about the situation. Since I am not married and have no life but to take care of my parents, they feel it is my responsibility.
Besides, my mom has always done for them and they can't see any other way. I realize that unless you are a caregiver, you can never understand the physical, mental and emotional toll that is has on you.
It is useless to find emotional support from those who have not been in this role.
I realize that my parents were not caregivers to their parents. They have no idea what I am going through. They take my heart felt support for granted. I resent my health getting frail because of my daily laborious tasks I do for them - i.e., vacuum, lawn work, cleaning, etc. My mother refuses to get aide since she has me. She is suspicious of people in the house.
She also flippantly says she can do what I do. She has Parkinson's. She can't.
She still babies my brothers. They don't see her as needing help since it is done by me. I feel like I want to run off. I have a conscience.... work full time, and am totally exhausted from this role. I go to physical therapy weekly for my own health issues.
My parents show no gratitude but now expect me to take care of them. They can still do some of the light physical labor but are getting too dependent and expectant of me. My parents are so used to me cleaning that they don't bend to pick anything up or eat without making a mess.
My parents still give financial support to my brothers. They don't help me since they feel that I have a good job. My brothers are basically lazy and have always had my parents support.
Thank you for letting me vent. I take things day by day. There is no fulfillment for this role on any level except knowing that I was there for them in the end. I am trying to find the fine line of my own sanity and my conscious of helping them. As for role of caregiver, it must be a inner fulfillment.
I at one time, would never have thought of putting my parents in an assisted living facility but have changed my mind.