What will be left of us?

I am taking care of my soon to be 85 year old mother who is doing just fine. I on the other hand am not. (I will be 58 next week). I have multiple health issues and taking care of her is taking it's toll on me.

What will be left of us when we are done caring for our elderly parents? Will we survive this?

If we do, what kind of shape will we be in when all is said and done? Will we even been healthy enough to enjoy our lives when we are older and worn out from this experience?

This whole set up seems so unfair.

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Made a different choice
by: Anonymous

I empathize. I decided to make different choices, and not become my parent's home care aid. Dad is 89 and can barely walk from chair to bathroom, mom has Alzheimer's and has hallucinations.

Brother lives with them all his life, never married or has kids, and he runs a business and is their caretaker. He leaves them during day to work. I live 10 minutes away and I am expected to "chip in more and be more flexible."

I won't give in to them. I visit 2x a week and refuse to push my husband and son's needs aside or my own life because brother and dad refuse to get an aid, going against mom's neurologist suggestion.

Brother insisting she doesn't need one and family should chip in more. This has created resentment toward me since I am not "more involved." And I as brother said, "pencil our parent's in when I can fit them into my schedule."

Brother takes them to doctor visits and I am not making myself available to make their choice of not getting an aid easier. Brother will not go against our father, and is in denial.

I won't enable this thing and by standing by my beliefs, they resent me and feel they can't count on me. I have spent days researching the very best agencies for an aid.

Brother feels anyone who only makes 13 an hour is sub par and not good enough for our parents and we should chip in and be flexible. Any suggestions?

I know
by: Anonymous

I feel everything you are saying. My mom has been with me 24/7 for a year now. She was in such bad shape living alone I didn't expect her to last long. Was I ever wrong. She has rallied while me, at 64, is quickly going downhill.

I'm now on blood pressure medication, an anti-depressant, and the bad back I had before is a hundred time worse just from stress.

I've gained 15 pounds from emotional eating (and that's my fault, I know) and I hate myself for that, but I don't drink so it's what I reach for.

If I did drink, I'd be passed out in the front yard most days I'm sure. Giving up your own independence so that someone else can maintain theirs is very difficult.

My mom refuses to have anyone stay with her and is so damned mean and nasty, no one wants to come back. They say it's important to get away. Yes it is, but at 25.00 an hour and then having to live with the silent treatment and slamming doors for days, what's the use of trying to do that?

I have so many dreams that are bittersweet. I say that because it's what I want, but I don't know when or if it will happen when I'm still able to enjoy anything.

My biggest fear is that this will go on so long I will then be her and all those last good years of my life will be lost. I blink back tears every month I turn the calendar over.

I can't decide what I will do first when "that day" comes. Will I just get out of here without feeling a time constraint and just go do what I want? Or will I clean my house, take down the handrails, put the throw rugs back down on the floors and just absorb the feeling that it's "mine" again?

I dream of sleeping later than two in the morning if she decides that's when she's getting up for the day. When she's up, I'm up, because there is coffee to be served and peanut butter toast. I dream of taking a nap whenever I want. Now it has to be at noon and if I don't take a nap, she won't take a nap.

I dream of not having to listen to burps and farts and spitting up phlegm from her chain smoking. I dream of grabbing a throw and my dog and vegging on the couch to watch a movie because to do that now brings a hundred questions of what's wrong? Are you sick? Why are you on the couch? etc.

You asked what will be left of us? I don't know and it scares me every day to think about it all. I didn't say a thing to help you and only complained, so I must have needed to vent today, too. Thanks for listening.

You are right
by: Elly

You are exactly right, it is unfair. I am the same age as you and also like you, I see my best years slipping away.

I want to travel, explore, have adventures...but I cannot as I have to care for my mom. Meanwhile my sorry sibling is living his life and my moms needs are not his concern. I can see my mom outliving me.

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