Why Do We Take it On?

by Sharon
(Massachusetts)

So often I read of children caring for parents with multiple needs at home. They are knocking themselves out between their jobs, and families and caregiving. All have anger and resentment and most have little to no support from siblings. I understand taking in an aging parent, I have done it myself. My mother has lived with me for 12 years. BUT, my mother has been able to care for herself all these years. More on that in a bit.


What I'm reading on these forums are children who are miserable with the caregiving yet they refuse to put their parent into a facility.

If a parent needs special care 24 hours a day, how can you take this on and not have a nervous breakdown? Why are you not realizing you need to place your parent in a nursing home? Is it guilt? Is it financial?

You have to come to the realization you CAN NOT do this! You are not young and you still have a life of your own. You can put your parent in a facility and still be very much a part of their life.

You can visit every day and even take them on outings. But at least you will have some of your life back.

Getting back to my mom, who is 93. On Sept. 11 she had a left MCA stroke. Long story short, she can still walk and feed herself and is pretty sharp but her speech is all but gone. Her words make no sense, and she's having short term memory issues and some trouble comprehending some things.

As I said, she lived with me for 12 years and has taken care of herself all that time. I am divorced with a grown daughter who lives on her own, work full time and have 3 useless, male siblings. It's all on me.

Right now she is in rehab and I visit her every day, I take her home on Sundays and remain very active in her care. I get her washed every night and put on her nightgown and clean her teeth, etc. But then I go home! I don't know what her future will be.

I don't know if she will ever be able to come back home permanently. I can not take a chance of her being home alone all day while I work. She may have to stay in the nursing home for her safety.

Or I will have to get help to come in while I work. The future remains to be seen. But make no mistake, I think I'm a damn good daughter, but I am not going to take on the burden of total care of my mother. I just can't do it. I'm 62, I have aches and pains and my step is not as quick as it used to be, and I have zero help.

Putting a parent in a nursing home is not as bad as you think. It doesn't mean you don't love them.

It's the reality of life. I have no doubt that is where I will end up one day...and my daughter won't even blink!

Please...look into it, get advice, get financial assistance. There are advocates for the elderly in every state. Look into it and see what can be done to help financially. I know there are some parents who refuse outside help....I get it....but there comes a time where you have to put your foot down and say; "No, this is what's going to happen, you are getting help because I can't do this anymore".

We will be the ones in our grave while our parents live on. Think about it.

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