Hello; it's been a while

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Hello; it's been a while

Hi everyone! I am glad to have found this new forum. I used to post at the old forum.

I am still taking care of my father. Nothing has changed in the past 3+ years that I have been his primary (and only) caregiver. My sister moved far away, which doesn't matter, since she never helped with anything when she lived nearby. I am still driving my father to his doctor's appointments (30 days last year), taking care of all his food and medicines, taking care of his finances, calling him multiple times per day, arranging for in-home physical therapy, and visiting him as much as possible.

I am really happy that his health is stable (he has severe kidney disease and has miraculously managed to stay off dialysis, diabetes, and memory problems). He is usually in a good mood (with the help of an anti-depressant) but he has no motivation to do anything. I ask him every day if he would like to go out, and I offer to take him anywhere he would like to go (a movie, for a walk, out to lunch, etc...) but he won't go. He rarely shaves and won't shower or bathe. I try to help him by washing his hair and cutting it periodically, and I do his laundry. I wish he had more motivation to clean and groom himself, but at this point, I have decided to focus on keeping him healthy rather than fighting a losing battle.

Lately, I have been feeling resentful and feeling guilty for feeling that way. This is nothing new. I know a lot of you feel the same way about your own situations.

As much as I feel overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility of taking care of my father, I would much rather have it this way than not have him around. No one else would have taken as good care of him, so I am glad I was able to keep his health stable for this long, and hope he continues to be stable for a long time to come. I just wish that all the burden didn't fall on me. I had a home health aide for a year and a half, but my father didn't want anyone with him and did everything he could to sabotage it (like staying in bed the whole time the aide was there and refusing to accept a meal from the aide).

Assisted living isn't an option. I think I may try to get another aide because I feel like I need to take some of the weight off of my shoulders. I think about my father 24/7 and always feel like I am not doing enough for him, and like I should be doing more to help him be happier and more active. I don't understand why I feel responsible and my sister feels like she shouldn't have to do anything. That's just the way it goes, I guess.

Thanks for listening.

Hi Heather,

Hi Heather,

Welcome back. Many of us are still here. I'm overdue on an update but I'm typing one handed at the moment. I can understand your resentment day after day, month after month, year after year. If it didn't bother you you would not be human But you are doing the right thing, doing the right thing is not always easy but in the end it is worth it. It has been almost 2 years since my wife passed but if it were possible I would not hesitate to go back. Alas it is not possible. You keep going, and keep doing the right thing.

Thanks, Dave. I needed to

Thanks, Dave. I needed to read that. I have to keep reminding myself that I am doing the right thing. My aunt, who passed away 2 years ago, said that the best thing you can do is to take care of another human being. I wish that I didn't have days when I wished I didn't have to take care of my father, because I feel guilty and selfish for thinking that.

Those feelings of wishing I didn't have to drive him to the doctors and take days off to help him, have become more frequent. My father does not appreciate what I do and fully expects it. He has zero expectations of my sister, though, but still favors her over me (because he doesn't know what she is like since she doesn't ever talk to him). I am the one that he calls a pain because I am there all the time and am such a mean daughter because I ask him to shave and wash before he goes out.

I know that I will miss my father terribly when he is not around anymore, so I will continue to help him as long as he is here. I just have to figure out how to stop feeling resentful. I have tried everything to get some help, but my father won't accept anyone else's help.

I am watching my life pass me by, and I could be doing well in my career, but I have put my life on the back burner. So I realize that all my dreams of using my talents and training will probably never happen. I spent my whole life training and working towards my goals and now that I am at the point where I could succeed, I am not able to move forward because I am trapped by the responsibilities of caregiving. Even if I could figure out a way to take some time for myself, I would feel guilty and like I am not entitled to focus on myself.

I am thinking that I should find a therapist to speak to, because I feel very alone and isolated. I also don't want to burden other people I know with my problems.

Hi Heather,

Hi Heather,

My you are feeling down. I've been there and I do understand. I used to describe myself as the meanest husband on earth after she would complain about me making her take her pills and try to be healthy. And yes you will miss him, I miss Pat every day and expect to until I join her in heaven.

Life may pass you by now but afterwords things can get very busy. Life will wait while you do your duty. My Mom and myself are former caregivers who can attest to that. We used to sit around and care for our spouses. Not now, we enjoy what is left of our lives all the more. We are planning on attending a family wedding in May. We might leave after the cake is cut, we might just stay and close the place down.

As for a career the best advice came from a senior pastor. He said that he had been at a lot of death beds, He never heard anyone wish they had spent more time at work.

You are no burden you are just having a rough patch like a lot of other people.

Thanks again, Dave. That

Thanks again, Dave. That was good advice from the pastor, and I will keep it in mind. You were a devoted husband to Pat. I am glad that you and your mom are enjoying life now.