How can I be a caregiver for a second time?

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Heatherrose
How can I be a caregiver for a second time?

Hello everyone! Some of you may remember me from the old forum. I took care of my father for many years, and he passed away in 2013. After going through a long mourning period, I started to feel like I was starting a new life. For the first time in years, I was free to pursue my own life. I went from worrying 24/7 about my father and making my father my number 1 priority, to feeling like I could finally focus on my own life. It looks like that is about to come to an end. I learned that my mother-in-law is going to be moving here (she currently lives far away). She has Alzheimer's. I will do whatever I can to help out, but I do not want to become a caregiver again. I do not want her to stay at my house. I never had my own father stay at my house, and I definitely do not want my mother-in-law, with whom I have never had any relationship, to stay at my house. She cannot be alone, and I do not want to become her babysitter. Since my father passed away, I have resumed my career, and I am busy working and pursuing the interests that I could not pursue when I was a caregiver for my father.

I feel like I am being selfish for not wanting to be a caregiver for my mother-in-law. I do not want her to become the focus of our lives. I do not want to go back to the stress that I lived for so many years.

I am afraid that having my mother-in-law living nearby will end up putting a huge strain on my marriage. I don't know what to do. All I know is that I cannot go back to that life.

Hi, I just joined this

Hi, I just joined this network a few minutes ago. I've been reading the comments, and yours struck me because it's similar to the caregiver-meatgrinder I'm being sucked into: again! I have no words of wisdom, so pardon me as I rant like a vulture vomits (you may want to stop reading this now)!
I'd just recovered from being primary caregiver for my mother, who died of cancer in 2013, just got my life pieced back together - then I was sucked back into the caregiver vortex for my father. He chose to live 200+ miles away in a conservative part of the nation, where nobody cares about you if you're not wealthy - so, no elder care resources, no affordable assistance or homes, no support groups, etc. I had to give up my hard-won job, to travel to his house every week and be primary caregiver. He smokes like a chimney (I get massive nosebleeds as a result), won't clean up after himself and becomes very abusive when I try to clean the house (his latest game is to throw garbage on the floor as soon as I finish cleaning up).
I'm in that gray area of burnout, and if our shouting matches about the garbage is included in its definition I'm now guilty of "elder abuse." I find myself reminiscing about both my grandfathers (WWI vets) and their more understanding generation: when they became old and very infirm, they chose suicide. The families were sad, but also lovingly supportive of their personal decisions. Today: the health care industry sees this choice as a crime or a "sin" and condemns it, while reaping huge profits off the unbearable alternative they impose on the elderly and their family caretakers.
I never wanted to go back to "that life" either - and here we are, trapped. I am very sorry for both of us.