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.