How do I deal with conflicting feelings of responsibility and resentment?

6 answers | Last updated: Nov 09, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have a non-relative, a friend, who is living with me. She is semi-disabled and probably will need a kidney transplant down the line. I have asked her to go back to LA to live closer to her daughter and family but she refuses. She is 64 and has lived up here with me, off & on, for about six years. I am now 74 and have a few health issues of my own. She is currently in a wheelchair and is very heavy for me to lift and deal with when she has to go to the doctor. My house is taking larger and larger amounts of money to repair and maintain. I feel stuck in a conflicting situation, as I do not like to feel guilty about wanting to have this disabled friend out of my house, but do not know how I can continue to care for her!



Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

The first step you have already taken which is identify the problem. Yes, she is your friend however it is not your responsibility to take care of your friend. You have a responsibility to take care of yourself first and formost. Take a deep breathe and speak with the family and your friend. It is taking a toll on you physically, financially, as well as emotionally. If you are unable to resolve this with your friend and/or her family a good place to start is with your local commision on aging, or other county elder care/diabled resources. Calling for help is a way to solve a problem. You have no need to feel guilty and stressed about doing the right thing for the both of you. It isn't easy to do these things but it is a necessary. You have gone much further than many people do by providing care, now its time to take care of yourself. Good luck! I would like to see how things turn out when you have more control over your life.


Handiann answered...

Your "friend" is totally taking advantage of you in my opinion. I wouldn't count her as a friend if you've asked her to leave and she's refused. You've done far more than most and it's time to take care of yourself. She's obviously not concerned about you or your health.

The suggestions above are good...and if those don't work, I'd give her a reasonable date that she has to leave and stick to it. Let her family take care of her -- it's NOT your responsibility! Good luck and let us know what happens.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have such resentment, its not funny. I am in a situation that is unbarable. I have been a 24-7 live in care giver for my mom in law. MY husband and I both worked, my husband made a high incom our kids were 22 and 18. my inlaws were both starting to show signs of dementia. my in laws lived close by so we would visit often. we we noticed that thay were not safe eany longer living alone we hired a 24-7 live in care giver, who we knew did good work because she worked for my father in laws sister. at the time we started paying for there care in there own home we had savings, 401ka stocks and other cash put away. we helped our children, when thay needed it. Well 4 years later, and paying my moms in laws caregiver and all her dypers, and ensure, and all the other goodies that go with dementia. We had to chose between our home or her care we could no longer pay for both, the caregivers pay haD BEEN MORE THEN i MADE AT A JOB i HAD FOR 12 YEARS,SO WE sold our house at a huge, loss and my kids moved in with room mates, and my hubby and I moved in with my in law.I gave up my job,my life and I have back problems, and nerve damage in my had, from the work I used to do and from lifting my mom in law and bending to change dypers and dress her. Well im gona be a granda , and Im on top of the world about it, so when my daughter moved in with us because her room mates flaked I was happy as a clAM, WELL THIS IS A 2 BR HOUSE AND MY HUBBY AND i ARE GIVING OUR ROOM TO OUR DAUGHTER, MOM IN LAW STILL HAS HER ROOM. mOM DOSENT KNOW WHO WE ARE WHARE SHE IS OR WHAT OUR RELATION SHIP IS TO HER. SHE NEVER SPEAKS TO US EVEN WHEN SHES SPOKEN TO, SHE ONLY SPEAKS WITH CERTIAN PEOPLE, bOY THIS IS LONG~ WELL WHAT IM TRYING TO GET TO IS WE LOST EVERY THING IN ORDER TO KEEP HER AND MY FATHER IN LAW IN THERE OWN HOME, AND SHE IS UNAWARE OF EANY THING AROUND HER. AND HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME, iF i KNEW THEN WHAAT i KNOW NOW, i WOULD OF SUGESTED SHE BE PLACED IN A PLACE, AFTER THE 2ND OR 3 YEAR OF HER DEMENTIA WHEN SHE NO LONGER RECONIZED EANY ONE , NOW THERE IS NO MONEY, TO PLACE HER, AND NONE OF HER FAMILEY BECIDES ME, MY HUSBAND AND MY CHILDREN HAVE EANY THING TO DO WITH HER AT ALL. MY GRAND BABY IS DUE IN DEC, AND MY CHILD MENTIONED MOVING OUT WITH ROOM MATES AFTER THE BABY IS BORN, BECAUSE SHE DOSENT WANT TO PUT HER DAD AND i OUT,INSIDE MY HEART CRACKED AND GREW A RAGEING FIRE, BECAUSE i KNOW THAT IF iT WASENT FOR US PAYING FOR YEARS OUT OF OUR POCKET, wE WOULD STILL HAVE OUR HOME AND MY GRAND BAABY AND DAUGHTER WOULD HAVE PLEANTY OF ROOM. iM GLAD IM NOT A MEAN PERSON i DONT TAKE IT OUT ON MOM IN LAW i GET SAD AND CRY.


Handiann answered...

Boy, you have a lot going on! Please, please find a support group that you can go to where you can get some relief and support from other caregivers.

Call your local hospital and or Area Agency on Aging or Township group or if you have a local senior center to see if you can find a support group. This is too much for one person to bear without any support.

You need some support in setting limits or boundaries between what you can do for others and what you need to do for YOURSELF, to keep yourself sane and functioning through these trying times in your life.

Good luck...and keep us posted.


Lovingsoul answered...

It is time for you to stand up to your "friend." You must not sacrifice your health to take care of her.


Marly26 answered...

At your age my dear you should be enjoying life not resenting it. Get in touch with your friends family and tell them like it or not you are sending her home to be with her family. You have given so much of yourself, and no doubt your health issues' have alot to do with stress. Tell you friend that under the circumstances' with your health etc. that she is either having to go to her family or you yourself will find a comfortable/affordable nursing home for her. Let her know that she is a very dear friend of yours but you just cant' do it anymore. Speak with her in terms that you yourself are not well and that if it so happens you may have to move into a Retirement home, which she can NOT move with you so she will have to find alternative housing. My dear woman I have worked in the Healthcare Field for the past 15yrs. and my hat goes off to you, however it is time for you to put both feet down and plant them firmly.Call the Access Centre in your area, have a Supervisor come out and speak with her to let her know of other ways of receiving help if she wont' go to family. Its' quite obvious that her family is quite happy that she is with you and not them, this is so unfair to you. They will put your friend on a list of housing (retirement/nursing home), they themselves will know what to say to her and to you yourself. You just cant' keep doing this, your digging yourself a hole. I am sending you hugs and prayers and I do hope that you act on this rather quickly. You cant' keep doing this, you know it yourself or you wouldn't be looking for answers on here. As I said my "hats off to you" but its time you were able to relax, enjoy life to the fullest, visit your friends, perhaps take a trip. At your age you are entitled to it all. Take care my dear!!