Caring for a Parent
Is it still safe for Mom to live on her own? What to do about Dad's difficult behavior? How to manage incontinence, or problems with siblings and other family members? Discuss these topics and more in this online support group for adult children caring for a parent. Get tips, advice, and support for your parental caregiving questions or concerns. Connect with others who understand what you're going through.
Additional resources that may be helpful:
- Alzheimer's Info Center
- Memory Care Communities in U.S.
- Professional In-Home Caregivers
- Senior Money and Legal Resources
Help spread the support to more people in need -- Please tell a friend or two. Thanks!
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Deb O said...
7 days ago
I moved my husband and I from Colorado to Washington over six years ago to help take care of my parents. Especially my mom. We live with them to facilitate this. Since much of my time is spent taking care of them (mainly activities of daily living), I’ve had little time nor energy to devote to myself and my life goals. I’m willing to do this for as long as I can. My work load caring for them has increased exponentially as they’ve declined rapidly. Though they provide us with housing, I’ve been unable to work (I have a chronic illness that limits my ability to secure a “normal” full-time job though do have career opportunities I could and would like to pursue within my limitations.) My brother and sister-in-law do not see how badly it has progressed. Even though we communicate. Because much of my time is spent caring for them, I have no income. Add that my dad brought up assisted suicide for my mom as an option (one she’s wished for for a while but does not qualify for legally yet and my brother and sister-in-law thinks that it’s murder.) Both my dad and I want her to have peace. My mom is on her best behavior around them and they don’t believe me, my dad nor my husband just how miserable my mom and dad are. Since I haven’t been able to work because of this. Have any suggestions on how to transition to professional caregivers? They do not qualify for assistance unless it’s private pay. I’m afraid of losing my parent-daughter relationship but am frightened because they house us, but it’s getting to be too much for me and I don’t know what to do. Got any tips on how to transition to be on our own with limited funds and getting them the best care I can? I’m afraid of losing my parent-daughter relationship.
8 days ago
My mom is 38 and has dementia, I'm only 19. I know it sounds crazy that my mom is only 38 and has dementia but she's been HIV+ for about 15 years and hasn't taken her medication at all really throughout the years. So it developed into AIDS and then it started effecting her brain. So now it's pretty much just me and my aunt taking care of her. My grandmother is around and she's only 56 but she's an alcoholic so you can only ever get so much help from her. My biggest issue is dealing with the emotional aspect of it all. everyone around me feels that I'm not sympathetic enough but what people don't seem to acknowledge is all the abuse I grew up with. Ever since I was very little my mother had always told me and my younger brother (16) how much she hated us, that she wished she'd just die, that she wished she never had us. Shed get into high fights constantly with my brothers father and she'd take off leaving him to take out all his anger in me. He'd hit me constantly for no reason at all and she didn't even care. She even completely denies it all. She didn't want anything to do with us always had someone else watching us and by age 11 I was babysitting my brother alone. She never kept the apartment stocked with food so there'd be days wed to without eating while she'd come home with her boyfriend with take out. She always tore me and my brother down telling us how fat,ugly,lazy,and stupid we were. She'd manipulate the rest of the family (which wasn't great as it was) into thinking that we were the problem. Now I'm having a really hard time with having to take care of her. Where was she when we needed her. Where was anyone else when we'd beg them for help. And now I'm expected to just be ok and deal with this. My mother has always been spoiled and ungrateful. Now it's just so much worst and my family is doing nothing but making me feel bad about my feels or lack of feeling. I had and still do have issues with self harm it started very young while I was in school they too my mom I needed help and she told them sure that's she'd do everything she could and then of course never did it. I was on the verge of suicide and she couldn't have cared less. I'm only 19 I was to go to school, be a psychologist but with her weighing me down I'm never going to be able to do it. I can barely work because she needs a babysitter 24/7. None of us make enough to have anyone come in here and no one like a nursing home will take her because she's very combative and also very young. I don't want to do this anymore I genuinely don't want to take care of her I genuinely don't care at this point. I don't know what to do anymore and no one listens or even tried to understand my side.
10 days ago
I have been taking care of my mom for over a year now, since the death of my dad (who I took care of before he went on Hospice and while he was on Hospice and in the final days ). My mom is considered legally blind she has macular degeneration and can see some but can not drive. She is still living at home by herself and does pretty good. She calls me every morning when she gets up and I call her every night. She does have a life alert system in place and her health is not all that great. She is totally depend on me for everything, from going to the store for her, to taking her to doctor appointments and filling her pill planner weekly. I just feel so alone as I am sure she does too with no outside contact from anyone but me and my boyfriend. My nieces call her about once a week and my two boys contact her as well. I just want a break and I feel guilty because I am so tired and don't go over as often as I should. I love my mother more than anything and would do anything for her. My sister chooses not to help, I know she lives far away but even when she is back my mom still wants me to do everything for her and my sister is ok with that because she doesn't want to take her places. I am so sorry this was just me rambling but I feel a little better than I did when I first started this post. I guess putting it onto words helps. Thank you
18 days ago
I’ve been taking care of my Mom who suffers with dementia. While I have an older sibling she has been fear she isn’t interested in assisting with the care of my mom. My Mother lives with me 100% of the time. My sister recently decided she wanted to get involved but only with managing my mothers money but not much more and has accused me of stealing from my mother. The way Injave provided care is I buy with my money for my mom and I also spend her money to buy for her and for me andnthe house when needed. Things have just gone back and forth this way. How do I deal with a sibling who doesn’t help with care but wants to accuse me of my spending. I can post more details but it’s not sure what to say becaisenim so hurt about this.
21 days ago
I'm so update. I just got off the phone with my 79 year old dad, who lives alone in another town. He said he just got his Social Security check, and after paying a few bills, he now has a little less than $60 in his account for the next 3 weeks. I said, "Where did all of your money go, dad?" He said the bulk of it went towards his monthly MasterCard bill, which is $650 (!) a month. Stunned, I said, "Can you talk to MC about this? There's no way you should be forced to live on $50-something because you're paying that much a month on a credit card bill!" Apparently he had qualified for a hardship program through MasterCard where they reduced his monthly payment to somewhere around $200 a month, but he had been in the hospital and missed a payment, and now it has reverted back to the full amount.
I'm shocked and upset over this, and have no idea how in the world to help him. He already has a reverse mortgage on the house; it was all used up to pay off medical bills when my mother died 3 years ago. He has a minimal savings account (and that may be gone now, too). One old car that has $0 value if he were to look into a personal loan to pay off the credit card debt.
I told him he needs to talk to an elder attorney to see what his options (if any) are, but he won't do it. He's too proud to admit that he needs help, so I'm trying to fact-find on his behalf. This is just awful. And he added, "And I haven't paid my utility bill yet." We could probably send him a little bit of money to help cover his groceries for the next couple of weeks (although, things are a little tight for us, too, right now), but it's not going to help him with the bigger problem of that looming credit card debt.
Does anyone here have any suggestions that I can pass along to him?
21 days ago
Mom has gotten mad at me for irrational reasons over the past 6 months. All I've been trying to do is take care of her and her business. She is 86, legally blind, has some other health issues and seems to have narcissistic personality disorder (undiagnosed of course due to her mistrust of mental health professionals) to add to the situation. I have been her full-time paid caregiver for the past several years. Now that she's upset with me she's decided to enroll herself in an assisted living. I say enroll because she's informed me that she won't be staying there very much; she's keeping her condo and plans to go between the two. (Guess who will be the transportation.) At any rate she told her doctor a few days ago she's going into assisted living because I "don't want her around anymore." My question for everyone is this: should I write a letter to mom's doctor or schedule an appointment to try and clarify the situation or just let it go? It frustrates me to no end to have these lies told about me. I have literally devoted my life to this woman- many times to the detriment of my relationship with my own family- to meet her at times impossible demands and because of her mental disorder it's never enough. Or should I just forget it and let things go however they're going to go?
21 days ago
Everyday I go to the hospital to visit my 91 year old father. I never know what to expect! He has had all of the following: good days, bad days, a seizure in my arms, hallucinations, hot soup nearly thrown in my face, a welcoming smile, a domino game, shouting, reprimanding, thank yous for coming, tearing up the hospital room, a calm disposition , nearly a broken finger etc. I have trouble walking into the room as no two days seem to be the same. I have reduced my twice daily visits to once a day. I sometimes want to skip a day but then it might be a good day. I know I should be looking for something good about each visit but sometimes everything is negative. How can I overcome this? He will probably have to stay in hospital waiting for an available nursing home for 6 months. It will probably be like this in the nursing home. I wish to thank you in advance for your kind "ear" and suggestions.
27 days ago
I'm sitting outside my house in tears because I just have had enough. Three months ago our lives were "normal". Now it's all changed. With another surgery to remove toes from his left leg (right leg is amputated) , due to diabetes, my husbands dad unexpectedly had to move in with us. I'm so angry. He and I have never gotten along. He was not a good father to his own children and was always on drugs. I have an eleven year old daughter who is really upset he is here. The house constantly smells like urine and occasionally feces. His dad his showing signs of dementia so on more than one occasion he has been completely naked and confused in front of my child. Sometimes he will have nothing on but his leg. He won't try to make it to the restroom but he can remember so many other things. I hate him, I hate the situation and I'm getting to the point where I'm going to take my daughter and leave. This may sound awful but I really just wish he would die. Am I a bad person for feeling this way? He has been sleep in the living room on the couch which is now in the back of the truck ready to go to the dump because it's ruined. Now he will be sleeping on the love seat. After that's ruined...who knows. We are not equipped to care for him like he needs. We live in a very small two bedroom apartment so waking up pissed off cuz of the strong urine smell, is doing nothing for my relationship. We constantly fight and argue over the smell and issues with his father. My husband is very resentful of the situation but we have no options. Why do we have to be responsible for his care? Can we take him back to his rv and oeave him to care for himself as he did before the last amputation? I'm so freakin upset can somebody please give me some kind of answer rather than just shining me on like it's going to get better. I do not want him here any longer. He has done enough in twelve years to make me hate him a lifetime and now I have to wipe his ass? Hell no. I'm so angry please anybody with any answers would be helpful. Please don't think I'm a rotten and terrible person. I'm a devout Christian, although it may not sound that way. I'm just really really really angry and frustrated at how the health care system is failing us here in Nevada. Thank you for your time.
about 1 month ago
I did duck-out of my caregiver role after taking five and a half years of disrespect/emotional abuse from my mother and siblings. I'm moving seven-hrs away on halloween day! (quite appropriate)... i desperately need to heal. I did ask the area agency on aging to do an evaluation, which they did this morning. I wanted to make sure "someone" knew I was leaving my mother's care to my two brothers (recipients of my parent's inheritance). As I was setting-up services, the tension in the room was almost unbearable. I felt badly that all these years of caring for my parents: sacrifices, financial responsibilities and burden on my health that the outcome is disregard for my wellbeing, hate and the expectation that I will keep going until they tell me I can stop. The hate feels terrible. The only one who looked good/rested was my mother, as she sat there and unapologetically conveyed empathy for what her kids are going through: adding "They have to do it!" Now, I need to start googling, "how to live with guilt." ;(. Thanks for listening: there are times when this is my only "safe-place."
about 1 month ago
So, this is my first time reaching out for support. My story is long and keeps getting longer, but I will try and keep it short. The reason I'm on here is because I'm 28 years old and I've been helping take care of my Dad since I was about 10 years old. In that time, my Dad has had 2 kidney transplants, 4 hip replacements (going for a 5th), a shoulder replacement, 2 knee replacements, multiple heart surgeries: stints and 2 open heart surgeries, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease which has lead to: loss of concentration, falling, tripping, repeating himself, paralyzed vocal chord, nerve damage, and frustration. Along with, heart failure and avascular necrosis. So taking all that over the years he's still very strong never gives up, but this past March my older sister died att the age of 30. She was the one I ran to and understood everything that was stressing me out in my life. No only is it a huge loss that my sister died, but it has put a HUGE damper on my parents. They are both super depressed, but won't omit to it, and they refuse to go to grieving counseling. I have been pretty strong about it, I have my moments then I'm good. Okay so now you kind of get the idea of what I'm gong through, I guess I feel selfish for saying this, but how can I live my young life when I feel I have to stay behind to help my parents? I'm the only daughter now, and they cling to me like no other. Not saying I don't depend on them, but I feel trapped! I know I should live my life, but that's very hard when I still live with my parents, and they cling to me so much. My Mom encourages me to go out and do things, but I don't have many friends, the ones that I do have are too busy with their signifant other, and it's just me. I was in a 4 year relationship, but he ended it due to long distance. That was a year and a half ago. With my job, I can't afford to live on my own because of student loans and now I'm looking into a complete career change and possible moving out of state. I hope this support group doesn't kick me out for having too many issues with my parents and my crazy life. I just wish I could be living outside of my parents house, have a boyfriend/ husband, make enough move to support myself, and not have the mind set of always thinking about my parents.
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