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Hi Laura,

I am Laura too, so I just thought I would respond, as I just joined this site today.  My dad has passed away, and my mom is 85 also, living alone.  She doesn’t have dementia, just very slow thinking and physically very disabled.  I am sorry you are feeling overwhelmed now.  I agree that you should NOT quit your job.  Your dad just can’t problem solve solutions anymore, so YOU are his solution, and he can’t think outside that box.  You are adequate for the tasks that are yours to do….you get overwhelmed when you take on more than you can do.  Burn out, from Parker Palmer’s book Let Your Life Speak, is not giving too much, but trying to give from what you do not HAVE within TO give (or something like that).  Realize you have given what you can, and it isn’t up to you to provide for all the gaps between their need and your ability to provide.  Do they have a church or synagogue community with a leader to talk to about resources within THAT community of people to help by even visiting them or taking them one meal a week?

I am not sure where you live or what financial resources your folks have or don’t have.  I got my mom to sell her car this spring, after years of fear that she would hit something.  My brother has passed away as well, so it is just me now helping Mom. I grocery shop for her, but she did agree to take Meals on Wheels, a county run program with volunteer drivers.  That has improved her nutrition a LOT and I feel better as it relieved me.  Until you get them into assisted living, see if you can have them HIRE someone to come in a couple days a week.  Does your mom have a dementia doc you work with for meds?  Could they help you find resources in the community.

What would it take financially to get them into assisted living, and could they swing the cost?  The facilities should have someone who could help guide you through the application process, and you could take tours of places, and that might help.

I don’t know that I helped at all, but I hope my response lets you know you aren’t alone dealing with this stuff, and that you need to take care of you, know your own boundaries, and get the out of area siblings to kick in financially for some help if you can.