Navigation: POP Community Forums Parenting Your Parents Already caring for Mom, now Dad needs help but no more of me to give

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #3437
    Debra L Montgomery


    I am new to this group.  I need some advice or guidance.  I am currently helping my Mom (79 years old) with her needs, having moved her close to me to an assisted living facility.  She is handicapped and almost two years ago, she fell and broke her hip so she went from being able to use a walker to being wheel chair bound. Though she is in an assisted living facility, she still needs my involvement from anything from moral support to accompaniment to doctor appointments because she suffered a stroke (which was the deciding final factor that dicated her move) and needs help communicating and her doctor has recently requested that I be the one who accompanies her to many of them to get the full story.  The assisted living facility does provide transportation and escorts to these appts but I can’t always get the appt scheduled to match their transport schedule and sometimes I just need to be there so I know what is going on because not only does Mom have problems communicating to the doctor, she also cannot accurately relay the info to me later.  I am also her POA and am managing her finances, etc.  She is not happy that she had to move and is not accepting of her condition.  And the lack of understanding and short term memory loss only contributes to the problem.  My brother still lives back in NC where she was living and is of no help at all, not even moral support.  He also does not call my Mom much nor do his children.  That is another story.

    My Dad who is in  his early 80s has recently decided he can no longer afford to live in SF, CA and has considered moving.  Initially I thought it would be nice to offer a room in our house, but as time has passed I have realized I am trying to make everyone happy but am over extending myself.

    My husband and I are self employed and are right in the middle of some transitions in our own lives, personal and business, in preparation for desperately needed time off, time to spend with my own kids and grandkids, and also in some early preparation for our own retirement.  Some of the transitional changes in our business has also been to accommodate the time off I have needed and still need to continue to help my Mom.

    I have recently been trying to voice my concerns to my Dad and let him know as diplomatically as I can that I am overextending myself and I need to backstep and rethink how we are going to do all of this.  I have contacted his sister who lives close to him in San Jose, with whom he also has a close relationship with, and she has indicated that she also has a room in her house and that there are also nice senior apartments close to her and close to shopping and other conveniences, etc., that would also work for him.

    He is self sufficient right now and can still drive, take care of him self and everything.  I think he would actually stay in SF if he could feel comfortable about the expense.  My concerns are not that he needs help now, but he does have a recently diagnosed heart condition that puts him at risk for a stroke, he has fallen two times on his recent visits to our house, and I feel  like I have to look forward and decide if I can take on both parents should Dad also have a health crisis and need further assistance as well.  He refuses to look at things that way saying he refuses to live his life around “what ifs” and is almost insisting on moving here anyway telling me that no one is going to tell him what he can do (which introduces another thing to think about – that attitude if he does end up needing help 0_o)   My Mom has been very bitter about my making decisions for her and that has been very challenging to work with already.

    I am trying very hard to be as diplomatic and respectful about this as possible but even though he doesn’t want to consider more grim possibilities such as getting sick or having a stroke or even something as life changing as not being able to renew his driver license – I have to consider those things.

    By the way, my parents are divorced.  The dynamic between the two of them is the greatest when they are together so figuring should he move to Fresno, even to a senior apartment, I thinking I could visit both of them “together” isn’t a possibility.

    I am starting to feel a bit trapped by this.  My brother is conveniently out of the picture and there are no other relatives in Fresno or close to help.  It is just me and my husband.

    But my Aunt/ Dad’s sister, has many friends some of whom already know Dad, as well as my cousin and her husband who live in San Jose, so she has at least a couple of other people who could help.

    I have mentioned all of these things to Dad and his response is that he doesn’t like the San Jose area and has some vague thing he keeps telling me that he needs to talk to me about with regard to his sister but hasn’t come forth with it yet.  But my Aunt is telling me she is more than happy to help.

    What do I do?  Just come out and tell him no, that Mom required my help first and I can’t put myself in a position that if both parents end up needing help I just can’t do it?

    If I spend any more time out of our shop, leaving my husband to try to do all the work himself – more than he already is – we are going to be in some real trouble financially.

    Where do I draw the line? has anyone else been faced with this with two parents and no family close?


    Shelby Bennett

    Hi Debra,

    Sounds like you have some tough decisions to make.  I also am having to take care of both my mother and my father and find this quite a challenge even though they are still together.  I don’t think I could ever pick one parent over another but that is just me.  My guilty conscious would get the best of me.  I have a lot of help from family and friends who know the situation that I am in and have given me their support to help me through this.  Have you tried letting your friends or community know that you are in need of help? Sometimes even distant relatives might surprise you and offer their help if they know that you are overwhelmed with the challenges that you face.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!


    Ouch!  what a pickle.  Parents love to give us the almighty guilt trip. You are entirely right to tell Dad “no”.  They decided to be separated a long time ago.  You didn’t divorce them.  Tell Dad you want to still be involved in his life but no can’t take care of him too.  I don’t think you should feel quilty at all.  I care for Mom and Dad in the same household.  But Dad wants me to take Mom home with me.  She is a handfull, weak from heart disease,confused and driving Dad nuts.  I have 6, count them 6 siblings, very few do anything.  The ones out of state will send money, no time.  I have a brother who lives nextdoor to my parents.  But he helps when he wants to.  I have a sister who lives a mile from my parents,but can’t do crap.  My point is you can’t always count on others to be as generous as you are.  Stick up for yourself, set limits, protect your relationship with your husband..


    I feel for you deeply. It is not easy. Just remember you have to take care of yourself and have time for you, let alone everyone else. I currently have several syblings and its just me taking care of my father. I have disowned them and put them on the “shit list”. As tough as this may be, just know that when that time comes, you will have no guilt and be able to sleep at night because you did what you could. If your father wants to come live close to you, find him a place and get a nursing aide and meals on wheels to check up on him. I wish you the best. God Bless you and your family.


    thankyou Marlene.  My Dad is so cantakerous no facility would take him.  I interviewed and hired an aide to help Mom, she had a total melt down.  I have asked Dad to increase cleaning lady to every week, so he has 2 hours to go shopping.  he never calls her but is able to order truck parts, and hire a man to help him.  Luckily he does not leave Mom alone or I would have to call protective services on him.  As far as the siblings I post on a closed facebook link how they are doing, and otherwise ignore them.  I am trying to learn to take better care of myself , it is a struggle.  Thankyou again Marlene for your kind words.


Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please login or register to reply.