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caring for terminally ill parent

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm pooped


My Dad has been sickly the past (very long) year. He and my mom are split up (10 years) and although she will cook him a meal to re-heat, or give him new socks at Christmas she's not in his life. My brother is worthless..so all his care has come on me. And recently he's been in the hospital/rehabs and was diagnosed wtih terminal lung cancer (given a few months..) 


I'm so sick of it (no pun intended) He's so stubborn and doesn't want to take care of himself (leading to him getting infections, stopping breathing etc..) and I'm the one racing him to hospitals/visiting him/taking care of his items. I'm the one doing all the food shopping, the daily care of him (aside from at-home nurses) and everything else. I haven't been able to indulge in my kids (who are understanding) and I'm forgetting other obligations + flaking out on all my friends. Some are getting peeved and just not understaning my role right now, which I guess is understandable. So my lack of support (besides my husband) sucks, and I just wanna throw in the towel and say SOMEONE ELSE DO ALL THIS BS. 


So besides ranting, I'd love to hear from people who have been here. I feel sad, selfish, angry..all mixed up into one big ball of fun! 

post #2 of 4

I can't imagine doing it for a whole year! My father has never been able to take care of himself, ended up homeless- took a temp. job and suffered severe frost bite on both hands. I've been taking care of him for three weeks and I'm at my wits-end! He is going to a respite place on the 31st and I am counting the minutes. It is utterly exhausting and I'm extremely resentful because he NEVER took care of us as kids and doesn't take care of himself now. It's SO emotionally draining. My sister is pressuring me to have him stay with me longer- yet she would never, ever help him if she was in my shoes. She told me that if I don't let him stay with me, he'll be dead on the street within a year. Which might be true, but why does it fall on me? 


I understand your feelings about wanting to throw in the towel! My life revolves around him from the time I wake up until I go to bed- changing his bandages, preparing his food, etc.. he refuses to do anything for himself. At least I have a date where I know he will be leaving, although I will still need to financial support him and constantly bail him out. 


Hang in there and thanks for letting me vent along with you :)

post #3 of 4

Absolutely exhausting!


I helped out in the last week when my step-dad was dying at home (leukemia - home hospice) and there were 5 to 6 of us helping & it was still very rough! Helping and comforting the dying is an enormous task & you are very brave for taking on your dad's care all by yourself. Give yourself permission to feel angry, irritable, sad, and aware of how unfair it all is.  As for your friends, if they have gone through iyt, they should understand & if they have  not yet gone through it, they will someday.


In the meantime, do you have any help? . If people say "I wish I could help" give 'em a list !  My mom and step-dad's church had a "good deed" group that provided a supper (casserole) almost every night - it was great - just a doorbell & a covered basket - no need to socialize; if you belong to a social group like that, don't feel shy about using it.


Does he have plans for hospice? Has he signed a living will and all that stuff?


Keep posting here for moral support.


Absolutely exhausting!

post #4 of 4

Just wanted to pop in and send my support. I cared for my dad only for a month and he was in the hospital so most was done for us and it was EXHAUSTING. I remember feeling so guilty for being so tired and annoyed and sad - and then he passed away and all I wanted was to clean up after him 1 more time.

Its such a hard balance of care and enabling. I don't have much advice for you other than to make sure you take care of yourself....and of course to show my support:)

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