I am 58 and currently overwhelmed with caring for 2 elderly parents who dont live together - they divorced years ago.
My relationship with each parent has never been easy - i had a MIL and a step dad, both recently deceased, who I adored and loved and would happily do anything for. My relationship with my own parents has been difficult since childhood but now I find myself as the sole carer for their emotional and physical needs. I am resentful of their expectations - they both want ME ( I have a brother with no work commitments, no wife/children, he is retired and owns his own property outright). I have 2 adult children, 3 grandchildren, a mortgage and recently changed jobs to allow time to care for parents but this has cut my salary by a third.
How do i deal with expectations ? How do i say no to certain things without feeling guilty? They are both mid 80’s with no life threatening illnesses and likely to live to 100 (both their parents did). I feel like the stress will mean I end up dying before they do - does that sound dramatic , sorry ?! my life has stopped.
do as parents demands take that time away.
Give some examples of what they want you to do, and I’ll give some ideas as to how to avoid their requests without saying No - taught to me by my counsellor. My mum also had endless jobs!!!
Welcome to the forum!
You’re not alone, we are sure that many on here will understand exactly how you feel and offer support. Also, I am sorry to hear that there is a lot of pressure put on you with the expectations for you to cater for each parents needs. Have your had a conversation with your brother to see if he can help to share your caring responsibilities of your parents? Perhaps if he knows you are stressed, he might be willing to help you.
Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to.
You can find information on how to register to our online meetups at the following pages:
Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK
Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK
Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:
Benefits and financial support
Your rights as a carer in the workplace
Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for
How to complain effectively and challenge decisions
Do they have over £46,000 in savings? Yes/No
If so, they can afford to pay for help other than you.
Do they help you financially?
If not, and it’s help Social Services think they need (not want!) then Social Services will arrange care.
Your own family and your work have to come first.
It takes a while to wean a parent from your sole support, but it can be done.
You have to stop making yourself so available, then either they do the job themselves or get someone else to do it for them.
The only power they have over you is the power you let them have, so gradually reduce what you do.
As I said yesterday, if you give specific examples, I can explain more.