Hello everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope it’s not too long winded and waffly!
My dad is 80 years old and like many of our dads out there, he worked hard all of his life. He was a police dog handler and following his retirement he was active and used to enjoy walking and tinkering with old cars.
Now he is really struggling with old age. He has difficulty walking because he has neuropathy (Non diabetic) in his feet and he has all ready had a few falls. I have been pro active by sorting out a wheel chair and stair lift, putting in care connect, and some other practical aids to help him in his home. He lives alone since my mum died 10 years ago and has always managed really well until recently.
I work full time as a nurse, I am married and live with my husband and daughter. My dad lives about 20 minutes away from me by car.
I have good support from my mum’s sister but she has her own life and it is a complex one as her eldest daughter is disabled.
I am an only child and now find myself needing to do more and more for my dad. I worry constantly about him and I am scared of what the future holds in terms of how much more I will need to do. I am all ready taking him grocery shopping once a week, to the library when he needs to go and if I am off work on a Friday we go out for the afternoon. He goes out every Sunday for lunch either to my mam’s sister or to my other aunty (who is 79) I am now doing his laundry because he can no longer manage this himself. I also do some jobs around the house for him like hoovering and dusting etc. If I am not visiting him I ring him every day for a chat but conversation is somewhat limited because nothing much changes on a daily basis
My dad is getting forgetful now and often says he thinks he is losing his mind. He is quite a pessimistic person which I find draining at times.
There are days where he sees no one at all if I am working a few shifts at a time. This really upsets me. I have asked my daughter to call in and see him but it falls on deaf ears and I have given up asking now. My husband has a really stressful job and works long hours so I don’t feel able to ask him to help. He barely has time to visit his own mother so I don’t want to burden him with my dad as well.
I find myself crying most days because I don’t know where to turn. I really don’t think my dad would like the thought of carers going into his home - he is a very private man and I don’t think he would like this.
I feel as though my life is being robbed of joy because of the time I spend worrying about my dad. My husband says I should put myself first but I find this incredibly difficult to do.
How do you find the balance between caring for and elderly parent and living the life you enjoy ? I just feel incredibly sad and unhappy most of the time and that is not how I want to feel.
I am grateful for any advice and help
Thank you all Xx