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Hello all. I am a 27 year old female who takes care of my elderly father (78) in Chicago, and am hoping someone reads these discussion threads who is in a similar situation---the situation of being "too young to do this."
My parents separated a long time ago, and while I am still close with my mother, she has no role in my father's care. I have a younger brother who is with the Navy, and he feels guilty that he can't help more because he is deployed. The main decisions fall on me, the Life Alert phone calls and ER calls, the reminder phone calls and wellness checks and running errants all fall on me. The hours spent helping him with everything.
In the last year, my father's health has deteriorated significantly. He should have someone live with him but he refuses a caregiver (has dismissed two), and I refuse to move back home with him. He lives alone on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a building he owns, and rents the 1st floor. I am in law school, trying to move to New York to start my career, and don't want to put my life on hold. And this is the source of the all-consuming guilt that has been keeping me up at night for a year.
I feel horribly guilty at everything. At not moving in with him and trying to have my own life and move to New York. I keep feeling like a bad daughter for not moving in with him, and for begruding him for the help he needs. I selfishly keep thinking, "why me?" and "I am just too young for this" and "this is really not fair that I have to do all of this on my own."
I am hoping someone out there can relate. Any young caregivers of a loved one, wrestling with guilt over trying to have your own life, not moving in, etc.? I have several friends in the "Old Dads Club" but they all have mothers who are primary care and first response. Anyone out there in their twenties who knows what it's like to take away car keys from a parent--twice? :)