Brother feels all alone – Entertainment & Life – The Times-News
Dear Cindy Suggest: My sister and I are our elderly father’s primary caregivers.
While my sister is helping me, I can never count on her to be at Dad’s at the appointed time, do groceries or medicine, or take him to doctor’s appointments.
Everything falls on me. When I try to discuss it with her she gets angry and somehow blames me. There is no other family member to turn to and money is tight. I am so stressed, angry and hurt. What should I do to overcome this? – Need to overcome that
Dear need to overcome this: It seems like you need emotional support, and probably practical support as well. The situation you have described is loaded with an avalanche of thoughts and emotions; remember to be gentle with yourself.
I imagine you and your sister are experiencing sadness and loss because of your father’s failing health and his dependence on you. The desire to take care of himself is clear, but it comes with a mixture of complex and conflicting feelings.
It is common to find that caregiving can be painful at times, and the guilt associated with these feelings weighs heavily as well.
“I’m so selfish, I shouldn’t be complaining about taking care of my parents, they raised me most of my life” and feelings like this take their toll on our minds and hearts.
Meeting with a therapist or finding a support group where you can release your inner thoughts is a good first step. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a professional therapist. You can also contact Alamance Eldercare, which provides speakers and facilitates discussions that give caregivers a chance to learn, reflect and share their experiences. For details, call 336-538-8080 or visit www.alamanceeldercare.com.
Once you are able to restore some peace and perspective to your life, it might be a good time to resume the conversation with your sister about her being late and her responsibilities including grocery shopping, medication, and bringing. your dad at his doctor’s appointments. .
Maybe start by asking him how your father’s situation affects him and give him your undivided attention. Chances are she needs some support as well, even if it doesn’t look exactly like yours. You can invite her to a therapy or support group session.
It may also be worth exploring the shared costs of part-time help for your father. You mention that the money is tight, but some pharmacies deliver drugs for a small fee, or offer this service completely free.
The Alamance County Transportation Authority (ACTA) offers low-cost transportation and may offer trips to medical appointments. The one-way fare is $ 3 and the round-trip fare is $ 6. Hours are 5 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. For details, call 336-222-0565.
Finding and creating new options when it comes to time commitments for you and your sister can make the remaining tasks more manageable.
Cindy Davis is a licensed, retired professional counselor. All inquiries are confidential. Questions can be emailed to [email protected]