A friend of mine is struggling with being a caregiver for her aging parents. She’s made some tough choices in life that have left her trapped financially, and she’s got some mental health issues regarding drinking that have impacted her physical health.
A year or so ago, two of her siblings ganged up on her when she was being evicted from her rooming situation (long story – she was a personal caregiver, making maybe $12 an hour, but unable to afford rent out here in Silicon Valley as she had / has a drinking problem, and can’t manage a budget to save her life). She was in a rooming situation where she paid $600 a month in rent to someone who was vulnerable with diabetes and other issues keeping her wheelchair bound, and it was not a healthy situation for either individual.
The siblings thought that moving to the boonies to care for their aging parents was a great option, as she’d fallen again and broken her arm (or leg – it was always something) and was again out of work. No work = no income in the USA, so she was between a rock and a hard place.
Anyway, I advised against moving in with the parents (Mom was fighting stage 4 breast cancer, Dad appeared to be in the early stages of dementia). Another sibling with a meth addiction issue was also living in the parent’s home as he was going through treatment, and these two black sheep of the family have a hard time getting along as the other one is always “more spoiled” or treated better by the remaining members of the family.
Flash forward, and Mom’s cancer has gotten worse. Dad’s dementia has gotten worse. The meth-addicted brother seems to be keeping off the toots and holding down a regular job. (I still think they are both functional-whatevers regarding their substance of choice, but it’s not my business to burst anybody’s bubble).
This friend has been without an income for well over a year. She has been without a regular job, and is resentful of the fact that she’s “sacrificing” her life to care for her aging parents, and is in desperate need of respite care.
Preferably in Hawaii or someplace exotic.
Preferably with money being no object.
I love this sister of a friend. I, too, have tried to help her only to understand that the clear thinking has to come from her. I can’t keep her from drinking. I can’t keep her from making short-sighted choices. I can’t keep her from feeling resentful of others having an easier life than she expected.
So, I’m doing what I can to not be sucked into the drama, while knowing that we all have our own battles of endurance when it comes to life, love, and end of life choices.
No answers here. I just needed to get that off my chest. It hurts to see someone doing this to themselves, and society thinking that it’s ok because self-sacrifice is a woman’s role. A Christian’s role. A daughter’s role.