Bowing out to give family members more time with loved one.

Teeh1959 Member Posts: 1

This is weird. And different, I guess, than a normal caregiver situation? (statement and question). 

Background. For two years, 7 hours a day, 7 days a week, I took care of my best friends 92 year old mother-in-law. Right up to hospice. She was cantankerous with any and all family members and they just couldn't deal with her. Very spiteful. But I had no issues with her (didn't have to take her hissy-fits and she knew it. We were friends because I seen right through her charades). Anyway. Her family was not very involved in her last days. And they regretted it.

A few years later, I lost my best friend suddenly to a heart condition no one knew she had. Her husband was totally lost without her, disabled and couldn't even drive anymore. I started caring after him as I had his mother.  And, like his mother, he is a pretty cranky and impatient old guy with his family. I was taking care of all bills, check book, shopping, doctors visits, ordering meds, etc.

I convinced his two daughters and son to get more involved with him because I knew he didn't have a long time to go and I didn't want them to miss out on time with him. 

They wanted the checkbooks and meds, and doctor visits. Well, I pushed everything on them. I wanted them completely involved in their fathers last days. To not regret anything.

I did this 3 months ago. I actually have kept myself from calling him to see how he is doing because I want them all to rely on each other. Family.

We have all been very close for over 12 years. His daughters and son consider me family. an "adopted daughter".  But I'm worried that I have created some hard feelings because I do not do anything for him anymore and put it all on them. And I know he misses me.  But at the same time, they missed out on so much with their mom (my best friend) because I did everything for her as I did with their grandmother.  I didn't want them to feel "left out" with their dad.

My question is: Should I feel guilty leaving it all to them? Was it wrong of me to completely bow out?

He is headed for Hospice within the next few weeks and I want to be involved but.....

Hoping someone elses point of view can help me. I have no one to talk to!


  • Spencer58
    Spencer58 Member Posts: 5
    Bowing out

    Teeh , You shouldn't fell guilty at all , I think it'd amazing that you helped out all that time . The stess on a caregiver tremendous. My wife is in hospice now , we lost her sister last thanksgiving then her Mom in Jan , then on March 17 of this year she was diagnosed with stage 4 Brain tumor, three days later my brother passed away . I wish I had a friend like you , my kids and relatives hardly come around as they can't keep from crying and feeling sorry for themselves. The childern should be involved , but as you said I/m sure he would love a visit from you. My wife is use to me being around but I see her perk up when her friends or grankids come to visit.  Make the call , go visit , he will appreciate it. Give them a day break to get out .

  • Ladylacy
    Ladylacy Member Posts: 773 Member
    Don't Feel Guilty

    You have nothing to feel guilty about.  If anything the children do, but please go visit him.  I'm sure he would enjoy the visit.   Just don't get as involved as you were.  This is something his children need to deal with instead of putting if off on someone else.  I speak from experience.  I get mad at my own children when I think that during the 5 years their father fought cancer (he lost his battle) they rarely visited, called or offered to do anything to help me, nor did our grown grandchildren,.  I would put it down to they live out of state and have families to support, but then they would go on vacation or visit friends out of state and I would get mad, something their father didn't do.  I know when neighbors/friends/family members came to visit or would bring me dinner, he always enjoyed their visits.   Now that he is gone and I read what they post on facebook about missing him, I want to reply in the worse way, but I don't.  Do they live with the guilt, somehow I don't think so, hope they feel some.

    Go visit your friend, just don't get as involved as you once were.  Stand your ground and don't feel guilty.  You have done more than enough, now it is their turn. 

    You said he is headed to hospice, well my husband was on in-home hospice for almost two years.  Only in the last week of his life was in-patinent hospice offered.  Both of us didn't want in-patient hospice and as it was explained to me and to a friend of mine who was going thru the same thing with her husband, in-patient is only offered at the very last.  She was unable to care for her husband due to her age and health problems and had to pay to put him in a personal care home at a cost of $2500 per month and hospice said he wasn't ready for in-patient care.  (Medicare doesn't pay for personal care homes).  He passed within a month of going into a personal care home so he was ready for in-patient hospice but sometimes there is a waiting list due to lack of facilities for in-patient care.  Let his children handle the money, doctor visits, etc. that way they can't come back on you where the money is concerned because families can and do anything where money is concerned.  Sorry but it is true.

    Wishing you peace and comfort