My mom is taking care of her dad. (Her mother passed away a couple of years ago.) Grandpa has COPD/emphysema, is in end-stage congestive heart failure and needs constant care. He’s also verbally and emotionally abusive. (Full disclosure: he can also be staggeringly generous. He wants my mom to write a check out of his account before he dies and take us all to Europe with that money after he dies. And immediately after telling her that, he’ll start yelling about how she cut his apple up wrong and bought the wrong kind of paper towels. True story.)
He refuses to go to an assisted living facility, and my mom, with a lifetime of his abuse behind her (which to her credit, she’s managed to deal with a LOT of – at least as well as anyone ever “deals with” and “moves past” that sort of thing), hasn’t been able to make him. (I’m a bigger asshole than she is: I tell her, “Just tell him he’s going, and let him be pissed off. It’s not like it’ll be any different from usual!” But she has a different dynamic and a different relationship with him than I do, obviously.)
Anyway, on my advice, she started a blog:
Pressed Like a Panini: Updates from the Sandwich Generation
She started it mostly as a journal, an attempt to recognize the patterns in her own behaviors (we talked a lot about that over the weekend, and what *I* see her doing as an “outsider”), but also as a way to (hopefully) get some help and feedback from those who have gone/are going through similar things. I know most (all?) of my readers are younger than my mom, but if you have any experience with aging parents, I know she’d be grateful for any feedback. Or if you know someone who’s going through the same things, please feel free to pass her link along. She’s really struggling right now, and I can’t think of another way to help her.