Dad has decided that he resents giving any money to the residential home, simply because others are funded. He appreciates that it is right for Social Services to make the service available to those who cannot afford it for themselves, but still he resents it. One way to deal with this might be to bite the bullet and say “Well, it doesn’t seem fair but I enjoy it so I’ll just grin and bear it as I part with the money” but that’s not Dad’s way.
He’s decided he resents the money he’ll be paying to go there for a break while I go away. He said to my sister that he’d rather give her the money and her look after him for the week. (I bit back the point that I look after him full time for next to nothing – no point muddying the waters with my own little resentments!) Trouble is, she is actually free that week.
She feels that she’ll do anything to make Dad’s life happier and that the cost of care would be better kept within the family if he doesn’t want to go. Her view is that he could die next week and she’d regret having let him go into the home when she knew she could have had him there. My view is that it is better that he gets used to going in the home for short stays when I go away. I feel dreadful asking my sisters to have him if I want a break away as it means them giving up their limited holiday time. It’s OK when they can take him to stay with them, but that’s not always going to be possible. He could die next week, yes, but he could be around for a whole lot longer than that and he’s not going to get any more fit or mobile. Will they want to give up all their time off work to come and stay with him or will they, by then, be wanting him to be well settled into going to respite care? Now I feel horrible for thinking like that – guilty and mean-minded and uncaring – and I came away from my conversation with my sister feeling like that too, although neither of us wanted to fall out over it.
Why couldn’t she just have been busy that weekend? And why does it have to be me that makes the decision?