Thursday, March 31, 2011

My neighbor depends more on me for care than on her own family.

Last updated: March 30, 2011


My neighbor and I are both widows and have enjoyed several years of going out to dinner, sharing errands, and even taking a few weekend trips. Last fall she got lung cancer, which has spread. Since her daughter lives two hours away, I took it on myself to check on her daily, provide some meals, and even take her to chemotherapy and other appointments. I was glad to do this -- that's what friends and neighbors should do.

But it's now become a full-time job, and I have my own health concerns. My neighbor is starting to treat me differently, expecting that I take her places and getting upset if I have other plans. I've hinted to the daughter that I can't take on this much care. But now I feel stuck -- and guilty for not doing more.

How do I get her daughter to provide the care that family should give, so that I can go back to being a good neighbor and friend?

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Andrew Lopez, RN
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