Mum's in a care home for respite care this week. Its the first time, apart from a week's psychiatric assessment a while back. I thought I'd come to terms with what's happening to her, but when I saw her shuffling along the corridor with the others, looking so lost and upset, I suddenly had a fresh wave of realisation (if that makes sense). I can't believe that I've let her go away from home like that, to be cared for by strangers, and feel I should be altering my life to do it myself, along with Dad. But people say my marriage will suffer, Mum's lived her life, now I should live mine etc. But surely this IS my life, and Mum is still living hers - its not over yet! As I mentioned before, I've got a post-grad university place for October (and they've told me it can't be postponed), and Dad is desperate for me to take it up, but it would mean I won't be able to spend much time with him and Mum. I think he's being unrealistic about how much time I currently spend helping out, and how he'd cope without me. He's shattered most of the time, and is 79 himself with a very dodgy hip and knees. A few years ago he wanted my husband and I to sell up and buy a bigger property where we could all live side by side, but I saw a future of becoming everyone's carer, and resisted. Now I'm feeling incredibly selfish and guilty - if I'm fit and healthy, it may be the right thing to do after all. Is personal ambition really important when I could be helping Mum and Dad to have a better quality of life in their last years? I'm also worried that Mum might need to go into care eventually anyway, as I know many of you have found with your own loved ones. I've been wrestling with this for ages, and am getting precisely nowhere - I'd appreciate any advice. Help!!