I am the one being cared for, not the caregiver...

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I am almost 73 (so not that old). I forget words sometimes but can usually get them back. He is the same.
I am not that mobile (can get around a little for short whiles) Have bowel, tummy, arthritis problems and COPD. Not yet on oxygen.
Husband is 76 and is my unofficial carer. He also has diabetes (which I help control with food ordered) and Mild COPD (He goes walking which helps)

Right here I go with my little rant - sorry. I think I sound like a pathetic ungrateful moaner.

My husband does most of the things round the house. We share cooking but apart from computer and paperwork (which I do) he does ALL the rest.

My gripe is he is a martyr to it. Every time he does anything, I always say Thank You. His comment is, well no one else will do it if I don't. He is quick to anger (always has been) but his comments are getting more and more nasty. If the news is on the tv he moans about everything ALL THE TIME. It does not sound like much but it is constant and wearing me out. I am the iron - I keep things smooth if I can, but it is hard.

I have got in outside help for gardening and window cleaning (which I had to persuade him was for me) We have a friend (who I trust - that I pay to decorate)

We are not on any benefits - just pensions (although we do get a free tv licence) I live in England.

All I need to say now is

Not sure if this even warrants a reply for you lovely people.
Thank you for being here - saves me cracking up


BuzzyBee, what? You haven't planned a parade so that all the towns people can see what a wonderful guy your hubby is, with all the chores he is doing to help you... [sigh]

I have a moaner at home, too. He came from a spoiled family where his Mom took care of everything regarding the house, cleaning, cooking, etc. That was pretty much the norm way back when. So it's been a long and tiresome adjustment for him.

I'm in my 70's and was born in the wrong era. Going back a half century I was up in arms about equal pay, about hubby taking equal responsibly around the house since the both of us worked, but to him his job was way much harder than mine... so his weekends were for him to have fun, like watching sports. My weekends were for laundry, vacuuming, grocery shopping... I was having so much fun I couldn't stand it !!

I believe what happens as we get older, our dreams about retirement don't always pan out. There will be some illness or elder parents needing our help, that will thrown a wrench into the plans. Some people can adjust, some can't.

Hang in there.
It is really lovely to get a perspective from the cared-for person's point of view. Thank you for joining us, and welcome!

Have you and your husband got in touch with your local authority about support at home? You are both of you *entitled* to quite a range of services, starting with a needs assessment for you and a carer's assessment for your husband.

You are both on the young side, it's quite true. But even if not now, the time may soon come when it will be really helpful if you already know your way around things like carers' organisations, respite centres, memory cafés and so on.

Have you been referred by your GP to a Memory Clinic?
I'm 57, and my husband is 62, our situation is much like yours too, married over 30 years and I'm the one with mobility issues, arthritis in my knees and back.

He is a martyr, loves to "offer" to do most things around the house, the grocery shopping (though that is probably more about penny pinching, SQUEEK!!!, LOL). He's just Way more motivated than I am, and is a go better in regards to the house maintenance and upkeep. I'm the paper pusher, the home secretary, and the checks and balance gal.

We also just ended a long stretch of having his Dad live with us for the past 13 years, and took care of him on Hospice in our home for 9 weeks until his passing this last September, so after raising 4 kids, and the caring of our 4 parents until death, we are still in an adjustment period.

I think we often fall into roles in the household, where one just does more than the other, and let's face it, Men Love to Gripe!!! I think it's often how we communicate, we moan and bicker, for the sake of, well bickering!

I have to remind myself to Really thank him for all of the work that he does around the house, because Men just Need more accolades than women do, as we 'just get er done', because it needs getting done! I'm sure that in your younger years, you did Plenty to keep the home fires burning, and now the tables have turned, where it's you needing more than him in regards to your health needs. For better or worse and all that!

So, I would recommend doing a little more "gushing" (I need to remind myself to do this too!), and think of ways that we can show them our appreciation, as in ordering them something online that they really want, perhaps something for their hobby, or just a surprise package now and then, to show them how much we do appreciate them, as let's face it, their not likely to be going anywhere any time soon, and they do deserve to feel our thanks! Maybe on the days where you do feel up to tackling a particular job, just do it, and surprise the heck out of him!

I think you've got a Good one there, and it sounds like he does do a lot around the house! Beyond the normal fussing and griping, things could be a whole lot worse, like a drinker or womanizer! Affection and treats work every time!

Good Luck, and thank you for giving the Carter's perspective, as we don't see that on here very often!
Dear B u z z y b e e,
You are not alone. Hubs and I are in a crisis adjustment going on right now.
He has decided to do nothing at home. Guess I will be hiring a gardener soon.
His bike was stolen due to his carelessness, even after reminders. He goes through these stages several times a year.

My only option is to continue to throw things out the back door as I am able to clear clutter, and hire help to remove it.

I have considered divorce, still an option.

Other times he can be kind and massage my back and legs after I have over-exerted.

Stacey, great answer, I can relate.  Some good advice.  I get the opposite response necessary if I thank hubs, he thinks he is done helping.  So, I do thank him for stepping up to help US.
Thank you. I am holding off on outside help yet but I will do the research on line and may be get some addresses and numbers. :) Not sure if I need the thinking (oops forgot the word - hehehe) memory clinic just yet. Just joking.

I was of same era. Worked full time. Took care of our three boys, did the house work etc. At least I said, first in starts the tea. Was ages before I realised I needed to go slower, so there was still some for him to do. lol Even longer ntil I finally said. I am stopping at 9pm every night and sitting down. He, of course already was.
Thank you :)

We also did the caring part. His mum, my dad, then my mum. I do try to gush but it is so wearing sometimes. It makes me a bit depressed. Good job I am an optomist. I will fight my way back. I am just thankful I found this site. :)
Thank you

Thank you for taking time to reply. I send you hope for a peacful future (which ever you decide) Just make sure it is right for you - both.
I think your hubby is showing signs of caregiver burnout - he is not a young man anymore. get in outside help for more of what hubby is currently doingl
I agree with Kimber. Time for outside help. I am 80 and this year decided it was time to give up some things, like being the only person to clean the house. With COPD your husband is not a well man, I think he would appreciate some assistance. Illness and tiredness can affect our dispositions.
It was a second marriage for each of us. He did some things (take care of the cars) and I did some things (laundry) and we took turns doing some things (meals, bills, taxes). We respected each other's time and felt we had relationship of equals.

And then he got dementia. He still wanted to do things but having a person with dementia up on a ladder cleaning gutters was simply not good sense. I hired a handyman, emphasizing that it was because he was "retired" and not because he was incompetent.

But now I had to do all the things I used to do in running the household, plus all the things he used to do, plus a whole new set of things to take care of his health. Talk about a triple whammy! So I can kind of understand your husband's tendency toward martyrdom. I did not give in to it, but I can understand it. Being a caregiver for a spouse sucks.

We were both angry about his illness. This wasn't fair to either of us, and it wasn't the fault of either of us. This is NOT how either of us pictured our sunset years! And we could gripe together about that, and be glad we had each other.

I wonder if you could turn the martyrdom into something more mutual?

"If I didn't do this it won't get done!"
"Yes, I know. It is really miserable that I can't do my fair share some days. I hate this COPD, and I hate that you have it too! This sure isn't what either of us envisioned when we promised for better or worse, is it? I am so grateful that so far you are able to keep us going. I hope that the next time this needs doing I'll be able to do it, or to at least help."

"If I didn't do this it won't get done!"
"I know and isn't it pitiful? I miss the days when I could be an equal contributor. Maybe it is time to bring in someone else to do some of these things. Between taking care of our parents and now my disabilities, I think it is time you deserve an easier retirement."

As Countrymouse says, start looking into things you are entitled to, and make the most of them. Even if you don't qualify for/need much now, it will be good to have your foot in the door if things deteriorate.

Keep in touch here. It is helpful to have the perspective of the person needing care.
I have tried to get him to let me arrange someone to help with the cleaning. We had them a week and he was going round after they had done (what ever) and re-doing it. He is a little ADD and did not like any of the things they did. As it was not how he liked it done. I said that we could explain HOW he wanted it done. His reply to that was "Its not the same" I think he missed it. I will try again.
Oh boy I just didn't realize my hubby had so many twins. 2-3 yrs ago ll kinds of illnesses caught up with me and hubby was wonderful in the days when I was really bad in hospital. Since then after the first day home I am supposed to be cured. Well I am not and now he has some real problems and directs me about what needs doing and how to do it. ' The stove needs more wood' That's enough don't over fill it" "Did you let the fire go out during the night" Before he got as sick as he currently is he would complain that he could not do everything round here if i asked him to go to the bank or get milk. I still need to use a cart in the grocery and need a handicapped space which are often full. he has hadicapped plates but chooses to park way up the lot"in case someone scratches his car"
Kimber get help now before you are so desperate you are too tired to make the arrangements..
There is a thread called "The whine thread" i think it should be renamed a whine a minute.

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