I married a man 25 years older than me. I always knew I would care for him when he got older. But now we have become his parent’s caregiver and all I can think about is what I have to look forward too.

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Ten years ago I married a man 25 years older than me. I always knew I would care for him when he got older and that never bothered me. But now he has become the caregiver for his aging mother with parkinson's and beginnings of alzhiemers, which means that I am part of that care system too. His step-father never liked the fact that we were married and so for many years we were not in touch, I barely know his mom and she doesn't even realize that we've been together for 10 years. He has moved into her house an hour away from me, I visit on my days off from work.
I feel so selfish because all I can think of is me. I keep thinking that this is all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life. We will care for his mom until her passing and at some point later I'll have to care for him and probably my own mom and/or grandparents. I fear this is all I have left in life.

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I agree that moving her around probably wouldnt be the best situation, if she is to be moved I think it would be best to move her to somewhere that she would be for awhile. And I'm sure if the building code people came by, the house would pass, barely, but we really are trying to cope with this situation in a way that will make everyone the most comfortable.
I didn't realize that there were so many options for help, I need to look into the options in our state and find out what is available to us because as it stands right now, we only get an average of a couple hours a week alone right now.
And I will definitely be checking out the book on dealing with a difficult older parent, sounds like something my husband could benefit from.
Thanks ya'll. Nite.
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I'm not sure a lot of moving around is really recommended for someone with alzhiemers, but the description of her current living conditions sound like you would not want the building code person to come by and inspect it.
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Thank you 2young. I had no idea it would seem appropriate or spot on. It just sort of made sense to me. Anything can happen in life and you just do the best you can in what situations you find yourself in....
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2Young, my 85 year old mother just recently died..I'm about your husband's age so I can understand some of what pulls at him as I am married to a much younger man...it's difficult to find that special balance between being a wife & a daughter. Whereas, my mom lived a long distance away & my younger sister was the main caregiver, I found it hard trying to juggle the many demands & needs plus we have an adolescent son.... It was quite a difficult time for the entire family esp. given that Mom was a somewhat dependent person before this final illness. I found a book called "Coping withr your Difficult Older Parent" by Grace Lebow that gave a lot of good tips which made the journey easier. We had thought Mom's illness was going to be a marathon, but instead it became a sprint. We had hoped that we would have been able to bring her to our different homes for a couple months each but that wasn't to be. You & your husband might consider bringing her to your home if that's feasible, perhaps initially on a short stay basis so that you maintain your life patterns & also break some of the rut that you can get into by always being at her place. You need some "home" also. In my mother's home state, there were agencies that provided in-home meals, cleaning, etc. several days a week...also, if she is hospitalized for 3 days, she would be eligible for 20 days !00% medicare coverage in a skilled nursing unit & additional 80 days at 80% if she requires PT, OT, etc. This could give some respite care for your family as well as help her to become stronger....it's important for you both to have some enjoyable real time together as this is truly a part of life..don't put yours totally on hold...
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JSomebody, that is a perfect response. We all know that things change in life and that we have to go with the flow, but I guess I'm just a little freaked out at the moment. When he and I married I knew that I would live a life not within the "norm" confines most people experience. I did not have children, my husband is retired and no longer works, while I am still working and actually going to school as well,in order to plan for mine and his future. We made plans based solely on Our futures and we were foolish to not have talked of what would happen if..... so here we are.
We are learning together and hope to make it out better and stronger because of it. But some days are worse than others, like yesterday when I was visiting, his mom smacked her mouth the entire day(out of her control). But today is a new day.
Thanks everyone! How is everybody else doing today? ;-)
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2young, I may have a somewhat similar angle though not experience. I am 39 and looking after my grandfather who is 89. I can see as how you feel burdened and cheated here. Sacred and worried. You are in a situation, that of caring for elderly and dying loved ones, at an age that is not as common in society in many ways...It was a burden taken on when marrying someone so far out of your age group but really could happen to anyone if their spouse became desperate ill or disabled. Here it is age related and while one is in the retirement stage of life so to speak the other is more so in the still building a future stage. It isn't impossible but it does and clearly did bring challenges and trouble maybe foreseen but not really expected?
There are no guarantees in life. You could have become ill and then your husband would have extra care and stress to deal with..it sounds like you are handling it well, just a bit bewildered by the sort of shift between the ideal and the reality in your situation. I would be. know there is help and support out there and here, and many services available to you through social services and physicians referrals for much you may need in this situation. Don't feel isolated or alone here...There are many people with experience if not specific to your situation than at least close on some levels...
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brokenhearted,

I wish that I could have left home as a teenager or sooner would have been fine with me. I thought getting a step-dad would change life at home when I was 12, but he turned out to be my mother's escape ticket from her mother's house and that small town.

Your husband must love you a whole lot for your young marriage to survive your mom moving in while still in the honeymoon period! About the only thing worse than that is when a newly married woman told me that her husband's parents went with them on their honeymoon.

I"m glad that you and your husband , lately, are closer and getting into therapy will very likely make that even more so.

My wife's mom and my mom are both very intrusive people with the same personality disorder, but whose intrusiveness took on different although sometimes similar characteristics. Individual therapy has bee a great help to each of us and to our sense of being closer to each other as a couple which is good sense we have one more year before the empty nest time.

I can now love and make sure my mother is taken care of without resentment like before. However, like a good friend of mine experienced with his elderly mom, there is something about the dynamic of caring for an elderly parent which stirs up any buried memories which bombarded one like flashbacks. I've told my therapist about each of them and my wife about some of them. We both comment how we feel closer to each other. Well, that's more than enough about me. I wish you well in your journey.
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Crowmagnum,

It did crush me like a sledge hammer for almost ten months, the last two months I am doing better now that I realize her control has transferred into the illness (with distortion) and in reality I am the one in control, I MUST take control if there is going to be any sanity. I am considering therapy, I was not around my mother for most of my life I would see her maybe two weeks out of a year since I left home as a teen because of our differences, so this was huge having her move in, especially while still in the honeymoon period.

I think it has actually (lately) made my husband and I closer. And, I also realize its not going to last forever, I am working on the next step...so its okay, I can love her without resentment for the circumstance now that I realize she is incapable of flexing her issues with control (they make no sense), that in reality I am the one that sets the tone for this new relationship. Its become much more easy to deal with.
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I"m glad he is working through the courts for it sounds like she is no longer capable of doing a POA. This is why parents should do this long before they get in this shape. In my own situation, I forgot after going on disability in 2003 that my mother had given me medical and durable poa in 2002. Thus, we had new ones written up by the same lawyer, semi retired, in 2009 just in time before her stroke. I'm glad to be of some help and wish you well.
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He is working on the POA. She doesn't have a problem giving it to him but they have deemed her unable to consent so he's going to have to go through the courts anyways.
His mom does get confused at times and often refers to him as her brother, but she knows my place in the family even if she doesn't always remember my name or how long we've been together. It's particularly difficult because at times she has full knowledge of what is going on, but then merely ten mins later she can not know what time of day it is.
I appreciate everyone's advice and suggestions.
We will defintely be talking soon, I just have to ready myself for it. But I am happy to know now that I have some people to share my thoughts with and get help, advice and support from. Thanks.
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