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Taking time out for you as you take care of someone else, is important for your survival.

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D Man, stay in touch. Not many guys here. Good to hear from you. Good luck to you. I’ve learned a lot from the good folks on this forum. 
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Thank You all so much for weighing in with your insights...You have raised some excellent points and I will put a number of them "into the lineup"....Glad I am not alone on this, you are the voices of experience. Thanks again.
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Dear Dman6000,

I know you love your wife and don't want to see her get stressed out. After 9 years its a hard cycle to break. I hope she will consider reading this thread.

There is something about being a woman, a daughter and the need to be a Superwoman. We all want to save our daddies. I know your wife loves her dad and doesn't want him to suffer. In my culture it was a big thing to care for your elderly parents so your wife might have this guilt too.

I hope with counselling she can find a better balance. I fear the anger and resentment might catch up with her one day.
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D man it took 2 years and these people to make me get it! Listen to the advice. I set down boundaries and boy what a difference in just a couple of days. I’m in my marriage 40 yrs so listen to them, go get help for her!!!!
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DMan - The situation is clearly unfair to you. What concerns me is that your wife has said that it's a deal-breaker for her if you attempt to interfere with her care duties for her Dad. To me, that screams of the need for marital counseling. She needs to gain some insight as to why she feels the need to cater to her elderly father at the expense of her marriage and her own financial security. However, I think that if you tried to persuade her to consider these issues, it will only get her back up. I think an objective third person might be able to help her think more clearly about her motives and needs in this situation, and help her see past the fear, obligation and guilt that may be keeping her in this role. Counseling might help you see also what your wife might be getting from catering to Dad that she isn't getting from her marriage to you. Hope this helps.
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Dear D man, it sounds like your wife needs help. I would suggest bring in help, no matter what the money issue is, and lay down then law, it’s taking a toll on your marriage. Or bringing him closer to where you live. He’s probably on medication, and enrolled in Medicare, a lot of those expenses can be picked up by them, even live in’s in certain situations . I have a hubby that had 2 back to back total hip replacements, and I take care of his mother too. Talk about exhaustion , I live it everyday, and still working full time. His sister don’t  lift a finger to help, and there within driving distance, so I know what your going though , don’t end up like me, totally burned out. Also tell her you’d like a date night, sorry but you want some of her too. And my I suggest doing things around the house, so when she comes back from dads house, she enjoys coming home. You never know, a candle, flowers, sweets for the sweet. Yuki
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It doesn’t sound fair to you d man. My situation is the opposite. I’m the last living son, elderly parents 12 hour drive away, been dealing with all the issues for about 6 years. Finally got them in care this past December.

My wife just spent hours and hours helping me through the paperwork for guardianship process and real estate paperwork.

I have to do what I have to do, no getting around it. I’ve made regular trips through the years and I’ll have a few more trips before it’s all over.

But I’ve been able to find a balance and not mess up my marriage. I’ve leaned how to say no to my folks. They liked me taking care of them, but didn’t want anyone else in the house. Fortunately my folks had saved some money. I’ve spent none of our funds through the years. I have used my folks money for every aspect of their care, even paying myself back for gas, motels and travel expenses.

Does your FIL have funds? If so I think your wife needs to hire some help.

My wife would have left me long ago if I devoted every weekend to my parents care. But I understand, every situation and marriage is different.
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Very difficult balance...Suggestion?
For nine years, my spouse has made her primary weekend plans around her father, who lost his wife, then suffered a stroke. He lives two hours away. She spends inordinate time shopping for his food, cooking for him here, taking it up there and then cleaning his house. Always says she's exhausted. She has three siblings, only one of whom helps, primarily with legal and home-repair issues.....Father has no nearby friends, he alienated many people and even some family members who live 100 yards away from him won't visit...the daughter who lived 3 miles away moved to the West Coast.....My spouse thinks its her duty to help him, infinitely and says its a deal-breaker for us if I try to intervene...I do love her Dad, I have done many things with and for him, but he plays upon her guilt and always gets her to stay or come up if he acts sad...
I am in early 60's, my wife is in her late 50's and we are both looking to retire....We have, to date, spent close to $40,000 in the last nine years going up and down the GS Parkway, repairing cars, paying tolls and having two cars die prematurely, resulting in car payments when there had been none before...She won't say anything about this to her siblings.....Wife gets angry at the slightest mention of this....I have told her that when we retire, we'll have less and when things like home repairs crop up, we won't have the money for it.....In the meantime, her siblings spend next to nothing to care for her Dad because they live closer....Some people say let it play out and stay away from the issue....But we are in year 9....Any thoughts? Thanks
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Very difficult balance......For nine years, my wife has made all weekend plans around the needs of her now 84-year-old father, who lost his wife and later had a stroke....He lives two hours away.....It has caused time apart for us, two cars to die prematurely and she spends inordinate amounts of time shopping, cooking and then bringing the food to his house..and then cleaning that....One other sibling helps with legal issues...Two other siblings do almost nothing and she won't ask them too.....Furthermore, the Dad expects her to be there, makes the sad face when she's not coming and she bites on it every time.....I am in my early 60's, my wife in her late 50's and we are looking to retire....She told me caring for the father is a deal-breaker for us.....All I could do was tell her that when I retire, our lifestyle will gradually erode. Even if we'd had a portion of the roughly $40,000 we have faced in transportation, repair and food costs, we'd be better off.....I try to pitch in, going to see him once a month and have done many things with him, but don't know how to handle things now...Any thoughts?
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Marybee congratulations on your freedom, even if it’s just a few hours. I wish I could do that. Enjoy and let that help, HELP. Yuki
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That's great news about you getting some outside help. Maybe, over time, your MIL will adjust and you can use her more often.
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Thanks for the encouragement, sunnygirl. We did hire the aide for twice a week, yesterday evening was the first time she came. I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders! I just told my MiL that it gave me peace of mind to know someone was there if she needed anything. She did not let the aide help her get dressed for bed, but maybe she will as she gets to know her better, and hey, the fact that she could even get ready for bed herself is a good thIng! I feel so much better and I’m very thankful for this site.
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MaryBee, good for your that you are going to get out and take some time for yourself. You are doing a lot for MIL, so, I'd try to make my own time a priority too. It's so vital. Since, MIL, is in your home and you are responsible for her care, then, I'd likely just make the arrangements for the home care person to come in and stay when you go out. It sounds like MIL being unsteady, getting up without her alert button, is too risky to leave alone.

I've read that some people makeup reasons the person is there. Some say the lady is there to help with chores, like laundry, cleaning windows, etc., only they end up just sitting with the senior. Some say it's a friend who needs to make some money, so they are doing her a favor, by coming over. Or that the health insurance requires it to cover certain things.  Others, try to introduce them as friends and work it out that way. I hope you find a way that it works for your situation.
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Hi all, I have been feeling the caregiver blues and just wanted to reach out. I care for my 92 yo motherinlaw in our home. She was in the hospital 3 1/2 weeks ago for gallbladder surgery. Was really weak after surgery so they referred her to rehab to work on her strength. She was there for 10 days and has been home now for over a week. My husband, her son, helps with finances, fixing things, that sort of thing, but the day in, day out hands-on care falls to me. When she came home she needed a lot of help whereas before going to hospital she got up, walked with her walker, got herself washed and dressed. Having to assist with every transfer, trip to the bathroom, etc was really wearing on me. Plus I had canceled many of my outside activities and was feeling isolated, likecmy workd has suddenly gotten very small. I love my motherinlaw but spending most waking hours with a frail, often unhappy 92 year old was making me feel depressed and a little crazy. I started looking into home care to give me a chance to get out. We did not get signed on however (dragging my feet I guess) and now my motherinlaw, home from rehab 10 days, feels that she is “better,” and told me not to worry about her, but to go on out and do what I need to do, that she would be alright. We’ve had some ups and downs the past few weeks, but she is better than she was last week. However, she tends to get up (For example to go to the bathroom) and “forget “ to take her call button with her. That does not give me confidence to leave the house for a few hours and know that she would be alright! So I believe we need to proceed with signing on with Homecare, to give me peace of mind and the opportunity to get out and be “Me” again. But I worry that she will resist because she thinks she doesn’t need a “babysitter.” Any suggestions? If not that’s ok, I just needed to tell my story to people who understand! Thanks.
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Sunnygirl thanks for cheering me up. We’ve been though a lot since nov 2016. With 2 back to back total hip replacements it’s been challenging to say the least. It totally changed his and my life. Now there are things he must never do, something simple like climbing a ladder, he can’t do anymore, I must do it. I guess I depended on him too much for the outside stuff, but it’s good to learn a few new things right? This will make you laugh, but the first time I used a pressure cleaner out side I had more water on me then what I was trying to clean. I looked like a drowned rat. Lol or when I cut the grass for the first time, anything that was in my way got trimmed that day, lol. Then I found out I kind of liked it. It was like therapy. I couldn’t wait to come home from work and cut the grass. Funny you find the strength inside to do more. I’m not saying it was easy, but boy for a 60 year old women to do all of what I’ve been doing, I’m patting myself on the back. Just once in a while I’d like to hear from him thanks honey your doing a great job, and I love you. That’s all.
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Sunny girl, my late mother gave me some advice that stuck with me forever. Never ever depend on a man! Depend on you. Never quit your job, and always have an exit plan, if things don’t work out. And I did. I told my spouse 40 yrs ago, if you don’t go to work because of your drinking, or cheat on me , or hit me I’m gone. But I always have an exit. And he knows it. I won’t be bullied, or treat like a doormat! After 2 total hip replacements he’s given up the drinking, but it doesn’t make up for his bad behavior. But I stayed why I still don’t know. Hey it’s for better or worse. He does realize that I got the raw end of the deal, so I’ve accomplished something. Everyone has there story, that’s mine. And if anyone needs to vent, I’m hear. Yuki
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That sounds like you did have quite an ordeal Yuki500. That's a lot of work for one person. I was with an alcoholic for a few years and OMG, that's horrible. I don't know how you did it. Thanks for sharing your story.

I am not under a lot of daily hands on caregiving with my parents. They rely on me when they are sick, transportation, picking up meds, if my dad is not feeling well, some household chores, some business matters, etc. but, it's still stressful. I am taking some time, but, I need more. I've been doing gradual renovations to my house and intend to move there most of the time. And to help them downsize to a more convenient condo. (less upkeep)
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I’m starting a new conversation of caregiver blues, and want to share my ups and downs with taking care of your loved ones. First let me say I was thrown into it . Totally unprepared. But I learned fast. My hubby of 40 years had to have 2 total hip replacements. Did I know what this was all about? no didn’t.Did I realize how much work was involved ? No again. Did I know you could drink your hips away? Nope. You see I married an alcoholic. He drank for 40 years. Only when he couldn’t walk anymore did he stop. It’s for better or worse right? But I held up, and so did he. I’m not going to say it was easy, but I made it. And being the whole caregiver I won’t say I did everything right, I had a leaning curve. I never had to take care of anyone before not like this. I had 4 surgery’s and never had help, I drove myself to the doctors, even on surgery’s days, and to PT. I still cooked, cleaned, went to work, I didn’t Rely on him for help , not that he would’ve given it, he was always drunk. But his day came and the tables got turned. But I was the better person and did everything for him. Cooking’s, cleaning, doing bathing, meds, cutting the grass, painting, and working full time, with no help from anyone! I’m not going to tell you how easy it was. It was hell. The fights, the meds, and always hearing how the patient , no one ever cares about the caregiver. Not one person asked. So my advice, take care of you. Even ifs it’s just going for a walk, or having a glass of wine, laughing at a good movie, take time for you. Going out maybe one night with the girls. Because there going to be alright, don’t forget about you. There going to be in pain, and not right in the head, do don’t take it personal. Try and laugh at it, breathe and know your not alone. Well that’s my story hope it helps. Yuki
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I agree. I definitely feel that being in a house with seniors who are sick, unhealthy mentally or physically, constant complaining, multiple funerals to attend, frequent doctor visits, etc. can really bring you down. I'm planning my exit strategy or at least a respite plan.  I wonder just how how I might feel if I had an ACTUALLY HEALTHY and positive environment for a week!
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