My wife just wants to die. I need some ears.

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Hello; First time poster here.
Wife 53 YO Bi Polar had stroke 2012 (fairly severe) has had open heart surgery (Mitral Valve Repl) chronic pain sufferer from Osteo Arthritis and old spinal injuries and now from the stroke. Incontinent. Has been in and out of 3 rehabs and more Hospital and ER visits (mostly from falls.) Every time they release her from these rehabs she does fine for a few weeks walks with her walker uses the bathroom wears regular under wear, has no incontinence,and eats well etc.Then for some unknown reason she backslides into worse shape than before the rehab. Has home Health Rehab folks come by (to not much avail) someone to come bathe her etc. No other in home help is available as I write this. I am the sole care giver. I'm disabled (but mobile) from my own stroke 2 yrs ago. I'm 67.She can't get Medicaid because they say our combined income is too high. The task of caring for her is simply too much for me to handle physically. I told them that at the last rehab and they discharged her anyway. She refused to appeal the discharge "I wanna come home" I told her that I could not take care of her as I've been as it's just too much. I don't like admitting that but it's true and I'm suffering the consequences as I write this; it's literally killing me. I can't stop her from falling even when I use a support belt (she weighs more than I do) and if she does fall I can't pick her up. I have to call EMS. She fell on top of me awhile ago and I got injured too. This falling is dangerous. She tries to walk unassisted and falls. There is no help available from relatives; friends; etc. Had a roomate/caregiver for a time but she bailed..Her condition has declined to the point of her being bed and wheelchair bound. I have three agencies trying to place her in NH but we can't find any that will take her. (No beds; No medicaid; low SS income). I'm at wits end with it all. Now her condition is declining further and after her last fall she just keeps telling all involved "I just want to die" when we do discuss the subject and I ask her what happens after the rehabs she says she needs more encouragement form me. We had been separated for years; when I had my stroke she lived with me (rent free of course). And took care of me. She does need encouragement; but I find it difficult if not impossible to provide much in the way of "happy, Happy" when faced with the 24/7 job I must do; and it IS a job. Worst job in the world; especially if you're disabled.
As I stated she keeps saying she just wants to die; she smokes 2 packs of cigs a day hoping she'll have a heart attack; keeps asking me how she can kill herself.......Takes meds for the Bi Polar but it rears it's ugly head regularly and I get verbally abused in the offing. She's also on opoids; but if she takes enough to eliminate the pain she "zombies out". My point in this whole rant is that I feel guilty for agreeing with her not wanting to live; I haven't voiced that sentiment to her but I wouldn't want to live that way either; so what the hell do I do? If she feels that way way strongly enough for long enough she probably will die from one cause or another. I just do the best I can with what I have and watch and wait and hope that I can find a facility where her full time care will be provided and she'll be comfortable. Thanks everyone for letting me vent here. Hope I' in the right place for this post.

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Three possibilities: check your area for P.A.C.E. (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly); ask your doctor if she is eligible for Hospice and if you're retired military both/either of you may be eligible for VA assistance.
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Thomas, I have no advice...just wanted to send some words of support. Caregiving under any circumstances is hard...this site has always been a great avenue for venting and also showing compassion. I'm wishing you the best.
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Thanks for your response Caring. Living in Tampa Fl can't downsize income........ALF won't take me as I have an open wound. She has mobility issues and probably wouldn't adapt to an ALF living style; can't live by herself and can't use a wheelchair alone. The real problem with this situation is that I'm disabled too and physically incapable of taking care of anyone 24/7. Thanks for your interest and support.
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Thomas,

Your last post was 5 days ago so I hope you see this. Not that I have any vital information, I just want to welcome you to this site. I'm so glad you found us.

My mom was much older than your wife when she went through something similar. She wanted to die. She had been sick but the cancer was removed, she needed no chemo or radiation. She did well in rehab. She came home, went to bed, and died soon after because she never got out of bed. The only way I could get her into the hospital was one night, after she fell and my dad called me to come pick her up, I pretended that I couldn't get her up. We called 911 and because she was a little loopy from pain meds they took her to the ER. While in the ER I asked to speak to the nurse alone. When we met out in the hall I told her my parents' situation. That dad couldn't care for mom, that mom won't get out of bed, and that I needed her to be admitted for evaluation. I called it a "domestic situation". They admitted her.

I'm so sorry that your concerns about bringing your wife home were not heard. You may have to make a little more noise. Upon discharge from the hospital my elderly father was asked, among other things, "Do you feel safe at home?" There's a screening process in place upon discharge and I think if you squawk loud enough about having difficulty taking care of your wife your concerns will be heard.

Again, welcome to our little corner of the internet. I'm glad you're here and look forward to hearing more about you and how you're coping.
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When a person starts to feel like they want to die, I just tell them that the Lord is not ready for them to go, they still have work to complete. If she feels that way don't deny her we can't predict our time here so let her just pray and you pray with her. It is normal for her to feel depressed just let her know that you do understand and you don't want to see her suffer but it's just not her time now. Maybe you guys can down size your income and go into an AL where you won't be alone and she can get the proper care, and you guys can be together and she don't have to be in a skilled facility. If you down size maybe apply for medicaid again and you could get help.
Good Luck
Stick it out with your baby she is just going through something!
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what area do you live on?
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Thank you all for your responses. I'm a newbie here so.....hard finding my way around the site right now. Kinda lost really. Wonderful source of info and advice and I'm grateful.
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I would consider divorce to separate the finances. Talk to your attorney about it. You don't have to abandon your wife emotionally, but legally your resources could be separated.
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Know the feeling, we can't get medicaid for mom who is 87, cause she has an insurance policy and the home care agency doesn't seem to be able to fill the times that I need care for her, so I guess it will mean my job. Have you tried any other agencies, like Agency on the Aging in your area. Seeing as both of you are disabled is there no agency in your area dealing with strokes? See what the social worker from the hospital can put you in touch with.
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Firstly, I am so sorry you and your wife are suffering such ill health at such young ages. I worry for you: too many times have I seen the caretaker die before the one being taken care of. It sounds like your wife has mental health, addictive as well as physical issues. Perhaps addressing them will help her progress physically. Like quitting smoking before she burns the place down! Is she open to getting help for these issues? Will she go to counseling? Sometimes counseling can help the caregiver get their head together. The one thing you cannot save a person from is themself. Do you think her regression can be induced by her overmedicating herself? Maybe if you can get her the help she needs, you would be what she needs. I would think a good PCP might be a place to start.
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