Caring for boyfriends Father with dementia whom recently was hospitalized. I can use an outsiders point of view.

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Now family wont say but blame me. Father in law was recetly hospitalized with pneumonia & hypotension. He has had Dementia for 2yrs & I have been caring for him. Recently his son was incarcerated & I was asked by Sheriff to come back to residence to care for him. The son & I have a rocky relationship, just had his first baby about 6 months ago, so just cuz I love him I came. He put me in a difficult situation. He had not saved any money & I hadnt earned any while he & I were living together. I did every thing & he earned the income for it. After 1 month of struggle I was okay & had every thing running well. My father in law has 7 siblings near by but only one brother would come help out 2 a week by bringing him a meal and taking him for a short walk. I did every thing with out help the bathing, changing, his laundry( incontinent), Dr. apt, & care for my kids ( 6 month old & suicidal 12 yr old). For the past 4 months I have put my kids & my selfs needs to the side giving my boyfrnds father more of my attention then I give my kids. As of 4 days his behavior began to change. Every night he was trying to get out of his bedroom (he is also blind) except on Wednesday he didnt try anymore. I figured he was to cold. We live in an old building that has no insulation and windows which you can feel breeze, and the heater doesnt work. My father in law is always cold even if I turn on a portable heater for him. Thursday he didnt remember,how to feed him self so I feed him but he didnt eat much. Friday morning he didnt want to eat at all. I didnt see him well & was calling his family to ask what I should do. See I called the ER do to the fact that I am not married to his only son & the son is power of attorney. Well explained father in laws condition, behavior/ change, & let her know that I had no power of attorney or signed docs. I was told if I took him & it was mental he would not be seen cuz they wouldnt be able to do anything. He would be seen if its a life threatening situation. I made the first call on Tuesday. On Friday I began to dress him couldnt, he fought a bit so I figured he was okay but even then I was uncomfortable. So around 6pm I called paramedics. His body temp was low and everything else was fine. We get ER I see him rolled to xray he's still breathing once he goes back I hear a code blue. He had stop breathing. Once he was stabilized his brother and I were let in, nurse told me he had a heart attack. I began to cry. I didnt see any signs. She told me with Dementia patients it's not easy and I wouldnt have seen it. At this point his brother was telling me it wasnt my fault. He was transported 2 hrs away on Saturday & I went to visit son so I can inform him. After my son was wheezing so I took him to ER & he has bronchitis. I still have not made it up to see him do to my baby being ille and now I feel like they blame me. What should I do? His niece commented he wouldnt be coming home with me anymore. I agree he needs better care or a facility but his son wants him here and refuses to put him in a home. I feel guilty, please give me your point of view. What would you do?


I would focus on my own life and family. This man is definitely in need of help but his own family need to step up to their responsibilities. The son needs to grow up and accept his responsibility as well. This isn't your fight.

And frankly, it irks the hell out of me to learn that:

" For the past 4 months I have put my kids & my selfs needs to the side giving my boyfrnds father more of my attention then I give my kids."

You need to focus on your own children before Child Protective Services comes in and takes them away from you.

I never understand how people can have children and subordinate their needs to those of just some boyfriend! caused a man to have a heart attack. You must be very powerful...

No seriously this family is really a mess and you need to take your kids out of this situation and focus on them first. Let boyfriend's family handle his care...there appear to be a lot of them and they need to step up.

You are a good person to do what you have done but enough is enough. No gratitude from them, no help, only blame? No sorry...get away.

Caring4love - you were put in a terrible situation that was not your responsibility and was beyond your ability to know how to handle. I absolutely do not mean that as a put down. Taking care of an ailing elderly man with dementia is hard enough for someone who has caregiver training and experience - let alone one woman with a pre-teen and an infant. You were put in a no win situation and I'm sure you did the best you could. I think when people start pointing fingers and throwing guilt around they are doing so to avoid their own failings in the situation. I'm a pretty straight shooter when it comes to giving my opinion or advice so don't be offended, okay? Frankly this sounds like a big family of losers - your BF included! Be grateful you have had your eyes open to how they treat each other and more importantly how they treat you and your children! Use this opportunity to get out as fast as you can. Do you have anyone you can stay with for a short while until you can get yourself together - I mean get your children healthy both mentally and physically - preferably someone who has heat?!!! Girl, you brought those babies into this world - you owe it to them to take care of their needs and to never, ever again put someone else before them - at least not until they are legal adults, that's for sure. Look for help through local agencies, head start programs, hell - even a crisis shelter would be better than waiting around in a cold building, putting your children at risk and letting your BFs family take advantage of you and use you as a scapegoat! Is this really the family you want to be tied to for the rest of your life? You didn't say much regarding your BF - but he is in prison - hello? I guessing not exactly Father of the Year material! Run! Run as fast as your legs will carry you! Make a plan, get help for your children, get help for you! Don't your children deserve better? I'd say "good luck" and I do wish you that - but luck won't take care of you and your kids, only YOU can make that happen. Put this behind you, consider it a lesson learned and move the hell on!
Caring4Love, what his Son wants, doesn't matter, his father health is beyond your scope of expertise, and this is not your fault! You are young and have young children of your own to put first and foremost in your life right now! Let this older mans family step up to the plate and make sure he gets the help he needs. In no way are you to feel guilty about him having a heart attack, as no one can predict when that could have happened. Girl, you have been put in a very precarious position, and Now you have an Out, so take it! You yourself even stated that you are not the best solution for caring for this gentleman, as he now needs an elevated level of care, even though you probably Love him very much! I once was in a position, with 2babies, both under age 3, my life with my abusive husband was falling apart, and desperately, I called my wonderful parents who came and took me and my children back home, I immediately filed for divorce, I enrolled into school, graduated, and got my life on track! That was 33 years ago, and now, I am married to a great guy for 30+ years now, we have owned 2 homes, together raised 4 great kids, but now unfortunately, we take care kf his Dad, who has lived with us in our home, going on 12 years, so, in some cases, life does come full circle, but I am much older and wiser now, and I have a responsible partner, and we work together to figure things out, as they come up. But for now honey, you need to re-evaluate your own situation, and put yourself and your babies first, and only then can you be in a position to be a friend to this older gentleman, who isn't your FIL, and who isn't YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! But those kid's ARE, so now go and figure out exactly what will make your life easier to raise them, in the very best way possible! Do you have parents, friends or family who can help you to explore options for housing, welfare, a job, schooling? Begin doing this ASAP, as You are the only person who can better your life for you and your kids! After that, I recommend you file a case with Child Support Enforcement, to get the father of your children to begin making financial support to his children, as you weren't alone in bringing them into this world, he's responsible too!
Say NO!! Nobody can force a patient on you. Heart attack + combative. Make it very clear to the hospital social worker you cannot take him back. Also ask your caseworker for help, because all of the old man's SS check will be going to a nursing home.
Since i take care of my boyfriends parents. Ill give you my advice-BAIL. If i would have known the bs you have to through i would have. Since the niece said he wont have to go home with you let her have the problem.
After posting my response, i thought about it. Why would you call the er instead of a doctor on a tuesday? The er cannot refuse services, its against the law and if you explained the situation to a family doctor, they would have seen their patient. So not to be rude if your legit but you either are full crap or you have no common sense.
Not sure how to reply back to comments but tacy022 I actually dID call clinic and told them same thing I told ER. Explained the symptoms behavior and all. His physician wasnt going to be in until 13 of this month which is 5 days from when I called ambulance. I have common sense just not the right. His power of attorney is in jail. The clinic has allowed me to take him in to visits which I actually had taken him on da 8th and physician said he was fine just a bit of elevated blood pressure. We got the meds. Like I was going to say, this time the clinic asked me if I had any signed documents. I understand the ER can no refuse but then why would a nurse tell me that! Thats why I called 911 so he wouldnt be refused. I have taken him to have dental done and we were told after 2 hrs of wait he could not be seen.
I wasnt trying to be mean, it just seems like your trying too hard and your making excuses. If you want to caregive you need to get a spine and stand up for yourself and your kids. Im lucky my son is grown. Who cares if the family blames you, put the blame back where it belongs with them. Its not going to make you the most popular person, but hey oh well. In our case, since the poa papers arent valid, next of kin is allowed to make decisions and they talk to me because im the only one on hippa forms signed when father was of sound mind. Be prepared for the worse if you stay cause itll only get worse but with two young children in mind your best bet is to leave.
Thank you... for being straight foward. I understand that if anything goes wrong it will always be my fault. Boyfriend wants to give me POA but I have my parents ill. Ive done CNA for 2yrs but caring for a loved ones parent isnt the same. Thank you for your honesty.

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