Dad moved in, husband moved out.

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Dad is 83, after a year of caring for him from a distance, at his request, I moved him from his Indiana home to Texas. He has alzheimer, not advanced, but he can't be alone or drive. Moderate probably. His Indiana caregiver moved with him! Saint. I put him in a facility for 3 days and it did not work out. Moved him and the caregiver then in with me to figure out what to do and my husband of only 3.5 years moved out same day. . It has been a rocky contentious relationship for the last couple of exhausting years. He has never cared for anyone needy and has no tolerance for it. Dad is wealthy so I can afford full time caregiving for him.
I have very mixed emotions about husband. But as picky as he his about everything being in its perfect place it is probably better he is not here.

Dad forgot that he begged me to move him, that he put a for sale sign on his place,, that he was wheeling and dealing the sale of his place and all his stuff, that he told everyone he knew he was leaving forever, and now he thinks I am holding him against his will. He plots his escape constantly. Flight risk squared.

I live in the country. I have dogs. I also own my own business. Part of me would like to move with him back to Indiana, but my business locks me here for now. Things were getting out of control in Indiana, and my only sibling who lives there does not help at all. My phone rung constantly one crisis after another. People were stealing from him. Nuts.

Part of me says keep him here as long as I can until the Alzheimer's gets too bad then move him to a facility. I will not move him to a facility I can not supervise. Of course that means certain divorce. Going through that at the same time as moving dad in and a caregiver my just do me in. I am a strong God loving person, but it has been real hard to get out of bed. I am 55. I need advise. This forum has helped. God love caregivers!

God must love caregivers.

38 Comments

Wow! My heart goes out to you. What a heavy load you are shouldering right now!

Just a few observations to share -- no overall solution :(

Trying a facility for three days is not a fair trial. Many persons with dementia would take weeks or months to settle in. My Mom moved in with my sister. She has a lovely "apartment" there and loves my sister and her husband very much. They are great with her. Mom has been there 2 months and she still isn't fully settled in. These things take time.

Many people with dementia need a secure facility, to minimize flight risk or simple wandering.

My husband often claimed he was being held against his will. He even called the sheriff's office to make this claim. He lived with me in the home we'd lived in for a dozen years before his dementia was diagnosed.

I don't know if any of this information is useful. Just know that your dad's behaviors are not unique.
How good are the chances of your husband and you patching things up? Do you want to work on your marriage, or was it too rocky? I am not one to just throw away a perfectly good marriage for a situation that is temporary and can be worked out other ways. As is usually true, Jeanne said what I was going to say. TX has some of the finest assisted living places in the US. I don't know where you are in TX, but have a look around. Since he has a caregiver, he may be even happier in an independent living facility.

Unless your marriage was already over, I think it should be your first priority. I have a feeling from what you said, though, that things were already a bit rocky. I guess you'll have to decide if your marriage is worth saving. You mentioned you were religious. A good movie to watch is "WWJD: the Woodcarver." I believe it is on Netflix if you subscribe to that. It might give you some ideas.
I am so sorry for you, I totally understand, my mom lives with me moderate dementia along with other diseases and I am her full time caregiver, can't afford any help, husband and I of 11 years are divorcing, men come and go, but a mom and dad are the only ones we get, It really hurts me to see husbands not have empathy, I will never remarry maybe date, maybe not, as long as I take care of mom and am good with God that really is all that matters to me, will keep you in my prayers, God Bless
When we moved our mother into an assisted living facility, it was against her will, but none of us could handle her. We were asked by the facility to not come visit for 4 weeks - just to give her a chance to accustom herself. Our first visit was tentative, at best, but now, mother doesn't even remember that she had another place. Please give your dad more time than 3 days. I betcha he will learn to like the place. We had found a facility that has music, bible study, field trips, physical exercises. They are sure to knock on her door when time for group activities, so she doesn't have too much time to brood. She's happily adjusted. I'm glad we moved her to assisted living because she wasn't eating well, missing her meds and had baracaded herself into her room, now she's integrated and doing well.
My sympathies for all your problems that you face. What struck me was your comment about the contentious 3.5 yr marriage and your husband not tolerant of needy people so he bailed. I believe that if this man bailed on you for this situation, then he would not be there for you if and when you need him in the future in the event, e.g. you becoming sick yourself. I was married to a total narcissist for 20 years and I ended up going through a very tough divorce while I was caretaking for my mom who was a stroke survivor. I believe that divorcing him brought me eventual peace because if I hadn't it would have been in constant turmoil and stress because i would have been pulled in two different directions. this month was the 15th anniversary of my being the solo caretaker for my 91 year old mom. It is a lonely place to be at times, but that is preferable to constant turmoil in an unhappy marriage. Good luck!
You are in going through a tough situation and it's a shame that your husband couldn't support you. But, I truly believe all things work out for the best and you are doing the right thing. Hang in there!
So sorry you're in such a tough situation. Just to add to what others have said, people with dementia say a lot of things they don't mean. Resist the urge to "crisis manage". Don't swing into action and try to fix things each time an incident happens. Allow some time, consult with doctors, etc. to figure out what's really going on.

Moving him out of the facility after only a few days was probably too soon. I would consider moving him back into a facility and sticking it out longer. Give him and the staff time to get used to each other. Staff should expect this behavior from dementia patients. Maybe the facility was just a bad fit for him.

There are different kinds of facilities: some follow a social model (activities based), others follow a medical model(hospital-like). My mom currently lives at her home with a 24 hr caregiver. Her children want the best for her but she made it clear earlier in her life that under no conditions should we feel obligated to bring her into our homes. (My grandmother lived with us growing up and it caused alot of stress for my mom.). Her caregiver is wonderful but we know we will need to move her into a place eventually. We are looking into a facility that follows the "social model" for dementia care.

If you want to save your marriage, then move your dad out and ask your husband to meet you halfway. He needs to understand that you must take some time to care for your parent. That's what decent people do. Just like you would have cared for him (and he for you.... hopefully?). Don't sacrifice your happiness completely if you still want your relationship to work.

However, if you feel your husband wouldn't be there for you in sickness and health, then dealing with him may not be worth the additional strain. He's demonstrated he's not there through good times and bad. Maybe he's too immature or selfish.

Good luck.
Always check the prescriptions he is taking because those drugs could very likely be causing his dementia and his behavior and he may not need them. Make sure your dad is taking some high quality nutritional supplements. A good vitamin B complex is excellent for the nervous system. Magnesium calms the nerves down. If he is taking a statin (cholesterol-lowering drug) TOSS IT OUT. Statins are a scam drug that lowers cholesterol and lessens the risk of a cardiovascular event by a less than 3%. Very lousy end result. At the same time, statins cause dementia, heart failure and muscle destruction. Oh and BTW, take it as a blessing in disguise that your husband moved out. You don't want a partner who cannot handle taking care of someone. Just imagine what he would do if you took ill and needed him to care for you. Good riddance to him.
I feel so bad for you dealing with all of that with no support from your hiusband.
He doesn't deserve you if he is so unreasonable. I recently moved my mentally
ill son in with us and while my husband of 24 years did not move out he has been hostile and nasty to my son. I don't feel I have a choice as I will not put
my son out on the street . He is not capable of caring for himself and we cannot afford to care for him in his own place.Our husbands are being selfish and
lacking compassion.
Yes, I agree with you God does love caregivers and he would not put anymore on us then we can't handle. I am also a care giver for my father of 75 years old, and he too has dementia in which he is demanding more attention I am doing this by myself. I am a full time student online and work part time and I am 54 years old. Although, I am not in the situation you find yourself with your husband leaving you at a time you needed his support the most I can understand how you feel when it comes to your dad.
Maybe finding someone temporary like a life coach who can help you sort out one problem at a time it may help or finding other support group. As far as the Alzheimer's getting advance on your dad now is the time to begin looking for a facility which has a unit for Alzheimer's patient so you would be ready to release your dad into someone's else care. No one will ever care for your dad like you can however, their are people who are equip to care for him.
You have done a great job in caring for your dad now is time to let someone else help you carry the load you have been carrying. Don't allow yourself to stay in that state you find yourself in get help and support, you still have a lot to offer someone. One more type of support may help is the church and prayer. I will keep you in my prayers.
God Bless you care giver

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