Hindsight is 20/20.

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Due to failing health, we made the decision after careful consideration to build on to our house and move in my 82 year old father in law and his 85 year old wife in with us. My husband was fortunate to take an early retirement and he would take care of them: Drive them to doctors appts, grocery shopping, physical therapy, etc. Well, four months later we are regretting it big time! At first, we thought that other family members would step up and take some of the load off (pick them up for the day, take them for lunch, or just run some errands with them) to give my hubby a break. But NO ONE wants to help, only calls once or twice a month. So disappointing! Never did we think it would be so stressful! My FIL is starting to show signs of Alzheimers. My step mother in law is also very forgetful. They need lots of supervision. Reasons too many to list on here...They also don't appreciate anything we do for them. My husband cooks all their meals, takes them anywhere they want to go, over sees their prescription drug and is literally at their beck and call. We have no privacy even though our house is quite large now. We are starting to feel taken advantage of. We took this on because we didn't want to have to put them in a retirement home and they didn't want to live in an apartment. They have a mobile home in Arizona but they are unable to care for themselves and there is no family there. My FIL is frail and if he falls his wife cannot pick him up and the nearest quality doctor/hospital is in Las Vegas an hour away.. My husband is being run ragged and stressed out..It is putting a huge strain on our marriage and I dont know anyway out without putting them in a home nearby...


YUP. Nope they will not help you, same thing happened to me. 3 people said they would help after returning from surgeries. 1 did for 2 weeks, 2nd one 2 days, after that is was over. I've been caregiving since last October and we just had another surgery. Hired help got me through the worst of it. Last Dec/Jan, I almost ended up in the hospital from exhaustion. Things are better, her 2nd surgery seems to have fixed the problem and I can see some freedom in my near future. I have developed my relationship with God and is probably the only reason I'm still sane. YUP. Find a local CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP Right Away!!!!! They can help you, emotionally, a little bit financially. I attend church regularly, and they have been supportive too!
How I wish we all could have a crystal ball to show what the future would be regarding caring for our parent(s). We probably would make different arrangements.

Never did I ever think I would be so emotionally spent and physically tired and I am not even caring for my parents as they still live independently in their own home. I am tired from all the worry as their home is no longer elder proof, and they refuse to move into something easier to deal with. Tired of being in doctor waiting rooms. Tired of buying their groceries only to have my Mom say the fresh produce "taste funny". Etc.

jenodell123, I give your husband a lot of credit for wanting to do all that he does to care for his parents.... but now he probably feels like he has lost control of the situation. I had to drive my parents anywhere they wanted to go for the past 5 years, until this year when I finally put my foot down.... now will only drive if it is something urgent, like a doctor appointment, grocery, barber shop... not to a big box store so they can wander around for an hour and have only 1 or 2 things in their cart to buy. I now use an on-line grocery store home delivery or curb side pick-up, what a great time saver.
"we thought that other family members would step up and take some of the load off" Why did you think that? Did other family members promise certain things? Or did you assume it because it would have been the decent thing to do? Your husband made a decision, but that doesn't obligate any other family members to support that decision. Perhaps they would have preferred to see the parents in a good care center. In any case, don't expect things to change on the help front.

"They also don't appreciate anything we do for them." I don't pretend to understand this but it seems to be VERY common. Maybe showing appreciation would first mean they'd have to accept their own infirmaries and admit they need a lot of help from others. It doesn't seem to be personal, but, gosh, it feels that way, doesn't it?

Yes, hindsight is often 20/20. It is too bad you couldn't have had a 4-month trial before making permanent changes to the house, but it is what it is. Did you pay for the remodeling or did you use FIL's money?

Maybe the situation can be salvaged, at least for a while. Set boundaries, enforce limits, give up on expecting help from siblings and arrange for paid help (from your in-laws funds). Get respite care, so you and hubby can take vacations and have time to yourselves. 24/7/365 care for two people with failing health is incompatible with retaining your sanity!

Perhaps you can make this work a little more happily for a while. But I doubt it will be happy-ever-after. Dementia progresses. It gets worse. That is the nature of that hideous condition. It is likely that you are either going to need increasing in-home care, or for them to move into a care center with three shifts of staff to look after them.

I came to this site prior to being a 24/7 caregiver due to my parents aging. My mother passed away before needing that type of care. My father is still alive at age 87 living independently with my stepmother. This site has educated me about what it is like to be a 24/7 caregiver. Will not do it!!! If only there was some way to reach others before they committ themselves. Most people come to this site after they become 24/7 caregivers.
Nobody listens when we tell them not to do this. Nobody. Their hero cape unfurls and their hearts overflow with schmaltz. Well, now you know. So now you look around for Assisted Living for them.
OK, so in hindsight, you made a big mistake. That doesn't mean you have to continue along the same path to oblivion. Start to look now for places your in-laws can go and get them settled into a new place before it's an emergency situation. If they both have memory issues, they'll need increasing care over time. It doesn't get better, it only gets worse.

Spend some time reading on this site and learn the next big hurdle is to make plans BEFORE it's an emergency situation. Get them into assisted living with an attached memory care unit, so they can move there when it's necessary. Or start bringing in outside help if you're determined to keep them in your home. But read through the posts on this site about people taking care of loved ones 24/7 with Alzheimers. That's enough to scare the heck out of you, particularly if you have two people to deal with.
I'm guessing you're in Pahrump, or maybe Laughlin. Your best chance for Assisted Living is going to be in the Vegas valley. I can't imagine that the smaller cities have much to offer and as you said, here's where the doctors and hospitals are. You can search on line for places to check out. There are some nice private pay facilities that have been satisfactory for people in the support group I attend at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Brain Center. You know you can generally get to Vegas relatively quickly even if you are in one of the outlying areas. Just for the rest of us, even though you carefully thought this through, where do you think things went wrong? What assumptions did not pan out? This would be good advice for others thinking about doing something similar.
Thank you for the info, vegaslady. We live in Covina, Ca. They have a mobile home in Bullhead, AZ...I assure you all, we were not trying to be 'heroes' or 'martyrs'. We were simply trying to do the right thing..We were so worried with them living so far away with no family nearby. My FIL was overusing his pain meds and there were times when he had fallen and their neighbors were not home and his wife had to leave him on the floor until the next morning. Also, his wife has a habit of leaving the stove on, putting raw meat in with other food, not locking doors,etc....My husbands brother and his wife promised that they would come and pick them up ever so often but since February, they have done no such thing...They've only visited twice briefly...We have been married 27 years, this is not going to break us....I am going to look into respite care so that we can get some relief...thanks everyone....
oh, and I forgot to add that before we made the decision, the other sibling ignored the situation and felt they should just stay where they are and let what might happen, happen....It was my husband who drove four hours every time there was a crisis to help them, not the other son. The other son is also retired in case you are wondering. Again, not trying to be 'heroes' just trying to do the right thing
Jen, no good deed goes unpunished.

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