My home is not my home anymore.

Started by

My dad is living with my husband and I for over a year and a half. He is in dementia so he cannot live alone. He is not bad enough to go into a nursing home yet, but I am going crazy! I am an only child, no children, no family, no help! My husband travels all week, so I am here with dad as a one man show most of the time. It is not that he requires too much care, except meals, turning on TV, meds, etc. in other words he can bath and dress himself, that's about it. I can still leave him for a short period of time. My problem is I have no space, my husband and I have no privacy, I have no privacy! I use to have a fabulous relationship with my dad, now I resent him being in my face 24/7, the tv is always blaring. His room is very small, no space for TV and if there was he would t stay there. There is no answer really, I just wonder if anyone else feels this way? I feel like such a selfish monster!!


Can you afford some respite care or a paid caregiver to come in part of the day for several days, so you can get out yourself and spend time away from your dad? I think anyone would feel the way you feel. You have lost your privacy and the privacy of the relationship with your husband. I'd also try to get someone to sit with him so you and your husband can go out by yourselves for a meal or a movie - just some alone time between the two of you.

I see there's a senior center in your town - have you seen if there are activities your dad could participate in there? Getting him around some other people would be good for the both of you. I try to get my mom out so I'm not the only person she sees and she's always perkier after being around other people. Good're not alone and you're being a wonderful daughter to your dad.
I am able to get out, he is ok alone so far, if it's not too long. My problem is I long for a day in my house where I can just be by myself, in my own living room, or an evening with my husband watching what we want to on TV without worrying if dad can understand the program. I have been begin him to go to the senior center and he is uncomfortable because his communication skills are so compromised from the dementia. He also doesn't want to be around old people, he is almost
89! Finally I have talked him I to it and we go tomorrow, but he will be on my arm the whole time. He is my shadow, and although I feel bad for him, I am very frustrated and tired of our togetherness! I feel like I am 88! I guess I just need to vent and not feel like I am a monster.
Well keep him going to the senior center long enough that he can get comfortable. I've learned with my mom (who doesn't have dementia but is almosst 94 and has no short-term memory) that I can't listen to what she wants because she no longer has the ability to make good decisions. I usually don't tell her when I'm taking her out because she'll say she doesn't want to go and is too tired. I had that today, when I told her we were going out to get a hair trim and for lunch. She called me 20 minutes later to say she didn't want to go, she was too tired. We went because I knew she'd enjoy herself once I got her out. And she did. So even if your dad says he doesn't like it, hang in there with getting him out with others.

Maybe they have some activities for others with dementia? If not, they should start some, since it's so prevalent. That's funny about him not wanting to be with old people, LOL. You're NOT a monster, you're a loving daughter trying to do the best you can for your dad without losing your own happiness in the process.
Respite -- time to yourself -- is necessary. Don't wait until you have a total meltdown. A senior center is fine. Adult Day Health centers are awesome! Having someone in to help is also good.

I would have gone stark raving mad if I had had to listen to tv at the volume my husband required it. Wireless headphones were our salvation! He could hear better, he could even keep listening while he ran to the bathroom, and I didn't hear it at all!
P.S. Would you be able to put a TV in your dad's room if it was hung from the ceiling (like they used to do in hospitals)? They have those "arm" things that you can use to elevate the TV. Or get him a small flatscreen TV and hang it on his wall - it's no bigger than a picture. The wireless headphones are a great idea too. My dad had those and loved them.
The wired headphones are awesome. I got a double, so one could sit in the charger while he wore the other....he wore them a lot!

You are FAR from being a selfish monster! You are doing he best you can, it gets to anyone and everyone.

I do think you need a little respite. I hope you get some. A senior center activity may be good for dad as well.

Pat yourself on the back, you are a good daughter.

God Bless,
You are not alone!!!!!!! I just wish I could have one day by myself! My mom sits in the same room as my husband and I and doesn't go to bed until the weather is over. I want my life back!!!!!! Privacy..please! My mom does not like people and refuses to go to a senior center. Maybe we could get your dad and my mom together! Hugs......
Thanks everyone...Skyzonnie, our parents sound like twins! But dad is ok with people,he is just so insecure now, and he always was that way in his best days, now even more. He has always chosen my husband and I over being social with others.
Dad also stays up as long as we do. I love him, but also love my husband. Literally I thank God for my husband who endures all of this.
We did go to the senior center, I did all the talking and socializing, poor dad just smiled at everyone. I could tell he was so uncomfortable. I am taking him next week and will keep going and see how he responds. It is so important for him to be around other people, particularly if I come to a place where I can no longer have him at home. I want him to be a bit more accustomed to different surroundings.
As to the tv ears, he doesn't like that, but I am going to try again. He has had a skin cancer removed from his ear which was really deep, so he cannot wear the hearing aid on that ear, so it gets frustration ing for both of us.
Thanks all for your comments and concerns. I really needed to vent in a safe place.
How about a little "revamping" of your rooms so your dad has his own "suite" complete with private TV, etc. I would also put my foot down and tell him that he needs to use the wireless headphones or he may NOT watch TV in the rest of the house. It is YOUR house, after all, not your dad's house.
The kind of wireless headphones my dad had didn't go inside his ears, they were just big old clunky headphones that sat over the top of his head and had padded ear pieces that sat on top of his ears like earmuffs. If you search for Sony wireless headphones, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Keep taking your dad to the senior center. And leave him there for a short time so he has to socialize on his own and not totally depend on you. Talk to the head person beforehand so they know what you're doing and they can keep an eye out for your dad and include him. You're a good daughter! Married to a good husband for sure!!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support