Help with elderly husband.

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My husband is 15 years older than me and is now entering a stage where he seems to be slowly going downhill. In addition, he also seems to be suffering from depression. This started after bypass surgery 5 years ago. After the surgery, he has pretty much done nothing to help himself in terms of keeping up his physical therapy, etc. As a result, his mobility is getting worse and worse. The bad part is he won't admit to his physical decline. He has pretty much stopped home maintenance and doing anything else around the house. That's ok if he can't do it BUT he refuses to hire help! So guess who gets to do all of this work...me. I've had to hire people to get stuff done but this always causes a battle as he says he will do it...but never does. Well, some things can't wait forever, so I've had to take on all home maintenance which I don't want to do. I recently retired and don't want to spend my retirement years taking care of a large house AND yard work. (we need to downsize but he refuses to move). I don't know what to do. I've thought about going ahead and buying my own condo and moving out and leave him here. But I know he would not take care of the house and it would fall into disrepair. I also think he is very depressed and have talked to him about that...but again he refuses to admit it. (I've also talked with his Cardio Dr's) but you can't make a person take antidepressants. I think he would be happier and I certainly would be happier if he were in a better mood and be cooperative in helping me deal with things. How do you deal with a stubborn elderly person!!

1 Comment

What do the cardio docs say? I have a friend who has been depressed since bypass surgery several years ago. This is a known after-effect. He has been told by different doctors 8 times that he should be on an antidepressant, but he refuses to fill the prescriptions. His wife is at her wits' end! What is with these guys who refuse to be treated for something obvious and treatable?!

Would an ultimatum motivate him to treat his depression? "I love you. I want to spend happy years with you in our retirement. I am so glad the bypass surgery worked! But it left you with an after-effect and you haven't been quite your old self since then. I want to try to get the old you back. I want us both to see Dr X and for you to do what he suggests. If you are not willing to make that effort, then I am in charge of all household maintenance decisions. I will not consult you. And I will look for a smaller home by myself. I hope you will cooperate with a treatment plan and that we can work together as we used to, but if not, I am prepared to take matters into my own hands."

There is a lot of material about depression after bypass surgery. You can easily find some with a quick internet search. Is your husband the kind of guy who might be swayed by evidence, and knowing he is not alone?

I don't know what to tell you, but this is a pretty drastic situation. Maybe it is time to take drastic measures.

Good luck. I would be very interested in hearing what you are trying, and if anything works for you!

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