Finding social time for elders with other elders.

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Good grief. I am so freaking tired. Sad to say I don't want to be home for any length of time due to burn out and not feeling very angelic. I just realized this evening that I can't seem to calm down my inside when in-laws sit on the front porch and do NOTHING and of course there is the illusion that they are waiting for and anticipating something from ME. I was gone most of the day, my kids were with someone else - love that woman - and I am home and my kids are tired and....crying a bunch and I wish the in-laws could just take up reading for a hobby or......something. I need to do a LOT of things but also need to squeeze in some sort of required social time to MAKE them go to as I am SOOOO different from them and feel in a constant depressive state as soon as I get home. Ugh. Where do you go to 'find them friends' when they refuse to go to church with us, refuse every suggestion......and I am thinking - tough. I can not be your social life. My leaving the house for any length of time leaves me exhausted and frustrated. Better go make myself make dinner but am open to suggestions.


You are not responsible for their social life. It is very kind of you to offer suggestions and it sounds like you have been doing that. You might look into the activities in the local senior center and perhaps have additional suggestions for them. But bottom line is, you are not responsible for their social life. If they want to sit on the porch and "wait" for something, that is their business.

Perhaps you are so used to arranging things for your children to do, seeing to it that their social companions are not bad influences, and looking after their socialization and smooth functioning in a social setting, that you can't detach from these adults in your midst. Your in-laws are not your children. You are not responsible for finding them something construction or pleasant or socially acceptable to do. They are all grown up now, right? They want to sit on the porch and watch the crabgrass grow, hey, that's their priviledge.
Well......I need a break from them being here all the time and the guilt hovering behavior. I know they are all grown up but so am I and need to have some time away within my own home. I totally get what you are saying. I don't have to worry about or set up my own children's activities etc as we don't have any 'issues' there. Is it wrong to want to spend some time alone with my family?
With my own children I am not accustomed to having to 'entertain' them or having that sort of expectation. Grumpy stares passing through gets a bit wearing. Never any cheerful interaction or conversation with any of us. I am busily ignoring all this to the best of my ability but just saying.......a break here and there might be selfishly nice now and then.
Ah, I think I understand the situation a little better. The question is how can you get them out of the house so that you can have some privacy, right? Like it would be great if they had choir practice every Wednesday night, and bowling league Monday mornings, and volunteering at the food shelf on Saturdays -- times you could count on having the house to yourselves.

Keep trying with the suggestions. Maybe you'll hit something they are receptive to.

Would it work to be frank? Maybe your husband could be the one to try it. What if he said, "Mom and Dad, we are so glad to share our home with you. I think it is working out pretty well to combine our households. One thing that would be a bit of an improvement, though, is if you spent some time away from the house on a regular basis. Maybe you could go to the bargain matinee at the mall on Tuesdays, or see what is going on at the senior center a couple of afternoons a week. You can find whatever activities you like, but I think it would be good for us and good for you, too, to not spend every waking minute in the same house." I don't know the nature of your relationship and whether this would work of not. Would it be worth trying?

I think also, though, it will help some for you to accept that they like to sit around and do nothing. That they aren't necessarily waiting for you to do something, and even if they are, you have no responsibility to do it. I have to admit, I think it would be creepy to have people sitting around doing absolutely nothing -- that I could cope better if they were playing cards or reading magazines or doing crosswords. But creepy or not, I think for your own peace of mind you'll do better to just accept them as they are.

(Of course if they were in a care center and they sat on the patio all day staring at the bird feeders, that wouldn't be your problem, would it? Try to make it Not Your Problem if they behave like that in your house.)
Sigh. I am working on not caring. Husband did talk to them and I did too last night as she decides we are 'doing something to her' and then next is the pouting etc. are right.....if they were in some sort of care center no one would care at all if they sat all day and did nothing. I am working on deliberately not even making too much eye contact as usually they stare and say nothing in any sort of conversational way. people I am family with so am not accustomed to this custom. I am looking into a place that isn't too far to see what they have to offer. Her other daughter and son sort of brain washed her into thinking she had to hover around fil and that is simply not true. Hovering makes him crankier. Perhaps breathing through the next week or so of the kids getting back to school etc and ignoring will sort of set the training ground so to speak. FIL has a career or PHD in sititng and doing nothing. He is fine with that. MIL is restless and has to be doing and sees mentally disturbed by my sitting or reading or vegging out on the internet. The restlessness is also part of the 'hard to take' thing so I suppose my meditating more on ignoring will help. I have had a soap box of the meaning of people are separate beings and that it isn't one person's job to fix the other......Lol....the irony. I just get weary of MIL trying to fix me or the kids with suggestions and changing stuff around here. Blah, blah, blah......back to the dinner prep.
Correction.....say nothing in any conversational way......more like they say.....NOTHING.... stare.
Wait a minute, mom29and2inlaws. Your MIL tries to fix you, and changes stuff around your house. Whoa, Nellie! Not helping is one thing. Interfering is something else altogether.

How soon can you check out that care center?
It is on my to do list. I is tired. I DOOO appreciate your in put. I will probably be around this site quite a bit in the future.
Mom29: Yes, do check out a care center. There are places that do Day Care. It sounds like it would be worth the monetary cost to have them spend their days somewhere else. I found that it worked wonders for my husband. It helped me too, even though all I did the first week was sleep.

Assisted living is also a good choice.

Perhaps the first place to begin, though, is "in home help." I started with someone to entertain him while I did housework and other necessary chores. It sounds strange, but it really helped. After I got to know the caregiver, I went out shopping (grocery, clothes, etc.) I even started at a low key gym (just to work the kinks out of my body).

On the other hand, have you tried just letting them sit? That's all some folks want to do. They're living in their memories and current activity just irritates them.

Remember YOU are also a person. Your wishes and needs DO count in the hierarchy of what needs to be done.

Blessings on you.
Thanks. I was telling my husband that what I really think is the problem, is that I never hear that it is okay with everyone for me to just rest and get mentally away from it all. Physically away. I need to hear that it is okay and that I don't have any responsibilities for a bit and to just go rest and take care of MYSELF. I am so unbelievable tired. I hate feeling desperate. They don't really even know right now how desperate I am and probably think my kids are the problem. Well.....they are part of it as they need care as well but I simply need some guilt free time away. Deep sigh. Need to get the zzzz's so I can even partially function tomorrow. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Very helpful.

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