What do you do when you care for your father-in-law 24/7 with no relief from anyone?

Started by

I have been doing this for 5 years now on top of taking care of my own dad who has a brain tumor and no one helps me or will relieve me for a while to spend time to myself not even my husband.


you call a family pow-wow

You notify each adult family member that you are quitting the caregiver jobs effective October 1. They will be moved to nursing homes unless every family member bellies up to the bar to take on a fair share of this effort.

Then...do it

My parents were the sole caregivers for my Grandma...for 9 years. The burden was terrible for them. Finally...they called a family pow-wow. Everyone showed up, but only to try to shame my parents! Well..when the final week came and it was clear it wasn't just a threat, only then did the share of her care get parceled out. With each taking Grandma for 3 months at a time in rotation. You can be sure, as long as everyone thought they had full time free care they would do nothing.
KatieKate is so right. Until you force the issue, they will continue to take advantage of you.
You are an easy solution for everyone. And it's not even your own father. KatieKate is right. Put your foot down. Let the family figure out how to take of their blood relative.
"no one helps me or will relieve me for a while to spend time to myself not even my husband"

Hm, that doesn't say anything good about your marriage. It is impossible to really understand your situation with the little bit of information you have given us here; is your marriage worth saving? Do you have kids, if so what are their thoughts? Do you care for both of them in your own home? How old are you and hubs?

The simplest (not necessarily easiest) solution is to put yourself and your needs first. For some reason everyone has begun to see the role as caregiver as your only role, not considering your desires/needs to be wife, mother, employee, friend and all the other things that make you feel whole. Plan your escape; book an extended holiday, inform everyone of the date you will be gone, and go. Family (or you if you are feeling merciful) can either arrange respite care - thus setting a new precedent - or step up to fill your (very large) shoes. While you are removed from the situation you will be better able to see the forest for the trees and to decide if you are willing or able to return, and what changes need to be made if you do.
Dont the men u are caring for have medicare if so chk the adult day care out or a aide on each men to come and sit with them..how in the world did u get chosen to do this since there must be other siblings involved? Have you informed them of this ? If not thy must had just dropped these 2 men off on you .
First, if one or more is receiving Medicaid, not Medicare...I would check to see if your state does Medicaid Waivers. This is where the state pays you for taking care of a loved one rather than a nursing home. It kept me from putting my mother in a home and paid me. If that not the case, I would have a family meeting and each member on both sides, pony up $50-$100 a month. Next Walmart has a Tend Camera which I love. It has dual audio and I can in "real time" watch my mother on my cell while I am doing errands. Use the extra funds to treat yourself out at least once a week and pay for an aide to "babysit" while you are gone. If no one likes it, then consider a nursing home. Keep in mind your decision won't please everyone so just make sure you are happy.
What do you want for yourself? Time for a family meeting. If that doesn't work see commutergirl's comments. Don't get pushed around.
Check out Lynn's Light on Facebook. The short answer is get hospice on board (one doctor referral); hospice will come to the house; and request "respite." It is a way for hospice to take your father for a multiple day break. If you have problems in your community completing this; leave me a message and I will assist. Putting your foot down doesn't get you prompt help.
It sounds to me like it may be time to use his money to hire in-home healthcare. If this isn't possible, I would be calling APS and letting them know you're struggling with this and you need help but no one else is helping. I don't know if this particular person really needs as much care as he's getting or not, but if he needs a higher level of care it's time to turn for help or consider putting him into a facility
Many people are responding with answers that are good but the care may cost money that isn't available. I agree with Katiekate. The family needs to meet. Invite them for a dinner, BBQ, party without a point ( no birthdays, etc.). If the family knows what the meeting is about, some may not come. Then, after they've eaten, give them the run down, an ending date and tell them that the next day after your deadline you and your dad are going on a bucket list trip. Hopefully your dad can travel, even if it's to the next town. No one needs to know where you're going, including your husband. You probably have a cell phone so he can reach you. Just say it's a road trip. Then leave as you said. Don't prepare meals for while you're gone. If the deadline passes and you don't leave, life will go on as it has these last five years. If there are complaints you're going to spend money on yourself, tell them it's back pay for the last five years.

Getting some time alone with your dad is important while you still have him. If he can't travel, go somewhere on your own any way. Visit friends or family who live out of town or even out of state. Plan to sleep the first day away. (My mom always complains that I sleep the first day I'm visiting.) By going away it forces the situation onto the family. There may be family who think you are happy doing this. Obviously they have blinders on.

Remember, the caregiver needs to give to the caregiver first, so that they have something to give to their loved one. Good luck!

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