Was it too much to take on, there is no instruction manual for things like this?

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I am a stay-at-home mom to 4 children, all 10 years old or younger, and my husband works full time. My husband's father had a stroke about a year ago, and lived with a close family friend until recently when they could not financially afford it any longer. When my husband and I discussed his father moving in with us I was not aware of how bad his health was. After the stroke his left side became "paralyzed". He has days where he can barely move, much less attempt walking. He frequently has issues with bed wetting or bowel movements. He will repeatedly attempt to take a dry pair of underwear off, stating that they are wet, when it was just a minute before that he used the restroom. We have to keep a constant eye on him, making it extremely difficult to take care of household chores or to assist our children with things they need. My father in law and I have never really known each other either, so assisting him throughout the day while my husband is at work seems awkward for the both of us sometimes. I do not know how to take care of him, as I have never had to do anything like it in my life. There seems to be no instruction manual for things like this, and I could use any advice on the situation, whether it be medical/emotional/financial...any advice is helpful at this point.

Answers 1 to 10 of 27
First of all, why isn't he wearing adult diapers? I would think that would fix the problem of bladder control. Is there a reason he's not able to live in an adult foster care home? They're usually cheaper, and the care is more one on one. Also, if that's not gonna happen, then you're going to need assistance of some sort. Why did the other family member 'not afford it financially' anymore? Did they foot the cost of his care themselves? See, I think that if someone is taking care of someone with those problems, then there ought to be money for extra hands in helping with whatever needs to be done. This is gonna wreck your marriage Lesle if you and your husband don't sit down and make a plan. Get yourselves on the same page, you're all in this together. Good luck.
I am the caretaker for my father-in-law too. Adult diapers would help a lot, but bringing up the topic and getting an old man to wear them is difficult.
I have found the most taxing of it all, is the wear and tear it has done to my marriage. My husband is not the type of person to prepare, plan or face a difficult situation.
Knowing what I know now, I never would have agreed to do this. I applaud you, esp.,, with small children. You should be proud of yourself.
Is your FIL able to make sound, medical decissions? Does he drive? What is his personality like?
Top Answer
In hindsight, it really was too much to take on, wasn't it? Adding a person who needs fulltime care to the household without adding more caring capacity is extremely stressful.

But there was no manual, you didn't really know what you were getting into, and he's there now. Now what?

One approach would be to place him in a long term care facility that is staffed around the clock, and where the caregivers do it in shifts, not 24/7, and they get time off and vacations, etc. They've also had training and lots of experience. It sounds like FIL will need Medicaid to pay for such care. You and your husband can start the process of applying. If you do go this route, be sure your whole family visits often, calls, the kids send homemade cards and silly jokes, etc. If you don't have the burden of day-to-day care you may actually be able to form better relationships.

The other approach that could work would be to keep him with you, but arrange for additional in-home help. Again, it may be necessary to apply for Medicaid or some Elderly Waiver program meant to keep elders out of nursing homes and in the community when possible. Any income he has (SS, pension, whatever) should go toward his care. If that is not enough (as it often isn't) seek financial aid.

A place to start piecing together an instruction manual is to talk to a medical social worker -- perhaps at the hospital or rehab where he was treated for his stroke, or by calling the senior services agency in your county.

Good luck to you.
The walgreen brand of briefs are excellent. I have my gma on a schedule, I take her to the restroom every two hours. I have to turn her then anyway. Do you have a lift or is he mobile? Caretenders are an excellent resource. I feel for you, I too have young kids. I miss them, she takes up so much of my time. How are your babies handling this? It may sound mean but, you have to put him on a schedule just like your toddler. Many nights she argues and says that she is not going to bed @8:30but, I put her there anyway. Mind you, the Tv is on in her room, I am not cruel.I enjoy reading with my daughter, catching up with my son and saying our prayers together. It is the only family time we have left But, I have to turn her at 12, 3am and then up at 5:30 getting everyone off to work and school. Groundhog day!
He is in adult diapers, but sometimes refuses to wear them, insisting that they are wet, and will take them off. The people previously taking care of him had 2 homes in 2 different states and could not afford to pay for their other home and the one they took care of him in anymore, so they took off for their other home in a different state. Lately, his mind seems to be worsening, almost seems like alzheimers or dementia, and his mobility has worsened considerably, to the point where to move him takes every bit of strength i have. Dgrey, my husband is the same way, facing any conflict or difficult situation, he tends to run from leaving me to deal with it. I have made a doctor's appointment with his regular physician so that I can discuss the issues we have witnessed since he has been in our care. We also have a friend coming twice a week to help me so that I may care for the children and do housework, and to relieve me from my duties assisting his father. We are still trying to determine a way to get medical help from the outside though. The bathing process is difficult because of his low mobility, and lately he has only been eating a few bites at supper time, and an Ensure drink around lunch time. I think my biggest concerns are what life is going to be like for us, my husband and I, and our children, and the damage that all of this could do to our relationships. Do any of you have any advice on that subject?
How can I place my Mom in an assisted living facility when she is legally blind, hard of hearing, unstable in walking and has a swallowing problem. She has to have her food cut in tiny pieces and soup pureed. Her caregiver now blends her cream of wheat to make it very smooth. Anything that has peices in it she spits out and goes YUK.
She now thinks she is not in her own home and her dementia is getting worse.
We are running low on funds and don't know how much longer we can pay the 24/7 help. Keeping her with me is not an option.
Leslea.....deciding to keep a family member in your home or whether to place them outside the home is a big decision and unfortunately if you decide on the latter sometimes a bit of guilt will try and enter into that decision and that is something that you need to be aware of and prepared for. The benefits in keeping them in your home versus placing them will help to make a decision and I found that writing everything down..pro/con...clarified things. Every single one of us were not prepared for the actual care giving....my husband and I both have medical backgrounds.....and after 2 years it was too much on me physically as I have a disability and we placed my mother-in-law in a nursing home. She has Alzheimer's and was a fall risk and it was a fall that prompted her move. I found that it was and still is okay to place in a nursing home. It doesn't mean that you have failed....it means that you care enough about your loved one to see that they have the best of care available. It isn't easy to care for someone in your home, especially when you have children that need you, and the elder care will impact your family to a great degree. There will be time spent with the elder that takes you away from a family function, time spent with doctor appt and the list goes on. And yes, it does have an impact on one's marriage. If both partners are not committed 100% to the care giving then there will be conflict. Take a look around this website....there are a myriad of helpful articles and comments and you will see that there are a lot of stressed out care givers......others say they don't have problems........so you are not alone in wishing for a "care giving manual"......unfortunately no one has yet to write one that gives the real facts. Regardless of which way you go with the care giving....additional help will be needed. If you think Medicaid assistance with finances will be needed then start the paperwork now as it can take several months to get approval. And just as something to file away....if you go the Medicaid route start making copies and document every single penny of fil's money that is spent on him. You will need to account for that....each state has their own guidelines for Medicaid eligibility. I'm sure you will make the best decision for all concerned.....Good Luck!
Smiling -- your kids didn't come with an instruction manual either.... or your husband... any other part of our lives. You've put your finger on something basic: we're stretching all the time. That's the good news. Sometimes it's incredibly hard. That's the bad news. Take it one step at a time, chip away at solving the details with stuff like the advice you've gotten here, make the best choices you can in the moment -- the individual moments that come one after another and not all at once (thank heavens!!) -- and keep breathing. Best to you.
golfqueen.......from the sounds of Mom's symptoms she should be in a skilled nursing facility. Are there any in your vicinity that you would consider? You should first start looking at homes, then take a tour of them and talk with the Administrator....find out what programs are available, etc. Also find out about admittance criteria. Most homes have so many beds that are private pay, some that are public assistance such as Medicaid, which is what you will need for Mom. Each state has their own criteria for qualification. The home will usually have someone who can help you with the paperwork. This whole process doesn't have to be a long drawn-out affair, but you will need to get busy to find a suitable place. Unfortunately not all homes are equal. I wish you good luck in your search and let us know how things progress.
Just wanted to put in a good word for nursing homes. Of course they are all different - my mother is in a lovely one. They have activities all the time, residents can dine in the dining room. And there is entertainment almost every week. They have a concierge who goes around throughout the day to visit residents and ask if they need or want anything. I believe this service is only in nursing home chains. But it is such a plus.

She also can attend religous services on site. Nursing homes of the present are not nursing homes of the past. After visiting different ones; some are a lot nicer than others. Just need to research first. These are difficult decisions and not easy. You have to take into consideration, your own health and that of your family, especially if children are home. My MIL lived with us until she passed with alzheimers, incontinent - adult diapers - are a lifesaver and walking problems. So I understand all the problems that go along with caretaking in the home. Just need to make decision that is best for all concerned.

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