How can I get my mom to see that my 81-year-old father, who's has suffered from a stroke, can't be her caregiver?

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First of all, I almost feel disrespectful talking about this, but my mom is extremely over weight, needs help dressing and bathing, can't put her own shoes on. She sits in her lounge chair, and watches tv and sleeps off and on, all day. I'm leaving my house and chores, to go and help my Dad, while my daughter's at school. He's so feeble, ( and mentally I see that he's slipping) trying to go up and down steps, doing laundry,cleaning,paying bills. She doesn't even take care of her oxygen-stuff. She knows nothing about managing the portable tanks, nor could she lift them. She can't drive, even though she will argue with you, that she could 'stay awake' behind the wheel, because she would have "something to do". She doesn't know how to even put gas in a vehicle. She needs a walking cart to hold on to, to get in and out of places, if a wheelchair isn't available, which my Dad has no business trying to lift that cart out of the van. ...but, HOW do I get her to see this? She will tell me that she can do these things, that my Dad just jumps in and waits on her every whim..but I've heard her, he doesn't do that, she asks him. If I would point blank put him on the spot, he would fib on her behalf. It's like the person that is the most disabled, is in control. If I make my mom mad at me? His life would be miserable. So, I just bite my tongue, and short myself time, and my house, and family get shorted. (I'm not 100% healthy, but I try) ..I really need some advice on how to handle this..I'm at a crossroad, and I don't want to make a mistake, that I'll regret. ):

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Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an answer that doesn't get you into trouble does there? Too bad you couldn't separate your father from your mother for the day, letting your mother see how much she actually can't do for herself. She seems to be pretty selfish to me, expecting her disable husband to still wait on her hand and foot. But then again, your dad has spoiled her, so why would she change? I have no advice I guess, other than to get your dad away for a short time to give mom a wake up call.
Thank you for your hubbie and I have been racking our brains, trying to think of a way to get them separated for the day. I would have to be 'busy' doing something at the same time, 'cuz usually, if it's a 'guy day', I'm the one who stays with my mom. My husband has been the biggest blessing to me, throughout all of this, and as a result, he and my Dad have grown very close. My mom has always been very dominate and controlling , not with just my father, but with his relationship with his children. It's a hard thing to see in a parent. She's definitely in denial, now, and is still wanting to control...thanks again for your idea! (:
My first advice is talk to your dad's doctor about what is going on at home. He needs to know the demands on his patient and might be able to help with intervening from that point of view. If your mother sees the same doctor, all the better, But, if her doctor is different, engage her doctor to see if he can get through to her. Apply for grants from Agency on AGing in your area and see if your dad is eligible for the Veteran's benefit for aide and attendance. You are the only one it seems that is capable of reaching out and asking for help. So, go for every dime of help you can get in your community. Meals on Wheels is another great idea.
We had the same issue a few years back & consulted with a
Geriatric Care Manager. They meet with us first to address our concerns & look at options available. We introduced them to my parents as Care Managers that would help assess our needs & how we (daughter & son-in-law) could best help them.
Care Manager talked to parents privately & steered them in the direction that was best for them. The good news....they thought it was their idea. That was 4 years ago & when we reach a hurdle they are their to help us through the process.
The Cameron Group in Orlando have been my life line.
As most of us find out sooner or later...Denial is not a river in Egypt. And God help the one who is the first to realize this and tries to do the right thing. My heart goes out to you and your husband.
I can't add much more to the good advice that previous caregivers have given you but would like to add that you must put yourself and your family first. If you fall who will be left to take care of the others?
If this means you and your husband need to detach from the situation for a couple of days or weeks then do that without guilt. Sometimes that is enough to dry of the river of denial you find yourself trying to navigate. And if your father needs a break take him with you and hire a professional companion to keep an eye on your mother while all of you are on sabbatical. Perhaps when you return, mom would be willing to listen to the Family Care Plan that the three of you have worked out and are ready to implement. This plan should include siblings, if any, and the Health Care Professionals providing care to your father and mother. You might also include financial matters such as POA and Long Term Care if it is needed. But under no circumstances should you accept things as they are now or you will wind up in the Asylum yourself.
You could try to give your parents choices, but make the question a win win choice! For instance, "Mom dad is unable to care for you, because he is unable to care for himself! Would you rather I take care of you both or would you both prefer to go to a nursing home?" In other words, they would be making the decision, which makes them feel better like they still have choices in life! Just make sure you can live with the two choices! You see my aunt had a simular situation with her 90 year old mother & her sister who had parts of her brain go completely dead. She went from a fully functioning adult to have to be totally taken care of! First my aunt put them both in one house, & took food, cleaned for the two, purchased all their groceries, took them for appointments, you get the idea! Well the mother wouldn't tell the daughter to bathe, so my aunt finally told the mother she was taking her sister home with her & asked the mother if she wanted to go home with them or go to a nursing home? The mother chose a nursing home! She is now passed away, my aunt still cares for her sister, only she ended up building a modular home for her sister on a lot next to her home, that way it is closer for her to care for her. Her sister is doing great & has lived in her own home now for 2 years! M from Illinois
Oh yeah, we had this one till my grandmother passed away. They were used to backing each other up for decades, and covering for each other when things happened they did not want anyone to find out about, falls etc...
I hope you can get her to see her own limitations but I know that may be near impossible. Stubbornness, a lifetime of habit, a desire to do it themselves, not wanting to "be a bother" not realizing causing serious injury would be far more bothersome....
try to get their physicians involved. Sometimes they wont listen to anyone, but an authority may have some impact.
Good Luck!
I tried adding a response earlier, but my phone froze up, and so you know ahead of time, I don't have "spell check", so, forgive me for errors..Thank You ALL so much for your ideas, I will check out the agencies in our area, and see what's available. One thing I did do, was get the meals on wheels set up, right after my Dad came home from the hospital ( he loves them, but my mom constantly complains about them) It saves me from carrying in that many 'more' grocheries, which I'm thankful. It's weird how my parents are so different with their attitudes. My Dad is so happy go lucky and pleasant to be around, appreciates any and everything I do for them, and my Mom finds fault with all of it! I'm so thankful I found this site! I was thinking, my hubbie and I are sooo alone in this, and it helps to know that there are people to ask, and learn from.

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