My Father In-law is driving us crazy. Mom had to be admitted into a Nursing Home due to Alzheimers aprox. 1 year ago.
Dad was depressed and ended up staying in the same Nursing home for some rehab. He was released in early December. Since this time he feels we are his personal servants. He refuses to do anything for himself and it's getting old. We have no life. He is capable yet refuses to heat up his own meals. We recently discovered he's dumping his liquids that contain thick-it and making his own drinks without it.
For some reason he feels we should wait on him hand and foot cooking every meal and serving him. What can we do? We know he's capable, yet refuses to do anything for himself. My husband is an only child and it's driving us nuts.
Maybe thinking through what you consider "reasonable" and communicating that clearly to FIL would help. "We are so glad you live nextdoor and we can pop over and help out. And we're glad that you can still do enough for yourself that you can stay in your home. Here are the things you can count on us to do:"
1. Shop, buying easy-to-heat meals
2. Take you to the NH to eat with Mom X times a week.
3. Do your laundry once a week.
4. Manage your medicines
.....etc, etc. obviously your list will be very customized, and will take into consideration what he can do, what the caregiver does, and what you are willing to do. Just make it clear what he can expect from you.
You are not his personal servants. You aren't his boss, either. If he wants to sit in the window all day, that should be his decision. If heating his meals is not on the list of things you are willing to do, then he can decide to get up and heat a meal or not. His choice. No need to get into a shouting match over it. If the potential consequences of not thickening his liquids has been explained and he understands it, then he can decide whether to take that risk or not.
If his choices are consistently self-destructive -- if he doesn't eat, doesn't take his meds, doesn't use the bathroom appropriately, etc., then you may need to intervene on his behalf and consider other care options.
Has he been treated for depression? Is he taking his meds? Could depression still be a contributing factor to his lethargy?
We shop for him and have quick meals that can easily be heated up. We have a caregiver Mon-Fri while we work, but on the weekends it's crazy. He insists on sitting in the front window like he's waiting for someone to come over. He complains that nobody comes to see him. He thinks people have an obligation to him.
We heat his meals, but I think he feels like he's in a resturant and we owe him this. He is perfectly capable of using the microwave and has done so on occassion.
Over the weekend he refused to leave the window and my husband blew his lid, and told him his dinner would be sitting on the kitchen table. He litterly waited hours before going to eat. He's not speaking to us, now, very argumentive to say the least.
My real question is, at what point can someone no longer be at home. I think we should tell him if he can't heat up a meal and serve himself then he belongs in a Nursing Home.
I know I must sound very self centered, however we have no life it's like having a child who constantly throws tantrums and sends us on savenger hunts looking for difficult items to find, just to be defiant.