I'm feeling trapped. My father has had 2 strokes and has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment/vascular dementia. His wife left him a year and a half ago, at which point, we discovered he had no savings or means of living on his own. He asked to move in with my then fiancé, now husband, and myself, so we left our downtown apartment for a bungalow in the suburbs that would accommodate all of us. My father lives in the basement, at his insistence, with his dog. He has a separate entry and exit, but does not go out often. He has no kitchen in the basement, so he has created a makeshift kitchenette with a mini fridge and microwave. His driver's license has been revoked and he does not have many (if any) friends. He has many challenges with lower body mobility, he is likely suffering from undiagnosed depression, and he has a terrible temper. I prepare many of his meals, since he would order massive amounts of take-out if permitted, and it puts a strain on his type-2 diabetes. Almost all chores fall to my husband and I, with the exception of those performed by a homemaker who comes for 2 hours once every two weeks, which is all we seem to qualify for. My father makes multiple demands a day, becoming increasingly anxious if they are not answered immediately. We have very little time to ourselves and are constantly exhausted. My father doesn't have money to go to a retirement community, he is not in a position where he would easily qualify for long-term care, on top of that he is highly resistant to other living arrangements, but I'm nearly at the end of my rope. I didn't want this, but he is my father and I have felt there are no other options and I won't see him poorly taken care of, regardless of how frustrated and angry I can become with the situation. I think a lot of this is venting, but any help or advice on finding balance on a budget, getting some alone time for my spouse and myself, and perhaps, finding alternate forms of care for my dad, would be more than welcome. Little extra context, we are both in our early 30's and live in Ontario, Canada.
Is he a veteran? If so, drive him to the service members club. If not, take him to a service organization like Lions, Rotary, Red Cross, and inquire about getting him involved as a volunteer.
Recognize that your dad is an adult. He is not a child. Do not treat him like a child. You also are an adult. Do not allow yourself to be treated as a child. And while you're at the library check out Roz Chast's book "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?", read it, and have your husband read it.
You mention a "homemaker", is this a PSW paid for by CCAC? I thought the days of a gov't funded maid service were long gone , here they will only allow personal care, meal prep, and respite time for caregivers, light housekeeping just means doing up the dishes after the meal and sweeping up the crumbs!
Additional random thought: Perhaps what your Dad might not do for himself, he might be willing to do for his dog. See if he might be interested going with his dog to a local dogpark. A dogpark can be a social place for Dad (as well as his dog), and it might help his spirits. No dogpark? Get creative, for example perhaps he can get his dog to be a therapy dog at a local hospital. Of course this all depends on the temperament of the dog and Dad...just a random idea.
What care are the psw's providing for him? The schedule seems unsuitable for any assistance with bathing or personal care. Speak with the case manager about what you feel you need and negotiate, even if they won't give you more hours you can ask for flexibility in the schedule. And remember that you (he) can always pay for extra services (unthinkable as that may be to those of us used to free medical care).
Amen, FreqFlyer- Amen!
Are there any Adult Day Centers nearby that your Dad might enjoy being around an older crowd. I know some older people balk at such a suggestion but find they do enjoy the activities. Some places have full-length movies once a week. Some offer lunch at a very reduced price.
One thing many of us had learned is the more we enable our parents, the more demanding they will become. They want us to change our lifestyle so that they can continue theirs with no changes.