I am almost 73 (so not that old). I forget words sometimes but can usually get them back. He is the same.
I am not that mobile (can get around a little for short whiles) Have bowel, tummy, arthritis problems and COPD. Not yet on oxygen.
Husband is 76 and is my unofficial carer. He also has diabetes (which I help control with food ordered) and Mild COPD (He goes walking which helps)
Right here I go with my little rant - sorry. I think I sound like a pathetic ungrateful moaner.
My husband does most of the things round the house. We share cooking but apart from computer and paperwork (which I do) he does ALL the rest.
My gripe is he is a martyr to it. Every time he does anything, I always say Thank You. His comment is, well no one else will do it if I don't. He is quick to anger (always has been) but his comments are getting more and more nasty. If the news is on the tv he moans about everything ALL THE TIME. It does not sound like much but it is constant and wearing me out. I am the iron - I keep things smooth if I can, but it is hard.
I have got in outside help for gardening and window cleaning (which I had to persuade him was for me) We have a friend (who I trust - that I pay to decorate)
We are not on any benefits - just pensions (although we do get a free tv licence) I live in England.
All I need to say now is
Not sure if this even warrants a reply for you lovely people.
Thank you for being here - saves me cracking up
If dear hubby doesn't like to ask, perhaps you can set it up that so and so has asked if she/he can come in weekly, monthly, whatever the need and do (fill in the blank) for us, can we allow her/him to help us in that way, giving to others kind of thing. Just a thought, sometimes we have to be creative in how we deal with difficult situations. I have to say that I think both you and your husband are very Blessed to have each other. Of course he is going to grump and grouch occasionally, we all do. Some of us just do it without an audience, so no one sees it. The Bible says "a soft answer turns away wrath". This is how I deal with my grumpy old man. I look at what he does for me as the male way of expressing love, that is how they do it, not sweet words or emotions, action is a man's voice of love. Sister, this man loves you, by all he does everyday he is telling you that. Maybe his grouch and grumble are his expression of fear, maybe he fears losing you, maybe he fears something will happen to him and then who will care for you. My man doesn't talk of these things but, after living with someone for 25 years and loving them, you learn to see the unspoken. Love him and thank him and praise what he does for you and let him know how lost you'd be without his love and care. You will figure it out and find the proper balance. Maybe ask a friend to help you surprise him with his favorite meal as a thank you for all you do everyday to keep us and our life together. He deserves it. You deserve it as well. God Bless You and your husband on this journey.
I do the cooking and most of the shopping. Barely a thank you or acknowledgement that it was done. On the rare occasion that he cooks you’d think he’d performed a miracle! Constant questions about how it tastes, details about how he did it, more questions about how he did and patting himself on the back for what he did. Mind you he’s not much of a cook and it’s fairly limited to Taco meat and Mac & Cheese. His one attempt at meatloaf was served extremely undercooked and over salted.
He will not ask for help with outside chores and then complain to me that our son never helps him. When I do push him to ask it’s always at the last minute when other plans have already been made. I doubt he will ever change, not much hope after all this time, and will probably only get worse as time goes on. Lately noticing signs that we may be going down the road of memory issues.
I guess my only advice would be to work on not letting the grumbling get to you. When mine starts I ask him what his plan is to change things so he’s not as burdened. Do we need to think about other living arrangements so there is not so much to take care of. That usually stops him for a while.
We are lucky enough to have quite a few good friends/visitors. Mostly his friends. So all is good there. He can repeat everything for them and then he feels good again (for a short while at least) I do joke with him occasionally (when he is getting close to exploding) I can divert, cajole etc. BUT I mentioned getting someone in to do a little hoovering, just an hour a week and guess what. OUTRIGHT NO!! We have a younger friend that will pop round to do heavy stuff if I ask (he wont ask - he expects everyone to offer) He forgets they have lives of their own.
Some good stuff here. I really do appreciate all your feedback/s
Can't believe how much the same all our stories! Think men do not expect to be caregivers (Women's work) My spouse expects to be profusely thanked for every little task he might do. What I do is expected. Also attitude that he earned all the money, although I was employed full time! Could go on and on. Fortunately, I am in good health. While spouse has some memory issues, not bad yet. (I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner) Have worked with memory impaired people all my working life. Really not looking forward to having my own personal dementia patient!!
I can feel the pain that his comments add to your arthritis etc. and why you wrote for 'help' or a good giggle of what is possible!!!
I have no idea of your arthritis status but think it would be easier to try and reduce that than improve your other half.
[coming from a perspective of a father that was a demanding overbearing, will do it all cos no one else does it better, and bullied my mother. AND my now very EX who couldnt even make me a coffee when I had debilitating migraines that lasted 2 hrs]
Are you overweight, do you exercise and push those rusty joints to walk a little further as medical evidence shows that most types of arthritis do better . I am just a little younger than you, and lucky I only have 10acres worth of animals to care for or they care for me. I do have health issues that fluctuate
Can you get out of the house and go either swimming in a tepid pool, join a community group, where you can get away from each other for a few hours a week. Do not join him up, let him do his own thing. You may have another 20 yrs of each other before your memory really lets you down [ or this case up] and you wont remember what he said to you just 5mins ago... Id hate to be thinking of the jail house rock situation you may be sitting under.... going on for that long.
I know the NHS etc is starting to go the way our health system did back in the 90s and its really interesting on how they went from doing everything for the community, to then subsidising voluntary groups, to now expecting friends and family to be getting 'patients' the care. I live out in the country, so well aware of the reduction in care going on, and had been a nurse for a good 30yrs. so seen both sides of whats available, and how hard it is to live with chronic disablements!!!!! good luck
My comment is not an excuse! I own memory loss caregiving biz and live with 86 year old man, who I believe has symptoms of FTD. While I am empathetic with my clients, I find myself "losing it" when I come home. But I have learned that my anger and impatience solves nothing because I am dealing with a person who has deep psychological problems. I have learned to "let it go" because all too often my displeasure over small stuff does not result in a change in my partner's behavior. Now, I feel victimized much less often.
It might help the original poster to make a list of ways she can reduce her dependence on her husband as a way of taking back control over her life in small ways. Also, she might learn the art of detachment towards unimportant "stuff."
BTW, I suspect my post will be unpopular.
When I met DH, it was after his turn at caregiving for his first wife, bedridden for 2 years, sickly for much longer. One of his first comments to me is, "I come first - everything else can wait. Dishes, cleaning, everything. If I want to go for a ride, I want to go for a ride."
I remember telling him that it was a terrible thing to say to a lazy person, lol. However, this set us up for what was inevitable. After 32 years together, he is 96 and now he is the one that needs help all the time. Thankfully, housework can still wait. I clean what I can and simply refuse to worry about things I can't get to today. Like our lawn wasn't mowed for weeks because I couldn't leave his side for even 30 minutes. (He was sent home from hospital to die 2+ years ago.)
Try telling him to leave stuff and come sit with you. It worked wonders when DH said that to me. He'd say, "leave the dishes - they'll still be there in the morning - come lay down on the couch and I'll rub your feet." Now that is showing appreciation and was appreciated by me.
If he pointed out everything I missed instead of being thankful for what I can and have done, I probably would have killed him, lol, instead of caring for him to the best of my abilities.
Of course, the flipside to the coin is it could be him that is so particular about everything being done "just so" and then it isn't really your problem. Let him rant if it keeps him sane.
The housekeeper sounds great. The reason is, if hubs went around re-doing it after them, it would still be clean, cleaned twice?
I am sure your husband is wearing down and does not feel very good anymore and that alone will make him more irritable. It is probably getting hard on him.
One of the kind of shocking things that came up: What do we want in terms of care--if he gets sick before me (the most likely event) DH said 'Well, of course I'd expect you to care for me at home until I die". Fair enough, yes, I probably will and I expect that. Reverse that dynamic "what if I get sick and need care" Blank stare: ""I guess I will have to put you in care. I can't do it."
Well, at least he'd upfront and honest, I get to care for him and he'll have me placed.
(The kids will NEVER go for that, BTW).