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My dad is living with my husband and I for over a year and a half. He is in dementia so he cannot live alone. He is not bad enough to go into a nursing home yet, but I am going crazy! I am an only child, no children, no family, no help! My husband travels all week, so I am here with dad as a one man show most of the time. It is not that he requires too much care, except meals, turning on TV, meds, etc. in other words he can bath and dress himself, that's about it. I can still leave him for a short period of time. My problem is I have no space, my husband and I have no privacy, I have no privacy! I use to have a fabulous relationship with my dad, now I resent him being in my face 24/7, the tv is always blaring. His room is very small, no space for TV and if there was he would t stay there. There is no answer really, I just wonder if anyone else feels this way? I feel like such a selfish monster!!

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You are not a selfish monster. You are a human being who has a right to privacy and free time to yourself. Look into a senior center or an adult day center. He is in your home and doesn't get to take over your life.
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You are not a monster. I felt the exact same way when we moved my mom in with us. She can bathe herself and dress and get around but needs help with meal prep. Due to her impaired vision and stroke caused balance issues, she holds my arm whenever we go outside the house at all. Thank goodness for grocery carts! She pushes and I pull. At least I don't feel attached at the hip then.

I do have family but they are 2 hours away and not very involved in this at all. I finally took a job after working at home for a year and that really helps me get some away time. Going to a hotel if you can afford it is a great idea. I want to get headphones for myself and will be Christmas.

We have noise machines and air filters in many of our rooms and for some reason that white noise offers I kind of psychological buffer. I often sit on the front porch or back patio. I take the dogs for walks. Sometimes I just drive to the store by myself.

One thing about this set up is it will be a while before you have your house to yourself again. You have to accept that. When I accepted it, it became a little easier to find creative ways to cope.

I found a church in town that is very active and happens to have lots of elderly people and I take Mom there each Sunday and am pushing her to meet the other ladies there. She went to a brunch with then one day. Someone came and picked her up and drove her home.

You have to find ways to disconnect from his needs and let him have space and just be. even if his just being is sitting in front of the tv. I would even consider getting him a tv for his room anyway. Mom has one and at least I know she is able to watch what she wants and I don't have to entertain her 24/7. We watch shows together after dinner.

Your feelings are perfectly normal and natural. Living with someone (not your spouse) is very hard.
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I am so homesick!! Yes, this is my home but yet it isn't. I just want to go home, lay in my bed for a week if I want to and walk through my house without being beckoned and just do whatever I want to. With no one here but my hubby!!!!!!! I am so homesick, I am crying to go home.
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I have to buy these headphones! I have a job surrounded by noise and used to spend my days off with the TV off..no longer! and at high volume!
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God bless the inventor of the wireless headphones! Someone here mentioned them during World Series week when I was loosing it and I got them at radio shack. The first set did not work well, so I sprung for the eighty dollar set and they are fantastic. We told him bedtime for us was ten pm and that he needed to use them after that hour. Have only had to remind him twice since then. Fantastic!
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Your situation sounds SO much like mine right now. My mother passed away almost three weeks ago, very unexpectedly. My father has been living with us and will have to live with us for probably quite some time until we can figure out any other option. He has a walker and cannot live alone, yet is not medically needy enough for nursing care. He is 87. Does NOT like mingling socially with new "old" people and would not want to go to a senior center. Prefers to sit smack in the middle of my small house at the end of the dining room table where he is seen from every direction and must be walked past to get anywhere. He is constantly eating or snacking or going to the bathroom, which is very near that location. He requests snacks and food very specifically prepared for his taste buds (not nutrition) and makes messes all over the table - piles of newspapers, bills and food. I cleaned out my whole craft room that I had just set up for myself, finally, of all my things and cleared my desk for him and he now sleeps in there, still near our bathroom. But he insists on sitting in the center of the house in this spot and won't budge. He makes me feel guilty for suggesting he spend time in the room with "his" desk. I have been attached to the sight of him, helping him by buying new pull up pants for the bathroom, dress, etc. for the entire time I have been mourning my mother. He uses two urinals when he doesn't think he can make it out of the bed. He uses the toilet in the bathroom (also which is in the center of our home and visible from many areas) only with the door standing open because he says he needs the walker to support himself to wipe. I tried hanging a privacy curtain on a rod to block this area, but he has knocked it down. I am so depressed and afraid of what my fate actually is now... my three children just finished growing up and I was just about to establish a niche for my own interests in my life. My sister lives an hour away and is too busy with her job, which is, ironically, as a companion to another family who has needs. She has no children and is single. Yet lives in a house with other adults and there would be no room for my father to live with her. I have no advice, but completely understand the poster's feeling of her father (and in my case, very self-centered father) taking over her house and life. It feels terrifying and horrible when there is no other option.
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Kbirds, You are not a monster, you are a wonderful person to be caring for your dad. You are also SOOOO Not alone in this. I feel exactly the same way. I want to scream just to get away from this for a while. My mom comes into my private space where my computer is and just stands as close to me as she possibly can and reads over my shoulder and won't back off or just stands there. She says she thinks I come in here to get away from her and she is right!! She is upset that I won't keep a chair for her to sit in right up on top of me. She is with me and my hubby everywhere we go and at home. Even uses my bathroom to take her showers, has her knick knacks sitting all over the place, feeds her dog from the table (even plops spoonfuls of food in the food and says he will clean it up), complains about my dogs and grandchildren. It just goes on and on non stop. I can't afford any respite care and she wouldn't co-operate if I could. She says I had better not get someone to come sit with her because she doesn't need a babysitter. I can leave her alone, she does not have dementia, but she has metal in her back and falls a lot so I don't want to leave her more that a couple hours. She will even call my cell phone and tell me she has decided to take a shower while I am away and she knows I don't want her to do that. When she does take a shower, she wants me outside the bathroom door so why in the world would she want to do that while I am away, Maybe, just maybe to get me to hurry home?
Anyways, I hope that the Senior Center is helpful for you and I am sending you all my love and prayers. God bless you.
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Youre not a monster you are just human. I am in my mums house which is alot harder and like you no help from family or anyone.
Ive just posted that I cannot do this anymore like your dad my mum is same stage cant live alone but not ready for a NH yet?
Its tough very tough if you can afford it try and go to a hotel at least once every 2wks with your husband maybe get a carer for one night I feel for you but great you have a very supportive husband nobody can care 24/7 its just not possible just keep easing him into the home until hes comfortable he may start to enjoy it?
Good luck and hope you get a break soon!
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Kbirds you are NOT a selfish monster. I think we all feel this way many days. I would actually start looking for an Alzheimer/Dementia facility that offers daycare. We live in a small town and the choices are very limited but did find one that Mom has adjusted to and actually enjoys now. We heard the same thing at first that she did not want to be around all those old people. The reason I suggest the Alzheimer's facility is if he gets to the point that he wanders, he will already be familiar with the place as it is very hard for people with dementia to adjust to a new environment. They often have a locked courtyard so people can still enjoy going outside but without the worry of wandering. We take Mom twice a week and even changed one day to Saturday so my husband and I can have some time alone together. Mom cannot be left alone and is with us 24/7 for 2 1/2 years. For those that may not be aware, the Alzheimer's Association has grants up to $500 yearly for respite care that is not based on income. These funds have been a godsend to allow us to leave Mom overnight for a few days when we had to go out of town on business. Check into facilities in your area - many places do have overnight respite care. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty - you are doing the best you can.
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Oh I so feel you....and the guilt associated with it. Have you looked into adult day care centers? They have some AMAZING ones out there....average 40.00 for a full day includes meals...tons of activities trained staff,early drop off etc.You NEED a break,,,because sadly dementia only worsens and you are facing bad days ahead.While he is able , you should really check into what places are available. And try not to feel guilty.........it's natural, So sorry you have to deal with it alone
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I totally understand your situation, and feel for you, because it mirrors mine. I'm an only child, no children, no family, and I'm not married, so it's just my 92 year-old mom with dementia, and me. You and I share the same feelings of frustration, and lack of freedom in our own homes. I have tried taking Mom to the senior center, and she refuses to stay there, also doesn't want to be around old people because she finds it "depressing," and I have no funds to get help. What I have done is a bit drastic, but am certain it will help. I've sold her home, and with those funds, bought another, which is being built, in another state, where the cost of living is lower. I hope to afford help there. This new home has a "suite" for her, two bedrooms and a bath, far removed from the living room, and my master bedroom, which is on the other side of the home. The plan is for her TV to go into one of them as a "sitting" room, and I will insist she watch her extremely loud TV there, not in the middle of my current home. I'll be able to install doors at the hallway doorway, to keep the sound out. I work from home, and care for her, so I need the quiet. You could get your living room back for a bit of privacy. You are so blessed to have your husband, and I wish you blessings as you face this challenge. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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The kind of wireless headphones my dad had didn't go inside his ears, they were just big old clunky headphones that sat over the top of his head and had padded ear pieces that sat on top of his ears like earmuffs. If you search for Sony wireless headphones, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Keep taking your dad to the senior center. And leave him there for a short time so he has to socialize on his own and not totally depend on you. Talk to the head person beforehand so they know what you're doing and they can keep an eye out for your dad and include him. You're a good daughter! Married to a good husband for sure!!
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How about a little "revamping" of your rooms so your dad has his own "suite" complete with private TV, etc. I would also put my foot down and tell him that he needs to use the wireless headphones or he may NOT watch TV in the rest of the house. It is YOUR house, after all, not your dad's house.
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Thanks everyone...Skyzonnie, our parents sound like twins! But dad is ok with people,he is just so insecure now, and he always was that way in his best days, now even more. He has always chosen my husband and I over being social with others.
Dad also stays up as long as we do. I love him, but also love my husband. Literally I thank God for my husband who endures all of this.
We did go to the senior center, I did all the talking and socializing, poor dad just smiled at everyone. I could tell he was so uncomfortable. I am taking him next week and will keep going and see how he responds. It is so important for him to be around other people, particularly if I come to a place where I can no longer have him at home. I want him to be a bit more accustomed to different surroundings.
As to the tv ears, he doesn't like that, but I am going to try again. He has had a skin cancer removed from his ear which was really deep, so he cannot wear the hearing aid on that ear, so it gets frustration ing for both of us.
Thanks all for your comments and concerns. I really needed to vent in a safe place.
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You are not alone!!!!!!! I just wish I could have one day by myself! My mom sits in the same room as my husband and I and doesn't go to bed until the weather is over. I want my life back!!!!!! Privacy..please! My mom does not like people and refuses to go to a senior center. Maybe we could get your dad and my mom together! Hugs......
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The wired headphones are awesome. I got a double, so one could sit in the charger while he wore the other....he wore them a lot!

You are FAR from being a selfish monster! You are doing he best you can, it gets to anyone and everyone.

I do think you need a little respite. I hope you get some. A senior center activity may be good for dad as well.

Pat yourself on the back, you are a good daughter.

God Bless,
L
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P.S. Would you be able to put a TV in your dad's room if it was hung from the ceiling (like they used to do in hospitals)? They have those "arm" things that you can use to elevate the TV. Or get him a small flatscreen TV and hang it on his wall - it's no bigger than a picture. The wireless headphones are a great idea too. My dad had those and loved them.
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Respite -- time to yourself -- is necessary. Don't wait until you have a total meltdown. A senior center is fine. Adult Day Health centers are awesome! Having someone in to help is also good.

I would have gone stark raving mad if I had had to listen to tv at the volume my husband required it. Wireless headphones were our salvation! He could hear better, he could even keep listening while he ran to the bathroom, and I didn't hear it at all!
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Well keep him going to the senior center long enough that he can get comfortable. I've learned with my mom (who doesn't have dementia but is almosst 94 and has no short-term memory) that I can't listen to what she wants because she no longer has the ability to make good decisions. I usually don't tell her when I'm taking her out because she'll say she doesn't want to go and is too tired. I had that today, when I told her we were going out to get a hair trim and for lunch. She called me 20 minutes later to say she didn't want to go, she was too tired. We went because I knew she'd enjoy herself once I got her out. And she did. So even if your dad says he doesn't like it, hang in there with getting him out with others.

Maybe they have some activities for others with dementia? If not, they should start some, since it's so prevalent. That's funny about him not wanting to be with old people, LOL. You're NOT a monster, you're a loving daughter trying to do the best you can for your dad without losing your own happiness in the process.
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I am able to get out, he is ok alone so far, if it's not too long. My problem is I long for a day in my house where I can just be by myself, in my own living room, or an evening with my husband watching what we want to on TV without worrying if dad can understand the program. I have been begin him to go to the senior center and he is uncomfortable because his communication skills are so compromised from the dementia. He also doesn't want to be around old people, he is almost
89! Finally I have talked him I to it and we go tomorrow, but he will be on my arm the whole time. He is my shadow, and although I feel bad for him, I am very frustrated and tired of our togetherness! I feel like I am 88! I guess I just need to vent and not feel like I am a monster.
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Can you afford some respite care or a paid caregiver to come in part of the day for several days, so you can get out yourself and spend time away from your dad? I think anyone would feel the way you feel. You have lost your privacy and the privacy of the relationship with your husband. I'd also try to get someone to sit with him so you and your husband can go out by yourselves for a meal or a movie - just some alone time between the two of you.

I see there's a senior center in your town - have you seen if there are activities your dad could participate in there? Getting him around some other people would be good for the both of you. I try to get my mom out so I'm not the only person she sees and she's always perkier after being around other people. Good luck...you're not alone and you're being a wonderful daughter to your dad.
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