Now I know why caregivers get burnout.

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Dad moved in 8 months ago after mom died mainly due to finance and loneliness (OK mainly finance). He wanted to get knee replacement surgery. My sister the RN (who lives many hours away) said he should. I wanted him to lose weight first. Anyhow, be pushed and found a doc to do it (I let him set this up on his own hoping they would not do it) Fast forward to this week. He had surgery Monday, my sister came in for 2 days, then went home. All the time giving me orders. While at the hospital tells the nurses she is one and telling them what he should be doing..... Yeah that went over well. Hence to say they were happy to see her go too. I'm an EMT, it means I can put a band aid on you and help keep you alive to get to the hospital, after that the pros are in change of their own place, so I know what and when to keep my mouth shut and just ask the right questions. Now dad is in rehab. So i have got no work done all week, (lots of snow to move) and run back and forth to the hospital, now rehab, get him his breakfast and dinner (didn't like the hospital food) manage my business and take care of my house! Now it is the phone calls "can you bring me this?" He did not do the 2 pre-op meetings on what to expect, he did not pack any belongings for rehab. He just showed up for surgery and expected everything to be done for him....... Typical, mom did everything for him, pack make plans etc..... So now I have to pack his clothes, walker, prep my house (already did with a previous senior living w me). But there was no pre-planning on his part. He got his shave kit and some underwear out on his bed pre-hospital so I guess that constitutes packing? I told him I would not be making meals for him, the place has good food. He wanted special coffee which I got for him on the way to rehab to make him comfortable when he got there. Oh did i mention I had to arrange his transportation (wheel chair van showed up and we needed an ambulance) and visit and pick the rehab sites for him that he should have done previously? This is a man who a year ago was running his remodeling company with subs and customers and billings...... He has no medical or mental issues, he only moved due to money and being lonely. So my day is getting my wife off to school, run my business, do the shopping, cooking (lots of eating out this week) and tend to him and trying to earn a living. He did not do any physical prep so he is way behind in getting up and about. I am taking the hard approach that "this was your choice, you have to get the motivation to get out of rehab, you have to want this , it is up to you to get out of bed and walk". Yeah I know I am being tough love but I have to. My sister arrived and he just melted, all of a sudden he couldn't walk. When she is around he cant do anything. Different when its me and him because I don't do everything, I will assist when it is absolutely necessary but he can do it. So she left me with everything "I have to go back to work, if you need anything I can come in and be there" Like I need another person in my house to treat like a hotel guest.... or "Dad can stay with me for a few months"..... It will last 3 days as he and my BIL do not really like each other... so she knows it will not happen. I had no clue when I offered to house my dad, don't get me wrong I am not unhappy he is here as it is my duty but even with him ambulatory it is still a lot of work. Day 3 he says, once this heals I will get the other knee done........ He was not happy when I said, lets wait a year and see how things go...... I have to have a life here or we wont have a place to live! SO to all the care givers I feel your pain! My siblings get a fee ride..... I do daily emails to the family to keep them aware of his status. I got one phone call from my brother (the oldest) after surgery then promptly hung up as dad called him at the same time, My sister called because she left something at my house I had to ship home to her and that she was going to call the nurses to tell her how much meds to give my father because "she does this for a living", since then nothing.... To all the care givers I reach out and give you hugs...... because on this end there is nothing.......

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You have far too much empathy honey. his leg hurts - thats a good thing it is showing that he has exercised it properly.
Doing his own cleaning albeit badly - tick
Showering - tick
Deodorant - throw it out and buy him one you can tolerate - tell him how it affects you and if he wants to stay its YOUR RULES NOW
Chatting to your wife - now this is difficult - you may have to be rude once or twice and say DAD - I am trying to have a conversation with xxxx we havent seen each other all day so please let me talk and dont interrupt
Do get him out - often churches have clubs during the week and a couple of hours is enough for you to at least breathe
Good job on the siblings - if they cant do something - they cant interfere either - put up or shut up is my motto
And learn to say no - it is really hard and he may sulk but you have to have boundaries as someone else said YOU MUST or you will drive yourself to insanity
I wouldnt dream of asking your financial status but if I didnt have another room to go and be private in I would go mad - is that a possibility for you - even if you have to move things around a lot. good luck sweety xxx
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Ive been trying.... god knows I have. He is getting better, his mobility is better. He went out with a senior group the other night and complained about his knee having to walk too much. So I guess that is a good thing. He just made Easter candy (his annual thing), as requested he didn't make a hundred dozen just a few. I just got done cleaning the kitchen afterward (chocolate up the back splash, all over the counter and on the floor). Its like having a 5 year old make breakfast. It is his thing and I let him. He does not clean well so I had to re clean it all before my wife gets home. I guess I am glad he can do this stuff so I let him do it and suffer the rest while I can. I have to be thankful for the little things. I am trying to grouse less. He is doing his own laundry and taking showers albeit every few days, I cant stand his deodorant (I am very sensitive to perfumes as it is, migraines). But we are progressing. The weather is getting nicer, trying to get him out of the house to do something. I will call the lady at church who I know who is his age and see about getting him out more. She just lost her husband so I know she is looking for company and trying to get more people out to do things. He is not the kind of person to search out others or go to one on one events unless it is hunting or fishing. I hope to find someone who wants to do that this summer to get him out. It is just been difficult as I feel like a prisoner n my own home. I talk to my wife and he interjects. I know he is lonely and anxious for conversation but his are always stories or telling people what to do.
As far as my sister I wrote her off, no need to worry as she called finally and it was all about her so I don't have to worry about dealing with my siblings, I just don't bother with them, it pains me but that is the way it is... The John Wayne characterize was "All on my own"....... Movie backdraft "...it's John Wayne time, your on your own boss..."
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Well this may go over like a lead balloon, but if it were me, I'd get dad on Medicaid and get him into a facility where they can watch over him and motivate him (or try) to take his meds on time and be as active as he needs to be to recover from his knee surgery.

Does he have frontal lobe dementia? That was mentioned, but I don't see that in your profile. It sounds like your sister is no hope and your dad doesn't want to do what will make you happy (for his own good), so it's time to split the households. When he's in a facility, he'll be around others his own age, so that will limit his loneliness. Otherwise, it sounds like you're beating your head against a brick wall for no purpose. You tried, dad isn't willing or able to comply, so change it up and move him into a place with professional caregivers and others his own age.
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tg, part of frontal lobe function is initiation. And your dad's is obviously weak or he would not be making such insensitive comments either. Don't sit back and wait for him to initiate stuff, or worse sit around and stew while waiting for him to initiate stuff. He won't. And please let it roll off your back that he listens to your sister and not you. It is what it is - there is probably no valid reason for it, or maybe its the RN behind her name. Or maybe its the consultant syndrome - people get paid big bucks for coming in from out of state with a nice business outfit and telling admin what they ought to do after they find out form the ground troops what really has needed to be done that they have not been listening to. Sister will probably be willing to tell him to do things at your request.

I once sat in our hospital medical director's office and proposed something to which she said "That's stupid, Vikki!" The male colleague in there with me, who also was born and bred in Arkansas while I had not earned my chops as a Southerner yet, said the SAME thing a little later in the conversation, with a more pleasant accent, and hey, what a great idea! OMG!! Do I get PO'd that a female dissed me favoring a non-Yankee male, or do I get happy that what needed done got done? Mostly the latter, because the former makes a great funny story, especially when I tell it while imitating her mannerisms (and accent) reasonably well. Do not let that kind of crap burn you out. If you are getting burned out because it is too much work, that's one thing, and you need an alternative placement, even a day program; but if just hitting your head on the wall of expectations that aren't going to happen, you can take full control of that.

BTW Lemon water is a perfectly good placebo. And I'm not sure what John Wayne has to do with it. Maybe you just aren't manipulative enough to make sure what you tell sister DOES get back to him and provides a little gluteal thermalization. (aka fire under the butt.) Get YOU some good chocolate, good beer, or whatever floats your boat, and maybe share it with your wife but hide it from Dad. And are YOU getting any exercise and eating right most of the time?
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While the suggestions sound good in theory in reality they wont happen. The fishing camp is 9 hours from me. I took him out west last year fishing for over a week and cost me a great deal of money (still paying it off), it was my idea and I wanted to do a last trip so to speak so I cant complain. My sister is 8 hours from me. I have a business to run so I don't get vacation time unless I make it happen. As far as my sister I surmise she just doesn't want dad there right now (he and her husband tolerate each other but that is about it). My sister has always taken the she knows more than me attitude all my life so I can't change any of that. She states she does this for a living, well I live with this. She did not have to change my dads soiled underwear for days on end and do his dirty laundry while he brought home a bad virus in-turn which I and my wife got. She doesn't deal with the day to day issues, the 2 months of daily hospital, rehab and drs visits. I do. If I did call her she turns the subject to something else anyway. So it is a futile effort. Even if I did try to talk to her she would tell my dad everything so I am screwed either way. Basic I am on my own. He does PT if they come to the house and make him do it. There is no willingness to go and do other exercise. In his mind he was going to have this surgery and walk off the table and everything would be wonderful. I will talk to the Dr. but my dad will make up his own mind what he wants to do. I am trying to get him going, He wants to volunteer but he wont do anything to even look into something unless I introduce, find, take or set it up for him. I guess the underlying issue is I'm burnt out. It's only been a year and a half since mom died and almost a year since he moved in. My sister wont take dad even tho she says she will (always an issue). John Wayne time I guess......
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Tgengine, I suppose you are the one that will be driving him to your sister's house? It's real easy, simply say "I'm not doing that". As for the fishing camp, if it motivates him to get off his duff it might be a good thing. Have sis come and get him and they can take it from there. You get a break, she gets to see what he is really like 24/7 and he gets a holiday...win/win/win.
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In a perfect world, your dad would listen to what you say and comply with his medical requirements. But for whatever reason, he is only listening to your sister. Be thankful he's listening to someone. Can you and your sister work together to get Dad to comply? It's about whatever gets the job done. Keep your eye on the objective, Dad's health and well being, and let go of getting your knickers in a knot because he's listening to her and not you.

As for the travel and fishing, I suspect his doctor would be effective at putting the brakes on that.
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I do get it but my head is about to explode. I do care no doubt. I talk to him all the time, do your exercise, take a walk, go to the mall go to a store. He went to PT today, said they worked him. This was the first in over a week since PT was at the house. My sister the nurse says take lemon water,"oh that works" for 2 days. He wants to drive 8 hours to her house in 3 weeks , then 5 hours to fishing camp to go FLY FISHING in a creek! Then drive back home to see people then 8 hours back here. I said I don't think that is a good idea, he needs to wait a year to do the fishing or maybe later this summer, it has not even been 2 months but what do I know. He wants to do it, now my sister the nurse says "it may not be a good time to do it" and viola he listens to her. He wants to make a holiday treat, I say sure all the fixing are there, he buys more they sit there on the counter until someone else does it for him. I know I need to manage the meds, I will be more overseeing on that course but I am telling you my hair is on fire right about now. He tells her one thing and me nothing else. I try I really do but he must think I am stupid. It is very stressful right now. If I would fetch and get for him he would be living like a king and proud of it. As he said one day when he was at home and my wife and I drove 7 hours to get there, clean the house do the laundry, bills, food etc... he tells someone on the phone "oh my maids are here" trust me it took me hours to get her off the ceiling.
I do all I can I really do, I get it he is bored and maybe a bit depressed but there are days I just want to blow up but I know I cant. I anyone has recently seen the movie "The Judge" with Robert Downey Lr and Robert Duval, that is my life minus the legal part.... Was not a good movie for me to watch right now....
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TG you are not listening. You are staying in your comfort zone just as much as your dad is. He will make no progress, ever, until he has a need to and you are making sure he has no need to. The knee swelling up more and more requires medical attention. You are not getting it for him - you have accepted the word of one doctor saying "ice and rest" and anyone with any real knowledge of knee replacement will tell you that therapy and active use of the knee is critical. You are letting him fail to take his medications, as if when he does not do it, it's no skin off your back. If his meds are in different drawers rather than where he could get them and take them you KNOW he is not taking them. Do the pill counts, not just the drawer search. You are not able to be the coach he needs someone to be. If he does not do it you throw up your hands. The reality is - either he CAN do it and won;t, in which case there need to be consequences. Then the question is, what does he need to do or else he goes back to rehab? Or maybe he has enough depression or cognitive limitations that he CAN'T do the things you are expecting him to do, in which case failing to help him more assertively and extensively is negligence rather than "not nagging." Example - you see fit to help get papers together for taxes, but he "won't" call the accountant, so I guess he just won't file this year? Isn't that getting to be just a little on the passive-aggressive side?

Maybe you are acting this way out of guilt and pity - and the LAST thing anyone trying to rehab needs is pity. You truly, truly need a different approach. You LIKE having him with you and you WISH it were different, but it won't be until you DO something different...and if you can't bring yourself to, you need to give someone else a chance.
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So I pretty much gave up (to a point) he got his knee replacement which was his hyper focus. He still eats what he wants which for the most part is OK but he likes his fattening food. I can't fight city hall. I get it he is bored but I can't do anything about that either. He does go to church on Sunday but that is about it. We wont seek out other things to do other than sit and watch TV. I have encouraged him to walk now that the ice and snow is melting but he wont even do that. His knee is swelling more and more, he saw the Drs and basically it is ice and rest which he takes as "I can't go anywhere". He is good at he can't find things as mom looked for anything he lost. I give up, I have tried to help him with is taxes but getting his documents together but he wont even call the accountant. I sent an email to the accountant for him but he wont followup I am sure. He likes to make Easter candy, he went and bought all the fixings, they will sit there until who knows when as he and mom always did it together. I am not going to do it, if he wants it he will have to do it... So am I wrong for taking the give up approach? I get no support from the siblings at all although my sister calls my dad but never calls me...... she tells him what to do and he listens to her but not to me... I tried putting his meds out in a format so he would take them 3 times a day in a pill box. I hope he is as he didn't want me to remind him all the time. Not sure if he is or not... Tired of nagging him..... I found his meds in different drawers so not sure if he is doing it or not... exhausted......
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