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Hello,


I really don't know where to begin with explaining this situation. I've been helping to take care of my mother for almost a year now. She suffered a serious stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side. She also has low vision due to diabetes, which was before the stroke. Her husband (my father) passed away only a few months before she had the stroke. My sister lives with my mother. However, I'm usually the only one who bathes her, changes her, makes sure she's taking her medication, and everything else. I get up every morning before work to go to my mother's place to clean her and get her ready for the day. Then, when I get off work, I have to go back to my mother's and get her ready for bed. This has taken a toll on my marriage and my finances. My wife is telling me she's moving out of our apartment, because she barely sees me. We've been married for 3 years. My father left my mother money from his pension, but that is beginning to run out. No one is able to afford very much in home care. At this point, we're considering assisted living or a nursing home. I don't know what to do anymore, I'm trying to fight to hold on to my marriage, but I can't just abandon my mother.


Would really appreciate some advice.

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VeeJay,

I understand that you care about your mom’s well being. I was a caregiver for my mom too. You are correct in saying that it places additional stress on a marriage. My husband was extremely supportive during my caregiver days, but it was hard at times for him to share his wife. I am sure that it has been the same for your spouse.

You say that you desperately wish to save your marriage. You know that your marriage took a hit from all of the stress. You will need to provide proof that you desire to restore your marriage. If you are serious, then make your marriage your number one priority, and step away from the hands on caregiving.

Also, ask your spouse to join you in marriage counseling. A professional, objective viewpoint will truly be helpful for each of you.

You can help your sibling and mom by helping look for a nice facility for your mom to reside in. Call a social worker if you need guidance. Best wishes to you and your spouse. Wishing the best for your mom and sister too. Take care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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The *right* thing depends on your values & the law. To me it is not right or wrong, but finding the best acceptable solution from the available choices.

Your current solution has been to meet Mother's care needs yourself, but at the expense of your marriage.

To me it seems simple: add more non-you carers for Mother or your wife will add more non-you others into her life.
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Reply to Beatty
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You both should have put her in a nursing home. Now you are experiencing falling down the rabbit hole. Get her into a nursing home that will take in Medicaid while she still has funds then go ahead and file for Medicaid. If you wait too long, you will not get to pick out a nice one.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Veejay,

Your sister lives with mom and you have to be there to do her care every day?
Please forgive me for saying so but that is ridiculous.
Your sister has to step up and start helping out with it.
If she's unwilling to then you and your mother have to throw her out and move in a live-in caregiver to take care of your mom's daily needs. Or your mother should go to a care facility to live.
You're a married man and your wife is supposed to come first in your life now. Not your mother.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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I guess the answer to your question depends upon whether you choose to be a good husband or not.

You can be an absolutely exemplary son, by making the very best arrangements possible so that your mother is cared for safely in an best facility you can locate.

You can visit frequently, bring flowers and small gifts, hug her during your visits, and tell her that you love her.

You can really only be an exemplary husband by being available to your wife.

A mother who has raised her child in a healthy way will expect that son to grow to be a man, marry a nice woman and build a life with her.

A mother who expects her son to perform the services of a husband or other caregiver has either not been raised to understand the role of marriage in life OR (tragically) has because of injury or illness, lost the ability to realize the needs of a normal young man.

You are thinking “I have to go back to my mother’s and get her ready for bed”, but YOU DON’T have to do that. SOMEONE has to do it, if your mother cannot do it for herself.

The person performing this function should NOT be paid from your funds. If your mother has NO financial resources, have you applied for public assistance?

Who is “no one” who cannot “afford very much in home care”? Neither you nor your sister should be paying any debts incurred for your mother’s care. If your mother is destitute, services are available that will still allow for her to be cared for safely.

So to repeat,

BE A GOOD SON- research available services for your mother, connect with THE VERY BEST YOU CAN, and place her in a care facility where she can be well cared for and you and your wife and your sister can visit frequently.

BE A GOOD HUSBAND- Reconnect with the wife you love and who loves you. Enjoy your lives together, as you planned to do before your family emergencies temporarily interrupted your plans for your life together.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Your wife must be terribly lonely.

Your profile says your mom is 64? If that is correct, what you are doing now could be the next thirty years or more of your life. Will your mother only ever see two increasingly frazzled people squeezing in time for her for the rest of *her* life?

I think you already know what the answer is. The choice is only ‘wife or mother’ if you continue on as is.
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Reply to Goddatter
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You really can't blame your wife can you? A marriage takes 2, and if you're never around that leaves only 1 to have to take care of things at home. She can do that as a single woman can't she?
I don't know if you are male or female, but if you're a male why are you the one that is responsible for bathing and changing your mom? Does that not bother you? I am a female and I would NEVER want my son to have to bathe or change me ever!
Now if you're a female, that is fine to be doing these things for your mom.
Your mom is awful young, and could live another 30 plus years, so it's best now to get her care figured out, if you want to save your marriage. If she doesn't have the money for her care, then you or your sister will have to apply for Medicaid for her, and more than likely she will have to be placed in the appropriate facility.
Your wife MUST be your number one priority, if you want your marriage to last. I hope and pray that you will make her that.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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BurntCaregiver Jun 30, 2021
funkygrandma59,

It's also fine for a son to be taking care of mom's care needs.
Being a female doesn't mean that you have to be born wearing the chains of caregiver bondage.

daughter doesn't = automatic caregiver anymore.
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Did your wife agree to the arrangements you have made? What happened in the discussions – or weren’t there any discussions?

Did you negotiate the sharing of the ‘at home’ load with your sister? What care does she do now, and what does she think about all this?

Many posters come to the site saying that they went into a care situation without realising what it would be like, and how it would affect their lives (and their marriages). Sometimes it happens because there was no time to think in an emergency, sometimes it was the result of rose-colored glasses. However it started, it is possible (although awkward) to go back to the beginning, think things through with better knowledge, and involve the other people who have been affected. That’s what you need to do now.

You are faced with a clear choice – who comes first? Mother or wife? You’ve only been married 3 years, presumably no children. The Bible says wife comes first, and honoring your parents means verbal respect plus seeing that they are OK. You don’t have to follow those rules, but if not you need to sort things out with your wife. She didn’t sign on for this, and she must be very unhappy. With your timetable, her main role has become keeping the bed warm. Think again – do you want to be married or not?
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Veejay, welcome to the forum!,

I'm very sorry that you are having marriage problems, but I'm sure you can see your wife's point of view, yes?

Your mom is an adult. Part of being an adult is planning ahead, especially for your old age. Relying on one's children as your retirement plan is unwise.

Was the money from your dad's pension a lump sum, or is it a monthly payment? Does mom have Social Security?

Have you talked to your local Area Agency on Aging about what mom's needs are? You can call them an arrange a "needs assessment". They can then advise you about whether mom needs Nursing home care, Assisted Living or what.

Did mom go to rehab after her stroke? That would have been the time to have a conversation about what mom needed in terms of care at home. If mom is ever admitted to a hospital, you need to talk to the discharge planning unit about the fact that mom's needs can no longer be met at home safely.

Understand that MOM'S resources pay for her care, not yours. Seeing an Eldercare lawyer or Medicaid planner can be invaluable if you need to get her qualified for Long Term Medicaid.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Putting her in a nursing home isn't abandoning her; and spouses should always come before parents. She could live another 3 decades.

Place her now before it's too late.
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Reply to ZippyZee
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