Need help caring for husband. I am headed for a breakdown, can feel it. Where should I turn?

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My problem is hubby age 72 is unable to stand, even with lift chairs, without my assistance. He has severe nerve damage in legs due to diabetes and arthritis in knees and fractured his hip last December. He was actually doing quite well when he was released from rehab/nursing home after being there 100 days. He got home and received in home help until Medicare stopped paying for it and they left. Since they left 7weeks ago, he has refused to follow Dr instructions to go to out patient rehab 3 days a week so he won't lose any more muscle mass and before the nerve damage gets worse. He was doing good with a walker until 7 weeks ago and now is in wheelchair only. He has lost all ability to lift himself and walk with walker more than maybe 3 steps. He depends on me now for all lifting, moving his legs so he can get in bed, get on and off toilets (which I had specially lifted for him) and no longer does anything for himself but sit in recliner all day long smoking (yes, smoking) He just started Wellbutrin Monday, replacing Zoloft, which did not help his depression. He is verbally and mentally abusive and was even before his illness. I, actually was in process of filing for divorce when all this happened and now am stuck. He also will not see any more Dr's and I actually went to his neuro without him for test results. I am 59 and falling apart. I cared for my father for years and not even a yr later, hubby had heart attack, suffered closed head injury and the hip fracture. I am tired of taking care of people and especially one that yells all day long and if I even so much as say, my back hurts, he will say "what about me?" It is all about him and always was but I did not notice or it did not come out until well into our marriage. I saw on this board postings about narcissists and this fit hubby. I would have never thought this. Every once in a while he will say kind words and how he appreciates all I do but I can no longer buy his bull. We have been married almost 17 yrs. His 2 adult daughters barely call and helping is out of the question. He has siblings but they will not help me. I am alone in this and in mental and physical pain. I find myself wanting to hurt him and that is very unlike me. I have turned into a monster and hate it. I cannot afford to put him in any homes, we own house and owe over hundred grand on it. He has small annuity in his name only but if he goes to assisted living, they will probably take our monthly income to pay for it, which would leave me to sell home with no income to live. I stopped working in 2009 to care for dad and now hubby. I cannot afford lawyer at all, we have no will either. I am not protected at all. Sorry for such a long story, where should I turn? I am in Michigan.

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Wow, BettyG your situation sounds a lot like mine. I too have an elderly husband whose health is going downhill fast and he is now having a difficult time walking. Over the past few years everything has fallen on my shoulders to take care of around the house. Even when he could still do some things around the house, he just would sit around all day and criticize me for getting things done. I understand the he is suffering from his "loss' of control and ability to do things he once did and is now facing his mortality BUT that's not an excuse to sit around all day and do nothing (not even make a phone call to a plumber/electrician or anyone). I use to care about him, but that has since left! I too am thinking divorce is the best solution as I can at least have a better life. Why should we sacrifice our lives to husbands that don't care about themselves or us anymore. I too worry about our house if I left because he can't take care of it...and I would like to sell it. At one time, I wanted to move and downsize, but of course he wouldn't budge. So, I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place and most of it is his fault. Not sure I can wait until he dies...he's 81 or he might out live me!!!! He does have a son, but he sure wouldn't want him either. So what do you do with people like this.
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I agree with Veronica91. I think you will be able to find a job as a waitress. You don't have to live like that. If you lose your house, can one of your daughters take you in until you can get on your feet? If I were you, I'd start right away finding out how to get your husband in a nursing home. Start shopping around for nursing homes. Call the Medicaid office and see if he qualifies. If so, Medicaid will pay the portion of the nursing home you can't afford. Reach out to his daughters and let them know your plans and they might have to come help their dad. Lastly, talk to your husband. He may not be able to move around well, but his mind is still clear and he has a certain amount of responsibility for figuring out what he will do without you. I really feel for you and wish you the best.
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sorry had a good day with mom and then a terrible day. Shouldn't vent on your hard times. How do you handle this when you are sick too? My brother has depression too and is the caretaker for my mom who is newly sick . I go between two households to help but it just isn't enough. Doctors are quick to prescribe pills but don't follow up on how families are surviving . At least not in Illinois.
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Look around your area and surrounding areas for adult daycare centers. If your husband has medicaid, some adult daycares accept that. Adult daycares are good when caregiver needs respite. I got the adult daycare idea from this website too and it saved my life (mentally) since I am a caregiver for my grandpa with dementia. The daycare center is even telling me to take grandpa more often because I don't take him enough. Guessing because they need more money LOL.
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I think I would leave and live in my car......what kind of society is this that we have to live like this?. Human resources is turning OLD into a BIG BUSINESS.
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Taking care of someone you love deeply and who has changed through no fault of his own is expressing compassion and love. I did it for 10 years, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Taking care of an abusive person you have been out of love with and on the verge of a divorce is self-imposed martyrdom. It is not healthy, and in my book it earns no gold stars.

At this point it would be cruel to totally abandon this man who depends on you. But there are many ways you can ensure that he is taken care of, without being married to him and without doing the care yourself.

Go ahead with that divorce.

You can't afford a lawyer? I say you can't afford NOT to have legal advice. Can your children help you find free or reduce cost legal help? Can they loan you money for lawyer fees, until you get back on your feet?

I know how hard it can be to take charge of a bad situation when you suffer from depression. The fact that you took the initiative to post here is a very positive sign. See your doctor for additional help with the depression.

I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your children, but if it is suitable, share with them your plans and hopes, and give them permission to nudge you to take the steps you intend to. It is too easy to sit mired in hopelessness if there is no one on your side to get you moving.

Come back often and tell us how things are going.
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Go ahead with that divorce. That does not mean you can no longer care for hubby if you wish but your finances will be separated. I believe many places will hire you as a waitress as long as you present yourself well. I frequently see older waitresses when eating out and my husband tends to tip better because he thinks they need the money. You should be able to claim the spousal benefit on hubby's SS so that will give you something. face the fact that you will not be able to keep the house on your own but if it is sold and you are divorcing you will be entitled to half of any money left after the mortgage is paid. Medicare will take the annuity to help pay for the N/H plus most of his SS but as the surviving spouse you are entitled to keep the home a vehicle and a lot - I don't remember how much- of joint savings. You can apply for help from social services and may get cash, food stamps and help with housing. you can get free legal help from Legal Aid. ask your kids for help. Instead of worrying themselves sick ask them to step up to the plate and help you with all the applications and go on appointments with you as an advocate. If your antidepressants are not working ask your Dr to change or increase the dose. It makes all the difference to have someone emotionally holding your hand. Good luck to you. This is not going to be easy but you can't go on like this so take charge yourself before events overtake you.
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Can you start exercising? It is the easiest and fastest way way to get some self respect. When are bodies do what we tell tthem, it feels great, something is under our control. . Baby steps will free you. Apply for jobs, what can they do say no? You are no worse off. You have options. Good luck
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Thanks for your reply Kathy. I did mention I am 59 and you are right, I have no self esteem left at all and no will to make a move to do anything but complain and hope help will find me. At least I see what I am doing but so stressed and depressed that I can barely make any phone calls for anything. I do not have a church, for sure would hope to never care for another again, I am a waitress and loved it but not sure if anyone will hire a 59 yr old. Don't know if I dont try. I am on Zoloft and xanax but that is no longer enough. I would never hurt myself, I have two beautiful children, ages 26 and 28 who are besides themselves worrying about me but I sit back and think how peaceful it would be not to wake up. Warning bells! I will take your advice and make appt to see my Dr and contact government agcy on aging. Thanks so much. I need a kick in the ass!
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Enough is enough, he won't help himself then he needs to be in a nursing home. Don't feel quilty, get free. Second hand smoke will kill you. Reason enough to bale. Take care of yourself. You have options. Is he a veteran? If so then google VA caregiver respite care. You don't mention your age? Connect your county council on aging. It goes by many names but it is your local gov't agency to handle just this kind of problem. They can't bankrupt you to pay for his care. Get to your doctor, explain your situation, get an anti depressant, and documentation of your stress.

Let me repeat you have options. The first thing abusers do is rob you of your self esteem. You can get a job as a caregiver. The need is enormous. You could be a 24/7 caregiver and earn $5,000.00 a month while your room and board is paid for. Get free. Do you have a church? Talk to the pastor. Take action.
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