Hello - my wife's mother is now 75. 30 years ago she married a man 21 years her senior who became my wife's step father. He is still in "good" health at age 96. Generally speaking, all the important stuff is still healthy. However, he has lost almost all vision because of macular degeneration, and his hearing is probably only 5% of normal.
Over the past few years, my wife's mother has been having health issues. She had kidney cancer caught at the right time (kidney removed and seemingly all cancer with it). She has also had heart issues, and they've shown up once again. All the doctors say it is largely stress-related.
She and her husband live at home, and she is is full time caregiver. She dresses him, lifts him out of bed and to the toilet. He has a catheter. She helps him down the hall, down the steps, cooks every meal, etc. He is a grumpy and demanding at times and has shown some signs of dementia.
But of course, she cares for him out of love - bittersweet to see wedding vows unbroken.
Yet it is clear to all around her that this job is far, far too much for her and taking a growing toll on her own health.
With her, we've had many discussions. In-home care, moving him to a home, etc.
But at the core, even at 96, he still runs the show and dictates how things will be. And he wants them exactly as they always were - with her, at home. She feels extreme guilt. If she were to move him to a home, aside from the fact that her phone would ring non-stop with him calling, at age 96, it's likely that would be his last home. And he'd be spending it there vs. passing peacefully with her at home.
We love them both, and simply want the best for both.
It's a tough situation. But we think the main problem is that any major change would have to be driven from her, and her guilt prevents change.
However - if the decision was NOT hers - then a new situation would simply be a fact of life, not her fault, and easier for her to handle.
Quite honestly, we believe she is no longer even capable of providing proper care for him. There are probably related laws to that (they live in Pennsylvania).
She needs care herself.
If you can no longer see - you can't have a driver's license. If you can no longer care for another human - might your ability to provide care be restricted?
As such, if there was a law, or even if there were "doctor's orders" that stated she was no longer allowed/capable - then it's neither his decision OR hers. It's simply a fact of life.
Thus - does anyone have any familiarity with that?
Directly related - my wife (her daughter) and I - we are in our early 40s with 3 young children. We live 1000 miles away sadly. However, regardless of any laws or doctor's notes - how can we make this situation OUR responsibility?
For two years, we've said the situation cannot continue, but been rebuked. Is there any way we ourselves could gain authority of the situation and ourselves mandate, for example, that he move to a home? Or even that they both move to a home?
There is no abuse going on - only love. But by comparison, is someone wasn't caring for a 5 year old properly - some authority would need to step in. Despite the love, the real situation is not a good one. It is past the point of needing intervention.
So we're looking for any help or direction on the topic.