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My father in law refuses to listen to what I ask of him. He always wants to be (always) confrontational with me. I've tired a few different approaches & nothing seems to work, with the exception of having to raise my voice. I'm not comfortable with doing this, because I know he can hear me & what's being asked of him. His son asks him to do things & he (completely) complies to whatever he says with no problem(s) what so ever. However, since I'm dealing with him, for 12 hours a day, I'm becoming a bit confused as to why he doesn't? To me, it almost seems as though he playing games with me. He seems to want me to get upset with him. I don't understand that "concept?" Why does the one that does the most for him, feeding, changing his clothes, showering, & shaving him does he do this with? I need some helpful suggestions please. I'm a bit, not only confused by this behaviour, but why he continues to do this for the one giving him the most amount of care?

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Many of us come on here to vent. That is good. Quite often we read blustery words about what members would do in our circumstance. But often their own stories show that they are also struggling. The truth is that right now there are no good solutions to the problems that go with elder care. The solutions that free us cost more money than many of us have. And many caregivers are in a situation that if they leave, then they will be on the streets. We really just have to figure out individually what will work best in our own situations. How can we take care of ourselves better, given the cards we hold at the moment? For many of us it would help to take better care of ourselves emotionally and physically. We can look inside to try to decide what we need to make ourselves better and do the things to work on ourselves.

This week I have really been grappling with the knowledge that my life is no longer my own. I am living someone else's life. I could heed advice to leave it all and head to the hills, but that is not wise advice. What I know I really need to do is look inside myself and try to figure out how I can be happier and how I can take some of my life back. When we get far down the caregiving path we can lose ourselves and can't really figure out what we want to do anymore. We need people, but they are one of the first things that disappear when we're caregiving. We aren't much fun anymore.

So how do we make ourselves happier? What do we do to feel better, both mentally and physically? I'll let you know if I ever figure it out. But for now I better get ready to take my mother to the doctor. Sigh.
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JessieBelle, I think (in answer to your question) the apple didn't fall far from the tree with dad and son. Frustrated is doing all of the work and is being ignored by both father AND son. Frustrated, if it was me, I'd work on your husband. Your FIL needs some outside help to give you a break and to let someone else be responsible for him for part of every day.

The one thing I'll say is that dementia causes a lack of initiative in people. If you watch Teepa Snow videos on Youtube, that's one of the 10 signs of dementia. My mom doesn't have Alzheimers, but does have dementia or loss of cognitive function. She will let things sit that she would never have left in her younger days. Or she'll say she'll write letters to friends, but she won't. She has zero initiative. So some of that may be going on with your FIL. He's not going to change, so you have to work on your husband, in my view.
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If this happened with me, my next conversation would be with my husband, telling him that his father had to go somewhere else. He cannot be punching you. If my mother started hitting me, I would not be here anymore. I tolerate quite a lot, but I won't tolerate physical abuse.
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My mother has been with us for 10 yrs with Dementia. Had we placed her in the beginning, she would have been out of money and with us anyway after a few years. She once was the most active women in her community. We now say there is a magnet in the couch and a metal plate in her rear that the magnet draws her to it. She once knit, crocheted, worked with numerous charities, gardened, to name a few. Now it is an effort to breathe. We can get her to read, but she nods off frequently, just don't suggest it, she'll fly off the handle and deny it. She asks if we want her to go back to bed often. Raising our voice has become a standard of communication. She is as deaf as a rock but refuses to get Dr. recommended hearing aids. Most of the time we think she just tunes us out. Dad was like that too, but smiled when she would go off on him; he knew, LOL. She makes all kinds of rude noises, which she claims she can not hear herself, but when asked why we get, "because I want to". She can get verbally combative but never physically. Almost every conversation involves an argument. "Why should I, what's that for, I don't want to, go to hell, go jump in the lake, etc. All part of the process. Bathroom visits are often. BM's are a nightmare since she cannot cleanup herself and won't ask for help, then it is too late. Patience is a virtue; however, it is wearing thin. We get away at least one week a year and place her in a ALF while we are gone, which get expensive. No family member is willing to relieve us for any length of time. Dad only lasted 2 yrs after diagnosed, we are convinced she is immortal. The amount of pills she takes per day is going to preserve her forever, LOL. The parent/child reversal ratio definitely applies here. I wish you all the best of luck. It don't get no better when you're not wealthy.
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Fustrated, we run into this a lot. You are female and you are the caregiver, so your FIL doesn't mind show you the respect that he shows others. In your shoes I would talk to hubby about it and let him handle it with his father. Having to deal with disrespect 12 hours a day is too much for anyone.
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Fustrated, I have to ask. How old are you and has your husband always provided all the family money? Is taking care of his father like your job? I am trying to figure out why your husband can shrug this off so easily. If it is like your job, it would make sense.
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Okay, I am going to change course here. Fustrated, the part about smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day grabbed me. While tobacco can make us feel better immediately, it actually does just the opposite. Cigarettes make us more anxious, raise the blood pressure, depress the mood, and make us feel terrible. Paradoxically, since you are smoking a lot it may be easier for you to cut back and stop. If you go to a store, such as Wal-Mart, you can pick up a box of 4-mg nicotine lozenges and use them instead of the cigarettes. You will be surprised at how much better you feel if you cut back on smoking or quit altogether. Don't let cigarettes get in your way of living.

I know that caregiving makes a smoker want to smoke more. I have been tempted to run to the store to get a pack on occasion. I do have some lozenges. Don't laugh, but the nicotine seems to help me deal with anger. I guess I will always be a nicotine junkie. I feel better that I'm not destroying my lungs with it.

I just thought about a truth for me: My mother drives me to nicotine. I should learn a more effective way of handling my anger. :-(
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Frustrated, I'm giving this one more shot. You DON'T have to leave. Just stop doing anything/everything for FIL.

The only thing you can change in this equation is your behavior. So just stop doing things for him.

If you feel obligated, make food and put it on the table,and announce the meal. Then go read a book in another room.

Stop enabling everyone's denial and bad behavior.
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I AM grateful to the people that have stuck all this nonsense out with me. Sometimes, we just need a "push into a brick wall" to see what we're missing out on in life & how little it comes as a "cost" to someone else;their life. I have taken much of the costs from my own life, to do/save another's life. Now that he's "healthier" than he used to be, it's now MY time to enjoy whatever's left of my own life.

I deeply thank & appreciate the people, on this board, that supported me, when things were at their worst. Sometimes, just having people to empathize with you, understand, & give you (your) life a direction, is all that's "required.I guess, even with all the up's & down's in life, there's still (some) people left that "get it" when it comes to another's life, what their enduring, or just being kind enough to listen/offer support.

The journey is long, but we pave our own paths, when someone else tires to "redirect" our own. Yes, I will (still) need support, because this has just started. However, I know I CAN do this, because I realize that I do have it. Thank you isn't nearly enough of an 'expression' I can use/say to the people here. Even with the "rough comments," they were just trying to help me "pave a better path" for not only my life, but most importantly...myself.
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Just an update, since haven't posted & read last comment.

Things have continued to "land slide" with his father & his behaviour(s) twords myself. He's now refusing to do anything I request from him. He will, however, go eat food when I make/serve it to him. My patients has run it's course with all of this. I'm up to 3 packs a day, which isn't healthy for myself. I was in to see my doctor. I was told, that my blood pressure's high, vitamin D is (excessively) low, & my health isn't doing well. My teeth are getting so bad, because I've needed a root canal (since April) & been unable to get into the dentist, because I don't have anyone else to watch his father. Now, I have a "foul taste" in my mouth & brushing isn't helping. I'm on antibotics Further more, my daughter's having complications with her baby, that's due by the end of this month. She's (again) in the hospital ( 2 time in 2 day's) & they're keeping her until the blood pressure drops. IF it doesn't, they will have to make a decision to deliver my little granddaughter. I'm extremely worried/concerned about her health as well as my unborn granddaughter's health. I was just informed, as I was typing this up, they're inducing my daughter.

So, what I have decided to do is this. I AM moving out. I've found a female, that was searching for a roomy. I have packed, a lot of things up, but haven't moved them out, will be starting tonight. Also, to do "one last favor" to his father, I gave him a shower, shaved him, & gave him a hair cut. I figure, I'd be responsible enough to leave him "fresh & clean." Here's the sad part. He (his son) just told his dad today, that IF I move out, he's "done." Now, that means done living/residing here, which means nursing home. I've tried & done the very best I can for him, but the stress of caring for him is too great to my own health. I feel selfish for saying this;honestly. However, he needs more help than I can do any further. It's hard with everything I have to do, but some how I hope I will make it through (all) of this.

Thank you for your support. *hugs*
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