My dad today had to leave hospital and go to long term care. I had been shuttling my mom who has never learned to drive to the hospital, rehab, nursing home etc for many hours a day for twenty days in a row. She takes advantage of me as my work and financial situation is flexible compared to that of my brothers. Of course she can taken advantage of me as I let her. She is highly anxious, asking the same stupid questions over and over, gets mad when I eventually blow up at her, will not wear her hearing aids, drives the health care workers crazy with incessant rapid machine gun questioning, again, the same questions over and over and most of which are not important at all. After the last hospital stay, we found a memory care which is more just an assisted living one bedroom apartment where my mom could live with my dad for his remaining days. She refuses to as she will not live in a place called memory care even though in this same place there are many couples living in apartments where only one spouse needs the memory care. So instead we have to put my dad in a nursing home sharing a room with someone else (not the worse, I understand many do this) but woudlnt he be happier with his wife with him all the time? (stupid question, maybe he wouldn't. If I were my dad I would not my mom to be around him, we often suspect her nutty behavior over 60 years drove him to his cognitive burnout.) But in his current state, I believe he does appreciate a familiar face. I had hoped for home care so my poor dad could be home, but that is expensive, but that aside, my mom gets all pissy saying she does not want strangers in her home. I would even be willing to pay for it for my dad's sake, even though they would have enough money to do it. I have been with her many hours a day for twenty days and simply cannot take it anymore. If it weren't for my dad, I would tell her where to get off but I fell I now need to take my mom to my dad at nursing home for his sake. The health care workers have always remarked that for a dementia patient, my dad is so remarkably low key, easy to be with, not ornery generally, etc. His mind just doesn't work which leads to swallowing problems and aspiration/pneumonia, etc. I don't know what to do. As said, I would just simply "divorce" my mom if that didn't end up hurting my dad. I am thinking of taking my dad in my own home or moving in with him in the memory care one bedroom apartment so he can spend his remaining days with a familiar face. My mom will not take anxiety meds as prescribed by her MD. Her own MD told her my mom wears the MD out after a ten minute consult. I have to be with my mom hours a day days on end. Anyway, I could rant forever, surprised if anyone is still reading but it has been helpful just to type this stuff out.

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You don't have to tell your mother every time you visit your Dad, you know. You don't have to lie about it, either. Just keep shtum.

And for her visits to him, perhaps "once a week is ample," as the Victorians' advice to married ladies used to be. If she really can't bear to be apart from him the rest of the time, let someone else take her. It does NOT have to be you. Find excuses.

Your father, I'm sure, loves your mother very much. And you are correct that familiar faces are important. But...

I don't know how to put this more kindly.

... your father has just experienced a dramatic reduction in quotidian, ambient stress. His care team report him a delight to handle. Is that necessarily a complete coincidence, do you think?

Your mother may get used to not having your father to cope with every day very quickly; and it may eventually reduce her anxiety. I know you don't like her - and you're allowed! - but don't underestimate how tensely wound she must be after the last few years. It's a slowly building, cumulative affect that does no good for anybody's natural temper.

Your mother sounds quite similar to my MIL; and what I noticed about her behaviour was not just that it made us all like cats on hot bricks around the lunch table but that on occasion it seemed to cause my late FIL physical pain - he suffered from angina and neuralgia, poor man, and her regular melodramas can't have helped.

So I shouldn't regret that memory care apartment, if I were you. Let your Dad settle for now, let your mother get used to a routine where you and any other recruits you (or even better she) can enlist take her to see him; then see where you are and how they both adjust.
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This sounds so much like my parents. I believe my mom's anxiety, depression and the fact that she was such a downer to live with, eventually drove my dad into dementia. At the very least, earlier than it would have affected him. I run my own business and am constantly interrupted with parent-drama. So, I end up at my desk 7 days a week to make up the time.

My dad lives in a very nice ALF and he is in a two-room suite with kitchenette and private bath. Formerly, a married couple lived in the suite. Anyway, my mom says she can no longer take care of herself but she says no way, no how will she move in with my dad. It's so sad. He is the one with dementia, but she is so awfully mean to him and everyone else. It's just the worst situation. I am an only child and I have nobody but this site to really vent to.
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Thanks. I did tell my mom today I intend to visit my dad alone on some days which sent her into a panic. She asked if I was visiting him anyway, why could I not pick her up? I honestly said, as when I am with her too much she drives me nuts.
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Vent away! My goodness, what an awful situation you are in.

Can you arrange some other transportation for Mom?

To give your dad a friendlier familiar face, could you visit alone every other day, and take Mom on the alternate days?

In any case, rant away! Glad it helps some.
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