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My wife, over the past year, has had several strokes which have caused macular degeneration and vision disability. She's 74, I'm 76. We live at least 400 miles from what family we have left. Her condition is complicated by diabetes and other ailments. I'm the only caregiver and I don't see that changing. She been in rehab but refuses to go back, and if she goes to a nursing home she will consider that to be the ultimate betrayal. But she's angry, belligerent, and has a nasty mouth. Basically, she's feeling useless because she's going blind and is taking it out on me. My cooking doesn't please her - actually nothing does. She's also paranoid, thinking any minute the state will come and take her away. In this current climate with covid-19, I actually think her going to a home would be a death sentence in more way than one. She already doesn't trust doctors (although there she does have a point). Right now I'm not sure there is a solution, I'm just trying to cope. No question, just feel like venting at the moment.

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we thought we had found a caregiver we can trust but later we foud out that she's getting a divorce from an abuser and she hates men. She thinks I'm some kind of monster and wonder if she'd like to get rid of me so she can have my wife to herself. My wife Vickie agrees that she must think my wife is stupid for staying with me for over 40 years. Believe me Vickie is not stupid. Her first husband was abusive and she would have left along time ago if she thought I was that way.The caregiver has hurt herself a few times here ,and I'l admit the house is in bad shape but that's the main thing we need her for. She has mental and physical issues, her mother smokes pot and goes after any guy who has money, and the caregiver keeps hinting how she needs money; she's basically homeless and on disability herself. I'm wondering if we should see a lawyer. My son's no help he lives 400 miles away and is taking care of his grandmother. We seem to be surrounded by toxic people.
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Dear Dinoman, you and your wife need to look after each other. Your profile says that you need some help in housework or caring with her. Your wife Vicki is only two years older than me, and she needs to care for you too.

It is probably not the whole story that her birth mother ‘abandoned’ her. Back then the Catholic homes here for single pregnant women didn’t allow any choice to keep the baby. Although the nuns ran most of the local facilities, it certainly wasn’t encouraged anywhere, and there was no supporting parent benefit. Many women who gave up their babies have spent a life time regretting it, and weeping on the baby’s birthday. As a baby, does she really remember being “shoved in a dark room and left alone to cry”? It seems unlikely that her memories would go back that far – the adoptions happened quite quickly. Feeling like “a piece of meat hung on a hook” is her feeling, clearly not based on anything sensible, and quite frankly she needs to exercise a bit more self control.

I’m not surprised that your “problem is coping with it”. It might be a very good idea for your wife to get counseling, and for you to make it clear that she needs to be more helpful and rational. Sympathy clearly isn't turning her behavior around.

Well, at least that’s a different viewpoint for you! Think about it, Mr Nice Guy.
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Thanks, everyone. Despite her being not people-friendly we do love each other, been with her 40 years and she helped me when I had prostate cancer. I tend to give her a pass also because there's no telling what the strokes, other medical problems, and medicine has done to her brain. Dementia, not sure. Her dr is hard to see nowadays with the covoid-19 thing he's often too busy to talk to and even then it may be five minutes of his time.

Still, it's frustrating and venting here helps me get stuff off my chest. One thing I've been curious about is this hemp that's all the rage, that it might help her calm down.

Tony Stewart
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When people with dementia are ‘angry and belligerent’, they can’t often control it. If your wife doesn’t have dementia, her behavior is a choice she is making. You need to set boundaries about behavior. If your wife is unpleasant, leave the room and say ‘I’ll come back when you are feeling a bit happier’. The first few times, this is likely to prompt a mini-meltdown. When you return, ask if she is feeling happier, and if not, leave again. She can wait a little while for her lunch or her coffee or whatever. If you keep it up, eventually the penny will drop and the behvior should change. Being left suddenly alone feeling angry will normally make someone develop some self control. It is not your fault that she has diabetes or vision issues. She needs to see you as her helper, not her punching bag.
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Oh geez. That's unfortunate that your soon-to-be-helper is now being demanding of you too! NOT what you need. Nice of you to loan her an AC.

Do you think you can count on her to help you get the house in order or will you need to consider finding someone else?

Check with the Lions Club. They do a lot of work with sight impaired people. Search for other options. Does she need a new laptop or a program?

You can only do so much so don't let ANYONE guilt you into doing more than you're comfortable doing. Boundaries. Not always easy to set but you need to think about where they need to be. What needs to happen in your world to make things easier for YOU? To reduce your stress? Make you able to work smarter, not harder? Get creative.
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Thanks people ,we thought we'd found a local lady who could at least help with the housework, but she fell and hurt her wrist and can't help for a several weeks. Then she's got problems of her own and we've ended up helping her instead of the other way around (like letting her use one of our room a/c's because hers went out).
The house itself is in shambles because I've been devoting most of my time to my wife. Now I've got two ladies griping at me because I'm not doing enough. meanwhile my wife wants a new laptop with voice activated software. Everyone seems to think I'm made of money and should be able to keep up with things better.
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I think it's very selfish of your wife to expect you to care for ALL of her myriad of health issues alone, frankly. It's unrealistic and 100% unnecessary as well. Going to a Skilled Nursing Facility is not a 'death sentence' either, by the way.........my mother lives in a Memory Care ALF and they've had no virus outbreaks at all. She now wants to go to a SNF and I called there yesterday and they are taking new residents; they haven't had any virus cases there either. They require a 14 day quarantine for any new residents coming in, that's all. So you may want to reconsider your position on placing her based on facts instead of unfounded worries. There is always a solution (or solutions) to problems for all situations; we just have to be willing to explore them and stay open to them, you know?

Having a wife with all of these health issues and then complaining all the time is just too much to cope with, for anyone, and I don't blame you for venting. I suggest you hire in-home help immediately so you can get out of the house every day and have some you time, away from everything. If your wife doesn't like it, well, sorry honey but MY life is just as important as YOUR life. Sometimes, care givers get all caught up thinking that the only person who matters is the one with the ailments. What about the one without the ailments?? There are TWO people here to consider, so please don't lose yourself in the process of caring for your wife. You matter too, just as much as she does. If you go down from burn out, what then? Then there will be NO other choice but to place her in Skilled Nursing, so think of it that way.

Wishing you the best of luck making some decisions about how to take some of YOUR life back, dear man.
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againx100 Aug 2, 2020
Excellent advice!

Yes, caregivers count too. We SHOULD NOT put all our energy and focus onto our LO, even if they TRY to demand that we do so. Just NOT healthy. Or necessary.

Please, get some assistance at home. Have them do cooking, cleaning, spending time with your wife so you can sneak out, etc. Just kidding about the sneaking part but you do need to get out sometimes. Being stuck home being a caregiver gets old and you guys are still pretty young so this could go on for a long time.

Have you been in touch with any organizations that deal with blindness? There are lots of great resources and tools that help them navigate the world. Even a seeing eye dog might be really helpful to give her some independence and some companionship.

Vent any time you need to!!!
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Dinoman...high stress can cause burnout...as will caring for someone 24/7/365 stress or not.
You need some help. If not for her sake but for yours. Get someone in to help you out.. Tell her the help is for you. Gradually the person you hire can start doing some things for your wife. You tell her you have to run to the store, the next time be gone a little longer. Build up to a day out.
A caregiver will know how to handle a bad attitude, often they can take a bit more than a relative.
Vent all you like..that is what this forum is all about. Hang in there, you know you are doing the best you can for your wife.
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