I've been taking care of my mother, with pretty advanced dementia, for 2 1/2 years now. My husband is supportive but at 68 he wants his life back. This has been a bad year. My beloved dog died only 2 months after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and my husband just received a diagnosis of lung cancer. I don't know what our future holds but I am going into this burned out. I am turning 65 next month and I don't understand why her life is worth more than mine. How does a person get through ?

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I’m so sorry that everything is crashing down around you. And about your dog. I totally understand that. Lost my two old ladies within 6 weeks of each other.

Unfortunately, your situation has come to the point where you need to make a difficult choice, your mother or your husband. He is ill and has expressed his wish that he be allowed to fight this battle in peace. Dementia is an awful disease. There’s no reverse gear. He may simply just be tired of dealing with it. There is no shame or guilt in admitting its time to consider a facility for your mom. You’ve put in your time. Be there for your husband and help him win this battle.
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Her life is not worth more than yours. You deserve happiness, freedom to enjoy your retirement and more.

If Mum is not in a care facility, now is the time. No ifs and or buts. If it were hit by a bus, she would be in care. If she is in a care facility, let the staff do their job.

Now your husband, he has a big challenge ahead of him and he will need you love and support. Is there any way the two of you can go for a short holiday before he starts treatment? Even a 2 night get away to reaffirm your commitment to each other?

You need to schedule cruxx time. You need to plan time each week, hopefully more than once a week, where you do something you enjoy. Hopefully you can reconnect with friends, as you will need their support as your hubby goes through treatment.

You and your hubby need to make a plan for housework, lawn/garden care, snow removal, seasonal chores, car maintenance, that he usually does. One so it is not an extra chore for you during his treatment, and 2 because you need to have a list of everything in case he does not make it. Not trying to scare you, but you best be prepared.

It is time to make sure your affairs are in order, update your Wills, POA etc.
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Her life isn't worth more than yours......your priorities have gotten confused with all the caregiving and heartache you've been faced with lately. Now is the time to put yourself and your husband first, and to get mom placed in a memory care or Skilled Nursing Facility. You will need every ounce of your strength to deal with your own difficulties right now and you know you've done all you possibly can for mom. I just said to my husband tonight that I am starting to feel like my mother, who is 92, is going to oulive he and I. I moved my folks out here in 2011 and I'm quite close to full burnout myself, sigh. It's all too much after awhile, especially when we have our own health crises to face!
Sending you both hugs and prayers.
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If I were you, I'd find assisted living for Mom, like it or not. And do it like yesterday. If you want to share what time your hubby has left, put Mom somewhere...and don't EVER feel guilt over any thing, any decision, you make. If you don't consider doing this, you will be the one left by yourself, with no help forthcoming from anywhere. Eat up with the "what if's, and if I had only done that.." That's not living, it's simply surviving day to day. So, make that call, pack Mom's bags, and get on with your life.
Helpful Answer (18)
Shell38314 Jul 2019
Jazzy, Could not have said that any better. And every word is so true!

Cruxx, you really should place mom in a AL or somewhere, because the "what ifs" will and can drive you insane. Do it now while you have a chance.
Your husband comes first! Find long term/memory care for Mom & take care of hubby! He’s got alot on his mind now & he needs you. Draw strength from each other. God Bless, prayers!
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I'd like to say a word about my great aunt Ida. Lived with her daughter's family - her daughter insisted, until one day in her 80's she arranged to look at facilities.  Well, guess what, she found the life there much more congenial, friends, social activities, hobbies, etc. So, she had son-in-law work with her and it turned out she could afford a nice assisted living. She loved it! She told her daughter that she appreciated her daughter's efforts but was getting bored at her home.  Same old, same old. She lived to be 103.
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NancyInSc Jul 2019
I love your Great Aunt Ida. She was a smart and unselfish person. I bet everyone has great memories of her.
condolences on your Dog.

Candace A.Stewart has a great pamphlet called “welcome to planet Alzheimer’s”

Great info packed into a few pages.

Here's 10 rules while on planet Alzheimers. 

1. Never argue
2. Logic and Reason do not exist
3. Lying is acceptable 
4. You are not who you think you are, you are who they think you are 
5. Never take anything personal
6. Old memories are best
7. Learning to do something new is not important 
8. Being loved and accepted at all times is
9. Have NO expectations 
10. Take advantage of the shuttle back to earth as often as possible.

The road to come is an absurd place. 

Take care of yourselves. Do something you enjoy.
Helpful Answer (14)

So sorry for your husband and yourself. Your husband is right. Your mother needs to go into permanent care. You and your husband have a battle on your hands. I don’t know where you live but I would start seeking out agencies that will help you get her into care. Perhaps if you tell us where you live those who also live there can point you in the right direction
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You have enough on your plate. You and your husband need now to take care of yourselves. Please check now about placement for your mother and explain that you can no longer do it physically or mentally and are sorry, but it is simply a fact.
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Justme44 Jul 2019
Very true & well put. It's what Im currently facing myself. Mom fell a couple mornings ago. The ambulance comes & she was running low grade fever but they didn't take her to hospital. I requested bc she most likely has another lung infection, which I told them but they still didn't. I was going to get her placed after hospital visit but because she can refuse to go, even tho she needed to, they didn't. Its just so frustrating. I think I will just go through the primary doctor. I am ready though. Making it a smooth transition would be nice. She will never understand that im burnt out exausted and frankly given up my whole 30's. I want her to habe the care she truly needs, Now. Im aware that its just way more then i can do anymore. Its sad, it hurts but necessary. Prayers to u all! Do whatever it takes to make sure u are taking care of You. Can't wait to resume my life, although at this point it will be a day by day journey.
Her life is not worth more than yours. It sounds harsh, but she has lived her life. I think many elderly get self-absorbed. Most parents want their children to live their lives and it's their plan that their children outlive them. When you and hubby got married, you became as one, forsaking all others. This includes parents. :) It doesn't mean that we forget or neglect our parents, but it does mean that our spouse should come first.
Spend fun time together, even if it's day trips once per week or so or a candlelit dinner on your patio or deck if you have one. If you like the outdoors, spend time doing that. Whatever you two like to do together, plan often what you can or go off on the fly as you have time. You need to be there for your hubby and help him through these times while enjoying time together.
Tomorrow is never promised, no matter how old we are. A diagnosis magnifies the fact of how short life is. ((Hugs)) to you!
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