How to help, not only myself, but someone else's father that refuses to take care of themselves?


It's been off/on for year's now, that my husband has forced his dad's care upon myself. I'm disabled & it's becoming (seriously) overwhelming for myself. His son refuses to help him or do anything to help me or his own father. I'm becoming resentful this has been forced upon myself. I have no life, since this has happened. My attitude(s) have changed & not for the better either. I find, the patients I used to have, is all but empty, like a glass. I need some direction.

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I'm going to add to my previous post--I was the ONLY caregiver at that time. We did have a local CNA coming in, but dad wouldn't let them in, and after ringing the bell a couple of times, they'd leave. what a joke! I went straight from my FIL's funeral to helping care for my dying father for the NEXT 8 months. In this situation, mother had hospice, home nursing, PT and a ton of help. Daddy just needed the occasional "companion" so mother could get a break. I GLADLY cared for daddy, as he was grateful, sweet and, well, he was MY daddy. I had no issues with caring for FIL, HE was appreciative, it was the rest of the family who were thoughtless. Mother had so much help with dad in his final months. It made the process of dying so much easier and calmer. With my FIL I was always in hot water for messing something up.

I think had the FAMILY accepted what I saw: Dad (FIL) was in the final stages of life--then we could have had a sit down and discussed his care. This never happened. The 2 sons just looked the other way and my SIL was stressed over a wedding for her daughter. Families need to talk and be together on the care plan. (Laughing to myself: my family is nowhere near being like this for mother's care. It's a hot mess, all the time).

Hard to play the "shoulda, woulda, coulda, game. Nobody wins.
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I would like, first off, to thank all the people that have provided me with some help/assistance/guidance. This isn't easy for myself, as I don't have the energy to keep up with doing all of this. Having patience with people, hasn't (ever) been a problem/issue with me, as I seem to have an abudance of it. What I lack, in real life, is some (serious) support. I (deeply) appreciate this site, the people, & the time/advice given to me. Thank you all for your posting(s)! *Hugs*

I think the biggest problem(s) are with his son & not "accepting" that he should be doing the (majority) of the work for his own father. To me, "passing the buck" to someone else, that has (serious) health issue's of their own, isn't looking "through the glass from both sides." It's "tunnel vision." Having a property, that is not being used, because his father's at our place, is a (complete) waste of monies, in my way(s) of thinking. It could be better used, by helping his father & providing him with addtional services that are avaible for someone with his condition(s). It also could be used, for providing care for his father & giving me a bit of time to "recharge my batteries" from all of this. It's not a reality that will soon happen & I can see this. I just need to find some (productive) ways to keep getting through this on a daily basis. Again, this places helps me more than I can express.
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Everyone here has given you very good information, but I would like to add that you start documenting everything, I know that this is more work for you, but it's important, record the daily activities you provide, ie: dressi, showering, shaving, meals and what you served him. His general well being each day. Maybe even take pictures of him eating these meals, nif only there ever comes a time, when you have to prove, that you are giving him good care. This may come in handy, if ever you get Home health involved oer worst case, Adult Protective Services, should you be under investigation of Not providing good care. Now, check out your states Area on Aging, each state has one, though sometimes they go by a slightly different name. They can send out a case worker, who will evaluate him, his insurance, and what services they might be able to procure for him and you. If he is collecting Medicare only, he may well be eligible for Medicaid, and if he has a secondary insurance, the HOME HEALTH, authorized by his Dr, which you should insist on, will probably be covered at 100%. He may be eligible for PT, OT, A SOCIAL WORKER, AN AIDE, TO ASSIST IN SHOWERING, and many othe home health services. You must be proactive to get the help YOU need. Beyond that, look into Respite, sometimes, if ther isn't monies available, there are grant programs, and the Area on Aging can assist you with this. Adult day programs are also out there, though sometimes these cost money, but they can assist you with this also! If I were you, I would walk out that door, early every Sunday morning, and don't come back until evening, go to a park, the library, church, anywhere, but don't come back until evening, to give your husband a taste of what you do every day. Do this as many Sundays in a row, as you can manage to get your point access! Your husband has you in a position of slave, and slavery was abolished many many years ago! Read some of these posts to him, especially about caregiver burnout, it's real, you are facing it firsthand, and you need a break! He is acting like a complete @ss! I would wipe the floor with him if I were you, but I am a very strong and mouthy wife, who takes No BS, from any man! Stand up for yourself! The time is NOW! Soldier on, one foot in front of the other! Keep coming back here to vent and for more help and keep reading the threads that pertain to your situation. It will help you get stronger and more apt to help yourself! Take care of you!
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Your saying "his son" instead of "my husband" shows you are feeling very dis-connected to your husband. I would feel that way too!

I was in a similar situation with my husband's father, for the last 6-8 months of his life. My hubby felt that I had plenty of time and energy to take care of his father (and two of our own daughters, who still lived at home) AND take care of our home and all that goes along with it.

I was completely unappreciated, by my hubby, and had his father not passed away when he did--I think this would have ended our marriage. Hubby said "family takes care of family"--but anything remotely related to caregiving, hubby would get faintheaded and have to lie down. Literally, he could not handle ANYTHING "gross" and was useless with care. I ended up going to dad's house 3-4 times a day (20 mile roundtrip) so he could get the care he needed. I absolutely refused to bring him into our home, something that is STILL an issue between hubby and myself. To this day he thinks his dad would still be alive if I had been a better caregiver. The truth is, he had leukemia and he outlived his sentence by 10 years.

I did not take time for myself, at all. I was on the go 20 hours a day---after dad died and we liquidated all his assets--I began having migraines, nonstop that lasted for weeks. Just PTSD. Hubby didn't get it.

I WISH I had passed a weekend of care off to my hubby. Several, actually. Simply tell him "You take care of your father 24/7 for 3-4 days. See how that goes". He would have fallen to pieces.

Do check into other areas for care. You are obviously burned out and unhappy. Sounds like your marriage is not in the greatest shape, either. My husband alternately liked/hated that I spent so much time on his dad. He wouldn't help, so he couldn't really complain, but he was a jerk most of the time. Dad was sweet and tried to not be a nuisance, but he was so sick. It was dealing with my hubby that was hard. 13 years later, he's still mad at me, on some level.

In retrospect, dad should have been in a NH the last year of his life. We tried to give him quality of life, he had it, but at what a huge cost to me, my health and my marriage. I do know that when my MIL gets to "that stage" I will not be here to help. Sounds mean, I know, but I HAVE to self preserve. So do you. Good luck.
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Call the commission on aging. When my exes father was too unsteady to bathe himself, they sent an aide 2 hours a week for hygiene and grooming.
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Lassie-Hired help costs money. I don't (personally) think that (either one) they can afford that. I know I'm unable to afford it or I would do it. The last time I checked, how much it would cost, it was around $13.00 (plus) an hour. While his father's not completely incapable of doing things, he just wants to be "lazy" & not do anything for himself. I do realize that he's older & things come with age. However, he (his father) makes "excuses," as I refer to them, as to why he isn't able to do things for himself. Simple things like going to the bathroom, to me, is a project for him, because he has to walk upstairs to go. To him, it's "easier" to just go in his depends.

Now, I don't know all the "effects" of his disease, but I've done (enough) reading to know, that he's not as unable to do things as his behaviour(s)/attitude(s) are. I give him showers, because I know that he's not able to handle things like that. However, even shaving his face, with an electric shaver, he seems not to even want to do? Even that I must do for him. I do, however, have him change his own clothes. That he has no problem(s) with. It's almost like he doesn't want to do things for himself, so that he doesn't have to live alone any more. While I can understand he needs help, the degree(s) of the help he (truly) needs, isn't as much as what he's (truly) capable of doing for himself. He, again, just makes the choice(s) not to, so he doesn't have to do anything & have it (pretty much) all done for him.

I do care/love him, but to me, being taken advantage of isn't right/correct. I don't believe, in all honesty, that he could or even should be left alone.

I personally think/feel it comes down his father refusing to want to do anything for himself, since it's been made "easy" for him not to. I serve him breakfast, lunch, & dinner. I have done his laundry for him, helped him shower, shave, clipped his finger/toe nails, & even cut his hair. When you become "accustom" to someone that you know will do it all for you, why make any efforts? I think that's what all of this boils down to. I've constantly been the one that brings him back to a healthier state. While, mentally, I can tell when he's "off" a bit, for the majority of things, at least for right now, he's "on."
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I have so many questions from your posts. You're on disability - do you get disability payments? What happens to that money? Your husband works 6 days a week, 12-hour days from what you're saying, is that right? Those are long, long hours. If that's true, your husband is probably pretty tired. I'm not excusing his behavior, just trying to understand the whole picture.

Are your husband/father-in-law from another culture originally, which might explain their behavior towards you, in expecting you to just take care of your father-in-law?

If your father-in-law has Alzheimers, which you say he has, you need to educate yourself about what that means for his behaviors. You are saying he's not doing for himself. If he has Alzheimers, his brain is broken and he may NOT be able to do for himself. The same about him being mean to you or saying you haven't fed him for two days. Anyone who knows anything about Alzheimers (or dementia) understands that you can't take what those folks say at face value.

My mom, who has no short-term memory, will say it's the first time she's heard something, when I've told it to her 20X. I'm not worried about anyone thinking she's telling the truth, because if you're around her for 10 minutes, you can see she's not remembering what happened two minutes ago. So quit worrying about what your father-in-law might say about not being fed, if he's of normal weight.

I would start checking with your father's insurance (Medicare, I assume) to see if outside caregivers can be brought in for a few hours a week, to give you a break.

Have you ever had friends? If so, start contacting some of them to reestablish contact. Your husband and father-in-law are happy with how things are, so don't expect any help from them. You have to be the one to change your life and it will take some major guts on your part. But you can do it!
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You certainly need more help than a few comments on this forum. All *I* can suggest is try to get some hired help in and stop living a life of slavery. If that's not possible because your husband is against it, I would start saving up some money. I would call a women's shelter because you are being abused, and I would go stay there while I filed for divorce. Let your husband and father live happily ever after, you can do the same.
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Babalou. I don't feel like it's a marriage & that's difficult for me to say. Yes, I'm not a paid care giver. I'm disabled;legally. The resources his dad has, his son's not wanting to use, in my opinion. My thinking is that, if he would tell someone else, that's not familiar with him/his mental health, a whole lot of "things" could happen. Just off the top of my head, like him saying I haven't fed him in 2 days. That alone, while being able to prove his weight is healthy, doesn't mean anything to a complete stranger. Due to things, like elderly abuse these days, they have a legal obligation to investiage. While I've taken extremely good care of him & I know I have, I don't need to keep being forced to do this;daily.

No, honestly, I have no friends. I do have medical insurance. However, due to being unable to leave his father alone, I'm unable to do anything. His son is only around him, for short period's of time. That would be less than a few hours, before it's bed time & Sunday's the only day he has off. So, that mean, for 12 hours a day, 6 day's a week, I'm the one providing his father with whatever he needs.
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It doesn't sound like this is much of a marriage. Am i reading this correctly? Your husband is using you as an unpaid caregiver for his dad?

What resources has dad got? Would he qualify for Medicaid? Has he been examined by a geriatric psychiatrist? Sometimes meds help with paranoia.

You have no friends? Do you have medical insurance? Find a therapist or mental health counselor and start going to therapy. Go to the public library. Walk in the park. Start getting used to GETTING OUT.
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