How do I make sure my marriage doesn't fall apart under the stress?

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My husband and I care for my 86 FIL with Alzheimer's. He gets really weird at stores asking any person that works there "can you help me find what I need" which of course they don't know but tell him "sure what are you looking for" and he says "you know that stuff I take" and they try more and ask "do you know what you are looking for and he says "well no I was hoping you could tell me". Then when he doesn't get whatever he thinks he needs he is belligerent with my husband and blames him for not getting what he wants. Yesterday he went up to the desk where they sell cigarettes and stuff and asked them where he could "find the medicine for the potty" which he has 3 Costco sized bottles at home and can keep him going for another year or two! He thinks he should be taken out and catered to every day and he doesn't understand that his son and I are working from home (well I do but my husband is PT selling and the rest is for him to take care of his dad. The most stressful part of it is that my husband's brother and sister refuse to do anything that would help us. His oldest son is jealous that their parents put my husband in charge of everything and that we had to move him in with us. They won't even call because they are mad at my husband. They just do not care at all about their Father. The day my MIL passed the brother had the audacity to tell his dad that he needed to go down to the bank first thing in the morning to get all the money put in his name because my husband would steal it all if not. Mind you the pastor was their blessing her body after taking her last breath 10 minutes before. He did not know that my husband had DPOA and is now a Trustee - when he found that out he was not in charge he pouted the whole time we were setting up the Memorial Service he was nowhere to be found and did not lift one finger to help us. Then at the service he grabbed his dad's arm and made him sit with their side of the family when they had not seen him in 12 days. When the bill came they brought it to him and he looked stupid when I said it goes to me since I planned it. He's laughed at us saying you are stuck with him good luck I will be waiting for the call asking me to help and I will just laugh. Well of course now my husband would refuse his help anyhow. He has pitted his kids against our kids and it is so sad. But the worst part is watching my FIL constantly complaining about have to sit around and do nothing all day. Well we do work and what would we do if we both worked outside the home. He wants to go to the doctor for every scratch and bump he sees on his body and then when he really needs to go he argues about it. I am caught in the middle because I try to see both sides and I just can't be straight up mean and tell him that he is being a pain and that when we say you need to wear your depends and don't and poop in your pants but don't say anything until someone smells it is awful to deal with. My husband thinks I need to do more but I cook, I make sure he takes his meds, I do his laundry, and I take him to his Dr appts. I pretty much do all the wifely duties except you know...… Anyhow, I just am afraid that my marriage won't stand this and that my husband will have a heart attack and die on me! I feel like I need a rubber room sometimes because his frustration gets unloaded on me and it stinks! Any advice how to handle? What made you put your loved one in a facility? I just don't know how much more I can take. I love everyone's comments and info. Thanks for any advice you can give me. Sharon

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Another dysfunctional family (your H's family of origin). Why does his sister refuse to do anything to help?

Does you H feel that he must be the "good son" and sacrifice his life (and YOURS!) to the care of his father, because he's still seeking his approval?

Just how many assets does FIL have? You need to be getting paid for the caregiving and expenses. And I wholeheartedly agree that FIL should get a needs assessment done.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Sharon, I can tell you how to remove the "most stressful part" right now. Detach from your immature BIL. That advise goes to both you and your husband. Nothing you do, none of your fretting or stressing or blaming is going to change anything. Your BIL is not likely to suddenly have an epiphany and decide he needs to help care for his dad. Ain't happening. So stop expecting it or wishing for it. Pretend your husband is an only child. Don't have contact with this source of stress. Ignore him.

Next, what is your FIL's financial situation? What he has should be used for his care. He should be paying you for room and/or board if he can afford it. His funds should be used to bring in some paid help. If he has assets they should be liquidated to pay for what is needed. Certainly hire a house cleaner and perhaps someone to do the laundry. If you have a lot of yard work, hire that done. You cannot add the care of someone with dementia to your workload and expect things to go on just as they were. Bring in some help to work with FIL directly, or send him to an adult day health program a few days a week.

If FIL's financial situation is pretty desperate, then consider applying for Medicaid for him. They have programs to help with in-home care, as well as for care in a facility.

It is extremely and excessively stressful to care for someone with dementia. To also have less than full support from your partner puts the stress level over the top. He unloads his frustration on you? He thinks you should do more of the care than you do now, in addition to working full time? Instead of buying a rubber room, use that money to see a couple's counselor. Your marriage is in trouble. If hubs won't go, go yourself. You folks need and deserve help!

The things you describe are typical dementia behaviors. FIL has dementia. Sigh. If these are beyond you to care for (and there is No Shame in that!!) then everyone would be better off if professionals were caring for FIL.

I kept my husband home with me as long as I could manage his care. That turned out to be the entire dementia journey. We kept our mother out of care facility as long as we (her daughters) could manage her care. As both her dementia and mobility issues got worse we placed her in a nursing home. She actually blossomed there! She loved all the activity and entertainment available. She was there two-and-a-half years before her death at age 96.

Your marriage should last long after FIL has died. But at the rate you are going, that may not be likely. Take action!
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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You can't make any one in your family behave any differently than they choose to. You can only control your own behavior. You can't make siblings do caregiving tasks.

What you can do is examine Dad's resources and compare them with the level of care he needs.

Have you had a professional needs assessment by the local Area Agency on Aging?

Does dad qualify for Medicaid? Does he need NH care? Adult Day Care? Is he paying rent and caregiving costs in your home?

You set up a caregiving contract through a lawyer; you need to be paid for this because you are foregoing income which will affect YOUR retirement.

Brother doesn't like it? Doesn't matter. Don't fall for the "oh we're getting an inheritance" thing. It will be eaten up by caregiving costs unless there is generational wealth involved.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Sharon, I know your question is about protecting your marriage, and I understand how worried you must be.

But first of all, can we just think about protecting your FIL?

He is an 86 year old widower with Alzheimer's Disease. Your description of his behaviour in shops is textbook! He is lonely, and he gets confused. Taking care of his physical needs is already difficult in the home environment. He doesn't see most of his family because there is conflict among siblings and the other children won't now come to his (new) home.

He is going to get worse. If you go to alz.org you will find very good information about how the disease inevitably progresses. In time, it is going to be not just difficult but impossible for you and your husband to care for him safely - or not unless you undergo a great deal of training, give up your job, AND bring in paid caregivers.

Do you think you and your husband fully understood what taking care of his Dad would mean as time went on?
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