My husband had my father in law come to live with us without a plan and in the meantime he had a stroke, is not walking. He is eating better now but my husband still dies not have a plan after 4 months.

Multigenerational living combined with health challenges can be daunting. Your husband has abilities where he truly shines - work, home or car repair, his hobbies...? You have abilities where you truly shine. They are probably not the same areas. You and your husband could probably each problem solve in your areas of expertise but not in every area. Some people are more gifted at seeing the "big picture" while other people are more gifted at seeing "the details." Planning care for his father may not be his area of expertise.

No matter how experienced or talented either of you are in caregiving, you can learn and have good outcomes. Consider having a series of conversations with your husband that lead to creating a plan of care for his dad. Make sure the conversations are always nurturing and never harsh or critical.

1 - Discuss what kinds of help dad needs now. Outline what each of you do to meet dad's needs: bathing, toileting, transfers from bed to wheelchair to chair, dressing and grooming, medications, physical therapy (work those muscles so eventually he can stand/walk better)... Dad should have regular appointments with his doctor(s) and physical therapy to improve his health.

2 - Discuss what type of home life each of you desire. Have discussions about what home life would look if dad was cared for by others versus if dad remained in your home. The goal is that each of you have your basic needs met AND opportunities to meet your social/fun needs. Basic needs are 7-9 hours of sleep every night, 3 healthy meals at a reasonable pace, exercise and time out in the sun, "time off" to take care of your own health needs, and "time off" daily and weekly/monthly to "recharge your batteries" doing things you enjoy with people you enjoy being with.

3 - Discuss which types of care others could provide and research together resources/costs. Consider asking other family members, friends, members of faith community, and/or paid help (home health agency, caregiver, or residential care). If hands on care is difficult, then paid help may be necessary. If there is too much to do, many people in your life may be willing to help with specific tasks: pick up groceries, clean house, do yardwork, sit with dad for a few hours... You may need to create a schedule/calendar that outlines when/how others help.

4 - Have the hard discussion - when dad's needs are beyond everybody's abilities. If dad needs 24/7/365 care where nobody can get enough sleep, reasonably paced meals, or time to take care of themselves... it is probably time for dad to be placed in a residential facility with staff 24/7/365. Together research facilities in your area and decide on which place(s) are acceptable.

If you have these discussions together with all the members of the household, then your caregiving plan will come together.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Taarna
Riley2166 Jun 8, 2021
Outstanding replies - bravo. I stand by my firm belief, based on a life of many experiences. When someone must care for someone with mental and physical and aging issues and that situation is having a very negative impact on those who care and who remain, then something MUST BE DONE AT ONCE. No one should be forced to be so negatively impacted. It could mean a caretaker or it could mean placement in a facility. Discussions must be held with the motto - We each have the right to feel what we do and disagree on some issues. But we need to find a suitable conclusion and compromise - and set boundaries and then take the appropriate action. Do not allow your life to be destroyed. You do NOT deserve that.
What kind of plan are you referring to? Sounds like you need a short term and long term plan. You don't say if his disabilities are permanent or not - nor do you mention his mental capacity. For the short term, since your FIL isn't walking, it sounds like he could use some physical therapy and in home care. In order not to reach burnout you and your husband should hire some private help a few hours a days if at all possible. This will give you a chance to do things for yourself and get some respite. P/T may help restore some of your FIL's mobility.
For the long term, be sure your FIL has a will or trust, POA, and Healthcare Proxy in place. Speak to a well regarded eldercare attorney about filing for Medicaid or Community Medicaid so that your FIL can apply for in-home or long term care if and when he needs it. There is a five year look back in financial assets, so this has to be evaluated now so you can take the financial steps necessary to apply for Medicaid benefits.
Last, and most important, don't let this situation drive a wedge into your marriage. Your husband may be scared and uncertain of how to act and if he senses your resentment, it may result in him avoiding the situation totally. Find the right time when you're both in a good mood to talk about "next steps" - remember that you are a TEAM, and with kindness, support and love - you can resolve this issue and anything else that comes your way. I wish you all the best.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NYCmama

Give your husband a date, specifically and not far into the future, that he must have a plan for his father. Let him know that upon that date you either won’t provide any care or you’ll go on vacation by yourself. You’re being dumped on, and I hope you’ll make change happen
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Daughterof1930

Whatever the "plan" is, it needs to be discussed with all family members and with the elder if that person is not mentally challenged at this time. Also it needs to be clear between YOU and your husband that this well may not "work" and if it does not, what is the plan B.
Do know that whatever lovely plan you work out in your own mind, it will go to chaos and quickly. I hope you have been on AgingCare Forum for long enough to learn this, or that you remain here and learn it as you go.
If I know anything, I do know my limitations. Though I was a nurse and I loved it, it was ALWAYS clear to me that I could not do inhome care under even the best circumstances.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

For almost all major life events that my spouse and I manage together, we have some sort of plan: finances, careers, buying a house, starting my own business, retirement and now aging. The only thing that we may not have a plan for is what to to do on a day off. Moving an aging parent into your home is a major life changing event and in my opinion requires some sort of plan that both of you agree upon. It may be that your husband doesn’t know where to begin, or he feels overwhelmed. It may be that he doesn’t know how to set his own boundaries with his father and family. But if you read enough on this forum you will find many stories of people now dealing with a big mess because they didn’t have reasonable plans for managing their aging parents’ care. Or attending to their own health, emotional well being and relationships for that matter. As a partner in your marriage, perhaps you need to set your own boundaries and discuss them with your husband. Do your research, and keep in mind that your father in law’s needs can change rapidly and present a whole new set of problems. Even with a solid plan in place for managing my own mother’s care, things change rapidly and I can be temporarily overwhelmed and emotional with every new twist and turn. Thank goodness I have a well thought out guideline to keep me moving forward.
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Reply to Mepowers

Sounds like the plan is to let him stay there.

Who is taking care of him?

If it's you, then let your husband know that you are not willing to be his father's Caregiver and that while searching out Senior Homes, you will be hiring help and tell hubby it can be paid out of his father's money or ya's money.

Also, check out a couple places and make an appointment and let husband and father in law go with you to visit them.

If husband won't do this then take a vacation and go visit your relatives and let your husband and father in law see how it is when you're not around.

F I L will see how much help he needs and husband will see how much you have to do all day.

It's very hard being a Caregiver and it deffiently can destroy a marriage.

If you have an extra Bedroom, maybe you can hire a Live In.

Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to bevthegreat

Your message looks like it could have been written by my husband, all those years ago, when my ailing father needed my care.

The plan, as I saw it, was to take care of my parents, come what may.

My husband demanded that my ill mother take care of my ill father, by herself, immediately. so his life could return to normal. That response along with his attitude, coldness snd constant smirking, soured my love for him permanently. He was not the person I needed him to be and my love for him, at that very difficult time in my life, died.

You get to decide your plan for yourself—the choices here for you are endless, but these two represent the ends of the spectrum.

One plan is giving (your husband) unconditional love and support and recognizing that he is also suffering right now;

An alternative plan is giving ultimatums and demanding that your husband specify his plan when he is going through a very difficult time.

Any choice you make could have consequences.

Begore you demand that your father-in-law needs to be sent away, be aware that you could be the one who ultimately will start packing.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter

Dear Verohuera,
Sometimes, people ask us to do things without realizing what they're really asking. If they knew the extent of the hardship they are causing, they may not feel as free to ask.
Does your husband help equally with the caregiving, or does it all fall on you? Also, your at home son should be helping as long as he's living in your home rent free?
As long as you are working full time, the caregiving needs to fall on all family members residing in your home.
If the menfolk are required to step up, they may accept the fact that placing FIL in nursing home, or hiring in home care needs to happen.
Caregiving is very difficult work, even when you choose to do it. Having it plopped in your lap, while everyone else goes about their life, is a recipe for depression, hopelessness, abandonment, abuse... just to name a few.
Start setting boundaries by requiring your husband to do at least half of the caregiving duties.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to LillianS

I would not demand a plan from your husband. I would ask him to sit down and together you can formulate a plan! This involves you quite a bit so you should let him know your feelings, the things you are not OK with, alternative options, etc.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to againx100

You can also google (I have to run out the door for work however, I found these on the internet). You must take control of the situation. You have to devise the plan otherwise it won't happen and YOU / your health will suffer.

9 Ways to Set Boundaries with Difficult Family Members
Understand that your needs are important. ... 
Seek out people who value you. ... 
Be firm, but kind. ... 
Keep your expectations realistic. ... 
Be willing to walk away. ... 
Keep in mind that you are in charge of what you do. ... 
Be direct. ... 
Seek to take care of yourself.
9 Ways to Set Boundaries with Difficult Family Members ... › 9-ways-set-boundaries-difficult-f...

What are healthy boundaries with family?
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How do you set boundaries with dysfunctional families?
What are examples of personal boundaries?
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Reply to TouchMatters

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