We have recently moved in with FIL who is 88 early Dementia/Parkison - MIL passed away very unexpectedly. My husband is primary caregiver & things going well overall. My husband feels so guilty if we leave for just a few ours to make time for ourselves & we don't have any caregivers who come to give us a break just yet. Any advice to give my hubby to help him not feel so guilty for taking time for us? Also he feels as if he has to stay in the same room with FIL to keep him from being lonely until his dad goes to bed. My hubby is quite caring but I cant seem to find the balance. We are in the process of having help in come in but feel that hubby is pushing back on this as well.

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I agree with Barb. It would be great if FIL could be seen by a geriatric neurologist to get a prescription for anxiety. That would help him to be alone in a room for awhile.

Your husband is suffering from FOG-fear, obligation and guilt. He will HAVE to let go of some of the responsibility of caretaking his dad or he will suffer horrible caregiver burnout. Ask anyone on this board (me included) how physically and mentally devistating it is when a caregiver "crashes and burns". His emotional and physical health will suffer. THEN who's going to care for FIL? Instead of taking my anger out on my mother, I took it out on my husband and he did-to me. Not a good situation for married people to be in.

He needs to let others come into the house, gwt to know his dad so he can get away from the caregiving. It can be set up any way you'd like it or need it. Maybe 2 hours a day-4 days a week. Or maybe one 8 hour day.

If FIL can't afford an agency, then recruit family and neighbors for now. Apply to Mediaid for FIL so he will be signed up when his dementia and Parkinson's become too much for you both to handle-and it WILL (unfortunately) come to that. Be proactive now.

If your husband has mental health benefits, have him make an appointment with a counselor. He has to get over feeling completely responsible for his father's every emotion. He will drive himself crazy and your marriage will suffer. Mine was starting to. To make sure my mother never feel, I watched her like a hawk. I was obsessed about her falling. I never rested or slept. What do you think my personality was like after a few months of that? I had turned into a neurotic, paranoid, burned out caregiver. I stopped talking with family and friends. Life changed-not for the better. Don't let this happen to him.

If you don't believe what I'm saying, please search this site for the same topic. You'll see many of us, who thought we were doing the right thing, ruin relationships and become incapacitated due to this.

Other people will never take the place of his son but they can do good caregiving work and give your husband the free time he needs.
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Folks with dementia are sometimes quite emotionally needy and anxious. With my mom, NO amount of reassurance and/or company helped; as soon as we left, she was anxious again.

The only thing that helped was medication. Getting her to a geriatric psychiatrist was the single best move we made.
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