Hello again. I am here to vent and hope to find some direction/advice...
I know this sounds horrible, but I am leaning into making the decision of not putting a lot more time into helping my husband's older family members anymore. He is close with them (they have no other family members who can/will care for them) and had been struggling to help them on his own at first, but they do not communicate with him well—I think because the wife thinks men should not caregive and perhaps they push one another's buttons. We live a day's drive away and have several young children we are raising so this is...a lot.
After seeing everyone suffer for over a year arguing and ignoring each other as our older members continued to decline, they asked me to step in. The wife was opening up to me. This was the only way my husband would know how they were doing. So I agreed to help. I researched the local resources, got everyone a bit of information (articles, blogs, etc...), and talked/listened to the wife a bunch. They all asked me to do more, because they are...paralyzed dealing with this on their own. I love them so I was happy to oblige at first. We visited them and took them to their Department of Aging to find more help. My husband said they really appreciated it and hope we come up again, but they haven't really done much on their own after we left (that was about 3 months ago). It's like the wife just wants to sit and wait to be rescued.
Aside from loving my husband, I actually care about these folks dearly and I want to do my best to help, but I'm fried. His older family members haven't really been proactive about taking care of their health to begin with. That is totally human for a lot of people (it's normal to hide from scary stuff versus facing it), but helping them feels like dragging an anchor right now. They also have been super unkind and rude to everyone else in his family so they drove away local people who could have been a network/community for them/us.
Lately, they have been making super irresponsible choices. They have been putting themselves and older family members in direct risk of catching COVID19—even though we both asked them several times to be careful (and explained how/why). This has been the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I know I need to be there for my husband and our family, but I am so frustrated.
I will be heartbroken when an emergency happens, and I will still help, but I want to set boundaries ASAP. Our part of the family and my own health should not be sacrificed, because these folks choose to be self-destructive, selfish, and toxic.
The wife is caring for her husband who is a lot bigger, and he has developed dementia for well over a decade. They didn't seek help for it until a couple of years ago when we pressured them to look into it and talked to their doctor (husband showtimes).
Every time we see them, the wife is more off...both physically and mentally. If they don't get sick this year (they seem to think they are invulnerable right now), she will likely end up hurting herself or having a stroke or heart attack in the next six months to a year.
How can we plan for when these people end up in the hospital and cannot safely return to their home?
How can we plan they transfer to a home quickly so they do not end up in ours? The husband is loud, and sometimes he can get quite nasty. I can deal with him well in small doses (I've learned the art of redirecting topics with a dementia sufferer), but I don't want to have any of us living with it—not even temporarily for a week.
I know this is a crazy time as everyone is getting sick and probably we will be jumping through hurdles and things will not go as planned (even if we plan well), but if I have an idea where we could start it would be so helpful.