After having traveled from Montana to California for a visit with my Aunt and her friends last weekend. Kind of an intervention if you will. Using a visual aide to help, her constant phone calls have decreased dramatically! Great news!
However, I got a phone call from assisted living facility this afternoon that my Aunt's face was red and hot. She had no fever, blood pressure was fine and she felt fine. Having a medical background, I told them just monitor and call me if there was any change. Shortly after the shift change, I got another call that they had sent my Aunt via ambulance to the ER. Turns out it was nothing more than Rosacea! (I'm totally pissed). This just solidifies in my mind the fact that I need to move my Aunt here to Montana. My husband seems so resistant to the idea.
This woman has been so incredibly important to me! I thought he knew this. How do I maintain my happy home and maintain caretaking duties for my Aunt? Oh , as well as my mother that is moving into a retirement village near us in 2 weeks. I guess I just need some positive feedback.

Find Care & Housing
I see both sides here, actually. You'll have enough on your plate when mom moves close by without having Auntie moving close by as well. However, if you are the only POA acting on behalf of your Aunt as it is now, then what's the difference if she moves closer? You're IT anyway, if that's the case.

In my mother's ALF, they would never send her to the hospital w/o calling me first. I have to give the ok for them to call an ambulance unless it's a life or death situation, obviously. A red face does not constitute a life or death situation, so I can see where you'd be annoyed at such an over-reaction. If you can get a few things straightened out over the phone with the ALF, perhaps you can keep your Aunt where she is and keep everybody happy.

If not and you move her closer to you, then you'd need to sit down with DH and make up a list of rules. You will visit X amount of days per week or month, X amount of phone time will be spent, etc. What he's seeing is you spending 24/7 with them and leaving 0 time for him. Not to mention, does your Aunt WANT to move? I like the suggestion of asking her if she'd like to move with your mom to the retirement village, if such a thing is possible and/or feasible.

I don't think it's a matter of 'choosing between your husband and your loved ones in care' but a matter of coming up with a PLAN of how to handle the care which obviously falls to you no matter WHAT. Sit down with DH and talk it out and reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Good luck. It's a lot to deal with, I know. Wishing you all the best!
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

Your husband is obviously not on- board with your decision to take on some responsibility for the care of your aunt and your mother. This could become a serious problem and a true detriment to your marriage, even if you have a wonderful relationship with him and have been married for a long time. Have you put yourself in his position? How would you feel?

Are you a good enough manager of your time to take on these added responsibilities for these ladies and not cause your husband to feel neglected? Does your husband still work or have hobbies that will give him something to occupy his time?

Just as an aside, her facility sent my mother to the ER for what I thought was no good reason a few times as well. It’s just their rules. They need to make sure all is well with their residents to cover their own behinds, so to speak.

You have some serious thinking to do and some choices to make. You are going into this knowing your husband doesn’t approve. Can you deal with the consequences of him possibly walking out if he feels you’ve put your loyalties elsewhere?
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Ahmijoy

So if the OP doesn't agree with your point of view or take the action you recommend, it's okay to bash her? Neither appropriate nor supportive! Even when someone asks for advice, he/she has the right to take it or leave it for his/her life. Her life, her choice.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to TNtechie

Your Aunt has friends where she is. Your need to be controlling where she lives is not healthy.

You must decide between your need to control your Aunt and your love for your spouse. I think you're over-reacting concerning an ER visit that turned out to be Rosacea.

Instead of being pissed, why aren't you relieved it was nothing?
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to RayLinStephens

Sounds like you've already made up your mind about moving your Aunt and want your husband to line up with your thinking (against HIS better judgement). Don't mean to sound harsh, just realistic - but don't be shocked if you follow through with your plans and hubby walks out because he sees you haven't put him first in your life. Resentment is a bitter pill.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to HelpingPrents

Your aunt's needs are only going to increase. Your mother's needs are only going to increase. Your husband sees that. It does not mean that he thinks your aunt is unimportant. He's being realistic and not letting emotions take control over a life-changing decision.

Ask your mother if she wants your aunt to move in with her at the retirement village.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
jacobsonbob Jan 27, 2020
"Ask your mother if she wants your aunt to move in with her at the retirement village."--This looks like an excellent idea, if it can be worked out.
Your husband is concerned about the amount of time that you would be spending with her. You have your mom to care for also.

Does your aunt even want to move? California versus Montana? Big switch. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! She hasn’t asked to move near you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Moving her from CA to Montana? Hmmm.....A lot is involved. I'd really consider what that entails. With your aunt having vision issues and dementia....I'd explore Memory Care or a higher level of care than AL. As she progresses, she'll likely need more help and then eventually total care.

I'd be realistic about caring for two seniors, one who has dementia. As the only available family member, it will fall onto you. Even if she is in a long term care facility, a lot is involved in the care and oversight. Often, multiple trips to the ER in the middle of the night, decisions about medication, meetings to discuss progression and other issues, financial matters, etc. The stress and responsibility can swallow you up. I'd try to be realistic about it. I suspect your DH knows this and that's why he is apprehensive. I've assumed that role for a family member, a cousin, who is more like an aunt to me and I am terrified that I would have to do it again. It truly changes your life.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Sunnygirl1

There a a couple of extra things to consider. First, Aunt's finances. If she's in any social welfare programs, when she moves, those safety nets fall away. Does she have enough money to pay her own way for living expenses (rent, clothes, food) for the next year? If not, then it might be more useful to hire a care manager for her to be the point of contact for these situations you're being called about. If she passes that test, would your husband and mother be ok with her moving to the AL where your mom will live? It could be more efficient for both to be at the same location so both get visits when you are in one place. It could also mean taking the two ladies to different doctors daily during critical times and your husband might have to help. If he's not ok with that, then what will you do? Again, you'll be calling for the ER.

I also want to express my concern that you think you will be adding to her life happiness by including her in your family events. I know I held those sweet thoughts for awhile, but as it turns out, the best thing -the *only* thing- that made a difference for mthr was being in a safe place. The rest of the benefits were such small improvements that they just did not matter, and in her dementia were more troublesome than positive. Since your aunt was abused by her son, the most important thing has already been accomplished - her safety. You don't have to go out at all and her life is bajillions better than it was. You will be disappointed by your aunt's reaction to your including her in the family because she has dementia and because she has been abused and her reactions are skewed by that as well. Your Aunt is really fine where she is, and moving her is a preference that you and your husband need to work out and agree.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to surprise

I have strong feelings about this topic because my then husband decided to become his parents' caregiver and he then neglected me and our marriage and our children. It was his "right" to decide to become his parents' caregiver; it also was my "right" to end the marriage when it no longer was tolerable for me to be at the bottom of his priorities.

So, here's what I suggest. Instead of trying to explain to your husband how important your aunt with dementia is to you, explain to your husband how important HE is to you. Tell him what you will do to keep him highest among your priorities. Ask for his input with resolving the caregiving issues instead of presenting only one option (moving aunt nearby). Acknowledge the validity of his concerns about the possible effect on you, him, and the marriage of having both your mom and your aunt living so close to you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Rosered6

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter