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I'm currently 1400 miles away from my husband, 66. He has Parkinson's, which doesn't interfere too much with his mobility. He's capable of dressing, shopping, cooking and cleaning. But his depression and anxiety are pretty extreme. I'm on the phone/zoom with him a couple of times a day, but I'm still worried about how isolated he is. I want to send in someone a couple hours a days, to cook him a meal, provide some companionship, make sure he has food and takes his meds. He absolutely refuses. He insists he doesn't want it or need it but I'm afraid that's his depression talking and he's opting for total isolation because it feels more comfortable for him, even if it's not good for him. Should I just insist and send someone in?

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In response to your reply to me

Very well said. I can see your point. His being stubborn is the problem. Not that you are away. So, enjoy your time away.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Whatever you decide, try to enjoy your time away from the cold, grey winter, and the grey of depression - I would!
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I think his Parkinsons is not the main problem. I think its the straw the broke the camels back. I think ur relationship has never been great and now with Parkinsons he is worse. Probably stubborn and not considering his limits. 1400 miles and getting away from the cold sounds like ur in Fla.

Dementia goes with Parkinsons so eventually ur husband is going to need 24/7 care. You may want to talk to a lawyer about splitting your assets. Would it be better to divorce or become a Community spouse if he needs LTC.

Maybe a neighbor would check up on him.
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
Good guess, but not Florida. I'm in Arizona and I have to say, it's great. We usually come down here for a couple of weeks each winter, but this year, because I'm working entirely online, we booked two month for the snowbird season. We were supposed to leave a few weeks ago. I did everything to prepare the trip, and I drove us 350 miles before he had an attack of agoraphobia and we turned around and I drove 350 miles back. At first I figured that the trip was just a lost cause, and I would just suck it up and sit out the winter at home, but I FINALLY decided that his unhappiness is not the only story in our household, that my mood ALSO matters, that what I want also counts. And I wanted my trip. And so after a week at home, I repacked my bags and left. If he wants, he can grab a plane and join me, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying myself, working from "home" and hiking every day. I felt had to choose prioritizing my needs since I've been catering to his, especially the past two years. Like all couples, we've had problems, but we met and married in our 40s, we don't have children, and I've always had a lot of independence. I used to travel for weeks without him and he was fine about it. We also traveled a lot together. But now he can't. That I still want to have a level of independence is more a product of who I am, not necessarily an indicator that our relationship isn't good. Perhaps I'm selfish. I've survived cancer and have worked my entire life for what I have (and supported him - he made much less and I did) and I deserve a little fun.
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Send whom?

And anyway, no.

How long do you expect to be away? What about nudging friends and family to keep in touch and give him a morale-boosting call now and again instead?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
There are services where I could hire a home helper to come by and cook a meal, make sure he has groceries, do some housekeeping, and encourage him to get some exercise. I'm calling twice a day and so is his sister, but I thought having someone in the house would help him. We talked about it again this morning and he still says a firm NO.
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If your DH is opposed to help, just 'sending someone over' is likely to be an epic fail.

I COMPLETELY understand the need to put distance between yourself and a situation that becomes untenable.

If MY DH hadn't left on a business trip for 2 weeks on Sunday this week--I would be living at my sister's right now. That's how much I need a break from him. He isn't 'sick' he's supremely depressed and will not address it. WFH FT, but the word here is HOME. He's messy, annoying, constantly asking me if I am going to cook lunch (what the heck??) complaining about things he mislays, being snarky and rude to me all day--or worse, sleeping 24/7 for days on end. Doesn't shower, just sleeps for 2-4 days at a stretch. He calls it 'resting' but it's not.

I'm on the brink of leaving him, and he now knows it. I gave him an ultimatum: he gets psychiatric help and goes into counseling or I am filing for divorce. Until this year I always thought I could ride this behavior out, but I realized he was making me literally sick---and my psych doc said I could live with it---and probably wind up with permanent heart damage from the stress, or he could make an effort to be better.

People will judge me for this, and I am prepared for that. But after 45 years of supporting and creating this monster, I cannot live with it.

I, for one, totally and completely understand your need to be away. I'd only be 10 miles away--but I may as well be 1400. I will NOT live with him in his current mental state.

And yes, he has a boatload of medical issues, none of which he 'controls' so he doesn't HAVE 15-20 years left. Neither do I, as a cancer survivor who won't do chemo again under ANY circumstances.

I wish you (and me) the best of luck. My heart goes out to you--since I am living essentially the same thing! (yes, I have POA for DH, but I don't have to invoke it, yet).
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Reply to Midkid58
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
Thanks for being so frank. I just joined this forum but I find it very refreshing that people are honest about the difficult situations they're facing.
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Mabelle, I am so glad that you clarified below why you are away from your husband now. I hope everyone will read that. It makes all the difference.
You say that you are seeing if he can live alone or, if you are gone, will he require placement.
I would just tell you that if not now, then certainly in near future, your husband would likely need placement. Zoom can't be hands on. Basically you are doing that phone call we arrange in age where we are called twice a day to see if we are still standing.
I think that you already know you cannot live with the pressure of caring for your husband. However, without a diagnosis of dementia, or inability to act on his own behalf, I don't know that you can place him either. You are likely stuck with doing exactly what you ARE doing until the inevitable happens, some accident that lets him know he cannot be alone, and his knowledge that you cannot return.
As long as your husband believes you are returning, this will remain the limbo it is. I admire you for doing this experiment to save your own mental health, come to your decision what you can tolerate going forward. I just wish I had more advice for you. I can well imagine being right where you are, between a rock and a hard place, and no place good. I wish you so much luck. I think this is a bigger question that whether to send in that aid. I hope you have support.
If you CAN insist, yes, do would be my advice. Knowing all the while it may not work, and will not in near future be enough.
I hope you will update us.
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
You nailed it on the head. I'm sure that he will need residential care, but as long as he is still vital in so many ways, I just can't force the issue. We have a nice roof over our heads. Our long term care insurance, which is very limited as it is, needs to be saved for when he really needs it -- besides, I doubt he'll qualify as long as he can do so much for himself.
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Thank you for clarifying. First thing that needs to be done, is that you get durable power of attorney for him,(if you plan on staying in the marriage) as without that, you won't be able to make any major decisions for him, if and when he's unable to make them for himself. It sounds like for you at this point, that an assisted living facility would be a better option for him, that is if he would agree to it, which by the sounds of it, he won't. So then if that's the case, you must first decide if you're going to stay married to this man, who is causing you to take "a break" 1400 miles away from him, or if it's just best that you both part ways. Only you can decide what's best for you. I wish you the best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
Thank you. Honest and helpful advice.
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The answer to the question of how I ended up 1400 miles away is a long story, but the short of it is that I'm taking a break from the bad weather and, more importantly, from the overwhelming stress of living with his relentless depression and anxiety. I should probably find him a new home, independent or assisted, but I'm trying to figure out first if I can find the right caregiver balance and maintain my boundaries, one of which is my insistence that I be allowed a break. So, this is an experiment. Can we continue our marriage and can he live at home without my being there all the time (but with long-distance communication and appropriate home care)? I would feel better if he had someone visit the house daily, but he just doesn't want it. What to do? I have a medical POA for him, not a durable. Yes, we're both in the US.
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Reply to mabelle2
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Yes it would be helpful for us to know why you are 1400 miles apart from your husband. You say that you "provide some companionship, make sure he has food and takes his meds". How are you doing that being so far away from him? There is way more to this story than what is being shared, and I'm not sure we can properly answer without more info., other than to say if he doesn't want help, he will probably just send any help you might send home.
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
yes, you're right .... there is way more to the story... I've tried to explain it a bit without boring everyone. It's a situation in a crisis, in flux...
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Are you that far away for just a short time on vacation or is it a permanent thing? If he doesn't want an aide he can send them away even if you schedule one.
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Reply to ZippyZee
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mabelle2 Jan 5, 2021
probably about two months
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More information would be helpful: why are you 1400 miles away? Is this a permanent arrangement? Are you both in the U.S.? Are you his durable PoA? Thanks.
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