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This is long and I’m so sorry but I want to give you all the info. Our nightmare started in December 2018. At that time dad (77) lived alone (an hr away from me), walked with a cane, and lived life (not as I would, but) as he saw fit. As a result of leg weakness, back pain, and his walking getting worse, my husband and I took him to the ER the week before Xmas. After a week in the hospital and 4 weeks at a rehab, dad's condition got worse and worse. At the end of January my husband and I discharged him from the rehab and took him to another ER at a different hospital. THATS when we found out he had bladder cancer (a tumor that consumed 60% of his bladder). After another 4 weeks in that hospital, and over 6 weeks at rehab (last 2 weeks have been private pay) dad has had 3 surgeries, multiple UTIs, mersa, and more weeks with a catheter than I would wish on my worse enemy - and still he’s not able to walk. He’s anxious, angry, and very very depressed. He is not able to go back to his house and is also not a candidate for the assisted living where the rehab is (due to his anger and anxiety). The silver lining..... medically he’s on the road to recovery! The bladder tumor is gone and in 2 weeks, dad is going to be receiving non invasive BCG treatment for the cancer that was in his bladder. I am an only child (51), married with my last child home and ready to leave for college this summer. My husband and I have decided to bring dad here to live with us. I have been by his side every day since this nightmare began and I thought he’d be happy about leaving rehab and coming here! Not the case. In fact he’s not happy about anything. He lays in bed all day every day and doesn’t do anything he used to do (like tv, reading books, listening to music, reading the newspaper, nothing). Two days ago he started on an antidepressant. I just don’t know what to do until it kicks in (and hopefully it will)... Based on his current emotional status, i really don’t think he’ll be happy anywhere (even back at his own home) and he’s a bit antisocial (even back when he was healthy!) I try to talk about the future and how bright it could be for all of us but he changes the subject. My life is at a standstill and I have dedicated every bit of myself to him. Right now I’ve decided to wait the 4 weeks to see if there’s any change as a result of the antidepressant. Is that the right thing to do?? He’s content (I guess) but only because he doesn’t care about himself or anything else. I’m just so confused and sad.....

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Pardon my honesty, but you are at the borderline of burnout and breakdown. Bringing your father with all his issues to live in your home will push you over that line. It will compromise your family relationships. His anger, depression and anxieties will all come to rest squarely on your shoulders. Antidepressants are not magic pills and I’m convinced they don’t really work unless paired with behavioral therapy. Your good intentions will result in your being put in the middle of family discontent. Even though he may thankfully be on the mend physically, he is certainly not happy with the way his life is now. He will take that unhappiness out on you. You will need to do the work of 3 shifts of medical personnel and other caregivers.

Take the time, before he is discharged, to speak with the social worker where he is now. Nurses also have great listening ears. Ask for their honest opinion on home caregiving for Dad; what will need to be done, his mood and attitude , his prognosis, and most importantly, in their opinion, would having Dad in your home, reliant solely on you, be a wise decision. Listen to them. No one is saying you don’t love Dad and should dump him in a facility and walk away. You want the best for him. It’s always a good idea to ask the experts and consider all your options before making a final decision.
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