I have a father who has early dementia, yet finds ways to aggravate and pretends not to hear me, a husband with Congestive Heart Failure who doesn't want to move other than from bed to chair, and a mother in law who lives alone with her dog and also doesn't move much. I've been trying to build a home based business before Covid-19. I also feel overwhelmed and want to block everyone out. Can anyone relate? Or am I alone?

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You can’t be in two places at once.

Your priorities lie with your husband.

Best wishes finding care for your parents.

Do not feel guilty about caring for your husband.

Take care of yourself as well. You have a lot on your plate. Prioritize and tackle issues one thing at the time.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when we are smack in the middle of mayhem.
Helpful Answer (7)

That's very difficult. And too much. Someone else should take care of father and MIL. Your focus should be helping husband. If MIL's children aren't available, then find someone else.

Wish you all the best
Helpful Answer (6)

You need to realize you can't do it all. You may need to find a place for Dad. If he has money an AL and transitioning to a LTC facility as he worsens. Husband, CHF can be debilitating, but needs to be ur priority.
MIL, same thing. If husband has other siblings, they need to step up to the plate. You need to tell them you have enough on your plate. If no siblings nearby, then find resources to help her.

I understand why you would be starting up a business, but it maybe part of your problem. Trying to do too much and be there for everyone. My Mom was fairly easy to care for but one person at a time was enough. My disabled nephew had to be put on the back burner.

Dad may not be aggravating you on purpose. He may be losing his hearing. May no longer be able to process what is being said.
Helpful Answer (5)

Wow, the LAST piece of advice I'd give you is to have all of these elders MOVE IN WITH YOU! Good grief. You're already feeling overwhelmed as it is!

You are not alone with these feelings, certainly not. Your mother in law can hire help to come into her home, that's a no brainer. Let her know that you have NO time to do more caregiving, so it's not an option. If she chooses not to move around, then the consequences of that decision will likely put her in a wheelchair at some point, and remove her power of decision as far as living at home alone goes.

If your father lives with you, it may be time to think about placing him in Assisted Living with a Memory Care annex for when the time comes. Let him know that if he does not move around on a schedule, the choice will be taken away from HIM as well, and he will require placement b/c you will be unable to handle an elder with dementia AND a wheelchair in your home. My mother also has 'selective hearing' and forces me to scream at her half the time, then gets her hackles up asking, 'why are you yelling at me?' all sweet an innocent like. Uh huh.

As far as your husband goes, lay down the law. Get him on a schedule of walking around the house every hour for 2 minutes. Set a timer; remind him to do it. CHF requires movement along with other behaviors if he'd like to live a longer life. If not, he can't choose to drag YOU down with shape up honey! My DH is home now for the past month after 2 very serious surgeries. He was sitting on the sofa all day feeling sorry for himself when I told him yesterday, GET UP, we're going to see my mother for a window visit at the ALF. Put on a coat and a mask so you don't have to breathe in cold air, and we're GOING. When we got home, he actually felt better. I told him he's lucky to be alive and to cut the crap! He's started walking the 2 minutes every hour like I suggested to you, and he even took the dog out this morning for the first time!!

Lay down the law to BOTH of them. Don't be a statistic. Caregivers often wind up dying BEFORE the elders they're caring for. Don't add your name to the list. Get out of the house daily, too......have your hair done, meet a friend for coffee, whatever. You are important too, not just these 3 elders!

Helpful Answer (4)

You don't handle it. Caregiving 24/7 for a single person is largely impossible for one caregive, much less 3.

Father to nursing home/AL

MiL, left to her own devices (didn't really say what her health is like, but not really your responsibility regardless).

Husband should be priority, but if he gets to the point where he needs 24/7 care, you will not be able to do that alone, so you'll either have to hire aids, or send him to a NH as well.
Helpful Answer (3)

This is way too much for one person to handle. Good suggestions below. All the best to you and a big hug. Is the paperwork in order for your father and MIL (will, living will with medical instructions, POA for medical and financial decisions, and also some banks have their own POA forms)? If you are the POA, you have to make things possible for yourself to handle. Consider assisted living for father and MIL. Set up as much as possible so that you can handle things online and bills are paid automatically.
Helpful Answer (2)

You need support and help from your family and friends. If they cannot provide that support it is time to put him in assisted living or nursing home. You need to establish BOUNDARIES, a daily routine, and everybody must play their roles in care of him, and must be strictly enforced. Routine is very important. Everybody needs to cooperate or ship him out. Or you will be the one who needs the medical care.

If your father is still "with it" he needs to cooperate too, and make it very clear if he does not he will have to go to a nursing home. And he cannot spend his life on a chair or in bed or you will end up with someone bedridden. You want to avoid that as much as possible. My mom had the most advanced Alzheimer's you can imagine but she was only bed ridden for 2-1/2 months only because she forgot how to stand after 15 years of the disease. If you think you have problems now--caring for someone bedridden is no walk in the park with constant diapering and you will even have to manage their bowel's bowels had to move every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays--because if she did not go she would get IMPACTED on the 4th day. That means the stool is so hard it cannot pass, and requires emergency room visit. It is like a round hard ball stuck in there. It's a living nightmare.

If he has problems moving, then he will need CARDIAC REHAB, and adhere to a strict diet with no deviation. You just cannot eat whatever and lounge around all day with CHF, unless it is end-of-life care.

Let me emphasize he must try to maintain independence of movement. Walking is a gift. Trust me bedridden is pure horror..if a person can no longer walk they lose a lot including someone having to manage bowels, and being 100% dependent on care. People take going to the toilet on their own for granted.

Taking care of someone is no picnic and it is VERY SERIOUS. Bedridden means constant Hoyer lifts, diapering, bed baths, lactulose laxatives, enemas, and tons of diapers. TONS of it. Adult diapers are are NOT cheap--like a dollar a piece. I used about 5 to 6 diapers a day for mom, and tons of gloves and wipes. Those gloves are not cheap and neither are wipes. Go to the store and check out those prices. Then there are skin creams, ointments and if you do not turn and do skin care you will end up with bed sores which require AGGRESSIVE treatment. You must do STRICT ORAL CARE--the teeth must be brushed and kept clean because dirty teeth can cause PNEUMONIA. It's called aspiration pneumonia. Saliva with bacteria can get aspirated. Clean teeth are essential to prevent pneumonia. I kept my mom going to the dentist as long as I could, but I kept her mouth clean so she never had issues with dirty teeth, even with a feeding tube.

Mom died age 90 despite extremely advanced Alzheimer's and insulin-dependent diabetes, and I kept her blood glucose levels extremely well managed, and mom's skin was in perfect shape. But she was also 24/7 intensive care on my part.

When mom died it nearly destroyed me, because my life revolved around her 100%. Now do this for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS and see what it does to your mind. Every single moment of my life was about mom. I miss her very badly but her mind was totally gone, and survived on tube feedings, but she was very peaceful and died ironically of other natural causes not related to Alzheimer's. Her insulin-dependent diabetes also caused kidney disease.

However, I'm glad I took care of her and I learned to adapt to life without mom (no choice--people die). Mom's ordeal of living is over and she is in everlasting peace. The price of love is grief, and pain is only for the living.
Helpful Answer (2)

Yes, I can relate to what you are experiencing with your loved ones. But let me say first that you must take care of you first or you will eventually have nothing left to give. I am taking care of my husband of 31 years full-time now. He has a heart condition and Type 2 diabetes which caused a septis infection in his left foot which got so infected that he had to have half of it removed. Now he has a prosthetic leg too. Now he too just wants to sit in his recyliner and his wheechair. These changes make our loved ones angry and sadly they take it out on us. You have to do what is best for you and your loved ones. If you need help to come in get it! I wish you luck and I hope this helped a little.
Helpful Answer (2)

Imho, your plate is overflowing. No one person is expected to perform miracles. Prayers sent.
Helpful Answer (2)

No way can you keep this schedule alone.
You need to hire sitters for ALL of them unless they can go to memory care. Hospice may be able to help with your husband depending on his health status.
I cared for my recently deceased dad, now my mom and a very elderly aunt. Mom and aunt are in their own homes but mom lives in a senior community. Both have dementia and mom has mobility issues. I order supplies, groceries and meds for them. Both have pill sorters that are put out weekly. Mom has a visiting geriatric physician that helps a lot. Ask their PCP's for a start.
Helpful Answer (1)
cetude Nov 2020
Hospice does not offer much help--just an aide comes in twice a week for about a half hour (and you have to wait all day sometimes), and they occasionally have volunteer sitters, but you are also letting a total stranger into your house. They generally have "respite care" but they may never recover from that. The only use I found with hospice was reordering her routine meds and free diapers/gloves and ointment supplies. I did all her mom's care 100% because I had to change mom about 5 times a day; sometimes even more, so a hospice aide was useless that I never used them.

Sitters do that--they just sit and they are about $20 an hour. Hands on care (CNA) is a lot more.
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