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?
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.
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 him.........so 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!
I also encourage you to start -at least with some of the suggested contacts as soon as possible.
I know this can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with, but taking that first step will make it easier to proceed. I would also suggest making a list of all the things you need to deal with -prioritize if you can, but at least make a start. It is only too easy for you to freeze up and then it becomes even more difficult to do anything,
1 - Home help. Hire home health care aides for all of them and pay out of their assets. My MIL has dementia and has 2 caregivers round the clock since she chose to live out of state and BIL is handling her affairs. It is the least expensive option but not cheap.
2 - Placements. Your father may need to move to memory care since he creates problems for your husband and his care will only continue to get more and more difficult as the dementia progresses. Your MIL may need placement into assisted living if they will take her dog. You may need to hire somebody to care for the dog daily: walks and feeding. After placing these 2 family members, can you care for your husband's needs as well as building your home-based business. If not, decide with him if he needs placement into LTC and how to finance it.
Investigate resources: home health agencies, long term care facilities, assisted living/senior apartments in your area. You will get a better idea of which way to go after talking to these folks. Most of these resources have guides to list the types of care your family members require on a daily basis. After listing the care needed for each person, they can help guide you to which type of placement or care would best help you in your situation.
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.
Sitters do that--they just sit and they are about $20 an hour. Hands on care (CNA) is a lot more.
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 movements..mom'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.
Im thinking maybe if you alone has to be the Caregiver to all 3 then it would be easier to have all 3 to live with you and out of their combined monies, hire a Caregiver to help you out.
You would need to have access to their funds.
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.
Wish you all the best
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.