How do you learn to keep your "cool" when dealing with an elderly parent?

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My father-in-law is living with us since recovering from a heart attack. I am home with him all day. He has dementia and asks many questions over & over, badgers us constantly about his money (he has sufficient funds) and bills (we pay all of them). He also tries to be "helpful" by doing heavy lifting when we're not looking or gets down on the floor to pick something up, which puts him at a fall risk, even though we repeatedly ask him not to do this. I feel like I'm in constant crisis mode because if I don't do something immediately that's bothering him, he will try to "help" me by doing it himself. I cannot get him to bathe more than once a week & he refuses to change his underwear daily even though he has plenty of pairs. My husband is in the process of remodeling his dad's house, so he doesn't get home until later afternoon or evening each day. I also have 2 kids, ages 9 & 6. I snap at everyone & get angry easily. I could really use some advice, tips from others who have been there, done that on how to keep my sanity. Thank you!!!!

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How to keep your cool? It's probably impossible to keep it permanently. I suggest that you remind yourself constantly that he can't help the way he acts. Even if he was always a cranky selfish person, at his age he can't help that, either.

When your child vomits on the bed at 3 am and again on the new sheets at 4 am, you hate it and wish it hadn't happened, but you accept it as reality. Your child is sick and too young to be able to get to the bathroom in time. Your FIL's behavior is just reality, and can't be changed.

Do get more help, or place him in AL, and try to get some time off for yourself. It's such a hard job.
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That money Dad saved up should go to AL. It will make everyone's life easier. Isn't that one of reasons for saving for years? Which would you rather have--a life for yourself and family now or some type of inheritance later with no family life?
Spend the money! Getting Dad to agree will be the hard part. We had to put my husband's mother in AL because of ALZ. We are blessed that she and her husband saved and saved. We are all better off because of their savings. None of us care whether we inherit a dime, even though it looks like there will be leftovers.
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Catmom, at the very least, your Dad has Medicare and possibly a secondary Medical Insurance plan or LTC coverage? All of their plans help to pay for some level of in-home care. I think the first step is to discuss the situation with the doctor and have him order an in-home evaluation of his needs by a nursing service. They will coordinate with Medicare and other medical insurance providers. If Dad has an LTC policy that would be a Godsend. Those usually have a home-care provision built into it. Talk to your insurance agent - if no help call the LTC provider directly. It's not easy taking care of a non-compliant elder, raising small children, and keeping yourself and your marriage healthy. It can turn you gray at an early age! So start investigating your resources and take advantage of what you can get. BTW, if you sell the house, you could probably pay for a significant period of Long Term Care in a facility for your Dad if he does not have already have a policy to pay for it.
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Since your father -in - law has saved he could go home IF the home is properly set up for him due to his mental state. You can get a home care agency and do alittle visiting yourself to monitor him. Look I have been a caregiver for 11 years, 7 of them have been home care. I started a home health care planning company because of these situations. It is very possible for your father-in-law to return to his home and get the care he needs, or if its financially and space wise add a small in-law suite to your home and hire a home care agency to care for his personal needs. It makes me cry to see seniors pulled from their homes and put into assisted or NH because they need alittle more care. Thats why I started my company to keep people in their own home and from many years of experience I have learned many skills to do so. Remember that you cannot care for anyone if you dont even have two seconds for yourself thats when you burn out. Take a day for yourself and try to get some sleep.
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drink your coffee especially at relax time when you are up before him, it is worse if you start giving things up for the sake of others. my Dr has me on low dose Prozac in the am, with it I do not go off my rocker and yell or get bitchy. you will not be a drooling dope head no matter what your Dr prescribes, make an appointment and talk about you as Dr s are very caring when it comes to keeping the caretaker calm & healthy

you sound like you would like to work this out with dad in your home, but you and your husband must decide together what you will do, but you need to get the walking on eggshells feeling under control, I'm still working on that & it is getting better, but we can only do what we can do. He only wants to help and not feel useless, I'm sure we all do this, I give my husband KP duty and always tell him what a great job he does as a pat on the back never hurts anyone.

I gather he is in his 60's with your mentioning you are in your 40's, so young and so sad for all of you, take care of yourself first then you can cope with the rest of it! stay in touch here, it has helped me more then I ever thought.
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We are in the same boat. My husband is 50 but I am 43 and we have an 8 year old. His dad is 86, has dementia and a paranoid disorder is on anit-depressants that are not working, has heart, kidney, circulatory problems and diabetes. I have helped caregive before when I was in my 20's (I helped my mom with my grandparents) but they did not have dementia or alzheimers.
We weighed all the options and realized that it will probably be well worth losing the home, bank account and assets to let him have 24/7 care. He needed a team of people prior to the nursing home (he is in the rehab section at this time).
While thinking of what to do for our situation, I remembered what is was like being older than my child now and surrounded by someone who is constantly dying. I added in the factor of someone confused, has violent outbursts and is hard to handle physically and emotionally and I just won't put her through it (she is 8). I have asked so many questions on this forum from people who have been doing this for years and who know the various stages in detail and have learned so much and I just cannot come to the conclusion that it is a healthy enviornment for a young child to be raised in for what could possibly be years.
When all this first started my doctor put me on a small anti-depressant (was also causing my blood pressure to go through the roof). It wasn't anything like valium. What I was on was making me sleepy and zombie-like and I started thinking about how I am missing out on time with my child because of this man (someone who lived their own life on their own terms) and I went off the meds. I figured if I can't enjoy my own child that I might as well send her off to live with someone else in the family while I raise my FIL. Needless to say, that ain't gonna happen. ;)
So we figured that FIL worked out the house and the money in the bank, so let it go to his care. Placing someone in a nursing home or assisted living facility doesn't mean you open the car door, drive past and shove them out. It gets a bad rap. But as people live to older ages and people have children in their 30's and 40's, this is going to happen more. And it has gone past like it was when I was younger to where grandma or grandpa is just sitting in bed or their room recovering from a fall, hip surgery or some other kind of ailment. There are more and more people getting dianosed at a younger age with dementia and with people living longer, ones that are recovering from the heart surgeries, surviving cancer, etc. are now developing Alzheimers.
Seek your own heart, talk to your husband but realize how long this situation could go on with your FIL, think how it will affect you and your husband's health (emotionally and physically), think about what your children will see and what answers you are going to give them when they ask, "why could we never go anywhere or do anything because everything was consumed with grandpa." This is not meant to sound heartless but take it from someone who has been there as a child, it is reality. God bless you and hugs.
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I, too, like my coffee every morning and I agree about regular bedtimes. Seems that the only time I can get my housework done is when everyone else is asleep! Thanks for taking the time to respond.
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It could help to reduce/eliminate caffeinated beverages, if you drink any, as caffeine is a nervous system stimulant. I, myself, have tried unsuccessfully to stop drinking coffee, etc., but now I am trying to cut back. I do not recommend taking valium, as getting off of valium, will be another major problem. In addition, going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning can help. I think also it can help to take a day at a time.
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"...edge off your anger."

I should have said "frustration" there... its not like we have tempers or need anger management classes, lol! So yeah, frustration, and not knowing how to deal with these things...
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you dont always keep your cool. your human. reasoning with a stump is one thing, an argumentive stump on pcp , quite another.
and valium is nice. ( for the carer ) .
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