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My MIl is 91 yr old w/limited mobility & major incontinence problems....We really can't take her out for fear of accidents ( even w/ her Depends ). She has been living w/us for almost 6 yrs & she is getting worse. At present she is hospitalized again & whatever mobility she had is almost gone. She was able to atleast bring herself to the bathroom but know I'm not sure what will happen. I dont want a nurse in my home...dont want to turn my home into a hospital w/strangers in & out all day...it's time for her to go in a assisted living at a minimum.I have done all I can & I am totally BURNED OUT. So happy I found this site...it's been very helpfull. Pleaseanyone who has gone thru this help me...my marriage really does depend on it

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I agree with the posts here. Melaniemorris - this isn't the place to put judgement on others without fulling knowing the situation and where the caregiver is mentally and physically at this point. OUR PARENTS/LOVED ONES are very important -- but I'm convinced in most cases, they would never want to be a burden to us. Think of all the wonderful, happy, precious moments you will have with your MIL when you are no longer overburdened with day to day care activities. Your husband/wife relationship will continue to grow stronger/renew because both of you will have more to give. Frankly, your MIL will eventually pass; and you and your husband may have many years left -- together and that relationship is meant to be longlasting -- your MIL wouldn't want it any other way and I'm sure she will relish the "quality time" you will have to give to her in the meantime. Go to your local Senior Center for counseling and support and reassurance on your decision/future plans. You are a saint in my eyes for all you have done and I'm sure your husband and MIL are very grateful. You will be no good to anyone if you are burnt out. Sometimes its just time for a change and the next step.
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melaniemorris,I want to thank all of you who have come to my defense...as for this lady who doesnt realize that in life all is not black & white. First my husband and I have already decided to find a place for us if we need it when we get older...so yea it wouldn't bother me at all, we are planning for it. Second I have taken care of her myself for 6 yrs....meals, baths, wiping her when she has accidents, Dr appts...hospitals and on & on.Oh did I forget to tell you we work full time.We dont want to dump her anywhere...she has almost no mobility wheelchair bound...but she was able to get in bed & go to bathroom on her own.That is the case no longer,she needs help w/ all now.We can no longer help her she needs constant help.

So there that is the case ...not looking for your approval, just for you to see you need all info before judging what you don't understand...
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I have only been caring for my Mother for about 3 years and I know how hard it can get. If your husband does not want his mother in a care center then you need to turn over as much of her care as you can to him for a while. He can fix her meals, feed her if necessary, clean her room, do her laundry and even see that she gets to the bathroom. The more he does the quicker he will see that AL might not be so bad after all. Tell him you need a rest or he will be taking care of you too. Take him to visit the facility you want to move Mom to. Let him see it isn't such a bad place to be.
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Everyone of us needs a "I know you care day". For myself I chose to care for my mom at home as long as possible. Luckily I had the back-up and assistance of my older brother. We both knew when the time had come that mom needed more care than either of us could give her, plus we felt she derserved better than we were able to give.
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Lets all just be kind to each other. Yesterday some friends that we had not seened in about 8 or ten years. They did not know about my husbands condition. I fought back tears at the many wonderful things they said to him and me. Then they hugged both of us as they left. May not see them again for they are distant friends. But yesterday was a "I know you care day".
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I would have loved to keep my mom at home, however, not only did I have to work for a living, my mom became very unhappy at home due to her hallucinations and paranoia. She also wasn't eating and sleeping well. Having been in ALF for over a month she has gained 15lbs and is sleeping through the night. If someone wants to think that I dumped her in a home, that's what they will think and nothing will change their minds. I however, know that I did what was the best for her wellbeing.
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Melaniemorris..how very inappropriate. Having a parent in a safe, secure and healthy environment is the most important factor. When a caregiver's health (mental and/or physical) becomes an issue it is time to explore other options. Anyone who care for someone more than a few months is up for sainthood in my books. God bless!
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I must say that I find it offensive to say we are dumping or throwing away our family member by placing them in a facility with several aids and nurses to attend to their needs. These are people who get to go home at the end of an 8-10 hour shift and rejuvenate. An at home caregiver does not get to go home because the shift never ends. There are some people (probably not many) who can handle the 24/7 demands of an elderly person, who can provide loving care to them and never feel depressed due to lack of peer interaction. Just because you did it, doesn't mean everyone in the universe should be able to do it too.

mledison~As you have been told by other's guilt is a given. A therapist is a great place to start. You may also want to make an appt. with your MIL doc for you and your husband to discuss it with him/her. Sometimes a husband needs to hear it from a doc to get the full message. A doc with experience in taking care of the elderly would have compassion for your burn out before it becomes full blown depression. Many years ago, I was facing burn out due to working full time, taking care of everything at home inside and outside plus the children. I had no outlet to let off steam. My husband was working many hours and was just not available to help me when he was home. It was his choice. He would not listen to me, I plead, begged and talked reasonably. It fell on deaf ears. Finally I stopped. I came home from work and wouldn't do anything. I left it all for him. He woke up real fast when he had to do it all. I don't know why you don't want home health care to help you because it would relive you, but I do understand that if you just can't do it anymore, it is reasonable to understand why you would want her placed in a facility. You do have a right to be happy and have a life outside of caregiving. When we can no longer provide the best care for a loved one, whatever the reasons are, we have alternatives especially when finances are available. Stand your ground with your husband and see a therapist as well as MIL doc.
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I do agree that placing someone who needs it in a suitable facility is not "dumping them" or "throwing them away". Sometimes it is the best solution for all. I don't sense in anyway that mledison cannot be bothered, or that it is all about her.

melaniemorris - When a caregiver says they are burnt out, it is something to be taken seriously. Some can be a caregiver to several people over a period of many years, some for a few years and some can't. That is no indictment against anyone.
Regarding " the woman who brought him into the world and changed his diapers for years" Just how many years do you think she changed his diapers? My bet is that it wasn't 6 years or close to. I think we have a little hyperbole here. It doesn't strengthen your case.

mledison - my heart goes out to you. Guilt is such a difficult thing to deal with. I think part of dealing with it is facing the realities - which involves grieving, As mil goes down hill, thoughts of loss come, and grief is triggered. Any major change - like a move to a facility, brings grief with it. I am not one to push guilt aside, but, rather to deal with it, and the painful emotions that come with real, and anticipated loss. It is a very difficult time in your life, and in your husband's life, not to speak of your mil who deserves the best care available. As your marriage is at stake, finding a therapist who could help you both through this major transition could be very helpful.
My best wishes and prayers for a solution are with you.(((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
Joan
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I know it is a big decision, but she may be happier there with you visiting her. My mom in law is in AL now, and she gets help with her daily needs, good food, activities, and her medicines are given on time. My mom in law even goes out to eat and shop with a group every week. She is 81 yrs old, has dementia, parkinson and diabetes. She gets confuesed easily, but is always singing this retirment center praise. It has also helped me and my husband, since we know she is getting very good care..and we see her at least once a week, taking her out also to shop or eat (depending on her day).
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melaniemorris, is it actually the husband who is doing the dirty work for his mom? Or is it an exhausted daughter-in-law? There are some limits to what children (or their spouses) "owe" to parents. We all of us have some rights and it is best to be reasonable about it - it is wrong to take the attitude that some people (in this case, daughter-in-law) are just there to be abused.
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melaniemorris, placing someone who needs it in a care center is NOT "dumping" them. It in NOT "throwing them away."

We can share opinions about whether placement is best in this particular sitaution. It is good to have a range of opinions expressed.

But know that you are offending a large number of the members here by using such pejorative terms as "dumping" and "throwing away."
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If my spouse was so unkind to want me to dump my mom somewhere because he didn't want a nurse in the house or to be bothered, I would let him take a hike. Fortunately, we took care of my mom AND his mom and neither of us even thought of throwing them away. How would you want to be treated if it were you? Put yourself in her shoes. Do you want to be considered a bother by your daughter in law or do you wish someone would be compassionate. It isn't all about you. It is as much about her and about your husband. Maybe you should go get a separate apartment so you don't upset your husband who is a real man who is lovingly caring for the woman who brought him into the world and changed his diapers for years.
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yakyak, it is difficult, but the most important deciding factor for my brother and I was that mom be safe. She wasn't safe by herself at home while I worked. One thing that helped us was to educate ourselves as to what help and ALF places were available to us andof course the fact that we have two great doctors helping us with caring for mom.
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This site really touched my sore spot. Although my husband is not anywhere need having to go to care other than myself in our home. I am constantly in fear of when that happens. I cannot think of anything harder to do than to put him in some sort of care place. What if I need to go first. I'm almost five years older than he is. His mind is so far gone I cannot trust him alone for long. Reading these pags makes me know that its a difficult place to be, caring for a loved one. God bless and help.
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Mledison, my husband and I are in a similar spot, though with some differences, with my nearly 93 year old MIL. However, we have only been taking care of her directly for about 18 months, six years is a very long haul for you. The guilt does seem to be inescapable sometimes, but perhaps you and your husband could find a third party, a counselor, senior care worker, elder care consultant, doctor, geriatric nurse, there are many possibilities out there. It is especially important that you do something, though, especially if you are feeling burned out and, perhaps, resentful at this point. These are normal feelings, experienced by most human beings who have been in similar care situations; guilt will only reinforce them, not relieve them, and, unaddressed, they can grow and morph into depression and worse. If you and your husband cannot come to a reasonable agreement that works well for all of you, then please get outside help. You have tried to do the right thing and the best thing for many years, now the right thing and the best thing may require a change. I wish you well in your endeavor.
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mledison, guilt is a normal feeling when you consider placing a loved one. We placed mom in ALF for memory care recently as she was fading away at home. Someone asked my brother recently that it seemed like the decision to do so wasn't hard for us. Brothers answer was considering the fact that by doing so she was now safe, thriving and actually having a better quality of life, no it wasn't a hard decision in hindsight. First and most important your MIL needs to be safe, have attentive care 24hrs a day and a better quality of life that she can get at home. I love my mom dearly but realized that I couldn't provide for her the care she deserves. Good luck!
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mledison, I've learned that guilt is pretty much a given for caregivers. It may not be rational or deserved, but it is there. Unfortunately it is typically there regardless of what we do. We can feel guilty about placing our parent in a care center or we can feel guilty about burdening a spouse with the care of our parent or we can feel guilty about being so indecisive. We can feel guilty about most anything but we can't seem to arrange to not feel guilty.

Don't waste a lot of energy trying to talk yourself/your hubby out of feeling guilty. Use that energy to push the guilt to the background and make the best decisions you can, as objectively as you can, without guilt calling the shots. The factors to consider are "What is best for Mother?", "What is best for our marriage?" and "What is best for us as individuals?" That is plenty to juggle! The question to get rid of entirely is "What will make me feel least guilty?" You are going to feel guilty. Live with it. Get on with what has to be done.
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Thank you Jeanne....so happy to get things out. yes my husband knows how I feel. We have "discussed " it many times. He feels guilty I try to explain to him exactly what you have said ...he doesn't want to hear it.

Yes when she gets out she'll go to rehab.And money isn't an issue plus she has Medicare and good secondary insurance that will cover most cost.

I will have my husband read this...
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Does your husband know that your marriage depends on this?

Wow! You've given your MIL six years of quality of life in a home setting, among people who love her. You and your husband should both feel good about that, and proud of what you've done.

Now it is time for a new chapter in this book. You are still concerned about the quality of her life. You still want the best for her. You still love her very much. But it is time to call upon the professional caregivers of various kinds, in a setting designed for care of the elderly with mobility and incontinence problems.

Will shebe going to transitional care (rehab) when she leaves the hospital? (That is often how it works, depending, of course, on why she was in the hospital.) That would be a very good time to get some professional input on what level of care is appropriate. Could she handle assisted living? Does she need skilled nursing care?

Meanwhile, you and hubby should be looking at the practical issues, such as how is this going to paid for? Does MIL have assets and income that will enable her to be self-pay? For how long? Is she likely to need Medicaid at some point? Organizing this is a big job, and another fine service you can do for MIL.

Be aware -- and make sure your husband understands this -- that placing MIL in a care center is NOT the same as abandoning her. You will still be her advocate, and work toward seeing to it she gets quality care. You will visit often, have meals with her regularly, perhaps take her on outings if she is capable of that. But instead of having 24/7 responsibility for hands-on caregiving, you will be free to be the loving daughter-in-law and son. Many people find that their relationship actually improves when the day-to-day burden is lifted.

I wish you all the best as you move in this new direction. Keep us informed!
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