I am not equipped to give him the care he needs. We are not married. I'm 76 and in the process of moving. His Medicare has run out. Before he was in a home, I took care of him for years without any help from his son or daughter. I took him food shopping, doctor's appointments, did his bills, etc. The home won't release him unless he has night and day care. He is incontinent and needs constant bathroom care. His kids want him to stay with me until they find another place. I hate to see them put him in a terrible place. I feel guilty that I have to say no to his kids. What can I do?

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You say “No.”

If they want him at home, then he can live in theirs.

They’ll say they will help if you take him home; I’m sure you know that is an empty promise.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to LoopyLoo
XenaJada Sep 29, 2022
You say that the home won't release him unless he has night and day care, so there you have it. Case closed. Let that nursing home admin folks deal with Medicaid. Let them duke it out with his kids.

Stay the dang, bang, dog gone heck OUT OF IT. Don't sign or agree to anything.
Get smart and play stunned and deflated.

Actually I hate speaking like this, but you're hurting and being ganged up on.

Hey, do this... since I got old and grey I find you can get a lot of mileage out of sadly looking toward the floor, and gently shake your head "no" w/o words, and shrug every so often at the same time. Do this a lot. After all, after 40 years you're hurting about the situation. Gentle and pitifully say to his kids - Someone stronger has to step up. Eyes back toward the floor, shake your head and say…This is so sad.

You feel guilt? Holy smoke. I can't take it. Puhleez, the kids are guilt-nipulating you. Kick your clever brain in gear. Be hyper observant through soft sad eyes. Observe the tools, the verbal tools, they use. They are the tools that will work on them. Best not to respond if you can't manage.

Sweet lady, please, tell me that you aren't smoking something funny? If you don't self-protect at this point, well then let me sell you a new styrofoam roof and some land on the moon while we're at it.

If you were here with me, I'd give you a gentle open handed k-nock on the back of your head, (more in the way of a good humored gesture), and I guarantee that about 100 other readers would queue up at your door after me to do the same if you entertain this thought one more time.

Nuh-uh-uh. Don't even. Nope. NO, end of story.
You don't touch this even with a 10 foot catheter.

At any age you don't take on this work. You be a girlfriend, period. Be a handholding girlfriend. Do not let anyone, ANYONE, not the Pope, the police, Elvis or anybody convince you to do this. If someone presses just say I have to talk to my lawyer I think. I don't think it's safe anymore.

Forty-years is a huge thing and you are super vulnerable right now. Don't let these hardier adults bamboozle you.

Also btw, there are boyfriends and there are boyfriends and because YOU mentioned you're not married indicates that you are aware that your not in a good position in some respects, BUT in a great position as you are not legally responsible to take on this enormous work that SHOULD ONLY BE HANDLED BY PROFESSIONALS, not a soon to be 80 year old lady (in less than 4 years).

And talk about feeling guilty. Shame on you. You should feel proud of yourself. Who have you got? His kids should feel like weasels. Did you have kids with him?

Think hard. Tell them you are not well but you don't want to talk about it.

Take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to MicheleDL
SnoopyLove Oct 2, 2022
Love it!
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The social worker at his current rehab can find him a placement that will accept Medicaid if he needs that for funding.

Facility to facility transfers are easiest because his need for NH-level care is already established.

Onice he gets discharged to a private home, you are back to square one and need to deal with waiting lists that can be YEARS long.
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

" His kids want him to stay with me until they find another place."

Once he's back with you they will stop looking for another place.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to CTTN55
CaregiverL Oct 4, 2022
CT, you’re absolutely right!
Sure they do. Tell them THEY should take their dad in to THEIR home, then you can go visit him there. You're being sold a pig in a poke here. You've done enough. You're 76 yourself, unmarried, and have yourself to care for now. A SNF or a Memory Care ALF is the best place for your boyfriend now, so it's up to his children to figure out which one.

Best of luck and please don't feel guilty!
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

It sounds to me you have graciously done all you can do. You alone can’t possibly give him the care he needs. Say no and don’t feel guilty hun. You have definitely done your part. God bless you.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Salsnh93

”I hate to see them put him in a terrible place.” But would they? He’s their father and they presumably want the best for him. Or - now think about this - do you believe that any care facility is a terrible place? Because that isn’t true. There are many facilities where patients are well cared for. Tell his children that you can’t provide the care he needs. Then present them with information that will help them find the place best suited for your boyfriend. Don’t guilt yourself into a job you don’t want by presuming something that isn’t true in the first place! Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Fawnby

"I want him to have the best care, and I can't provide it. I'm sure that's what you want, too, RIGHT??"
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to MJ1929

When they tell you that just laugh, I was surprised when I discovered most states don't recognize common law marriages so you have no reason to feel obligated. Don't let them bully you, if they feel he shouldn't be in a nursing home then let them know you aren't up to the task and it's up to them to provide the care he needs in THEIR homes.... if they get belligerent then stop accepting their calls.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to cwillie

Give yourself permission to say no. Then stop feeling guilty.

Taking care of someone 24/7 with incontinence and dementia is a huge job. Regardless of marital status or relevant healthcare training. To do a great job, you have to be “all in.”

If you are asking this group of strangers for approval, you clearly aren’t all in.

It’s okay that you aren’t, this is a choice, not a requirement and the choice is yours, not theirs to make.

Your next choice is whether you wish to remain present in his life and theirs.

You have been there for many years and certainly have taken a big share of caretaking already.

Now do something to take care of yourself instead.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to ACaringDaughter

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