My FIL is flying in for a week long visit. He has COPD and had a heart attack Nov. 2017 (has a stent). This is WAY out of my league - HELP! - AgingCare.com

My FIL is flying in for a week long visit. He has COPD and had a heart attack Nov. 2017 (has a stent). This is WAY out of my league - HELP!

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He requires 3 liters oxygen nightly. His son, my husband, insists on accommodating his demand to celebrate his 93rd birthday at our home. This involves FIL taking a 3+ hour flight. My husband works and won’t be home with him during the day. FIL has trouble walking - unsteady and has aspirated food before due to not wearing his teeth and bolting his food. I am concerned about the night time oxygen situation. No amount of reasoning or pleading will change their minds. FIL has always been a handful, has macular degeneration and won’t wear his hearing aids. This is happening - and is WAY out of my league - HELP!!!!

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My first thought, albeit a witchy one, is to tell you to go on a little getaway of your own. Absolutely let hubby, who insists on accommodating his father, go ahead and accommodate him. All by himself!

You’re being jerked around and forced to do something you are not equipped or trained to do and don’t WANT to do. So why do it? You’re a big girl. Make reservations at a nice hotel with a bangin’ Spa and have a blast.

I would not stress about pitsing “the boys” off. After all, neither one is considering your feelings, wants or needs.

Hubby will have to take time off to care for his father. They can have some “real bonding” time. Yeah, boy.

Make reservations, leave the day he arrives and come back after he leaves and be rested, refreshed and not stressed out by suddenly being an unwilling caregiver. If you get any flak, who cares? They didn’t care what you wanted!
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Ahmijoy
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Does your FIL live alone now?
Remind your husband that his dad should be careful to bring all his meds and his paperwork. DNR, insurance cards, list of meds and drs should he have to make phone calls on his dad’s behalf. FIL should bring extra meds just in case.
Perhaps you could contact a home health agency to know terms and availability should the flight leave your FIL needing personal care.
Have an urgent care in mind just in case.
Remind your husband of any accommodations his dad might need in the home, seating, special diet etc.
Perhaps a wheel chair rental for outings?
This trip sounds very important to both of them.
You might pick up the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. I think it would help you not be so anxious about your FIL traveling to your home and about taking care of him.
if he’s used to being alone most of the time, you should be fine going about your business as usual.
If you are very anxious about it remember it’s just a week. Get out for a walk everyday or meditate a bit each morning.
Plan your meals and set things up where it’s easy for FIL to wait on himself when he needs to.
Its pretty neat that he isn’t afraid to live his life and that your husband supports him.
I hope you help make the birthday special.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. The week long visit was just that. My FIL is in MUCH better shape than we were led to believe by his 24/7 live in caregiver (figures!). My husband was able to take him with him everyday when he went to work (small business owner) so they could enjoy each others company and give me a break. My husband was forced to acknowledge his father's limitations and respond accordingly - it was a much needed eyeopening experience for him caring for his father 24/7 (including oxygen, meds, 'britches/briefs duty', showering, and the multitude of things required). The end of the visit ended on an upbeat note - FIL said he couldn't believe the week was over and 'wished he could stay longer' (uh, no...). I think he also knows this was probably the last time he would be able to make this trip as his parting words to me were 'See you when I see you!'. Again, THANK YOU, ALL that responded to my HELP post - this truly is a caring, helpful community of folks!!
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Reply to castlekathy
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Ahmijoy Aug 6, 2018
Thanks for letting us know how the dreaded visit went. Isn’t it odd how the visit woke Hubby up? That’s a good thing if he ever, ever thought Dad could come live with you. Dad was most likely exhausted for at least a week and although I’m sure he didn’t regret his visit, it probably cured him of any future wanderlust. Hubby was probably wiped out too.

I know I speak for all of us when I say we’re glad it went well...and that it’s over. Take care of yourself and keep in touch!
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Regardless of how much care your FIL needs, it seems quite rude of your DH not to take some time off work whiles he’s visiting. Maybe you could “encourage” him to take some vacation days so his Dad will feel more welcomed by his son.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Agree with the disappearing say on day 3.. me finks it might be the beginning of a long and painful tenancy occurring..
See it all went OK so dad can come and live with us, Oh BTW Im off for the next week you will manage alright scenario comes to mind.
Make your husband take time off and be there for HIS dad.
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Reply to muffincat
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Call a local agency and see about getting someone to give you a hand, a man who could act as both helper and companion would be ideal. Don't take no for an answer, this is about helping YOU as much as it is about helping FIL - if DH and FIL can spend on air fare they can afford to pay for this.
If FIL has trouble walking I imagine there will be difficulties with the accessibility of the toilet and shower as well as his meals and oxygen, in addition to a transport wheelchair you might look into renting a shower chair and a commode that can be placed over the toilet which increases the height and provides arms for stability. Plan meals with his eating problems in mind - think soft and easy to eat without teeth (lasagna instead of steak). And I can't imagine DH allowing the poor man to navigate the airports on his own, unless he is a frequent flyer the flights alone will be a very stressful experience.
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Reply to cwillie
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Is anybody who's experienced in looking after your FIL coming with him?

If not, you could insist on hiring professional nursing help for the week and suggest your husband's family look on it as part of the celebration expenses.

If they won't buy that, then all you can do is draw your own lines about what you will and won't do to assist; and not stepping out of your pay grade is a perfectly reasonable view to take. Stick to your guns.

Any consequences that then ensue are the responsibility of those making the decisions, and not yours, and you must just rise above any residual feelings of guilt. And happy birthday to him!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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try telling yourself. I love my FIL, I love my FIL ha ha  just kidding.

but at least its only a week? Don't feel responsible for this mans health if you can.

just do your best and if something happens that is beyond your control during the day call 911.

let your husband deal with the nighttime situation (he's home by then?) of oxygen.

I think whenever something is going to happen and we fight it. It just makes us more uptight not to accept it. take a deep breathe and tell yourself I can make it thru one week.
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Reply to wally003
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Just do the best you can. I don't agree with running off and leaving hubby with the job even though he's dumped it on you No need to stir up another argument. Look for some extra help that week which could even be someone coming in to help keep the place tidy. Maybe you can prepare some meals in advance and freeze them. Most old folks just enjoy sitting and watching the tv so just do that with him as much as you can. Maybe get him to tell you some stories of your husband growing up. I agree with trying to arrange oxygen and whatever he needs before he gets there. Mostly our old parents just want to be around people. God bless you.
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Reply to whyme327
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THANK YOU ALL, I so appreciate all the input received! To answer a few of the questions, FIL is to arrive TOMORROW! FIL has a live in caregiver at his home. We live in a remote area, so to contact an agency, or set up oxygen backup is very difficult - I insisted he rent a portable unit and bring it with him. Husband has yet to notify airline of any special needs. My home is not 'senior friendly' multiple levels and FIL will be sleeping on a different floor than my husband. At this point, all I can do is pray for the best outcome for this situation.
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Reply to castlekathy
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Agingmyself Jul 24, 2018
Wow, girl. We are all waiting to see how it goes! Keep us informed.
I think I'd be doing a google search for an agency and contacting them to see if they can supply someone quickly if needed.
If he hasn't already made arrangements, maybe they won't let him on the plane!
Prayers!
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