My husband goes to visit his father who has advanced stage Alzheimer’s. I feel he is getting so burned out, but he denies it. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My husband goes to visit his father who has advanced stage Alzheimer’s. I feel he is getting so burned out, but he denies it. Any advice?

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His mother just passed a few weeks ago and he was picking her up five days a week to take her from Independent Living, to visit Dad in Memory Care. He would also pick up any items she would need. I feel he is getting so burned out, but he denies it. He has four siblings, three in the area. They thank him all the time, but only stop in when it’s convenient for them. Never letting him know they’re going to go to give him a break. This has been going on for over 9 months. They all go on vacations, staycations, etc. I am afraid he’s going to have serious health issues. I’m getting very worried about this, but he gets even more upset when I try to bring it up. He says someone has to make sure Dad is being taken care of. He’s in an excellent facility, and he has a Hospice Case Nurse as well. He also has four adult children and when I tell them I feel he’s too stressed out. They call and ask him to babysit kids under 5? SUGGESTIONS, or am I just being over protective?

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When my MIL was in assisted living (AL) near us, I stopped in one day a week to report back to hubby. He was one of 5, 3 within 15 minutes of her. Still, he was the lead (even though he wasn't health care proxy or POA.) I tried to offer relief by giving her another set of eyes.

Separately, when my Mom was in memory care, I was visiting every day. I didn't visit when I was sure my brother and his wife were going to visit. Sometimes, people need to be hit with a 2X4 to get the message. I spoke with my brother and explained that when he was visiting, I wouldn't go that day and could he please let me know ahead of time. Thankfully, he complied.

Unbeknownst to me . . . my husband spoke with my out of state sister and told her I needed help. He told her I needed more respite and that we still wanted/needed to do some travel. To her credit, she arranged to come up every 4-5 weeks for 3-4 days and visit my Mom each day. We then planned vacations and she would come and stay at my house and visit my Mom each day. It all worked out until my Mom passed. I didn't learn of hubby's conversation with my sister from her and he only told me 2 years after the funeral! My sister did a great job --- but she had to be told what to do.

Can you invite one of the in-laws to coffee/lunch and see if they could coordinate visits better? Can you take over some of the tasks to give him a break?
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Gothic88 Aug 1, 2018
I’ve tried to take over some of the visits, but he insists on doing everything. The hospice case worker told his brother who has the POA, that she see’s my husband everyday and me almost everyday and only hears from him on the phone. He told her, well my brother is retired, I work. Is was kind of insulting, but my husband is so kind he totally stands up for him. We did take a day trip before his Mom suddenly passed, but it was on a Saturday. We drove three hours each way for a two hour sightseeing. Only because I snuck on emailed one of the sisters to see if she was going to visit. He was upset that I emailed her, said he would have done it, but he never does.
The sibling that has the healthcare POA knows nothing about health issues, prescriptions, why we could get hospice so soon with Alzheimer’s (he thought it was because they would provide a wheelchair). It’s so frustrating, I’m so knowledgeable and have resources and medical/hospice/doctors/nurses that are very close friends who I can get feedback from, but I have to act like I guess about issues. Even when their Mom passed, he said he had to make sure he got the SSA check cashed ASAP. I calmly and quietly said that the government will require that check be returned, and I know it doesn’t make sense but it’s how it works. He just flatly told me I was wrong. So, I just sat down as I know when I’m in a losing situation. Plus I worked in Benefits for 35 years. Sorry to be venting, but it’s just so frustrating.
Thank you for your wise words, I really appreciate your input.
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sometimes its so frustrating to watch your spouse do things you think are not good for them/ or they don't listen to your opinion.  

I can never tell my husband NOT to do something he WANTS to do. or visa versa. (stubborn)

even if I suggest some home improvement thing...he wont listen.

what I have figured out unfortunately is ...

IF its not ~his~ idea then its not going to happen

sometimes if I just wait...he'll figure it out on his own. then he acts like it was his idea all along.

edit PS not saying all spouses are like that...
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Gothic88 Aug 1, 2018
Thank you, the not doing something unless it’s his idea is one of the first things I carefully addressed when we married. I said, hey I want to ask you something, but I don’t want an answer for two days. And if you want to immediately say no, just say I’ll think about it. Maybe I should have that conversation again.

Those are are good suggestions.
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Your husband is stressed out, grieving and running back and forth to Memory Care and he’s charged with BABYSITTING PRESCHOOLERS?? Unbelieveable!!! They should be visiting, with their parents, for Grandpa to enjoy for short visits and then go home! If you are also asked to sit, I would politely tell his children that Grandpa and Grandma have things to do that day.

If your husband is determined to visit his father, trying to dissuade him, even with the best of intentions will only serve to anger him and make him even more determined. It may be comforting to him to visit his dad, even if Dad doesn’t even know he’s there. You might think to call his sibs and tell them they have to pitch in, but if he finds out you did, it will infuriate him. Trust me, they know they’re shirking their responsibilities. But they also know Brother will handle it for them. Perhaps he’s always been the “fixer” in their family. If he wants help, it’s up to him to ask.

Keep his home life calm, peaceful and a refuge for him—not a judgement zone. It won’t last forever.
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dlpandjep Jul 31, 2018
So much wisdom. Thank you for sharing. Bless you.
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