My husband has had enough of caring for my father, how do I cope? - AgingCare.com

My husband has had enough of caring for my father, how do I cope?

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My mother died 9 years ago. My dad has lived in my home since then. He is now 87, has many medical issues (COPD, cataracts, macular degeneration, hard of hearing, asthma, emphysema, arthritis and aortic stenosis). Despite these conditions, he had been able to maintain independence (driving, shopping, cooking etc..) until August of last year when he fell and suffered two subdural hematomas. The brain injury exacerbated his vision issues to the point where he can only read bold letters with the use of a flashlight. My father has always had a tyrannical attitude, but was grateful that we took him in and with his independence was able to keep it under control. We had a few issues over the years such as arguments over the temperature in the house or his hording groceries in his room. He complied to the new rules we put in place as things came up. However, after his fall I had to take his driving privileges away and my house has been in turmoil since. He will not pay for a driver, he will not go to the senior center and will only be content if I return the keys to him. As a result he has become infantile and manipulative and his tyrannical personality is in overdrive. Needless to say, my husband has had enough. My father has tantrums when he can't have his way (banging cabinets and throwing things). My husband wants him out. I do believe this is the solution, but my father pretends these events did not happen and plays the prayed victim when these conversations are broached. I feel my marriage will be jeopardized if this situation persists, but how do I get my father to willingly or otherwise go to assisted living? He is financially stable, but will find every excuse not to go i.e. he doesn't like their food, doesn't want to be with strangers and the biggest issue, once he leaves my house, he will want his car keys and access to his car. How do I prevent that? I am at my wits end. My health is suffering, I have developed heart palpitations and have put on weight. I have two teenage sons as well who have had enough of the turmoil in the house. As a last note, I do have two brothers that although are supportive and agree with the absurdity of my father's behavior, have no share in the care giving or daily stress I have endured. They tell my to throw him out, but where? I need concrete assistance not platitudes. If anyone has been in a similar place, please give me some insight. I don't know where to go from here and need help!! ASAP

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dvhenal ((((( hugs))))) Some people have had to tell their parent that, whether they want to or not, that they have to live elsewhere. Everyone would prefer to arrive at a consensus, but, if not, you may have to be firm. You are suffering too much, and so is your family, IMO - do not return the keys to him - notify the DMV and his doctor, Disable the car if you have to. Too much at sake there. . I do agree draw the line about his behaviour. Good luck and keep us updated and keep moving forward. The sooner you can make this happen the better.
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Thank you all for your kind words and support. I think that the most difficult part of this is that it is uncharted territory for my family. I will have time off this summer and I think the first step is to visit these facilities without my father so I can see if they are a realistic option. Then I will take him and get his input. I expect initial resistance, but the time has come that he has to know I am serious about removing him from my house. Actually seeing the place will make it much more real than just saying it. At that point I expect one of two things to happen, He will either behave or continue his tantrums which he knows will cause my husband to pack his bags. The choice is his. I definitely think I will have to go through this as a process. My husband agrees with this approach. I think he is just happy that I am moving forward instead of running in place like I have been doing and getting stressed. What do you think?
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9 years of supporting someone through thick and thin in this situation is enough.

The OP's health is suffering and her marriage is in jeopardy. No one should have to get divorced or worse yet, die, in the process of keeping their parent at home.

People are not alone in nursing homes or AL's. I hope that's not what you meant in your last sentence, because I know from experience that is just not true.
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Your Dad may be getting dementia/alz and its not his fault, his brain might be going fast and is confused. Have you considered asking his dr for medication to calm his moods down? There are antidepressants and depakote(which worked for my mom). I would talk to him, and to his Doctor. Tell him you want him to stay but he has to cooperate, it might work. I would try and settle the house environment down and keep him home if you can. He can be calmed, would that help your stress? As far as your husband , he is supposed to support you thru thick and thin. I understand where he is coming from but my husband supports me and agrees that I feel home is best, and its not forever. I think your Dad needs to feel useful, anything he can do? They need a safe loving home and a purpose in life. My Mom used to fold laundry and when I told her how she folded like a 5 star hotel she beamed ear to ear. I know a person who has a car engine in their basement for her husband to tinker with. Good Luck, I understand and have my Mom here. She cannot walk, and says few words, nor can barely see or understand anything now but she wakes up laughing and is so comfortable here I would never part with her. I guess is the circle of life and a tough one. I know one thing, I do not want to get old and be alone.
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Forgiving yourself won't be your only concern...being the responsible party liable for damages and injuries could be another issue. Have the car disabled and have your Father's physician advise him he cannot drive and demand he take a driving test!. Throwing away the keys would be my first thought.

Your husband and children have put up with a lot of turmoil! I am not being rude but you are not expected to sacrifice your marriage and your family or your health to care for another. Your husband and your children are your first responsibility and I cannot imagine putting anyone above them.

I wish you well!
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Nancy, I know in my heart you are right. It is just so ingrained in my upbringing that we take care of our own until they die. It is just that no one in my family had to put up with someone as self centered and belligerent as my dad. My grandmother lived to 87, but was mild tempered until the end. This is just hell every day. I hate to come home from work and find myself hiding from him upstairs just for some relief. But that in and of itself causes me stress because I resent being a prisoner in my own home. My husband and I will start visiting options in the area during the summer and hopefully we can find something for him. What do you think about the problem with returning the keys to his car once he no longer lives in my home. I will never forgive myself if someone gets hurt because of this decision, but legally I don't think I can withhold the keys and access to his car once he leaves. My heart is heavy.
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Jinx, yest my dad does throw tantrums in front of my husband. That is another area of anxiety for me because my husband, although he is putting up with a lot in this circumstance, has a quick temper and I worry that he will lose control with my dad. He would never hurt him, but I'm afraid my husband will have a heart attack himself. It is truly unbelievable that it has come to this. My dad doesn't pay rent per se, but he will contribute to the household from time to time by buying paper towel or oil in bulk (all things he consumes in abundance) or towards the utilities. I can't take away his driver license because he renewed it prior to his fall and there was no eye exam required to renew. My internist also recommended calling 911 I think that is a good idea. Thanks so much for the ear and the shoulder I really need the support.
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Does your father throw tantrums in front of your husband? Have your husband be the bad cop in "throwing" your father out. Does your father pay "rent" to live with you? Have you had his drivers license taken away? Can you get a police officer to come and give him a scary lecture? Call 911 when he's having a tantrum and throwing things.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.
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dvhenal, You have already decided that it's best for your father to move into asst. living, that was the hard part really. Now you just need to find the right place for him. You and your husband should start visiting some places, and just make it known that dad is going to move out. It doesn't matter if he denies his behavior to you, because you already know that he's lying. Maybe it's time to have your husband tell your father that he's moving out. Might be good therapy for your hubby to get to tell dad what the decision is anyhow. I know it's hard to put your emotions in a box in your brain, but that's exactly what you're going to have to do. Make it a matter of fact that dad is moving out, it's just the WHERE that's in question. Be strong. You can do this.
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