They have been independent in their own home until dad fell and had surgery. Now he has a 24/7 care giver. Mom ignores Dad and wants to move out. She’s irrational. What can we do?

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It's not your marriage. It's hers.
It's not your life. It's hers.
It's not your time. It's hers.

Is she interested in going on a trip? There are plenty of travel guides and trips for old people. Maybe a cruise? Maybe a train trip? What does she want to do with her time?

If she wants to get away, help her do something constructive with her time like planning a trip somewhere. Why not join her on that trip? I think that would be a very special memory for the two of you. Perhaps a few weeks away from your father will put things in perspective for her. It could open a path for her that does not involve leaving your father but does give her the freedom for which she's obviously yearning. Or, it could make her even more resolute that she's done being married to him.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 24, 2019
Great idea!
Marriage counselors refer to it as ‘the gray’ divorce and is becoming common among seniors. Marriages that appear to have been fulfilling aren’t necessarily that way under the surface. Seniors know time is running out and no matter the age scramble for independence. Interesting, isn’t it?

Not all gray hair people are ready to give up on life and want to experience new things. Talk to her and see if she is yearning for some new stimulation in life. Something of her own. The best marriages are where people have their own interest as well as common areas.

I know older people in their 90’s who live independently and still active and vibrant. They have better outlooks in life than a cynical younger person. They continually learn and contribute greatly to our society.

Countrymouse, I like your reply very much and I feel very similar. We don’t all fit in the same category. A deeper conversation with her mom would be helpful to determine what is going on.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I'm not sure I'd call wanting to move out irrational. She'd hardly be the first to find her situation frustrating, exhausting and boring.

Plus, of course, she must be very aware that her clock is running out, too. Perhaps the idea that her remaining time must be spent "imprisoned" in the house with your poor father is overwhelming her.

So, your father has a 24/7 caregiver. Even so it might be tiring for your mother, even though it isn't she providing the hands-on care. Stressful, certainly.

Does she have care needs of her own?

You're definitely not going to change her mind or solve anything, anyway, by telling her she's being irrational and must pull herself together. Have you asked her to tell you about how she's feeling, and what she wants to do about it?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse

Maybe mom is tired of being married and wants out.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to shad250
cwillie Apr 24, 2019
You could be right - just because somebody has been married forever doesn't mean it was a happy marriage, people stay together for all kinds of reasons. Maybe it's time for a facility for both of them, with separate rooms.
My mother was a very jealous person as well. She had to have all the attention and run the show. You do need to have Mom’s doctor look her over. Chances are with Dad’s issues, her health may have been overlooked. If she’s truly irrational, it may be a UTI or the onset of dementia.

Try taking ner out to lunch or maybe shopping or to the salon. Focus on her. Maybe that’s all she needs.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy

She's irrational, does she have dementia?

Has she been checked for a UTI?

Is she jealous that he is getting so much attention? My mom would go nuts over that.

It sounds like she is not coping well to all the changes , but it seems like she is having her own medical issues and that is why she can't cope.

Hopefully it is something simple and easily cured.

Just keep reassuring her that dad still needs and wants her even though he has a caregiver now. It probably feels like he has a mistress to her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Would it help if your father moved into care? Or perhaps both of them?
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

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