Need thoughts about out of town male adult children.


Only have two children, male, both in their 50 ‘s. Both live in other states and see my wife mainly at short family “Social” type gatherings- e.g. Christmas, etc. Neither seems to understand how difficult it is to be the (sole) caretaker. Both seem to be denying/ running from the severity of her condition. She is in late middle stage Alzheimer’s. They are resistive of their staying alone, as is my wife, with her for 4-5 days in order for me to get some respite. Any help here?



I'm the daughter, and I will not provide hands-on care for my mother. I did for one 8-day time period, and it was so awful that I won't be doing it again. (A lot of the problem has to do with her attitude towards me.)
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55

I agree, shakingstuffoff. I could never have done for my parents what I’m doing for Hubby. They wouldn’t have wanted me to anyway. I disagree totally with parents who think their kids are “obligated”” to provide LTC for them, but I have the utmost respect and admiration for those kids who do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy

I support the others who have said expecting your sons to caregiver for their mom is not something you should do. I have a son and a daughter who live 20 minutes away, and I care for my bedridden husband. It’s been a year since I had any beneficial respite. However, I would NEVER ask my kids to help with their dad. Both have their own lives and children. Hubby is incontinent and I would never ask her to change her father’s diapers, ever. My son, well, he’s a good kid and would do it in an emergency, but he is very judgmental and that’s why I’d never ask.

To be quite frank, your kids (and mine) don’t want to be caregivers. Two boys should not be asked to provide personal care for their mom. That’s just the way it is and no, it’s not fair. Nothing about caregiving for loved ones is fair. That’s why this site exists, you know?

Cut your getaway respite down to a weekend and pay for a home health care adult sitter, or check out facilities to see if they will accommodate her.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy

Hi there Heis80
Your sons are not very different from anyone else’s who have gone off to seek their fortunes. They may be grandfathers themselves by now. Firmly entrenched in their own lives as has been pointed out. They just simply aren’t a solution or they would be with you on this journey already.
You must be doing an amazing job in taking care of your wife or your need would be more obvious to them.
I get the impression that the Area Agency on Aging is more helpful in some areas than others but you might give them a try. Ask them to come out and do a needs assessment for your wife. Ask them to give you something in writing if they can. Maybe that’s routine, I don’t know. But anyway if you can get that in hand you might be able to use it to discuss respite care with which ever facilities AA of Aging recommends.
I would also suggest you visit a NELA certified elder attorney if you haven’t already and find out what your options are going forward as it relates to any help from Medicaid for long term care. If you can private pay for care for your wife, great. If not then you need to understand the laws about how Medicaid will help pay for your wife’s care without impoverishing your own living circumstances and your own future.
Also see if your wife qualifies for Home Health through Medicare. Do you have this now? They will send a nurse once a week and a bathing aide a couple of times a week. You can ask that your wife be evaluated for physical therapy as well.
Don’t resist these small benefits as they really help overall.
It must feel very alone caring for your wife. I understand the support groups are helpful. Go to the Alzheimer’s website and look for a group near you.
Recognize that if you don’t take care of yourself you will be leaving your wife to manage alone. How is your health? I wish you all the best in taking steps to secure you and your wife’s futures. Come back and let us know what help you find in your community. Start with the respite but know that the need will continue to grow.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom

I also don't think it's a good idea. How long has it been since you were away from your wife for a significant amount of time? She may not take the separation too well. I'm not saying you shouldn't take some time to yourself because you definitely should, but your wife may need help from professionals. That may not be the cheapest or most convenient option, but it is certainly the safest. Best of luck.
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Reply to Caregiverology

Heis80: To be honest, if you are looking for 4-5 days of respite (which you deserve) I doubt your sons will be able to handle their Mom. When you think of all you have learned ---little by little ---would they honestly be able to do what is needed for your wife. (She deserves better anyway. )
Being a caregiver means you have to be empathetic, and intuitive. And if she is incontinent, it means you have to be able to stomach the accidents that many caregivers see EVERY day. So, it's time to look for alternatives. Many Assisted living facilities and nursing homes take respite care patients. Start to call around to see who will accept her and for how long. (Some places have a minimum amount of time.) This costs money so find out how much in your area. Alternatively, you might bring in a live in aide to stay with your wife. If you do this, I would suggest you arrange for the aide to come for extra time while you're still there.
I traveled the dementia journey with my Mom, she was 96 at the time. My in-state brother could barely visit AND wouldn't go without his wife. My out of state sister needed a primer in how to spend time with Mom when she came to give me respite care . AND at that point Mom was in memory care assisted living. I urge you to consider professional help, not only during your respite time off, but after that as well. You should be having aides, etc before you keel over. PLEASE keep us updated. We all know how much physical and emotional toll caregiving takes.
You will get lots of ideas and help from the posters on this site.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to geewiz

80 you NEED respite. She can go to a care facility for a week or two. Many facilities offer this as a marketing opportunity. Need day it is very likely that you will not be able to provide the care she needs. Call facilities in your area to see what may be available.

Your son's are in their 50's and I assume jobs and family life. That is their job. Some can emotionally provide care and some cannot, usually son's cannot. If they are not stepping up to assist there is nothing you can say to change their attitude and feelings about this. So make plans for your wife to go into a facility for respite. Then think about having her stay there. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be 80 and providing 24/7 care. I was twenty years younger when I cared for my mom for the most difficult four years of my life.

Get the help you need. You have done wonderful caring for her as long as you have!
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Reply to gladimhere

Heis80 I think you should write to them.... Write exactly what you posted here. Exactly as your question written to us, here. See how they respond. Include an explanation of why you are writing this to them. How you feel! She's sick it is no ones fault, it is not a choice of yours or hers or theirs, it's a reality.
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Reply to wuvsicecream

Hi, You said they only see her at social events and they don't know the work involved in taking care of her. With that said, do you really think one of your son's would have a clue as to how to care for her?

I think it's a bad idea. The boys and your wife already know this. Look elsewhere for respice.

Others here can offer some suggestions as to where to look. I'm sorry, that's something I just don't know about. Hang in there...
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Reply to Pepsee