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Completely successful knee surgery, went to skilled rehab for Occupational and physical therapy for 3 weeks...Get him home and he became utterly dependent. I too had a surgery and he’s got no regard to my injuring myself to help. Told someone else he has Long Term Care when he thought I couldn’t hear. Has become completely needy and fills my time with trivial tasks. Doesn’t do anything for himself when he is a 40 hr a week volunteer at VA hospital and takes 1-2 trips to gamble a week. 6 phone calls asking where I am in 45 minutes, everything needs done NOW. Won’t wipe his own butt, get himself dressed even though he was walking the day after surgery (he dressed himself when I wasn’t there). Is this normal? It seems to be getting worse fast and I’m resentful, especially when he laughs when I’m in agony trying to help. Is it just to manipulate my time and attention? Why hide his LTC coverage he paid for 36 years? He’s running me in the ground, just to watch me do it!

Thank you all for your support and ideas and advice. I needed it. He’s sick with MRSA and he’s back in a different rehab nursing place now, good grief. I’m pretty freaked out because he left the first place with it and I’ve touched everything including the wound and his body fluids, I’m on antibiotics because of my sutures. He has 24 hour care so I’m ok not going to visit til he’s healthy... and we got a whole new set of rules I’m putting in place. Even now he already looks better but NEVER gets up unless he has to, so he should stay until he’s well and walking.
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I guess u just needed validation that you were on the right track. Call his doctor and see who u would call to have a needs assessment. Maybe the doctor can put in an order with a Homecare agency. Wouldn't hurt just to see where he is with his recovery.

Did you ask his LTC agency if they do assessments? I would think they do to determine what is needed. He should be able to get himself breakfast and lunch. Theres also take out.

I don't recommend u getting POAs for him but he needs someone to carry out his wishes and oversee his finances legally. Maybe a lawyer can help with this.
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He may have a little cognitive impairment since the surgery. Sometimes it can take several months to return to normal. Sometimes never happens. But that doesn’t mean you do his bidding. It just might explain why his behavior is different from being a volunteer to being a patient.

As with all others who look to us for help, boundaries have to be set. You have learned a valuable lesson in regard to godfather. Offer the absolute minimal for him as you know he will ask for more.

You could be actually setting him back if you are doing things for him that he should be doing. You seem to already realize this.

If you are his heir he may believe he is paying for this level of service. It can cloud decisions on your part and his.

Are you his POA for medical and financial? If so you should know all about the LTC and any other policies etc.

You have to make yourself accountable to you. Dont allow yourself to be used. It usually gets worse until you put the brakes on.

Start weaning him off your services. Only go for an hour or so each day and then every other day. That sort of thing.

When he calls on your days off remind him that you aren’t coming but you can help him find a caretaker if he would like for you to.
Good luck with your boundaries and let us know how it goes.
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
I am his beneficiary but not POA. His home is reverse mortgaged and I don’t want anything. He assigned a 20k life insurance policy to my child. I am definitely going to take your advice and ween him off my constant care, everyone has said a resounding “yes I’m making it worse” which is what I figured. Is there a Needs assessment I should order? I’ll happy to handle any arrangements as I’ve already ordered him fresh prepared meals to heat, getting the information on his LTC, alert button and monitoring, etc. Thank you for your advice I very much appreciate it.
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I don't mean this harshly at all, but you need to stop, and not only because it's - what else can I say? - RIDICULOUS!, this level of demand; but also because you are doing him - your godfather, did you say? - a serious disservice.

I have no idea why your godfather would want to put you through this. It can hardly be for his own amusement, even if he does sometimes seem to make a joke of it. And to be frank, it's more of a mystery why you would put yourself in pain helping somebody who doesn't really need your help - but it doesn't matter.

The aim of the knee surgery, the OT and the PT was to restore to him his normal function. And it seems that there is no reason why that goal should not be achievable, correct?

So look at it this way. Every single time you do something for him that you would not do for any other, able-bodied person you're on the right sort of neighbourly terms with, you are *setting* *back* your godfather's recovery.

Don't answer the six calls. Make ONE call to him as regularly as you think appropriate. Other times either block his number or let the call go to voicemail. By all means tell him you will be doing this; don't apologise, don't argue through reasons, just tell him.

Do not carry out any tasks that should more properly be done by aides hired through his insurance - and his insurers should also have a view to rehabilitation support, rather than indefinite care.

Do push for paid services, though. It's no bad thing for him to get used to having a little additional support now, because it makes his living at home more sustainable in the future.

I hope this helps - you are right, you are teaching him to be helpless, and for both of you it needs to stop. Good luck, please keep in touch with us.
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
Country- in retrospect I’ve suggested him to join Senior Community activities like bingo and dance nights in the past and his response was “you are my entertainment” GRRRRR! He’s very thoughtless and discourteous in his requests and this seems to be a situation of... watch the puppet dance. It’ll be hard to stop caring but yes I’m wrecking both of us, you’re right. Surgery was 5 weeks and he was walking the next day. I believe I’m being snowballed
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Sounds like it's time to set some boundaries.

You should not be doing all these things for him. If he is volunteering and going gambling, he does NOT need your help. If he's too tired, for example, from his galazanting, that is NOT your problem. It is his choice.

So, have a talk with him. I can no longer provide x, y, and z. I see that you are capable of doing these things for yourself and you should be as independent as possible. Don't argue with his responses, just stay the course and force him to do for himself.

If he can not do things for himself and has LTC insurance, he can move into a nursing home.

He's tricked you into enabling him to be this way and you obviously want to put your foot down and so that's what you must do.

Make a plan and stick to it. Go to a therapist if you need assistance doing this and sticking to your guns and dealing with the resistance, which you will surely receive. He doesn't have to like these changes you are going to be making. But you need to take care of yourself.
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You made a promise not knowing you would have health problems too. The first time he told me to wipe him, I would have said no. I would never care for another man unless he was my husband. You are being used and only you can change it. Boundries. Tell him you are not physically able to help him he needs to hire aids. If he can get out of the house to gamble he is able to care for himself. I really don't think his wife expected you to do personal things for him. Thats why they have insurance.

There are other ways of caring for someone. Help him use that insurance by getting him what he needs. Check on him now and then. Go to dinner or lunch once a week. Breakfast. Your life is not his. He has to do for himself as long as he can. Give him a white board for the frig. When he finds he needs something, tell him to write it down. If he doesn't drive, tell him you will take him shopping once a week. He is treating you like a wife which u aren't. And there are a lot of wives who would not put up with this. For one thing its disrespectful. Tell him things have to change. He is treating you like a slave and it stops now. Tell him what you are willing to do and when you are willing to do them.
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Why exactly do you need to go there every day?
Why exactly do you allow him to not use his LTC policy?
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JoAnn29 Aug 9, 2019
I don't think it not allowing, I think its more he won't use it. He likes her doing it for him.
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Oh boy, unfortunately, this is common.

You know what I find may be true as well. Older people are lonely. Some turn to a casino as a social outlet. Just plain sad in many ways, not to mention the real risk of addiction.

Also, fear is a serious issue with the elderly. Anxiety becomes out of hand at times. Know what I mean? They get so worked up that they actually feel helpless even if it isn’t true.

My mom does this. She just returned home from rehab too and automatically thinks the worst possible scenarios will happen.

Maybe I am wrong but I also think they like the attention they receive if they are fawned over all the time and it cripples their ability to feel a desire to be as independent as they once were or could be. What do you think? I am just throwing out some possibilities of what is happening.

I empathize with you. My mom doesn’t gamble, never has, pinches every penny because she is from the depression era but she loves the attention of constantly being looked out for and we get exhausted both physically and emotionally, right?

I have had to simply cut out tasks that I know she can do. With safety concerns, that is different but unnecessary things, don’t do it.

Listen, I have been at this for 14 years. I made a promise to my dad to care for mom. Had I known it was going to be this tough I would have never made the promise.

I understand about godparents. I loved mine too. My godmother was in a nursing home. I went to visit her but no way could I care for her. It’s a HUGE undertaking!

If you feel a certain responsibility, then is it possible for you to find a social worker and seek the advice of his doctor if possible to work on a future care plan that will benefit him without you being directly involved?

You bit off more than you can chew. It happens but you aren’t stuck with it. He will eventually accept the inevitable. You tried your best. You have done what you could. Let go.

Take it from me, don’t let it become where you are looking back at your life and saying, “I could have done this so differently had I known.” Please consider alternative solutions, for his sake and yours. You’ll be glad that you did.
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
The first day I took a break I slept 16 hours, yes exhausted. A friend i confided in said to get a baby monitor and app on my phone to watch him, also in case an in home company is brought in, I think it’s a good idea. There’s no reason to stop wiping your own hiney. Yes I feel manipulated and I’m seeing narcissistic behavior. By the way, no issues with coherence, he’s totally fine until I get there every day:(
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Did you know what you were promising?

Did you have in mind becoming someone's personal slave? Doing hands on incontinence care?
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
Yes, I will hold his hand and make certain he’s home...when that time comes. That’s what we agreed. He’s not bedridden, dying, not incontinent, fully coherent, no diabetes, nothing. It’s like his arms are painted on the minute I arrive.
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This is a thankless job for sure.
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I think it calls for tough love - just walk away and let him do it. I have a dad who never throws anything in the trashcan - so I've have gotten to the place where, if his chair is messy and someone comes in, I just tell them he won't clean up after himself, so sorry for the mess.
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
I made a pact with both my godparents that whoever passed first, I would make certain the other could be home so they’d pass in the same home as each other... WHEN THE TIME COMES. But it’s not time, he’s just recovering and was doing very well. I figured he’d need a little help with laundry, bit of shopping, and making things more reachable. Now I just feel used up. I can’t imagine giving up 36 years of LTC payments just to watch me do it? He has no one else, they had no children. I’m starting to despise him and I dread everyday now.
Im concerned I’m disabling him more than anything?
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Why don't you say "no" to him?

Why do you cause yourself pain and injury to do his bidding?

It doesn't matter if he has LTC insurance or not. Why is this YOUR job?
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PowerOf3 Aug 9, 2019
I didn’t know he would do this. I’m making it worse I think.
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