Anyone else being overwhelmed by friends opinions as to what you should do with your parent? - AgingCare.com

Anyone else being overwhelmed by friends opinions as to what you should do with your parent?

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First I'd like to describe Mom, as objectively as I can. She's 88, dementia (maybe late) polite, quiet, still laughs at humor, NOT incontinent, still walks on her own, still eating on her own, clean, (helped by me to keep up w/ hygiene), and kind. Her main problem is she can't stand to be alone, thus, even though she has her own place within our home, she's mostly looking for me all of the time, rarely naps, and pops out of her place every 10 minutes or so wondering where I am, and what's going on, and is it time to eat yet, etc.
My husband and I are both retired. He was ALL for her moving in when she repeatedly asked to leave her independent living apt. to move in with us, as she was lonely. She was too forgetful to make friends, and find her way to and from the dining hall, etc. Hubby agreed to have her live with us. Of course, part of his motivation was the money that she was paying for her lovely apt, he would now charge her for living with us.
SO, three years later, as things have progressed with Mom, he is becoming less patient. At first we could leave her for several hours on her own, leaving notes for her, and she could easily handle the phone, etc. Now things have progressed that we can't leave her alone at all. So anywhere we go, we have to get a sitter. I think my husband thought she wouldn't last three years. It's funny how people think these elders may be gone quickly, when in fact...they have staying power.
What bugs me lately, is the less spontaneous and active we can be with our friends who want us to travel places, go out on social events, etc. the more obvious it is that my Mom is like a pain in the butt to them. A nuisance. A pest.
We do a lot of entertaining at home, because it's just easier than having to pre-arrange a sitter, as well as have the expense on top of whatever we do when we go out. We do, however, get out at least once a week. Last evening some friends came for dinner, and during the evening the friends began talking about their upcoming vacation to a sunny warm place, and how they wish we could be joining them, and on and on....describing in detail all the fun they were going to have and too bad we can't go!!! My husband remarked, "Well I can go. We'll just leave "me" at home with Mom." Ha ha ha. And then, later, as we were gathered around continuing the evening something else was said and my husband said "yes...if only!" and he pretended to have a gun and made the click click sounds, like he would like to dust off my Mom and get her out of the way! Everyone laughed all jolly, like hahaha, what a funny joke. I was furious, and let them all know that I didn't find it humorous. My Mom was sitting right there with us, but it went over her head. My husband said I couldn't take a joke. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I don't find one bit of "funny" in that behavior. We all know that "many a jest is said in truth."
I've been thinking about it ever since. Almost everyone of our friends are constantly bugging me to have my Mom placed in a care facility. "She's just too much work." "You're just tied to the home." I have maybe ONE friend who says she understands what I'm doing, and thinks it's right. And another thing the others are constantly insinuating is that I'm ruining my husband's life as well as my own, and it's just NOT fair. I feel it is none of their business if we don't ask them for their opinions, but they give it nonetheless. My husband never comes to my defense, he just acts like the poor, trapped, soul in prison. He doesn't have to bother with any of the work involved. He just cashes the check each month, and happily goes about whatever he wants to.
In his defense, of course I admit we both are trapped in a way. We aren't free to take long vacations, and go here and there at the drop of a hat. But we can plan ahead and do things, go places, which we do. I'm feeling more and more like I'm backed into a corner, with adversaries coming at me from all angles. I am hoping to hold my ground longer, at least until Mom maybe doesn't know me, or gets to the point where she doesn't function at all anymore. But right now, I just can't see myself walking away from her. She was ALWAYS there for me no matter what. She was honestly the best Mom one could ever have in so many respects. I think it's payback time now. Has anyone else had to wrestle with this? Do you agree that friends should just back off and MYOB? What business is it of theirs?? They just add fuel to my husband's push to have Mom put out to pasture. Thanks for listening.

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My first reaction was "how insensitive" and even as a joke it was in poor taste depending on how "close" these friends really are. They may perceive this is okay because you have shared so much over the years regarding moms care, your responsibilities and your occasional dream that things were different or how you thought things would be different .

You did the right thing by expressing your hurt on the rude and insensitive comment.

Has your husband approached you over the last year about his concern that you no longer have a life as a couple and encouraged you to consider outside help and getting away? Has he hinted that the marriage is suffering without outright saying those words? Is it?

We all need time away and elders who are with us every second (paying or not) are an annoyance sometimes, we all need space. Moms world is getting smaller and yes, she is losing her confidence and social skills to be open to anyone else but you and your husband. You must start weaning her to accepting outside assistance and caregiving for both your sakes. Yes, just like a toddler, she will be reluctant and clingy to you...but it will open up her world to new experiences and activities with others her age and will give you some time and space to expand your world outside your home and caregiving.

Please consider day care a couple days a week, respite care outside or in your home so you and husband can get away for a week or long weekend. You can hire care givers for elders for a few hours or maybe even a good friend would come over to keep mom company so you and your husband could have a regular date night.

You and your husband need to come first. You have been a great daughter, please don't blame husband if he is reaching a breaking point sooner than you...but please consider his feelings and expectations for the relationship and what he is willing to endure. I'm sure it's not all about the money. No one can anticipate the strain and ongoing level of care when they say "okay, let's let parents live with us".
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*******The senior centers by us offer a few hour/day, a few days/week too enrich a person's abilites. That is what I meant!
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Braida, your husband agreed to this and was properly consulted. I'd also say it was perfectly proper to consider the financial impact, mainly to ensure it wouldn't cost you more than you could afford, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong, either, with conserving your mother's money as a bonus on top of her improved quality of life. Care home groups don't need your charity.

Now it's got difficult, and I know you don't belittle or dismiss his feelings about it - for heaven's sake you share them every day! Gallows humour is one way he relieves the pressure, ok; but it's not ok when it hurts you. And backing out because the going's getting rough? Well, now…

My partner has given in: we're separating in an orderly and peaceable manner as soon as we can, after a 17 year relationship; and meanwhile he is kind and courteous to my mother. Fair enough. But am I impressed? Am I buggery!

And you've been married 35 years, it's a different thing altogether. God willing you'll be married for the rest of your allotted time, too. I feel that your husband at this point owes you teamwork. You are husband and wife. What matters to you must matter to him, and taking care of your mother is critically important to you. Dining out, a social life (though I do have to say: choose better friends!), beach holidays matter to both of you, too, of course but… they'll wait.

If you feel like looking for a compromise, respite care to let the two of you take a proper vacation might do you both good and wouldn't harm your mother. But saying 'bored now' and packing her off? Come on. That's not fair, and it's not what he, a consenting adult, agreed to. He needs to grit his teeth and lock arms with you. I don't think that's too much to ask of your life partner.
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One thing that flashed out at me, was your husband wanted to do this for money, not out of concern for your Mom Red flag! Easy money has now had its burden on him. Hope he claims HER money as income. Now you still have a needy Mom which is what she was before she moved in. You are doing what you think is best for your mother andt it is affecting your relationship with your husband. Going away for a week sounds wonderful but you will still face the same problem when you get back. Even when you entertain friends your mother is right there with you, so you are not having quality friend time, and the friends are probably not thrilled with it either.
My suggestion is to get someone to stay with her when you go out, and to also continue your vacations either have another family memeber stay at your home or use a facility which provides respite care. Also I would look into senior centers which may help stimulate the abilities your mother still has left. And give you a needed break.
As far as friends adding their opinions, they often can see things without the emotion involved that you feel. Sometimes we don't like the opinions we hear, we don't have to agree with them. State your position to them and discussing your husbands comments with him may alleviate him doing it again.
My husband has been a jokester with his mom since I have known him. The things he says makes her laugh she knows he doesnot mean it. Once she said she was never leaving her home except in a box.... my husband did not skip a beat... why a box is too expensive, we will use a big garbage bag! They laughed.... kind of silly humor.....I am sure you can work this out, but as your mother deteriorates, the stress will increase.
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Thank you all for your answers, that have given me so much to think about. Truly very helpful input!! I feel slightly bad that I painted such a greedy impression of my husband. He has been very kind and helpful to Mom along the way, really. But the "gun joke" was true. And believe me, I didn't let it go unnoticed. He, and the friends, felt very bad about it, and he apologized on the spot, but his sense of humor is just plain stupid, at times. His brothers are the same....they say sarcastic or mean things sometimes to get a laugh, and usually it falls flat, because humor should not bring pain to others. That said, the other remark about the money I feel was true at first. He wouldn't have agreed to let Mom move in without the payment, I'm sure about it. As far as talking about it thoroughly, I've been hesitant because I know (the way things have progressed now, for sure) that he would say the money means nothing, and he'd rather have our life back and our freedom back, and to hell with any money involved. That is how he feels NOW, as things have gotten tougher, more inconvenient. I'm not totally blind to his feelings. We've been married 35 years, and he is a good man in so many ways. He takes Mom to Dr's appointments, and with him to the store at times, and is very patient, kind, and gentle to her most often. Now, however, I'm more and more feeling it is coming to a decision between Mom, and my husband for me to make. Your comments have given me much to consider and think about. I value your opinions, as you have gone through things and can relate. I don't value the opinions of friends who have no clue. And honestly, none of them have a clue, as their parents have all died, and the ones who are still here were immediately put in care places and not one of them have ever cared for a parent. They are good people, but in my opinion, they are rather self centered, and live only for what fun and pleasure they can obtain for themselves. I suppose that sounds like an impossibility: good, but selfish people. ha ha. But YOU are the people who I come to for help.
Thanks you again. I have work to do!!! Planning to do!!! Thinking to do!!! :) Bless you all!
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Friends, you call them?
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Your friends have no honor or character either. I'd say piss on them all, except the one... Who needs their kind? You don't degrade the elderly, or humiliate them or embarrass them, or make them feel unwanted. Yeah, yeah, I told my mom she was a pain in my ass countless times...but I'd been saying that my whole life, not just because she became helpless. When my mom became helpless I protected her like a hawk over her nest. You don't prey on the weak, you don't treat them as less than human when they can't fight back. Those types are the lowest of the low and I don't want their kind anywhere in my world...
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Braida, in a nutshell, you've just described why I stayed the hell away from people when I was caring for my mom. God and the Devil both help anyone that would have pulled that shit that you described in front of my mom. All hell would have broken loose, and these so called 'friends' that would talk that kind of smack about my mom would have been 'friends' no longer. Yeah, my mom WAS a pain in the ass, yeah, she WAS a nuisance, yeah, she WAS a pest...but God help you if YOU said any such thing in front of me, or God forbid, her, if you called yourself my friend. I could say it...I lived it. Nobody else better say it. Sounds nuts, but that's how I feel. What you're describing is disgusting to me.

I have no respect for your loser husband. He jumped in feet first for money. Now when things have become inconvenient, he's pissing and moaning about it...as he cashes your mom's check. Most of the time I have a lot of sympathy for husbands, but I don't have one iota for yours. He has no honor and no character that I can see. He's just an opportunist. And an idiot to not have thought of your mom's eventual decline and what it might mean. He doesn't have a single right to bitch as far as I'm concerned.

Those friends wouldn't set foot in my house again, and I'd toss that husband before I'd toss my mom in those circumstances. Sheesh! I hate people sometimes..
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We are all human and sometimes an unkind sarcastic remark signals that real feelings have been bottled up. You also seem to think your husband is after your mother's money, which is not a good thought to have about one's spouse. Sounds like you both need to have an honest conversation about your feelings without getting defensive or accusatory. Even if your mom is the loveliest woman in the world, her neediness may be interfering with your marriage and your husband may be feeling this more and more as time goes on. If you think your marriage is worth saving, spend some time talking to a counselor to work things through. My guess is that this man you loved and chose to marry may just be acting inappropriately because he's been keeping his feelings bottled up. Hoping you are able to work things out for the best.
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I am not so sure that your mother did not notice the gun reference. She is just too kind to stoop to your husband's level. (my opinion only)
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