This is my first post. I am mom to two amazing teenage kids (one Type1 diabetic) and caregiver to two aging grandfathers my FIL and my father (I also work a crazy demanding full time job). All that to say that exhaustion and overwhelm have become a central part of my life and certainly cloud my thinking.
My 92 year old father in law moved in with us a little over a year ago. He is mostly healthy, just not very active and has fallen a few times. He was feeling very lonely living alone.
This first year has not been easy, and if I had it to do over again I would have explored 100 different options before inviting him to live with us. Just adjusting to sharing space and cleaning up after/caring for an additional and needy person. The primary challenge for me, however, is the impact on my kids, especially in these last few years we have with them before they graduate and head off to college.
It started with my FIL making small, seemingly harmless, but disturbing "dirty old man" comments to my daughter who is 14 and just growing into womanhood. More alarming though, is that he has gradually developed a paranoid fixation around my son, believing that my son tampered with his car, steals from him, and is generally mentally disturbed. He believes that "if we went up to our son's room we would find all manner of his things: shoes, sweatshirts, etc." All of this is unequivocally, absolutely false. My husband has discussed this with my FIL, reminding him that we found his shoes in his closet see... but the the paranoia remains. I know rationally that this is a medical symptom, likely related to extreme hearing loss and dementia and it is being discussed with his caregivers as such.
My question is how do I deal with this and protect my dear children in process? I feel angry and protective. Sad that my son, who is honestly one of the kindest, most honorable boys I know, has to rise above, knowing that his grandpa believes he is somehow sinister. I feel worried that this psychosis will continue to progress and that my son will be confronted in ways that feel dangerous or hurtful. I feel empathy for my husband who is dealing with his own emotions around this. I feel sad and aware that my anger and momma-bear instincts and his unconditional love for his dad are not compatible. I don't think I'm looking for answers just really needed a place to say this out loud.