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I am full-time caregiver to my father in law. We have a very good relationship but at 88 he gets insecure when I leave him. I feel so torn apart because I love him so much.

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deltaborn: You're mother hasn't aged forward. She still thinks of you as children.
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It's not selfish at all. My mother has always tried her best to make me and my siblings feel guilty if we wanted to spend time together without inviting her and she evens tries to make me feel guilty if I want to visit with my grown children without her. She seems to think that if any of us are going anywhere we must bring her along or there's hell to pay. We are all grown and we still "sneak" around to visit one another so she won't find out and pitch her guilt fits. I know, we're all adults and we shouldn't cater to her crap...but sometimes it's easier to just keep it to ourselves than to deal with her machinations. I can emphasize with you.
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It is not selfish at all. IT IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY for survival of your mind!
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My husband and I are taking care of my 91 year old father in law since November of last year. He had a stroke . Around May of this year, I texted my husband's 3 sisters and told them that we need a break. My husband quit his job to take care of his dad. He does get paid from his dad but only for 40 hours a week. I asked them to please take him on the weekends so that my husband and I had some alone time. My husband backed me up. He was getting stressed so we was fighting a lot. I am so grateful that my sister in laws stepped up. It has helped tremendously. I think that aybe he needs a break from us too. We did ask him to come out to the farm where we live so that we can take care of lawnmowering, etc for the summer. He used to live here before he built the house in town. He has a nice house in a small town. In about a month, we will move back into his house in town. I think that it has worked well for all of us. It is better that a nursing home because he is able to take care of his personal needs yet. I worked in nursing homes so I know that there is nothing wrong with most of them so I am not knocking the nursing homes. There is definitely a place for them. You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of him.
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Hindsight is 20-20 they say but what is actually more selfish is to condition a person that YOU will be there 24/7 ( unless it's a young child and even then it's inappropriate after a certain stage). It's best to BEGIN with reasonable expectations and boundaries. Now that he (and you) have grown so dependent it's harder for both of you to be away from one another. BUT so necessary, again for both of you. When you are treating his anxiety, don't forget to treat your own. Even if you just start with a walk everyday, it will help with your anxiety. He needs exercise too. Shift your focus. Gain perspective. You have to disassociate to a degree to provide the best care. And it's never right to care for one person to the exclusion of other family members. You will be surprised how quick you can turn this around if you set your intention and take action.
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Get him meds for his agitation and anxiety. All the reassurance in the world didn't help my mom.
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If you don't get some breaks, you will crack and end up in a stress center. You have to take a breather. You also need time with your husband and a friend or two. My husband and I just went out for our 16th anniversary. Our daughter took care of her grandmother when we were out. You must do this for your mental and physical health.
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Not one iota selfish to want to have time alone with your husband! I too was/am caregiver for FIL, except mine does not like me , lol. My husband and I have sacrificed ALL of our time for him for 6 years. We only went out 1 hour a week to grab a burger together each week. FIL just got moved to NH and put on hospice only because my husband has cancer. Yup, the time we would have had to enjoy each other alone was wasted on an ungrateful person. It would take me pages to express how angry I now ! Make time for your husband often, enjoy that time, call in a sitter or another family member. Go on vacation, do it now! Trust me on this! You will not regret it.
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Selfish...is someone who thinks his needs r more important than others "all the time". Its not selfish if u have done for someone and feel u need some time to yourself. I don't think any of us are made to be with the same people 24/7. Married couples even need their own space. We all need time just to do nothing. Elderly r like children, self centered. And like children they need boundries. Me personally, I can't take it when someone gets needy and expects me to be there when they want me to be.
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Not at all. If anything, you need this time with your spouse in order not to burn out. Caregiving has been the most difficult thing I ever did and absolutely, the two of you get some together time. Try your best to put Dad out of your mind. Tell him calmly this is date night, that you love him with all your heart, but that you need this time with the terrific son he raised, and that you will be back before he knows it.
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People will drain you with their demands because you let them. Set your boundaries and don't feel guilty!
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I told my mom that my husband and I had a weekly "date night" when she first moved in with us two years ago. She would get very anxious, find things for me to do to delay me, go on and on about all the things she hates about my husband, etc., etc. I would do my best to address her concerns about all the things that had to be done "immediately." And I kept telling her, "Please don't talk that way." or " "I really don't want to hear bad things about m[my husband]." This went on for about a year or so. And, to put it mildly, it was so very hard for me to take. Now, after 2 years, she asks, "Are you going out tonight?" and she has given up on the criticisms, but she still tries to delay me, though not as intensely as she used to. It is a long term process. I feel sadness for you wjho have to deal with this kind of nasty behavior. Know that over time, it gets easier and easier to deal with. Hugs to you.
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Whoa..... thank you, 1RareFind! My mother is still living in her own apt and caring for her cat, but with a LOT of helpers, and ALL helpful amenities. I live out in the country and it is hard for me to come to town too many times a week, but she doesn't even think of that - it's all about her - her pain, her blood pressure, her many needs to keep living independently. Yesterday when she said she wanted me to come in tonight (that makes 3x this week so far), I said then I would not come on Friday because I'm older now, and it wears me out to go to town so much. She was shocked; she said because I look good, seem healthy (I have RA and Angina), and am usually cheerful and upbeat, she never thinks of that! No wonder I'm having to negotiate what I do for her and when I come..... So the new trick is "That doesn't work for me, how about Wednesday?" (or whatever), or "I can't manage that (whatever it is), how about if I do this?" Even; "No, you will have to get someone else." Ways to save sanity and health....
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No, it is not selfish. Time alone with your husband is essential. Is your father-in-law a fall risk? If so, it would probably be a good idea to have someone else come in to stay with him while you are not at home. Is there another family member who could help with this? Could your father-in-law afford a paid caregiver one afternoon or evening per week?
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Not selfish! U need that time with as well....u r a daughter and a wife....talk it out with or FIL....I'm sure he'll understand since he's also been a husband!
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In our culture we always perpetuate that the word 'selfish' means something negative. It is okay to be selfish once in awhile, even though in this case, I wouldn't even call it that. We are human beings and we want what we want.

You definitely need to spend time alone with your husband and anyone around you should be able to understand that.
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Feeling torn is natural for those that care. But everybody has a right to regular "me time" to recharge their batteries. You will feel a lot better for having regular "me time" and it will also benefit your father in law because you will feel refreshed. Stick to a regular time so that your father in law knows the routine and will look forward to your return. Bring him back a small present if that helps.
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Just like the air attendant will say; put on your air mask then help the others....and if someone has to be unhappy,for alittle while , why make that you?
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No it's not selfish I had to tell my grandmother several times over the years that I am entitled to a life of my own and she is not free to monopolize my free time that I spend for dating. Sometimes you have to remind seniors that you have a life too and you are allowed to live it. Some are extremely selfish towards their family when it comes to their spouses and partners and making time for your marriages and relationships. Always make time for your spouse or partner despite if mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa don't like you being with your spouse or partner. Many relationships fail when people keep putting their relationships and marriages on hold because of a needy parent or grandparent.
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No, it's definitely not selfish at all! Sometimes you just have to get up and go do whatever it is you have to do. I had to do this, yes, sometimes you just have to take care of you and your own needs to hold your home together. Whether it be a relationship your preserving or just your own comfort and sanity, just go do whatever it is you feel you need to do. Many times I had to just go take care of me. What I discovered through this is the insecure person will eventually calm down. My foster dad would often get upset and actually cry over this or that, it didn't matter what it was he would sometimes just break down and there was no calling him down because it would only make matters worse. This is how I found to just leave him alone when he was upset and let him cry it out, he eventually got over whatever it was every time. I found that no matter what the situation is when they get upset, you just have to let them cry it out. They can't cry forever, and you must realize this like I did because feelings and moods change in everyone.

Another example was my very hotheaded elderly friend, you definitely didn't get in the way when he was upset, it only made matters worse. It wasn't until somewhere toward the end of his life that dementia was suspected right before he was to be put into a nursing home. I don't know who overrode his will, but obviously someone did. Just like my foster dad, sometimes I just had to walk away from my elderly friend who was slowly going off his rocker! Sometimes you just have to take care of you, and it's not selfish. He didn't like the fact I wouldn't move in with him and that I already had a home and a life. I knew the situation would never change, and I just had to get up and go home or take care of other things I needed to do, and one of them is sleeping in my own bed! I'm glad he already had home health care before I came along, a far cry more than my foster dad had for quite a while or he too, would've been in a nursing home so much sooner I think.

When I first started having to walk off, I would sometimes have to walk off right in the middle of an argument with my foster dad just to save my sanity! Believe me when I say he got the hint when he saw me leave. Multiple times he tried to coax me back but I kept going. Of course he broke down but he eventually apologized and said sometimes more times than not, he quickly apologized over the phone, I found the messages on my machine when I got home.
With my elderly friend, I told him I had to go home, I explained to him on different occasions that I already have a home and then I have a life and that I just can't move in with him. It took self-discipline to actually get up and go home when I felt it was appropriate. Sometimes you just have to get up and just go do whatever it is you need to do. I've been there, I've done that so I know what I'm talking about
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I think most people consider it normal to want alone time with their husband, so why would your FIL not understand? If he's mentally sound, I would think he would want you two to have quality couples time together and if he doesn't, then I would wonder what is going on with him. I think getting away from someone is a good thing, no matter how much you love them. Too much one on one it too much, imo. Maybe, he would like some privacy too.
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Not selfish at all, you just tell Pops that this is your "date night".
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