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I have a six year old child with autism. I worked full-time, as a nurse, until recently. I now work only as needed in order to care for my child with autism. I also take care of my husbands other grandfather who is 95 years old. He lives in his own apartment. He can't drive. I take him to the store every week and spend time with him. I'm responsible to seeing all his medical care prescriptions etc. My
son has moderate to severe autism. Gets up in the middle of night. I run off 3-5 hrs of sleep a night. Now my husband wants me to consider taking care of his 98 year old grandfather who lives in our other house with caregiver. He is wheelchair bound. I can't see how I can possibly manage all this.

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What I find comical, no wait I find ridicules, are those spouses/sig others who will do a household chore but mess it up big time purposely hoping that their spouse/sig other won't have them do that chore again.... [sigh]. It took me years to figure that out :P
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That is terrible for a grown married man to expect his wife to act like his mama! Well for that matter no one should expect a spouse to fill and impossible role like expecting someone to be their parent or even more burdensome expected to be that particular parent that they never had. That puts such an unrealistic burden on a family. Well, I have not slept any yet since yesterday and still going strong somehow . I guess I will crash at some point, but there are clothes to wash.
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American man? I got one of those, my DH...spoiled rotten by his mama. I refuse to be his mama. He had a lot of growing up to do.
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Italian men? I got one of those, too, my sig other.... spoiled big time by his mother who apparently was always cleaning up after him, and it seems like his late wife did the same thing. I refuse to be his *Mom* and that creates a lot of arguments in our household... [sigh].
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Jules, Italian men? That's all some of us needed to hear to get an idea of what was going on. Suffice to any I have PhD in stubborn, demanding Italian elders. Simply, that generation believes that it's the duty of the female relative to put their care first. I've seen caregivers run into the ground because the elder flat out refuses to allow others in the home or heaven forbid, a move to an assisted living. It may seem odd to some, but there is a unique and sometimes incomprehensible dynamic in Italian families. The old ways just collide with new needs like working women.

You need to be the one to take control of this situation...these elder men will never release their power. Start with "Papa, it's not possible for me to do X. Billy needs my time and will need more as he gets older. I have to look after Joe because you know how hard he works. We're going to have to make other arrangements for shopping." Maybe if you can get some boundaries going, your own family will be calmer and your husband can pull back on the workload.
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You must learn to say "No, I cannot do this! I have a child to take care of and that is most important." The grandfathers will adjust to whatever help you get for them. Grumpy old men just want attention and you should not be their caregiver. Your husband is hiding from his responsibility with his work schedule. Just step back and let whatever happens, happen. Take care of yourself and the child. Best wishes.
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Sounds like your husband learned how to escape from his mother. I think you might be able to blame some of this stubbornness on testosterone more than nationality and maybe some early socialization. :)

You may want to dig further into work a holism by Googling workaholics and marriage.
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Yes, you are correct. He runs his own computer business. His clients are very demanding. I still think he uses working as an escape. His mother was the same way. She slept a few hours a night and was constantly finding something to do. She died of colon cancer in her sixties. I sometimes feel like he is my second child. He will go till 3 pm without eating or drinking. I have to remind him to eat and drink.... His good cholesterol level was 29... He refuses to take medication. No offense... But these Italian men are driving me crazy.
I use to work at a level one pediatric trauma center in the recovery room. I really miss taking care of my patients and families. I made a choice that my son and family was the most important to me. My husband makes a lot more money than me. It made sense for me to be the one to take over with home and family responsibilities. I was hoping he would be able to get a little rest with me around. He just finds more work to do. I hope in a few years to go back more on a part-time schedule. For now I can only commit to 8 hours a week of work. Thanks for all the comments. Have a wonderful weekend.
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Good news, but now it sounds like your husband needs some help with only 3-5 hours of sleep a night, he'll break down after a short amount of time. Is he working all the time as a form or means of escape from it all? Many men who work way too many hours are often seeking to escape from something they really don't want to deal with and it is possible for one to take the anger beneath a lot of people's situational depression and re-route it into working too hard. Either way, it is too often an escape. I wish you as much grace and success with him as you have had with the grandfathers.
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Success! Our 95 year old grandfather now has home-health to help him!! I've taken both of them to really nice assisted living facilites within a few miles of our house. Both grandfathers have the resources to stay at these facilites and refuse. I sent a free senior service volunteer company out to the 95 year old apartment and he closed the door in the ladies face. He told me point blank that he wanted me to take him to grocery store etc...I'm dealing with some stubborn men. My husbands works all the time and sleeps 3-5 hours a night himself. I was at the doctors yesterday one of the grandfathers and then my husband. My husband is running himself into the ground. It's a mess around here.
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One more voice, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For all of the reasons already mentioned....

As for the grandfather "refusing" to go to AL, I would research that. My mother "refused" until the Area Agency on Aging and her doctor recommended that she be placed. We took her there and left her there--lovingly. A few days later she signed the papers. It was traumatic but now she is very happy and is living like the Duchess of Wellington (which is what she always wanted!). She is waited on hand and foot, and plays bridge every day.

Talk to an elder lawyer and the AL. See what they say.
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No, you don't have to take care of either grandfather. Tell your husband that he has to take care of them. That you are taking care of your child and yourself. This not getting enough sleep is not good. Sleep is important. Resign from the jobs. If husband won't do it then the men have to go to the NH. Not your job.
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Elders want their "own" to take care of them. They want to stay home. Neither is realistic when there is only one child in the family with family of her own to care for. Scour the resources, and try a respite visit to assisted living if possible to see if Grandpa might actually like the social opportunities and activities and food. Not to mention the pretty young girls everywhere. I have seen old men change their minds when it comes right down to it. You must hold your ground.
You can't do it all.
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Caring for your child comes first, absolutely, and is a full time job when special needs are involved. Grandfathers need to "man up" and accept hired help, or if that is not workable, assisted living. Who told these guys that they got to choose? No way! They need to exhaust all possible options before they even think of asking you to step in.
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The elderly are so much better off in a facility. Of course, if you are going to take care of them, why would they ever go? I am being sarcastic. I think you know the answer. Your child needs you.
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Good heavens, are these two grandfathers that selfish that they both would want you to be their full-time caregiver knowing that you have a very young special needs child? Or are the grandfathers just spoiled and of the generation that caregiving is women's work?.... [sigh]

Who has been paying for the caregiver who take care of grandfather 98? Does she/he live there with him? Why would your husband want to remove that person and have you take over? Is it cost issues?

I would think if neither grandfather can pay for his own caregiving, then Medicaid needs to get onboard and both grandfathers be placed in a continuing care facility. If not, have hubby quit his job and become both grandfather's caregiver himself.
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We are both only children. We have no other family to help. My husband's mother died of colon cancer last year. Now we are helping with her dad my husband's 98 year old grandfather. We hired a caregiver for the 98 year old grandfather. She takes off weekends. We have to take care of him on weekends. I'm taking care of the other 95 year old grandfather on the other parternal side. He refuses to go into assisted living. We have a doctor's appointment today to discuss options and his declining health. I'm fully aware of stress this is taking on me. It's hard enough just to cope with having a child with autism. I appreicaite all the comments. It helps just to vent...
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NO. Running on a sleep deficit indefinitely is going to have serious consequences for your health. You may seem like you are getting by, but it will catch up to you. The stress isn't doing you any favors either.

Why would your husband expect this of you?
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Tell him "Honey, I would love to, but I don't know how I would ever find the time." I have a feeling that it is the way you feel. Maybe you can take care of him by finding a good alternative that fits his needs. Someone who is 98 with impaired mobility requires a good bit of care. It doesn't sound like you have the kind of time to devote that he needs.
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From your description, I would say that you don't need to be taking care of either grandfather.

1. What is your husband doing as far as caring for these two grandfathers?

2. Where are his parents and other children of these two grandfathers?

3. Why aren't his parents and other children of these two grandfathers involved in their care?

4. Does your husband having any siblings who could help with these grandparents?

5. What resources do these grandparents have to pay for their own care?
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NO. Your plate is full. Tell your hubby even nurses have human limits, and any more stress will probably kill you. Why does everyone think an RN makes you super human?
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No. From personal experience, you are better off hiring someone. Your own child requires your full-time attention, and your family should understand that. You cannot manage both well, and you will wear yourself out trying. You already admit that you're not getting the sleep you need; continuing to try to care for both will land you in the hospital or resenting the entire experience.
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