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I have been caring for my FIL who has Alzheimers for 6 months now 5 days a week/10 hours a day. It is now summer time and I am needed in the field with my husband. Two of the daughters want me to say they can schedule me for 2 days a week. They are elementary school teachers and are off for the summer. It really isn't realistic for them to expect that of me, as on a farm there is no schedule. You work every day and long hours. I have found a memory care facility not far away and mentioned it to the daughters and they just say they will look at it and gather info. which I have already told info on the facility. The oldest daughter said there is no plan to move him anywhere at this point. There are only 2 openings left so they need to at least get him on the list. I truly believe this facility would be so beneficial to my FIL as they have activities and outings they do daily. I feel I have gone above and beyond for my husband's family/FIL and I want to get my life back. I'm a RN and would like to get back to my career. My husband is in agreement with me but two of the daughters keep at me wondering when I will help take care of the their dad. The youngest daughter is agreeable to my FIL being placed in this memory care facility. What and how do I say I'm done without causing hard feelings and them being angry with me or is that just inevitable? I know this is lengthy but I am between a rock and a hard place! HELP!

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My question is: never mind their being angry at you, why aren't you angry at them?!

So actually, by way of a corollary, what you would ideally accomplish is not saying you're done without *causing* hard feelings, so much as making it crystal clear that you have done more than your fair share already without losing your temper and ripping somebody's head off.

I'm fuming for you! You may have gathered…

What you say is this. Dear sweet sisters (or whatever you call them when you're not livid with them), I have had the privilege of caring for *your* father for six months now, and that is me done. The demands of the farm, combined with my need to attend to my career in order to protect both my and your brother's future, alas prevent me from playing any further direct part in caregiving. However; since you are both on leave from your equally demanding careers, this seems the ideal opportunity for you to research and decide on the best place for your father to enjoy continuity of care, excellent facilities and the professional expertise he will need going forward - and I will be happy to support you in making that crucial choice. Love and kisses (or however you sign off when you're not livid etc.)…

And internally you may like to add "so put that in your pipe and smoke it."
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If you're helping take care of your FIL now, tell them that as of June 1st, you'll be unable to care for him anymore because you want to help your husband and pursue your own career. If you're NOT watching him now, but they're nagging you to do so, just say something like, "I won't be doing that on a regular basis anymore. I'm burned out." Period. End of discussion.

You're going to have to be assertive and firm. You've no doubt been doing this more than you'd like already. It's someone else's turn.
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Well I think your HUSBAND should be the one doing the talking to his sisters. It's HIS father. Let him handle them and any issues they have. Just defer to him in a nice way if anyone wants more info or asks you what you're doing. "Oh, you'll have to speak to darling hubby about that. He's the one in charge of that." (One of the few times in life I'd ever suggest deferring to a hubby, LOL).

You've done more than your fair share and since you're a nurse, I'm sure they think you're super qualified. That's their easy way of getting out of handling the responsibility. So step back and let your FIL's children work it out amongst themselves.
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CM, Love that! The children that like to pawn the care off on other siblings, or in-laws when they have summers off, or are their own bosses so set their own hours are just unbelievable! As long as someone else is doing all the work and not being paid to do so, they love that the caregiver is gifting them money in the form of inheritance. Been there, done with that!
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North, I was in the same situation, only it was my sister's wanting me to take care of everything for my mom. I found a beautiful place for my mother and they didn't want that. They wanted me to do it all. Against their wishes, it was the best thing I ever did! My mother went from laying around all day on the sofa, to getting up and caring how she looked again. She was with her peers and meeting new friends. She had far better care and loved the activities. I needed the support from the staff, they were wonderful to us. I got my happy life back! You are doing the right thing. All the advice here is perfect. If your SIL's don't like your plan, they can move him into their house. Good luck!
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I'm curious how this arrangement came to be. Im in agreement with CM, write it out, send it to them and make sure you give them a firm end date for this "employment". If they argue with you, tell them quietly but firmly that you will no longer allow them to take advantage of you. Because that's what they're doing
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I so appreciate all of your support and advice. I should explain something that I didn't include in this post. My MIL passed away suddenly in November and was a total shock to everyone. She was the primary caregiver to my FIL and left everyone wondering "what are we going to do with dad?" I stepped up and said I would take care of him because the family was in such grief as was I. My MIL was an outstanding woman and a dear friend to me and I miss her deeply. My feelings of guilt stem from her death and I feel that I at least owed her that much to take care of my FIL. I feel like "oh, do I put this on this family that is still grieving the loss of their mother?" My FIL Alzheimers has progressed considerably since the death of my MIL and I honestly feel that the memory care unit I have found would be so beneficial to him. He needs the socialization and the stimulation that this facility would provide. I feel quite selfish wanting to get my life back but I'm needed on the farm, am not willing to give up my nursing career all together, and I also have my own 83 year old mother to consider. I am grateful for all the responses and had no idea that anyone really gave a hoot about how I was feeling or how this was affecting me. To answer a question that a couple of you asked my husband and the oldest sister are conservators for my FIL. They make all the financial/medical decisions. That has created its own fire with the other two girls. Ugh! This has just become a very tense situation for all and I know my MIL would be so upset by this. I will stick to my guns and the girls and my husband are going to have to figure this out. This needs to be about what is best for my FIL and I think they should listen to my professional opinion on the memory care facility. Do they think I would suggest something that would harm or be unhealthy for my FIL? NO I absolutely would not. Again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the time to read my post and respond. I don't feel so alone in this anymore. Thank you, thank you. I'm sending you all great big hugs and God bless!
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I agree with the above comments. Family dynamics are so different from one to the next!! Be firm, be loving, let your husband help out with the telling so that the 2 of you present a united front. This is his family and you have done admirably!!
The sisters just need to step up to the plate for decisions and care and then they will understand better. DO be KIND. Honey catches more flies than vinegar as Mom used to say!! When left to do this themselves, they will work it out.
My Prayers are with you and yours. You are trying to the right thing by Everyone and that is wonderful and also hard. I am also a farm wife and I know exactly what you are talking about for time. Each day has its own twists and turns and changes!! God Bless You!
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Northhand, your heart is in the right place. The guilt is false; so many of us think that if only we love enough, we can bear any burden without limit, and alone...we may have even been judgemental of others who were unable...then reality intrudes and we have to rethink and realize we are human beings with a great deal to give, but not infinite; we have limits, we are not God, and we were meant to have limits.
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Who is the POA? Is it your husband? If it is, go ahead and put your FIL on the waiting list for the memory care unit. If they have a spot, let FIL try it out and see if it is a good fit. Nobody really understands how stressful farming is this time of year, let alone jugling elder care. Additionally, we had real issues with my father and farm equipment...not a good mix. (Sounds like there are 2 daughters who need to do 3or 4 days a week each so that you can have a break!!!!) Good luck to you!....a fellow farm wife!
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