My husband is 11 years older than I, has Parkinson's and dementia. After a stroke brought on by a fall last year and an attempted suicide overdose 10 days after completing rehab, life has settled down to a pattern and I have used an agency to provide help for several hours while I took care of errands, met with friends, played cards or whatever. Most recently I have hired two people to care for my husband for 53 hours a week and I remain the caregiver for the balance. He cannot be left unattended and I have to take him to the bathroom, dress him and walk with him whenever he wants to move.
One of the women whom I have hired is exceptionally good and caring with him. She has many fine qualities and my husband is thriving under her care. He feels as though he is making progress, is getting better and his depression has lifted. In truth I do not see a physical improvement and indeed he is worse than he was six months ago due to the Parkinson progression.
Because of this care he has become emotionally attached to her, would like her to work at least 80 hours a week for him and if I don't like it then he would like to live some place else with her. He says she is the best thing in his life now.
I have two stepsons who live 100 miles away and refuse to get involved telling me to hire the help I need. I am fortunate that I can do that financially.
Our 42 year marriage is being stretched very thin on this one. While the caregiver will cuddle my husband as if he were a little boy if he falls (having moved when he shouldn't), I will frequently get angry and insist that he gets himself up with my help, a project that can take half an hour.
Backing up, the fall and subsequent stroke took place out of state and I had to live out of state for 10 weeks while he went through rehab, no rehab center in my own state wanting to take him on as he was too needy. 4 hours after we got home he was looking for his gun which I'd given to our son. 10 days later the overdose occurred. I feel betrayed by this and although I have tried to give him 100% support for his exercises I have not been able to give the 110% that I gave during the first hospitalization and rehab.
Since July 15, the day of the fall, I have taken one week off to visit my 90 year old mother in England, other than that I've been "on duty" 7 days a week. I really would like to visit her again but can't figure out how to.
I truly don't know how to handle the nursing assistant situation. My husband is critical of my skills and puts me down publicly. I am not sure I can survive the situation long-term. I recognize that I am jealous because I have given of my best and it is unappreciated; I recognize too that it is the dementia talking but cruel words still hurt.
It has always been my plan to move out of state after my husband dies. I hesitate to totally turn over his care at this stage to someone else while I head for Florida. The down side of the very good caregiver is that she is manipulative and I always feel like she has an agenda. She is always trying to push her ideas on us. I have financial control right now of our investments and I do have some concern as to what would go on if I were not around.
Truthfully it would not be in my husband's best interest to move into a home at this stage and he will go downhill if I fire her. There are several options but none of them look good. Opinions anyone?