I don't know if I'm out of line here, so I need some advice. My husband is soon to be 84 years old and he has had several heart attacks, and now Prostate Cancer Stage IV M1a and spreading. In December of last year, he stopped seeing all his doctors and taking all medications. His Choice not the doctors. But I have to admit, that since he stopped taking his medication he is a new man. (He does have to take it easy because he does grow weak and it doesn't take much to make him have loss of energy) His sons are in their 60's and yesterday his oldest son came over and took him out for the day for Father's Day. They were gone for almost 7 hours. The temperature was over 90 degrees and the son doesn't have any air conditioning in the car. My husband can't walk very well, and walking makes it hard for him to breathe. Talking for any length of time also takes it's toll on him and he gets weak and loses his voice. No energy to speak anymore. Yet his son kept him out for almost 7 hours in over 90 degree weather. And both my husband and his son are TALKERS !!!! His son wants to take him golfing and do all the things he wanted to do with his dad when he was a boy. My husband cannot do these things. He is good for about 2 hours of visiting or talking and/ or going out to a restaurant and back home and that's it. When his son brought him home yesterday, they both stood outside by the car and talked for about 2 hours in the over 90 degree heat and my husband is standing there all the while without his cane. When my husband came inside he looked like death. He couldn't even talk to me as he had no energy or volume to his voice. He sat in the chair and just staired like a zombie. Yet his son didn't even recognize that his dad was in distress. In 2014 was when my husband began getting ill. Right after his heart attack and heart surgery (two months later) his other son came over and arm wrestled him. (His sons, remember are in their 60's). I didn't know his son did this until after he left and my husband told me. I couldn't imagine anyone being that stupid to do such a thing. His kids are always wanting to take him here and there like golfing, but my husband can't do that. He can't take the long event, the long time outside, the long time talking, and thank goodness he does tell them this. Therefore, I sent the kids this morning an e-mail, stating that I am setting visitation times to only 2 hour at a time when they come over to see him, and if they want to take him out somewhere, that they can take him to a restaurant and come back home and then say good-bye. They can come over everyday if they want, but only stay 2 hours at a time. I may be out of line for setting visitation limits for his children, and is why I need advice. Am I out of line? I swear to you, my husband cannot withstand anything more than a 2 hour activity of any kind without deteriorating big time. Plus, what happens if the kids say, hey you aren't going to tell me how long I can visit with my dad? But you know, I shouldn't have to limit visiting time, if they would only recognize and see how bad their dad is getting while they are visiting with him. I take care of my husband at home, and they don't help, nothing to help with right now, so I know what my husband is capable of and what he cannot do. Sigh

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Freqflyer: I'm 71 and I get tuckered out if I have to spend over 2 hours trying to entertain someone even if it is the kids.

Thanks for your input.
Helpful Answer (0)

Nancy, a 2-hour limit sounds perfect.

Younger people don't really understand that when we start to age, we no longer have the energy to do the things we had enjoyed years earlier. It's just part of life.

I know I was clueless as my parents were aging mainly because I wasn't around my grandparents to see the aging process and all it involves. Now that I am in my 70's I see things so very different. If only I would have known back then I could have judge things differently regarding my own parents.
Helpful Answer (0)

Video chat
Helpful Answer (1)

Yes, countrymouse, they do have that right, and I knew when I said it to them that they may come back and tell me so. But it was worth a try. And I answered GardenArtist's post elaborating a little more on the subject.

Yep, it's tough to be a caregiver, if the children don't allow you to be it.
Helpful Answer (1)

Garden Artist: The oldest son is the only one who tries to keep in touch with his dad lately. All the other kids seem to not want to have anything to do with him.

Since you've read my old posts (sometimes I feel embarrassed by my old posts because I was in distress mode and may have said more than I should have said) you know what I've been facing.

His kids seem to have the same dysfunctions as the father. Life is all about them. Narcissism personalities. So, the boys haven't come into his life since I last posted, because of how they feel about him, and his rejection of them, and other reasons, I suppose.

But his oldest at least will try. But his oldest is severely Bi-Polar. Terrible Bi-Polar.
Today he loves his father and tomorrow he hates his guts. He doesn't have to have a reason for such drastic change in personalities from day to day.

A few days before Father's Day his oldest son planned on seeing his dad on Fathers Day, and then the next day, calls him and says he's moving to South Dakota. But ended up coming on Fathers Day and decided he's not moving. You just never know. He is not dependable.

I had a talk with my husband this morning, not about me e-mailing his sons, but about how he is feeling this morning. He looks pretty whipped.

I asked him how he felt yesterday doing so much walking and without his cane and in so much heat, and he arrogantly, the tough guy that he is, says "Well sometimes you have to go through pain". So, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it all, Therefore, I guess I was wrong to worry about him. I guess I should let life happen, and let him do whatever he wants, and suffer if that what he wants.

But, gosh, it's takes a lot out of me to see him so beat. It's tough on me to have to deal with him once he has been drained. It puts a lot of pressure on me to know whether or not he should go to the ER or will be well in the morning or alive in the morning.

As I believe I posted in my previous posts, I don't know, probably did, mention I wanted to leave but don't because of the dog, and I'm still struggling with that problem. Plus I don't have enough money to live on unless I sold the house, that's the only way I can move or leave him.

But, I guess I'll just let my husband do his own thing and if the kids want to go against my advice, then I guess it is what it is.

What more can I do right?

You give me such good advice, but I'm dealing with personality disorders on top of elderly care here to boot, so no matter what I've tried to do, seems to go over everybody's heads.

When my husband just got out of surgery from his heart attack in 2014, three weeks later his oldest son comes over and wants to take him flying in an airplane (my husband was a small craft pilot in his youth and his son wanted to do something special for him, I understand that). But you don't take someone this old who just had surgery and on medication up in an airplane to do aerobatic flying !!! When I told his son that he couldn't understand why. He argued with me. I told him, well if you need me to get his doctor on the phone to confirm it, I will. But we left it at that. Plus my husband has been dizzy prior to his surgery in 2014 and still is today, but nobody knows why he is out of balance.

So, there is something definitely wrong with his kids thinking capabilities.

I guess I'll just let life happen. Let' everybody do what they want and I'll someday the right day will come along to where I will be able to go on with my life.

Thanks for your help.
Helpful Answer (1)

Nancy, you're not out of line voicing an opinion, or telling the "boys" what they need to understand about their father's health that their father - evidently - is not admitting to them.

But you do also have to bear in mind that they are free to ignore you. You can strongly recommend a limit to outings, you can look daggers at them if they bring their father home wrung out, but it is actually up to your husband to tell his sons when he's had enough.

They probably think the old man is marvellous, life in the old dog yet, and all that malarkey. Remind all of them that the old man will go on being marvellous for a lot longer if they don't conspire to overdo it and risk his health.
Helpful Answer (3)

Nancy, I should have checked your profile before responding, b/c another of your posts contains some very good background information on your situation and the challenges of caring for your husband, which also lend insight into his relationship with his adult sons.

Given how stressed you were then, and the challenges and difficulty of your husband's behavior, I think it WOULD be a good idea to integrate the sons into more caregiving.

I see also that his sons apparently weren't involved in his life when you created that earlier thread:

"He has 3 boys in the late 50's and 60's who he has nothing to do with, but they try to still have some relationship with their dad, but he just doesn't want any part of that."

So that seems to have changed in the last several months? How did the boys start to and continue to become involved, and has it lessened the stress on you, other than that they stay too long? How can you leverage that involvement to ease the demands and pressure on you?
Helpful Answer (2)

I don't think your actions are inappropriate at all. If the 60 year old sons aren't capable of seeing their father's limitations, then they need to be told, in explicit terms.

You might ask one of his doctors to provide you a similar letter addressing cautionary and safe activity levels that you can show to the sons as they'll probably believe a doctor before believing a woman...and I base that on their obvious inability not only to learn and inquire about care but to see the obvious.

It might also be that your husband is able to "fake" and disguise his fatigue, so the boys are seeing a healthy man instead of someone who needs to be careful with his activities. And if the boys haven't been around someone aged and delicate, they may just not be aware at all of limitations.

It is hard sometimes though for outsiders and those who don't provide care to be insightful on health issues, especially if they haven't been ill themselves. My sister experienced that during her last months. An adult woman with 2 children, who had been one of my sister's "Big Sister" recipients, wanted to visit. I told her that about 1/2 hour (I think - this was a long time ago) would be the maximum time my sister could handle visitors, and children would best not be brought along.

The woman ignored my advice, brought 2 young children, and stayed 2 hours. My sister was exhausted and said later that after about 15 min. or so she just kept wishing they would go.

Some people just "don't get it." And they don't have enough experience in caring for seriously ill people to be insightful. Like the sons, they need to be told, explicitly.

If you can find some online articles on activity limitations post heart attack, and/or other conditions your husband may have, e-mail the links to the sons. These days I think people who are tech immersed rely more on the Internet than on people who really are experienced and knowledgeable in real life situations.

Mayo Clinic has good, short and to the point articles on a variety of topics.

Another alternative is to require that the sons stay a few hours after activities to help you care for your husband as he recovers from an outing. You can start training them to be caregivers, which isn't a bad idea at all in the event that someday you do need more help.

Keep standing your ground, even if you get unappreciative or challenging responses from the sons.
Helpful Answer (1)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter