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Taking care of Father in law
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An_188409 posted:
My father in law moved in with my husband and I over eight months ago now. We moved him in because he is slowly dying. He has diabetes, heart condition, valley fever, the list goes on. However, he is only 57, can be independent and very mobile. We moved him in to take better care of him, emotionally, physically, and nutritionally.
He is doing great, despite it all and being sick for about two weeks last month.
However, I am not doing so good. My husband and I rarely have 'alone' time, our rooms are right next to each other. I feel like the cook, the maid, the caretaker etc. I have lost my alone time in my house and feel stuck!
On the other hand I am trying to be there for my husband and be a good DIL because he is dying and it is hard. I lost my father four years ago to cancer. He went within a month of us finding out he had stage four melanoma, so I know what's coming.
I feel like a horrible person. I want my life back ( I feel like the guy from BP when I say that) yet he is losing his and my husband is losing his father. Please help!
Thank you!
Reply
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear Anon,

I am so sorry to hear about your family. I am glad you have reached out for help, your feelings are valid, you are not horrible, you are honest. It is extremely difficult to care for an adult in your own home and struggle with your own needs.

Please know, your needs are important and it is critical for you to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.

Are you able to schedule a "date night" with your husband and honestly talk about how you feel? Can you schedule dinner with girlfriends? Do you have a hobby that is outside the home? Can you escape to the library or a coffee shop with a good book once a week?

Our Caregiving Center has a wealth of information to review. Be sure to look at all the subtitles on the left side of the page especially the Caregiver Burnout resource.

Also, share the Caregiving Center information with your husband. Going through the information together may spark conversation and put a plan in action to help everyone in your home.

Please let me know if this is helpful,
Elizabeth
 
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MayaReina replied to Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you so much! My husband and I do get out and I do have tons of very supportive friends, that are always there for me and my husband. Thank you for the info and the support.
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to MayaReina's response:
I am glad to hear you are able to get out and have great friends. Now have to figure out some way to have the time you need in your own home.

Does your husband have siblings that your father in law could visit? Or does he have any hobbies or outings that he could do? Would he be able to get out and volunteer anywhere? What was his profession? I understand he has health limitations, but he also may feel better if he is able to do something out of the house.

Elizabeth
 
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MayaReina replied to Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff's response:
My sister in law lives here in town and has two kids, so he actually goes over often, which is great. He doesn't really have hobbies, but he does work 1-2 days a week. He is not completely home bound, he is still pretty mobile, which is nice for him. He just happens to go out and do stuff when we aren't home, so the chance for us and/or me to be home alone is minimal.
It is not the worst situation in the world, it's just hard for me sometimes. My husband and I are in our early 30's so it's just a different situation. We know hospice is available to us whenever we need it, and I personally think for his sake they should be coming sooner than later. He knows what he is in for, I just don't think he is ready for it and he gets depressed quite often. So I think a counselor or someone from Hospice to come and talk to him would be great, it's just getting him to think that's great.
All in all like I said it's not the worst situation in the world, it's just a hard thing to do no matter. I appreciate your support and being able to vent and not feel bad about it. Thank you!
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to MayaReina's response:
Venting is important. Sometimes just getting your feelings out and organized on paper/computer screen is therapeutic.

Let us know how your week is going,
Elizabeth
 
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An_188410 replied to Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff's response:
My mom is out of town this week so I have been house/dog sitting for her, it has been nice to be alone. I miss my husband and our dog, he works nights and my mom's dog is a little territorial. But it's been a nice escape.
I have read the caregiver burnout section, thank you for recommending that. I know it's ok to feel guilty and feel annoyed by my FIL but I still feel bad about it.
I think because when we moved him in last August, the end was near, so we thought. I was going to fix healthy, good meals for him and we would just have a nice, positive environment for him to be in, to live the rest of his days out.
After a few months I realized how much he eats and how expensive it was getting, so we changed that. He can cook and shop and do things on his own, he is completely capable. However, the things he eats are not very good for him and his ailments, heart, diabetes etc. So this gets me down, makes me feel guilty because I should be cooking for him and I occasionally do, but I think mostly out of guilt.... I know we can't control him and we shouldn't have to, but it seems as if he is just doing whatever he likes because he knows he's going to die at some point....
Sorry to ramble on, I'm trying to give you the gist of it all.
I thought this whole situation would be for a short period of time and it would be the end of the life part. I can deal with that, I already did that with my dad. I am not ready for the living with my father in law for a few years part.... And that is what I feel bad about. Because really there is nowhere for him to go. He has no money and I don't think there's a 'home' for people that aren't really old and have the problems that he does. So of course I feel even more horrible because the only way our situation will change is if he dies, and that breaks my heart.
I want my husband and I to sit down with his doctor so that we can find out exactly what he can and can't eat, what he should and should not be doing etc. I would also like the doctor to recommend that he speak with a counselor, hospice or whomever. And perhaps see one ourselves.
Thank you for having this site and letting people vent. Any feedback is much appreciated
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to An_188410's response:
You said something very important - "I know we can't control him and we shouldn't have to..." You are correct, he is an adult and capable of making good or bad choices for himself. You can not change his frame of mind you can only change yours and I understand it is hard watching someone, self destruct (for lack of a better word).

Your idea of having your husband meet with his doctor is great. If you FIL hears it from his doctor he may be more willing to accept suggestions. Also, talking with his doctor about housing alternatives for him may be an option.

Could your FIL contribute to the grocery expense, then you could buy the healthier alternatives for him when you do your shopping?

Please continue to vent, post and keep us informed (for your sanity),
Elizabeth
 
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An_241523 responded:
love your honesty. i believe you start feeling like you are starting to lose your husband because he is more focused with your father-in-law. it's okay to feel that way at times but dont concentrate on that feeling because it wont solve your problem. please be reminded that it's not his nor your father-in-law's choice. he needs your support especially with his long term care
needs, so be more understanding and patient to him.


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