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Worried about my father's wellbeing as Mom's caregiver
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PDXtraveler posted:
My mother had a stroke in 2005 and my father's been her primary caregiver.

While she's never fully recovered....she's pretty much happy if you buy her a Starbuck's and let her watch the Gem-Channel.

While my father's life is deteriorating.

In the beginning we all pitched in to help....Mom requested things and we got them for her. Tried to read to her...care for her. But she says no one will read to her adn then you show up with the book she's requested to spend the day with her and she doesn't want to she says she wants to paint....you buy hundreds of dollars of art supplies she says she needs and wants and thinks it would be good therapy for her condition. And they sit untouched.....she complains you didn't get the right ones...you buy the "right" ones and the also are never touched because now she wants to buy a hourse and take up horseback riding and gets upset no one will support her. Despite being 270 and can barely walk from the handicapped parking spot to the door of a store. Her whims change like the wind.....and I get that some of that is the stroke, though she was like that before....but she gets angry and takes it on her husband on us that we don't care and don't love her and won't help her.....because we won't buy the horse. It's crazy.

Sadly, prior to the stroke she pretty much only slept, watched TV and kept no schedule. And that continues know only magnified.

She was always strongwill and hardheaded and after the stroke that's gotten worse. She won't be told what to do and wants what she wants when she wants it.

In order to make life bearable you give in so her temper tantrums stop.

I see my father worn out, stressed and slipper futher into depression.

He's racked by guilt about what to do.

People suggest all sorts of things, but she doesn't want to do them....you set things up and then she refuses to get out of bed....

we're at our wits end. She was in an assisted care facility for awhile and she still had my father running ragged because she wanted this or that. But I think that was the best of a bad situation. Aty least Dad got a bit of a break and we new shge was getting consistent meds at consistent times because she will do what a stranger more readily.

But even there......she was only there 8 months and when we moved her out most of the new furniture and household items we bought her had to be taken to the dump despite having housecleaning service. She just is very very sloppy and doesn't like people cleaning around her.

How do we love and care for her in a respectful way and yet give my father some sort of quality of like......they're only in their 60's and he's active.
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2010guardian responded:
Dear PDXtraveler,

My heart goes out to you. It sounds like, at this point, that your father needs to be under a doctors care. Is he getting any help with his mental stress/depression? In time this may break him down to some serious medical problems.

I can see my father as he took care of my mother. He was under so much stress and so depressed, and putting her in a care facility was just worse than dying as far as he was concerned. He did take care of her until her death.

Has your mother been evaluated lately by a medical doctor or psychiatrist/psycologist? Is she taking medicine for her mental condition?

It sounds like it may have been a good thing that she was in the assisted living situation. At least your dad can get some rest. I understand the guilt feeling as I may have to put my husband in a care facility because of his Alzheimers.

Does your parents have a clergyman/pastor/priest who can give them spiritual advice. A respected clergyman/friend can be a great support for your Dad and you. Is he able to get out and have time to himself? It sounds like he needs a break now and then.

When it came time that I could no longer (mentally) take care of my mother-in-law, we ask the doctor to help us. He wrote up an order that she need around-the-clock care and that she should go into a nursing home. This took the load off our shoulders of breaking the news to her. My husband also had a strong guilt feeling and so did I. I think that is natural.

I pray that you and your family can come to a decision that is best for all--especially for your father. If he has a medical or mental breakdown, who would be liable to care for your mother?

I care!

Kathy
 
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poaform responded:
I feel so sorry for you. I was a predicament like this and now that it looks past the point where your parents may be able to take care of one another I highly advise you start the care giving process by getting a living will at legalzoom or a power of attorney form online here . The hardest part of having one of these done is asking them to sign (at least for me).

God Bless You!


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