I have recently learnt that in the near future there will be a life changing event happening- my father-in-law who is about 81 years old and still in very good health will be permanently moving in with us. Thinking about this is causing me to go into anxiety mode and also feel panic attacks coming from time to time..with the fear that I will be losing my independence, my privacy, my way of doing things in the house and fear that I will be working all the time taking care of all things, 'babysitting' all the time in the house. Is this fear real? How should I cope with this?
If your F.I.L. is still healthy at 81, why does he have to move in with you? Why can't he live on his own, or in one of those assisted living facilities? My aunt moved into one when she was 74, loved it, lived there till she died at 89. They do take S.S.I., and give you a stipend while you live there. That is dirt cheap if you ask me! And all the seniors I talked to while visiting her, also said they loved living there! Something to think about?
Otherwise, you may as well prepare yourself to lose your privacy! And yes, it will be like babysitting. But then again, it could be a wonderful time to really get to know your F.I.L.? Play games with him, go fishing, whatever!
Lose the anxiety, there is really no reason for that, he is your F.I.L. for pity's sake! Panic attacks? For what possible reason? Is your F.I.L. an OGRE? Maybe Frankenstein? Oh, I know, he's the Wolf Man, right? Come on, he is a human being just like you! No need to panic, or anything else. Just make a nice room for him, and enjoy his company while you have him to do it!!!
Don't worry, he is not moving in to take over your house hold chores, or anything else. If I were you, I would cherish every moment you have with him, one day, he will be gone. Then what? Take this opportunity to get to know him, his life, everything. You may be surprised, and he does help you out around the house, that would be nice?! Save you some time.
Relax, enjoy, that is all I can tell you. He won't be around a whole lot longer, so enjoy what time you have left with him! Remember, he is a human being just like you. He needs companionship as bad as anyone else! Try to enjoy this experience.
It is understandable that you would have concerns, given that this is a big change in your life. However, it is difficult to know how much you really need to have your fears. It would help to know more about your situation, such as: Why is he moving in with you? What is your relationship like with him? Were you consulted about this? If not, how do you feel about this? What is your relationship like with your spouse? Have you and your spouse talked about how this situation is supposed to work (e.g. what your responsibilities will be?) Have you both talked with your FIL? What are his expectations?
Perhaps even just thinking about these questions will give you some direction.
I can understand your concern. After all, this is a new experience. Keep in mind that your father-in-law probably has his own fears... not only is he losing his way of life, but he's losing his home and probably a lot of his possessions too. So talk about it. With your spouse, with him, with your other family members. Find out expectations on all sides. Work together on it.
Also, if you are going to be a caregiver at all, or think this may turn into that if his health fails, there are some great online resources at your local area agency on aging or similar agency. Or you can google "caregiver resources" and find some good stuff. I used to be a caregiver so even if it turns into that kind of a situation, it can be very rewarding but you need to remember to take care of yourself too.
I agree also with what Dennis said. It's a great opportunity to really get to know your father-in-law while he's still here. My best to you!
We have to take care of our family, that's a given. I understand that your F-I-L is 81 and is good health, and you still have concerns of loss of priviacy and freedom. I can tell you from experience it's not a bad as you think. Good health means he can wash and take care of himself. Yeah, you can't trapes through the house naked, but you shouldn't loss to much privacy. Make sure his room or section of house is self suffenct. A fridge, microwave, a tv. and a coffee pot can help a lot. If you have more than one bathroom, give him one of his own. You may have to clean it, but your doing it now anyway. Make a schedule of you and your family's time table for him. Your spouse needs to ensure they help in his life also. After all he's their dad. He should have all the freedoms he's acustom to and so should you.
If medical attention or home health is needed, it should be provided by his family not just the D-I-L. I'm assuming your his daughter in law. Make sure he, his family, and his son know you are not his or their slave for him. Being helpful is one thing, Providing in home nursing care is another. Keep your life outside of the home. It will keep you sane. Don't make yourself sick because of others.
My gf and I have for years done in home care for her mother and father.Her mom is now in a nursing home (dementia) and father is self imposed bed ridden at home. He still lives in his own home and refuses to do anything else. We provide food and cleaning between 2 jobs and outside activities (4H, Scouts, & Schools). We have no time for ourselves, but we make and take time. She feels guilty about it, but she realizes she must live and take care of her self. If she's sick, she can't help them. I help where I can, but they are not my parents. I try to keep her sane in the madness. I treat them as I would if they were a patient of mine. 20 years of medical experience and years of food service experience comes in handy.
I agree with the rest of the people who have posted. Enjoy the time you and yours have with you F-I-L. Make it enjoyable as possible and remember the good times always. Good Luck
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.