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annierobyn

Dealing with Aging Parents and InLaws

17 posts in this topic

Rant starting now. FIL is 102 and has been on his own, in his own home until a month ago when he was brought into hospital. Several issues, all cleared up. Except the fact that he now refuses to walk. Nothing wrong with his legs. Cannot force him to. He wants to go to a nursing home. He wants a private room in a fancy place. He is being demanding and miserable and putting so much stress on my DH. We are in Canada and there is a waitlist for nursing homes. He has been on the list for years and consistently refused to leave his home any time his name came up.  We told him one day he would not have a choice and that time has come. He has always been very selfish and so continues even more. We live 4 hours away by car. We go in once/week. He is demanding more. We cannot. I work and my husband is 75. No spring chicken lol.  The least amount of time we have found for a nursing home is 1 hour away from his home city. The wait time is 172 days. He is despondent (his words) in the hospital and expects DH to be a miracle worker and get him something NOW.
We are both so stressed. I told DH I am here to support him and do whatever he needs. Right about now I think keeping my mouth shut is the best course of action,. He is VERY agitated.

Anyone else gone through something similar?

 

Rant over. Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm... MIL became increasingly difficult, but that was largely b/c she suffered from Alzheimer's. You say FIL has always been "selfish," but has he always been as unreasonable as he sounds in your post? If not, could he be suffering from some early form of dementia or other mental condition?

The fact that he says he is "despondent" may be a clue. Could he be suffering from some sort of depression? Has DH spoken to FIL's doctors about any of this?

Regardless, no matter what FIL expects, if DH can't do it, he just can't do it. Hopefully,  DH can brush off his father's unrealistic expectations/demands when you two visit and steer the conversation to other, more lighthearted matters. Perhaps you can help w/ that if DH would like you to.  If FIL persists, DH can always decide to cut the visit short.

So sorry you and DH are facing these problems. I think you're right to let DH take the lead in this and simply be supportive of him. But in the spirit of being supportive, since he's "VERY agitated," you might want to reassure DH that he needn't feel bad about not doing what can't be done.

Edited by RoseRed135
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My father was alot like this after back surgery, he was in a hopital where he was being waited on hand and foot and was convinved that a nursing home would be the same.  Yes he had back surgery but all the doctors agreed nothing was stopping him from walking. Since he refused, we ended up finding him temporary space in a nursing home... One week in assisted living and he quickly found out that it was not at all what he was expecting, the nursing home expected him to do more - and never waited on him hand and foot. 

Make sure you And especially you husband find time to relax and destress! Next DH needs to accept (if he hasn't) that he can't do it all- and that is not being a bad kid... and FIL will have to learn... he just cannot always have exactly what he wants.  I know how hard it is, my own father has become much more child-like after all of this... he also refused to accept that if he does not improve his health (he is 60ish so he can) he will be right back at the nursing home.  The fact that he is walking and my mother takes care of everything else means at when he does stop walking .. well nursing home for him... none of us can handle his weight... and it might be a special care facility like we had before. 

Hang in there. Big virtual hugs.

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I understand where you are coming from.  I'm dealing with an aging mother myself. This is a difficult situation to deal with.  But I'd be angry at the situation not at a 102 year old man who managed to stay out of a nursing home until now.  KUDOS to him!.     Somehow things worked out for him until now;   I don't think it is selfish to live your life the way you want to live it as long as you take responsibility for it. I guess I don't understand the nursing home situation in Canada.  Why would a universal health care system want people to go to nursing homes before they need them?  This seems like a waste of universal health care dollars.  I'm sure your FIL is not the first person to require nursing home care before his name comes up on a waiting list.  What if your 50 and have a MVA and have a traumatic brain injury?  What do people do? 

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Posted (edited)

My DH is dealing with something similar with his mom who is very sick with numerous complications, but still in her home.  She has been sick for three years, but this past year it has really deteriorated.   I won't go into the long sorted details of what has gone on with respect to my MIL's illness, but unlike your FIL, my MIL would never consider a nursing home, so that is one thing you have going in your favor - your FIL recognizes he can no longer care for himself in his home and wants to go to a place that can provide care.  I don't understand the Canadian nursing home system to offer much advice, but I do want to recommend a book I read called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters Most in the End.  It helped me understand how difficult and scary it is for an elderly person to lose his independence and life as he knows it when a move is made to a nursing home, and it offered really good ideas about conversations to have that will help this process. 

Edited by BSW
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20 hours ago, skipped said:

I understand where you are coming from.  I'm dealing with an aging mother myself. This is a difficult situation to deal with.  But I'd be angry at the situation not at a 102 year old man who managed to stay out of a nursing home until now.  KUDOS to him!.     Somehow things worked out for him until now;   I don't think it is selfish to live your life the way you want to live it as long as you take responsibility for it. I guess I don't understand the nursing home situation in Canada.  Why would a universal health care system want people to go to nursing homes before they need them?  This seems like a waste of universal health care dollars.  I'm sure your FIL is not the first person to require nursing home care before his name comes up on a waiting list.  What if your 50 and have a MVA and have a traumatic brain injury?  What do people do? 

It's not that they WANT people to go to a nursing home before they need to. From the sounds of it, he has been assessed as being eligible to go to a nursing home but has refused to go.

I don't know how it is in other areas, but in my province we have a standard assessment that is completed for all clients wishing to enter a residential facility (apart from a lodge). Home care staff will assess their medical conditions, activities of daily living performance (things such as bathing, grooming, toileting, feeding, dressing, etc.), medications, behaviours, etc. Based on this they are assigned a "level of care" that's required. This is typically an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Once a doctor has declared them to be medically stable, they can go on the list for entering a facility. But, typically, if you decline to enter a facility when your name comes up you are moved to the bottom of the list. On top of that, usually you will be placed anywhere in your "region" that a bed becomes available. Now, if you want to move somewhere else, they can indeed look at moving you when a bed becomes available in the place you want to go - but typically the goal is to get you placed first. Sometimes other factors can also come into play - for example, if you're in a hospital and assessed as needing assisted living or long-term care, you'll usually be placed earlier because they need the bed. In some cases compassionate placement can also be a factor (for example, if you have an aging spouse who doesn't need care but can't drive a long way to visit you, or if you have a spouse already in a facility, they may look to place you in the same facility so you can be together).

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On 3/6/2017 at 8:08 PM, annierobyn said:

Rant starting now. FIL is 102 and has been on his own, in his own home until a month ago when he was brought into hospital. Several issues, all cleared up. Except the fact that he now refuses to walk. Nothing wrong with his legs. Cannot force him to. He wants to go to a nursing home. He wants a private room in a fancy place. He is being demanding and miserable and putting so much stress on my DH. We are in Canada and there is a waitlist for nursing homes. He has been on the list for years and consistently refused to leave his home any time his name came up.  We told him one day he would not have a choice and that time has come. He has always been very selfish and so continues even more. We live 4 hours away by car. We go in once/week. He is demanding more. We cannot. I work and my husband is 75. No spring chicken lol.  The least amount of time we have found for a nursing home is 1 hour away from his home city. The wait time is 172 days. He is despondent (his words) in the hospital and expects DH to be a miracle worker and get him something NOW.
We are both so stressed. I told DH I am here to support him and do whatever he needs. Right about now I think keeping my mouth shut is the best course of action,. He is VERY agitated.

Anyone else gone through something similar?

 

Rant over. Thanks.

I was notified in May that my 81 year old aunt living several states away from me was in the hospital. I called and they told me she needed to be in hospice because she had dementia and was not eating and was not responding to care. I flew there and discovered after several days that she had been shuffled around from hospital to rehab to mental health to hospital for a number of weeks. She had drug induced dementia. She had been living on her own and taking care of herself (apparently not very well). She is a military veteran as well. It took me months to get guardianship for this relative that I hardly knew and had not grown up with. She has no other relatives that will care for her. Never been married or had kids. I finally got her back her to where I live and have had her in a rehab and a nursing home for four months until I finally found an assisted living facility that I like.  Nothing will satisfy her. She is very anxious and very unhappy. Life as she knows it has ended. I can never do enough for her and I finally had to realize that. The hospice nurse has explained to me that it is not my fault that I cannot please her and it is not her fault that she is so cranky so much of the time.

I visit at least once a week. In December, I lost my really good job having to keep up with my husband, her and my kids and grandkids. I never, ever thought that would happen, but it did. Now my own health is in danger. 

Please give yourself a break and realize that when people fail to plan for old age, they put a tremendous burden on others. You cannot make yourself and your husband sick about your relative who is most likely going to be gone soon anyway. I had such high hopes of brining my aunt home to where she could be surrounded by my large extended family where we would sing kumbyya in her final days. Now she is physically well and feisty while I am having health and stress related issues; out of a job; and struggling to know how to please her. I genuinely care for her, but I realize that I can only do so much. I trust the folks at the Assisted Living Facility to take care of most of her needs now.

Anonymous poster hash: 43b1d...7fd

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Getting old isn't for sissies and it takes lots of planning.

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So sorry about this, Incognito! Kudos to you for stepping up the way you have! But what a shame that you lost a good job and that your health is now at risk! I trust you are getting good medical care. Also, please take your own advice and "give yourself a break" wherever you can.

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17 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

Please give yourself a break and realize that when people fail to plan for old age, they put a tremendous burden on others. You cannot make yourself and your husband sick about your relative who is most likely going to be gone soon anyway. I had such high hopes of brining my aunt home to where she could be surrounded by my large extended family where we would sing kumbyya in her final days. Now she is physically well and feisty while I am having health and stress related issues; out of a job; and struggling to know how to please her. I genuinely care for her, but I realize that I can only do so much. I trust the folks at the Assisted Living Facility to take care of most of her needs now.

Anonymous poster hash: 43b1d...7fd

I completely agree with this.  Caring for an elderly sick person can be a huge burden.  My FIL has been my MIL's caretaker for 3 years now, and it has taken such a toll on his health.  Lately, he has been voicing to DH that he may not last much longer, and for the first time we are having to explore what to do with my MIL if FIL passes before her.  FIL is so exhausted and depleted from the 24//7 care that she needs as she is bed ridden and in a dementia-like state from chronic infections, meds, effects of cancer, and trauma from her numerous ailments, requires help with eating, bathing, dressing, and cat naps on and off 24 hours a day, yelling our for my FIL when she is awake to tend to her.  She is akin to a sick newborn.  My FIL recently developed pneumonia which complicates the matter more.  Unfortunately, my FIL is also very obstinate and refuses to accept outside help beyond what family members (my DH, BIL, aunt IL and niece IL) can provide, but that is limited.  A nursing home is out of the question as well for FIL, despite all the evidence that she has exceeded his ability to care for her at home. 

I commend you for getting the help you need via the assisted living facility to take care of your aunt and to take care of you!  I wish my FIL would do the same for MIL.  Every life matters and every day is a gift with no guarantees for tomorrow for everyone.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/5/2017 at 1:26 PM, skipped said:

I understand where you are coming from.  I'm dealing with an aging mother myself. This is a difficult situation to deal with.  But I'd be angry at the situation not at a 102 year old man who managed to stay out of a nursing home until now.  KUDOS to him!.     Somehow things worked out for him until now;   I don't think it is selfish to live your life the way you want to live it as long as you take responsibility for it. I guess I don't understand the nursing home situation in Canada.  Why would a universal health care system want people to go to nursing homes before they need them?  This seems like a waste of universal health care dollars.  I'm sure your FIL is not the first person to require nursing home care before his name comes up on a waiting list.  What if your 50 and have a MVA and have a traumatic brain injury?  What do people do? 

I totally agree with you. I was 27 when I got into a mva  I was put in the nursing home I worked in on th floor I worked on rehabilitation. He's 102 what  is the proper age in Canada for nursing home? 

Edited by SadGrammy2014

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@SadGrammy2014 - Welcome! Glad you came in to share your thoughts and experiences w/ us!

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@RoseRed135Thanks worked in nursing homes all my life.  I also have question is there any feature on here like if I just wanted to talk to you I could? I'm new I can't make a thread I really need some advise.

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Do you mean a personal message? There are 3 ways to send one:

1. Easiest Way - Point your arrow to the name of the poster you'd like to PM, click on the Message button in the little box that will appear and go from there.
2. Click on the poster's username, then "Message" and go from there.
3. Click on the envelope icon at the top right of the page, then Compose New and then go from there.

 

 

 

 

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Do you mind if I pm  u?

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Not at all. Go right ahead.

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Thanks sent message.

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