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Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Broomie, Oct 29, 2015.
Why are the siblings so against the idea of respite care? Is it because they think all care homes are dreadful, or they think their parents would be miserable? Or is it because they are worried about the potential cost?
Whatever the reason, I don't think it would be unreasonable to set a time limit - so long but no more. And there would IMO need to be a very firmly set rota that everyone would undertake to stick to - i.e. except for genuine emergencies, no last minute, 'Oh, I can't do tonight, something's come up,' so that everybody would know where they are.
The trouble is, this sort of dispute can provoke bad feeling, and your wife may feel she's being emotionally pressured or blackmailed into carrying on.
I agree that some groundwork in looking at care homes would be a very good idea.
Im sure you must be feeling that you are watching a train wreck and, TBH, I think you are, but if your siblings are so determined to do 24/7 care then I think they will have to at least attempt it.
You are not being at all unreasonable, but I think you will have to stand your ground as I suspect that the whole thing will start to unravel very quickly.
Dear all, thank you for all of your sound advice I am really grateful. We will set a time limit on the care giving. I think that my wife's family are scared that once their dad goes into a home he won't come home again. His wife thinks that all homes are terrible from.what she's told my wife.
Dear Broomie, It sounds to me as if most of the siblings are in that classic situation of 'we don't know what it is we don't know'. Whereas those of us who have been there do. I admire the way you are being strong for your wife, clearly your wife could be sucked into a position that cannot be sustained. Put your foot down and insist on a time limit, a week or two should do it. then hope and pray very hard that someone comes to their senses - it should not be a competition to see who 'cracks' first.
Broomie, I don't have any brilliant advice for you, but do want to say a few things.
You are being perfectly reasonable in your concerns that this may not be the best way to provide care for your parents-in-law, and especially your concerns that this will be very difficult for your wife and cause bad family feeling and so forth. Others here have said as much, but I wanted to repeat it. Emphatically. You are so right to be concerned.
Secondly, I wanted to applaud you for being so caring and concerned about your wife.
Perhaps you will come back and let us know how things work out. There is lots of good advice and information here, for all sorts of issues. Wishing you all the best.
Dear all, thank you for all of your advice but also your kind words. It is important to me to know that what I am thinking is not unreasonable. I do understand why they want to continue to care for their father but their mum won't be mobile when she gets home and with her nurses coming in four times a day I can see their father getting stressed and further confused. It was only a couple if months ago that he could still manage to go to the corner shop to get the papers (with a note), now he can't wash himself, make a cup of tea or generally care for himself, he's not going to improve. That said they have made their decision. I have suggested to my wife that we continue to assist up to christmas but after that it stops. We will have to tell her family later this week that that is our decision.
I'll come back on here and let you know the outcome.
Well, it's carrying on as before. There still isn't a rota in place for who covers when. My wife and I have covered a day and a night on both of the past two weekends and said that we wanted not to cover Saturday or Sunday this weekend, we've ended up covering Sunday which has scuppered our plans.
Her mum and siblings are adamant that dad will not be going into a home, but he is stressed and confused through all the comings and goings and is becoming increasingly aggressive if he feels you aren't listening or understanding what he is saying. Yesterday we were due to cover overnight, my sister in law informed us at 3:30 that she had left her father alone because she was picking up the kids and her expectation was that we would have relieved her at that point. We couldn't because we were doing the shopping, we then had to rush home to get round Asap. Fortunately my brother in law had gone round after my wife had told her sister to get someone round there.
We are both shattered from this, over the past seven days we have covered four 'shifts' either days or nights. I have always been a reasonable man, I always try to see the other persons point of view and to be accommodating of that. I try to put.other people first when I can but I feel now that that is seen as a weakness and is exploited. How do I tell.my wife's family that I think that they are being unreasonable without making things worse for my wife?
Thanks for listening everyone, it's really appreciated.
So, its already started unraveling, has it?
If you find it difficult to "just say no", then perhaps now might be a very good time to book a week-end away......
I think so yes Canary. To be fair I'm not the only one who thinks this way, my brother in law and sister in law both think that this isn't working and have said so but the family aren't listening, although they are all really tired they are determined to continue. It's the anniversary of my mums death at the end of the month and I have said that we won't be available then because I will be meeting up withy my family.
I'm happy to.tell them that enough is enough and to out a time limit on this but it's doing it in such a way that it doesn't cause problems for my wife.
Team up with the BIL and SIL in a combined effort so that it isnt just you.
There is going to be a crisis soon.
Perhaps book an extended stay with your family for the anniversary?
Can one of your family members suddenly need a visit. It's really heard being assertive isn't it and you do appear to being manipulated by the in laws.
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It is hard but it's coming to a head now and they're going to fall out. I'm of a view now to put a very clear deadline on when we will continue to provide cover up to. There's been an argument this morning over cover and my wife was in tears, so I'm of a view that I need to step in and look after her. Just not sure of the best way to do it.
The problem with 'excuses'is that you eventually run out.I think the only solution here is to say what you are and are not prepared to do and mean it.I have always had problems with assertiveness,so scared of upsetting people that I would go on and on till I eventually lost my temper.And that definitely upsets people.My husband on the other hand has never had a problem with saying no and making it,no excuses just a staight answer.I hope you manage to sort this out soon,it sounds as though the issues with your in laws care is going to be long term.
Thank you notsogood, excellent advice.
Being the "in law" thankfully enables you to say, quite forcefully if necessary, what your wife feels she can not say.
So what to do? Offer to draw up that rota NOW, whilst it isn't what you or your wife want or need, it may proove, literally in black and white, that the family continuing to meet the different needs of both your parents in law just can't happen. Especially if you have a weekend away coming up as others have suggested.
Investigate the cost of a live in carer? It might work; providing the live in support when you(s) aren't there. It's not a panacea though as there is a high chance that your FIL, will not accept or understand why there is a stranger in their house. My mother became very aggressive and abusive to the live in carer we arranged to help my dad during his palliative chemotherapy.
Make a short list of acceptable and appropriate care homes and visit them, if your FIL goes in for respite he may well settle and the fears of the family eased.
Good luck, so far you have been great, protect your wife and keep with your gut instincts, they seem spot on to me.
Thank you clueless for your advice and thank you to everyone else. I am really grateful.
Well, it all came to a head over the weekend. My brother in law and sister in law accused my wife of jot being considerate and of being selfish, this led to a major row between them. I've mow told.my wife that in.order to protect her I am no longer prepared to tolerate her families behaviour and I will be putting a firm time limit on our involvement in the care for her dad. She has asked me to leave it for a day before I do.
On the plus side we took her dad to visit hee mum yesterday in hospital, their faces when they saw each other were fantastic. We also saw the Social Worker there who is looking after their m and I had a brief chat with her about how the care for their sad is causing all sorts of problems, she has agreed to carry out a further assessment on him and to present the family with some.options. This has to be sorted because we were told yesterday that she will be in hospital for at least another six weeks.
Hi, Broomie, and thanks for the update. I'm so sorry to hear about the wrangling over the weekend (but not surprised, as I'm sure you are not).
Also sorry to hear you are looking at another six weeks in hospital for your MIL. That is tough, in and of itself, without the FIL dementia issues making it harder.
It was great that you talked to the SW and I hope she will be an ally you can enlist.
In one of my dementia workshops we talked about when there is a "situation" in a family, and someone needs to be told something (Dad: you can't drive any more or in-laws: you are nuts thinking we can provide care for FIL on our own), you have to not only consider the message but also the messenger. In this case, someone like a social worker or nurse, not you, would be the perfect messenger to say to your family, FIL needs professional care. Although I suppose it's still better coming from you than from your wife; no offense, but better they should blame you than her.
I'm sorry I don't have practical suggestions to offer you and am really hoping the hospital SW comes through for you. I'd stay on top of that communication if I were you.
And let me praise you once again for taking such good care of your wife AND for taking a stand with her family and being clear about what you can and can't do. As you will know if you've spent any amount of time on the forum here, dementia will eat as much time and energy as you throw at it (including your entire life) and full-time in-home caring for someone with dementia is not to be entered into lightly.
Wishing you all the best.