Caregiver to a 85 year old.

by Patrick
(Florida)

We took in my father in law who at 85 is starting to go down hill. I mean health wise he is doing great however he does not sleep. At all !! At night he screams and yells ALL NIGHT. Me and my wife get zero sleep as we are always tending to his needs. Most of them are made up.


For example raise the bed,lower the bed even though he is holding the control. move the bars,which we can't due to him falling out of bed.

Rub his knees with Ben gay. Move his pillow and so on. I have seen him go 48-72 hours with no sleep.

During this time he yells and curses us for helping him and that the people where he used to live are awake and he should be there.

Most days he mumbles and rocks on the couch taking small 10 - 15 minute cat naps. We are at our wits end and are starting to look for a nursing home to put him back into.

I know that we tried to do our best. he also does not care and "expects" us to be at his beck and calling 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He also suffers from extreme sun downers and all his ailments appear at around 4-5 in the afternoon.

This is becoming an impossible venture and we are really close to losing it.

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Nursing Homes
by: Sadie

Dear Patrick, this forum should not be about being made to feel guilty by other people telling you what you should or shouldn't do but by supporting you in deciding what is right for you and your family and YOU are best placed to decide that, nobody else.

I think you are doing incredibly well to cope with all this being sleep deprived, not that this is something that you will be able to maintain for much longer before you both start suffering very serious health consequences. Fancy being sectioned for psychosis??!!

There are very many positive aspects of nursing homes and I sincerely hope you can find one soon. We all have our limits and recognizing when we have reached them is critical and you don't have to justify that to ANYONE. Best wishes.

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It has to be done
by: Bittersweet

Hi Patrick,
Has your FIL been diagnosed with dementia? It sounds like he has a form of it. You and your wife need to get him in skilled nursing care ASAP. And please don't feel bad about it.

My dad, who passed in 08, was diagnosed with dementia and it got so my mother could no longer care for him at home. He was falling a lot. Nobody likes to put their parent in a home but there are cases where there is no other choice.

The parent can become a danger to themselves and others and the burden on the caregiver is immense. My mom (94) is now in a NH after suffering a stroke. She lived with me for 12 years and was very independent.

After the stroke there was no way I could care for her as I am divorced and work a full time job. I have no outside support from siblings. (They are useless.)

Contact your state's elder assistance agency for help in getting you pointed in the right direction. You can't keep up this pace.
Good luck!

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You are NOT Alone
by: Anonymous

Your situation was similar to my situation from a few years ago. My mother was diagnosed with ALZ and Dementia. My mother passed away 9months ago after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest at home. Believe me, I wish she was still alive.

I miss her terribly. I enlisted the help of home health care during the last two years of my dear mother's life. I did not want her to be placed in a long term nursing home facility. If you have not done so yet, I would highly recommend you contact your local county senior services office and ask for help.

My mother was able to receive financial assistance from the county which made in home health care affordable. My mother was able to have a home health care professional 3 hours a day seven days a week.

Believe me, having someone come to the home not only helped my mother, but it helped me have some respite from having to bathe, toilet, and feed my mother every morning. I hope this helps. Whatever you do, I strongly discourage placing your loved one in a nursing home.

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