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Looking after father in law - Carers UK Forum

Looking after father in law

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Hi everyone,
Having read some of the posts on this site, my worries seem trivial. My concerns are the effect caring for my father in law is having on my relationship with my husband.
My father in law is 90 and still living at home. He has nothing seriously wrong with him but can't accept that his aches and pains are old age.He has private carers who go for an hour each day in the morning. My husband and his sister do the rest of the care which involves making all of his meals and attending to his every need as he will not make an effort to even make a cup of tea. We have a daughter aged 15, my sister in laws children have left home. I have asked my husband to get more help but he won't listen. This means we are very much tied and also have to rely on my sister in law if we have a clash with the caring schedule. She doesn't pull her weight and is often away on holiday.
The situation is causing a lot of rows between me and my husband with him threatening to leave sometimes. I also have my mother to care for. She is 87and fortunately does not need much care at the moment. We have been married 30 years next march and I would like my marriage to survive but am at the end of my thether sometimes.
Well, all marriages go through ropey patches, and mine has been no exception, but if anything, caring through thick and thin has brought us closer together, and I regard the inevitable rows as just letting off steam - a sort of safety valve/rant.
I can't really 'get' from your post where you feel the serious areas of conflict are? A nonagenarian parent/parent in law, will not live for ever, they are doing very well to get to that grand age, but sooner or later they will either die in bed or require nursing home care, so there is a pretty clear horizon in sight.
So, what is the conflict zone here?
If he can't be bothered, then give him an ultimatum. Either he makes an effort, or accepts and pays for more czrare at home, or goes into a home wherd people can run around after him. Cos if he can't be bothered, why should his children?!
Hi Lynda. You are in the same position as my husband and I am the same as your husband, ie caring for an elderly parent. My husband isn't particularly thrilled that I am never available for couple type activities but he accepts the situation, at least on the surface. What he has done is make a life for himself with new hobbies and new friends. We are 15 years ahead of you in the number of years we've been married and are 'retired'. I'm not all that chuffed that he has the fun of retirement, without me and I've still got a full time 'job' but I can't expect him to sit around waiting for me to be free can I? My in laws died years ago. Your husband feels a duty and obligation towards his father. He might even be feeling some resentment because of his role, very common when caring, and maybe your own annoyance isn't helping him to see that outside help is needed. He thinks he should manage on his own. My advice would be to back off. His dad, his problem. Let him deal with it the way he feels he has to. On the other hand you have a problem of your own. OK Mum doesn't need that much care now but the longer she lives the more care she will need. Why don't you start to build a care network for Mum? Start looking into what is available from the local authority, what Mum may be entitled to, such as attendance allowance, aids for the home etc. Does she visit a day centre? Are there local coffee mornings for the elderly etc that she might like to go to? My thinking is that if husband sees the advantages that you are sourcing or even just finding out about, (for Mum of course, you aren't suggesting anything for his dad are you?) it may get him thinking. Also, find yourself some new activities. Do something on your own for yourself. It could be a night class or a social group, it could be volunteering, you could join a choir or learn Japanese. Whatever, but get yourself involved with something which doesn't need your husband to be at your side to do. Then there's your daughter. At the moment she is seeing the tension caring for her granddad is causing. A couple of years from now it might be the difficulties you are having caring for your Mum. Do you think she might be feeling a little left out, worried and resentful herself? There's no reason why your marriage shouldn't survive but while you both have elderly parents you're going to have to give each other some space to deal with it as you each think best and hopefully support each other through some difficult times. Hope that helps. Elaine
On the other hand, I was widowed at 54 when my husband died suddenly of a heart attack,after supporting both his elderly parents through dementia, stroke, heart disease and
bowel cancer. Meanwhile my dad had just died of prostae cancer and my mum had too many problems to list. In addition, we had a son with severe learning difficulties. I come from a very different standpoint. Don't waste one day of happiness with the man you love. It might be your last. What good is money and time if you have no one to love and spend it with?
Thank you for your replies and sorry for having a moan. Since my post my FIL has had another trip to casualty with back pain. My husband has now realised that more care is needed and carers are now coming to put him to bed at night. I know it is selfish of me to resent my FIL's needs but I am conscious that life doesn't last forever. My father died when he was 51 and I saw the effect that had on my mum so I want to spend as much quality time with my husband as possible. I am also aware that my mother's needs will become more urgent as time goes on and hopefully I will be able to cope with this and have the right care for her in place.