No Love Involved Caregiver

Posted by godsgiver @godsgiver, Sep 11, 2018

Hi, this is Al. I am new to Mayo Discussions. 9/11/18

The challenges of caring for a family member when there is NO LOVE operating, just task mechanics, which are doable.

I am a CGr for my father-in-law who had a stroke June 2014. He moved in with us [his daughter] June 2015. I had no relationship with him except hello’s and handshakes on holidays. My wife of 21 years has revealed her stories of his diminished fathering, leaving her mother and marrying moms best friend. There he raised a second family, disconnected from her and my brother-in-law.

There was no relationship or love between us. Yet I became his F/T CGr in our home. I have professional experience with Alzheimer’s and dementia’s.

He does not self-report on his functioning, which he can, I believe. He has lived such a life of secrecy that I believe that even reporting on his functioning is not part of his human software. Just my view, bias.

It has been quite a drain, strain, with a lot of mental combat for me over 3 + years now. I know about Thought Stopping, using distraction, etc. as coping strategies. I get no help from his daughter or her brother. The daughter from the second marriage, and hubby, have driven here + / – 10 hours 2, maybe 3, time so that we could take a vacation. The chronic nature of the day to day routine, without any encouragement and/or support sucks. Yes I have episodic bouts with anger.

Wha Wha Wha yeah yeah yeah ……

I could use a buddy or 12. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Believing I will get some feedback.
al

@gingerw

@godsgiver If your father-in-law had been clear enough in his own mind to seek words to tell you that he understands your frustration and offered you consolation in that respect, perhaps you would not have had the issues that you have related. My sympathy to you for experiencing all this, and my gratitude for you sharing here with your cyber friends. We are here for you!
Ginger

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Thank you !!!!

1 Al & Chase 2014

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@godsgiver

Thank you !!!!

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gingerw

TY for your thoughts. However "If your father-in-law had been clear enough in his own mind to seek words to tell you that he understands your frustration and offered you consolation in that respect, perhaps you would not have had the issues that you have related" I believe he has the capacity for such. He just does not utilize such a posture is my opinion, based on experience with him.

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@IndianaScott

@godsgiver Tough situation — and all I can add, which is not much, is you are not alone. I believe every caregiver I have ever spoken to relates times when their patient lashes out at them and how impactful those times are.

It is a tough assignment and I know there were times caring for my wife that I resorted to taking out my frustrations on an old feather pillow I kept in the living room for just such occasions. Never changed the feelings, but did relieve some of my tension 🙂

I wish you continued strength, courage, and peace

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Scott,
The receiving of the lashing out's are very impactful, yes & TY. Also quite impacting for me is my verbal release back on him with the guilt, anger etc. that comes with it.

Thanks

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I'm attaching a 4×6" card that I made several of and keep it to remind me of how to respond to a person with dementia. It does no good to argue with them.

Shared files

Alzheimer's Communication (Alzheimers-Communication-1.pdf)

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Got it, TY.

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