Who cares about the caregiver?

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Who cares about the caregiver?

by peteslady on Mon May 07, 2012 11:35 AM

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I know that a lot of people on here have had problems dealing with the anger, frustration etc, that comes from the patient that they are caring for.  I guess all of us experience it to a certain degree.   Everyone says after the patient is gone that we will feel alright with our memories and life will go on. 

I guess my problem is , how to we cope with the here and now?  My soulmate of 11 years has pancreatic cancer and has turned into someone that I don't know at all.  I can no longer do anything right-- I even get jumped on for the way that I breathe.  If I remind him to take his medicine or encourage him to eat-- then I am a nag.  I have missed 7 weeks of work already this year during his hospitalizations, have to miss work to accompany him to his doctor appointments, have to keep up with all of his appointments, take care of all of the bills, deal with Social Security to fight for his disability, take care of the house, yard, etc.   All of this is totally unpaid caregiving, and I do it willingly out of love for him.  

My question is, once cancer takes him from me and he is no longer here, his grown daughter will take everything that he has (actually has already started taking things out of the house, using his money, etc).  She doesn't even call the house to check on her father's condition, has never had anything to do with him unless she wanted money in the all the years that I have known him, but she will get everything that he has.   Is it possible for me to sue her for all of the unpaid care that I have given to her father while she is out spending his money as he lays dying.   Don't tell me to talk to him about it, he is so confused that he just jumps all over me if I attempt to talk to him about any of this.  I don't want to claim his property, but I would like to know if I can regain any of my expenses that I have incurred while taking care of him, ie, lost wages, etc.   I have basically had to give up my life in order to take care of him through this, and would like not lose anymore.   I am 52 years old and am not looking forward to starting all over on my own after he is gone if I have to run through all of my savings just to take care of him.   And don't tell me to just get up and leave.   What type of person leaves the man they love  when he is dying from cancer?  There is noone else who will take care of him, and I don't want to see him placed in a nursing home.   I could not live with myself if I walked out on him now. 

Is anyone else out there in such a situtation?  I am at the end of my rope and don't know what to do.

RE: Who cares about the caregiver?

by never-too-late on Thu May 10, 2012 05:12 AM

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Dear wife; I feel for you and want you to know that being the caregiver, spouse, nurse, etc is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life....I too was my husbands caregiver and would do it all again....there are so many emotions that we have to face and deal with along with watching our spouses disease take our life from us....The personality changes I truly believe come with the cancer,,,dont think about the bad just focus on all of the good you had before this ugly disease came into your life. I am alos 50 years old and lost my job as I chose to take care of George. You need to get a lawyer to stop his daughter as you are his wife, there are laws to protect you and what you have invested in this marriage.

Cindy

RE: Who cares about the caregiver?

by Broken on Tue May 15, 2012 11:34 PM

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Yes, all the ungrateful things said & done to the wife/caregiver during the husbands battle with cancer comes with the deteriorating of the body & mind.  It makes me so sad to remember after a year and a half of loosing my dear husband of 43 years.  And no, you will never forget it.  Then you'll try to analyze it once they've passed and make some kind of since of it all.  I've even tried to convenience myself that he didn't actually love me anymore once he was diagnosed with cancer.  That at first was the only thing I could think of that would make him treat me so horrible while I was so lovingly, gently trying to keep him alive but nothing I did pleased him.  How dare god, our loving Jesus scar our minds and souls for the rest of our life by causing our loved one to die to then have the loves of our lives treat us like pure trash is how I felt and sometimes still get angry just thinking about it all.  I've tried to come to terms with it all but I don't think I ever will.  I'm a baptised Christian and why I can't get this all streight in my head haunts me.  But then again, I've never lost my husband before.  I guess you'll feel the same some day but I hope only the best for you & your loved one.  My heart aches for you both.  I like others here know all the pain & suffering cancer can force you to endure.  That goes for the caregiver as well.

Now, as for his daughter - I take it she's the appointed Power of Attorney for him.  That's a legal document drawn up by an attorney which makes her legally able to spend his money, pay his bills, handle all affairs of his since he's not capable to do so for himself.  So if this is what she is, than you surely do have the right to contest in court just how she's spending his money.  The courts will make her show every dime she's spent & decide if it was ligitimately spent or wastefully spent.  This will definitely create a mega blowout between the two of you and cause great grief for you especially if your soulmates health deteriorates in the future.

Personally, if I were in your shoes I would check & see if your state recognizes Common Law Wives.  A lot of states don't acknowledge it and the soulmate left standing after the other dies gets nothing at all.  Zelch / -0- / No $..........

If you're able to, you might even approach her to discuss the matter if the two of you had a halfway decent relationship before her fathers cancer.  What I've finally concluded is that the death of a spouse or soulmate brings the worst out in everyone surrounding the deceased.  I've seen & heard of it all.

Like you said, your soulmate really doesn't need to be bothered with all this crazy stuff going on - & everybody needs to remember that this dear man is in the BATTLE OF HIS LIFE & that TOPS EVERYTHING ELSE for sure.

Hugs & prayers being sent your way.  And I'm just a little old caregiver that lost the love of her life back in August 17, 2010 after being married for 43 years to this hellish thing called Tongue Cancer.

Broken  (In Memory of My Husband)

RE: Who cares about the caregiver?

by pineconepeg on Wed May 16, 2012 03:45 AM

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I am taking care of my husband while he fights cancer.  My best advice to you is to see a lawyer and find out exactly where you stand and what you can and cannot do.  Once you get the facts you can make your decisions. 

My husband also is not acting like himself and I feel like I'm walking on eggshells much of the time.  I look at old photos and remember the good times and why I fell in love with him all those years ago.  I still love him, and I hate what the cancer is doing to him.  I think you have to seperate the 2.

I know what you mean about doing all of the housework and upkeep.  We used to share those chores, and now I feel like I'm doing 2 peoples chores.  Delegate what you can to friends and relatives who are willing to help.  Check with your local American Cancer Society.  Very often there are people willing to volunteer time to drive patients to appointments, so you don't have  to miss work.  If you belong to a church perhaps your youth group would be willing to do the yard work for a while.

 If you are not married the daughter may be the legal heir and as such she will get everything.  Keep all of the receipts for medicine and medical supplies, as the estate may have to reimburse you for the expenses.  Ask your lawyer about compensation for caregiving and reimbursement.  It isn't fair, and the daughter should recognize that her father would want you taken care of, but you may not be entitled to anything.  You're a good woman, you can't abandon your man when he's in need, and he's lucky to have you. God bless and keep you.

RE: Who cares about the caregiver?

by aniejomes on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:10 AM

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Hey!

Why dont you hire home care assistance yet. It is affordable. They take the responsibility of everything of a patient regarding personal care and medications. You will then get enough time for yourself and for your growing kids.

RE: Who cares about the caregiver?

by eternalife on Thu Aug 23, 2012 01:23 PM

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Hello all,

the originator of this post, Peteslady shows inactive on this site, so any comments will not be read, fyi

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