My 84 yr old wfather -in -law who lives with us has copd ,should have oxygen on for 16 hours a day(but doesn't ,no where near)

He was first diagnosed on Oct 4th when he was taken into hospital ,he came out on Nov 4th. On Dec 21st he was taken back into hospital and came out on Christmas Day he now has a enlarged prostate ,has been fitted with a catheter and has lost a stone in weight .We have had to call on the help of carers 4 times a day which to say the least at the start he was not very happy with.we understand this .because he was always very independent .) and we are both at work !Meal times are a nightmare ...says everything is too salty .....which it isn't ..has now has Fortisip twice a day .We are both doing the best we can for him but we seem to be just going round in circles..

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11 Replies

  • It is so hard to come to terms with an illness and being dependant when you have always done everything for yourself. Getting old must be hard enough without a sudden illness. You are going to need a lot of patience and help in order to cope with your father in law. Make sure you contact all the services to get that help also ring the BLF helpline they have lots of helpful advice. I will pray for you to get the strength you need. God Bless.

  • Thankyou silversurfer x

  • A long hospitalisation and complex medical problems can make anyone frustrated, frightened and depressed. I think this is probably why he is as he is. He must be very worried and frightened about his health. And he will be feeling frustrated that he has to have help.

    On the other side of the coin, you must also be finding it difficult. You are both working and trying to do the best for him too. You were right to call on carers for help even though he was unhappy with it - you need someone to help you with him. His frustration is not at you, but at himself i suspect.

    Silversurfer is right, you will need a lot of patience. My m-i-l (93) would try the patience of a saint, even when she is well - especially about food, which is never right. Even Xmas dinner didn't escape complaint (kept waiting! too hot (gravy!), not the way she liked it (specially for her, home made bread and butter pudding!!!)

    I wonder why he doesn't use his oxygen for the required time. I am also on it for 16hrs pd. It can be difficult to get the hours up when I am active and out and about but he is housebound, I presume. He should have it on overnight (10hrs ish) plus 2-3 sessions of 2 or 3 hours during the day. Perhaps it comes off in the night. If you find out why he isn't using it you could talk to his nurse or gp for advice. It may help to suggest to him that the oxygen may aid his recovery.

  • Thankyou for your advice x

  • You are very brave taking on a caring role there are many adjustments made with a relationship not all pass smoothly. Although he complains I suspect he is secretly glad that waiting in hospital for a place in an old peoples home the fate of many that have no family willing and able to provide care.

  • LoobyLou53

    Although to you the food may not appear salty sadly to your father in law this will likely be a side effect to some medication or something like that.

    I can no longer tolerate pepper on anything, like say a boiled egg for example or anything else I might have previously had pepper on as it burns my tongue.

    So what appears to you to be perfectly normal to your father in law won't be and will be salty and it will just be another frustration that he likely can't see why you don't understand.

    As for the oxygen it too is difficult. Nobody wants to be on it 16 hours a day (I am prescribed the same 16 hours a day oxygen) I don't like it and I try sometimes not to take it but I am doing my self no favours really as it can mean your organs are not getting the oxygen they need but how you change a mindset not wanting to give into it I don't know.

    Myself I have accepted I need it but I can't say I am happy about it. Perhaps if you explain to him thta his organs will be lacking the oxygen they need and he won't notice it that would help him to understand why he needs it as much as he might think or feel he doesn't

  • No stitch WE don't carry on serving the same food!! ANd we DON'T put salt in his food !Eric chooses what he would like to eat !and I understand how tastes can change .Of course it goes without question that we have asked him what he would like no one is having to bite their tongue.

  • I am 81 years old with COPD on oxygen 24 hours, I get upset trying to get my familly to understand how i am feeling, they see me as i was 20 years ago ,i get my help from my hospice,i attend 1 day as a day patient iallso have nurses i can call on, it is hard to keep my independance,i live alone my Daughter comes in mornings and does my laundry and house work and sends my tea up to me after that i am on my own. please try to understand him best wishes

  • Many changes in such a short space of time remember SARAH - Sadness the life that was is gone - Anger at stolen independence - Rejection of help/situation - Acceptance this is a new life - Hope some of the losses can be regained.

    These stages must happen for all those involved and affected this can strengthen bonds or break them under the pressure.

    That you are listening is a good sign workable compromises can be reached each one giving a little towards building a positive outcome it may not be every ones first choice but how often does life give everything we want.

  • No where near with oxygen maybe tired of life and thinking of bringing the end a bit closer off in that direction you can try as hard as you like he will get what he wants Some serious talk with doctors and him if he will change because teaching old dogs new tricks is a big ask.

  • Hi Looby lou, I am using O2 all the time now except for perhaps a few hours in the evening when I am sitting watching TV. I was told to use it 16 hours but find that I feel more at ease with it on. I love life and want it to go on as long as possible so trying to do the right thing. It is sometimes uncomfortable and makes your nose sore and sometimes makes you wonder if it is all worth it but you carry on doing your best. Perhaps your father in law doesn't feel like this and having to cope with a catheter as well can't be easy. It is sometimes hard for people to talk about how they really feel. Hard for all of you working as well. You never know he may get to like his carers and find he waits for them coming to cheer up his day. Hopefully things may change and in a few weeks the sun will be shining and we may all feel better. Give it time and just do your best. You have a life to you know. Popplewell

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