Re: My dad is dying with lung cancer and being a jerk
First of all, I have to wonder just how you are doing all that you are doing! The fact that you are, in effect, running two different households at the same time, is mind-bogling. But, let me ask you this: exactly what does your husband think of this arrangement, and having only a "week-end wife?"
Although I can fully understand your desire to want to care for your father at the end of his life, you have a life as well. You have a husband, children, grandbabies, and a home of your own. Life is best when life is in balance - yours doesn't sound very balanced, and I'm suspecting if it stays this way for long, you will encounter some very real problems, emotionally as well as physically.
Does your father absolutely need to have you there in his home 24 hrs Monday - Friday?
Making appointments and dealing with Medicaid are things you can do via phone or email - from your own home. Taking your father to his appointments can be done when convenient to you as well. And there are times you can "bunch" appointments, depending on his strength and stamina. Say, a doctor's appointment mid-morning, a haircut early afternoon, and a dentist's appointment mid-afternoon. If your making the appointments, you set the days/times.
As far as cooking, how about spending one day a week, say Monday, cooking a bunch of different meals that can then be frozen? Then, throughout the week, your father can reheat these items for himself for dinners/lunches. (Breakfasts are usually pretty easy)
I would also recommend to have a cleaning service - if it can be afforded - come in once a month to do cleaning. Then, once or twice a week, you can stop in and do some surface cleaning and straightening and perhaps some laundry.
There might be some concern about leaving him alone, but there are companies now such as Life Alert. I don't believe they charge all that much, and can leave you with a great deal of peace of mind.
I do agree with Sawbuck in that your father is dealing with a good deal of fear for the end of his life and the fact that he is having to give up his independence. However, I know when you have always been close to a parent, you don't want to feel as though you are abandoning them when they need you the most. However, if you were a little less there, he may come to appreciate the times you are there.
I would also contact a local hospital, and find out if they know of any organizations such as hospice that have volunteers that will come and visit him. Also, connect with your father's neighbors. Find out if any of them would mind checking in on him, or if you might be able to exchange phone numbers with them. You might be very surprised to find out just how helpful people can be in this situation! And sometimes, just having some one come over and visit him for an hour or so might take the edge off. It might just tell him that somebody out there still cares.
I would really suggest you get yourself out of the habit of actually staying at your father's home. You are a married woman with your own home. Caring for your father is an honorable thing, yes. You have the power to limit the time spent there and not jeapordize the care your father receives.
Good luck, and I hope this works out for you!