Advice - brother in law wants to end his life

We don’t know what to do anymore. My brother-in-law is in a care home after having a stroke on Christmas Day a couple of years ago. He is paralysed down one side and incontinent. He’s in his early 60s and feels his life is over. He didnt have many friends prior to the stroke and the friends he did make in the home have died (he is the youngest by a good 15 years). He doesn’t shave or leave his room, when they do get him out of his room he wants to go straight back. He doesn’t eat much anymore and he’s started to become aggressive. He just wants to die. The GP has given him antidepressants and referred him for a psych assessment, but the lists are long. How can we help him? Hubby is exhausted (mum also had a stroke and needs care). Any advice is gratefully received.

@JuliP i really feel for you thats such a difficult situation to be in. Its really hard when someone is affected by stroke but physically & emotionally. Hopefully the anti depressants will help a bit. Does the home have a mental health specialist that could talk to your brother? I’m jot 100% sure but i thought there were places you could ring if the situation becomes urgent - samaritans may be worth a call as they will have come across this befire & be able to offer some better advice.
Maybe you could try & find things that your brother in law enjoys to do with him. Is he able to go out for example if someone takes him. Having something to look forward to might help.
Is he in the right place? Is there somewhere better with more people his age?
Thats probably not much help but may give you a couplevof things to think about.
Wishing you all the best.

Ann x

1 Like

@JuliP hi I’m so sorry you are going through all this worry. Sorry for your brother in law too.
I second everything @Mrs5K has said.

Does your brother in law have any children or anyone closer to him? It’s a really difficult situation your in.

I hope you find some help to help your brother in law.

Kindest wishes and in my thoughts. Loraine

1 Like

Hi and so sorry for your brother in law’s situation.

The advice already given is spot on and I think the key is finding him a care home that has a younger group of residents. Could the Stroke Association be of some help just as a starting point?

1 Like

@JuliP hopefully the anti depressants will help, it’s a tough situation for him to be in and yourselves as his loved ones wanting to help.

Has he tried tried counselling, it can help if he has someone to talk to that he can speak about his feelings without worrying he’ll be judged for having them.

Best wishes to you all

How sad for your brother-in-law and his family. I can only echo the advice above and wonder whether he would appreciate being with younger residents, not that older people can’t provide enriching friendships too

1 Like

I’m sorry to hear of your brother-in-law’s predicament @JuliP, antidepressants can buffer mood swings and emotional pressure. I was never confronted by my own mortality before stroke in such a personal way, there were a few times a fateful thought flashed across my mind but I didn’t let it linger. It is very hard to feel settled when pain is constant, and pain can be other than just physical. It also makes it so much tougher when those feelings are exacerbated by injury to the brain. We have no rational control at times because we just don’t.

My own philosophy in the breadth of things, is that no matter how debilitating things are, I contribute something to this world, even if it is just to the plants and the insects. Even if I am just a cursory snack for a flea, I’m valuable. So, before I go down a rabbit hole of introspection, the additional things you could possibly do is provide some basic CBT and Mindfulness, at its most simplistic level it can be useful for shifting the emotional gears, and grounding when feelings become dark. One doesn’t have to be qualified to apply these principles, and they could help your brother-in-law have something he can use when he is on his own.

So, as an example. A principle of Mindfulness is being in the present moment. This can be achieved by focussing on an object, feeling its texture, smelling its fragrance, listening to the sound it might make. Just spending time with the object, noticing its colour and shape. You could bring him such an object, and share the experience if he is accepting. It’s just one little example of how Mindfulness can remove thoughts of the future and past, and allow us a bit of time to just be in the present.

Anyway, I hope my rather limited pearl assists giving some direction at this juncture.

As stated so far all the above is good advice if the care home does not have a mental health worker could you or the care home get in touch with the adult mental health services all the best with kind regards des

hiju;ip,
this may seem harsh, but i know exactly where hes coming from, you feel locked into a body that just doesn’t work anymore. ihave had thoughts like his, forme watching and lstening to the three dads walking stopped me, the thought of what it like on those you leave behind. i had my stroke in january, and i can now walk/shuffle about, my left hand and rm are goosed though.when you talk to him don;t talk in platitudes. like we are in this together or it takes time, cos you are not in it together, and he knows it will take timethose kind of statments will just make him angry, top tip give him something to look forward too a holiday, driving againapply through his occupational phrapist, and remember he is grieving, his mind is trying to come to terms with what hes lost, and at this stage he probably see no end to it, david

3 Likes