How do you talk to an angry mother-in-law about moving to assisted living?


Q: My mother-in-law has lived with us for 6 yrs. She is deteriorating and we've made the decision to place her in assisted living near us. She is an angry, bitter, paranoid person and has nothing but hatred towards us (mostly me).The question is how do we handle this with her? How do we bring up the subject?
This sounds serious enough that you should talk with her doctor. Let him or her know that you need to move your mother-in-law but her paranoia and bitterness are preventing you from doing so. It could be that she has dementia that can be treated (not that this will "cure" her, but it could make her a bit more compliant). Since this needs to be done for everyone's sake, you could also call you local social services and ask them how to handle the situation.
Once you do get her moved, don't expect her to be happy. Some people refuse to be happy and some people even get their "entertainment" out of giving other's grief. If she's always been like this to some extent, nothing is likely to change her very much. Check with the experts and do what you can. Then, just bite the bullet, have her things moved and do it.
Good luck,

Carol Bradley Bursack

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Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. Her experiences inspired her to pen, "Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories," a portable support group book for caregivers.

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