At wit's end!

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Just over a year ago, I left my job to move closer to my mother and step-father. She has Alzheimers and he has COPD and emphysema. He has 2 bouts of pnuemonia last year which has left him in worse condition than my mother ( and Mom is currently in stage 6 of Alzheimers). My problem is, although I moved here to be closer to them, I am now caring for the 2 of them for a minimum of 12 hrs per day. I make all meals, clean, do laundry, shopping, transport them to medical appointments, etc. My step-father keeps complaining that his electric bill increased by more than $100 per month when I moved up here and he wants to be reimbursed. I am NOT working and my husband and I are on a very limited income. We barely have enough to make our monthly bills and buy groceries and gasoline so he can go to work. We live in my daughter's RV in my parent's driveway. I prefer not to move into the house with them because the TV blares from the time he gets up and he requires the TV to be off when he goes to bed. He will not let anyone watch what they want on the TV and will not put another cable box in the house. He offered to let us stay in the master bedroom, but will not allow my cat in the house and will not let me empty the closet so we have room for our own clothes. He refuses to buy vegetables, because he doesn't like to eat them. He also treats Mom terribly. Is there a way for me to move my mother into a facility without his blessings? He won't let me take her for a much needed haircut and perm, he won't pay for anything for her. He tells her all the time that she doesn't have any money because he was the one who saved it for years. Although she worked most of her life. I'm not sure where to turn. Any ideas? Also, I would like to note that I do not get paid anything for my 12 hour days/7 days a week. He refuses to hire help so I can take a break once in awhile. He is on Hospice care and they will bring someone in to help him if I need a few days off, but they cannot care for my mother because she does not qualify for Hospice yet. All other siblings live more than 1200 miles away and he only has one daughter living who refuses to get involved.


If he is on hospice, then that means he isn't expected to live much longer, right?
What is his physical condition and is it worsening or just sort of leveled off?
It doesn't sound like he will be around much longer-- what do you think? Stingy old coot. I would take your Mother out anyway and use his card to pay for what the heck EVER! Anytime you can rebel against tyranny it's a good thing!
How long have they been married? He needs to be reminded of his vows: for better or for worse. As I say to my husband when I'm angry: ok, I've put up with the "worse", now where is the "better" part? Just kidding:) Be firm and do what you need to for your Mom. Bless your heart:) xoxo
He is not doing well at all. He refuses to wear his oxygen until he is out of breath. He will walk around the house, both inside and out without his walker. His gait is terrible and he has fallen several times. He asked hospice to get him into physical therapy because of his lack of ability to walk. They denied the therapy because he won't wear his oxygen. He has nueropathy from his diabetes and most likely his lack of oxygen. They have been married for almost 39 years and he was abusive during their marriage. I was not aware of the abuse until this last summer when talking to my brothers who both said they had to intervene a couple times when they witnessed him threatening to hit her. She does have 1 credit card that has a limited balance which he has threatened to cancel on her. He claims that he loves her, but seriously, he has gone too far. He yells at her for using up too much toilet paper in a week and has gone as far as tearing 3 squares of toilet paper and placing it on the edge of the tub, telling her she can only use what he puts out for her. I have told him that her toilet paper usage should be a minor concern. She gave up smoking a little over a year ago because he wouldn't allow her to buy cigarettes. Although this was a good move toward better health for Mom, it's just another control victory for him. Let me add that when I first moved up here, she was really a mess because he would tell her to go take her medicines that were in the kitchen. She had no idea what she was supposed to take and when, so her meds were not taken properly. Her mental health has improved so much since I moved here that the doctors are completely amazed. We eliminated 3 prescriptions that weren't needed and she is doing very well. She states she wants to leave him, however, when he IS nice to her, she succumbs to his demands. He informed me yesterday that he thinks my mother is gaining too much weight so I am supposed to cut out her lunches and feed her less for breakfast and dinner, but again, he won't buy vegetables, salads, or healthy choiuce foods. He wants his pastas almost every night and most meals he purchases are made by Stouffers. He purchases donuts to snack on throughout the day and tells Mom they are his and she can't have any. Yes, he IS diabetic and she is not. He buys fruit that he likes no matter the price, but woill not purchase the fruit Mom likes if it is not on sale. He never asks anyone to do something for him, he demands or orders it. My poor husband cannot stand to be around him at all and has asked me to do something to get us out of this situation. We offered to move Mom out to our home last year, but my step-father would not let her move in with us. He stated that she was HIS wife and they would not be seperated. He cannot afford the household bills without her SSI and her annuities that she invested in with money from her 401k. I overheard him talk to their insurance man about cashing in her annuities, so I confronted the insurance rep as he was leaving and informed him that my mother has alzheimer's and cannot make a decision on her own, so he better not cash in the annuities. This is such a mess, I really feel I need to consult an elder law attorney, but do not have the funds myself to do so.
It sounds like your step-father could win the extreme selfishness award. When someone is like this, I get the picture of them sitting in the middle of a bunch of things, saying "mine, mine, mine." How silly they are. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no way to change their way of thinking when they're old. What is theirs is theirs, and what is everyone else's is theirs, too. We know that the extra cost of the electricity is a small price to pay for 24/7 care. It wouldn't do much good to try to convince him, though, because himself as the one taking care of you just because of the increase in the electric bill.

One thing I wondered is if he has any biological children that he could pass your mother's things down to. I'm glad you are looking out for her. I wish you had POA, but it is too late now in such a late stage of dementia.

I think I would be tempted to say, here, have another donut, Dad. Sorry, I'm being evil. I wish you could get your mother out of there. Is she still competent enough to decide to move? If she has enough money in her retirement plan, she could move into a facility. Then your mother, you, and your husband could get on with your lives. There are no easy answers at such a late stage of dementia.
jbuckau, OMG I am so angry reading this! Your step-dad is horrible. I was once married to someone like him. Key word WAS.
.Can you just take your mother away from this environment? My first instinct would be to take her just to protect her but I guess there might be legal ramifications to this action. Can you charge him with elder abuse? This just breaks my heart for your mom, your husband and you. Of course, your mom has probably lived a long time with this monster and is brainwashed into thinking its ok to take his abuse. Now that she has Alz, she can't make decisions well and you have a whole new set of problems.
Do you grocery shop for them? If so I'd buy stuff for your mom anyway. That old goat can be mad all he wants. If he throws you out, take mom with you. This whole scenario is very disturbing to me. I can't stand bullies, especially ultra controlling ones.
Jbuckau~You may want to talk with an elder law attorney to see if there is anything you can do regarding a DPOA. It is possible that if your mother hasnot been diagnosed as mentally incapacitated you could still get one written. Also the Area Agency on Aging is a great source of information and help, give them a call as well. Here where I live, it is called a conservatorship, other states refer to it as a guardianship. It is expensive to get and can take up to 6-9 months at least here in Ca., we were told around $5,000.00. We ended up not doing it because once mom was diagnosed as mentally incapacitated we could use our DPOA. I would definitely talk with an elder law attorney first. Your situation is heartbreaking, you said your mom worked, am I right?? I am guessing she has SS for the credit card in her name or both names. My husband can't stand in my way of getting a credit card in my name which I do have. However, what I had to do was change banks because the bank we have our joint checking account at is very conservative and would not allow me to have anything separate from my husband. So I went to another bank in order to establish my own identity and financial independence because hubby was very controlling with money during the early years of our marriage and I worked but he wanted my paycheck and all the power. The bank our joint account is at, they would open an account in my name but it was put in trust of my husbands name. I had issues with that. Just some suggestions to hopefully help you out. You are doing everything right and bless you for being there for your mom, Hugs!!

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