Caring for my mother-in-law in my home.

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My mother in law has water on the brain. She also has diabetes, and deals with severe incontinence as well as a gambling and hoarding. In the 8 years I have known her she has been hospitalized and picked up from various places because of her going into diabetic shock. She has always gambled at bingo causing my husband and his brother to lose several homes and belongings due to her money hungry attitude. She has literally given them a terrible childhood. She has also told her deceased husband that if he didn't give her money she would divorce him, simple as that. This is the mentality we are dealing with. Greed, all the way around. She has a extremely bad hoarding issue that has gotten her into trouble losing a place more than once. She recently had an episode where she was found on her floor without oxygen to her brain for a long period of time. Her body was septic and we almost lost her. When she recovered and went into rehab she plateaued so they had her leave. Having no where to go and not able to live alone by recommendation of the social worker, she came with us. We have a small 2 bedroom duplex and a basement. My husband and I gave up one room and moved to the basement when my cousin moved in to go to school. Then when MIL moved in she took the other room and our 6 year old now sleeps in our room downstairs. We have given so much to help her and she refuses to go to assisted living or anything that will take her money. She will sacrifice anything at the drop of a hat to get money for bingo, and she has ditched us several times during family dinners and such to go to bingo all of a sudden. Now that she is with us i do her laundry because she is a fall risk and it is in the basement. She cannot cook because of her brain damage she will forget and it is not safe. She is insulin dependent and has several other meds. She won't take any of them even with several alarms and reminders. she has re-used her adult diapers to have more money for bingo. She has lied to organizations and churches about her well being to get free money or food etc. I am waiting on her hand and foot, and we are still trying to find her a place of her own. She thinks because I don't let her get away with things (like sitting in pee for hours) in my home that I am being mean and has run us ragged. We asked her to pick up her room she is staying in because she has hoarded clothes in there and we have a oil heater we are afraid she is going to catch on fire. She doesn't like our rules and said she hated me and it really hurt us. I have really tried hard to keep things peaceful here and she is extremely ungrateful. I am not the only one who knows she is like this.Our whole family knows how she is. She thinks we are trying to kick her out because she heard me ask the VA if they help with assisted living. I honestly think she is mad because I don't take any of her manipulative games and I call her out and nip it in the butt. She is refusing to help us help her and wants to spend all her money and not pay bills. Now we are at a point she has made it very clear she doesn't want to listen to anything so we can try to live more peaceful and she refuses to go to assisted living. We know if she moves on her own she will die from not taking her meds or eating. We are both fed up with her and her using us as her servants, and her saying she wants something and we need to do it instead of asking if we could help. I do not want to involve APS because it just makes it worse. I feel for my husband because I have bent over backwards trying to make it work and be nice and I know he is hurting from her showing us she would rather have her money than family.


It is a little late down but the next time she is hospitalized let social services know you are unable to care for her at home. They will find a place for her. What an awful situation to have a child living in. Your husband's first responsibility is to you and your child. Mom needs to be moved immediately!

Don't worry about her hating you...she hates herself more. This is a very unsafe situation for your family to live with; both physically and emotionally. If and when she gets sick again and goes to the hospital do not bring her home. It seems cruel but your family has to come first.
So, Robyn, what do you want to do?

Your MIL has you all living in a world of crazy, you know. But you and your husband - with your son, who is the only one with no choice about it, remember - don't have to join in. You both need to get back to reality, and if MIL won't come with you, then as long as she's legally competent that's her choice.

So, for example, you say "she thinks we are trying to kick her out…" Well, what about it? You *are* trying to kick her out. And for countless very good reasons.

You and your husband are trying to lead a quiet life with a bat-sh*t crazy woman. How is that ever going to work? But here's the big thing: she is leading this crazy life because she has her son's active support to do so, and your less compliant but still very effective support. You are both enabling, in Spades. How exactly could APS possibly make this situation any worse? And how about Child Protection, come to that? You have a six year old living with this. Why is he not coming first?

Your husband has been hurt by his mother's behaviour all this life. Instead of bending over backwards trying to make this broken relationship work, bend over backwards to help him detach from her, and break the cycle before it gets to your son. By the way, that might also be the first time in her life that anyone has done anything for your MIL that is truly loving - by making her face her terrible, devastating addictions.

Rereading, I know I sound harsh, and I'm sorry for that. But your MIL won't change her life - you and your husband have to do it for her.
I don't think it is harsh it is honest. Regardless of us knowing or not that we are enabling her we were simply trying to keep her safe and take care of her. I volunteered because I love my husband and this is what he wanted. When this started we had a 3 day notice from her rehab that she would be discharged. We had to scramble to get time off to get there because she was an hour away. So we got her here and made sure she knew it was temporary until we found her assisted living. That is why our son went to our room because it was for a short time and we actually had a great place lined up the first week she was with us. When we did her assessment they deemed her a level 4 care and $4300 month. She makes half of that and they said we would have to foot the rest of the bill even with medicaid. so we got the short end of the stick on it and she is still with us. That is why she is refusing assisted living, because of how much they take from her to pay for everything and she can't go gamble her money away. I have been looking for homes for her and when i say she thinks we are kicking her out, i mean she acts like we are putting her on the street right this second. Even though she supposedly hates me I am still trying to find her an acceptable place for her to be. My husband just got a new job but is on call so he is working both of his jobs until he in in a more secure position, so he works 7 days a week so I am doing all the research. Just for those saying he should handle this because it is his mother. I know he guilts himself into taking care of her or helping her because she has brain damage, however all of her schemes and scams tells me she is very competent and uses her disability to her advantage. We have called APS in the past about her apartment and she told them she just moved in and that is why is is so messy, and they accepted that. I did call my brother in law so we could all get together and decide what is best, and we decided that she needs to be let go and just live how she wants to even though it hurts us to see her not care about herself. We honestly tried to help keep her safe and take care of her but it is just not working. I don't want my son in my room, and I don't want to hold my tongue all the time to keep the peace so he doesn't hear mommy yelling at grandma again. So here we are. 2 months of trying to find something and her saying no it's too expensive. She has a walker so we don't want her somewhere with steps and most apartments dont have elevators. That is making it difficult to find a place for her. But we have gotten on the same page and the whole family agrees she needs to just go to her own place regardless of how she chooses to care or not care for herself.
It sounds that she should not be in charge of her finances, if she is gambling, not paying bills and risking her health by not taking meds, do to the expense. I would get a financially incapacitated declaration by her PCP. Hopefully your husband already is her DPOA. I then would get caregivers in your home or place her in assisted living. The previous answer was spot on about taking definitive action during her next hospitalization, but that may be awhile. Be firm and set the rules that she must comply with, if she continues to live in your home.
Good luck & God Bless.
"We honestly tried to help keep her safe and take care of her but it is just not working." You are so right. It is not working so it has to change. This was to be a temporary situation. The temporary meter expired. Something has to change.

You may actually need to go through an eviction process, even if she isn't paying rent, if she refuses to leave.

Talk to a social worker, perhaps at the most recent place where she was hospitalized. Emphasize that she MUST LEAVE YOUR HOUSE and ask for help in understanding your and her options.

OUT. She simply must get out of your house. I hope she will cooperate so that you can be assured she is in a suitable place.
How are you keeping her safe? It is not your responsibility in the first place. She has to want that for herself amd it appears obvious to me that she just does not care. Get her out, out, out. Your first responsibility is keeping yourself an son safe. Child Protection may end up paying you a visit. In fact, I would use that as a reason to get MIL out of the house. If she has an ounce of compassion for that child she will cooperate with a move.
I have been diligently looking for places for her to get out. And we don't own the house we rent from my grandma and she is super pissed his mom is treating us this way so I am using that and the CPS thing and I have mentioned it to her and she just doesn't believe anything. In fact she told my husband again today she hates the way i treat her when he is gone, the thing is i treat her exactly the same regardless of who is or isn't there. My cousin lives with us and contributes with food and money and he is just trying to finish an education he lost when his mom decided to stop raising him. He is there with me all the time and told my husband that I don't treat her bad or mean. I tell her no, and that she doesn't need to do things as well as this is my house and you will stop hoarding things by the heater so we don't die. I am firm with her and I don't let her play her game with me and then she goes to my husband and cries wolf. But he knows better and so do I, t just hurts she is willing to throw us under the bus for a nickel if it was free. You are all right and I know it. Now the struggle is to get her the hell out of our house. And as much as I don't want to help her anymore because she is so bent on doing things her way, I still do her laundry because it is in the basement and i don't want my house smelling like rotten pee. (blegh!)
So the landlady grandma is your MIL's MIL, is she? There could be an ally, there. As the landlady, doesn't she potentially have the right to evict a financially irresponsible fire hazard???!!!
Good news! We found a place for her and because she is living with us she doesn't have to give notice so she can just move. We go over to the place on Tuesday. And yes my grandma owns the property and she actually lives right next door to us in a duplex and is not polite in the slightest to my MIL. But for the next couple days we are playing nice-ish until she is gone.

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