Had a taste of my future this week. My husband and I are in for a rough ride.

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Last Friday my mother-in-law ran a red light and totalled my in-laws handicapped accesible minivan. She HAD to get 3 bananas on the coldest day for the year. I went to the hospital. She has a broken sternum and was kept overnight to observation. That was the easy part.

All this past week my husband has gotten up an hour before his regular time to get his father up(his father can no longer walk)and gone down at night to put him to bed. The in-laws would not alter their schedule one iota to accomodate my poor husband. On Thursday night I attempted to get him into bed because my husband had a meeting that he had to go to. I simply could not do it. The man weighs 250 pounds and I have scoliosis, 3 herniated discs and tarlov cysts. My husband arrived just in time to keep his father from slipping to the floor. My left leg is still asleep from the pressure on my dics.
Saturday morning I went to the in-laws house to cook a meal for a visiting brother and sister-in-law to which I hadn't been invited.
Sunday I took my MIL to the hospital for some tests. Monday morning when I arrived to help with Dad (9:30a.m.). She said, "I have a Dr's appointment at 10:30 so we need to leave here at 10:20. I hadn't showered and looked a mess (I got up at 6:00 but did laundry and cleaning). I had to run home and get a quick shower, when if she would have just picked up the phone I could have been ready. Then we went to the grocery store.
Tuesday I worked at the only day of work I can get due to moving here to help with Dad (I am a dental hygienist).
Wednesday I ran more errands
Thursday night I asked, Do you want to go to the store tomorrow? MIL said, no, she would stay at home all day.
Friday. In the morning I looked on the internet for new van for in-laws because Dad wants help with that. I was out in afternoon trying to get my errands done when my cell phone rings. My husband calling, Dad wants someone to take Mom to clean out the minvan as it has been totalled. I stop what I am doing and take MIL.
Saturday. My husband comes back from getting Dad out of bed and says. Mom says if you are going to Walmart today she would like to go along. I said, I am not going to Walmart today. Spend a.m looking for more vans. Later in the afternoon my husband goes to Walmart for softener salt and takes his mother. She gets a bag of flour, a bag of sugar and 4 bags of softener salt. What was so imperative about that list of stuff? Why could she not have gotten the flour and sugar at Aldi's which is around the corner from us. Why did she have to go along?
Today, my husband spent the whole afternoon with his father helping him shop for a new van using my in-laws miserably slow dial-up connection. My stingy bitch of a MIL sends him home at 5:00 because they are going to eat their evening sandwich and fruit. She never even gives him a snack. In fact she never even offers us a glass of water whenever we are there. Tonight when my husband goes down to help get his Dad to bed they tell him that they will need him for at least another week.
These people have no sense of other people's time and not much gratitude. The first day it was, thanks for helping. But, now that only a week has gone by it is like they feel entitled.
Well, I am putting a stop to the daily errand business tomorrow. She usually goes out in the late am on Monday and if she calls here I am going to tell her that I can take her at 2:00 or on Wednesday at 10:00. Also, if the getting Dad up and putting him to bed continues for a third week I am going down there and telling them that they have to alter their getting up time. Don't tell me that you have to get up at the same time you have been for the last 40 years. They are moving their time ahead 15 minutes every 4 to 5 days until they are at 7:00 am. if they want long term help from my husband.
We are going to start as we mean to go on. My husband's mother has always ruled her little roost down to the exact minute of every meal, but she is not ruling my roost. just because we default to her. She is getting help on my terms, because I am not going to encourage their self-centered behavior by failing to be pro-active and assertive. I will just have to screw my courage to the sticking place.
By the way not one of my husband's 4 brothers and sister (all out of town) have asked us how we are handling this.
So, I guess this is mostly a post to encourage myself to protect my husband and myself. Here's hoping I stick to it.


Sounds like a good plan. As we do this job, and read about others daily struggles, I think the "jump and get it" is one thing that upsets us all. So you starting out this way may prevent later problems.
You have the courage! We know that doesn't mean we aren't anxious about what we are doing, it means we do it anyway. So hugs and support for you to get this off on the right path.
Today when my husband went down to get his father out of bed for the morning he told his mother. My wife would appreciate it if you would let her know early in the week when you will need to do errands so that she can plan her week. My MIL's reply to him was that she needed someone to take her to get the staples out of her knee today. You would have thought that the telephone has never been invented.
Anyway, I called her to ask when she would like to go and she said, "Oh, are you going to Aldi's today? because I would like to go there too." (A neighbor is taking her grocery shoping tomorrow.) I said, "Well, I wasn't really planning on it, I thought the neighbors were taking you to the grocery, is that canceled?" She said, "Oh, I don't want to bother them with to many errands at one time, I wanted to go to the bank, too." I told her I would still be happy to take her to get the staples out and she said, No, she would have the neighbors take her.
This is her typical mode of operation--Tell my husband one thing and me another. That has been going on since we moved here three years ago. She is constantly trying to stir up trouble between me and my husband and me and the rest of the family.
However, she overplayed her hand last weekend and lied about myself and my sister-in-law while talking on the phone to a neighbor--forgetting that my sister-in-law was in the room along with her husband. So, now someone besides me has seen her commit one os these petty little lies to make another person look bad.
Anyway, I stuck to my schedule and her stated schedule and finally got my work caught up today. Heaven only knows what she will tell the neighbor about me. But as my husband said, "Who cares?"
Good for you nipping in the bud right away- my mil hadd ne go to 3 food stores to save a penny on a bottle of soda when I had an infant and she had plently of time to get ready for surgery-my husband said no-one store
I feel for you. You have so much more to deal with than I do. When we first moved my mother in with us (advanced COPD), she was used to getting anybody and everybody to do favors and errands for her as they occurred to her. After a month of "would you mind...?" and "as long as you are going to..." every time I tried to get things done, I put my foot down. "Yes, mom, I do mind, and no, I'm not adding on all of your last minute errands just because you never plan ahead." I told her she could pick a day for me to run her around, and she could put items on my list on the fridge for me to pick up when I'm out. And she could darn well drive herself the whole mile to the drug store if she was going to insist on keeping her car. And no, I wasn't going to walk her dog just because she'd rather keep working on her crossword puzzle. And no, my husband isn't going to run errands for her after being at work all day. Plan ahead, use the darn list, and while you are at it, why don't you ask your friends occasionally to run you around. grrr.
I snapped at her this weekend when she wanted my husband to deliver some books to the next town because I keep trying to get rid of all the books she orders online. I told her he is in his busiest time of year and doesn't have time to run errands for her just because she FINALLY noticed that we are buried in paperbacks she keeps ordering and the local used book store won't take. Then she wanted him to run across town for take-out food after work. I said no, we are eating leftovers. He deserves to come home and just sit down and rest, not do your bidding at the drop of a hat. All she does is watch tv and do crossword puzzles. She ignores her dog that she wanted SO BAD. I feed him. I let him out when he has to pee, because she doesn't even notice. I make him stop barking incessantly because she just thinks it's cute. She pays a neighbor kid to walk him because I told her when she got the dog that if she didn't have the energy to walk him she could darn well get a cat. I bring her dinner in her room if she is watching tv in there, or take it to her on the couch if she is reading or doing puzzles. I pick up the dirty dishes most of the time because she leaves them laying around. I do all of her laundry, change her bed and canulas, and let my sister know when she is out of the special supplements that sis sends her. I take care of the huge garden she wanted planted. I start her car regularly so the battery doesn't die, because she drives no more than 5 miles per month but won't give it up. I replace her oxygen bottles because she doesn't have the strength to do it.
I'm dreading when the time comes that her disease progresses to the point that she stops being mobile. I just want her to get on a plane and fly to Alaska to spend a couple of months with my sisters before she can't travel at all, but it took two years to convince her to even think about it because she's just too darned comfortable sitting in this clean house having food handed to her.
Okay, sorry. Didn't mean to rant. I'm really just upset about not knowing her concentrator has a filter that needs cleaning.
Ranting welcome. I feel better now. Check out the "Oblivious" site! You might also want to send the Secretary of State an anonymous letter saying you think her driving privileges should be reconsidered, signed "A Concerned daughter..." Be specific, and tell her Physician your concerns. By law, they have to follow up, send her a letter for a driving evaluation. Her Doctor can also back you up. If she doesn't have the strength to replace her oxygen bottles, she is probably a danger to herself and other drivers on the road. Demented people shouldn't drive. Google Dementia and Driving for literature. You could save someone's life!
Dear mytripod,

Why not put your mother's meals or snacks on the dinner table and tell her they are ready for her to come and get? When she gets hungry enough she will come and eat at the table like a proper person. After you get her trained to come to the table you can tell her that she needs to take her dishes into the kitchen and place them in the dishwasher or sink (after disposing of the food in the proper manner). And she gets no more food until the snack or meal is properly cleaned up.

Also, have the garden seeded over this spring. Use her money. She can pay for the dog to be walked and you have worked hard enough on a long-standing chore that she created. Sure you may hear some whining or complaining, but after you turn a deaf ear on it for a while she will stop. Think about this like toddler training.

Also, I have a friend who cares for a mother who is quite demanding. Her brother (the nurse's brother) used to come to visit "Mom" once a month and my friend dreaded it (more work on that weekend). Then she suggested that when her brother comes that he stay with "Mom" while my friend and her husband take the weekend off and go away. This has been the arrangement for several months and it has really helped my friend. It has also given her brother a whole new appreciation of what my friend is sacrificing to be of service to the whole family.

Why not have your sister come down and take care of your mother and you and your family can trade houses with her and have a vacation in Alaska this summer? Or anywhere for that matter. Your sisters can help pay for your trip (if needed) since you are performing a vaulable service for them.

Don't be afraid to tell your Mother and sisters that changes are needed if this long-term care is to continue. Caregiver is not a synonym for doormat. I know you probably think that you barely have energy to cope with daily life, much less the struggle to buy yourself some freedom, but it will be worth it.

Your in my prayers.
It is actually better to check with the DMV about taking away the license. Most of the state DMVs have a form specifically for this issue - it may be available on line with instructions in your state.

The DMV will require your name and verification of ID and a valid statement from a physician. You may request that they not release your name to the person you are reporting.

There is a specific process for taking away someones right to drive. The reason that they don't take notes signed "concerned daughter" is that you are essentially making a serious assertion about someones competancy. If you are going to go ahead with it, you must stand by your word and follow your states reporting requirements.

You should do it if you believe that the person is a danger to others on the road, but I do want to remind people that once a license is revoked, someone will have to have options for transportion for this person no matter how the family feels about them.

take care

take care.
I signed, "Concerned Daughter" because I am, though I also gave them my full contact information, and a Physician's Statement, and asked that it be kept confidential from my Mom and Dad. (That's the anonymous part.) You don't have to give your name
Try #2. It didn't all print.

What Cat calls DMV is not called that in every state. In Michigan it's called the Secretary of State.

What I posted, but didn't print was that you don't have to give your name, but you would need a Physician to fill it out for you. Their office can do it if you don't want to. The advantage to you doing it, is that you can later call to see where they are at in the process. It can take anywhere from 2-3 months before anything actually happens. In our case, they were slower than turtles, and was a very scary time, because Dad should not have been driving!

You can get the form at any Secretary of State office or download one. It's called: "REQUEST FOR DRIVER EVALUATION," and states: "...the Department of State may schedule a driver assessment reexamination on a driver based on evidence of physical infirmities or disabilities, vision deficiencies, convulsive seizures, blackouts, episodes, or for other reasons that my affect the person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Please provide a description of an incident or pattern of behavior, or other evidence which you believe justifies an evaluation." The further request: "Explain why this driver should be scheduled for an evaluation. Please be specific."

In the section called: "REQUESTER INFORMATION," it reads, "This section must be completed and signed or the request will not be processed. The Department does not accept anonymous requests. Requests by private citizens to remain confidential will be respected to the extent permitted by Michigan and Federal law. YOUR SIGNATURE IS REQUIRED TO PROCESS THIS REQUEST."

It was a sad day when my Dad had someone take him in for his evaluation, and they removed his license and told him he could no longer drive. But it probably saved a few lives.
The Michigan Department of State, Driver Assessment and Appeal Division also sent my Dad a letter called: "PHYSICIAN'S STATEMENT OF EXAMINATION," that he had to have filled out and submitted before his appointment. It's a six page form, and quite detailed with instructions of the Physician.

They carefully consider this delicate matter before taking away someone's privilege. The letter sent to both Mom and Dad read: "You may have a medical condition that could affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely." They set a date and time to appear and say, "A licensed driver should accompany you to the reexamination." If they fail to appear, their license will be suspended. They also pull a driving record of tickets and accidents.

Once examined, Dad's license was removed. They also sent an "ORDER OF ACTION" letter stating the reason for their determination. It was a crushing letter for my Dad to receive, taking away all future independence. Unfortunately it was necessary due to significant cognitive impairment. Today he can barely walk.

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