Help with mother-in-law

Started by

My mother-in-law is 82 years old and I take care of her 99% of the time. She was told a few weeks ago that she has severe dementia and now she doesn't eat and is always falling. I have been in the bedroom with her when she gets dressed and undressed for bed so I can help her. She wears depends to bed because she does have accidents at night, but won't wear them during the day, only pads. She is very dehydrated and I try and keep fluids in her, but she doesn't like to drink at all. She tells me that she wants to die all the time. And all I can do is say, "Look Ma, you have me and your son and 5 grandkids here that love you. Do you think we want to loss you?" But I am just so overwhelmed now adays that I don't have time for me anymore, it's all about her. If she's not happy, no one is happy. We have a Palliative Care interview Monday, but she always turns down help or pushes them away because she tells them she has me. What can I do? Please help.


Be at the interview on Monday and tell them *you* need help to care for your MIL. How long has she been living with you?
She has been with us for the past 7 years
You need the help. This is something you need to make MIL know. She doesn't need help cause she has you. You need to set boundaries. No, she doesn't have you. You are taking back at least 50% of your The help is absolutesly required.

MIL is going to probably push back on this. Fire the help because she isn't going to believe you will not continue just like you always have. You need to make it clear...this is the way it is! It is this or a nursing home.
Be at the interview and tell them directly that you cannot shoulder all of this burden. My dad used to tell social workers that "they" didn't need the help and my stepmom was desperate for it. You are the one doing all of the work - i so hope you get help!
You're the key player here. You are the one that MUST tell them at the Palliative Care interview that you need help...a LOT of help. Things are going to get worse from here on out.
My grandpa used to do the same thing. We finally just had to be really blunt, sometimes in front of him. If you have a son or daughter who can be there too it might help. (My sister and I had an easier time speaking up for my mom than she did for herself. )

This is so draining -- you need help! And I hope they do offer you a good amount of help. It is hard to see your loved one declining, but when you are busy doing all the "dirty work" sometimes there is no energy left for the emotional part of it.
Seven years!

So things have changed and become more onerous lately - is it just the continence care issues, or is it that and the falls, or have there been other problems, and maybe a deterioration in her physical health, that led to your seeking medical advice and an assessment of her mental state?

Palliative care will address her nursing and personal care needs; but I think you too had better think carefully, before Monday, about what kind of help will really *help.* For a flippant example - an aromatherapist would be lovely and would probably really boost her spirits, but it's not a heck of a lot of use to you. What about home adaptations to help avoid falls risks? What about respite hours for you? - so that you get at least an afternoon or two a week to yourself even if it's just to lie down and wail quietly, as I found I tended to do. What about overnight caregivers, if your MIL is a night-time prowler or you regularly have to cope with broken sleep?

Write a list. And if the palliative care people don't do something you need, they should at least have some idea where to find services that do.
At lest here, palliative care does not provide any help other than instead of taking her to medical appointments a visiting nurse will come. Maybe it is different where you are. You will find out Monday!

But you DO need help, probably far more than palliative care will provide, so start thinking about how you can arrange that.

She keeps saying she wants to die? "And you will, Ma. We all do. At your age and your health you probably will die before I do, but that is not something we control. You will die when your time to die comes." We all love you blah blah blah is nice, but it hasn't stopped her from repeating this. Try a little different approach.
BTW, why is palliative care being considered instead of hospice?
Why pellivet care was considered was her doctor said that she was not that bad for hospice. But it's hard for me to tell cause all I see is her declining more and more. I hope something gets done to make her more comfortable then what she is in

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support