Caring for mother-in-law, who doesn't live with us and lives independently (if you want to call it that) in her own home. Weary.
I read another thread on here about the frustrations that come with caring for in-laws, but it was dated. So didn't know if it would see any activity here.
My husband owns his own business, and as another posting read, team work, I suppose. He has to be free to "earn a living", so, by default, the caregiving falls to me, daughter-in-law. I guess I just need to vent.
There is a sister that lives several states away (husband's sister). She is retired, she comes periodically and generally stays a few weeks when she does come. It has been 4 months since she's been here this time. She needs to come with more frequency in my opinion. I try to understand how hard it is to upend one's life and have to come here for several weeks, and care for your mother. But it doesn't satisfy the reality that gets dealt with here on this end.
If I could wave a magic wand and resolve this, mother-in-law would go live with her daughter. Daughter doesn't necessarily "want" mother-in-law to come live with her, (mother-in-law can be cruel to the husband). But the daughter has tried to encourage mother-in-law to come live with her, simply because I think, it would be a more manageable situation for all. But mother-in-law, heels dug in, does not want to leave her home. No one will fight that I don't suppose.
Mother-in-law suffered a stroke, oh about 14 years ago. It left her with balance and mobility issues. Those issues have worsened through the years, as she ages (she is presently 87). She has had several, dozens of rounds of PT through the years. It helped some, but the fact of the matter is, she is aging and becoming more and more frail, as it happens. She has been advised by all the healthcare practitioners to use a walker. She is so unsteady and even complains that she feels like she's going to fall, "ALL" the time. She has a walker. Does she use it? No. She opts for her cane, everytime. I have asked her, since I seem to be the one more on the forefront in it all, why don't you use your walker. Her answer doesn't even make sense. "Oh I use that, I do. That's how I carry laundry back and forth or whatever my dog needs or whatever." That's not what I'm asking. Fine, use it, and the seat on it, to carry what you need, but don't just use it when you need to carry something, use it ALL THE TIME like you've been advised to do. But she doesn't, won't.
She is going to fall. It's not "if", it's "when". She is going to. She wobbles as she walks with that cane, and sways and goes backwards and catches herself. She has fallen a couple of times, but no serious injuries "yet". It's coming though.
And in case anyone wonders, is she a candidate for a SNF or ALF, she isn't. She has no resources to pay for such. Her home is reverse mortgaged and she has no long-term care insurance. None of us have the resources to pay for such care.
Yes, she can get on a list of Medicaid facilities, one might suppose. And maybe that's what should occur. But see above, heels dug in, she does NOT want to leave her home. She wants to stay in her home "independent", if you want to call it that.
No one, not her son (my husband), not her daughter that lives several states away, will fight that notion. Instead it's just piece mealed together here, as far as her care, and what/when I can do for her. That leaves me resentful, it takes away time I could spend with my own aging parents (live locally also). Fortunately, as of yet, my parents, while they are aging, they both have significant others and aren't in as poor health as my mother-in-law, and so for the most part, they do relatively okay. But mother-in-law, her needs are many.
The most recent of which is the following. We had found some time back, that she wasn't eating adequately. I'm aware that's a problem with the aged. If you ask my opinion, her mobility prohibits her doing so. Though, I do question even that, to some degree. When we found she wasn't eating properly, she was also getting sick, a lot. When she gets sick, it's usually weeks and weeks of diarrhea and stomach upset. Sometimes culminating in dehydration, further weakening an already pretty compromised aged person.
So *meals on wheels* you say? No, in her younger years as a service project through her church, she used to help prepare those meals and she has a real disdain for same. Won't even hear of it. No, she'll do okay, just listen to her, she'll manage, no she's fine. So she continues on, not eating properly. She gets sick, repeatedly this vicious cycle goes on. We found a program that will deliver senior meals and hot fresh meals. But they left town, they were the only ones in town.