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My mother in law is being forced upon me. My situation is this; no one in the family wants to deal with her first because she has violent tendancies, stubborn and always trying impose her will no matter what. She cries, screams and carries on like some one is doing something to her constantly. I have discussed this situation with my husband and to no avail. This has been an ongoing situation and getting worse. I can't not and will not take care of her due to my medical conditions. She has a person coming to take care of her from 7:00 to 3:00 but after she leaves I have to deal with her. She has dementia and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and when my husband comes home from work he is too tired to deal with her. He justs falls asleep and when she starts acting up he ignores her. My mother in law is too much to handle she needs to be in a Nursing Home ASAP. What can I do?

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Some husbands and for that matter some wives fail to honor their marriage while trying to honor an elderly parent,usually a mom, but honoring one's marriage really takes precedence over honoring one's parents for one doesn't leave and cleave until one's parent gets in trouble and then cleave to them till both they and the spouse depart with usually, the spouse parting ways first.

Some men, are sad to say, more emotionally married to mom than they are to their wife. There is a book written on that subject for wives trying to win their husband's heart back from his mom's. I've never seen a book specifically written for husbands dealing with the same thing, but there are books on such emotional enmeshment that indirectly deal with it although, I would say it bears a book written for that issue as well.

Neither wives nor husbands are not slaves and I've seen both given my experience of marrying into the dysfunctional family that I married into. My FIL died a slave and my MIL wants the lives of her daughters as well. I'm sorry he's dead, but he's at least got peace and freedom now.

Save your life and let your husband deal with his mom, for she's his mom not yours. If he's more married to her than you, you never had anything to begin with and nothing to loose. It's no fun when the other woman is his mom! I"m sorry that you're having to deal with this.
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I totally agree. Pack your bags. Go on a much needed hiatus. Dont come back until there is a working plan in place. Husband's mom. Husband's problem. Not going all religous here, but here is what really put things in prospective for me. From proverbs, "A good wife is more precious than pearls. Do not cast pearls before swine." If you can get a man to cook and clean up after just himself that would be a great feat. So why exactly would he take care of his sick mom. Bet he doesn't take care of you very often either when you are sick. Old school. New school. Pre school. Get over it. You are his wife not his slave. Wish somebody would have pointed that out to me many years ago. Your husband and company will continue to use you as their slave. Not in your job description. Respect yourself. Say NO now. This is straight up abuse. This will break you and when you are broken they will step on you not over you on their way to find a new victim. His relatives are doing a nasty little felonous activity called "gaslighting". Contact your local battered women's shelter for resources for trauma therapy. They should also have contacts for legal services. Better you end up divorced than dead on arrival at the hospital like I did. Read the caregiver's bill of rights. Oh yeah, my husband and family moved on and never looked back. They were actually mad that I survived. This is not your job. No amount if anything is worth it. Wives are people too. This will only get worse and you really don't want to go there. Set healthy boundaries. It is your life. Take it back. It belongs to you. You married your husband. You are not his property. Rather pack his stuff and his momma's and let the aide drop MIL and bags off at husband's place of employment. Then step forward and help other wives than have been forced into human bondage. Violation of basic human rights. Wives not slaves.
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I agree with you "Give a Hug", If I had a crystal ball back in 2003, I would have never invited my parents to move up here, so we could "help them out" some. It has been herrendous. Since I live very close, the rest of my family does nothing, but show up for holidays that I do all the work for. My father passed away 2 years ago, but was not the difficult one - alot of work, but not really as draining as my mother has been. She has had a myriad of problem, hospitalizations, dr appt., test, etc. I have had to deal with all of this. She is now in assisted living, and I have them take her to some of the appts. cuz frankly I am living in a state of burnout. I feel very sad at times when I see my friends living normal lives. I feel like I need to enjoy life more, but it is a real effort. My husband works many hours and is very tired on weekends. He used to be a great support, but it is too much for him, too. I have to take care of all of her financial needs, her every need, really.
The facility gives her meals and is there for her and I am so grateful for that. But it is still a struggle for me. I fight guilt that I am not there enough and don't do enough, but on the other hand I barely have the energy. It is not easy, for sure. I was tempted to grab my credit card and passport once and head to a tropical island and not tell anyone till I was there. And then say OK now who will deal with all this? These have been the most difficult years of my life. Thank you for listening. I feel selfish at times, but I am just being honest.
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Dear Mymini2006,
OhSoTired is providing accurate, proactive information along with a how to. They obviously have serious experience in this matter. I was lucky enough that the 'caregivers' called Adult Protective services and 911 so I didn't have to. If the roles were reversed I'd do exactly what OhSoTired suggests. God bless you with a positive outcome.
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What would your husband do if he wasn't married to such a wonderful woman? What is he was still single? I bet his mom wouldn't be living with him then. Whatever that solution would be, he should investigate that.

Hang in there! You've received a lot of good advice.
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Do you have children living in your home the same home with the violent MIL??? My thoughts are that is not appropriate. If she has violent tendencies and depression it sounds to me that she is also very unstable. I would strongly encourage you to place in an appropriate facility. Unless you have had training to deal with her mental health issues, I would say you are in over your head. You are not dealing with a simple situation I am aware of that however. You need to protect yourself and your children. Children should not be afraid to be at home. Take care
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You would be doing both yourself and her a dis-service to create this disharmony in your home. When an elder has an episode of "Altered Mental Status" this is cause for concern and MAY (hint) require a trip to the ER. Say on a Friday at 12:01pm (right after the MDs office closes for the weekend) So having her well checked out, a urine culture run ( the A#1 cause of elderly women suddenly acting whacky is a UTI) it becomes busy in the ER and dear doctor might need to be encouraged to admit her as you are at a loss how to manage her (boo hoo may help here). Of course it's the weekend, so insist she stay in 3 midnights (fri,sat,sun nights) during which time the staff can document her behavior. The hospital has a legal responsibility to provide discharge planning. You must be clear to the Social Worker that you do not want or feel capable of providing her care! What do ya know! After a hospital stay of 3 midnights, Medicare will provide for 21 days of rehab in a nursing home at 100% paid, then another 79 days at 80% as long as she's able to make progress and participate. If she has no means to pay for the other 20% or inpatient care after the first 100 days, start the process for getting Medicaid through the hospital Social Worker (It gets expidited handling that way) If the Nursing home can't rehab her, they may have a "Memory Lane", or they must provide appropriate discharge planning. Even if she can behave in the hospital, having received all this personalized attention, her true colors are sure to show in the 100 days of rehab. Don't sign anything promising to pay! Wait out Medicaid. Even if she has $ coming in she can be put on a Medicaid "spend-down" which picks up where her income lets off, but only leaves her $30 or so a month to buy personal items. Good Luck!
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Thanks for the clarification. If she ever does say or do or threaten to do something that makes her a threat to herself and or to others, please remember to diall 911.
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To elaborate on my MIL violent tendencies, she has pushed, hit and pulled her other sister's hair on many occasions when she doesn't get her way. As for her son she has been very close to hitting him but now since shes seems to be "stuck" in our home she hasn't attempted it again. Thank goodness she has not ever tried to strike at me or my children.
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Culture, tradition, religion etc.I can respect but, I would draw the line at a person having "violent tendencies." If it is his Hispanic tradition to take care of his mom, then tell him when he gets home from work and over the weekends, he is to live up to his tradition by taking care of you while you take a break!
Also, just how have her violent tendencies been demonstrated?
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mymini2006, I am so glad you elaborated on your situation. I imagine it gave all of us a little better impression of your husband since, according to your Hispanic tradition, as the only son he is expected to look after his mother in her old age. HOWEVER, this still does not mean your mil has to live with you (in this 21st century). If your mil was placed in a "good" facility, she should receive the medical attention she apparently has needed for years. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she felt less tormented and more contented in the last years of her life? Do you know of any other Hispanic families in your area who have placed parents (regardless of tradition) in a facility? If your mil could live with other elderly Hispanics she might "fit in" better and feel more at home. I hope you can soon find a facility that your husband can see is the best place for his mom. Once his mom is placed in a facility, it will be much easier for both your husband and you to show love for his mom, rather than the feelings that you must be reacting to now. Top priority is to place your mil in a good facility. Your husband needs to be thinking about this - it is doubtful that when he is elderly that he will be allowed to live with adult children (even if he wants to). The elderly used to have to live with younger family members because there were no other choices. Now the elderly have so many other choices and aren't "stuck" living with family members.
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After reading your second post it appears that your husband is either the only son or the only child. Regardless, your MIL needs so much more help than any one could expect to do at home. In a way it is actually cruel to not get her the help she needs. Your husband may think he is "honoring" his Mom by keeping her at home, but he is both ignoring her needs and making you responsible for her care. It is too much, and he needs to understand that. Take the initiative and start looking into facilities on your own. Then, when your find one that his appropriate for her care, take your husband to visit it. Sometimes people have these scary notions of what a facility will be like....things have changed in the last decade. It will never be like a home environment, but nothing else can be. good luck
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My world just had a crash - my sister, who has been an unrepentant alcholic and a perscription pain killer addict is getting ansy again, she has been in a controlled care facility (she was kicked out of two nursing homes already) which she wants to leave now and move up here, and simply announced she was coming to visit. Mom and I had a confrontation (she talked to mom on the phone) I told her if she has any thoughts of wanting to move here, I would put the house up for sale immediately, take what I can get for it and we all would have to find a place to live. I mean it too. I really do not want her even in the same town. It is not that I hate her or anything but just because I am in relative good health (I have my problems too) and have a modicum of sense I will not pledge the rest of my life looking after old ladies.
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To further elaborate/clarify my situation regarding my mother in law, my husband is the only son. In a hispanic family the parents expect to be cared for by a family member. Part of the problem stems from this belief. She is an 84 year old with a lot of mental problems prior to her getting to this point. For many years we asked and begged for her to seek medical help and she refused. Unfortunately her retirement plans were to move in with her sisters but that did not work. Her sisters could not deal with her due to her aggression and also that they too are elderly. After her husband died she really went down hill fast. Our family used to spend a lot of time with her doing many family activites etc but she was never happy with anything. She never addressed her depression and now, I can no longer help her. Thank you for all for your advise.
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Your husband needs to decide who is he married to his wife or 'to mommy'! He is putting his mother's wishes ahead of yours which is not right.
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Your husband needs to 'man up'. You didn't marry her, you married him. Unless you love her and feel obligated to her personally, it is not your problem. Forcing someone into a nursing home is very difficult. If your health is not in the best shape, you owe it to you to take care of yourself and let someone else handle Mom-in-Law.
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mymini,
Lets see if I got this right.... MIL is dumped on you and your hubby because no one wants her. Hubby is gone all day and when he gets home ignores the situation. You are basically her sole caregiver from 3PM till 7AM. From your comment it sounds as if no amount of "family meetings" is going to change their minds and magically come to your rescue (you've already rescued them!).You have a medical condition. Going out and getting a job or to be with friends is NOT going to wake him up- he will just wait for you to come home and the cycle will continue. You don't appear the type who is going to throw on your hat and coat to go out with friends (but give it a try)....something tells me that hubby will start coming home later and sabotage your plans.Since you allowed MIL in your home (I'm sure you had some strong words with hubby BEFORE she came into your home). Pick up the phone, call one of your relatives and go for a two week visit. If you can't stay with a relative or friend and if medically and financially able go for a two week trip (cruises are a good choice). Hubby will have to face the music and care for his mother or find some other way to do it. Once you get back either the realization of the care she needs will have him hiring someone in or moving her to a home or facility. Time away will give you both perspective and you will be in better mental and physical place to make a good decision on your future.
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BGB, sounds like you are feeling some guilt over a very reasonable boundary. Can she afford assisted living or a nursing home? Since you are taking care of your grandmother, where are your parents or are they out of the picture? Your husband is being rather passive/aggressive with his escapes to his man cave. What is he afraid of? That he might ye'll at her or something? How did you end up with her in your house anyway?
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You want to talk about being froce upon you, i have my grandmother living with me and my husband and she very nice to him, and give me the blues, and when she becomes out to control my husband goes to his man cave and i'm left with her most of the time i don't let her get under my skin, but she has such a flip mouth, i really don't think she likes me, only what i can do for her. when she becomes hateful that's when i turn to her and tell her if she's not happy here call one of her children which she has 4 living not one that takes any time with her. i just remind her that i do everything for her and if she not happy, she can leave. then i become unhappy and sad and fill bad that i have to talk to her that way. but this is the only way i can get her off me. is to talk bad to her, which i don't like doing. i go in my room and cry, oh i can't let her see me cry then she think she got the best of me. why can't i get some of the other to help. just once a month if evry each one take a weekend this would free me up is what i tell them, they all say yes but it never happens. i work also, when i call, eveyboday has something to do. i understand she not a nice person to be around. i love her but don't know how much more i can take.
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mymini has it! take a class or a part time job or volunteer to get You out of the house, and stick to it! Let hem take the responsibility. If the roles were reversed, and my former mother-in-law had been foisted off on me, we would surely have killed each other within a month - she Never liked me, but then, I doubt if anyone her daughter married would have been acceptable.
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Mymini, All it will take is a few times of having your husband HAVE to be the caretaker for his mother while you're away. Just arrange a time when, after dinner perhaps you make other arrangements and will be gone for a few hours. He'll see the light about putting her elsewhere after a few times of that.
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It sounds like you need to call a family meeting and let them decide to either take turns or put her in a nursing home. If she has Alzheimer Disease, she can't help being the way she is. Your husband doesn't know what to do and is avoiding the whole thing as is his siblings. You will have to step up to the plate and say either or because everyone else is afraid to say anything. It is not fair to you or to your mother in law. She needs help and is scared too because she doesn't know what is happening to her. Council on Aging can give you some help as can your mother in law's doctor. Doctor's have a lot of resources too and often know which nursing homes are better. You will be the dumping ground if you do not give everyone choices of your choosing. (Giving choices really works. I used that strategy bringing up my own kids, in teaching, and in dealing with my own 98 year old mother living with me.) Good luck!
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In your post, the family history/dynamic that led to this current situation is not revealed, so I will write based on a guess, that perhaps your mother-in-law did something special for you or your husband and kids over the years, or somehow "earned" her position in your house as a dependent. Obviously, your husband has a right/obligation to care for his mother, but to impose it upon you without your agreeing doesn't add up. Did you at first agree, because you felt that this was the way to pay her back for her years of her doing something, whatever it was, that you want to now honor by caring for her? If that is the case, but now you realize that it is harder than you thought it would be, and cannot handle it, then you should just convey that to your husband, if you haven't already, that what you thought would be no big deal actually is a big deal and that you will help him come up with a better solution. I hope that one of these posts holds the key to unlock this frustration for you. I am sorry, and best of luck.
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I agree with you Helen... I have three son's and they are wonderful men!!! When I was caring for my Father, my middle son (his namesake )came and tenderly helped me care for him. Men can be caregivers if they choose to be. take care and God bless
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No one respects boundaries until you make them and enforce them. My husband and I came to an agreement after some intense marriage discussions. I am primary contact who is responsible for relationships and caregiving for my relatives; and he is primary contact/responsible for his relatives. We both have multiple family members and friends that are aging and have health challenges that we are trying to help and balance with our own family's needs. After years of my husband and I being expected to support and provide care for his parents from across the country at our expense both emotional and financial, his parents have now moved 60 miles away from our home without an explanation other than "wanting to be closer to their two 'boys' (both sons are in their 40's and we live about 70 miles apart from husband's brother and family) and their precious grandkids" . Now his mother has at least third stage parkinsons and has been on disability for over a decade, and his father is a stroke/prostate cancer survivor with COPD and former alcoholic). I told my husband that he understood our financial condition and my health conditions (2 time breast cancer survivor with primary caregiving responsibilities for our high-functioning autistic son while I an working part time as CPA). Note that his parents didn't mention me or the Sister-in-law as being in the emotional winner's circle. Any services my husband wants to provide them personally with his labor and attention or organize within these financial limits and his available time is fine with me. To enforce this, I have scheduled alternate activities and left my husband alone with his parents if I think his parents are pushing my boundaries, or walked away from a table full of people when his parents have been left by all blood relatives to sit with me so that I will entertain and fetch for them. His parents are both narcissistic, entitled people who did not treat me well over the years and will not change. I am polite, but I cannot take care of them and my own family responsibilities. My own health suffered when I spent years in past codependent relationships trying to fix and make other people happy who are only happy at the center of the psychic storm. Get your mother-in-law caregivers who will provide the service that will otherwise cost you your own health if you are not careful. You can help her get assistance, but your husband wants to rescue her then he will need to do more than tread water. Leaving your mother to cleave unto your wife isn't just words on a page. Honor and respect does not mean abuse and terrify. Help does not mean enable bad behavior.
Helen
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Sounds like a difficult situation. One thing is for certain, your husband must share the duties, no excuses. Sleeping in front of the TV set doesn't cut it when you are dealing with his mother. Alternate nights so you can get out and do something for yourself. Taking care of yourself by a workout regiment, special interest class, and "me time" is essential for you to be a good caregiver to your mother-in-law. This is one scenario.

A second scenario depends on finances. You can get more in home care for longer period of times. This will ease the burden.

The 3rd scenario if you are POA for health, would be to have her institutionalized. Worst case scenario for her. Nothing is better than a home with loved ones even though she is difficult. There are two kinds depending on your finances, state run which can be paid be medicare and private which she has to pay out of her assets. Either one has limitations on care and staff so they do a lot of "herding" and "drugging" because the poor CNA's Can't take care of 10-15 clients who have all those needs.
There are many types of drugs that are available through a consultation with your doctor that can calm her down and make a world of difference for you when you are dealing with her. That would be the first step before you consider a home. You might be pleasantly surprised what an antidepressant can do.
Good Luck and God Bless.
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honey, I can 100% relate to your situation. I take care of my mother-in-law too. While mine doesn't have dementia, which Im sure is much harder to deal with, she is a hateful, bitter old woman who thinks the world revolves around her. And what your going through will wear on you if it hasn;'t already. PLEASE, you have to take care of yourself too. Threaten to leave if you have to. Im sure you dont want to. It sounds like you love your husband but your stuck in a crappy position. I know as I am also. You need to let her know, and it may take a while, that your not putting up with her crap. And you dont have to be mean to get that point across, just firm. Also, call your local Council on Aging, let them know the situation and see if they can help or at least point you in the right direction. And Im sure you cant see this right now but you are taking care of her because you are a good, compassionate and caring person. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Wish I could help you more dear cause I know how incredibly stressful this can be. Just do not carry this all on your shoulders alone..You dont have to.
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If you can't you can't... Do not beat yourself up. If they have left it up to you make the arrangements and move her. If your husband does not understand , my feeling is he does not have much regard for you! I have cared for my grandparents and my Father(who passed away from cancer in July) My husband has always been positive, helpful, supportive and caring. I would be honest and do what you need to do to take care of YOU!
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Remeber that it is your house too and you should have a say in who lives there and who does not. I would not bring a person into my home with violent tendencies. I would consider them a danger to themselves and to others in the house. Your husband is putting his mother before you in a very passive aggressive manner. There is a book written about boundaries in marriage and he's broken some boundaries.
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Amazing, I can sort of relate to this. My MIL was a wonderful lady. Became very ill with a neurological disease which killed her in about 9 months. However, her four children rallied around her and took over her care. Had it all scheduled out, who stayed with her, etc. Finally toward the end it got to be a bit much but no one wanted to hire help, couldn't find anyone "good enough" if you know what I mean. So finally my SIL calls me and suggest I quit my job and drive 100 miles to MIL house to help out on Wednesdays. I was helping pay for my twins college at that time. I just smiled. MIL left multimillion dollar estate and not one penny was spent on help. I wasn't about to let them do that to me. I liked MIL alot, but please.
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