Anger and resentment towards my mother in law.

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Hi all -- I am 43 years old and my husband is 47. His mother is 87. She fell earlier this year and long story short she is now staying with us. She was in a nursing home for rehab from the fall for about a month. She got out back in June. The rehab people told me she needs to do as much as she can for herself. She infuriates me because she will not do anything. She just sits on her ass all day. Her physical therapist (when she still had one before he gave up on her) said she needs to get up and walk around every hour. She wouldn't do that, so he changed it to every meal time. She won't do that either. I am tired of serving her every meal, so I had my husband set up a microwave just for her. I prepare her food and put it in the refrigerator. I just started this arrangement, but she hasn't gotten up off her ass to get her own food for a few days. It makes me irate. I'm not her slave. I'm not going to do it anymore. I would be more tolerant if she literally could not do it, but she can. She just won't. Yes, it's kind of hard for her to get up, but the therapist said she needs to get up and walk around or she will get blood clots in her legs and eventually need surgery that can be avoided if she just got up and walked around.


In addition to that, I resent her. She gave a piece of property that was supposed to be my husband's to some random "family friend" (we're talking several acres and a house). I used to like her, but now I've come to resent her.


I even find myself yelling at her every time I see her. I can't stand her anymore. I want to put her in a nursing home, but my husband is afraid of losing everything else he has if he does that. Part of me trying to reduce my anger and resentment is having her heat up her own food when she's hungry. If she doesn't, I'm going to go insane.


I don't think I'm being selfish. Thanks for listening!

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My father does the same thing...he likes to 'play helpless'. I am happy to help with things he CANNOT do but I refuse to help with things he WON'T/DOES FEEL LIKE doing. He has always had some woman (his mother/my mother) catering to him. Every time my aunt visits him she would do things for him that he should be doing for himself. That would push back all the ground I made with him.

I get tired of people throwing around the word 'dementia' as if that is the excuse for bad behavior, forgetfulness, self-centeredness, etc. Some seniors are just jerks and it has nothing to do with mental impairment. You proved that your MIL can do things, she just chooses not to.

I suggest you decide what you are willing to do. And after that let your husband do the rest. It is his mother and he is the one concerned about the inheritance. Let him really see the amount of work it is and he may decide AL is not so bad after all. I get where he is coming from. My father wanted to go to AL as he was not getting enough attention from me. It is $5K a month. Now he wants to move again as he doesn't want to spend that much each month. He wants free care....kind of like what your MIL is getting. I was against AL as it costs so much.....now I realize what a life saver it has been for me. Of course I did have to let go of the idea of an inheritance.
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Thanks cdnreader and BarbBroolyn.
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When my mom's team of doctors (neurologist, neuroosychologist and psychiatric nurse preactioner) gave her a diagnosis of MCI, they told us that on some cases it advances to dementia and in some it doesn't. My mom went for followup testing a year later and there had been no advancement. Sadly, she a stroke a few months later and developed Vascular Dementia.

One of the recommendations that was made when MCI was diagnosed was that Mom should do as much as possible for herself, get exercise and be around people. She had already moved to Independent Living at that point, so the recommendations were fairly easy for her to follow. There was no one around to cater to her every whim.
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Dear Erinm60,

I'm starting to think doctors don't know anything sometimes. I'm sure there are a good ones out there, but I feel my dad had the misfortune of getting all the bad ones.

I have to agree with you, the doctor should have told you and given you more information or least suggested your mom see a specialized doctor in Alzheimers or dementia.

Please don't worry about going on and on. I think its only natural. We are trying to be the best advocate's we can for our parents. We want to put our faith in the doctor but sometime that is a frustrating mistake. Even in my own case, I wish I had pushed harder for a second and third opinion.
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Hi simple underdog. So glad you got the responses you did. My mother was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment with amnesiac features versus non amnesiac features a year ago. My question to you and everyone is why did her dr tell me When I asked, Is this the beginning of Alzheimer's? And she said" I don't know". I've read every one with Alzheimer's started out with mild cognitive impairment, but not every one with mild cognitive impairment gets Alzheimer's. My mother does have a diagnosis of dementia. But apparently , there are 50 types of dementia. I'm just confused. Sorry for going on and on
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Here is a suggestion for how to share feelings and thoughts that do not put someone on the defense mode. Take ownership of them by using I statements of I feel or I think instead of saying You make me feel of think, or when you do ___ you make me feel or think. Sounds a bit simple but it does help.
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I do hope that your husband can get enough freedom to complete his PhD. I understand how important that is when it's been a lifetime goal as mine was.

Is there a way to have a heart to heart talk with him about your concerns about him, his mother, and about his PhD work that sounds more like a teammate and less like a confrontation? He should at least be open to hearing your feelings and thoughts without feeling put in a corner. Maybe, you seeing a therapist for advice about this would help you find some new tools to help in this situation.

I hope for the very best for you and for him.
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Thank you, Sunnygirl -- I saw your post after posting above. I appreciate your suggestions. Yes, I was saying Assisted Living as well. I also agree -- it would be better for her too. She can have activities and socialization in a place like that. Here, well, we have our own lives and she just watches CNN all day (which also drives me crazy). I'm glad to know Cognitive Decline means beginning of dementia. It's hard to tell, you know? Yes, I think she needs alternate care. The battle with my husband is not an easy one. I think it would be easier on him, too. He just doesn't realize it. Ugh -- not sure how to push this without destroying my marriage. I'm happy with my marriage -- but, I'm not happy with this (obviously). It also infuriates me b/c my husband is basically giving up his life to take care of her. He's on a timeline to complete his PhD. He's completed all of the coursework and just needs to do the research. Well, he's been having to take a leave of absence for over a year and you only have 10 years to complete (and the time ticks whether you are actively working on it or not). Sounds like a long time, but he's already 5 years in and the time just keeps ticking. I'd hate to see him lose something he's worked his entire life for over this.
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BarbBrooklyn -- Thank you for your insight. I was thinking that, but really wasn't sure, so that helps. Thank you!!! Yeah, that's what I'm thinking about inheritance (and I personally don't really care b/c I never felt like it was mine in the first place). But, my husband -- that's another story. Maybe he's just in denial? Yeah, she's going to eventually end up in a nursing home and that's what is infuriating about her giving that other property away. It was the one thing that we had that we could easily leverage to provide her care. And she gave it away like it was nothing.

cdnreader -- thank you for your support and thank you for your input. I value every single post. Thank you. I agree -- we give too much. Thank you for validating my anger and resentment. I never used to understand why there were caregiver support groups. Good gravy -- I do now!!! I want her in a nursing home. I agree -- I deserve to be happy and in less stress -- especially in my own home. I'm sorry for you feeling like you made a mistake not addressing your own resentment and anger. It is a very hard thing, I'm learning.
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It sounds like you have given a lot of things some thought. So, I'd just add that if you do consider having her move elsewhere, I'd explore what her level of care might be. It may be that she doesn't need a nursing home, but, perhaps Assisted Living. They are less expensive and would provide her with much assistance in care, meals, medication, physical therapy, doctor transport, activities, socialization, etc.

And as BarbBrookyn said above. When the doctors say Cognitive Decline, they are saying the beginning of dementia. This can progress at varying rates. For my LO is went fast.

Regardless, of your decision, I'd find alternate care for this lady, since your anger and dislike for her is so palpable. And the stress from dealing with this is also very hard on you physically.
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