My father in law is in need of care. I have been taking care of him for the past year. Whenever I ask for help from my in-laws, they read me the riot act. They say just put him in assisted living. He does not want to go there. He said it would kill him. He wants to stay with family. There are six other siblings that could help me but refuse. What do I do, l feel trapped.

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Thank you both for your comments. He does live in my house. I think you are right. I need to get creative on my end and stop wasting my time asking my selfish inlaws for help with their dad.

If he's staying with you, then use some of his Social Security check to give yourself some relief. There are Senior Centers where you can drop him off for the can have someone in a few times a week for 3-4 hours or perhaps to take him to doctor appointments. Perhaps you could explore what senior services might be available locally at little or no expense.

If his family isn't willing to help, don't knock your head against the wall trying to on convince them. Look for other solutions.

A year ago I would have suggested trying to persuade the in-laws, trying to work with them, etc., but after reading so many similar posts of one or only a few family members taking care of a relative without the support of the rest of the family, I'm now inclined to respond differently.

I see this in some senses as a geometry problem:

The given is that the in-laws don't want to help, it's just you.
One choice is: Can or do you want to continue this responsibility all by yourself? That's something to really consider seriously. Your screen name says a lot about how you feel right now - "all used up".

If you want to and believe you can, accept that the in-laws aren't going to be part of the picture. Document any expenses you incur from your own funds or from your FIL's funds and be prepared that as his condition worsens and eventually terminates, the in-laws will be all over you with questions on what you spent, why, and possibly worse accusations.

They don't want to step up to the plate and accept responsibility now, they're getting away with it, and that could empower them to be more aggressive as time goes on.

Option 2: If you don't want to or can't take care of him, and that's COMPLETELY understandable, give the in-laws notice that you're terminating your role and it's up to them to step in, or make arrangements for AL. He may not want to (not many people do), but in all fairness, he's not your responsibility as much as he is the in-law's responsibility.

You don't mention where he's living; is he staying with you? Or are you staying in his house? Regardless, begin to make changes to extricate yourself from this situation.

If you feel trapped now, it will only get worse.

There's another post you might want to read; it's different but a somewhat similar situation:

"Taking care of friend with stage 5 Alzheimer's. At my wit's end and want out to live my own life. Any advice?", at

I think the best thing you can do though is to recognize this situation is not going to change; you'll have to be the one to make changes, and you do have to consider your own life.

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