Seriously, I want to know how long I would have to go to prison if I refuse to care for my mother-in-law any longer. I have some time to think this over, as she will be going a third time to a geriatric psychiatric facility Monday or Tuesday and from there to a nursing home for physical rehab, again. I think I have about 8-10 weeks to figure something out.
I quit my job and we moved in with her and now I'm stuck forever. I don't think she can qualify for medicaid because she gets 2 checks a month and she is "owner-financing" a house to one of her daughters who has not paid a house note in five years and owns her home and a car and had some life insurance money in the last five years. She has too many assets, so a nursing home does not appear to be an option. Living in the state of Mississippi, a "filial" state, once my husband and I moved on her property 4 years ago, the state placed the role of primary care giver onto us. We found this out when we told home health care that we were going to move, because she refused to participate in her own care. They said we couldn't, that the state would press charges of elder abandonment against us, and possibly neglect if she fell or didn't take her medication regulary, even though we had a separate house. Because we are in very close proximity to her we are responsible. She has many serious problems, blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, pacemaker, etc. etc. etc., but nothing life threatening, nothing that can keep her from doing for herself. She just refuses.
When her husband died, she had booths in a local flea market, drove, did her own shopping, etc. Well, she spent all of her new found money, got several credit cards and ran them all over the limit, took out several loans, over drew her bank accts. and ended up having more debt that income in about a year and a half. At that point, she over medicated herself and stayed in bed for ten sraight days. When she finally decided to get up, life as we knew it was over. She was constantly having an ambulance come pick her up for a variety of reasons, thoug they never found anything wrong with her, and she began "falling" all hours of the day and night. NO One ever saw her fall, she would just stop us from whatever we were doing to come pick her up. She has told us she has copd, broken ribs, broken "snuff box", inwards shingles ( the kind you can't see), the list goes on and on. Now, since we both moved in with her, she doesn't know when she has to go to the bathroom and she can't walk. I have babyed her to death, until a little over a week ago. A new therapist came in and she must have liked her, because she got up, grabbed her walker and walked across her bedroom and out into the living room! Therapist said to continue doing this in between visits and to quit putting so much strain on me. Next morning - she couldn't even sit up without tipping over. I lost it. Confronted her about she could lift her feet to touch the therapists hands(she was standing) and can't lift her foot and inch to put it on the wheelchair foot plate for me.Told her what a fool she had made of me all these years, and she just looked at me and smiled! Oooo!!!
Insisted that she CAN'T sit up. CAN'T lift her feet. CAN'T DO ANYTHING. Then about 2 hours later, the therapist came back that day and guess what? She was up and walking again. She's killing me - physically, my back hurts 24/7 from my shoulders to my waist from lifting her - and she can stand up! I don't sleep right, I don't eat right, I never have time to spend with my husband, except late at night after she's asleep. She doesn't really talk to me, just says thing like - I'm wet, i need my medicine, turn the light on, turn the light off, put the cover on, take the cover off, get me my cigarettes. I don't see my kids or grandkids much anymore and I can't leave the house for longer than about an hour because noone else will change her diaper. Oh, and she went on a hunger strike last week, refused to eat or drink for 56 hours, then ate a sandwich and didn't eat again for another 24. And there's one pill in particular for her heart/blood pressure, that she has lost under her breast, between her legs, in her gown or on the floor 6 or 7 times. OMG, I;m sorry i'm rattling from subject to subject, but I'm so confused, lost, scared and sad all the time.And lonely, even when the there are lots of people around. I just don't know what to do. Maybe you can see why I asked my original question, cuz if it's not too long I think it would be worth just walking away and paying the price, at least I'd be rid of this responsibility of caring for someone who doesn;t care for herself, me or life in general. By the way, this is not the first time I've cared for someone. I took care of my sister and my mother, both who eventually died of cancer, and the job I quit was as a personal care attendant for a 32 yr old quadrapelgic. I'm really good at caring for people, she just more than I can handle. Thanks for listen