Husband going up to see his folks on his own need advice.

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I started this discussion last year. Really appreciate everyone's advice, but never really resolved it: https://www.agingcare.com/questions/father-in-law-less-independent-181558.htm. Long story short, we've been suspicious there's been some underlying health issues with my ILs. FIL acts odd and needy when we visit. My MIL's parents are both still alive (96 and 99). They seem to be able to get around and even drive still, but my MIL is taking care of a bulk of their medical arrangements. I think the stress is wearing her down at the least...possibly killing her slowing. She used to call me up and sometimes cry about it, but she never talks about it fully to her own son (DH is an only). This year she has become very aloof and that is what worries us most. I think DH is scared. He oscillates between calling them every day to every other day to going a couple weeks without really talking. We were supposed to all visit in a couple weeks with DD (she is 7) and our dogs. MIL has told us they don't want dogs over. She mentioned she worries the cats will puke up their meds and the dogs will eat them, but I think it's truly FIL has become more and more fearful of the dogs hurting the cats—even though two of them have have visited before and are gentle with our cats (the third is big and we don't take him to their house). She's also said there are loads of appointments they are going to. I believe the last. I think they are very stressed and perhaps this is not a good time to visit with DD (as much as everyone wants to see one another). But maybe it'd be a good idea DH go up on his own? He could talk to MIL then (they've always had trouble finding time to talk when DD is there with us). I think his parents need to see him (and perhaps vice versa). Are there quick resources I can send him that can give openings into these discussions? Also, what kinds of things should he look for when he visits?

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Ditto. ditto.

So happy to hear this. Sounds like you can exhale a bit.
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Greta, ditto what Bablou said. Sounds like it was a productive fact-finding mission. Glad to hear that the conversation was an "opener" (and not a "closer" as it is in so many of our families -- no matter how delicately we choose our words). You have a good info and a good foundation for future visits. Those oldsters are blessed to have you! It's rough that you are so far away, but that's modern life. Keep us posted.
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Greta, kt sounds like someone needs to get fil to a geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist to take a closer look and his day to day functioning.
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DH went up for a 4-day visit and had a conversation with his folks. It was really positive, and made them happy. Communication is finally happening.

Concerns about the cats are being addressed. Sounds like MIL has similar worries about FIL as we do, but FIL's doctor has been blowing her off claiming its just aging and "guy stuff."

Then DH's grandmother is really unhappy (probably bored) due to lost mobility—even with support. People from her church and family visit and help out but she is still very unhappy as she can't walk easily due to pain. She is the type of person who is always on the go and this is making it very hard for her to do what she loves which is making her miserable.

Hubby is going up again, and we are all going up a little later and staying at a hotel for a longer period. The plan is to stay late one or more nights and talk, but my husband is at least getting it started. My MIL very much has things together (as much as a person can in that kind of situation), but she is tired, angry, sad, and overwhelmed—and it is wearing her away.

We want to keep talking with her to help her and the rest of the family.
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Thank you, All. I really appreciate your help. This is very emotionally draining. The worst part is this thing in me...my instinct...I've come to terms with that it is never wrong. If I realized how strong it was and trusted it when I was younger I would have had a very different life (in a positive way). I just can't ignore it anymore.

We're working things out currently and trying to stay positive. Counseling is definitely in our future. We have a happy marriage beyond all this, but issues with our parents (mine make his look like a heart-warming sitcom) have been shaking things up. Will update later.
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The thing I have experienced it that it is a great deal of time. Time just sitting, walking and more just sitting in their comfortable environment. Answers to questions eventually come out or observations ultimately reveal themselves.
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I wish it was easier for you. But the people telling you what is likely coming are probably right. Would hubby listen if heart to heart you tell him how conflicted you are, how this is eating you up with anxiety, and how real the possibility is that something will fall apart in the near future? Tell him you HAVE to go just to give yourself peace of mind? One of those brick walls has to give way!
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Great advice above, imo. I would try to avoid the panic of getting a surprise phone call from some agency, financial office, police or medical office saying there is a crisis and you are needed pronto.
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Thank you, Linda 22.

Greta, this IS support. You wanted support and we are giving you the green light. Mobilize. Now.

And stay in touch. Let us know how you are doing. Your status, as many know, is critical. You are not alone in this. There are lot so people in your situation.
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Greta, you're not stuck. You know there's a problem and you've hit that point most of do where emergencies will be coming up with your parents and inlaws. So now you get to work on the emergency bug out list. Worst case scenario - you need to leave town ASAP, without dogs or your daughter (assume that you will be so immersed that you can't also tend to your daughter). Make a list of everything you'd need to do to be ready to hit the road in an hour. Who to call, what to do, petcare, childcare, what to pack. Then you get the plan rolling - find petcare, arrange childcare with a close friend, set aside a small supply of meds for you and your husband (if needed), make a list with all needed phone numbers. I'd advise having a smartphone or iPad with you because you'll need to research things on the fly. I've even kept a backpack ready for long days at the hospital and had a list of things my MIL needed every hospital stay so I could have them there the first day. I kept some frequent flyer miles available at all times because my emergencies were long distance. Until you and your husband are able to go there and assess, this will at least help you deal with the inevitable emergencies when they arise.
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