Jealous mother-in-law.


Hi-I'm currently helping take care of my mother-in-law. She is very demanding and controlling. She gets jealous of the time I spend with my own mother. It's like she is mad that my mother is taking time away from time I could be spending with her. Anybody got any suggestions?

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Tone, if she's got a mental illness and/or dementia and you are going to be caring for her, it's important for you to understand that you need to set boundaries. "I can be here for an hour today Mother Jones, shall I make you coffee or tea before I do the laundry?" Be business- like and don't give in to temper tantrums. Be kind and gentle; she's lost the capacity to learn new things, so reprimand in her or doing things to "teach her a lesson" won't work. She's not manipulative; she's ill.

Read all you can on this site about dementia, and watch Teepa Snow videos on youtube.

Yes, the family believes she has some mental illness. We also believe she has dementia. She is starting to forget things and become confused. We are taking her to her family doctor tomorrow and will be asking lots of questions. She's been in hospitals and a nursing home for several weeks because she had cellulitis and could barely walk. She is back home now. I just don't think I can handle being around too long. We have help coming in now and taking care of her for part of the day.

Is she mentally ill? Has she been diagnosed with dementia or a cognitive impairment of some sort?