What to do?

Follow
Share

So, I've posted on here a couple of times re: caring for my 88 y/o MIL. I write out her bills and she signs them. I call in her Rxs, pick them up, set them up. I usually write out the bills that same day. The past two months she said she would have granddaughter write out her phone bill when it came in and they would send it off. Well, she fell this past weekend and her first alert wouldn't work? She had taken the phone bills and put them up forgetting to pay them. Her phone had been cut off. No phone, no first alert. She isn't hurt, no bruises. She is a large woman. Not tall, but large (256 and 5'2"). I am just going to rant, okay? Just going to lay it out here and hope no one cares. She can't see, except in the periphery. She can't hear because she won't wear her hearing aides I bought for her. So, I get to her house and I am crying (2nd weekend in a row I'm just a nervous wreck over family issues) and shaking like a leaf. The 911 guys are there and assure me she's okay. I talk to her about the phone bill and she thought she had paid it. Not since 8/9/16. I call the phone company and get everything turned on and later test the first alert. All is well and working. She refuses to go get checked out and says she needs to go to town to pick up supplies. I take her there and she seems fine. She is fine. I find out that she burned two pans last week because she had the wrong eyes on on the stove. So almost 5 hours later, I go to my home. Still nervous and wanting to cry because this has been sliding downhill for awhile and her other children do not help even though two live less than 20 miles away. Remember this is my MIL. My husband just sits back and lets me do all this too. "Momma wants you to do it." which is true. She trusts me more than anyone else. I send an email to all her other children (four) and receive this back from daughter in another state. "Thank you. Do you think she needs to go be checked out?" I said "She says No. I've been with her 4 1/2 hours and all seems well." Now my 4 1/2 hours is probably twice as long as daughter has spent with her in the past two years. I don't know why that struck me wrong, but I'm here and she's not. One child didn't even reply. I tried to talk to my husband about it over the w/e and didn't get anywhere. They all stick their heads in the sand. Momma needs help and I cannot get it for her. I have her healthcare POA and husband has durable POA. She has a few $$ that would be eaten up in less than a year and she knows that if she goes to assisted care of NH then it's gone. Her husband was a Vet, but they do not pay for NH or AL. I am just about done. My therapist (trying to get help for myself) said set up boundaries. Well, that didn't work too well. Not with her or DH. PLUS her other children are RETIRED and I work 40 hours a week and am gone from home 11 hours a day. Thank you all for letting me rant and rave. Nothing is solved, but I feel better. I have been doing this for almost all of the 14 years I have been married to my husband. But all the time in the last 6 years since her husband died. She hasn't driven in about 10 years. Please, any comments would be appreciated. I don't think they're going to change unless they are FORCED to.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
5

Comments

Show:
"My husband just sits back and lets me do all this too. 'Momma wants you to do it.' which is true. She trusts me more than anyone else." I cry foul, and manipulation.

Sorry, but speaking bluntly, your husband's nonparticipation and treatment of you as the servant for your MIL is totally inexcusable. I'm always reminded of Cinderella when I read a story like yours.

I agree with deciding what you will and won't do, and warn you that your husband and his nonparticipatory siblings will react negatively, so be prepared to stand your ground. There is no excuse whatsoever for your assumption of roles which the family itself will not assume.

Give them notice what you will and won't do and firmly advise it's up to them to work it out between them b/c you can't, and won't.

I wish you luck, and strength to challenge this lazy family. But you come first - there are enough of them to take care of her, especially when to me it seems obvious that she needs more help than she can get a home.

Those burning pans might one day catch on fire.

And you might one day have a complete nervous breakdown. Equally as unsettling is that the anxiety and exhaustion could affect your performance at your job, and that could become in jeopardy. You don't want to get fired while your husband and his sisters are exploiting you.
(3)
Report

Thank You all SO much. I am going to start on that list Geewiz. Hadn't thought of that. They will all be together during the holidays at some point (maybe). I am going to see if my SIL will call the VA and check into what they will pay for. It seems everything I've read said they won't but FIL was 100% DAV for the last 9 years of his life. When I wrote that note earlier I was at my wits end. Thank You.
(1)
Report

How are you going to force any change? Your husband and his sibs are jerks for expecting you to do all this. Would hubs do this for your mom? Huh uh.....

I'm guessing it's a gradual slide that got you into this mess. Maybe you need to do a gradual slide out of this mess. Pull back from a couple tasks, then a couple more. Put em all on notice. If you gradually pull out, my guess is MIL gets shipped off to assisted living.
(4)
Report

Random comments here. TAKE a deep breath! Vets and their spouses are eligible for help with AL or NH. See if someone can get that ball rolling. (Good job for DH or one of your SILs.) This is a 'business function' that the POA should handle. If the bills have become your responsibility, just change the address and have them come to your home. Identify her to both phone company and utility company as a senior so they don't shut things off. They would notify you before doing that. At 88 the limitations will only increase so start to put things in place to make it easier FOR YOU. I've had similar experiences. consider what you are willing to handle. Things that protect her health, for example. (I keep telling my DH to stop worrying about the stains on his Mom's clothes as they aren't affecting her health or quality of life. ) The first thing I would shove off is bill paying. Have them come to your house and DH can sign as POA. ANd my final tidbit --- you can't keep everything as controlled as you might like. Do the best you can with the limits you set and tell the others that the rest is theirs. (But then you can't complain if it is done your way) So choose to give them things that are important to them -- if possible.
(2)
Report

Yakmon, ever notice that we dive in to care for our parent or inlaw so that they can keep up their lifestyle, we need to change our own. I know the feeling, especially the shaking like a leaf.

I ran into that with my parents, who really needed to have moved from their home with all those stairs, as someone was always falling. But it was denial, denial, denial. And "we can manage". But no one was listening to me, I am the one who can't manage. The stress was exhausting. Hubby needs to step to the plate, the "Momma wants you to do it" is an excuse.

Of course, yours hubby's other sibling aren't helping because you are doing all the work, so they don't want to interfere.

Make a list of everything you do for your Mom-in-law... and I mean everything... now cross off half of those items.... now cross off a couple more thing. What is left on the list are the only things you will do, and you keep that list to yourself. If Mom-in-law calls and says she wants something on the list that you had crossed off, just say "Sorry, Mom, I just can't possible do that" and say no more. I know it won't be easy, but it will empower you :) Give it a try.
(2)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions