My husband and I have been caring for my mother in law for a year. She has dementia, is non-ambulatory, and completely incontinent. I am home with her all day, and leave to work when my husband comes home in the evening. I have young children in the home, and am 6 months pregnant. I am still having to lift her from the bed to her wheelchair, toilet her, etc.

I can no longer capable, either emotionally or physically do this any longer. No one in my husband's family is willing to take her- even though all of them are older than myself and my husband (three of my sisters in law are much older than my own mother- he was a late in life baby), and have no children living in the home any longer.

She has medicare, not medicaide, so we can not put her in a nursng home. I don't even want respite care any longer- I just don't want to do it. I don't want the responsibility of caring for her. I feel like a terrible person saying that, but it's the truth. (I know respite will be suggested, and I am unwilling to entertain that idea any longer.)

I don't know what to do. I am so lost for options. We have spoken to our local office for the aging, and they have warned us that if we give up "custody" to the state, we may be investigated for elder abuse.

I don't know what to do- am expecting a baby in less than 3 months, and don't have anyone willing to take her for even that little time period after the baby's birth.

Do I even have any options, or are we stuck?

One thing-we are not her legal guardians nor do we have power of attorney- my brother in law does- can we force him to take responsibility?

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ataloss, tell your husband to man up and get his siblings to take over the care of their mother. He has a pregnant wife and little children to take care of, that should be his FIRST AND FOREMOST obligation.

Call her doctor, explained the situation and ask what options are available.

Advise her other children that she needs to be living elsewhere within 2 weeks. You are no longer physically or emotionally able to do this. You don't owe these people any kind of explanation. They should all be ashamed of themselves! Is your ob/gyn aware of this physical and emotional abuse?

If I were your Mother I would pack MIL up and deliver her to one of the other children. This is a crime against you and your family.


Did you tell the local office for aging that her other familiy members have power of attorney and are her legal guardians? Does she have too much to qualify for Medicaid? Have you considered consulting an attorney about this situation, either to force your relatives with control over her finances to perform their duties or have a court make other arrangements for her care? If you can't afford an attorney, is there a legal aid or legal services office in your community to offer advice at free or low cost (go to the website to find one in your area).
If you are pregnant, still working, have other kids already to care for, it sounds like you are the one being abused if you are expected also to provide care for your mil.

I will also add that she came straight to us from living on her own, where my sister in law and brother in law led us to believe that the situation was much better than it ended up being. They withheld how much help she really needed. We were willing, and totally expected, to care for her for the remainder of her life, but we were essentially handed a 110 lb. infant to care for, and literally ignored ever since.

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