How do you cope when you're an elderly caregiver and MIL is healthier than I am?

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MIL is 90 and I'm 67. MIL is still able to use her Rolator and is mentally pretty sharp but is passive aggressive and unhappy when I don't act like her maid, read her mind, and provide what she wants without asking. Husband, 65 still works all day and will not retire as long as she is at home.

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I would also let her know that if she makes good on her threat to do something she knows she is not supposed to do - even once - whether she gets hurt or not, she gets moved into assisted living. Then do it. She has zero right to discourage her caregiver from taking care of herself and essentially make you a prisoner in your own home with emotional blackmail. If she is too demented to even perceive that this is simply and exactly what she is doing, maybe different story - but still time for an alternative placement or some respite caregiver in your home.

Maybe your husband is not aware of how many caregivers fail to outlive their caregivees for just this reason - is that what he really wants, to be a widower with his mom expecting him to take over all her care? If not, something has to change. if so, something else needs to change. Sorry to be harsh, but you have a situation that has gone on 10 years too long and probably felt guilty or selfish for not just indefintiely and happily putting up with it...it needs to change and the change will only start by you insisting and drawing some lines, because everyone else's needs are well met by the status quo, at your expense.
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I'd say when she says so I'll take a shower by myself, I'd say okay. Then go about my business. While I was out and about then I would look for a job for myself. Then I would get this job and be away too. This is your husband's responsibility, not yours. If I couldn't find a job right away, I would go on an extended vacation and let hubby be in charge. If I didn't do that, I would be set boundaries and not do this anymore. I'd take care of myself and no one else.
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It sounds like your MIL is turning your home into a thing of misery. Is she living with you? It sounds like you need to make other arrangements for her. Do you have an independent or assisted living facility near you that she can afford? I know that it is easy to say to get them to move, and hard to do. There is so much anger and guilt that goes with it. But if she is ruining your lives, it seems the only sensible thing to do. Many good thoughts coming your way.
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VTShan, I know how you feel, there are times when I think my 90+ parents are healthier than I am.... and my parents don't understand that I also have age related decline at 68. I am not 45 any more :P

Hopefully your hubby understands what is going on.... but he is hiding behind his job... good excuse, can't blame him.... I am hiding behind my job, too, and refuse to retire because it's my sanity and my job has now become my "vacation".

Sometimes you have to go *on strike* to be heard. Tell yourself today I am not going to do this, or that for mother-in-law.... she'll get mad at you, but she'll get mad anyway, but this time you have control :)

Does she complain to her son? Or does he turn a deaf ear to the whole situation? If he asks you why you didn't do this or that, just shrug your shoulders and say *I just do that any more*... time to hire help.
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Or if you can't find a job right away, do volunteer work... local hospitals and libraries [if there is one nearby] are always looking for volunteers :)

And if your Mother-in-law uses the guilt of saying she will take a shower while you are at the gym, so be it.... it's HER choice to take a shower and she needs to take ownership of HER choice should she fall. If she still grumbles about falling in the shower, ask her how would she feel having the paramedics seeing her naked as a jay bird because you would be calling 911. Sometimes a mental visual will make someone change their mind.
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I know it sounds harsh to say "let her fall" but there is wisdom (if she doesn't have dementia) in allowing natural consequences of her actions to be her teacher. Get yourself to the gym and wherever you need to be. You are responsible for offering her shower assistance on YOUR SCHEDULE not her whim.
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Why is she in your home and destroying your life? If you died tomorrow, where would she go? Then put her there or suffer the continual abuse that she gives.
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You keep going to that therapist and you keep asserting your right/need to live your own life. Ultimately that may need to mean that MIL moves out of your house, or that she hires in-home care, and certainly that she stops treating you like a servant.

Where is your husband on these issues? I don't blame him for being at work, but what is his attitude toward your concerns?
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So hubby is "hiding out" at work. I have a hubby like that. He is a few years younger than me also. He should be treating you better. Yes, he. Your MIL is his mother and his responsibility. If he doesn't have the ability to stand up for you, then you will have to stand up for yourself. What is the worst that can happen. The old girl goes to assisted living or a nursing home? Too bad, she should have been nice to you. And your husband? He is passive aggressive as well. Learned it from mom I guess.

When my twins were in college my husband decided he would rather me work at a physically strenuous job to pay their bills than take it from the investments that were supposed to be for college. He just couldn't part with the money so I worked the bad job. Hurt my back in the process. Then his Mom got really sick and they wanted me to drive 100 miles one way on Wednesdays to sit with her so the family would not,have to spend some of their money on care (they were quite wealthy too). To he*% with that. I said no. And when the twins finished college, I quit the crappy job. You have to stand up for yourself, no one else will.

What I know from having a husband who also was like yours when it came to mom is you have to be the one to say what you will or will not do. They just don't respect you enough to even think about what you need or feel.
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MIL has hired help. If she doesn't keep paying for it when I return, she will be alone as I'm volunteering and having a life!
Amen.
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