My mother in law suffers from Alzheimers disease. She has recently been cared for in the hospital for medical issues and it seems her symptoms or that the disease has progressed some since being back home. I've posted before, that my MIL is cared for by her eldest daughter M-Th. My husband (second oldest son) and I care for her F- Sun afternoon until my brother in law (youngest son) picks her up to spend the day with her until he returns her home.

The recent incident that occured left an argument between my husband and I that was very heated. I suggested looking for help, because although I am not blood relative I do help care for my MIL as much as I possibly can (including care for 2 small children). And I do see her situation worsening and I know that the way things are (frustration, stress, and impatience) that some kind of intervention is needed for my husband's family.

Once we settled down to actually talk thru our issues about this situation. My husband explained to me that it would be shameful and a disappointment to his late father if they were to not be the ones to personally provide care to his mother. But I see that their capability to care for her is being over shadowed by anger, guilt and frustration. And I am truly just trying to offer help and suggestion because my husband works so hard for my children and I and for his family. And I see it wearing on him everyday.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestion on how to take on this new chapter and how to better make this suggestion without seeming uncaring.

Thank you

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OH PUH-LEASE! You’re supposed to be concerned about WHAT YOUR LATE FIL IS GOING TO THINK???????????

Calmly and sweetly request that you DH do a serious reality check. When you’re attempting to balance a human being over a potty while simultaneously attempting to remove a loaded disposable under garment and keep her from sneezing into your ear and falling on the floor and wondering what the crashing, crunching sound was coming from the room where you THOUGHT your three year old was concentrating on Daniel Tiger, THE VERY LAST THING you have time to think about is the opinion of a HALLOWED ANCESTOR!

The WHOLE FAMILY should be addressing overall scheduling needs and where, when, and HOW to implement FAMILY SUPPORT.

MIL needs ABOVE ALL to be kept SAFE, Provided with physical needs, and treated respectfully by all who deal with each other, but her caregivers ALSO DESERVE RESPECT.
Helpful Answer (15)

Hiring help IS personally caring for your MIL!!
Helpful Answer (9)

The reason why Memory Care facilities are popping up everywhere like flowers is simple: ordinary people cannot care for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia at home after a certain point in time. Period. Loss of bowel and bladder control, wandering in the middle of the night, severe memory loss.........the list is endless.

Your husband is speaking for a dead man, which is ludicrous, when you think about it. What's shameful and disappointing here is that he expects his mother to be shuffled around the family like a deck of cards instead of living in one place where she can be cared for 24/7 by a trained staff of care givers. Nobody there is angry, guilty or resentful because it's their job to care for elders with Alzheimer's and dementia. Plus, there's a ton of activities and socialization situations to keep them occupied.

In reality, truly caring people SEE this disease for what it truly is and choose to look into all the care options available. Relying solely on unqualified family members to care for someone with Alzheimer's is unrealistic and even dangerous, once the disease progresses. Read up on what to expect:

Wishing you the best of luck moving forward
Helpful Answer (9)

By all means, ask for help. Reach out. Accept help. There is no shame in needing help. It’s a very tough job being a caregiver.

Your husband needs a wake up call. Please do not take on this responsibility. You have your own responsibilities. Remind your husband that your priority is to your children. Tell him you will not be involved in your mother in law’s care.

Tell your husband that not doing the day to day care is not letting down his dad. Explain that seeking professional trained help for her is in her best interest. That not doing so is shortchanging her.

Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (8)

Your husband has get rational and get some common sense. My wife for the last several years took care of her Mother with increasing dementia. This week she finally gave in and put her in a home. Her blind insistence demolished our Marriage (I could no longer tolerate her Mothers constant demeaning, evil behavior) push came to shove and my wife chose her Mother. This choice turned my wife into a zombie. I'm sure it will take her Months, maybe years to recover from her Mothers conduct. Her choice also severaly damaged the relationship with our children. So now her Mom is Finally in a home. BUT my wifes marriage is still demolished, her relationships with her children still damaged. BUT her Mother got everything she wanted which was the undivided attention of her daughter. Putting the needs of an elderly parent ahead of the needs of yourself and your immediate family IE spouse and children will have devastating effects, emotionally, financially and it WILL have lasting effects. Consult with ANY shrink, therapist, clergy they will tell you the same thing. FEEL free to have your husband contact me.
Helpful Answer (7)
anonymous912123 Feb 2020
I am so very sorry to read this about your wife, however, your comments are right on the mark.
Your husband is manipulating you, plain & simple. His comment is just plain ridiculous, if he wants to care for his mother, then he should, not you.

Seeking professional help is doing the right thing for her, burdening you with her is not.

Your children come first, they will carry their childhood into adulthood, whether you admit it or not, this will effect them, they hear and see everything regardless if you don't think they do. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (6)

First. I am going to comment on what is going on with MIL.
Moving from one "home" to another can be very confusing. She knows one place then to have to adjust to another can take a while. Then being taken to a third home she has to adjust again. It would be far better if MIL could stay in one place. Some solutions might be one of the three have an "In law" suite built and whoever is caring for MIL can stay with her at the time. This would give her a familiar place that she knows is "home"this might lessen the frustration, impatience and stress.

Now to caregivers.
Hiring help is not a sign of giving up. It is a sign that you care enough to get the help that is needed to provide better care than you alone can provide.
As a person declines they will need more help not less and it can be very stressful. Does your husband take his mom to the bathroom? Does he clean her? Shower her? or does this become your responsibility? While you do these tasks he can be a son and you are the caregiver.
What would happen if you or he were to get injured while caring for her? Who then would care for you while you recover?

Not to mention that you get MIL on the weekend...I am going to assume that your husband works and weekends are a more free time. Does he not want to spend some quality time with his children? Hiring a caregiver to come in for a day would enable you to go out and have some family time.
If he truly does not want to hire caregivers to help out then I suggest that one Saturday you plan an outing with the kids. Leave around 8 am and do not return until about 5 pm. Oh...and "forget" your phone on the bedside table or in the bathroom. I think a nice breakfast with the kids, then a park or the zoo, lunch then maybe a movie.
Helpful Answer (6)
Emarirod Feb 2020
Thank you for your suggestion, i find it difficult to think about myself a lot of the times, im usually trying to constantly find ways to "fix" things and that usually includes me trying to take on all the tasks. My family has suggested the outing with the kids and I dont think it is a bad idea, i know my little ones deserve a break and i know i do to. I guess im just trying to exhaust every possible strategy i can for them to understand some type of help is needed before i do something like that because i will surely be seen as the "bad person/wife". But i guess i need to start putting my little ones first like i intended to do. Its just hard for me to see my husband struggle, but i guess ive been struggling without being considered for a while. And probably enabling his idea that " it isnt that bad" because ive been caring the load without complaints until now
Don't miss caring and enjoying your children because of your husband. If you can't get through to him, then the decision about your family's future is yours.
Helpful Answer (5)

Yes, his father would want her cared for but wouldn’t he want the best for her? What about his grandchildren? Wouldn’t he want to know that they are being well cared for? How can they when you’re trying to balance their needs with an elder who needs more care than they do? And who will in fact need more while they grow more independent? No, your children should be prioritized over MIL. Does that mean “throw her somewhere”? No, that means getting her the best care by people who have been trained in how to care for the elderly. There are different ways to care for someone. It doesn’t necessarily mean providing hands on care. It could mean having someone come into the home to care for her. It could mean a facility. Trained professionals who work in shifts and are able to go home and rest are much better suited for this. In turn, your husband and his siblings would be able to oversee her care and advocate for their mom. I’m guessing that most of her care is on you when she is at your home. That needs to change. Let your husband take care of her. He isn’t necessarily being a jerk here, but he is not thinking straight.
Helpful Answer (5)

I think you are being too lenient on your husband. So what if he works hard! He is laying the biggest guilt trip on you, which is more usually associated with the elder themselves. In fact he is trying to shame you into acquiescence and I see that as domestic abuse.
Perhaps no one in the family, even you yourself, realise fully what caring for someone with dementia entails. I think everyone involved with your MIL needs a reality check because this roster will eventually cause more harm than help with your MIL. Although it is a good routine to share caring ... and kudos to you all thus far ... it will eventually become a burden especially when sundowning really sets in.
Perhaps a family conference withe the fa ily doctor is indicated. Get him or her to lay out the awful future your poor MIL will experience, and how testing that will be for everyone.
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