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I am worried about my inlaws. Sometimes it's worse than others, and it seemed to get better for a while, but it's always been there and I think it may progressively be getting worse. It's been subtle things...like my MIL would make his food for him or take water to him. Sometimes he says weird things that are off the wall (like yelling at a party that he doesn't want to watch a hunting video), and often he seems grumpy. My MIL told me recently he had hallucinations after a minor surgery, he took her medication with his, and they spent the night in an ER. Apparently this has happened before. The other day she told me he only eats once a day. That's really weird for him. My FIL is a *foodie* who has always enjoyed his meals (in the plural sense).

I badger my husband to talk to his mom. He claims he does, but while they do *talk* they don't talk about this very much. I opened up to my MIL that we need to sit down at talk about what their needs are as they get older. Both she and my husband thanked me for this (this is something my husband keeps claiming he brings up--but I don't think he really does). It was like they were relieved not to have to bring it up to one another.

So it kind of seems like I need to be the one to bring up these issues going down with my FIL. How do I approach it? I'm so worried about offending or even worse that I may be totally wrong that something is up (or my MIL continues to try to hide it). I'm so very worried about them and also if something big goes down it will impact us directly. My husband is an only and we live out of state.

I'm at my wit's end. My grandmother died of a stroke being a caretaker to my grandfather who had Alzheimers. I don't ever want this to happen to anyone else I love, but being the DIL I'm a little nervous about how to approach this without being invasive. Would truly appreciate input/advice. Thank you!

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As a DIL, I understand your dilemma. You have to suggest, and know when to step back. Console his mother, but ask her what she wants to do, do not take over her husband. Her biggest fear is losing her soulmate.
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It sounds like your FIL has dementia. If so , it will only get worse. I'm a 60 year old only son, or the only one left, and I deal with my folks long distance. I wouldn't for a minute expect my wife to shoulder the burden of her Inlaws. Hubby should step up to this. It may be uncomfortable for him to have these frank discussions about dad but really now, man up and do what has to be done. Two things you should throughly research on this site, dementia and all the nightmare stories of women stuck with the caregiving for their inlaws. You want to help out, fine, but hubby needs to pull his weight.
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It sounds like your husband and his mom have a hard time talking about the "tough stuff". So maybe you can be the bridge. Can you ever take mom out to lunch (with husband) away from dad and just have a general conversation about "the future". You can talk about your own wills (if you don't have them, you should!) and ask if mom and dad have theirs set up, along with Powers of Attorney. If not, you can start there...then segue into future needs and how they're thinking they will meet those.

And as you talk about those things, you can mention that FIL seems to have some behaviors that are different than he used to be, like the eating once a day. Ask if she's noticed and/or if she's concerned about that. She may say no, at which point there's not much more you can do, other than to let her know that you're there to help and not render judgment.
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