Many of you long-time forum participants know the saga of my father-in-law who lives in independent living in the 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment he moved into with my now-deceased mother-in-law. He's been hemorrhaging money not just on the rent but on 2 full-time aides. His building is only indy living and he has been paying extra for a charade of independence for 5+ years now.
My husband is his dad's DPOA both medical and financial. He found a luxurious community in the countryside where FIL can spend the rest of his life in indy living, assisted living, or nursing home. For nearly 90, FIL's physical health is good and he could well live to be 100! My husband has been working hard to make sure that his money doesn't run out and that he gets to always live in a nice place. Some background of how much my husband has been involved in his parents' finances: he literally saved his parents from financial ruin.
FIL's cognitive decline is noticeable to all of us who spend time with him on a regular basis. And last year he had another sharp decline. Yet at Christmas and New Year's Eve, FIL's showtiming was worthy of an Academy Award. He loves talking with the wife of one of his nephews, who fawns over him. She doesn't see him often enough to know what's going on cognitively. We don't know what FIL said to her but it ended up with her writing my husband an email with such phrases as "ripping him away from his family" "his autonomy" "respect your father" "he should not have to move" etc etc etc.
So my husband is freaked out. He is worried that she will take it upon herself to stop my FIL from downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment at the sprawling country estate-like-community for seniors that hubby found. She also doesn't know that my husband showed his dad lots of pictures of the place and a lengthy video tour and FIL was ooooing and ahhhhing and said he liked the place and would move because he knew he had to cut expenses.
So, dear forum friends, how do I help my husband? This woman has a strong and overbearing personality. My husband does not want to do anything that will make her do anything beyond writing an email when she has no idea about what is actually happening with my FIL beyond what she saw at Christmas and New Year's Eve, which was an old man showtiming.
My FIL hasn't handled his own affairs in a decade; however, he is good at giving the impression that he is still in charge. My husband has humored him, perhaps too much. Bottom line is that he has to downsize and my husband wants his dad near him at the place he found for him.
Should I do anything or just keep out of it? What advice should I give my husband? My husband and his brothers have all dreaded dealing with their father, who has a strong personality and is very stubborn.
Just when I thought we were going to solve my FIL's money crisis, this wrinkle happens. Ugh. Sigh. Oy veh!
Thankyou for your interest in my Father. I will forward his new address once he is settled. He is meeting the challenge of downsizing well, despite his recent cognitive issues. He will have more assistance in his new location, to meet his needs better. As a family we hope everyone can continue to support him - decline can sometimes become isolating. Again, I thank you for your concern & interest.
So pleased that Dad and you continue to have such a sweet bond. Unfortunately, he will run out of money if he doesn't make some changes, and we all hope to have him around for a long time, living independently as much as possible and not needing to move in with family members. (How many bedrooms do you guys have again? Just in case?). Those of us who see him more frequently are aware of the increasing challenges he's facing, though he sure had fun at the holidays! We hope you'll visit Dad more frequently, since you always raise his spirits.
Everyone is an 'expert' on what's 'best' for an aging loved one with cognition issues, especially those who are adept at Showtiming, like my own mother was. "What is SHE doing here?" people would often ask me. There's nothing wrong with her that she 'belongs' in MEMORY CARE! Oh really? Perhaps YOU would like to take her to YOUR home to deal with her wheelchair, her Depends, her blowouts, 29 meds a day, incontinence, insomnia, afib, neuropathy, Sundowning, etc etc. My cousin Barbara would even call mom telling her she wanted her to move into her house on Staten Island .....3 floors of vertical living for a woman in A WHEELCHAIR. Never once did Barbara offer to come get her, of course. All talk and no action are what these folks truly ARE. Full of free advice and admonishments for others about what we're doing 'wrong' with no solutions in mind..........just wagging fingers.
So again, I'd ignore this woman entirely, and pretend like she never sent such a rude email to begin with. Until & unless she decides to make a pest of herself, and then she'd get a tongue lashing she'd not soon forget.
So, I think you should just call her - she hid behind her email - you don't need to. You should tell her (in a professional, non-emotional, but stern way) that you were a bit taken aback at her email - and you'd prefer to address this in conversation. While you appreciate her concern about the FIL, she is unaware of the actual situation, given that she's only spent a few hours with him during the holiday and that is hardly enough time to assess what is necessary and realistic to provide your FIL with the appropriate current and future care that he may require.
And that your husband has helped him out of financial ruins years ago and he has been working diligently to ensure that his father continues to live in a beautiful community for the duration of his life - rather than being irresponsible by not preparing for his future where his money could run out. And you could ask her if she'd agree to take him in at that point instead?
You could also note that the FIL's cognitive decline is noticed to those who are close to him on a regular basis - rather than a few hours during holiday - and you're setting up a process in place to ensure his future safety. Plus, you both live nearby.
And that's it - and I'd wish her well and end the conversation there. These "do-gooders" are infuriating - it's easy for her to voice her opinion and judge - maybe she needs to just focus on her own life.
I appreciate your concern regarding my dad. However, this is an immediate-family matter, and my siblings and I are making decisions in his best interests as we/I have been doing for a decade already.
I'll send you his new address once he is settled. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you or have a visit.
All the best,