I am new to this forum so forgive me if this is the wrong way to ask follow-up questions. (I posted last week about how we recently moved to a new state and suggested to my husband’s 78-year-old mother that she might move in for a while so she could save a couple hundred on rent and still be close to us, as we are her only family and she seemed to be having money problems. That post has more context about how she quit her job and broke her subsidized lease immediately, forcing us to bring her in before we had even gotten unpacked and settled, and then we learned she lied to us about her income.)
This week I was able to get her a doctor’s appointment, get her car insurance lowered by more than half, and insist that she give us $500 toward shared living expenses. The amount agreed upon originally was $600 plus a share of individual household bills (electric, water, etc), and we understood that she would buy her own gas, groceries, car expenses, etc, but since she lied to us (either purposely or due to cognitive difficulties, we don’t know which), it now seems that taking this $500 from her is already too much, and we are left paying for all her food and daily needs. As I mentioned in my post, she had been working fulltime and had an active social life, and we assumed that would be the case here, but since she got here she has proclaimed herself unable to work or manage money and wants to be supported. She stays in the house with me 24/7 and I am beside myself.
My husband is so beyond fed up with her that he isn’t even acting like himself. He comes home and, like me, pretty much hides in our room. It’s difficult because we are so frustrated with the situation but we also don’t want to lose our tempers with her. I tried having a talk with her this week and told her we need to establish a budget for her so she can put some money aside for her own place, and I basically told her this is going to be limited to one year. She got upset and said she never would have gotten rid of “all her stuff” (honestly, she just donated a few pieces of cheap furniture that didn’t make sense to rent a bigger truck for) if we were “just going to put her out in a year.” I was shocked to learn that she honestly did think she was moving in with us for the rest of her life (we are still a relatively young family; I’m 35, hubby is 42, daughter is 9). We just don’t know if this is manipulation or if she completely misunderstood the plan due to early dementia or something. Somehow we are the bad guys in this. She does not see this as us helping her... she feels that we are somehow taking advantage of her by making her contribute $500 a month. She is also walking around the house making passive aggressive comments about how the house is not unpacked and done yet (she apparently feels I’m being lazy). I’ve asked her to chip in by doing the many loads of laundry we have to sort and either hang or donate, and she seems very resentful of this. We took her to a breakfast at the local senior center (despite her protests), and walked her around introducing her to people and trying to get her to make friends. She will not return, despite our asking her to each day. Our 9 year old just told us that Grandma has been saying she doesn’t want to go spend time with “those old fogies.” What she wants is to stay in the house all day, eavesdrop on my phone calls, mutter under her breath, and be cooked for and fed. If she needs to find a doctor or take care of any of her business with her bank or find insurance quotes, she tells me I have to do it because she “can’t.”
In the space of a month, she has become a completely different person, unrecognizable to even my husband in her neediness and refusal to do anything on her own. Literally 3 weeks ago, she was working 50 hours per week. I am still struggling over whether to be angry (she’s always been a manipulator) or whether this is cognitive, but either way it can’t go on. Any advice on what to ask the doc Monday when she goes