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After 3 months of trying to make living with my great-grandmother (93 with vascular dementia) work out, I'm throwing in the towel. It's been a miserable experience for everyone involved, even her - she hates where she is almost as much as we have hated being here, so a couple of weeks ago I asked her POA (my mother-in-law) to have her re-evaluated for her eligibility for a home. We did, and got the requisite paperwork to apply to some homes for a room. I was (am) very much convinced, based on her state of being, that she will be much better off in a *good* home than she is where she is now, so I was relieved, even though it means needing to move out of the home my husband and I have been renting to share with her.

This morning, I received the news that, instead of applying to homes, she's convinced her other son and daughter-in-law to take our place as caregivers and keep the house we've been renting. Gran is totally miserable here and will continue to be so if she is kept here. She was moved far away from her hometown and the easy access of friends and family to move in with us and she is constantly lonely because nobody visits her out here anymore. Her only 'friend' is a PSW and there are no resources in our little town that are relevant to her. She spends all day at home in her bedroom watching TV. I am certain she would be happier in a nice home back in her hometown than she is here, but my MIL does not understand/care about my insistence that it is not in her best interests to keep her here.

Since she's POA, I'm guessing I have absolutely no way to influence this decision in the least, right? I don't have the time/money/resources to make a legal affair of it, nor am I that willing to get into a serious altercation with my MIL, but I really don't feel that this is the right decision for her. I am much more aware of Gran's needs and desires at this point than her POA is, but my opinion on the matter keeps falling on deaf ears. I feel rather frustrated by the whole thing.

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First of all why is MIL not taking care of her mother but insisting that one of her sons take care of great grandma? Is MIL physically able to care for her mother at least part of the year? Is MIL concerned about the money or does she honestly feel her mother is better off living with one of her grandsons?

I have to understand why MIL is POA but is not doing the caregiving. I would be a little annoyed about that. Maybe a prolonged visit with MIL by her mother would open her eyes to her own mother's unhappiness. This is very unfortunate.
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margarets - the home is a rental that we moved into explicitly to have enough room and facilities to care for Gran. Yes, my husband and I will be expected to move out to make room for my BIL and his fianceé to move in. (Even if she were going to a home, as was planned, we were planning to move out anyway... perhaps not immediately, but shortly after.)
Thanks for your current suggestions & thoughts. As you mentioned, jeannegibbs, I'm not entirely certain that she has the capacity to be happy anymore, but if she does, it's definitely not going to happen here. If she's going to be miserable anyway, I'd at least rest easier knowing that she has access to ways to make her life better, and that she was back somewhere where she would get regular visitors.
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You have no say in the decision. But it is possible you could have some influence. It is very kind of you to be concerned for this elder's welfare.

Here is one suggestion:
Write a list of the ways in which Gran demonstrates her unhappiness. Don't editorialize or be emotional. Just a matter-of-fact list of the kinds of happenings that make you think she isn't happy where she is.

Introduce the list by saying you are happy that other family members are willing to care for Gran and you hope they will be successful. You are offering some observations to help them know what to expect. If Gran seems unhappy they should know it is not new with their arrival. Send this note to MIL. Maybe if this second couple runs into the same problems that will make a difference in MIL's attitude.

I suspect that you are right about a home being better for Gran. But consider that her unhappiness is related to her lost abilities as well as where she is. She may or may not take advantage of the activities a care center has to offer. At her age, she may not have a lot of friends that would/could visit even in her hometown. She might sit around watching television no matter where she is. My mother has really blossomed in her nursing home, but I see many of the residents spend all day in their rooms watching television or dozing in their chairs.

You have expressed your opinion. You might try one more time, in writing, for future reference. Then move on graciously and hope for the best for your Gran. I hope you will continue to visit and be a part of her life.
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I'd say your hands are pretty much tied. It's not your call.
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I'm not clear on something: Are the other son and daughter-in-law going to move into your current home to care for Grandma? Are you expected to move out?
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