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My wife and I took in her aging mother to live with us over 2 years ago. My wife has 2 brothers and 1 sister who all live within 2 miles of us. Brother 1 has 2 high school, kids and only visits his mother in our home approximately twice a week for about 15 minutes each. Brother 2 has 2 grade school and one high school children, who does take his mother to church regularly and dinner thereafter. My sister in law, an RN, visits maybe once every two weeks for about a half hour.


First let me say. I have no problem at all or in anyway with my mother inlaw staying with us. Although she is not always easy to live with, she really has no other alternative then to stay with us. We have one high school child


The issue is the total lack of support from my 2 brother in laws and sister in law. Never have any of them gotten them to doctors appts, hair dresser appts or anything outside of what I described above. I have communicated my displeasure with this on numerous occasions, yet, nothing changes


It seems anytime we ask them to do something for their mother they all state that have other plans or are too busy.


Any suggestions or helpful insight would be greatly appreciated. I am about at my wits end.


Thanks in advance.


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Bill, there's nothing wrong with using your mother in law's money to fund supplementary care for her. You're saving her a packet by caring for her at your home anyway. Yes, she probably will need substantial funds in the future; but if her resources fall short by then, then like anyone else she will have to apply for assistance.
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You and your wife should tell mil that the other siblings need to pitch in and help. She's just sitting back and watching you and your wife do it all. Doesn't she have any sense of fairness?
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You can not force people to help that do not want to. Try to arrange things that will save you time or make your life easier. Call your commission on aging. They can get you a needs assessment and may be able to arrange some respite for your MIL. You can also find a pharmacy that bubble wraps prescriptions which takes another chore off your plate.
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Does MIL have any money? I am spending my siblings future inheritance on caregivers who come in and help me out since my siblings are unable to. They keep her company, take her to doctor's appointments, hair appointments, etc.

Thanks to them, I was able to go back to work full time. We wanted to go to Disney World and I knew asking siblings to pitch in with caring for her would be fruitless so we brought Mom and one of the caregivers with us (three times).

If MIL can afford it, bring in paid help to do all those things they won't help with.
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Church mouse.......My MIL has some funds from the sale of her house. They would tell us to just use that..........but, we are trying to save this for her as I am sure she will need it for medical expenses in the future
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Hm. Sounds grim.

Well. Key Fact is you and your wife need regular respite support, and if they're not going to provide it personally then maybe they can contribute to it financially instead: find out the going rate locally for domestic help and HCAs, hypothetically, and work out the numbers according to how many hours' relief you think is reasonable.

Put this to them as an option, not a threat. The important thing is to find a system that works.
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Fregflyer........yes she has done that.........but again each would say they already have plans..........then we end up having to do it
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Church mouse............thanks for the reply..........The SIL is the worst offender when it comes to support. They have had a sitdown meeting to discuss who would handle what in terms of her care. Sounded all good till they started overlapping each ones responsibility.

For and example. SIL was to organize and put together MIL medications every Friday. She know hasn't done that for 3 weeks so my wife does it.

I could give you numerous examples but I think you get the idea
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Would it be possible for your mother-in-law to ask the other siblings to take her to a doctor's appointment or the sister-in-law take Mom to the beauty shop? Coming from Mom, maybe the siblings would be less likely to say "no".
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Er, you're not going to like this... but actually they're doing pretty well, compared to some!

But clearly the work is not being shared fairly. Will the family as a whole be getting together any time soon? What's needed, and presumably the four of them - your wife, her sister, her two brothers - are on reasonably good terms, is a friendly, calm, constructive planning meeting where you can all figure out a more evenly divided schedule going forward.

Another reason that it's important to start this discussion now is that your MIL's care needs are only going to grow; and if the situation hasn't become an ugly one yet it will later on, if you can't all find a better balance.

Um. Given that you've listed the families' respective childcare commitments, and your SIL hasn't got any, be careful not to let her get hold of the wrong end of the stick and suspect that The Cunning Plan is to dump mother on her. The thing is, if I were the childless female child in this scenario, and especially if I had a nursing qualification, I would be extremely chary of "people" thinking that I'm the obvious choice to be mother's primary caregiver. If you're not very careful you'll find your SIL being highly defensive from the get-go, and if she goes off on one it could scupper the whole conference.
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