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Hello,
We live with my 85 year old mother in law. She has a lot of health issues and is very set in her ways about how her house is. She has a lot of rugs, and one rug is clear plastic. It is not stable, and moves when we walk on it. I have tripped on this rug about 4 times so far. He says there is nothing to stick on the back of it. I told him that I have already tripped and sprained my foot, and his response was to be more careful. We have been arguing about this. My MIL placed the rug there and I guess he is afraid to bring it up to her to remove it.
Also, MIL had home health aide come to the house and the nurse mentioned to her that the rugs were a fall hazard a few months ago, but the rugs are still there. How can I make my husband and MIL understand how dangerous these rugs are, as she could fall next?

Here's what you do: You remove the rugs yourself and throw them in a dumpster somewhere far away from the house or donate them, if they're in decent condition. When asked about these rugs, well gee, you donated them to Goodwill or ARC because you fell over them for the LAST TIME.

Your MIL is very very fortunate to have you living with her. She has to make some compromises in order for you to CONTINUE living with her and helping her, and that includes saying sayonarra to hazardous rugs and any other hazardous things that are lying around.

You can't make a man 'understand' much of anything when it comes to his mother, it seems to me. So stop trying, and just do what YOU have to do to ensure a safe living environment for everyone. If DH doesn't like it, then he can agree to move you BOTH out of there and into a nice home which YOU can decorate as you see fit.

Good luck setting down boundaries and sticking to them! You are entitled to have a voice and to use it!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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XenaJada Oct 7, 2020
THIS! So much THIS!
When MIL is asleep, get that clear thing and haul it away.
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Remove the clear plastic rug. When they ask about it say it was an accident waiting to happen and I removed it. The other rugs, I bought some liquid rug backing from Hobby Lobby. It helped tremendously and the rugs stay put.
If not then let nature take its course and whomever will fall and get hurt. But not you because you are being careful. Then your husband can be the one that is responsible and stop being coward around his mom.
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Reply to tevincolorado
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I agree about the rugs. Even seniors who don’t have dementia can be ridiculous over dangerous rugs that are trip hazards. After begging, explaining, and politely insisting that my mother remove the trip hazards, I took action in her home by throwing them away, I said I did it for ALL of our protection...my parents and me....I was even tripping on them. I bought some lovely decorative pillows for the living room and new shower curtain to make up for it and my mom was fine with it.

I’m not sure why so many seniors can’t appreciate that one fall can mean hip fracture, surgery, rehab, and maybe nursing home. How can a flimsy little rug be worth the risk? It boggles the mind.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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You don't. You do what you need to do to make the house safe and that is the long and short of it.

You are a caregiver and you do not need permission from anyone to do what is in the best interest of everyone's safety.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Just go through the house and safety proof it - without permission or notice. Because if she falls and hurts herself, dealing with the consequences will fall disproportionately on you.
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Llamalover47 Oct 11, 2020
MsRandall: Great response!
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An alternative to lealonnie's answer. Buy a big roll of duct tape and tape down all edges. It will look terrible and the tape will have to be replaced regularly, but it should keep the rungs in place.

Since when is clear plastic a rug?

We have a vacation rental. I buy new bath mats each season. The ones I bought last year slid all over the ceramic tiles in the bathroom. I had no idea. Luckily the first guests of the season told me. Yet the same rugs did not more on the laminate flooring. So I used them as door mats.
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Reply to Tothill
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Good grief. Sometimes someone has to step up and not be afraid to make an executive decision.
You might just have to explain to your husband your concerns and tell him you are going to make necessary safety modifications.
With my mother, no one ever wanted to make her disgruntled, so if they suggested making changes for the sake of safety, she'd always say "no", they'd just throw up their hands as though they had no power.
Puhleez!! She says "no" to EVERYTHING, unless it's going to McDonald's for ice cream. Lol.
I basically told them they were being chickenchit and I made necessary safety modifications. I mean what she gonna do?
No, she didn't like it at first, but she got used to it.
When she asked (fifty times), "what happened to that rug that was here?" My answer every time was, "I put it away because I don't want you to trip over it and hurt yourself."
Then eventually the question became, "Didn't there used to be a rug here?" My reply always, "Yes, when I was little."
Soon after, she never asked anymore.
Make your answers or reasons simple and the same every time.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 12, 2020
I adore your backbone, common sense and your wicked sense of humor! Your post made me smile. 😊
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What is it about that generation an throw rugs. I was told by a man I worked with, former rug salesman, that they actually ruin a carpet. My Mil had them from the front door to the back door.

Sorry, but its MILs house, MIL rules. You aren't going to change her mind because she is set in her ways and second you can't reason with someone who suffers from Dementia.

What you need to do is have the Nurse talk to your husband about the dangers. If MIL ends up in ER and the cause is a rug, let him go and sit with her and deal with ER. Bet those rugs come up.

Maybe you can start one at a time. See if she notices it missing. If she does, tell her you are washing it. If she asks again, say its drying. This will work if she has lost the ability to know one day from the other.
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disgustedtoo Oct 11, 2020
The suggestion to take them away one at a time was going to be my suggestion, with "answers" for each missing item. The plastic one needed cleaning. It's drying. It's cracked, will need another. Whatever you come up with! The others should disappear, one at a time. Cleaning, frayed, stained, whatever excuses.

Same for hubster - him telling OP to be more careful is just plain stupid for a response. Sure, she can be "mindful" that these are hazards, but HIS mother can't/won't. If HIS mother falls and breaks a hip, WHO is going to be responsible for that AND take care of her????? I would ask the nurse to brow beat this dummy, until he gets it. Pamphlets, documents, word of mouth to his face, pictures, if possible, of the resulting injuries.

But, don't count on him or wait for him to get it. Toss them (or if need be store them in a place neither will look!) one at a time, over time so it isn't quite as noticeable, have excuses for MIL as to where they are and why they haven't returned until she forgets about them. Depending on her level of dementia, out-of-sight generally leads to out-of-mind. It did for my mother - 9 mo in MC, she forgot about her condo and returning to it, but then focused on the previous residence! Not seeing my brothers led to her no longer asking about them. Haven't been allowed to visit since mid-March, so hopefully she still remembers me!!!
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If your MIL is no longer competent than sorry I disagree that “MILs house, MILs rules”. Because if her dementia, all safety hazards should be removed. Including dangerous rugs. You can’t reason with her because of her dementia. So she no longer gets to make ALL the rules. You’re responsible for her safety now that you are living there and caring for her. So I agree with the advice to remove the rugs.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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My MIL was the consummate perfect showplace house person. Professional decorator and all. As a result there were a ton of unnecessary things all over their house after she passed away that FIL deemed had to stay where they were. But they were causing problems. The biggest of these was all of the little runners she had in every hall - on top of carpet, so the edges wouldn't stay down. Larger rugs in carpeted rooms with the same problem. Even our kids were catching the edges and falling. And at the time FIL was living there alone. So we rolled them all up and put them in the attic. He yelled about it at first but we just told him that it was dangerous and unsafe and they weren't coming back out. He never missed them and eventually forgot about them.
The clear plastic rug, is that a rug/carpet protector? Get rid of it. It probably only has the little plastic points on the bottom that are supposed to grab the carpet to hold it in place and if it isn't safe, there really isn't a need for it anyway.
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