How to tell mom/MIL that she MUST move out of our home and into a low income apartment near by?

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She is 72 and in generally good health. I'm seeking help for my neighbor(s). Her mother was recently widowed and brokenhearted...invited to come live with daughter,sil, twin 10yr old boys...It is not working out at all!
The only solution to save the relationship is for MIL to move to local senior apartments near by. But, MIL doesn't want to live alone. This is really tough. Any suggestions? MIL thinks she is unable to live alone due to one little medical issue after another.
The daughter (mid-40's) came to talk to me about this earlier today. And, I said "I told you so" with a smile.
Now she wants to know how to tell Mom that she just must move?
Any suggestions?
She moved from Fla. to Seattle area. I've been friends with daughter's family for over 15 years and know the family dynamics there. also, have introduced MIL/Mom to our local community church w/their grief counselling group as well as Sunday morning services. And exercise group at senior community center 3 x a week, just across the street from the apartments where she could live...

If daughter and sil tell Mom/MIL that she should move because she will be happier...I don't think that will work as she will come up with excuses or try to deny any problems.

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"Mom, this isn't working out for us; we're going to help you move to those nice apartments over in (section of town). We'll come to visit twice a week; it'll be better for all of us. You won't be alone, you'll make friends there. I've talked to the manager and they have two apartments we can go look at tomorrow"
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Oh, ferris, please, this woman said they have known each other for years-why not assume that they are close enough to tease each other with a smiling "I told you so" instead of assuming that it was meant as a hurtful thing?
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The key here (from experience with my mom) is make the MOVING part a non-choice. We offered my mom short stay options, etc. she refused them all. She quite frankly had lost a great deal of her decision making capacity at that point, but we didn't realize that. Only when we TOLD her that she was going to move did she accept the idea.
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I tried all of that with my Mother-in-Law when she was 76 to no avail. She was determined to move in here with her only son, my husband, right after his kidney transplant. She was oblivious to how sick he was. She was only 4 years older than he is now and claimed she would be dead any day now. If only! She is now going to be 98 and is a total time suck and energy drain. She wouldn't go to any outside activities; she wouldn't let us take her to visit friends or have them over. My husband drank the Kool-Aid that he was the only one who could make her happy. This is not her choice. It is yours. She will not go easily and she won't go at all if you don't make her.
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Some assisted living places have short stay options so that it is possible to go to try it out without committing to a permanent stay. If that is possible, your mother-in-law might have the chance to make new friends and discover that she won't be alone most of the time.
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What if the MOM cannot afford assisted living or senior apartments, but living with 47 y.o. daughter and 10 y.o. son is not working out. Everyone assumes elderly have money - but many do not (because of unforseen circumstances).
Stuck in a corner.
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Having gone through this several times in my family (with grandma and grandpa) a dialogue has to begin with the family and their mom. Everyone involved has to be on the same page, that this is what we're going to do and now we just have to get mom on board. My grandma was adamant about not moving until the 2nd time we approached her in another family meeting and told her that she could decorate her little apartment any way she liked. That's when she began accepting it. But it took several family meetings with my grandma and a lot of resolve on our parts. She was going to move, we just needed to figure out that magic phrase that would get her there. We didn't demand. We approached her softly and respectfully but we knew this was going to happen. We chipped away at my grandma little by little, in increments, and she finally relented.

It's not just about having to move which is stressful enough but it's giving up independence (in my grandma's mind) even though we were trying to get my grandma into an assisted living. She had preconceived notions of what assisted living was and we had to quash those so we took her on a tour.

This life change for the mom should be a process. Baby steps. Don't overwhelm her. Plan the family meeting and decide what little goal is to be accomplished at the first meeting. Then leave it alone for a while, let the idea sit with her and approach her again. We all knew my grandma WAS going into AL even though my grandma wasn't aware of it but we had to treat her with respect and appreciate the implications of what we were suggesting, how upsetting it would be for her.

We convinced her after about a month-and-a-half. After she got moved and things settled down she was very happy in her apartment.
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First, I know you meant well, but please don't every say... I told you so. That's not helpful and can hurt an already hurt person.

The thing that works for me and my family in many situations is to 'set the expectations'. What ever is happening that is good and not good, should be addressed. Your neighbor should list the things she wants to address and construct a conversation with MIL and her husband where they address those things.

Some of the MOST challenging and emotional things in my life have been addressed simply by approaching the situation by setting expectations. For example, at my son's encouragement, I approached my sister... who had for my entire life, been nasty. I told her that we were about to journey through a very emotional process and I am committed to being kind and loving. My sister immediately apologized to me for things that she has done, because her emotions go the best of her. I didn't even think she knew she acted badly and then she committed to being kind and loving. It's working.

Think about how the MIL must feel, even though we can't fathom it. She may be very scared. I for one have no idea what it must feel like to be alone at that age. Her behaviors may be based on huge fear and discomfort. With a clear discussion of the two settings, both the home and the independent living situation, perhaps the MIL could decide to step up, when given the clear chance to participate in the discussion.

Sometimes I think we hope when we are that age that people will treat us kindly and will include us in a rational discussion, but I have NO idea how scared and emotional I will be at that time of life. I hope people in my family will give me a chance to pull myself together and to try to be nice after I have failed to be nice, because of my fear and nutty feelings.

What are the things she can bring to the family? Tell your friend to think about it and.. say what she will do ... then ask for what she wants. Kindly and clearly.

Tell your friend to be kind and be clear. Don't be vague about what she is willing to do and what she expects, but be kind... she should say it with a kind and caring smile and show concern without offering to give up on her own life and family.
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First of all, I would prefer talking with the daughter whose life this actually impacts. You are not a friend when you said, "I told you so!" Even though someone may object to going to live somewhere else, the owner of the rental lease has the right to prohibit someone from living with them. Just have her get an apartment, move mom in, and let her make other friends. Each of us has a right to live in an environment where we can relax and choose with whom we live.
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Dear Terrim, You and I share several caregiving issues but I think you are forgetting that the caregiver being asked to take care of this mother may have even more problems than the mother. And the person wanting move in often ignores that terrible stress and strain the caregiver is already under and doesn't consider that each of us can only do so much. I had a son stabbed with an ice pick in a third world country where he went to help recover bodies from mass graves and a daughter with a pulmonary embolism at age 36 in CCU for weeks and a husband with 12 surgeries in 7 years for cancer and then a kidney transplant plus a devastating car accident that nearly crippled me and STILL my mother-in-law demanded to live with us and came in with her depression to add to mine. I was supposed to make HER happy. I had no resilience left and each day was/is still a horrible struggle (oh yes, I forgot to add my Dad was dying of prostate cancer, my stepmother was nearly paralyzed and her husband had recently died of dementia who I had also taken care of. But I was supposed to take her in when all I asked her for was one year to get back on my feet after the kidney transplant but NOOOOOO, She called me evil and lacking in character I was a sucker to give in. That's what her victory represents to me.
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