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My MIL is homebound of which my mom who also lives with my husband and I helps to care for her from 4 PM - 9 PM after the daytime caregiver's time is done. My MIL recently has been calling for assistance in the middle of the night. We don't hear her calls from downstairs to upstairs bedroom but my mom could so she goes down and assist with what she needs. The things she needs help on are: need to turn on TV because she could not turn it on, need assistance in repositioning herself because she could not move, need her phone when it's already near her, and pretended that she could not breathe. I'm sorry if you could not breathe, how can you scream for help? She has a health monitor that she wears every day and night in case of emergency. But these are truly silly requests and at times I feel making excuses to come and check on her.


I discussed this with my husband and he feels I'm being insensitive to my MIL's condition. She is 83 y/o and probably has early signs of dementia. But it's not fair for my mom since the agreement is to care for her on those timeframes only. I'm torn. Please help how to address this issue.


We also placed all the things we think she needs by her bedside to make sure she won't call for anything unless it's truly emergency since my husband and I work full-time jobs during the day.

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The first (and only) time my hubby had to deal with FIL directly, he immediately started a serious search for a placement and had him moved out the same week,

funny how it is all the wife’s insensitivity or exaggeration right up until he had to deal with it.

let him take over the night shift...I promise you he will fix it the first week he has to deal with it.
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Reply to Katiekate
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Suggest to her that maybe she needs Assisted Living, since she is needing so much help at night! Frame it as a "We're worried about you" instead of "You're driving us crazy". Either she really does need AL, or she will stop the phone antics.

If your husband feels you're insensitive to his mom, then maybe he needs to be dealing with her calls. You know, since you're such an insensitive meanie.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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You are in a situation where, every time your MIL says “Jump,”, you answer “How high?” I’m sure your mother has had it as well. She should not be required to extend her caregiver hours beyond those she and your MIL agreed to. Hubby’s comments are not acceptable. I agree that it’s time for you to put the “off duty” sign up at 9PM and explain to him that the responsibility for his mother’s overnight care is now up to him. Get yourself and your mother noise-cancelling headphones if you need to. If he protests, suggest that his mother may be “better cared for” in a facility.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Simple. Have your husband answer his mother's middle-of-the-night calls for assistance. Your mother does enough working for her from 4-9 pm, and needs HER rest as well. Once your DH starts answering his mother's 'emergencies', he'll see what's insensitive and what isn't. He'll also determine for himself what constitutes an 'emergency.'

There is only ONE way to learn empathy; and that is through scar tissue, aka first hand experience.

Best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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