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I'm at my wits end and I don't know what to do. My MIL is getting worse. For the last 10 years, my husband and I were basically left to take care of his mother because his sister refused to (it's all about money). Now that she has dementia, my husbands bitterness is at it's all time high. He has admitted that he is NOT CAPABLE of taking care of her. Nobody will help him. Neither of his siblings think there's any dire need for in-home care, or to get their mother in a long-term care facility. My husband (and I) cannot do it.


But the YELLING....ohhhh the yelling he does at her. It gets me so angry. I resent the woman, she's not my favorite person in the world (before she had dementia she was mean and miserable, and she's even more mean and miserable now), but I would NEVER EVER want to see her feeling or being neglected. My husband yells at her "leave me alone" - "go away". She has become EXTREMELY CLINGY. Even worse now than years ago. It's to the point we can't even leave the house.


I am not exaggerating. It's gotten THAT bad. When I talk to him about it he doesn't want to talk about it.


Yet, I told him that he's no different than his sister because he treats his mother like garbage when he yells at her.


He's got to get a grip. I just don't know how to help him. He won't stop. When I'm at work, Lord knows what he says to her or how much he yells at her. My anxiety is at an all time high and I can barely breathe.


I don't know what to do or say. Nobody will help us. His siblings say they have an action plan, but nobody has lifted a finger.

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I am in the exact situation. We "hired" my brother-in-law to be caregiver along with myself. I moved back from Florida to take care of them. Unfortunately, since I've been back in NJ, I have had 2 cancer lumpectomies, radiation, spinal stenosis surgery, knee replacement and pneumonia--ALL IN ONE YEAR!! I never even went to the doctor's before except for routine checkups. So I needed help and am not physically able to do what mom and dad want to do. Oh, yes...my mom has moderate dementia, my dad has severe. It has now been 2 1/2 years and I am with them 24/7. Like you said, your husband yells and it sounds like my BIL. He absolutely refuses to believe my mom can be so forgetful, embarrassing, loses everything, can't hear well, teeth fell out, had to be replaced. She lost 3 sets of teeth and "cleaned" her hearing aides by soaking them in water with her teeth. That's just part of it. My BIL started out amazing. Don't know how we did it without him. But now, all he does is sulk and tell off my mom. He won't let her go outside on these beautiful days to work in her garden or water flowers (she does that 2-3 times a day. Drives my BIL crazy. He feeds us, but won't talk to anyone. It is very depressing for all as we were always a family with a humorous disposition. So YES, I feel it IS abuse, and I tried hiring HHA. My SISTER who is never even here, spoke to my mom and talked her out of it because SHE needs the income. I've been here 2 1-2 years as I said, and NEVER gotten a cent. This is supposed to be HIS job, but I'm not sure I want to leave them alone. So I do more than he does. But I feel he is abusive , no one will listen to me, so I am now looking for a place to live. I am on disability for depression and anxiety, yet I got thru this without ever losing my temper. I can't do it any more, so I'm passing it along to whoever decides to take over, My heart just aches!
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Can you call her family doctor? Or his, even? Don't forget, when this is having such a terrible impact on you too you really don't need anyone's permission or agreement to seek help.
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That's exactly what it is, however I've told him time and time again, despite his siblings lack of help, he is STILL the one that is left taking care of her, and he CANNOT neglect her, and he CANNOT yell at her like that.

It falls on deaf ears. He's already way past that point. Even after me giving him SEVERAL options that he can go ahead and do without his siblings, he still doesn't do it. Things like going to her family doctor, explaining the situation and asking the family doctor for some advice, and maybe some resources to help get her some home care.

Nope. He hasn't bothered to do it.

I can't help someone who doesn't care to help make those moves. I simply can't. I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

He yells at her DAILY. He's done it for quite some time, but now it's even worse. One day a neighbour is going to hear this and call the authorities. I have yelled and pleaded with him to STOP YELLING and he doesn't. He's so fed up that nobody has stepped up to help him, but yet, knowing that nobody won't, and knowing that I'm by his side, he won't even take MY ADVICE as to how to get help.
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Your husband needs to get away from the situation. He has to know this is wrong.  He is frustrated and probably mad at his siblings for not doing their part.   
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Thank you so much for this information. I will definitely bring this home to my husband. I admit that his behaviour is turning into downright abusive behaviour. For the sake of his mother's health AND his health it has to stop. 

I wasn't involved in the last time LHIN was involved. A case worker determined that she's eligible for home care. Nothing was ever done.  No paperwork was ever filed.

I'll be the first to admit - she was never one of my favorite people, but I wouldn't even yell at a rabid dog the way he yelled at her yesterday.
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CP, I've been reading over your past posts, you are located in Ontario Canada, right? You do realize that basic long term care is less than $2K a month here, so sibling's worry about keeping an inheritance shouldn't even be an issue.
What happened when you contacted CCAC (now your local LHIN)? If you are stymied by lack of POA then work at that angle, but the only time I have been asked to show my paperwork was when mom was being admitted for care.
Since we do not have an equivalent to APS in Ontario you may want to explore this route:
Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/service_standards/service_standards_opgt.php)
Anyone may contact the Investigations Unit of the OPGT to report that they believe that a mentally incapable adult is at serious risk of harm. The telephone number is 416-327-6348 or toll-free at 1-800-366-0335.
Once a report is received, the Investigations Unit will respond by trying to contact the person who made the report to gather more information. This first step will help to determine whether the OPGT will initiate an investigation for the purpose of deciding whether the Office should apply to court for an order of guardianship
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CP, I expect there were days when my exSO thought that about me, that I'd changed into a different person, and a pretty horrible one.

I agree that your husband is making a choice about his mother's care. I agree with you that he seems to have lost control of both himself and the situation.

It isn't just that I sympathise. Your description of how he's treating his mother makes my blood run cold because I know that could have been me, very easily.

Have you told him how much he is frightening you? How scared you are of what is happening to his personality?

The other thing I kept repeating to myself was "watch yourself. Listen to yourself" - because if anyone else had spoken to my mother in the way that I sometimes had done previously, I'd have blacked his eye. Could you consider recording the kind of outburst you've described and asking him to listen to it?

I'm guessing that your husband is overwhelmed by a weight of frustration, anger, desperation, fear and helplessness; and has completely lost it. Are there good days in between, or has the atmosphere become consistently toxic?
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I don't think I'd go THAT far. I don['t think he would do anything like hit her. I've been with him long enough that if he was that type it probably would have happened already since he clearly has already "snapped". He's clearly made the choice to NOT do anything or take initiative. He's waiting for his siblings to follow through on their "promise" to start taking action and getting her some in-home care or get her into a home (HA! Ya right, and in the meantime - he still has to take care of her and nobody else has lifted a finger to help alleviate his stress!) If he REALLY WANTED to do this however, he would have taken matters into his own hands. I don't know how much I can drill into his head that he doesn't have to wait for them. It's clear he's in denial that his mother is losing her mind, but at the same time, he yells at her because he can't handle her. It's not her fault he can't handle her. It's HIS FAULT for staying in a situation when he clearly has options to get out of it, and let the proper people in the health care industry take care of it. He's part of the problem right along with his siblings.

That's how I'm now seeing it.
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I might also consult with a criminal defense attorney. Someone, including a family member, doctor, neighbor, could file report and there could be an investigation. I'd find out my legal rights and risks.
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I agree, and I could bawl my eyes out right now. It's not only ruined our marriage but it has made his mother extremely fearful of his actions which exacerbates her dementia even more (she gets confused, agitated, and very "child like".

I have told him more times than I can count to STOP YELLING at her. A few times he did it it wasn't so bad, but yesterday was the last straw. I could hear it throughout the entire house. It went on for several minutes.

Not only am I considering taking this matter into my own hands, but I'm now also considering if this is a man I want to spend the rest of my days with and if I was no longer able to take care of myself, he would probably treat me the same way.

HE's literally changed. He was a kind hearted man who would do anything for anyone. Now he's a bitter cold soul. Because he was left having to take care of her. But I'm a believer that you are in ultimate control of how you handle a situation. He's clearly out of control.
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Most answers here seem to think the husband can be reasoned with to change. That's not going to happen. Adult Protective Services must be called right away. This is elder abuse! It's a lose-lose having her there and it's a powder keg waiting to be lit. Get her out of there and now!
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This was a large factor in why I ultimately why I placed my mom in a NH, and I never reached the extremes your husband apparently has. It is unfair to her to have to live with abuse, and just as important, it is unfair to him to have to live with such extreme stress. Ask him, is this the way he wants to remember his final years with his mother? Does he want this behaviour etched on his soul for the rest of his life? He is feeling trapped because he will not consider other options, but they are available. If contacting APS is the only way to force change then I feel you are not only justified but obligated to do so, in my mind it is just the same as contacting children's services if there is child abuse, both are equally vulnerable.
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Yelling and not handling his mom's needs has to stop. If he isn't interested in getting her proper care, I might let him know that he or the family will do it, or someone else will. I'd seek a legal opinion from an Elder Law attorney. Anyone in the family, including you, can file a legal action in the court to have a Guardian appointed. The court can appoint a proper person, which would not be your husband, to make decisions regarding her care, living arrangements, healthcare, finances. If no one in the family is suitable, they can appoint some other individual or even the county adult protective services. It might cause a riff with your husband, but, I can't see me allowing that mess to go on. It's just not right, imo.
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I think I'm on my last straw with my husband. Last night he screamed his lungs off at her. I can't get through to him. It's like he's finally snapped. To the previous poster who indicated that this was "abusive" - I AGREE!!

It's one thing to be fed up, and to occasionally raise your voice, but this was a blood curdling screaming match at his mother. He won't listen to me, and he won't get a grip.

I told him if he cries over her grave I would slap the tears off his face.

I'm so upset at him I don't know what to do! Nobody else will help us, since ....well...there's money involved, and God forbid they lose out on the inheritance!

I keep telling him to go to his family doctor and talk to him about what he can do and reach out for help! It's like talking to a brick wall.
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Its time to find a place for her. Ten years is a long time to care for someone. Your husband is tired. Who has POA? He needs to get his siblings together and tell them he is no longer being the caretaker. Someone needs to take over or find a place for Mom.
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Woooohh.

I know he doesn't intend it this way. I know you must both be at your wits' end over this. But what your husband is doing is uncomfortably close to being not just borderline abusive, but actually abusive.

I yelled at my mother too. She drove me bananas, and as she put it I have my father's temper. But that was before her dementia became apparent, and dementia changes everything.

You have done the right thing, which is to take the first step. What you need now is advice from somebody who's on the spot and in a position to help you. Your GP, a social worker, a local day care centre. Just anybody professional with the right network and the right skills to intervene constructively.

Impress on your husband that NOBODY who has been there is going to blame him, or fail to understand why he doesn't want to talk and why this is all so hard to face. You could do worse than refer him here, you know - there are several male caregivers on the forum, he won't be the only bloke.
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Time to get MIL to a geriatric Psychiatrist for meds . Start there.

Husband needs to start out by seeing his PCP, get his physical health checked out. Address any bp and other physical issues. Then get him to a psychiatrist as well to dx depression, anxiety.
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It is time for hubby to learn everything he can about Dementia. Hubby is trying to "fix" the situation, and he's frustrated that he can't fix this problem, so he yells.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue section... click on ALZHEIMER'S CARE... now see all the articles, read as much as you can, and let hubby read them, too. Maybe then he will realize what he is doing is only confusing his mother even more.

Another good article, https://www.agingcare.com/articles/not-everyone-cut-out-to-be-a-caregiver-162192.htm which was a life saver for me because I thought something was wrong with me.

If none of this works, does Mother-in-law have enough in savings to move into Assisted living/Memory Care? The cost is around $6k per month, depending on where you live, it could be less expensive. That way your hubby can once again be the "son" and not a "caregiver", and it would make life much calmer for you all.
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