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My mother-in-law is 80, with Parkinson's and dementia. She wants to do things as she wants, which is understandable. She doesn't understand that she needs help but not always on her schedule. My husband and I live in her house with her stuff. My husband got in a car wreck and hurt his arm and back. He shouldn't help her. I have fibromyalgia and had triple bypass heart surgery a few months ago. I can do most things on my time. My question is....if she needs help, should she wait until I can do it or since it is her stuff let her do it?

I remember your earlier posting.

Forgive my brutal honesty but I don’t even think that you or your husband should be your mother in law’s caregiver.

Are you still living in your mother in law’s house? What are you and your husband gaining from this arrangement?

You stated in an earlier post that you have had heart surgery and are struggling with your own health issues.

Your husband also suffers from his own health issues and doesn’t help you in the care of HIS mom.

So in my opinion, I feel that you need to be more concerned about your own health issues before caring for your mother in law that has very serious medical issues.

Please look into placement for her and start working on rebuilding your own lives. Your lives matter just as much as hers.

I cared for my mom with Parkinson’s disease so I know first hand how difficult it is.

Is there a valid reason why you and your husband are still caring for your mother in law?

You must know that this situation will NEVER improve. It is only going to get worse.

If posters review your previous posts they will give you the same advice as they did before.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Mammajae Feb 25, 2021
Thank you. I love your honesty and advice!!!
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You should do things in your time and on your schedule. However, you should NOT expect her to understand that nor to agree to that. She has dementia, so she has limitations of understanding. I am sorry; this must be terribly difficult as you are ALL dealing with limitations. Please try to access any and all help you are able to from any resource you are able to. I recommend your contacting Counsel on Aging in your area. Even meals on wheels might help with the extreme burden.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Let her do what she can do the best way she can handle it. You aren't going to be able to make her wait for you to get around to it, because she's not going to remember that conversation.

Three of you in the home with medical issues. So, assuming there are 3 social security checks coming in and perhaps some retirement checks. You should already be pooling all of the living expenses and paying 1/3 each of common expenses. Do a cleaning service, a handy man, or other help the same way to handle some of the tasks she wants done. Maybe someone you know, a neighbor, to come in a couple hours each day with certain tasks to do.
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Reply to my2cents
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It sounds like neither you nor your husband are in any shape to be caring for anyone, except yourselves. You're either going to have to hire some full-time in home help, or it's time to be looking at placing her in the appropriate facility. At this point, is her care really worth risking your husband's and your own health over? Think about that.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Mammajae Feb 25, 2021
Very true!!
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How much does she understand?
If her dementia is such that she can not understand an explanation it is going to be difficult.
If she understands that her son has an injury that prohibits him from helping and you at this time can not physically help at the exact time she needs it then things will be easier.
But if she can not retain that info you will all end up frustrated and or angry with each other.
I strongly suggest that you hire a caregiver. You might even want to split the cost with MIL as the caregiver would be there to help all of you.
If it were just for your MIL I would say she should pay for the caregiver but you and your husband need help as well.
As far as letting her do things.
This is her house and I am sure she feel as though it has been "taken over" and no one likes to feel pushed out.
If she can safely do what she wants to do I would let her.
If she needs help as soon as you can I would help her.
It might also depend on what she needs your help for.
If she wants to get a bowl out of a cabinet ..that is not critical. If she needs to get to the bathroom... that needs to be tended to right away. If she needs to bring a letter to the mailbox... that is not critical. If she has a pot of water boiling for tea and she needs help pouring ..that is potentially critical.
Again it sounds like you could all use a Caregiver for a month or two.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Talk with her to discuss her present needs & wants. When alone, you can review the list and develop a goal future goal: a budget of your availability & ability Ex: delivery of groceries. Try it as a trial run “just in case”. Let the store associate cruise the aisles for those special doughnuts she loves and you can never locate.

There will be things she will insist on doing and fail. Ex: you install a toilet seat with hand rails and she will somehow get a screwdriver and attempt to dismantle it. Then return to her sofa to watch TV and forget about it.

Set your limits & terms of agreement.
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Reply to GAinPA
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Ouch! So much need and all at the same time. Here is a new approach:
Contact your doctor and health insurance company about home health aides for a limited time. Your insurance should pay to have somebody come in to do housekeeping, some assistance for the occupants, and give you time to heal.
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Reply to Taarna
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Also be in touch with your area's social service agencies or a social worker - they may be able to help you understand what help is available for you in your area. Ask for help.
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Reply to NYCdaughter
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The only way that caregiving can be successful for everyone involved is if it is done on the caregiver's terms, not the care recipient's.
Living in your MIL's house to care for her does not mean that you have to become her slave that has to be ready to immediately take care of any need or want she has the second she wants it done. That will get old fast and a lot of hard feelings will come from it. MIL having dementia will make it even worse. You and your husband need to take care of yourselves with medical issues you two have going on.
If she's still able to do for herself in any way, then not only let her but encourage her to. Any level of independence is a good thing for everyone concerned. However, you and your husband must of course supervise whatever she wants to try doing and make sure it's safe. The same as you would have to make sure whatever a toddler or little kid is doing is safe. And much the same as with a toddler or little kid if the elder doesn't get their own way and can't do it there will be a tantrum. Is that something you and your husband can deal with? Maybe consider some outside hired help to come in. Granted, you might not get it for free but that should not prevent you from exploring this possibility. Use a caregiver website if you have to pay for it because with private help you can negotiate the wages with the caregiver.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Mammajae Feb 28, 2021
I do like the idea of treating her like a toddler. She now needs this kind of aid.
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You say you and your husband both live in her home.

What was the agreement before moving in?

You should help her if she can't do something on her on or if it isn't an emergency tell her when you're able to do it.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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