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I've been taking care of my mother-in-law for going on 3 months. She has had 4 strokes since 2009 her last 2 strokes occurred on March of this yr. This job was basically forced on me because my husband refused to put her in a home & his brother & his wife want nothing to do with it. My husband & I fought over this prior to her coming here after rehab because she needs too much care (24/7) & it would be too much on me with my medical conditions (thoracic outlet syndrome & degenerative disc disease). My husband wanted to take on the responsibility but I told him that he knew it would all be put on me because he works & I don't due to retirement disability. Plus I attend college 2-5 days a week. He promised it wouldn't all be put on me & that I wouldn't have to quit school but after she got here in April he realized that this job was an all day job & after telling me to sign up for my class and me paying $800.00 he asked me to drop it. I told him I will not drop my fall course. She is incapable of doing anything at all & the best & shortest way to describe it is that I'm caring for a 200 lb newborn baby. She has to be lifted out of bed & lifted out of her recliner everytime she says she has to go to the bathroom. I don't think she really knows though because she'll ask me if she went as I'm wiping her & her diaper is so heavily saturated everytime. She urinates so much it goes right through her diaper and even through a 100% waterproof mattress protector (at least it says it's 100% waterproof). I'm washing her bedclothes & night gowns everyday all day & my house now smells like urine. She just sits in a recliner all day calling me for everything. My husband rarely does anything except all the grocery shopping because I can't leave since she can't be left alone. To get her out of bed I have to pull her upper body up at the same time my other arm is wrapped around her legs twisting her lower body to get her legs over the edge of the bed & then would have to lift her up to her feet & it was hurting my back too much. She only has the strength to stand once you lift her to her feet but not on her own. I'm only 5'2 110 lbs (was 120 lbs but lost 10 lbs since she's been here). I now make my husband wake her up & get her out of bed before he leaves for work in the morning which is at 5 am if she's not already up. She's usually up at 3 am screaming our names waking all of us up to go to the bathroom even though she's soaked from urinating all night in bed. She doesn't get into bed until 8pm but doesn't fall asleep until 11pm or later. I can't go to bed until after she falls asleep because she drops the tv remote & calls me, she needs her pillow fixed when she slides down the bed, she needs her private areas scratched (yes I have to do that also) & she blasts the tv so loud that you can't hear any other tv in the house. If you turn your volume up it just turns into a battle of who can get their tv the loudest so I'm only getting 4 hrs sleep and taking care of her 20 hrs a day. Even when my husband is home he just sits there & watches me do it all. When I ask him to do it he gets an attitude. I just don't know what to do. I told him that when he's home he needs to take care of her because this was his decision & he wanted to take on the responsibility not me but he's never home because he works so much now. As bad as her physical health is she knows what's going on & her mental health is not perfect but she is able to make her own decisions just not care for herself. She does forget things but she knows what she's doing. My whole day consists of waiting on her hand & foot all day just sitting here waiting for my name to be called. I can't go out & cut my grass or even play with my 11 yr old son in the pool like every summer prior. I can't even talk on the phone without having to hang right up because she needs something. I'm lucky to eat 3 meals a week because I pretty much gave up on eating since every single time she'll call me to go to the bathroom while I'm in the middle of eating & it takes 8 minutes just to get her 10 ft to the bathroom so the whole bathroom fiasco takes 20 minutes & by then I lose my appetite. She slid out of her chair and sat on the floor when I was trying to take her to the bathroom & laughed. I tried 3 times to lift her but she wouldn't even try to help. I hurt my ribs, back, & tore something in my right breast & have a big lump now with pain shooting through it & because of this my son missed his school bus & I couldn't leave to take him so he missed school altogether. After 3 attempts I had to call 911 to come pick her up & they did then left. Just the other day she fell off the transfer chair in the bath while I was trying to get her out & again my husband wasn't here so I had to lift her out. I'm miserable. My house is no longer my home. I'm just a slave in my own home. I just don't know what to do.

There are things you can do. When your husband comes home, take your car keys, tell him that it's his mother, he wipes her ass from here on out and you will not be returning. Then work on a formal separation or divorce. I don't see therapy helping with his attitude an views. You are not a slave and you ain't responsible for her and her care. If you don't have a separate bank account, get one and put your pension and disability in there.
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Reply to Evermore99
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Why do you think that because MIL is able to say "NO" that that ties your hands? She may want this, but you don't. As a competent adult she has control over herself, but NOT over you! This is going to sound harsh, but you can evict her. You can call APS and tell them she is a vulnerable adult, you are not able safely to care for her (your medical problem) and your husband has to work.
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Reply to rovana
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Ok, Why can't she scratch her own privates??!??! I'll be damded if I.......never mind, sorry.

I can't believe you told hubby no and he overroad you and brought her there, and dropped her at your feet, anyway.

I'm sorry Love, there's no respect, compromise nor consideration there. Leave.
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Reply to Pepsee
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Start eviction proceedings tomorrow, first thing.

Stand up for yourself.

If she is over on the income for Medicaid, your husband can sign her up for a Miller Trust.

She wasn't paying her bills? Does that sound like a person who is capable of making her own decisions? Get her in for a neuropsy evaluation, the kind with 6 hours of paper and pencil testing.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Misery, you're not listening to the key point.

The social workers say that MIL is capable of making her decisions and therefore cannot be forced into a nursing home.

True.

However. MIL is NOT free to decide that she will live in somebody else's house. Any more than you can decide, just for example, that you'll drop in on a friend, fall asleep in her bedroom, and then refuse to leave.

You and DH (if the D part still applies) decide who lives in your house. MIL does not get to decide that. She is a consenting adult, therefore she is a self-contained unit, and her needs and resources can be assessed on that basis.

You may feel that DH bamboozled you into agreeing to her coming to live with you post-rehab, but the fact remains that you did agree. You were half responsible. You still are half responsible. The good news is that this gives you the authority to research and initiate changes. Look for a specific alternative - visit facilities, find out what is possible. You don't need anyone else's permission to do that. Set up a worked-out plan. Tell MIL the plan, with an ultimatum attached: she accepts it, or you take your 11 year old and you walk.

So. No social worker can tell you that you are forced to care 24/7 for your seriously disabled MIL in your home. You're not. Do something about it.

And if you're spending $500 a week on her groceries I'm not surprised she weighs 200lbs. Stop it!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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The child part didn't register with me but she can take the child and still tell the husband to p#ss off and he now has to take care of his mom without her. Then it's up to hubby to figure out how to care for his mom. Being without a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend isn't the end of the world.
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Reply to Evermore99
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MiseryInMD, please read rovana's post again. And show it to your husband. And read it again. Others here have said the same thing, and her comes another echo:

Your MIL is competent to make her own decisions. She is not authorized to make your decisions. She can decide she doesn't want to go to a nursing home. Fine. But you can decide she is not living in your house. She can "decide" to live in a 5 star hotel, with all meals served in her room. But if she can't afford it, the decision is meaningless. Her "decision" to live with you is meaningless if you don't decide to support that decision.

Start eviction proceedings, now. Look into what is required in your municipality, such as how much notice you must give, etc. Follow the requirements to the letter. Get her out of your home.

You don't have to abandon her. Once she is settled somewhere else your family and visit her and advocate for her.

This assumes your husband has seen the light and is also wanting her to leave.

If that is not the case, and he insists on keeping her there even though that is not what is best for ANY of you, then see a divorce lawyer. Don't do something rash, like leaving the home. You definitely don't want to be charged with abandonment! Don't do anything that will make life more difficult for you. Before you take any steps in that direction, consult an experienced divorce lawyer.

I think those are your options.

1) With your husband, work on removing his mother from your home

or

2) With a lawyer, work on dissolving the marriage. Do no caring for his mother while this process is underway.

Many people greatly underestimate the work and stress involved in caring for an impaired adult. Your husband may have seriously believed that you wouldn't be saddled with the work. But he was wrong. Not evil, but wrong. One way or another, this mistake must be fixed.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Good idea to get control of YOUR OWN money. Whatever happens, that would mean you have some resources. Your husband is probably one of those antiquated men who think that the is what wives (women in general) are for. Does he in fact value his marriage? Do you? A period of separation might force the issue, since I doubt he'll do much now since the problem, from his perspective, is taken care of. It sounds like your health is in danger (back trouble is real trouble). Since he advised you to enroll in college and you have paid all that money, then why not go ahead and do it? Does he understand that caring for someone in MIL's condition really takes nursing home staff? No way can one person do it. If he wants to avoid nursing home, then does he understand how much it will cost to hire care? Frankly what you are going through sounds like abuse. I shouldn't think that you could be held responsible for abandonment since MIL is your husband's responsibility.
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Reply to rovana
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Ditto what everyone else is saying. Take care of your back. I'm debilitated by transferring my father, same weight. It takes an unbelievable toll on your health.

One thought occurred to me, why not just finesse the situation a bit? Go to your doctor
and get your back trouble evaluated. Inform them of your care giving duties that are
causing your injuries, and essentially get a note from your doctor that you need to
cease with transferring/moving your MIL, essentially you are legally and legitimately
unable to continue.

Forget what APS and her doctors say. I went through the same thing, just rubber stamping whatever the cared for person wants, whether or not it was realistic, regardless of the toll on the caregiver. They're too busy and just want to move to the
next.

So just get your note to cease and desist caregiving, and then take a little vacay with your son and let your hubby deal with her. Give him some notice so he can take the time off. I'll bet this will force this issue very quickly. Let her go to the hospital and then refuse her to return. Maybe get her on some waitlists now for care homes that take Medicaid.

You can't keep doing this without doing yourself lasting harm. As well as lasting harm to
your relationship with your son. As well as harm to your finances. It's a total no go!!!!

Very best of luck to you!! Take care of yourself, there's only one you!! :)
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Reply to bettina
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We have our children for a small window in time. That time where we nurture, teach and spend time with them. Your son may seem to understand but he will develop resentment that his mom isn’t present for him. He’s not going to be able to have friends over or do things with his mom. He’s never going to be able to compete with a needy elderly. People talk about fear, obligation and guilt regarding parents. But a real guilt comes when you realize you let a manipulative elder have you put your child in second place.
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Reply to Linda22
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