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Hi Everyone!


Thank you in advance for your guidance. I have been searching this site for many years now and have always found it to be very helpful.


Recently, my mother in law has seen a decline. She would like to move in with us but I made this VERY clear many years ago (20+) that will never be an option. I have said this to her in so many words over the years and to my husband many times. Her living with us is not an option. I told my hubby the result of that happening will end in divorce and us selling our home.


She refuses to go to AL or NH. While I know that she is declining, I offer to go there and do all I can help with, aside from any medical things such as showers, bed pan or diapers. It is never good enough. She is very demanding. You all know the struggles so I don't need to go too much into detail....


My husband does not want her to live with us either but feels some what of an obligation. He told me last that the answer is a strong no. Since she refuses to go to AL or NH and he is POA, are we legally responsible for her well being? Meaning, do we have to by law take her in? Are there legal repercussions to her living alone?


She has no living siblings and only one child. There is literally no one else to help either.

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If she falls or becomes ill, PLEASE call 911. Do NOT show up at her door and try to argue with her about going to the hospital.

From here on in, let professionals deal with her NOT YOU.

Google the term "grey rock" as a technique for dealing with people with the sorts of personality disorders you mention.
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NeedSomeClarity May 6, 2020
Thank you Barb. That is what we did last time, I just called 911 and sent her to the hospital in an ambulance and we met her at the hospital.

I no longer give into anything she does or says. It goes in one year out the other after many years of anxiety, stress and torture. She is one of those people who has never had a "real" relationship in her entire life. She has done nothing but push everyone and anything away from her.

Hoping she finds solace one day.......but not under my house! lol
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I also told my husband that another option is for him to go and live with her and he can come home a few nights a week if this is something that he would be interested in doing. I don't mind him caring for her.... it's that I don't want her living in my house.
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Davenport May 8, 2020
Whoa, that's pretty creative, NeedSomeClarity. Truly, I think it's a pretty darned reasonable and practical idea. My family tried for 7+ years to enable our not-Hallmark mom to live in her home of 50+ years (which I understand). How it's worked out is a series of various scenarios of adult children, and 2nd generation young adults living with her in her house and caretaking. Family members have been exhausted (numerically), mom, now 90, is the energizer bunny. So, we've all done all we can, so when the time comes, I think we'll not be too conflicted if she outlives her ability to stay in her home. Not much advice here, but your husband (and you) making the type of arrangement you thought of and suggested, is a reasonable one, in my opinion.
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No one can be made to do hand's on care for another person.

He needs to read his POA. Is it durable or springing? Is it in effect now or does she need to be declared incompetent for it to go into effect?

Do you live in a "filial obligation" state?

For most of us here, if an elder has not been found incompetent and refuses to go into care, you wait until the illness or fall that puts them in the hospital. You then talk to the discharge planners about getting her into a facility,
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NeedSomeClarity May 6, 2020
Hi Barb,

She gets some money from her SS and pension but no other savings. She makes too much monthly to qualify for medicad but I know we could apply and they would take all her money less $100 allowance monthly. She did gift someone over 20k 3 years ago and I am sure that would complicate things.

I do take her to the DR but haven't in 2 months since all of this COVID stuff has been happening. She sees a therapist. I would for the 3 of us to go with her and all talk to the therapist to see if that would help.
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Visit some AL’s near you. Find one or two you really like, take her for a lunch tour. You can eat with her. Sometimes when they see it’s not as bad as they thought it changes their minds. Most of our elderly only knew of NH’s. AL’s are so much different but they need to see for their self. I wouldn’t tell her you are looking at it for her To move you could tell her it’s a senior lunch day & you a ll were invited to eat for free! Free is always good to seniors.
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No you are not responsible for taking care of her.

Unfortunately we have to wait for the crisis that gets them hospitalized before they get placed into care.

I would stop propping her up and let her see how false her independence is.

I am out of patience with stubborn old people that don't care about anyone but themselves and them not having to make changes while sucking the life out of people around them. They want to do it their way, let them, that doesn't mean you have to participate in their way.

You won't get in trouble, unless you try forcing her to do something against her will. Then you could get in trouble because she has rights ya know.

I would find out about a Miller Trust aka a qualified income trust. That will help her get Medicaid. You can go to www.nelf.org to find a certified elder law attorney in your area. I highly recommend using a certified elder law attorney they do this every day, they know how to get her approved if at all possible.
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NeedSomeClarity May 7, 2020
Thank you IsThisReal! I am out of patience as well.
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Just posting my agreement that your husband is not obligated to care for her in your home, not responsible for her happiness, especially since she has a disagreeable personality. One other option is for him to resign his PoA and allow the county to gain guardianship of her when she is truly not able to care for herself. They will control everything, even where she resides, but he can still carry on his relationship with her as long as he wants. The sticky part is the waiting for this time to come about. Much good advice has been given, like calling 911 in an emergency (and if her condition warrants it, have her go directly into a NH and not back to her home). A care manager is usually a good idea but if your MIL is resistant but not incapacitated, it may be wasted time and money.

Perhaps contact the relative to whom she gifted $20K to step in/step up to join in the fun? I wish you all the best as you deal with the situation.
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jacobsonbob May 8, 2020
In my comment to JoAnn29 typed a few minutes ago, I was tempted to add something similar to your last paragraph, but "chickened out". Thanks for stepping up! I'm sure the OP will know whether this is a possibility or not.
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Caregiving is very stressful and emotionally draining. It was very hard work. After 15 years of it, I'm left an emotional cripple though I love my mom and never regretted it. Still, it was a very stressful harrowing experience--I sacrificed my life for her, and that is exactly what caregiving requires. Nobody can force you to that role, and I would not recommend it to anybody. Ironically mom did not die of Alzheimer's. Her feeding tube kept her body in good shape, though in the end her mind was totally gone. She had liver cancer, but she never suffered. I knew she had it, but at age 90 she was too old to get it treated. She only had physical symptoms for one week--her skin turned orange/yellow and her urine gradually slowed. I knew she was dying because her tube feeding restarted having residuals where the week before she never had any. She assimilated whatever I put in the feeding tube.

The hospice nurse came daily (she was on hospice for 2 years) to make certain she was comfortable and she was totally at peace, and she died peacefully. Not a single narcotic or psychotropic was ever given to her because she simply didn't need it.

She was only bedridden for 2 months. But I used the hoyer lift daily and put her in her favorite chair since that was the routine. She simply forgot how to stand and could not focus on it anymore. but for 5 years I walked her daily in the park and she went 1/4 a mile. I miss taking her to the store. Oh she loved that even though she was on the wheelchair. But God I loved taking her.

It was very painful for me to lose her. I never been apart from her. I don't know she's at a better place and face it we all are going to die. She died before all that coronavirus mess hey at 90 that's good for very very end-stage Alzheimer's. Not to mention her medical management. INSULIN dependent diabetes and all, but her sugars were easy to control because her diet and activity were the same daily. Still I had to check her sugars daily...she was a lot of work. It's something you CANNOT be forced into doing.

In retrospect the most stressful thing was her bowel management. If she did not have a bowel movement in 3 days she was impacted. So I put her on a schedule so every Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays were bowel movement days. Her feeding tube was great since I could put lactulose (she had stage 3 kidney disease for decades so you can't give magnesium or phosphorus based laxatives) in there the night before and in the morning cold coffee and she would go hours later which was like a "blow out" but hospice supplied me with plenty of diapers and gloves. Her skin was paper thin so I had no shortage of lotrisome cream which I mixed with zinc oxide (half and half) which would clear up any redness overnight. I changed her diapers about 5 times a day, everyday.

Instead of an abdominal binder I bought tube tops from Amazon which would conceal the feeding tube. She never bothered it but it needed protecting because you don't want sheets or covers yanking on it when she is being turned and cleaned. FEEDING TUBES REQUIRE CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CARE. I opted to get one in mom so she would not die of dehydration which is a very slow agonizing process even with hospice. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to die of dehydration. Mom was spared of that! Her needs were met in every way!

The only time she moaned from discomfort was turning and cleaning her up. She hated that..but she could not just lay in her own excrement. When done she was calm as she could be. Still, when she died her skin was in perfect condition. My brothers knew because of my care mom lived years beyond what she would have, and mom had good quality of life right to the end. She knew she was surrounded with love, and familiar surroundings. THAT is something I can take to my grave. I did all of that because love mom and nothing else in this life mattered to me.

I'm carrying on. Living alone, I have a job and getting my Master's degree.
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Tynagh May 8, 2020
You are a hero and an amazing person! I am so happy to hear that you are getting your Master's! Good for you!! You deserve health, happiness, and a brilliant future!
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Having children is no guarantee they will care for you during old age.
Nobody can force you to be caregiver
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No, you do not have to take her in. POA basically allows your husband to sign documents (financial or property related) on her behalf, and/or if he has medical POA, to make medical decisions on her behalf. He has no legal obligation to take her into your home. In fact, it will likely put him in a much worse situation as the time will come when MIL needs 24/7 care and he and you will not be able to provide safe care for her. I'm sorry you're in this situation, its very hard. Your husband is going to need to convince his mother that AL or NH is really the best place for her. Maybe get a Social worker involved to help, but do not take her into your home, it will only get worse for all involved from there.
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NeedSomeClarity May 6, 2020
Hi Mstrbill,

Thank you for getting back to me. We did try a social worker. She refused to listen. She thinks the best place for her, is being home. She thinks we have an obligation to take care of her. She is a nasty, narcissistic, sociopath. Her living with us is not an option because there wont be a house for her to live in because our beautiful home will be put on the market that night.

Luckily, hubby is on my side and does not want to take his mother in either knowing that she is all of the things I mentioned.

Thank you again!
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You are lucky that husband agrees with you. She must be hard to live with.

I was a little confused about this paragraph

"She makes too much monthly to qualify for medicad but I know we could apply and they would take all her money less $100 allowance monthly. She did gift someone over 20k 3 years ago and I am sure that would complicate things."

If she makes too much and she has gifted 20k its going to be hard for her to qualify for Medicaid. The income limit is $2349. As of July 2017, the PNA went from $35 to $50 and I don't see where that has changed.

I live in SWJersey and ALs in my area are at least 5k a month. Medicaid may pay after a resident has paid at least privately for 2 years. Then that depends on if the facility hasn't met the % of residents already on Medicaid.

There is a Miller Trust (Qualified Income Trust) Where any money over the $2349 goes into the trust. When Mom passes, the trust reverts back to Medicaid. (I know weird) Its the 20k that will cause a penalty. We have a thread going on now about that. Basically, how the penalty works. Since its been 3 years since the gift, maybe you can keep her in her home for another 2 yrs and the 20k won't be looked at. I think I read its got to be 5 yrs and one month.

Sorry if I have been a downer. Just wanted you to realize how things work.
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NeedSomeClarity May 7, 2020
Thank you JoAnn!

If push comes to shove, he can go live with her for a few nights a week and come home on weekends.

Thank you again!
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