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My husband and I are currently saving up for a house, so we, unfortunately, have to live with our in-laws. It’s been a nightmare to say the least because his mother is an agonizing woman to live with. She is not a nice person by any means, but not the point. For the 14 years that I’ve known her, she’s been in moderate health. She’s overweight and constantly eats fried/greasy food, but she’s been pretty stable for the most part. Recently, however, her health has started to decline. It started about two months ago, maybe a little more. My husband and I were asleep and we heard a loud thud. When we opened the door to check what had happened, his mom was on the floor of the bathroom, she had fallen off the toilet. Ever since then, I think she’s been afraid to put herself high up because she hasn’t slept in her bed for this entire time. She sleeps on the couch now. Among other things, her ankles and legs have become severely swollen. For a little while, she did nothing to remedy this, she just continued to sit on the couch, didn’t and still doesn’t walk around. She recently went to the doctor and was put on HBP medication and frequently uses the bathroom because of this, which is expected. She also poops quite a bit, on the same level as someone who possibly has Chron’s disease. She hasn’t been diagnosed with this, but she wouldn’t go to the doctor to find out anyway. A few weeks ago, because of her bad ankles and legs, she fell out of the tub. I’m pregnant, therefore unable to lift her so I have to call on my husband or FIL to help, but this is a pretty consistent thing now. She walks around the house with no pants on, just a shirt that barely covers her bum, she is constantly leaving poop on the toilet and along the path from the bathroom to her couch, she does not clean it up, and she knows it’s there. Or at least I think she does. Just today, she pooped all over the toilet and floor plus left a piece of toilet paper with her feces on it IN THE SINK. She’ll leave paper towels all over, she hardly eats anything, she’s starting to leave food (milk and fridge items) on the counter, etc. She’s still mean as can be, she’ll yell at you over everything, which has not changed since I’ve known her, she’s very negative. Call me horrible, but I couldn’t care less about her, I’ll help out with her when I can, but she is the mother of my husband and he loves her, so I’m curious for his sake. I don't want anything bad to happen to her, maybe we can get her help somehow. I’ve looked up dementia symptoms and it seems that she has some of them (like incontinence and not being able to do a lot of things because of her legs), but I don’t know if it’s due to being older or if this is a progressing problem. She wouldn’t ask a Dr about it regardless, so maybe someone who knows of a parent/family member who has had similar symptoms can shed some light on this?

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I feel so, so sorry for your MIL, and FIL, and your husband, and you! That poor woman is truly miserable. It is entirely possible that she sees no purpose to life and she wants to give it up. Very, very sad.

As her DIL and just as a decent human being, you should do everything you can to ease her pain. And do you know what that is at this point? Absolutely nothing. There are treatment plans that might help, but you can't determine what they are or administer them. She needs help and she won't get it. If there is anything you can do to encourage her to see professionals who might actually be able to help, do it.

It really sounds like the best you can do in the circumstances is avoid contact with this poor woman as much as you can, and be supportive of your dear husband.
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@freqflyer She definitely doesn’t like me, but she doesn’t really like anyone. I can understand her wanting us out, we want out just as much, but I’m not sure if what’s happening is related to that. It could be to a certain extent but my husband is convinced that she’s starting to give up on life. Like she doesn’t have a purpose anymore. She used to be a gambler up until two years ago when the place she went to banned her because she called the owner a b****. Ever since then, she’s slowly started to decline. Her health really took a bad route over these past two months, though.
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@97yroldmom She watches TV all day, or whenever she’s awake. She is constantly dozing off because she hasn’t slept in her bed for months, so I can’t imagine she’s very comfortable.
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Well she must be severely depressed in addition to whatever else is going on. Is she watching tv or reading? Just lying on the sofa?
I’m glad for you and baby that you are getting out.
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AJ, im glad to hear that you're on schedule to leave. Give FIL the number for the Area Agency on Aging.

She sounds like she's her own worst enemy.
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Thanks for the feedback! I’ll address everyone’s questions...
My husband is just as frustrated as I am. We can’t force her to do anything because she’s still in a state of coherency, we can’t get her to do anything. My FIL doesn’t really care about her, either, but he does clean up after her. I do not clean up after her at all. I always leave that to my husband and FIL, and I would do so even if I wasn’t expecting. We are in the middle of house hunting, so we will be out before the baby is born, even if we have to stay in an apartment for a little while.

She lays on the couch but does not elevate her legs, she does not walk anywhere but to the bathroom and the kitchen. She hasn’t been outside in weeks. She is 72 years old. She doesn’t drink enough water but she will drink some. The medicine might be making her dizzy, but the falling started before she began taking them. I understand that we are in a pretty crappy situation here, and we are working on getting out.

I just feel like it’s going to get worse even if she doesn’t have dementia because she is too stubborn to do anything to help herself.
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ajeansres, I am looking at this situation from another angle. Maybe your Mom-in-law doesn't want you there, so she is doing everything she can to make you move out. As you had mentioned Mom-in-law hasn't liked you from the start

You hadn't mention how your hubby feels about how his Mom is acting, nor how his Mom's husband is relating.

Start looking to move to another place, even if it means saving for a house might take a bit longer. Otherwise, if you stay in the home, and if Mon-in-Law does have dementia type issues, you would find yourself being her full-time caregiver... plus you will be having an infant to take care off... both vying for your attention NOW. This isn't a good situation, you will crash and burn rather quickly from all the stress.
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I think you need to get your MIL to a doctor even if she doesn't want to go. Trick her, whatever, but instead of playing the guessing game get her medically evaluated. She may have dementia or some other sort of illness.

This is not healthy for everyone involved.

Jenna
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Your MIL may or may not have dementia but she is very sick. Your living conditions sound horrible. Not a great place for a baby.
There are many illnesses that have dementia like symptoms. The most common is a urinary tract infection. She could be tested at an urgent care, an ER or her drs office.
Often when an older person gets a UTI they don’t have the same symptoms of a younger person like burning or urgency to urinate but they often exhibit dementia type symptoms.
Swollen legs and ankles can be caused by sitting too much. They can be caused by congestive heart failure. There are many things that cause swollen legs and ankles. Does she put her legs up to help the swelling go down? How old is your MIL? Does she drink water? She could be dehydrated. The meds she was given may be making her dizzy.
How far along are you in your pregnancy? Hopefully your husband or FIL will get her medical care soon.
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I totally agree with Jeanne' s answer.

My question to you is, what does YOUR doctor say about you living in a home where you and your unborn child are exposed to Mil's feces on a regular basis? Have you thought about how you are going to protect your infant from this?

Moving to your own apartment, no matter how cramped, is better than what is going on right now. Move.

Your local Area Agency on Aging can conduct a needs assessment and tell FIL what help is avaiable.
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I can't tell you whether it is dementia, but this is definitely not normal aging behavior.

What does your husband think you should do?

What is FIL's attitude?

What I really think you should do (although you didn't ask) is move out and help MIL from outside of the household.
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