My in-laws are in their 70's and in poor health for their ages. My MIL is a dabetic on dialysis 3x per week, blind, in pain from neuropathy, and has had chronic diarrhea for about 6-7 months now, with no answers from doctors after numerous hospitalizations and tests. She's lost a great deal of weight and looks very frail. However, she's about as cooperative as a rabid wolverine. In spite of her extreme need for support, she fights everything every step of the way. My FIL has some signs of early dementia, but he is actually still quite competent - fills her med reminders up each week, gets her to and from all appointments, and even cleans her up several times each day after her diarrheal incontinence episodes. But to hear her tell it, he's a complete idiot who cannot be trusted.
At some point, every family member has told her that "if you don't think Dad is competent to care for you, then let's look into nursing home care," which immediately shuts her up because (1) she knows he is not incompetent and (2) it would mean a loss of control for her, as well as losing the ability to bully her husband constantly.
They have a 40-year old son who lives with his pain-pill-addicted girlfriend. She's been pill-seeking at their home so my FIL hides all the meds. She's been in & out of the hospital herself due to COPD and pleurisy. She's currently awaiting her court date, arrested by the DEA while trying to fill a prescription that looked falsified. We think that part of their money problems are due to her using multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions to keep her fix going. And therein lies the problem - because every time they are short on cash, they hit up my IL's for more. And then when we get a call saying they haven't eaten in two days because they have $1.35 in the bank, we send money - so basically - we are funding this drug addicts because my MIL won't turn him down.
This is by choice - she's not being threatened or beaten by her son. In fact, all he has to do is whine and cry a little about how broke they are, and my MIL will rain down verbal abuse on my FIL until he goes to the bank and withdraws their cash for their son. This poor man was dragged out of his house in the middle of the night to make bail for his son's junkie girlfriend.
The other two sons - one of which is my husband - shore up this house of cards because their are two children involved, as well as two elderly people. I don't wish ill on the children, but I'm not convinced that they shouldn't be removed from the home and placed in foster care. He's also worried that his parents will be angry if they end up going into a nursing home. The thing is that I doubt they'd take my FIL - he's fully capable of living on his own and caring for his needs - it's my MIL that needs residential care. I suppose I just can't get my head around their complete avoidance of this.
I'm exhausted with being held hostage - we're allowing ourselves to be manipulated by this son & his girlfriend. When my husband mentions helping them with their finances, he's accused of trying to "take control" which in fact is true - but they don't currently have control - at least if the sober people had access to the bank account, they might have money left at the end of each month.
We've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on this. I'm at the end of my rope and rather than hanging on, I'm looking around for some scissors. What are my options? I'm afraid Adult Protective Services will interview them and decide their decisions are completely stupid, but that they meet the legal standard for understanding the consequences, so can't be stopped. If it were my own parents, I'd let them get the lights cut off and starve for a few days - just to make the point that they actually need help and need to admit it. I know that sounds mean, but really, it isn't - my IL's have NO idea how much they've been victimized and NO idea how much we've paid and sweated and run around trying to save them from themselves. I tell my husband all the time - they have NO reason to change, because this plan is working for them - they choose when our money gets spent, and how much, and on what - and we write the check, scold them lightly, express our concern... and wait for the next call for cash...