My MIL (84) has lived with my husband and I for approximately 16 years and I'm stressed out, resentful and depressed. Where to seek help? - AgingCare.com

My MIL (84) has lived with my husband and I for approximately 16 years and I'm stressed out, resentful and depressed. Where to seek help?

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& receives less than 650.00 a month from social security. Her social security is the only source of income she receives. I have been retired now for 13 months and my only source of income is social security also. My husband receives social security and also a pension monthly. We struggle each month to make ends meet. We supply all her food, utilities and a home we 3 live in. I am so stressed out, resentful and depressed and I have no idea where to seek help. There is a sibling but will not take any responsibility at all. Never has. My home is the only place she has.

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Iscouraged, have you called Legal Aid? They work on law cases free.
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She is suppose to receive 300.00 alimony a month but he decided his wife needs it more. The divorce courts says they can't help her. She nor can we afford a lawyer for her. I need a bigger home to breathe easier. If I can get government aide I could afford bigger and keep my sanity. I am so ready to give up.
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Iscouraged, take your Mother-in-law to social security to see if she can get her ex-husband's social security amount.  Usually in a divorce [I assume your in-laws are divorced], SS will let the ex-wife receive the higher of the two social securities.   It doesn't affect the ex-husband's social security.

Also, I am surprised that your Mother-in-law didn't get part of her husband's pension, and/or alimony.   It's probably is too late to petition the Court for this money.
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First, WOW. I have only had my mother living with me for a year and I feel the things you do, forget about 16 years!

I whole heartedly agree with Jeannegibbs, it is not her decision, it is your decision. I hope you can find some outside agency that can help and get some peace of mind for yourself.
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She had no where to go so we offered for her to stay with us.
She will not consider any type of housing.

Those two statements don't go together, you know. You have the power. She doesn't get to choose what she will and will not consider.

Do you know the expression: "Beggars can't be choosers" ? It applies to exactly this situation.

Your MIL married at 16, lived with her husband 52 years and then moved in with you. She has never been on her own in her adult life. It is a terrifying concept. I can fully understand why she doesn't even want to consider it. But if she didn't have a son and daughter-in-law willing to take her in, she would have had to consider it, wouldn't she? Beggars can't be choosers.

Tell us, is it primarily the cost burden that is getting you down. Or are there other issues that make you "so stressed out, resentful and depressed?" If MIL could pay you, would that make things OK? What does your husband feel about the situation?


If I were you I would call your county's social services department and ask for a needs assessment for your mother in law. She probably doesn't need a caretaker, etc. but she does need help with her medical expenses. I know that diabetes can be extremely expensive to treat. Out of $600 she doesn't even have enough to buy food or pay for shelter. Might she be able to get food stamps? There may be a number of programs MIL could benefit financially from. The goal would be to get her into a situation where she is able to pay you for room and board.

If that happened, would MIL living with you be swell? Or are there other issues?
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She uses her money for car insurance, life insurance, medications and her personal items she needs. She is a diabetic but she stays on top of her health. She still drives and very alert. My father in law left her for a much younger woman after 52 yrs. of marriage. They lived in Arkansas at the time. She has two sons and one will not even send her a birthday card or offer her any help. The brother, after all these years, has not once said thanks for supporting and taking care of my mom. She will not consider any type of housing. She had no where to go so we offered for her to stay with us. I didn't know it would be for the rest of her or my life.
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What does she do with her $650 each month? Is most of it going toward her upkeep? It should be.

Does she have any medical issues? Impairments? Why did Mom move in with you in the first place? For example, did she consider subsidized senior housing?

Sorry to respond with questions, but this information will help us be more specific in our answers.
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