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Motherinlaw is now living with her son and myself and the only thing she pays for is her prescription meds.(fosomax for her brittle bones, she can just sneeze and fracture a bone. and prozac,which somewhat keeps her from being unbearably hateful).Now keep in mind she has spent her inheritance on her daughter and grandson, buying them cars and college tuitions ,plus mortgaged the home her mother left her.Now that she has nothing left but her ssi check, failing health and only 35k from the sale of her house after the mortgage is paid,I have been blessed with being her caregiver. She eats more than I do, wants only the best of everything. I bath her ,do her hair nails and pedicures. Carry every meal to her. at time when I have been busy , have asked to make herself a sandwich, and she will either eat cookies, or pour dry cereal on the counter and eats that instead....never offers a dime for . Her daughter will not even come and sit with her so I can go to the DR.When I bake she calls her daughter over and gives her half of what I have baked. Sorry friends, I know I am complaining, but I feel like I could just sit down and bawl and never stop ! My carpet is very very old and frayed and i fear she is going to trip and fall . I would so love to put in a walkin tub to make bathing her easier on me. My question is: If I used money from the sale of her house for these two items,would the five year medicaid look back make me pay this back?

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I would send SIL a bill for the desert!
Hugs for you. None for the old witch who is leeching off you
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WHOA...your MIL has been saying, "JUMP!" so "helplessly", demanding compliance for so long, that your husband, her son, immediately respond with, "How High" instead of ever having learned to set any boundaries with her. She probably is a tyrant about it if she doesn't get her way, and he has a lifetime family dynamic of having learned not to push her in that direction.

Coupled with your SIL, who is probably one of the group I would call "the walking unconscious", apparently handed everything, along with her own son, from mom/g'ma, lives in a world of unaware entitlement to have the audacity to come to your house for an abbreviated amount of time and then leaves with YOUR desserts because HER MOM said so. Her belief is likely that she is helping in the caretaking of her mom but has no clue of what is involved or what you do.

I believe it's time to have a calm and quiet discussion with your husband about what the true needs are. That he is going to have to stand up to his mom in order to maintain the physical and mental health of the two of you. If you feel resistance, you may need to do it in front of a third party, a couples counselor an intervention specialist, whatever at something.

IMO, you need to get your requirements down in writing (these problems never work themselves out with verbal spewing), all YOUR OWN ducks in a row, so to speak, then have a family meeting around the dining room table that includes MIL, SIL & nephew.

It won't be productive to dwell on the past, probably not even bring it up, just outlined what is needed now in order for MIL to stay in YOUR home. otherwise, she can take her $35,000 and relocate to an assisted living facility.

Your husband is gun shy of his mother's reaction. Unfortunately that leaves you in the position of either convincing him that he needs to put his foot down or that you will have to do it for him. His mother's condition is only going to go from bad to worse. Get get organized FOR YOU, NOW(!) or get her out.
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Thank you for your advice. To answer a few questions... her son and I have been married for 22 years,After the first year she had her father "kick her son out of the family" because he would not leave me and move home with her and take care of her. At that time she was perfectly healthy.But between her father and son has always been taken care of as far as household duties such as mowing a small trailer park lot and even changing light bulb in a lamp and washing her car !. Her son and I have both had several major surgeries in the past few years and she has not so much as brought us a bowl of soup even though I was unable to walk for six months. She used to have her son drive her to work if it even looked like it might snow and she grew up in a state where heavy snow is a given. But she will drive across town in the snow to take the daughter cough drops or let her dog out to potty !. Her parents are both gone now, left her with two nice cars, a very nice house and a healthy bank accountof which she has has squandred away between her , her daughter and grandson. Mortgaged the home, utilities were getting turned off and of course cried for help.....She does have dementia/alheimers now and I feel sorry for anyone in that condition.My husband can not tell her no, even when it is in her best interest. I try to tell him he can not let her run the show, because she is like a child trying to be in charge. He does have POA, but I have "prod " him to do the right things and this is causing big trouble between us.I set her up her own bedroom, living room and bathroom so she could have her privacy and us too, it is adorable, any one would be very comfortable and happy with it. It is like her very own cute little apartment, but she will not even go in there except to go to bed at night. We can not even have a morning cup of coffee alone ! If we go out in the yard for a walk to gets irate and pouts. Had to go to ER the other day for and the daughter came over to sit with her,but was calling us in an hour saying she needed to leave and took the desert that I had for our Christmas dinner with her because her Mother said she could have it !. Now my husband has asked her to buy a step in tub to make it easier for me to take care of bathing her , and she flat said NO....she is doing a good job with what we Got "she is a good care giver !" I am battling the age old problem of "son doesn't know what to do with poor ole moma" ! It is looking like he is gonna be bathing and catering to poor ole moma, cause I would like to have a dinner date and a night out accasionally with my husband or even a damn cup of morning coffee without her ! I am only 64 surely some man would like to take me to dinner !
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You can call your state's Medicaid office and asked the question about the carpet in the shower. I'm going to guess that it would not be allowed because you're not putting it in her house, you're putting it in your house. I believe, therefore, whether it's good for her or not, it would be considered an improvement to your home. A good "what if" question to Medicaid would be, what if she had a doctors prescription for it or a safety recommendation by a home care evaluator.

What would probably work is that you could draw up a rental agreement that would cover Room (rent & utilities) & Board (food & supplies). Of course the amount charged must be with and local reason (comparable to what you could charge someone else to lodge with you). Since she has very few expenses, this could be equal to a large part of her monthly income without touching her $35,000. If the R & B isn't enough of her monthly money, you can also have what is called a Personal Service Agreement. Why should she live with you for free, spending or saving her excess money, and in the end, have to use that money for her care at a nursing home?

If you know in advance you are getting $XX.xx per month from her, you can cycle that money into her food, installing a walk-in shower, and repairing your carpet with eventual replacement in mind. I believe it would be perfectly justifiable in that way because food is necessary and the other items are safety issues that will allow you to keep her home and out of the nursing home.

If you think this is something you want to do, you should see a lawyer not only to make sure you have her necessary legal paperwork in order, but to get the proper documents drawn up and correctly negotiated as well as find out about income reporting requirements for what you are paid.
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I LOVE our walk-in tub. My only regret was not putting it in sooner. My husband really enjoyed it right up to the week he died.

As to how it would be viewed by Medicaid since it is in your house and not in MIL's is a good question to ask the elder law attorney.
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I agree with the walk in shower with a seat versus the walk in tub. Most people are fine with a big shower, not so much with a cumbersome tub that is hard to clean. when we bought our house 14 years ago we were thinking ahead, and it came with a handicap style large walk in shower with a seat built into the corner. When Dad moved in.. presto!! I would not have liked the tub.. and they get cold when the water is draining
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Don't put the tub in. Medicaid will not approve it and it will be a negative when you go to sell the house. If she can walk, do NOT carry meals to her, she needs to move around or the bones will get worse. The daughter I assume is still working, but there is no reason she can't take evenings or weekend duty. TELL her which days are assigned to her. Take charge, boot the lazy one in the butt and hold your ground. We found out SIL was off on Mondays, so we TOLD her that Monday is her day, period. Grab that grandson by the pants and tell him "She put you through college. Now is the time to pay back" and assign him a chore day too. Sheesh! The only way you get your life back is to take it back, especially from the spoiled ones.
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I would contact a lawyer just to make sure! There is NOTHING wrong with sitting down with her and talking to her about financial concerns, if that is something that is bothering you, and she may not know, and it only makes you more upset. Give her the chance to change it first, tell her no more offering baked goods unless she is footing the bill for the mix (you might want to throw in there you would love to bake it for her, just dont want to pay if it is going to someone else). If that doesnt work, talk to her daughter and express your concerns about it all. Let her know YOU are doing the caregiving, and it is YOUR job to make sure things run as smooth as you can, that she is safe, and happy, and unless she wants to step in and help (even if it just is something as simple as sitting for an hour while you go to the dr/store/errands) that you need to decide what is best for her and you. I would also make sure a POA/Medical Directive is in order with both of your names on it so if things go bad with her health you are backed up to be able to make the BEST decision for her since she lives with you.

My boyfriends grandma lives with us and is in her early stages of dementia, I know the feelings you are going through! Even though she is beginning to be mentally unstable at times, most of the time talking to her about my concerns make her at least attempt to change things (she is 83 so that is a little hard for her lol).

Desiree
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You have every right to complain. What does your husband have to say about all this? Your main question was about the look back period. I don't think you will get away with the carpet but the walk in tub would be solely for her benefit as would things like an out door ramp being a medical necessity.
Do you personally want a walk in tub/ if not how about taking out the tub and installing a large shower with a seat which would save your back in the long run.
Did you actually like her before she got so apparently helpless?
If she can walk to the kitchen she can walk to the table to eat like everyone else. It's her choice if she prefers dry cereal and cookies to a sandwich so don't worry about that
Quit the nails hair and pedicures. Medicare will pay for a visit to the Podiatrist every 12 weeks so she can get her nails cut there. As for the hair and fingernails she can pay for that out of her SS check and go to the beauty shop. if her daughter won't come and sit with her while you go to the Dr why not drop her off at the daughters while you go or she can sit in the waiting room while you have your appointment.
Stop her giving the cookies to her daughter, tell her she is not to and if the daughter arrives tell the daughter she is not having them.
Are you comfortable enough to tell us a little more about your personal situation? you referred to her son as the man in your life not your husband. is there a wife somewhere in the picture and you are the other woman and therefor dependent on the son's will. I am reading between the lines here but you speak as though you don't have any input in the situation. it that is so that is where change has to start.
I realize you feel overwhelmed and trapped but telling you we feel sorry for you is not going to change everything. Have a good cry you have earned it then get the old witch out of your house it is never going to work in a thousand years and you will destroy yourself.
How are you able to have access to her money? it certainly can be used for her care but keep meticulous records of where every penny was spent. it is perfectly acceptable for her to contribute her share to household expenses and buy gas for your car when you have to transport her just keep all receipts.
if she dies tomorrow where will that money go?
Don't take this post the wrong way it is meant to be supportive not critical and we really do care.
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Without seeking advice from a lawyer which you probably should do! I would have her pay a set amount each month towards your utilities. Make sure the check is written or automatically drawn from HER account.. She should not be living with you rent free..
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