My mother-in-law just moved in with us nearly two months ago, and cannot care for herself. My husband is blind and has a seizure disorder. I have chronic pain throughout my body and lower back. Since moving in, she has put me in complete charge of her finances, her shopping, hiring help for cleaning/caregiving, and waiting on her hand and foot. She wants to go out and "play" all the time! Neither her son or I can keep up with her or her shenanigans. What do we do?? She really wants to go go go...and all I feel like doing is sleep and cry. I just don't have anything more to give.

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GO? I hope she is not driving. You are too generous taking her in. Personally I think she would do better at Assisted Living. They are busy all the time, with other residents, bus trips, activities. At the present rate you are going, she will outlive you. 30% of caregivers die from sheer exhaustion. Save your own life first, then your husband's. Your MIL needs to move elsewhere.
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Book yourself a long cruise.
Write everyone in the family a letter explaining that you are going away to recuperate.
Hire a home-health aid for your husband.
And wish them all the best as you board the plane.
I know, very unrealistic, but it would surely make the point!

Good luck. Remember, hardly anybody has parent who WANT to move into assisted living, the nursing home, etc. They are basing their information on what was true in the 60s & 70s where these places were h3ll holes for the demented, insane, and other mental illnesses that didn't deserve institutionalization.

Today's care facilities look nothing like the county home did in 1975 or even 85.
They look like hotels.
They are purpose built, unlike your home.
You can't ruin the couch by peeing on it. Or the floor.
They have fresh staff every 8 hours who are there on purpose.
One staff person isn't trying to do it all for each resident.
The have kitchen staff, cleaners, activity directors, therapists, nurses, attendants & aids, bus drivers, doctors who do house-calls at the facility.

The place my mom started off at had on site beautician, post office, book mobile, gift shop, visiting pets, PT, dentist, and a skilled nurse on duty 24/7. Somebody came in and setup mom's pills for her. I did her laundry, but they could take that too.

At a facility your mother could have a non-stop stream of people doing nothing but paying attention to her day and night. If she's bored, it's her own fault. My mom's place had constant activities all day, every day. Movies, book clubs, outings to theater, restaurants, movies. There was on site church in 5 flavors.
Cocktail hours, theme nights in the restaurant. And what I called the "old biddies club" who went everywhere together.

It was as close to a cruise ship that goes nowhere as possible. It had a safety pull cord in the bathroom, and I'm OK check every morning. Tena undergarments were delivered to mom's apartment in brown wrapping and billed on the monthly invoice.

When she needed more services than are available in AL, she moved down a unit to the care center on the same campus. Now she's in memory care. Same campus, different wing. I can't rave enough about the continuum care campuses.
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She is 83, has never driven a car, has been given nearly everything she's wanted by her late husband, believes AL facilities are where you go to die, and never ever thinks about being generous unless it benefits her in some way. All of her sons (3 remaining of 4) have a grandiosity about them and feel entitled to have their way. I have only met this woman twice before she moved in with us, and totally regret it. Yes, my health is worse for it and if my husband and I do not agree on some sort of solution to this, I will. Thanks for your support and your wonderful responses. I will once again revisit the AL topic with my husband... Keeping my fingers crossed.
Helpful Answer (7)

Stand your ground with your husband - it's your house too. MIL needs to go! Get her a tour of some nice facilities nearby and let her see what she's missing. Attend some events and eat in the dining room and let her see that they're not places to go to die. Good luck and let us know how you're doing. Make the change before she gets used to living in your home!
Helpful Answer (7)

My mom's facility is similar to Sandwich42's parents' place. My mom is in independent living (14 years). When my dad got really bad, he moved over to the skilled nursing section for the last three months of his life. It was great to have them both in the same facility, so I didn't have to run to a separate nursing home to see my dad.

While they're not perfect, my mom tells me almost every day how happy she is to be there. I got my folks a place at the front of the building, where my mom can see the ambulances come and go and the military reservists across the street (my dad was career Air Force). I didn't know enough to pick that apt. because of that, but my mom always says she's glad she's on the front where the "action" is and not facing the back, where nothing happens. :)
Helpful Answer (7)

mrscrause, curious why your mother-in-law cannot take care of herself, yet has the energy to want to go out and play. How old is she, what are her medical issues, if any.

Did father-in-law spoil her during their marriage? Sounds like maybe he took charge of their finances, their shopping, hiring help for cleaning/caregiving, and plus waiting on her hand and foot.
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Love the cruise idea! In fact, just about every caregiver should get together as a group someplace where we are pampered as a group and no one can caregive anyone else there. Like that would ever happen either tho. Nice to dream...we all must have some kind of escape fantasy.
Helpful Answer (3)

Ginach - what would YOUR preferred schedule with your dad look like?

Some sanity savers I use to this day:
Go to the site and pay the $1 to have his mail forwarded to your house. It does NOT have to go to him at the AL facility. You don't have to prove POA or produce paperwork. It's just a form you fill out. The bills will come to him c/o your address.

Setup online bill paying and bank account access. This is a huge timesaver.

I would go shopping for mom every Saturday to start with. Then the trips started to become a living nightmare, so I stopped taking her and did the shopping for her and the laundry pickup. She expected next day laundry service, and she had to learn to get that, she was going to have to pay the IL/AL place. The free laundry from our house got done on our schedule. She never went without clean drawers, towels, clothes, or sheets, so all her complaining was just empty noise.

You can also use a grocery delivery service. We have Coborn's Delivers dot come in these parts.

My mom's place included 20 meals a month, so I knew that mom was NOT going to starve to death if she didn't have her grocery list satisfied by 5 pm every Saturday. This had simply turned into a control point. She was asking me to bring her things she already had and was not using up. Eventually it came to light that she was not eating in the dining room or using her groceries. This realization preceeded her move into the care unit by just a few days because of a whole different episode.

When you remove the visit obligations, you get to visit on your terms and can feel less stress and restriction in your life.
Helpful Answer (3)

My mom moved from a gorgeous condo in Maui to AL here in CA. It took a few months of adjusting, but now she thanks me every day. She moved because my sister couldn't take care of her any more. She was completly burned out! When my mom does get down, I tell her that AL is not the last stop, a nursing home is. Visit some AL's and give her a couple rooms to choose from if the AL has more than one to choose from. You don't have a choice. She has to move out of your house!
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Visiting him on Tues, Thurs. and Sat. is my preferred schedule for dealing with my dad and is the least stressful for our whole family. I was just trying to point out that even when your parent is in assisted living the financial paperwork and shopping are still chores that you will have to deal with. My dad still likes to look at all his mail, bank statements, bills, etc. then he has me write out the checks. He is unable to do that part of it. I do all my shopping for my father when I do the shopping for my own family. He gets all his meals at AL, but still needs paper products, soap, snacks etc. I buy most of that stuff in bulk at Costco and just bring a few items at a time over to my dad's place which is only a half mile from my house.
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