Mother in Law had a stroke. Any suggestions on what to do or how to handle this? -

Mother in Law had a stroke. Any suggestions on what to do or how to handle this?


I'm not complaining but my husband is being run ragged by his mother, she had a stroke 8 months ago and shouldn't be driving etc , she went to some therapy but won't go any more, and my husband thinks that ok, he dosen't get it, she now calls him for everything all the time and it stresses him out as he is 69 himself and she is 87 she won't use her walker, she uses a cane however since she fell at the dr 1month ago and cracked 3 ribs she now uses one but won't leave the house, she shouldn't be driving etc, she does now but did not up until she fell, when I give my opinion he won't listen as he thinks I just want her to be put in assisted living which she needs or a nurse to come in 7 days a week. I now its hard for him to understand but he does not get it, I can see she's declining. Any suggestions on what to do or how to handle this? Its upsetting to me as well as I know my husband is stressed and getting worn out, but he keeps going on as nothing is wrong. I need some suggestions or help, I do know its hard for him to realize whats going on and sometimes you just need help. She still basically makes decisions on therapy etc and shouldn't be, as she's not the same and isn't capable of making them. Thanks please any suggestions will help.



bosslady -you may have to wait till something worse happens that make hubby and mil sit up and have to accept what is happening to her. Unfortunately, sometimes this is what it takes.

For your own good, as your comments and observations to hub are not having any positive effect, you need to detach. If I were in your position, I would pick a good moment, and clearly and as briefly as possible restate my concerns to hub, and then tell him you are out of the loop until such time as he becomes proactive on behalf of his mother's health and safety. I agree with others, part of what you tell your hub is that under no circumstances do you agree to mil staying in your home.

The issue of driving is a very difficult one as the safety of others is also at stake. You could contact the DMV and advise them about mils state of health and what you perceive as her issues with driving.

Good luck and let us know how this pans out.
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Reply to golden23

This could be my hubby. We call him Dr.No-Shot. Never wants to be the "bad guy" and never wants to be the bearer of bad news. He basically has turned all the concerns over his mother to his sister, which is completely unfair and downright mean, and MIL is kind of demanding and VERY 'checked out'.

His older brother exited the scene completely a couple of years after a huge fight. He's still in her will, but personally, I think he shouldn't even be a factor. Not my business, though.

Hubby cannot wrap his brain around his mother requiring more help. As long as she can walk and get to the store and feed herself, he thinks she just dandy. (At this point, age 88, she is, really doing pretty well)--but she has had a couple of TIA's and at some point, she is going to either require some serious help or she is going to die. He simply brushes this all away. He had to go to her house the other night to fix her hearing aids and he came home totally exhausted from her complaining and moaning about her miserable lot in life. He KNOWS he needs to spend more time with her, but he simply cannot force himself to see her more than once or twice a year.

I don't push him to see her. As I am not allowed in her home, it isn't like I can facilitate visits. She calls him at work if she needs him and he goes up there if he can. He hates every second of times spent with her.

I keep telling him he needs to man up and see/call her weekly. She goes days on end without speaking to anyone, and that's a recipe for disaster. He's never been close to her and the thought of calling her weekly makes him so upset.

Some people simply cannot, and will not step in. I had to take his father's DL away, I had to force him to shower and eat. It was awful. I'm not doing this again with his mother.
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Reply to Midkid58

Bosslady, at some point hubby is going to have to be the bad guy. He’d better start getting used to it. He is going to have to make decisions mama ain’t gonna like. I had to put both my parents in care about 3 months ago. Until their minds are totally gone I will always be the evil son.

And you need to hang tough. Best tell hubs right now that mama is not coming to your house.
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Reply to Windyridge

Thanks for all suggestions but my husband is very stubborn and he's to proud to talk with anyone at this time , Im afraid it is going to take something serious again before anything gets done , I have suggested speaking with assisted living facilities , and having an assessment done on her , but my MIL starts to get anxious and basically tells him no , and he gives in , I can't take care of her either as Im not a nurse , I thought about just calling and getting her evaluated and be done with it but I know she would call my husband and all you know what would happen then , Im the bad person , I also know she dosent tell the dr everything thats going on and its hard to believe they don't question her about her falling stroke etc . As far as the dmv not sure whats going on there but she's a danger to herself and others , Im hoping they won't renew her dl, if they do then somethings wrong , as far as reading any of these answers he won't as he doesn't think it will help and his story is different , which isn't true hopefully something gives because my nerves are shot and I know my husbands are as well as he told some things but its hard for hm to talk about it . Thanks again for all suggestions if you can think of anything else please feel free to post thanks
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Reply to Bosslady656

Follow the thread by Dorker, entitled "Disheartened and Angry".
She has been given much advice.
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Reply to Sendhelp

Dear Bosslady,

I know you are only trying to help your husband. It's such a tough situation. I can identify with your husband. Because I too had my blinders on and tried to do everything on my own. People would make suggestions and I just kept with my "I can do it" attitude. The more people suggested I couldn't, the more determined I was to continue.

Maybe suggest he check out this forum and read the stories of other caregivers. It might give him some insight. Or get him to talk to a social worker. Maybe if a third party talked to him he might be more receptive.

It is so hard to break out of our childhood roles. The need to help our parents is ingrained even when its causing us a lot of stress. I hope he can find a better balance.
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Reply to cdnreader

I agree with frequent flyer. Say no if he gets where he wants to move Mom in. You will end up doing a lot of the physical work. I have a stubborn hubby. The only way he sees my side is when he experiences it. Let husband do what he feels is right. Offer help. He will eventually see Moms decline. I see where MIL is in independent living. Maybe it's time for Assisted Living.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Bosslady, this is a difficult situation for your husband. He wants his Mother to be happy but she isn't aging gracefully and is clinging to whatever independence she has left. And she probably still views her son as being a 20 or 30 year old, not a senior himself with his own age related declines.

Time to tell your hubby that up to 40% of family caregivers die leaving behind the love on they were caring. You need to find out what you should do should he be one of those 40% [not good odds]. Make this serious, no nonsense discussion. Hopefully this will be an eye opener for your husband.

If he suggest that you take over the care, and if you are a senior yourself, say "NO, I cannot possibly do that"... say if you were 20 years younger than you would have said yes immediately [even if you wouldn't]. Then mention that the 40% death rate would still affect you yourself. Then what would Mom do? Your hubby needs to map out a 5-year plan for Mom using the "what ifs?". Maybe a 10 year plan as elders are living much longer.
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Reply to freqflyer

The gradual decline with old age can be hard to deal with. The sudden drastic decline caused by a chronic condition is even harder, I think. This is hard for your MIL, your husband, and for you. In many ways the medical decisions can be easiest. You don't have to make them, just abide by them (which is hard enough!)

So start with the medical factors. Who says she should not be driving? If her doctor says it, the DMV should revoke her license. Not son's fault, not DIL's fault. Just a fact. Then son can offer to sell her car for her. She can put the money aside for taxi rides.

Who says she is incompetent to make her own care decisions? Has her doctor put that in writing? You may feel that she is not able to make good decisions, but such a serious decision is not based on the observations of a family member alone. Ultimately it is a court decision. Until/unless at least one doctor has declared her incompetent, accept that she is entitled to make her own decisions, and your best tool (or your husband's) is persuasion. You can try to talk her into having PT, for example, but you can't make her.

You could get an objective opinion of what MIL needs, by having a Needs Assessment done. That might be a good first step and the basis for discussions with your husband.
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Reply to jeannegibbs