I am writing this for my sister. She is 33 and has a husband (40) and a daughter (2). They recently had a house built and they have been in their new house for about 3 months now.
My sister's MIL has health problems including Stage 4 ("end stage") COPD and osteoporosis. She is on oxygen and uses a rollator (walker).
Up until a couple months ago she was living in her own apartment, however she became a constant fall risk (she fell several times before her sons had her move out of her apartment and stay with one of them).
The reason this happened is I guess she couldn't afford a home health aide on top of the rent she was paying. Anyways my sister and her husband offered for her to stay with them because she didn't want to stay with one of the brothers and the other brother's house who she was staying at was very dirty, had mold etc, so she couldn't stay there because of her COPD.
My sister was nice enough to let her move in and installed a stair lift into her brand new house (the MIL paid for it) but now all she does is sit downstairs in the same chair all day long.
She is SO nosy you can't even go visit without her wanting to know everything you're saying and then she brings up inappropriate topics like trying to gossip about our friends or family.
I watch my niece on Mondays so I also care for my sister's MIL on Mondays and Fridays because my sister was leary of having a stranger in her house (she has a big goofy dog & a lot of valuables and you just really don't know about people anymore) so I offered and it kind of worked out for both of us but now the MIL is driving everyone crazy!
I feel like I can't really complain about the way she treats me on Mondays and Fridays because she is paying me so it's a little different but she behaves the same way toward everybody all the time.
I hate to say it because I'm not an ugly person but she is SO annoying and nosy and then she gets her feelings hurt when you call her out on things. I am literally losing my mind and my heart breaks for my sister and brother-in-law.
She sits in the chair downstairs all the time so my sister and her husband have no family time for just themselves and their toddler, like they can't just hang out downstairs and spend time with their daughter as a family because she's always around and you have to always repeat everything to her because she is so incredibly nosy then she gets her feelings hurt if you don't want to repeat what you said. She basically commandeers the whole downstairs area ALL the time, and the rest of my side of the family doesn't really like her so no one goes over to my sister's new house to hang out (she just moved to the same town as us and she's really close like 4 miles away).
My sister loves to bake she has a brand new kitchen that she worked hard to get (this house is their dream home) and she's not able to just go in there and bake in peace without having to answer a million questions or make small talk. If her and her husband want to just hang out and watch TV they're basically forced to go hang out in the small sitting room they have that's connected to their bedroom. That's the only place they can get away from her. They bought her a brand new Apple TV and set her room up with a recliner so she could go and have her own private time and give them a break too but she never goes up there she just sits down stairs all the time with no regard for other people's space or privacy.
She constantly asks people to do things that she knows she can do by herself like getting something for her or turning on/off the lights or making her something to eat. It's just getting so difficult to deal with her because she is such a rude SELFISH old lady. None of the grandkids want anything to do with her because, as we've recently found out, she was mean to them too. Basically my sister and her husband got stuck with her with no relief. It's not fair to my sister and my brother-in-law who tried for a year to have a baby for her to just expect they are going to do everything for her when they have their own child to spend time with and do things for.
There is also so much resentment because her husband died from lung cancer (they were very heavy smokers) and she had COPD for years and didn't stop smoking. She basically did this to herself, she chose to live an unhealthy lifestyle knowing she would eventually be a burden on her family and then she shows no respect or gratitude to the people who offered to give her a place to live. My sister and her husband are losing their minds because they moved her in way too soon. What can they do? She really needs to live on her own but they sold all of her stuff when they moved her out of the apartment! Is there anything that can be done at this point? There is so much anger, regret and resentment felt all the time and the rest of us are really wasting a lot of time and energy constantly talking about her or avoiding her.

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cleanandserene, now just for a few minutes everyone put themselves in the mother-in-law's shoes, and see life from her eyes.

Imagine you are at the age where you can no longer just hop in the car to go shopping or run errands.   You can't have lunch with your friends because they have either moved away or have died.   Your clothes no longer fit right.   Every time you stand you have the overwhelming fear you will fall....

you are no longer in the apartment that you had enjoyed.   Who knew caregivers were so expensive.   Too late to go back to work to earn that extra money.....

the love of your life either had died or moved on.   You can't go on vacations because it would be difficult to get around due to your walker.   Plus walking is tough as you can't breath.....

you're not around anyone of your own age group.   The music of today isn't the same as you had when growing up.   The TV shows on TV are all about much younger people, thus you can't relate.   You hadn't been out to a movie in years.   Nor out to dinner because if is too difficult to get around, plus food doesn't taste the same any more as one loses their sense of taste with age.....

you are sleepy from prescription medicines, along with headaches and tummy aches.   Your bones ache all the time.   And no one wants you in the same room with them :(

Yep, I would be a MEAN old lady, too, if that was my life.

I  also think the mother-in-law would love to live in senior housing, being around people her own age.   Listening to music of their era, and people who actually like having her around them.   I honestly feel sad for your Mother-in-law at this point in her life.
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Your sister and family should put a TV in their little sitting room and leave the old lady downstairs.
No way of knowing whether she is actually able to do things herself that she asks others to do as COPD is very disabling and it really if hard to get up especially if she is heavy.
I do understand why she wants to be downstairs and of course she thinks you all want her as part of the family. It's lonely being alone upstairs.
As far as your sister's baking is concerned. I don't suppose her new home has a door on the kitchen so she can't close that. She has to draw firm bounderies and tell MIL that she is going to be in the kitchen for X # of hours and does not want to be disturbed. Then go in there and turn on the radio and ignore MIL. OK easier said than done but we are talking survival here.
Best solution is to get MIL into assisted living and let her get on with it. I am not suggesting you all abandon her but make some space. It probably would not be a good idea to have her live alone again or you will be dealing with falls and injuries as I suspect she is actually worse than the family realizes. With severe COPD there will be lots of hospital stays in her future followed by rehab so don't bring her home early however much she hates it. This is not going to be easy but she is running and ruining your lives.
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There are three sons, including your BIL? And the three of them, including the one with the mouldy house, the one she doesn't want to live with (that wouldn't be because he hasn't got a nice amenable wife, would it?), and your BIL. And the three of them between them argued MIL into giving up her apartment and selling her furniture because they were worried about her.

Well, that'll teach them.

Still. Here we are, some way down the line. Other brother having proved a broken reed, your BIL and your sister have freely chosen to move your MIL in to the extent of making home adaptations specially for her. But without realising, perhaps, how closely MIL expected to be involved in family life.

Unless she's always been a private sort of person, it isn't realistic to suppose she'll happily shut herself away. But I agree that it isn't until you've tried it that you realise how intrusive another person's presence is in your home; so your BIL and sister can't really be blamed for not foreseeing that things haven't worked out as they'd hoped.

The trouble is, the longer this goes on, the more resentment will build up, the less they will like MIL, and the more uncomfortable they will be having her around. And when you look at that from MIL's point of view, it means she'll be living among a bunch of people who really don't like her and talk about her behind her back and think she's a selfish bone idle old hag. Which is not a nice place for a sick old lady to be.

So for everybody's good, The Brothers need to think again. Your sister and BIL - but especially BIL, because this is HIS mother and HIS problem - need to get everyone together and explain that this is not going so well. They also need to research other options, such as nearby facilities, and come up with a new plan. They'll have to refund her for the stair lift.
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I"d have her assessed to see what level of care that she needs and what she qualifies for based on her income and assets. Then, I'd help her get settled into her new place, whether it's AL or NH. Some people don't know they are being insensitive. Ground rules from the beginning might have helped. I suppose we all think we are doing the right thing in the beginning. If she truly is disabled, whether physically or mentally, then she needs whatever level of care that she needs. That's for the caregiver to determine and provide or see to it that others provide it.

I hope that wife and husband agree that she has to be placed somewhere. IF not, that's going to be a tough situation.
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Dear Clean, WOW a great example of making decisions that don't necessarily work out. It looks like it is time for some research and a heart to heart family council meeting.
Hold old is this woman? Where is her income going each month? Her family needs to research other living options. Senior housing for example. There may be options where some services are part of the rent, etc. Perhaps a meeting of your brother in law and his sibs. If alternatives can be identified, perhaps all of the children can contribute to new furnishings. I agree, the description you gave is an unfair situation for your sister and her family. They (unwisely) made this offer, now it is time to come up with alternate living arrangements for MIL. It is also time for everyone to stop catering to her. When she asks for something to be brought to her or lights to be turned on or off, have some ready made responses. 'Oh I'll let you take care of that it is time for me to check on the 2 year old.' EVERYONE needs to be consistent , just as they are with a child. When your sister bakes, she might do it while MIL is watching her favorite show.
AND why not have your sister and her family visit your family leaving MIL for short periods of time. She can go for dessert or tea or whatever. leave MIL with a phone next to her and travel 4 miles to sanity.
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