She stays with us 2 months at a time. There is nothing physically wrong with her. She has been to the doctors and hospitals for stomach pain for over 35 years now. They have found nothing wrong with her, but she loves the attention she gets while there. She just doesn't want to live alone and wants to be taken care of. This has been going on for 4 years now. We were keeping her for 4 months but by the end of 2 months my marriage is strained. This is also the case for his sister.
His mother will only sit on the couch and not do anything. We have a trainer come in twice a week for 30 minutes to get her off the couch. We only cook for her once a week because otherwise she would not move around. She does not help around the house and when she makes a mess she always claims she didn't do it. We have her clean her mess, but she doesn't want to do it. She is an older Indian woman that believes she should be taken care of. I have two children and my sister-in-law has 1. While other grandparents want to help with the children, she only wants the attention having a grandchild will give her. Needless to say this is really putting a strain on both of our marriages. I have told my husband that she needs to start doing chores around the house. Nothing big, maybe dusting, swiping the floor or doing dishes. He is for it but doesn't' want the headache its going to cause when she doesn't do it.
We have looked into Independent living places for her but she doesn't want to go. She won't visit her friends and they don't want to come and see her because she expects them to bring her stuff and do things for her. She does see a psychiatrist and is on medication.
I guess my question is "What kinds of chores should I have her do? and how often?"

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You say that she sees a psychiatrist and takes medication. I might start with that to see if she needs her medication adjusted. Sometimes, depression can cause a person to just not have any motivation or will to take care of themselves.

PLUS, I would consult with her medical doctor. They can check for some issues with vitamin deficiencies, heart problems or dementia. Has she had an office mini evaluation? I suggest this, because, I saw this happen with my LO, in addition to some family friends. They seem capable of getting up and making a sandwich, doing laundry, taking a shower, etc. HOWEVER, their brain is not allowing them to do it.

Sometimes, with cognitive decline, it's a Loss of Initiative that goes before the memory. My LO would lay in bed and use diapers instead of going to the bathroom, even though, she was capable of going. Her physical therapists and home care aids told me that she was spoiled and lazy. But, later, it was clear that she had early dementia. (She is now end stage dementia.) I didn't realize what was really going on with her. A friend of mine, who knew of my LOs lack of initiative to do anything in the house, asked me about dementia at the time and I shushed them. But, they were right. I had no idea her brain was damaged and that is why she was not able to do things. Soon, her legs went and she couldn't walk at all. I'd explore all potential causes for her lack of initiative. I know that it can be frustrating.

If she is competent to move, function, etc. I'd explore placement for her, unless the family is okay with continuing to be her caregivers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
lilhelp Jan 24, 2020
Sunnygirl1, Your answer is very helpful to me.  Thank you.
No. Of course she doesn't wish to go to independent living. This is working quite well for her. I am not clear as to what mental deficits she has? She sees a psychiatrist and is on medication? And seems there is no dementia? I do not see chores she will do as saving your marriage in all honesty, and I do not believe you are dumb, so you would be able yourself to come up with "bring in the mail; empty the compost can into the composter; load the dishwasher and set it to wash; put away the dishes; feed the dog; make the coffee; pack lunch for the kids; pack my lunch; make breakfast every other day; make a store list for shopping and prepare supper twice a week; fold the laundry when the dryer pings. We all know what we do and what another is capable of doing. And don't list it as chores that would be done by your teen for his allowance; make it as "Mom, I know that you want to contribute to the household while you are here and I sure can use the help and sure would thank you for it. Here is a list. Pick 10 things you would like to do to help me."
This is more a marriage issue than anything. For several months here and there you have someone living with you that you really don't want living with you. This won't get better, because soon she will be living with the two households full time, and two marriages will be in ruins. And of course as I always say, this could go on and on, getting worse and worse, over two decades.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

How old is she? Does she have any health issues? Too bad she won’t agree to independent living. Try to explain this situation as is, simply isn’t working. She could hire a housekeeper/aide to have things done for her.

Does she pitch in financially?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Very few people WANT to go to AL. Have you told her people do all kinds of things there for her? (Laundry, cleaning, cooking, entertainment) It sounds like her dream come true! These places are MADE for people who want attention and other people to do things for them.
I think you could make a list of chores to the moon and back and they wouldn't happen. It's not in her make up.
Sounds like your husband and his sister need to put their heads together and come up with a long term solution for their mother's care. best wishes
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to gemmab123

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