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My mother in law is 87 and has no relatives but me. My husband, her only child, died several years ago. I have been taking care of her as well as possible. I go to her home everyday,at least once, organize and administer medicines, pay bills, buy groceries, cook and clean. I also have a very demanding job that she constantly complains about because it takes time from her. I have let her control me for years. She has always been very controlling and it has exacerbated with age and dementia. She does not want to leave her home, which I understand, but she does not want help to come in, either. Her doctor has put his foot down and said she must make a choice. She wants me to tell him we can handle it but I really can't anymore. How do you get past this guilt? She has lived alone for years but it is just not safe anymore.

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Dil, you have no reason to feel guilty - you've done more than most people could under the circumstances. Listen to the doctor and tell your mother-in-law that you are no longer able to provide for her care. Let her know that you will visit. Social Services should be able to help if you tell them that she will be on her own. Good luck to you. Just stay firm and let go of guilt. You are doing the right thing for both of you.
Carol
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Dil12345, please count the cost of ALF's....they are about $3,300 per month (those are 2012 averages nationwide). IF she has the funds to keep her there for another 10 years, with 5% yearly increases, and can still pay her other budget items (taxes, prescriptions, eyeglasses, do a budget for her) then by all means she and you would be better off. But most people do not have $500,000 in their assets to pay for ALF. Also remember to pre-pay her funeral and attorneys costs before she moves to AL. Hopefully she has set up her DPOA and made out a will!
Best wishes to you at this difficult Life Decision. There are many great resources here on agingcare dot com, but please remember that you must absolutely keep your budget under control: there is not a lot of choice in facilities if she should run out of money and go on Medicaid (Medicare does NOT pay for ALF).
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Support her MD's decisions and do NOT take her out of there. He can get her declared incompetent and placed in the proper facility. Her dementia has made her irrational and the MD knows it. You have no reason to feel guilty about someone who is not cooperative.
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What GraceH said!!! At over $3K a month, if she has money it will deplete fast. If it has to be this way where she absolutely cannot be alone and you are being taxed in both directions, what about at least spending a portion of what would be $3K a month for an in-care custodian, maybe part time, like in the mornings or at night? It would probably cost considerable less.... Just a thought because I don't know where she is in her dementia stage..
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Hi Dil, It is a very hard decision to have your MIL placed in care.
Ask yourself why you feel guilty?
second question ask yourself How would I feel if your MIL had a serious accident at home because of no supervision?
Third question what would happen to your MIL if you became ill or injured?
They will help provide guidance for your decision.
I see it everyday in emergency departments. Elderly people admitted with major even life threatening injuries post falls.
At the end of the day you have a life to live as well and need to care for yourself.
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