At the beginning of this year my husbands 82 yrs. old father asked us to move into their home to help take care of my 82 yrs. old MIL. My MIL has severe dementia. We agreed to move in and help with a stipulation. We do not have children of our own but I am very close to my nieces; when they start having children of their own we as well as my FIL will move to my home town to enjoy our grandchildren and my large extended family. When MIL is in a nursing home she can transfer to a nursing home in my home town.

Of course he agreed. Now he's denying that we ever had that conversation he would never agree to move and my MIL could transfer nursing homes. He is telling me that it will be many, many, many years before we can relocate to be close to my family.

My MIL & FIL both come from small families and have one other child a 50 yrs. old son who is developmentally disabled and has lived in a group home for 30 yrs. old.

When my FIL retired at 60 yrs. old they moved to Florida had a very active social life saw their DD son when they came North each summer and visited their elderly parent's in the nursing home twice a year.

I am upset and resentful about the situation. It is not going to be easy taking care of my husbands elderly parents it will put a huge strain on our marriage yet we agreed because there is no one else to help. I resent my FIL for wanting to control my ability to move near my family. No one put constraints on them when they retired to Florida.

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Do you have a caregiving contract with them? Consult a lawyer and Adult Protective Services about how you go about getting out of that contract or, if there isn't one one, about how you leave without being charged with neglect.
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Even before this situation arose, my husband and I agreed that when he retires, in 3 to 4 yrs, we would sell our home and move near my family. When his father approached us, my husband, FIL, and I, unanimously agreed that we would sell our house now and live with his parents, but only until my husband retired.

Based on the 3-4 yr. timeframe, we plan to give his father several options:

1. FIL can move with us and MIL can transfer nursing homes;
2. FIL and MIL can remain in home and receive in-home services, or;
3. FIL and MIL can both go into nursing home care.
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I'd be interested to know how the second conversation - the one where FIL claimed you never had the first - arose. And how old are your nieces? Are great nieces or nephews imminent?

The point being, that I'm not sure you need to have this discussion at all, do you? Your FIL's stance that it will be many many years etc is his way of saying that he doesn't want his wife to get worse and die and that he isn't looking forward to change. Well, I'm sure he isn't. But the "many many years" bit is likely pie in the sky, if your MIL's dementia really is severe. How long did you yourself plan to be living in their neighbourhood before you would be able to move back to be near your family?

Make practical plans for your MIL's decline and your FIL's growing care needs regardless of what he says; those plans could involve shipping them out, or they could involve leaving them be and letting them rely on whatever other resources you can find locally to them. But don't waste your breath or your temper on a yes I did no you didn't ding-dong with a worried old man - 'reneged' don't really come into it when he made this bargain with you under the duress of the situation.
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Ah, so Ann (or Abby) was quoting Eleanor. Smart women, all. And it applies here.
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Jeannegibbs, it was Eleanor Roosevelt.
ps: I admire the wisdom you bring to this site, and have benefited from it many times.
Helpful Answer (4)

Did you sell your own home or do you still own it where your nieces are?

Just wondering if you can afford to move back or are you financially depended on FIL?
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Was it Ann Landers who always used to say that no one can take advantage of you without your permission? Or maybe it was her sister Abby.

In any case, you need to stop permitting this manipulation. But my first question is, where is your husband on this issue?
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Don't allow your FIL to dictate how and where to live your life. He renigged on his bargain, or perhaps he honestly doesn't remember the deal he made. Regardless, you have no obligation to be stuck for "many, many, many years" taking care of him.

Another reader posted a similar situation; it might be interesting and worthwhile to read how this couple is facing strong attempted manipulation by the wife's FIL:
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Remind them they lived their life, and you intend to live yours. You are exactly correct, they did not stick around for anyone, and you should not either. You cannot bargain with dementia, which he shows the beginnings of. You made a mistake moving in; acknowledge that and move out.
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