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It has become hard for us to take care of her. Can I, as her daughter in law who does EVERYTHING for her, put her in a nursing home. I do not have POA or anything legal stating I am her caregiver. Can even her son do this if he finally comes around?

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Before I would leave someone at an ER I would find out what the the ramifications are in your State. My daughter is now an RN in a hospital and says its not as easy as you think.

My question is, what does your brother think of this? Does he work, if not is he being paid? Do you work. Will he be able to keep the house up if Mom is not there? I am assuming that you use MILs money to pay for her living expenses.

I think you need to talk to a lawyer versed in Medicaid and elder care. There must be a way, without POA, to get Mom the care she needs. As her son, your husband needs to step up to the plate if it just means placing her somewhere.

She must have been a nice person and easy to deal with for 2 non-blood people to take care of her. The one thing you may eventually be able to do ...is if she is ever hospitalized and goes to rehab. While in rehab, have her evaluated for LTC. Hopefully one is attached to the rehab. If found she needs 24/7 care then have her transferred to LTC after her rehab is completed. If she has funds, u can pay for her privately applying for Medicaid when her money starts running out. About 90 days before. Once in LTC all her needs will be met. You can just visit.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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If the facts are that no one has POA/DPOA there isn’t much you can do legally. ExhaustedPiper, Countymouse, lealoonie and others have offered the options I can see. The one thing I might add is that if indeed your husband (you are still with him and have been all of this time?) is unwilling or unable to bring himself to step in and help even from a distance on the legalities front and he has no siblings to do that working with the state services and or doctors to step in and assign guardianship since she won’t or can no longer do that herself might not shut you and your brother out if you don’t want to be. It probably depends on the state, the social worker you get and the way you go about it but once the state decides there is a need for a guardian it’s not inconceivable that they would appoint someone who has been providing care and is willing to continue even though they aren’t related by blood. I don’t want you and your brother to leave things status quo until it falls apart in an emergency because your afraid you will be throwing her to the wolves by asking for legal help. When we really think about it family isn’t always blood, sometimes the family you choose is closer than the family your born to.
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Reply to Lymie61
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I think the relationships are only obscuring the essential points here - nobody has POA and the lady in question may no longer be capable of assigning one even if she is willing. As next of kin the son will possibly get more cooperation from doctors, agencies, facilities etc than the OP would, but he really hasn't any more legal authority than she does.

dpars3031 - I don't suppose there is any way to convince your MIL to sign herself into a facility, even through trickery? Perhaps if she needs to go somewhere "temporarily" because.... the house needs termite treatment... your brother has to be out of the country, is contagious, is ???..... whatever else you can come up with?
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Reply to cwillie
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Alva, the OP has had a (?reasonably good?) relationship with her MIL for forty years. The OP's husband has very little to do with his mother.

The MIL lives in a house which is jointly owned by the OP and HER brother. The brother lives there, and at weekends the OP takes over primary care.

Over time - I'm hoping we'll hear more about how much time, and how this all came about - the MIL's care needs have increased and the situation is now becoming unsustainable; but neither of the actual primary caregivers has any legal authority or status.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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No you can't "put her in a nursing home". The person who has POA can act in your MIL behalf. If there is no POA assigned and your husband (?) has taken on the care of his Mom voluntarily (?) and you LIVE with your husband, you really have not got a lot of power in the situation. Correct me if I have the situation wrong.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Dpars,

This is an unusual dynamic, but it must have worked for a long time, and now it's not sustainable with the dementia, am I right? Is your brother close to your MIL?

Is your MIL with it enough that she understands her care needs are increasing? Would she willingly go to a care facility?

How are things with her financially? It might be time to start the medicaid process if she doesn't have funds or assets to sell.

You have two big elephants sitting in the room. 1-Your MIL's dementia and 2- Your husbands denial and lack of involvement.

Both of those things need to be addressed. Tell your husband you have no legal standing and the current set up with your brother is not sustainable anymore. If he refuses to address it, call your local senior support services and find out how to have her assessed. Let them know the care that your brother and you have been providing is ending. Others will have better answers on navigating getting her assessed, but that seems to be the next step.

With no DPOA, and if your husband doesn't want to pursue guardianship then the state will take over and make the decisions as to her care and placement.

I'm sorry you are going through this, and I'm very sorry your husband isn't stepping in here. I imagine you and your brother love your MIL, I really hope your husband will come to his senses. Have you had a serious talk with him? If so how does he respond?
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Reply to ExhaustedPiper
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It's quite an unusual situation for an elder to be supported by her DIL's brother (related by neither blood nor marriage, strictly speaking) primarily, and by her DIL the rest of the time, and to have a functioning forty year relationship with her DIL but none to speak of with her son. And to add to the unusualness, the home itself is owned jointly by the resident non-blood relation and the lady's DIL.

So... what to do.

How did your brother come to take on this role? How long has he been MIL's co-primary caregiver, if I can put it like that? And what are brother's feelings about where to go from here?

What are MIL's resources, too? I'm thinking in terms of getting legal advice from an elder care specialist, which she pays for because it's for her benefit. Have you had a look at local residential care providers/facilities/memory care units and so on? Any appealing possibilities?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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So, if I understand you correctly, your husband is not 'close' to his mother. So you and your brother purchased a home together where your brother cares for your MIL during the week and you care for her on the weekends. Your DH only comes around if you 'shame him into it'. Plus, she's given POA to nobody. Is that right?

If so, and if this were me, I'd lay it all at my husband's feet. Of course he doesn't 'see a problem' since OTHERS have been in charge of his mother's care for FORTY years now. Now it's HIS turn to figure things out and see what a 'problem' truly looks like. I'd tell him that you and your brother are going to sell the house you purchased together and therefore, his mother will need a new place to live by X date. He will then need to hurry up and figure out how he's going to get his mother deemed incompetent and obtain guardianship for her so he can get her placed in either a Memory Care home or a Skilled Nursing facility, depending on whether she has funds or needs to apply for Medicaid.

Seems to me that DH is going to be a busy little beaver in the upcoming months with all he'll have to deal with after you tell him you and your brother are formally FINISHED caring for HIS mother!

Enough is enough.

As it stands right now, you have NO rights to place her anywhere since she's been wise enough not to give you any legal rights.

Wishing you the best of luck doing what you need to do now.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I don’t know that a letter to the MIL with dementia will accomplish anything. This isn’t someone who is competent and firing on all cylinders.
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MargaretMcKen Jan 29, 2020
Even the probable blow-up might accomplish something!
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There is one other thing you could consider doing, and that is to write a letter to MIL. It should say that you are concerned about her, because you think that as she continues to get older many people have a fall that will quite probably break a bone and immobilise her. She will then need nursing care around the clock, you can’t do it, and the family can’t afford to hire a nurse full time. You know it isn’t what she wants, but could she consider assisted living, where she would still be independent but have more support around the clock. To stay safe and independent would be much better than waiting for a fall, when she might be forced into the first available Nursing Home bed with no choice.

This letter needs a lot of thought, and I would take it to a professional to ask for help in writing it. You want it to read well to everyone else involved, and if possible not to annoy MIL too much. If she blows her top at you, you don’t go there on weekends because she is so angry. Your brother needs to stick up for you too. There would probably be a storm in a tea cup, but after that she might even think about it.

Your question is ‘what can you do?’ with no legal standing. Well this is one thing you could consider doing – you don’t need anyone’s permission to write a letter. Obviously it would be better if your DH is happy about it (and he might be, as the anger would be at you, not him). But even without DH on side, it is one answer to your question. It’s an idea to think about. Best wishes, Margaret
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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You can't do anything to move her yourself. No legal grounds to do so. The quick route is take her to an ER or a SCF and drop her off, with your husband's phone number as the responsible party. Not so quick, tell your husband you've called an elder care atty for him to set up an appt about getting guardianship/POA. If her doctor deems MIL incompetent based on her dementia-assuming there's an actual diagnosis--then a legal guardian can determine her fate. Other option is for your brother to be her guardian..which seems reasonable in this case and if he's willing to do it.
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Reply to gemmab123
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She is not your or your brothers responsibility. You have allowed this to continue, of coarse your husband likes the arrangement as he does nothing. Great for him! As long as you continue to do everything for her, nothing will change.

Tell your husband that you will either be giving her a 30 day notice to move out into AL, or he needs to hire a crew to take care of her.

This is very common here, the wife does everything and the husband sits back and looks important, only you can change this dynamic.

There are several good books on boundaries, you might want to read some of them, it will help you to stand up and be counted. Good Luck.
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ArtistDaughter Jan 31, 2020
This is true. My brother would have liked it if I had taken care of our mom completely by myself until it killed me.
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As a DIL, you have the pain of being 'responsible' to a point to care for MIL...but no real say in her care.

My MIL lives alone and has no business doing so. As a DIL, I just see the sadness and inability to live any kind of life with any joy--but her kids just are so terrified of her temper, they give in and let her have her way.

You probably have no legal power to do ANYTHING for/with her. If I took my MIL to the ER, I'd hear about it from the 'kids'.

My DH is her POA, and he lives in fear he will actually have to enact that. She should NOT be left alone, but she wants nobody in her home but her daughter and my hubby. No outside caregivers, nobody.

All we can do is wait for the next fall, which is inevitable. Slowly, she is going to wind up where she does not want to be--a NH of some kind. If she'd make the decision on her own to move to assisted living NOW, she could take her time and make a decision that's good for her. As it stands, she will not have many options when that next fall or UTI happens.

I have found it's EASY for my DH to weigh in on MY mom's living conditions, and totally ignore his OWN mother's. There's no emotional tie to my mom, in fact, I think he hasn't seen her in 2 years. And she lives 5 minutes away!
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Reply to Midkid58
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Isthisrealyreal Jan 29, 2020
Yeah but you don't have to take care of your MIL. I guess that you would rather listen to them than be her caregiver.
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Yes to more info please.
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dpars3031 Jan 29, 2020
Okay...I'm talking about my husband. He was never close to his Mom so I have been her support for 40 years. My brother and I bought a home together and he takes care of my mother in law during the week and I come weekends. My husband will go if I shame him into it. She has refused to give any POA to either myself or her son. With the Alzheimer and Dementia she is not competent to give consent now.
As for care, she can bath (with help getting in and out of shower), feed and dress herself (clothes my be on backward or inside/out). Everything else we do. Cook, clean, dr appts., medications, etc.
Does this help understand what I'm asking for?
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Could you fill us in on the background please?

Where is your MIL living, in her own home or in your home?
What is involved in your taking care of her? - that is, what does she need to have done for her that she can't manage herself? "Everything" may mean everything, but it doesn't really explain what her needs are.

Most of all, who's who? "Her son doesn't see a problem" - do you mean your husband, or your brother-in-law? If it's your brother-in-law who doesn't understand the problem, where is your husband in all this and what is he doing about it?

You don't have POA or a caregiver's contract: does anyone have POA or any form of legal authority to act for your MIL?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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What does your husband think is happening with his mom? I assume that is who you are referring to when you say her son, your husband.

You can stop propping her up and let him deal with her care, that would open his eyes to her condition.

You can take her to the ER and tell them that you can not safely care for her at home and that she is not your mom and you can't reach her family. They would try to contact her next of kin to take her and then they would involve the proper authorities to get her cared for.

If this is your husband are you guys still together? I ask because I think that would help get you better help knowing more of the dynamics of the situation.
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