We have a wonderful and caring caregiver come in on Saturdays and when we take vacations. My MIL does not need much help but does need to be reminded to take her meds and this is where the problems start. She thinks she doesn't need to be reminded but she absolutely does. Plus her meds are complicated because she can't eat 1 hour before and 30 minutes after and she doesn't remember this as well. She repeatedly tells the caregiver to stop pestering her and tells the caregiver that she is annoying and that the caregiver is getting on her (MIL's) nerves. We've asked the caregiver to try to ignore and brush off the digs and the comments but I'm sure it can get disheartening. Any tips on how to change my MIL's behavior? We don't want to lose the caregiver...

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Sushi, sorry, there is nothing you can do to change MIL's behavior. It is what it is.

Possibly CG can alter slightly how she goes about her tasks. Maybe. But the best bet is for her to let this rude behavior slide off her back. You can thank her repeatedly for her patience with your crabby MIL. Perhaps share that she was a lovely person with impeccable manners before her illness set in.

CG could try enlisting MIL's sympathy. "I know! I hate pestering you almost as much as you hat it. But it is my job to see that you take these pills, and if I can't cross that off my checklist I'll be in trouble with my agency. I wish I didn't have to work and we could just be friends, but I need the money."

"You can take these pills when you want to, and a half an hour later we can have breakfast. After that do you want to play a game of checkers?" As much as possible make it sound like Mom has some say in the decisions.

How do you get Mom to take her meds when you are with her.
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Sushi, there isn't anything you can do to change your Mom-in-law's behavior. Hopefully this isn't the first job for the caregiver, that she has been on many rodeos. If the caregiver is experienced, then the caregiver will fully understand and will not be hurt by what Mom-in-law says.

Elders hate to lose their independence and will snap and snarl if someone tries to tell them what to do. It's tough getting old and not be able to do things that we now take for granted.
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