My MIL wants to die and is basically calling it quits. Do we step back and let her do what she wants or force the situation?

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My MIL is 65 years old. She has always been a heavy drinker but a hard worker who LOVES her cats AND my husband! Last year she was struck by a car and broke her wrist, she was out of work for a while but eventually went back, not long after she was drunk and fell into the bathtub and broke her hip. She seemed to be doing well after the surgery but there were a "few" things she could not do herself so my husband would go there a few times a week (she likes her privacy and gets angry with visits more than a few times a week) to do things around the house for her. Within the past few months she has stopped cleaning her house (totally unlike her) and she doesn't care. She has "retired" from her job but never filed the paperwork and is living solely on her military survivor benefits from her deceased husband. I tried to handle that but no one will call me back. She has not been eating very much and REFUSES to go to the doctor. Within the last week she has stopped eating (she says she is but clearly she is not) she is not feeding her cats AND she hasn't been drinking either. We have stepped in but she is fighting us tooth and nail. She wants to die. How can we just sit back and let her do this? My husband is going to talk to her tonight and give her an ultimatum of going to a doctor or us taking action. Now mind you she refuses to do her will which means we have no say in her health care. We feel like our hands are tied. Any advice would be great! Do we step back and let her do what she wants or force the situation?

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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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UHG we have been calling the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services ALL day and NO ONE is returning our calls. So frustrating!
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Reply to ArmyMom77
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DeeAnna She is not feeding the cats at all. Yes my husband and I are! I had him put a large bowl of dry food out for them to make sure they always have food. We are int he process of making arrangements for them now. She has 4. My husband is also handling the litter boxes. We are making sure the cats are well taken care of as we are also cat lovers! So no worries there. It is just not like her to do that to them. Last night she insisted that she is feeding them but she isn't so it's like she thinks she has.

My husband talked to her last night and told her she needed to get help, long story short she told him (again not like her at all) to leave her the "F" alone. She claims "EVERYONE" keeps pushing her but NO ONE but us is around her so I don't know. Needless to say he is calling the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services today!! Thank you all for the input! This is a tough one for sure!
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Reply to ArmyMom77
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You could call Adult Protective Services. They would assess her and see if she needs help. No person should be a danger to herself. They will follow her wishes, but there may be an underlying reason for this sudden change.
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Reply to Val3rie
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It sounds like your MIL might be suffering from depression because of everything that has happened to her. I know that I became depressed when my car was rear-ended and I hurt my back in the accident. I could not work for a few months and then I had to change the type of work I was doing because of the back injury. As Barb suggested, talk to the local Area Agency on Aging.

I am also concerned about the fact that your MIL is "NOT FEEDING HER CATS". How many cats does your MIL have? Is your MIL putting out any food at all? Any dry cat food? Are you or your husband putting out any food for the cats? Are the cats "indoor only" cats or "indoor/outdoor" cats? What about changing the litter boxes? Is your MIL or you cleaning out the litter boxes? If no one is cleaning out the litter boxes then your MIL is allowing a unhealthy and possibly toxic situation to occur. You need to contact the local Pet Rescue or Cat Rescue or ASPCA or Humane Society and have someone take care of your MIL's cats if she won't or can't take care of them.

I am sorry that you are having to deal with such a frustrating situation. I hope that your MIL and your husband and you can find a peaceful and satisfying solution that benefits everyone and every cat. =^..^= {MEOW}
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Reply to DeeAnna
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I'm so sorry you're going through this! It's heartbreaking and frustrating.

I might suggest to her that since she seems to be making clear her wishes not to be treated for anything, your husband might suggest getting hospice invokved. I'm not sure she'd qualify, but it would accomplish either getting her to see a doctor to see if she's qualify.

You can also call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assessment. Would she agree to that?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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