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Abusing how? Physically? Verbally? Not caring for him? If you feel this is possible, remove him from the situation. He should not have to spend the last years of his life sad and defeated. Figure something g out and get him out of there. And if you feel Mom has dementia or other mental concerns, get her help as well.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

I thought my mother was being selfish and abusing my father with neglect and periodic abandonment, near the end of his life. I lived 2 hours away, but thought I was visiting enough to know what was happening.
As it turns out, my Dad was old school. Despite having the money to hire help to care for him, or select a lovely supportive facility... my Dad thought his wife should return a lifetime of "financial support" by being his caretaker 7 day a week 24 hour. As another writer asked, who is caring for your Dad? How much care does your Dad need? If it is more than what can be reasonably expected from an aging spouse - the problem may not be a clear cut case of abuse.
I do not understand why, but those in their 80/90s and passing now are unwilling to use their financial resources, or to accept any kind of outside help. They expect to stay in their homes, and be taken care of by their spouse and family. This is regardless of how much care they need, or what others need.
I imagine my father (and mother) would say, that is the way they grew up. That family took care of the elderly. What they do not realize is that the "elderly" were in their 60s or perhaps 70s. Or those who lived into their 80s or even 90s, were in relatively good health.
Today, those elders who have advanced heart disease in their late 70s and 80s survive due to a heart bypass (for example), and live another 10 years. But those last 10 years are often full of a complex constellation of medical issues. The elders are "saved" from death by heart disease, but deteriorate from other disorders, that in a previous generation - they would have been spared. Life extension of our elders has resulted in much older and too often much sicker. Their expectations for home and family care, do not match the reality of their medical state. It is wonderful to have them with us for a longer time, but they often need more care than family or a spouse can provide.
My father never did allow outsiders into his house to help. He was never willing to pay for care. He did abuse my mother by expecting too much, and she did abandon him periodically when she needed a break. It was a dynamic that was built over 61 years - and I could not influence it.
Try to get your Dad to allow outsiders (caretakers) into the house to help him. Outside caretakers may also moderate your mother's behavior. They may give her some respite, and she may behave differently when observed. Or try to get your father to move to an environment with the support he needs (if possible).
If both of those fail - you can either accept what you cannot change, or reach out to the Elder Abuse hotline (anonymously).
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to NearButNotClose
Mustlovedogs Feb 20, 2020
Or leave the elderly alone. Calling an elder abuse helpline will only bring APS. Maybe people should stay out of others business? Families should be helping. Unfortunately, many adult children are selfish.
I am honestly surprised and not surprised at the answers here. Seems like a lot of you have assumed the wife is a spring chicken with all her mental faculties & who should be thrown in jail.
why isn’t anyone questioning how he was forced to lay on the floor if there were other people present? Why was it solely her responsibility to get him up? Could they have not helped him up or called 911? The man is 90 and likely his wife is that age too and from the sounds of it is experiencing cognitive decline or burn out from being an elder taking care of an elder!

Also her post says this is about her parents/90 year old dad. Her profile talks about her 87 year old in-laws.....
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Reply to worriedinCali

This sounds like it needs to be dealt with now. Call adult protective services today. It's impossible to have any fight left in you when you are being abused.
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Reply to NoTryDoYoda
Llamalover47 Jan 28, 2020
NoTryDoYoda: You're 100% right.
See 1 more reply
We have a headline here. Nothing else, just a very short blurb asking what can be done about a 90 year old man who's declining in health and being 'abused' by his wife. According to the OPs profile, this is her IN LAWS she is talking about; Merlin, the father in law.

From this headline, we've managed to gather that the FIL 'spoiled the MIL' and she's angry now that she has to care for him.

That the police should be called & the MIL should be 'put in jail.' Either that or the OP should bring them both home to live with her.........

That the MIL is overwhelmed & therefore, filled with angst.

And on and on.

With no further response from the OP or clarification since 1/22.

MIL is a bully and FIL has accepted that treatment for their entire marriage, for some reason we're all unaware of.

Wishing the OP the best of luck figuring out how to change a situation that's gone on for decades.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lealonnie1

How is he being abused? Physically or emotionally? Who is your dad’s caregiver? Has your mom been his caregiver and is burning out? Does she need looking after too? These situations can be complicated.

I’m not making excuses for your mom. I am only trying to get a clear picture of the circumstances. I am sorry your dad is suffering.

Was your mom loving with your father before this situation? Do you feel that he would be more comfortable in a facility? He would be cared for and your mom would get a break too. Maybe she would be in better spirits if she was not watching him suffer every minute.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

We had that situation with my PIL who live in Hawaii while we live in Florida. Both had dementia but FIL was worse. MIL was taking care of them both - in their late 80's/early 90's. She wouldn't give either of them enough food or fluids. My BIL discovered the situation and didn't adequately address the problems. I reported it to APS but MIL was high functioning enough when they visited and didn't intervene. FIL passed away in a couple of months from dehydration and malnutrition.

Either take him home with you, get him into a residential facility, or call the police to arrest her. To know about abuse and do nothing, makes you complicit in it. Get him (and her) cared for.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Taarna

It sounds as though your MIL can't begin to cope with your FIL's needs, and instead of seeking help (through pride or shame or fear of the unknown, who knows) she is taking it out on him. It's horrible, and terribly sad.

I think the thing to do is investigate what support services they might be eligible for that are relevant to them and might take some of the stress out of the situation. Anything that brings trained professionals to the house is a start, at least.

I did a bit of Googling and found this page:,5885,7-339-71547_2943_4857---,00.html

but it seems to be a bit out of date? Not sure. Anyway, I would start with your state's or county's elder services and take advice from them. Aim to support your MIL and put a stop to her venting that way; but if nothing happens fast enough, then you'll need to bring in APS. Bear in mind that she is ill and this is not about blame - it's about preventing further abuse/neglect by tackling the root of the problem.
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Reply to Countrymouse

This is my opinion, we all have them like we all have noses.
My step-father was diagnosed with Alzheimers/dementia in 2012. He is a loving, gentle, quiet, and God loving man. My Mother would call me (I live out of State for over 20 yrs now) even though I have 2 sisters back home and a brother in another State (living there as long as we have out of State), but Mom and I were ALWAYS close so I hot the calls.
Mom would constantly tell me how frustrated she was with my stepfather forgetting to do things (he was always busy) or asking her over and over what she had wanted him to do. When our daughter still lived back home attending college, she would have lunch with them the days she had classes as the college she was attending was just a few miles from her Grandma. Daughter would tell me that my stepfather would drive to a store or burger place (all close to their house) come back and ask where he was suppose to go. Mom would have to start writing it ALL down for him.
THEN THINGS STARTED TO CHANGE FOR MOM! Mom was diagnosed in 2016/2017. I found out Dec 2017 when I received a text from sister Mom was in the hospital.
Now, SUNDOWNERS comes into play. My stepfather was not effected until later in the day around 9:00pm. Mom would become really upset and constantly yell and become EXTREMELY UPSET with him.
Mom on the other hand, would sleep during the day and stay up all night, so stepfather would go to bed around 10:00.
Now, they are both in assisted living. Alzheimers effects the minds totally different like snow flakes, no 2 are alike.
Mom doesn't speak any longer. Stepfather becomes so angry he has threatened other residents and caregivers no matter if the person is female/male.
Take your Mother to her GP for the simple verbal questioning test to start evaluating. The 1st question is giving her a word to remember, then she will be asked other questions as well as writing sentences only she comes up with and to copy things such as a square on her own. At the end, the doctor will evaluate the test results. Your Mom may be suffering from the type of Alzheimers that makes her very angry.
My Mom/stepfather completely flipped from their past personalities so now they have become what the other was.
I was SHOCKED when my siblings FINALLY 'allowed' me to participate regarding Mom (long story). Mom is 100% my responsibility now EVEN though I live out of State. Everything dealing with Mom, property, medical, etc. I drive home and spend no less than a week to take care of her property as well as spending a whole day at the facility to watch both of them, keep a diary, and talk with caregivers in depth. It's my responsibility and accountable to the Court every year.
Please, have your Mom tested for Alzheimers and/or dementia. These mental conditions can happen as early as the age of 50 or younger.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to dkentz72

I think Samsung offers insight as well.   The wife may be completely overwhelmed.   (Many of us have been there and know that realm well.)

How much help is she getting from the family?   Are you/they providing respite for her?   Meals?   Transportation?  

That's something to discuss as you contemplate calling in agency reinforcements.  

It's easy to judge someone from a distance, but we also don't have the benefit of knowing more about the family dynamics.    A woman in her situation needs support.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to GardenArtist

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