My husbands 89 year old grandmother has dementia and lives alone. His mom and aunt both live out of state so we are the only family in town. His mom is retired, but only comes up to stay with his grandma for a week every other month, sometimes only one week every 3 or 4 month if it's winter. This has left my husband as the only one here to check in on his grandma and care for her. Over a year ago, I emailed his mom to explain the depression, anxiety and stress she was putting on her son making him feel alone in caring for his grandma and explained how she was making him feel like he wasn't there enough for his grandma when she would call and tell him all the things he didn't do right (forgetting to weed the garden, or not mow behind her garage). I asked her to find an assisted living facility because being the sole caretaker was too much on him while both of us were working full time and raising a family with 2 kids. If she couldn't then consider moving his grandma down to live with her. She said she would consider assisted living if I would tour different places and send her the information. She wouldn't consider letting his grandma live with her. I set up tours, and my husband and I found a facility that matched everything his mom wanted. I sent all the papers needed for her to fill out and after hounding her for months, she finally submitted them, and the facility accepted his grandma. She was set to move in a few months back, but then covid hit. With covid, the facility wasn't allowing new residents to move in.
Now with our state opening up more, they are allowing move ins, but his grandma told his mom she decided she doesn't want to move. So his mom is now saying she will find an in home care place where someone will stop over a few days a week. That isn't going to solve the issue that his grandma is not safe living alone. It won't help with her forgetting to take medications (she has to take some 3x/day), getting up/down stairs (bedroom is upstairs, kitchen/living area is down), making sure doors are locked and she is safe. Her living alone will still have my husband feeling anxiety when he stops by as one of his main fears is being the one to find her deceased since he is the only visitor. I offered to walk in first so he wouldn't be, but he wants to protect me and doesn't want that to fall on me either.
I am at a loss for what to do. My husband doesn't want to fight his mom, and since he lived with his grandma for parts of his childhood, he feels he owes it to his grandma to keep taking care of her. I want to support him, but at the same time I see how it's affecting his health. He just hit 5 months of being sober and I'm worried this is going to push him back to drinking as a way to deal with the stress. Besides this all going on, we are both job searching as we work for the same company that was just sold off and we were told our jobs would be gone by the end of the year once everything gets transferred over to the new company. We have 2 teenagers at home going through the normal teenager issues and I'm going back to college so most of my free time after work is spent on school work and classes leaving him to do more around our house as well.
Has anyone had to deal with a mother in law pressuring her son to do all work and care for his grandmother? What can I do without outright arguing with his mom and threatening to cut off all ties with her until she makes a decision to move his grandma to a place where she is safe? His grandma has already had 1 stroke and luckily we found her in time before it caused too much damage. His mom has POA, and won't give my husband any of the information he would need to get more help without her being the final decision maker.

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A nursing home IS caring for Grandma. Far too many people can't grasp that simple concept and believe it has to fall completely on family.

Time to lay it on the line to MIL, because in reality she has the responsibility to care for her mother and she's neglecting her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MJ1929
pamzimmrrt Jul 1, 2020
Did I miss something? She says Gma could have moved but Covid nixed that plan, and she could not move in. Did she get in after that? She said they would retake her now that things are opening up, but the lady "didn't want to move" and now she doesn't want to move, and they are looking for home care?
Call Adult Protective Services immediately! It can be an anonymous call but stress the urgency of the situation and that you are aware a local family member has been left to handle the situation but has no power to make pertinent decisions because the person with POA lives out of town. Your MIL may not want to pursue AL because it costs money and possible liquidation of assets she is hoping to inherit. It is easy to sit back and allow others to do the work. Prayers for you all. You have been left in a no win situation. It is commendable that your husband loves his grandma and wants to care for her, but it should not be at the expense of of his (or your's) stability.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to guiltridden64

Your MIL is trying to call all the shots – she doesn’t want grandma living with HER, but won’t arrange anything else that will actually work. She has POA so she is in control. She will ‘consider’ things if you do all the work. She was probably at least partly behind grandma changing her mind about AL. She doesn’t even have to watch the downside problems - she doesn’t see your DH’s stress, or yours, and the current situation works fine for her.

You aren’t going to convince MIL to do something different while she is quite happy with the current situation. So you are going to have to make her unhappy. Not such a good idea to have an argument – it won’t change anything about grandma, just make it worse for you and DH. Pamz is right – put it in writing to MIL that things aren’t safe, you and DH cannot continue with the level of support you currently give, and unless other arrangements are made you will have no option other than to bring grandma to her on 1 August. Then don’t argue, just restate.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

It's all on grandma and Mom...grandma changed her mind about leaving and Mom is an armchair daughter. You've done all you can. Don't feel guilty. It's a disaster waiting top happen. We went through that with our mom. Call adult protective services and report her being alone. They will make sure she is kept safe. Even if her daughter refuses. I also believe daughter doesn't need to know who called. Good luck and PLEASE...get on with your lives.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Flowerhouse1952

I agree, call APS for no other reason than to have the situation evaluated. Then you can take that info to MIL. If grandma can no longer care for herself or her affairs, then its not what she wants, its what she needs. MIL needs to step up to the plate since she has POA.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29

You’re going to have to get past trying not to offend anyone. It’s time to state without argument or further discussion that you and your husband can’t do this any longer. It’s not a safe living situation for grandma and she needs to be safe.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Daughterof1930

I would call APS and report that a vulnerable senior is living alone.

Sometimes we have to do the really hard things because others won't do anything.

Your MIL should remember how she has treated her mom when the time comes for her. I would make it clear that she will get what she gave, nada!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Tell his mom she has a set time to get Gma into a facility, or you will be bringing her down to "visit".. with all her stuff. remind her Gma is not safe alone, and without the POA you will not be able to do anything if she has an emergency, and with looking for new jobs you simply can't do this anymore. then stick to your guns.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to pamzimmrrt

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