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I am my MIL's main caregiver for 12 hours each day until my husband gets home. She believes she is being held captive against her will. She recently began physically abusing me by slapping my hand when she wasn't happy with lunch or pulling my hair. Now the abuse has become very violent. Please understand that she is 94 years old and by no means frail. She outweighs me by a good 100 pounds and is freakishly strong when she's angry. She is on medication and recently levels have been increased to help calm her. Unfortunately it's still not enough. She has tried several times to break windows out or she tries to plow through doors like a linebacker. Once I get into the area to stop her from breaking windows she attacks me. I've had bloody gouges from her finger nails on my face and arms. Multiple bruises from her kicking me and recently a broken toe from her slamming the door so hard into my foot that it tore my toenail off. We tried calling 911 just to get her checked in the hospital but are told to pick her up and bring her back home. We're told to contact her doctor for more meds. Even with the increased levels of meds, she still is aggressive and really strong. Our home care group will no longer come because of her violence towards them. I feel like I'm going to die before she does. I'm terrified to be alone with her but we no longer know what to do. Please help.

Tough love answer here:
If, hypothetically, you and your husband had children, and one of you were abusive to them, while the other stood by and did nothing, you would both be criminally complicit.

That your husband stands by and allows this abuse to happen to his wife is reprehensible! If the *only* way to ensure you, his wife, are not PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED in your own home is that his mother is placed in a facility that can handle this sort of behavior, then that is what he needs to do!

You are in an unsafe living environment. There is NO WAY to sugar-coat that fact. Dementia or no, no one has to stand by and put up with that s**t! Unless you have "Everlast" printed across your chest, you are no one's punching bag!

If your husband won't respond to words, maybe actions will move him.

Pack you bags and take a solo vacation for a few days. Let him deal with it.

You say he works 12 hours a day - is that possibly so he doesn't have to be home to deal with this situation?

It's disgraceful that he is putting you in this position! In some ways, it's almost worse than the abuse itself.

It's far past time to have a "come to Jesus" moment with your husband and la your cards on the table. "Honey, I love you and will support you in most anything, but I am not going to allow myself to be abused and injured by your mother any longer. Either you find a different place for her to live, or I will leave." Then do it. I would guarantee of the responsibility to take care of mom fell solely onto his shoulders, he will find her a facility faster than you can blink!

Do you have any family you can stay with in the short term?
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Reply to notgoodenough
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disgustedtoo Sep 7, 2020
I would also have my bags packed and ready to leave BEFORE he leaves for work. Heart to heart talk first, to see where he stands, but if he stands aloof, then out the door, leaving him with her for X days, however long it takes for him to realize the towel has to be thrown and get her into a psych ward. The medications don't work. No regular facility will take her.

There is no way he should allow any of this to happen to you no matter who is involved. As for telling medical staff she can't come back because she is a danger to herself??? NOPE, she is a danger to YOU OP!

My OB was abusive to me when we were kids. As we grew older, spent time with our own friends, moved on to college, jobs, away, it seemed he got past this. While here to help clean out mom's condo this behavior reared it's ugly head again (I missed the early warning signs during his previous trips here to help a bit.) No dementia, but clearly outweighs me. He threw me to the ground twice, bruising my leg and ankle. I told him to get the F out, and he ranted, yelled, swearing at me, spewed all manner of abusive language, called me all kinds of names, etc. Two days later, he's outside my house with crap from mom's place that I don't even want! He arrived as I was returning from medical appt with mom, so I went to a neighbor's house. Hour later, he's still here, so I called the PD. All I wanted was an escort and someone to tell him not to come back. I had to make a statement, and the officer wanted me to have charges done. Nope, just want him gone! He was gone before we got there, and officer wanted to call him. I said no, he will be leaving for home at the end of the week - 2 days drive away, and not likely he will be back. He returned the next 2 days with more crap. I wouldn't open the door or respond to text msgs.

Anyway, this is a disturbed person, has been all along, but no dementia and not living with me. I will NOT allow him back into my life ever. I haven't had contact in over 2 years, but felt obligated to let him know OUR mother had a TIA - doing okay since, but could have more or a stroke. No resp until the next day, then just "Thanks for update." Like he cares.

You NEED this woman out of the house OR YOU need to leave the house. When he's home, perhaps she behaves like a sweet angel, but he had to have seen your injuries - does he think these are self inflicted??? Leave him with her, let him experience the wonders of psycho-mom. I doubt the sweet angel will remain a sweet thing once he has to cope with this all day every day.

I think we could all make a safe bet that if you do this, she will magically find a place to live that isn't in your home!
(3)
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You call 911 and REFUSE to pick her up. This woman needs to be admitted for a psychiatric evaluation so the docs can work with her and her med regime to try to find a combo of meds that will work for her. Or Call the police to have her taken in.

You need to stand FIRM in you conviction to not bring her home. The hospital will try to guilt and manipulate you to bring her home. You tell them she needs more care than you can provide and she is a danger to herself and others.
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Tothill Sep 3, 2020
Glad as nailed it. You do not bring her home. She is a danger to you and it is not safe for her to be in your home.
(15)
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Tonight you are to leave the house. Let your husband deal with his mother. You go on vacation. If not that, check into a hotel or go stay with your friends. Don't go back to the house until she is gone from it. Your very life is in danger. Husband can figure it out. This isn't for you to figure out. Let us know how it all works out.
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Reply to tevincolorado
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Yes it is unreal how an old lady can become The Hulk in 10 seconds flat. All sense goes out the window when someone is in rage mode. I am not joking in the least when I say one of you is likely to be killed or gravely injured.

The minute she got violent was the day she needed to be out of your house. I get the feeling your husband expects you to just bear with her? I understand he has to go to work, but if he were truly worried or concerned he'd make sure this never happens again. How can he work all day knowing you're going to be hurt? Does it not worry him?

Whatever meds/doses she is on are not working. She needs to go to a psychiatric facility to, at the very least, get her meds straightened out and as a means for permanent placement somewhere. She feels like a captive in your house so a facility won't be much different, right? Call 911 and get her Baker Acted. And flat refuse to take her back. You can't. It's putting both of your lives in danger.

This is a very common thing I see on here... husband's mom comes to live with them, but the wife gets saddled with the job. Husband gets to live his life pretty much as usual, going to work every day, maybe some help with Mom before bedtime. Usually Mom is happy and compliant with the son/husband and not so much with the wife. Wife gets angry, resentful and exhausted. Husband doesn't understand why it's so hard and wife gets labeled a heartless witch.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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Just because the hospital tells you that you need to pick her up doesn't mean you have to.

Say "No, we can't possibly have her here; she is a danger to herself an others. She needs in-patient psychiatric care".
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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She slapped you, pulled your hair, scratched your face (maybe trying to gouge out your eyes) and caused you to get a broken toe?

You have more choices then the ones mentioned here, You can either open the door and let her out, or have your bags packed, a ride or your car ready, and leave both of them.

This situation has shown how much your husband cares about you.

Whatever you decide to do act, quickly, before she either uses a kitchen utensil or some other object she can get her hands on and seriously hurts you.
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Reply to shad250
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There is simply no excuse for being abused. Please don’t accept this for another minute. The next time it occurs call 911 and have her removed from your home and never allow her back. You do not have to pick her up and there are facilities for violent people, there are more and better meds to help her, but none of this can happen in your home. This isn’t your fault, no one would be equipped to do this level of care in a home setting. Your husband shouldn’t expect this of you or leave you alone with her. I hope you’ll come back and let us know you’ve changed this
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Call EMS and have the ambulance deliver her to the ER with the next outburst. Then refuse to take her home. Ask for a Social Worker. Tell her that due to fear of health and injury, your own ability to care for her anymore either mentally or physically, you will not be accepting her back in the home. Be adamant and do not discuss it when they try all of the malarky about how they will help you, you can make this work and they will get help. They can't and they won't; they just want you to go away.
The Social Worker will begin to find placement for her. She will be evaluated, and ultimately she will be MEDICATED into a more peaceful place. Not a happy thing, but a necessary thing in this instance. And as a nurse I do know the strength of the adrenaline rush.
So basically this is the ER Dump. You are entering a patient into care and refusing to take them back. Social Services will swing in. Covid-19 times is not a good time to place someone; I know you are aware of this, but it is very clear from what you tell us that there is no other option.
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Mysteryshopper Sep 3, 2020
Alva is right. They just want to get rid of you. Hosp will say anything to get you to take MIL home and assume ALL responsibility for her. Hosp will suggest that in home "help" is available for you to continue caring for MIL yourself. However, they cannot and will not actually get this help for you. IF they do come through with some form of "help" it will not be what you truly need long term (or probably the short term either). And they may not even return your calls when you get MIL home and realize you're in the same boat as before. Where's the help that was coming? How a professional can do that to a desperate, worn out family is beyond me.
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If you can’t get mother n law out of the house, then YOU leave that house and let your husband take care of her!! It’s HIS mother, not yours!

Believe me when I say we have a BROKEN system!! Even if mother n law goes to psychiatric hospital, she won’t be there long!! They will send her home. YOU need to leave the house and get on with your life. I guarantee your mother n law WILL BE BACK!!
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Reply to elaine1962
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Listen to what haileybug said. She is 100 percent absolutely right!!! If your mother in law is competent, there is nothing that the hospital can do. I went through this with my mother. I refused to pick her up at the hospital because she was failure to thrive at home by herself. I told the social worker but she won’t bathe, wash her hair, or change her clothes and she is an EXTREME hoarder.

They sent her home in a cab by herself!

You said your mother n law has extreme dementia. Only a judge can deem someone incompetent. Your mother n law would have to see 2 doctors then go in front of a judge.

They set the bar low. Can mother n law answer basic questions. Does she know her name, her kids names, who is the president? If she can answer these questions SHE IS NOT INCOMPETENT.

An elder lawyer also told me that just because someone suffers from mental illness does not mean they are incompetent. Just because someone makes bad choices, doesn’t mean they are incompetent.

We have a VERY BROKEN system!!! You would think in the year 2020 we would have made a lot of progress by now.
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