I am from India and in our culture elderly parents and children and grand children live together. I believe it is my obligation to take care of my parents and my husband's parents. But i am caught in a peculiar situation. My husband's distant relative (grand mother in a way) has landed in my home as she has no one to care for her in her village. My husband do not have parents. long back when his parents were alive they lived with this lady and her co-sister after they ladies lost their husband (the man had 2 wives). the man and his 2 wives did not have children so after the man passed away they kind of adopted my father in law so that they has some one to take care of their agricultural property. My husband and his 2 brothers grew up in that house. the first wife of the man passed away when my husband's parents were alive. But the other wife is still alive. She is about 75 years old and lived in the village till recently she broke her arm in an accident. My husband and his bothers had all moved to city in search of job opportunities by this time and i was also married to my husband by this time (time of her accident).
Coming from the culture i do, i could not deny her care that to when she had broken arm and thus accepted her into my home 3 years back. Now she is completely healed and is capable of all house hold chores. But now she refuses to return back to her village, perhaps because she has realized she is having an easy life here. She has all the comforts here.
But she has started to irritate me a lot. She is very lazy and does nothing at home. Her appetite is amazing for a 75 year old. She expects an endless supply for breakfast, coffee, hot drinks, lunch, dinner snack, fruits, dry fruits, special religious day food etc which i am not interested in doing as she also does not show any interest in our home affairs. All she needs is food and more food, comfort and more comfort. Even on request she does not do anything unless threatened to withdraw supply of food. But i feel like i am abusing her if i threaten her that way. But with out that she just does not do anything. She sleeps all day and all night except getting up for food and soaps on TV. Note she is very healthy and is capable of simple house hold chores.
I have has a few fights with her when i expressed my concerns. But she just does not seem to get my point. My point if she wants to be treated as a family member she should behave like one sharing what ever responsibilities she can. But she is very passively adamant. After the fight she does involve for a few days but slowly slips back to her inertia. I have to be abusive to get things done from her or i should just shut my mouth and do every thing my self. Request does not work with her. She thinks its her right to stay at our place and she is entitled to all facilities at our home. But i don't think so. Even my husband is very puzzled with her and he shares my point of view.
Her hygiene right now is kind of ok but as time goes by and she gets older, i am afraid she is going to depend more and more on us. Even if i want to send her back to her village now, we have to spend money on mending her house parts of which have broken down. Even if we decide to put her in a old age care we have to shall out money. Or else we should keep her at our home which is getting increasingly irritating. I cant at this point expect help from my husband's bothers.
What should i do in such a situation ? Am i obligated to keep her? please share your opinion
Thanks in avance