We want my mother-in-law to move nearby but she will only do it if she lives with us. How do we prepare for this? - AgingCare.com

We want my mother-in-law to move nearby but she will only do it if she lives with us. How do we prepare for this?

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She is 74 but very frail. Her middle daughter died in a car accident 7 years ago and it has been very hard on her. Her husband has been gone for 22 years. She lives in Fl without any family nearby and we live in Texas. We have been trying to make sure our family or my husband's sister sees her every 3 months. But she's loney and just listens to books on CD and sleeps and drinks Boost. It seems ridiculious for her to be alone so far away, but she won't come if she has to live any where but with us. She "friends" who she can call in a bind, but can't even grocery shop on her own because her feet are so bad. We have offered her to come live with us and our 2 kids who are 14 and 17 to coax her closer. She is warming up to the idea and now I am panicing! Infact it looks like she will be coming in November, and I am scared. We have a large house all the kids come to. We have 1 dog and she's bringing a cat and small dog. I don't even like cats a little. She just mentioned she doesn't always make it to the bathroom. WHAT AM I GETTING INTO? She was a nurse though and is pretty realistic. I am only willing to do so much (because BELIEVE ME MY MOM WILL WANT WHAT EVER I DO FOR MY MOTHER IN LAW x 100). We have always had a good relationship, but reality is, my husband will be of very little help, partly because of work, and partly just because. We will have 2 in college next year but are in better financial shape than most and she has a suppliment on top of medicad. Her feet are terrible she should use a walker but doesn't and now her hands shake. Her bones don't heal very well. Her jaw elbow and feet have never healed properly but other than that and high blood pressure she is pretty good. What do I need to do to prepare for this and how do I set expectations for the future?

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PLEASE look into assisted living if you can. I know it sounds heartless...but it is extremely hard to care for a parent let alone an in law. I made the decision to take my mom in a year ago. She is 91 and as sweet as can be but my husband and I have pretty much given up a personal and social life and it has effected our marriage and my health. We both work full time , my daughter comes in every day to get lunch for mom and we have a HHA to bathe her. I sit in my driveway and cry after work before I go in the house...and she is MY MOM!!! I feel so guilty...but DON'T do it!
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Oops just saw the move has been postponed to the Spring, wishingnyou Good luck and happy thoughts...
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It's almost November!! Did she move in??
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Invite her for a week before the move happens! Even a month. You might both discover you hate it. You might discover that you love it. You might look at some AL's while she is visiting. Show her where the nice senior apartments are.

Seriously, you need to meet with a Geriatric Case Manager for a consultation, or, better yet, with a marriage counsellor with experience in elder caregiving. I know how husbands brush us off. He needs to understand that your sanity is just as important as his fantasy football. If he can't agree to shoulder a certain part of the load, don't let her move in.

There's a cool book called Spousenomics, about dividing the work fairly based on relative skills and a kind of fairness that doesn't mean just splitting everything blindly down the middle. Make him read it!

Good luck!
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No worries CarolLynn... no chance her 20 lb 15 year old cat is going outdoors. She swears it will stay in her room for the most part. The move has been postponed to spring because she is worried about moving from Fl to Texas during winter, which is understandable, so I am breathing a little easier for now.
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When l grew up, we had 2 indoor/outdoor cats that fortunately survived to older ages but times are different now. More vehicles, more busy streets, more crowded property lines, more aggravated neighbors who don't like cat poop in their cultivated rose beds, more youths or cults finding and killing cats for ritual or psychotic purposes, etc. The majority of animal rescue and welfare folks today would no more recommend having an outdoor cat than leaving a dog OFF leash.

I'm guessing that your MILs cat is not a youngster. If it was her mentality that outdoor cats are acceptable, I suppose you can acclimate the cat to your new neighborhood and continue the same circumstances. But if a cat has been an indoor cat, please do not turn it out into the "wild" so to speak, assuming because it is a feline, and "god intended it to hunt and kill things", that it will be able to easily adapt to the outside. I have been an active volunteer with spaying/neutering organizations and rescue/placement for over 40 years. Depending on the temperament and personality of an indoor cat, arbitrarily outing them has produced many tragic results.

As difficult as it is to take on the responsibility of absorbing your MIL into your household, please also feel responsible to treat the cat fairly as well. If it is an indoor cat and you don't feel you can handle that for the long term, spend some time finding a new home. You will have control now and you don have to upset MIL with the truth of that if she is adamant about keeping the cat. You can always re-home the cat but tell MIL the cat went to the vet and was very sick, etc. Most elders cope better thinking their pets went to doggy or kitty heaven than having you take the pet away from them. Just some therapeutic lying to do the right thing for the pet on the one hand, and ease the elder's mind on the other.
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Ellie, I admit that I didn't read all 37 posts, so if I'm repeating what has already been suggested... sorry about that.
Your mother-in-law wants to stay with her son and his family because she was afraid to come to a strange state and be surrounded by strangers in an asst. living or retirement community. But with some time, that could change. Be sure to get her involved with other seniors while she's with you, so she'll feel comfortable leaving the nest. Also, your husband is a big kid and likes his toys, which if someone can afford the money and time to play, then that's fine. But you and he need to sit together and decide just how much involvement he thinks he can do with his mother. My husband, though he loves his mother, rolls his eyes every time I tell him he needs to go visit her at the memory care we just put her in. He'll do it, but I swear if I didn't mention his mom, he'd never think of her. It's just not in him to embrace the idea of taking care of his mom. So, if your husband is like that, then lay it out as to what you'll be needing him to do. Keep it real though, knowing that he'll not follow thru with anything you know in your heart he'll never do. He DOES need though, to financially help you in anyway you might need. Whether that be to hire outside help in ANY form you need too. You can do this. This arrangement doesn't have to be forever in my opinion, just till she feels safe. As for the cat, make sure it's an outside cat and if it's not, it's time for that cat to see the great outdoors. Cats should be outside hunting and killing stuff like God created them to do anyway. So if you know the cat is going to drive you crazy and cause grief, tell mother-in-law the cats new life will be OUTDOORS. ♥ You can do this. Also, I think your own mother as a former nurse could be a resource for you when it comes to the health part. Your mom may feel abandoned while you adjust to this, so keep her in the loop. Good luck.
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It's September is she there yet????
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If husband won't help, then he must pay for help. It's his mother after all. If it doesn't work out, and after trying you can't cope, then don't feel any guilt about admitting it. Assisted living is always an option. I feel you have all the qualifications to make this a success, love, empathy, intelligence, and humor.
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AL is the way to go. Think of your own children first, because they will find going to their friends house is much better, specially if MIL doesn't make it to the bathroom. For a teen it can be prett hard if they were not brought up already caring for grandma. I would think twice if hubby is not 100% on board for caregiving because you will need some time off.
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