At wit's end: my partner is the only child (60 yrs old) of a 95 yr old woman with significant psych problems: has been hospitalized for breakdowns, once laid down behind the wheels of our car because we wouldn't stay for tea. Now she is dying of CHF and severe aortic stenosis, lives an hour away. We hired excellent caregivers so we could continue to work: one caregiver was taken away in an ambulance. The second was fired. The third is wonderful, but she totally has my MIL's "number:" my MIL whimpers and cries that she's dying so we rush there, and when we leave, she acts totally normal. We thought for sure she was dying last night, and right after we left her house, she popped up off the couch and went UPSTAIRS to bed. MIL is apparently chasing her caregiver around the house to keep her from talking to my spouse; she tried to grab the wheel of the car in heavy traffic and began hitting the caregiver when she wouldn't comply.
My partner is being played like a violin; she's exhausted. MIL lies to her constantly, and partner takes the bait. It's killing her, and killing our marriage. MIL is seriously disturbed and will be a danger to everyone around her, including herself. I'm at a loss about what to do. Help.

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Please call 911 to protect yourself, =every= time either one of them bullies, threatens you, or worse!
It's part of documentation trail you need, to help protect yourself from the questionable & dangerous behaviors of your folks.

Call your nearest "Area Agency on Aging"--it might be several Cities away from you, but I think each County has one.
They have lists of possible helps.
You may not think there's any helps, but if you persist, maybe there might might be you need to get to talk to the right person who answers the phone that day.
Not all workers know everything, or even enough to get by at their jobs--often volunteers.
Be persistent in calling Agencies back.

Even if you have to call the Suicide Prevention hotline--tell them what's going on.
Tell them you're at your wits' ends.
Tell them you are in need of protection, and don't know what to do.
Tell Social Workers the same thing.

It all adds up to a paper-trail that shows you are consistent in telling them the same data, and the picture is, you need help/protection.

Even those who think they have no help or assistance, usually do, -when- they determine to get that help.
It might not look like what you imagined--and it might be small helps at first.
It might be that they leave your folks where they are, & find you a safer place to be.

Please keep trying to find the helps you need!
Please keep us posted!
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HelpinDE sorry you are leaving the forum, I will keep you and yours in my thoughts, and appreciate you sharing and seeking support, advice.
I have been offline for a week, I have been seeking a solution, and following up with agencies that I contacted to try and get help for my father, which fell flat, since I do not have POA at this point, I am hearing HIPPA quotes now from his physician, legally CYA I am sure. I took a comment here in a post too personally, felt I needed to try to seek a way out. Unfortunately I am stuck here, and employment is slim, I am going to keep trying, thank you all for your input, support..
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Just a Note:
I am sure others may think my comments are strong, have you ever felt like no matter where you turn you hit a wall. I used to be able to negotiate my way around all this, at some point when I had dental work done (root) canal on last lower molar, and Dentist failed to tell me he broke two instruments (Needles) one in tooth one outside of tooth while injecting Novocaine at the jaw, ear I am in constant pain, this has disabled me further. My father paid for one re-treatment, the Endo left most of the needle stuck at bottom of root and left the other piece of metal in the jaw, ear tissue. My father now won't even consider finishing the oral surgery needed financially. SO at some point I was in the process of getting a resolution, then my father had to get violent, and I had to speak out, and others reported it.
Now, he knows he promised to do this, he never asks, all he cares about is his GUNS, and his Men Friends....all of whom hate females..This further makes me frustrated, and I am just seeking some resolution or support.

I just tried to talk to him, he screams at me, tells me go away, just can't talk to me, WTF?
I have never been arrested, never had DUI, never smoked weed, never do drugs, never have inappropriate relationships, earned a degree, got excellent grades, yet I am a piece of shit in his 2% vision eyes....nothing will change his viewpoint of me, or any other female, when I earned $10k a month he still treated me the same.
I am hoping for some change, how is it that he runs around as much as he does at this age with poor vision? I notice he uses nasal sprays constantly? I wonder if he has some steroids in this medication, that could add to his aggressive behavior, grasping at straws here...
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Debralee, book, everyone......thank you for your support there are no real options for state, local help here, too many homeless people here where I live, no additional help from state disability only covers my income, medical to some extent, dental is where I need the surgeries, no insurance.
Things have gotten worse as in my mother seems so far removed from reality and is not helping, she supports his bad behavior in her own self preservation and ignorance. She only sees what is for HER. If I get hurt, she does not get it, she kisses my fathers ASS even though he treats her like DIRT.
My father is holding a grudge still since this incident where he was approached by his employer about abuse, and had his gun taken from him at home, he still gets to wear it while he stares at the computer screen monitoring (with his 2% vision) LAUGHING aloud!
He is now moving his arsenal out of the house , when I asked he says AWAY. Whatever, he won't get past what he DID to get into this mess. My mother is either bi-polar, or heading into dementia she actually threatened to call the police because she said I made her ill? I called them for her.
I am not sure what to do, I hate being around my father, his behavior is sick, odd, and annoying he is a pathetic old man, I used to respect him, until I knew the truth about what makes him tick. I am convinced he is GAY in the closet and will take a army to get him to humble. His doctor visit was a bust he stonewalled them
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sj94111, my heart goes out to you. You are in an impossible situation. Is there any way you can get help through your state with your medical needs? Is living in a shelter worse than the nightmare you are enduring living with your father?
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HelpinDE~I am sorry you did not feel supported here. I hope you do not leave, I really think that you will get support but you should try to understand that people here will ask for more details to help them understand your situation better so they can then offer suggestions. I believe you sincerely want to help your wife with this. I don't know if you checked out the website I suggested, but setting boundaries with your mil is necessary for you and your wife to preserve your own mental and physical health. Learn to emotionally detach with love from all the emotional drama mil creates, once your wife can do that, she will then be able to respond logically to what her mother is doing. Hang in there and best of luck to both of you!
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What do we all not get? Well, I don't see how "hospitalized for breakdowns" equates to "diagnosed psychotic". I'm sure if you heard from your friend of reference, but then you KNOW the situation, we DON'T". That's why there were many direct as well as implied questions and the answers to your post, but with MANY days in between, you have nothing to say. We might ask, how can we struggle to help this man when he doesn't participate? There has been genuine concern, no vitriol, certainly no subtext. In your vent however, I noticed you STILL haven't answered any questions. Hmmm...l hope you will remain in the forum and try again.
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A clean slate? Wow. What about "hospitalized for breakdowns" do you all not get? This is a sad bit of business, when someone reaches out for help and advice and is, instead, put on the defensive with twisted words and subtextual vitriol (look it up folks). To those of you who have helped and offered perspective and kind words, I thank you; to those of you who have projected all over me and the situation, you are the reason I'm leaving the forum, and recommending to friends in similar situations that they avoid public sites like this, lest they be handed their heads when honestly asking for help.
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From the outside looking in, it may seem easy to say so but it's never just all black and white. There are so many shades of grey. As bad as it was, even OWEN didn't Throw his Momma From The Train ! Haha...
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I do have a question. Had this woman, before the age related physcopath showed up, been a good and loving mother to your partner (not withstanding the occasional problems most mother and daughter's have through the years) through the years?

If not, and she was a problem most of her adult life, then it's time to Throw Momma from the Train so to speak. Let her reap what she's sown, put her in a home, have your wife visit every couple weeks ( to help her avoid the guilt she'd feel if her mom passed with no recent visits ) and hopefully you'll be able to get one with your life.

On the other hand, if she was a loving mother most her life, and advanced old age and dementia has turned her into this monster... Then look at it as the terrible twos ( which often begin at 14 months and last through preschool) and think how she put up with them for her. Show more patience, make the drives, visit often enough so she doesn't feel she needs to act out in order to see you, and know that it won't be forever because she's dying.

If, after two or three scheduled visits a week she still does the "I'm dying" bit with the caretaker to get you to drive out there, have the caretaker call the ambulance and let them taker her to the hospital. A few trips to the hospital with them keeping her a few days each time (which they usually do to my dad) could cure her of her "little boy who cried wolf" syndrome.
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Just note to clh777 - most people don't know what's the word hysterectomy came from: they thought if they cut out (ectomy) the uterus of a woman, they would be removing her "hysteria", back from Greek and Roman times I believe. Although HelpinDE is a man, he has posted out of concern for his wife and his apparently psychotic MIL and the influence she has over his wife. If you read his original title and question, I think it's pretty clear that MIL has done some fairly outrageous things, lying down behind their car to prevent them from leaving for one; acting sick like there's an emergency, but perking up after they leave like it was an act, for another. But if DE says hisMIL is a diagnosis I caught it, we I have to believe him. I don't think he's making up her behavior, why would he? No, I don't think this is a case of calling someone cuckoo because she is a woman. The preponderance of posters on this site same to be women and they have had similar things to say about other women who are on the slippery slope of memory loss.

In the first few days after DE's post, there followed what I thought were helpful suggestions about evaluations, nursing homes, even Hospice. But, DE, you posted on July 2nd, you put know information on the profile page and in your question you did not indicate that your MIL is a diagnosed psychotic. And for 19 days, even though you were asked questions, you did not contribute any additional information, kind of leaving all of us in the dark and I for one thinking you were either off doing something about it because of some guidance you felt you received or had lost interest in our responses.

I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago when I notice no more answers were being directed to you. One of your responders, "sj" posted in support of you with the story of her own which seem to have a lot of urgency. I notice: tell her situation pretty much preempted yours with the comments and answers that were being given. I was wondering what had happened to you, DE, in all of this.

Personally, this is volunteer work for me and, as an all volunteer work, the only payment or reward is satisfaction that we've been able to share what we've experienced if it can help somebody. l don't need a lot of accolades but I appreciate being appreciated.

So, now that we've read your question, considered some solutions and posted in return, spend time reading answers and checking back to see if you posted (which you didn't), all the while waiting to be able to say something supportive for your wife and you, how do you think it makes us feel when 19 days later you rather dismissively write, "but thanks all the same"?

I want to ask you to start with a clean slate, tell us if your MIL has a medical diagnosis and what if anything you've done since your first post on July 2nd. I'm sure we want to help, that's why we're here. Help us help the two of you ! !
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Unfortunately, many of you think that the word "psychotic' has been used willy nilly here. My MIL is a diagnosed psychotic, not just an "angry older person." But thanks all the same.
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The whole world has shifted it's psychology due to the United Nations with it's propaganda machine and cramming their beliefs into the minds of so many people.

It is so bad now that one can not get mad lest they be called an "instant" psycho......especially a woman.

Understand that most older folks suffer from angry outbursts..........many are chronically physically ill resulting in impaired judgement and uncontrolled emotions. Some feel like crap most of the time, especially if they are in a nursing home and many probably feel more like a slab of meat waiting for the slaughter house if they are living in a nursing home.

Dying and watching my body break down, feeling like crap, loosing all independence, and being at the mercy of some people who don't give a crap, much less even try to understand your lot, would be enough to set me over the edge!
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you are way off, not sure I appreciate your post
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It sounds like you're in a very bad situation, that could turn dangerous to your life, any time.

Not knowing how old you are....
but if you are also "elder", what's to stop anyone, you included, from calling to report him/your caretaker, as abusing/threatening you?

It sounds more like you are dependent on your folks allowing you to stay with them--putting them in the roles as "caretakers", even though you are younger.

It might take Adult Protective Services a thought or few, to wrap their heads around the situation of 80+ y.o.'s "caretaking" their adult kid, as they'd otherwise think the kid was the caretaker.

To do that, you must be in a firm position:
--have pictures of bruises, documented doctor visits where you showed them injuries or stresses caused by your Dad;
--have history of numerous calls to 911 about your Dad's attacks;
--have numerous calls to 911 about his weapons & behaviors with those weapons;
--time/dated videotapes or surveillance footage--somehow? to show recorded evidence of his aggressive behaviors;
--written statements from other witnesses;
--etc. hard evidence.
APS will also probly need proof you are disabled, & that you are dependent on staying under your folks' roof due to your health conditions, ==which places you as the elder being caretaken by your parents==.

The more hard evidence you have on either of them harming you, the better.

IMHO, it is hard to think of your being a Caregiver to them, since YOU are dependent on being allowed shelter there, due to your health issues that disable you!

Just thinkin'.

Please keep us posted.
I sure hope you keep safe!
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I have no where to move to I'm stuck here. And now its the weekend and it is hostile. I am praying for some turnabout I have had enough of this shit
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I never thought about calling 911 but I think this is excellent advice. Do NOT run over to help but call 911 and have them transported to the hospital if needed. She is trying to manipulate you and the situation....all you and your spouse have to do is pretty much just quit playing the game! You will be the winner!
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Is there a "mute" button so we can simply ignore certain 'contributors'?
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sj94510 Get out of there while you still can.
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CarolLynn, I did end up having the police over that last friday, and I will most certainly call 911 again. I am on the same page as you with the 5150, now the only problem is he goes to work. Although his employer took his gun from him as a result of the neighbor contacting the employer about his abuse, crazy behavior, and poor vision, hearing. People are freaked out by him, he turned around trying to say people are freaked out by me? and I would get put on a 72 hour hold if I called 911 on him for assaulting me? he is so far up his own ass. Ostrich (head in the sand)
I was interesting to see the real police, and the real confidence they have in their knowledge of REAL rights, as opposed to my fathers false sense of bravado only with women. He is sweet as sugar, and soft spoken with men, LOVES men? whats up with that?
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sj94510 - Yikes, your father is a terror. Have you thought of calling 911, the police, when he's threatening you warrior cats? They will arrest him and THEN
he'll get to see what the REAL police are like. It's possible you could convince the officers to take him in on what's called a 5150 in California, a psych arrest, where he'd be committed for 72 hours under medical care for coo coo behavior. You could then go and have them put with the doctors so they could give him some cognitive testing.
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chimonger: excellent post
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I agree your partner needs to let go of any guilt, the manipulation tentacles have been sucking on your partner and anyone involved too long.
I live with my 84yr old father, I had to move in with him as a result of my manipulative 85yr mother. My father still works, is loosing his vision, is employed as a ARMED guard, was a Volunteer Sheriff and has always been a "wanna be" cop. He has tried to assault me 5 times since I moved in. I have had to lock myself in my room, so many times, my cats are in danger since he doesn't like them, they won't go near him, they run away (HUGE INDICATION) of his aggressive behavior. I called the police and had them come over to look at the amount of gun, bullet, explosive materials he has in the FRONT room of the house. They took a report, I did not file an assault charge since I got away from him this time. A neighbor contacted his employer and reported they witnessed his abuse toward me and another instance of him using his gun acting as a cop. The employer took his gun away, this happened this last Saturday. He came up the stairs threatening me, if he gets fired I am OUT OF HERE. I am sadly not in the position to move I have a disability that I am in the middle of having surgeries to treat. He knows this, and he also was supposed to finance two surgeries, now who knows he is not offering to complete them now.
I believe he has dementia, he is legally blind, but drives to work and drives home late at night, all for this EGO trip of being a man in uniform or whatever.
He has not apologized, he sits downstairs when he is here like he did when I grew up, same schedule won't go to bed till 11pm, so I have to interact with him when he is here and it is always tense. I have contacted his doctors and they are trying to get him in do test his serotonin levels and hopefully get him on some psych meds. He has always been angry, hates women, LOVES men, treats people like he is some kind of god or king. He is a miserable old man, drives a crappy ford station wagon, abuses his daughters, wife, and even stoops to try to harm innocent cats.
I resent this Mother F'er and I would not shed a tear if he passed, he is a terror, creep, sick perverted maniac. I am waiting to see if his doctor can intervene, before it is too late.
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I take it that you are married even though you bounce back and forth from saying your "spouse" and "sig.other". You are concerned about her...I get that...How committed you are to your "spouse" or "sig other" is somewhat questionable but not what you are asking. Does your "wife," "partner" have DPOA regarding her mother's care? How is the DPOA written regarding when your "spouse" or "partner" can legally make decisions for her mother?? My husband...spouse...listens to me and comments on what he agrees or disagrees with me. He is not really involved in my mothers care otherwise. In other words...I take care of my family business involving him occasionally. The same with his family's issues. He understands that I have responsibilities to my family just like he does. I decided years ago (married for 36 years now), because of family dysfunctions to protect my husband and children from the abuse. I never put my husband in a position of having to deal with it and I set boundaries around my marriage and my children where my parents were concerned. Since we are not hearing from your "wife," "partner" we don't know her issues. So what I suggest is that you google daughtersofnarsissiticmothers website. Print out what you see applies to your "mil" or "partners mothers" and let her read it. Encourage her to check out the website. As a husband or "sig. other" it is not your responsibility to provide answers for her your "wife" "partner" just be there to listen and support her. As a man, you may want to jump in to fix everything...don't...lead your "wife" "partner" to come to her own conclusions so she can grow as a person. Good Luck to you!!
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It sounds like you may need to do something heavy duty like get her declared incompetent and apply for guardianship so you can force her into a nursing home. First steps would be to document the craziest behavior and get witness statements from the various hired caregivers and bring all that to an elder care attorney. Good luck to you during this challenging time.
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Put her in a NH. They have little white jackets with ties on them to help the patients when they can't contain themselves. If that lady is sick I sure wouldn't want to be around her when she was well.
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I meant Hospice care, she is dying according to writer.
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This sounds too close to what Mom did here!
Bless you for trying---in retrospect, I shoulda never caved in for Mom begging to come live under our roof, -no matter what I had promised- decades back, nor who I promised that to--the price we paid was FAR too high!

Dealing with mentally ill elders sliding into dementia --that they have mental ills already, makes it VERY hard to tell the diff between the mental ills and the dementia.
WORSE, because they often skate thru life avoiding diagnosis or treatment, they have developed real sharp skills at "showtiming"
They can, with skills honed for a lifetime, BS the Docs, other relatives, etc., for hours, sometimes days, showing them what a nice lil' ol' lady they are, & surely there must be something terribly wrong with their kid for having them evaluated?!
'Why, you can see there's nothing wrong with me [the sweet lil'ol'lady]; I'm terribly worried about my daughter though, it's not normal for her to make crazy reports like this, is it? [eyes look from under eyelashes, even fake tears, frowns of worry, slight tremor...]...'
You probly get that picture.

==ANY time someone gets physically violent, call 911, make an official report.
==ANY time someone threatens suicide in any way [like laying behind your car wheels as you tried to leave?!]--call 911 and file an official report--like, if you have a cell phone, call right there from the car while she's carrying on.
==ANY time an elder assaults you while driving, stop the car. Do your best to call 911 and get help--even by the roadside.
Getting the picture?

==All these kinds of files start showing officials what your Mom is up to.
THOSE are about the ONLY portion of possible protection you have as a caregiver, against any threats the elder or anyone else, might make upon you.

Persons with mental ills, as well as dementia, up to a point, also need to be responsible for their actions.
It's really hard to get them to do that.
But professionals manage to do it somehow...
Truthfully, I failed that with Mom--she'd never take responsibility for her choices & actions--the worse she behaved the less she'd even fake or try at all to be accountable for her actions.
One tool of Therapeutic Communication failed to work with Mom--that was, "identifying her behaviors, then saying how I felt about them to her"--that might work on sane people, but for certain types of mental ills, it simply fails to register--and likely will totally backfire.
The targeted person says: "You just hit me, that's abusive, I don't like it!"
The mentally ill person may respond loudly "YOU are abusing me! Stop it!"
===That could go terribly wrong for a caregiver!
They too often refuse to register that someone they hit says "OUCH! that hurt me!"
NOR will they hear "STOP!" if they are really riled up and throwing a fit
...any response at all, seems to help them escalate--sorta like a mad dog in a kill-frenzy in a chicken coop.

Getting the picture it's past-due to get her into some sort of care-home?!

You have an edge: you do -not- live under her roof.
You can call the local sheriff office to have "Well-checks" done weekly, monthly.
Also, as someone stated above, instead of you responding to her trying to get you all lathered into her drama, call 911 to come get her, instead.
A couple or few times of that, she'll start getting the message...
OR, she will widen her options to suckering the ER staff as far as she can manipulate them [not very far!]
In any case, she may either end up in psych ward,
or get transferred into a care home or NH
--and you didn't take one more step into her drama to get it done, that way.
Whatever you and your partner choose to do, maintain a unified front when it comes to your elders.
The 100% favorite game is to play divide and conquer upon any 2 or more people trying to provide help to the mentally ill person.
The second any few people allow her to drive ANY -even the tiniest-wedge between people caregiving them, they Gotcha--and they proceed to destroy the relationships of a lifetime.
I've seen that too many times, and experienced it--our "family" no longer plays nice in the sandbox together.
Mom managed to tear me out of her herd--which is exactingly what she had threatened at the beginning, not too long after she moved in with us.
She also said she had the right to epic rages--after all, it's her home too, so she's allowed to rage.....
What she failed to understand, was that rule does not apply to rages and abuse...those are not allowed..expressing anger, discussing rationally--that is what that rule is about--mentally ill people cannot manage that very well, if at all...

Demonstrations of rage, abuse, acting out in dramatic ways--those are calls for help, alright---but not the help the mentally ill think they need.

Get your Mom the help she needs---professional intervention and help--YOU cannot manage that--she's already got you, your partner, and some of those aids, whupped.

Once she gets 911'd to the ER, the next step is admitting her, because she cannot properly take care of herself alone, and has [on record] got rid of caregivers who try to help her stay in her home.
You give the go-ahead to move her to elder care facility of some level, and refuse, categorically, to allow her to move in under your roof.

Since you grew up dealing with her, it might be a good idea to get some counseling for you, too--to make sure you are well-equipped with better coping skills than Mom taught you while growing up.
Those of us who've been thru that mill, ALWAYS come out with some wounds and dysfunction. Please get some help to learn more about it, and learn as many more coping skills as you can, to increase the quality of your life, too.

Keep us posted!
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You are clearly married (MY MIL, MY spouse, MY partner, OUR marriage) and yet you never once refer to this lady as "wife". It's no wonder trish888 had trouble with gender. I had to read your post more than once to pick out "SHE'S exhausted" and "lt's killing HER". What was your intention and being so vague?

That asked, the MOST important thing YOU can do for your wife initially is to SUPPORT HER ! She is most likely distraught at her mother's behavior and paralyzed as to a decision. You can't be of help to her in bringing about a solution if you become part of the problem by scaring her about the state of your marriage or annoying her to make a decision on her own.

As a married couple with a troubled family member, the two of you should be making a decision as a unit. In order to do that, you need to understand the scope of what you're doing with. Sure, MIL seems to have some physical health issues. But, beyond that, you think she is "psych". Has she ever been evaluated for impairment? Get her to a neuro psychiatrist and have her examined.

Folks here have suggested Hospice although I think they mean nursing home or locked dementia facility. Hospice is generally for people who have been certified by their doctor to have six months or less to live. This diagnosis (which includes a lot of wiggle room as it is subjective) is what makes a person appropriate for hospice.

But assuming you and your wife are her only relatives and you have POA, if she is evaluated as impaired, especially if the doctor is willing to diagnose "organic affective disease" (which pretty much makes them eligible for a locked dementia facility due to either wandering, combativeness, etc.) and if her objection fell on deaf ears because of her condition, you would be able to place her in a facility. Be aware, if she squawks too loudly, any doctor or facility is a mandated reporter,
and they would have to turn in a complaint. The best thing you could do at that point is getting an elder lawyer and filing for conservatorship.

If you don't have to do that, it's a lot easier. Court is expensive and ongoing paperwork filing requirements would be in place. Plus, some states don't allow a family conservator. There would have to be a court appointed, paid conservator. Ouch !

Your wife loves her mother and wants to do the best by her, but likely can't conceive of seeing her in a nursing home. Maybe you came here to get enough opinions weighing in on that side of the scorecard so you could convince your wife that it would be the right thing to do if all these other people with experience think so. It's a good idea and worth a try but typically each person thinks their situation is unique and it is to some degree. I think you can tell from the posts here however, that the situation as you describe it has already gone too far. Action must be taken but you really need to find out about her psychiatric and physical health. Knowing those should help you proceed rather than stumbling around in the dark.

In the meanwhile, realize that a lot of men can be more detached from a situation like this than a woman and that is not meant to be a sexist comment. If you factor in that and the fact that the woman is not your mother, you can even more easily detach yourself from the caretaking and pretty much leave the majority of the worry and responsibility to your wife, which will only stress her further.

PLEASE, support your wife by participating in the care and decision making of your mother in law. Help by researching and providing information to your wife which will help the both of you make a decision that will strengthen your marriage, NOT kill it
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Also, your partner still loves her/his mother (sorry, not clear of the gender here), and I would personally honor that feeling. Your MIL didn't choose to have this illness, and there is still a way to have compassion for her, as well as for the both of you.
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