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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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Mom called us twice to say she was "in agony". Both times we called 911 instead of going there and she ended up in the ER and got big bills to pay. That ended the dramatic phone calls. It's called Tough Love for the Elderly.
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She physically assaulted the caregiver? Why didn't the woman call the police?
If she's been violent with someone, she needs to be placed in a setting where her behaviors can be dealt with (like a dementia unit if you can find one that will accept her). She's dangerous to live with. What if she picks up a knife the next time she lashes out at her caregivers??
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It sounds like time to put mil in hospice care if she is indeed close to death. What in the world did she do to a caregiver to have her taken away in an ambulance? For someone who is terrorizing so many she is mighty active for someone who is dying as you say.
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The disorder prevents people feeling 'empathy' towards other people, or guilt for offences.
Psychopaths don't suffer from delusions, though, and many are highly adept at 'pretending' to think in the same way as normal people.
New research has uncovered that manipulative, callous and sometimes violent behaviour could actually be hard-wired into psychopaths from birth. Maybe your husband needs to take a step back for a bit because she is truly manipulating you both. Maybe if you both didn't come running everytime she decides to do this, she just may get it. Have you considered putting her into a facility where they can better handle these outbursts with her. Sounds like one on one is just too much. Her getting all wound up like this can't be good for her CHF either. I hope it helps good luck.
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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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Pack her up and send to a nursing home and get hospice involved. Tell your wife that you won't be going with her to visit her mom as she clearly ruffles your feathers. How can you provide comfort when you clearly have such disdain? Forgive your MIL. Such hostility only hurts you. And is destroying your marriage.
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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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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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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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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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