What to do when loved one refuses the idea of someone coming into the home to help? - AgingCare.com

What to do when loved one refuses the idea of someone coming into the home to help?

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Ok, my mil, with Dementia LOVES daycare. This surprised us! But, having a nurse come into the home is another story. This is my only respite care, as it is just our family, with 3 kids (19, 15 and 11). My bil is REFUSING to help us, although he lives next door, and we have moved in to help mil. Their move next door is recent. We have lived here a year and uprooted everything. We moved because there was no other choice, bil said he wouldn't take care of her, he'd rather have her in a home. Now, the daycare is going great, she goes 3 times a week. BUT...it is only during the days. My issues is afternoon and evening, as that is when my kids have sports and activities. We've missed a year of sports and school. Now, we had the home nurse come in and my mil was "ok" with it. But, then the nurse actually came to sit with her. My mil was SO mad. My husband explained to her the why's etc...she was pleasant enough to the nurse, but when she left, my mil was livid the rest of the night. Says that she can be home by herself and she doesn't need us. Although we even explained that it was for our peace of mind, so she doesn't fall and we said the other option is to run all over with me with the kids. I thought we did good, but how do I cope with the anger and the mean personality after? Tonight we have somebody for 3 hours and instead of looking forward to time away and not to worry, I am dreading it. We can have up to 20 hours of home care, but am only taking 12, and this is hard enough. Aaargh. Also, how do we get bil to see how important it is for us, to have this extra help, and to step up? Wish we could split "custody" with him, lol!

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I really don't understand the "keeping her out of a home" bit. My grandmother made our lives miserable when I was a teenager and I swore that I wouldn't let my parents or in laws do that to me, or my family. My mother gets far better care in her NH than she would get from me at home, as I work long hours and have NO patience for her anxieties over storms, politics and all the what-ifs of life. Sorry if this sounds selfish, but I'm just no good at putting up with angry people at home, especially when I'm helping them. I can tell you from experience that having a declining demanding grandma at home did nothing to build our characters, but it did open our eyes.
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Have you asked your BIL to help? Specifically asked him, "Can you come over and stay with mom on Tuesday from 3p-5p?" When I was caring for my dad my brother assumed that I would ask for help if I needed it. I just assumed he should know I needed help. We didn't communicate. If you've tried this and your BIL still won't help then stop asking him, it's a lost cause.

Since your MIL has dementia you can't really expect her to understand that she needs assistance when you're gone. She's going to be mad. You can't explain to her that life is full of compromises and that if she wants to stay out of a NH then she's going to have to compromise and accept help at home on occasion. We can't reason with someone who is unreasonable.

Your only option may be to just ignore MIL's nasty mood. It's her way of getting you back. Don't try to coax her out of her mood. Don't try to be sweet to her. Don't do anything at all. Let her sit there stewing until she gets tired of it. Just work around her.

Maybe the more you use respite the more resigned to it MIL will be when she realizes that her little attempts at emotional blackmail don't work.
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something else I want to add...and older woman I know (she's in her 80's now) said to me recently, "I missed so much of my grandchildren's younger years because I was so consumed in taking care of my mother...don't let that happen to you". It was SUCH good advice. Double for not missing your children's childhoods!
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If your bil has directly said he cannot help, let it go. For two weeks, go everywhere you need to go and take your mil. See if there are any advantages to that and how she reacts. If that doesn't work, tell her you are going to have the maximum outside help you can get, and you will not put up with her anger. If she is able to treat the nurse nicely when she is there, she may have more control than you think, and her anger towards you is consciously manipulative. If none of this helps, you need to start putting your family first, by placing her in a home. Allowing her to create a toxic environment in your household is not a healthy choice for you to make. It will damage everyone. My mother has lived with us for two years and my brother, always her favorite, was causing continuous problems by controlling
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continuation of previous post - by not helping at all, but second guessing everything I would do, and trying to control all of us from 900 miles away. After a year of emotional chaos, I told my mother she would have to terminate all relationship with him or move out of our house. Because of her relationship with him, we had all allowed ourselves to become victims of his abusive demands. We are now completely estranged from him, and our household has become peaceful. It was hard for her in the beginning, but she realized that he was willing to sacrifice her peace of mind in order to exercise his abusive personality traits. Although the circumstances are very different, the point is that I was no longer willing to dump my family overboard because of the needs of my Mother and the bad attitude of my brother. It was the right choice. My only regret is that I waited over a year to establish this boundary.
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well I am a weenie...I blamed the doctor! LOL. I told my mother that the doctor ordered it and we have to do it. She still fusses but she no longer refuses to allow them in (or hide when they knock on the door) at least for now, it's settled.
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Do NOT put your MIL's needs (demands) before your children's. It will only get worse as time goes on. If she can go to any of the sporting events, then have her go to some for your kids and some for your BIL's kids. If she can't go, then give her the option of having your BIL (or someone from his family) visit with her or have an aide visit with her. And have your MIL part of the process of picking out that aide.

My mother was adamant that no one would 'babysit' her if my sister or I couldn't be there. We, too, blamed it on the doctor, saying he required it for OUR health not her's. Then told her that the person would be her choice not our's, because that person would be for her companionship not our's. We met her for tea, and they got along famously. Mom feels comfortable sharing things with her that she doesn't want to share with my sister or I.

If your MIL opts to have BIL (or his family) visit with her while you are are sporting events, TELL him that is her choice. It must be upsetting to her that they are next door and she never sees them.

My new favorite expression in situations like this is "not my circus, not my monkey". Do what is best for you and your family. Your family being husband and kids.
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My mother utterly refused to have anyone in the house so everything fell on me 24/7. Now in a nursing home (Parkinsons, strokes and dementia), it's all my fault she's there "You dumped me in this hole, this prison" when she could have had people come in to help care for her in her home. A lifetime narcissist she's always blamed others for anything that didn't go her way, just made poor decisions and expected me or my late father to run and pick up the pieces. Now unable to sit up or stand she refuses to leave her room and every time I visit I get a verbal bashing. I pay her bills and ensure she has all she needs out of duty only. It takes me 24 hours to get over a visit and I'm done..
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You didn't ask her first, and get her on board. You didn't give her a choice in who you selected. Inadvertently you insulted her intelligence, babified her, and took away her control of her life. You went down swinging on three strikes. The elderly cherish their independence and control. At a time when their bodies are betraying them every day, and they are forced to relinquish some of their independence and depend on others, you treated her like a child. This reinforced all her fears. Taking care of the elderly is completely different from caring for a child.

She is the parent, not a child. Go to her, apologize. Don't be defensive, you simply didn't understand. Listen, explain your concerns, and allow her control over her life. The hardest thing is to let her suffer the consequences of her decisions without blaming yourself. In the 2 and 1/2 years i have given my Dad 24/7 care, I have learned to respect his judgement, and listen to him. Good luck
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Instead of telling you MIL what needs to happen ask her questions about what she is experiencing. Get her to talk about her limitation and how it is impacting how she how she sees herself living. Get her to talk about her feelings and frustration with aging. Getting her to reflect on her experience and expressing frustration and leading her to make the decision that she needs that additional support instead of telling her like a child can help. A good therapist for her can help too.
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