How do I say no to mom who lives with me without feeling guilty? - AgingCare.com

How do I say no to mom who lives with me without feeling guilty?

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My mother in law moved in with us unexpectedly last January. She had a stroke 13 years ago, and is confined to a wheelchair. She came with nothing but the rags on her back. She had no money, as brother in law stole it from her. My husband had to take money from his 401K so that we could build an extension onto our house for her with a huge handicap restroom. She receives social security and a very small pension altogether not much at all. I have control of her money. She wants me to buy her an anti inflammatory drink that costs $150 a month! I did this for a couple of months out of guilt, because in her previous home, she was very neglected. We try and give her whatever she wants. I finally convinced her that this drink was having a placebo affect on her and that it was all in her mind. Well, now it's been a couple of months later, and she wants me to buy it again for her - she's very adamant about having it. It really angers me! I've told her if she has inflammation, then we need to tell the dr. about it - she doesn't want to hear this. This is a huge waste of money that she doesn't have. Her money is being used to pay back my husband's 401K, as well as her diapers, and everything else she uses monthly. How do I say no to her without feeling guilty?

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Stick to what's best and let your convictions override your guilt because the guilt doesn't go away, we have to overcome it. Our first impulse is to make them happy but sometimes we can't in light of doing what's better for them and making the right choice.
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I think Ismiamil has the best idea. Glad to hear it might have worked just talking to your MIL but why not also add that you saw a home made one on tv, like dr Oz's show and try making her one? Her mind might be different but she still knows what she wants and I am sure its so hard to say "no" to her, you're a very sweet persn to care so much, I would feel the same way. Good Luck to you.
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OK, she wants a four pack of Palea (cactus juice) for $120? Would she have bought some for you as a child? Hell, NO. Do you know how much Kool-Aid that works out to?
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and, I might add, my mother is also on social security with no retirement...I have had to continually dig her out tight spots...now, that I have divorced, and have exhausted the 401K money I got through divorce to rebuild my life. And I am on early Social Security due to an accident at the workplace...my mother doesn't have a say anymore if she want's to live me...if not me, it would be a shelter.
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I wouldn't feel guilty in the least...I am the sole care giver to my own 84 year old mother (my sister is an alcoholic) - she is lucky to have a roof over her head - I wouldn't worry about it and just turn up the radio or television if she starts giving you feedback...I don't care how old someone is, there is no excuse to be rude and unappreciative.
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You have and are going above and beyond the caring process of your mother in law. I applaud you. You need a break. Have you ever looked into the programs under your county Medicaid office where you are able to get a certain amount of hours of care for her. There is no cost involved and she has to be financially eligible. Since she has a small amount of income she would probably qualify. Sometimes they just have to hear that not taking this so called medication is not healthy from her from someone else since she obviously is taking you for granted. She is so lucky. My husband and I just said No to my mother in law moving in due to my breast cancer treatments, we both could not believe she asked. I am in the process of getting her admitted to a Nursing Home and she is handling it okay. I was thinking that I could not handle her and do not know how I would handled it. You can also go away for a few days and get respite care in a Nursing Home. Sounds like you need a major break. Once again you are great .
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Thank you all very much for your responses. I did try a less costly drink for my MIL, but she didn't want it. She is VERY brand oriented. I don't know why. She asked me again last night for the drink (Nopalea). I calmly told her that right now, her money is being used to pay for the addition that we put on for her, as well as her diapers, and other care needs, etc. This is the truth, and it worked, she nodded her head in agreement. I then told her that I would make a dr. appt. today for her to see exactly what is troubling her and how we can fix it to make her feel better. She agreed. Yes, I'm sure my MIL went without many times, as her children were growing up. If the drink was reputable and worked, then I would spend the money, however, from my research, it's basically a placebo effect. We were in no way prepared to have my MIL live with us, but due to my BIL going to jail, and my FIL was in the hospital at the time (has since passed), we literally had one days notice to pick her up in AZ, we're in CA. Some days I say "why did I do this?" MIL had been in numerous nursing homes years ago when she had a stroke, and they all were terrible experiences. I think this is why we decided to build on our home and keep her there. I'm sure there are nice nursing homes, but for her very limited funds, I don't think they would be that good, maybe I'm wrong. We would have liked to have her go to assisted living, however, I found out that is a luxury and could no where near afford it. Thanks for all your responses, and letting me vent. I'm glad I found this website, because I'm a "newby" at caregiving.
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Maybe juicing like with a nutrabullet could be a substitute. What is in this drink?
Juicing can have other health benefits family wide like just eating more veggies.
There are recipes that claim to be anti inflammatory. If it won't be too much additional stress, maybe you can offer a homemade alternative.

I sound like an advertisement because I recently went on a health kick and love it as a meal substitute and enhancement.
The machine is $80 with the 20% coupon at bed bath and beyond.
If it became a family kick, juicing is easier than cooking and cleaning.

You have nothing to feel guilty about, but guilt is sticky and hard to shake off.

Any chance someone else would volunteer to donate an allowance for the drink? You do a lot, any siblings or nieces who could take this on? There are elders in my family for whom I would be willing to pitch in. Granted this would need to be from a reliable and willing source.

If not, a polite no as previously suggested is a all you owe. Sorry to hear this causes you stress as you have done and continue to do so much.

God bless

L
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I did what you suggested, SacFol, and came up with an anti-inflammatory drink that seems to fit the price -- Nopaleo from Trivita. It is an alternative type "medicine" drink that has not been tested. I read a bit more and there is a huge question whether it does anything useful. Something I did find useful on line is some home remedies for anti-inflammatory drinks. One had pineapple, which has so many good properties. I wonder if one of these cheaper home remedy drinks would satisfy the MIL's needs.
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Try not to feel guilty. Did you or her doctor notice any difference in her/her health when she was drinking the stuff? Go on line and google it to see if there have been any reviews, good or bad. My mother was taken advantage of by people she was staying with. Her SSA check was under $500. I learned that she could apply under my father's since they had been married at least 10 years before he left her. She now gets just under $1,200 plus about $200 from a pension she didn't know she was able to collect. Her rent is $600 and even with the increase, she still spends as much as in her account. I've had to put money in to cover NSF situations and she tries to spend that. She's in her mid 70's and watches QVC and HSN and other similar shows. She orders facial creams that she thinks are going to make her look 50 again. I've tried to explain that even though her income has increased she can't go hog wild...she says she knows and agrees but it doesn't make any difference. I no longer feel as guilty when I say no. In this case, I think it's reasonable for you to say no. If this was a $20 drink, I might agree with ejbunicorn; but $150 is more than the average person should be expected to provide unless you're a millionaire. I would do some online checking to see what reviews are out there. I did that with the products my mother ordered. I let her know a lot of people thought they were being scammed and there were a lot of complaints about the product. This seemed to make a difference to my mom. Good luck and hang in there.
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