My husband and I had to move his mother in Feb 2011 due to her falling in Dec 2010. After moving her in and looking at her behavior before we moved her in I realized that she had some SERIOUS issues. She wants to sleep all the time, not bath, exercise or eat unless you nag her. She does have hypothyroidism and depression but even before she had these issues she was not a clean person. When she is sick she will vomit in the floor or go to the bathroom in the floor making no effort to go across the hall to the bathroom. She makes awful comments to me that I am "holding her hostage" "a drill sergeant" "mean" "a dog hater" (because we do not let her dog stay inside during the day-our 14 yr old son has a cat that hates dogs and she has tried several times to let the cat out of the house resulting in hours of us having to look for him). She will not take her medicine unless you stand and watch her do it, we also have to keep hidden any other meds because she will take them whether they are hers or not, she snoops in our bedrooms especially mine and my husbands. We had to install a double keyed deadbolt because if we leave the house and leave her home she will try to put mine and my son's two cats out because she thinks if she gets rid of them then we will let her dog stay in 24/7. We completely redid a room for her, her dog comes in the house in the evenings and stays in her room all night (we do make her put him in a kennel to sleep because he potties on the carpet due to her not letting him out when she lived alone), she has her own tv in her room, her own phone line with a separate number, we swapped appliances to make it easier for her since she has a hard time bending over. I am her main caregiver as I am a stay at home mom, however, I never realized that I would be getting a 2 yr old trapped in a 71 yr old body. I was the one who suggested we bring her home rather than leave her in an overpriced nursing home where she was not getting physical therapy after her fall. I set up therapy for her in our home but she was unwilling to do the work she needed to do so she never completely recovered. She lies to my husband about my son and I but instead of him saying "mom, let's be honest" he sympathizes with her. Some days I go to my dad's after I take my son to school because I hate to go home, but I can't stay long because I never know if I am coming home to the cats being let out, powdered milk all over the house because it was spilled and she walked all in it, tea bags all over because she spilled them and figured I would pick them up. But she acts like I am ugly to her. I know I am having burn out and I have recently developed high blood pressure (I was not at risk for it before her) and I am seriously contemplating going on antidepressants. Some days I just sit and cry because I am so upset that this is my life now, I am 38 and most days I see no relief in sight, I see myself being used up to care for this ungrateful rude old woman. We can't put her in a home, she owns a couple of rent houses that the rent goes to the mortgages that she and late hubby #5 thought would be a good idea. I have tried to talk to my husband but he always acts like it isn't that big of a deal and I guess since he is gone at least 8 hrs a day 5 days a week it isn't, he is an only child so there are no siblings to share with. She has a sister who lives about 4 hrs from us who has taken off work before and let us bring her there and if we lived closer she would help us out more but that just isn't possible. When I have asked my husband to talk to her he will say things like she isn't like you, I can't talk to her about stuff because we don't talk about stuff. I have even contemplated my son and I moving out for the summer, not sure how we would manage that.........I did contact an adult day center the next town over but they charge $62 per day, she has no money left to pay for it and my husband in a police officer so we don't have a lot of extra either and I don't think I should have to go to work to put her in adult daycare. She does not have dementia, or Alzheimer's and her current doctor that found the thyroid problem doubts she has depression, he thinks all her issues have been the undiagnosed thyroid but even after being on meds and getting the thyroid regulated she refuses to change her behavior. My dad has depression and a thyroid disease also so I am very familiar with both of them together and what to expect. She tells us all the time to let her move home where she can stare at the walls and not bathe if she doesn't want to. Any advice is appreciated. Am I just being ugly??????
Why can't she live on her own, and stare at the walls and not bathe if she doesn't want to and have her dog always with her? What are her specfic impairments that need 24/7 live-in help? If she is in her right mind (by legal standards) she has a right to make her own decisions, even if they are very poor decisions.
If she owns property or other assets, what is she holding on to them for? Her old age? I'd say that is here. She needs to spend her assets on her care. Her own small apartment (does your community have subsidized housing for the elderly and infirm?) or assisted living and bringing in whatever help she needs, or even you going in to provide help a few times a week, would be better for all of you, it seems to me.
She fell. She might fall again -- at your house, at her house, at a facility. My 92-y-o mother has fallen more than once, and she still lives alone in her little apartment. She doesn't clean it, or cook, or shop, or remember to take her pills -- we've arranged services for these things -- but she is comfortable in her familiar surroundings. We (she has 7 kids) do our best to help her stay as independent as she can be.
My husband has dementia and I know he could not live on his own, no matter how much support he had. So I'm not trying to say all elderly persons can be on their own. I know better. But have you thoroughly looked into other possibilities for your MIL?
You feel like you've taken on a two-year-old trapped in 71 year old body (well said!) and she feels like she is being held hostage. You and hubby and MIL need to find a better solution.
Before you begin your heart-to-heart conversations with Hubby, I suggest you follow Lilygirl's advice about going away. I'd say not for a day but for the entire weekend. Hubby will be a little more receptive, I suspect, when he has had full responsibility for his mother's care.
You gave this option a good try. It isn't working out. Time to come up with another plan!
My suggestion: Talk with your husband about other arrangements for his mother. Find an Assisted Living Facility to board her. Don't use the money excuse. It's worth spending the money on a new arrangement. Cut back somewhere else.
You didn't come into this world to be abused inthis manner. Take charge. Forget the vacation-for-a day. A one-day respite will not help. Good Luck!
Good luck to you. Maybe taking some responsibility for herself will help with her depression. If not, it's her problem. There's no dementia/Alzheimers so you shouldn't feel guilty about this. Tough love...
Mom is 91, w/ALZ. Her sister was 93, and sounds like your MIL. She had a vari ety of ailments, congestive heart failure being the biggest. Our mom & she were inseparable, lived together. My sis moved in w/them into mom's home. For about 3 years she at first did lots of the caregiving. But as time progressed, sister hired caregivers, since she also has a full time job. Throughout all of this our aunt's behavior was horrible. I don't know how my sister lived through it. I would suggest many times she be placed in assisted living, and last year a NH. My sister didn't want to do this because she'd say, "but what w/this do to mom." The separation. Well things really got out of control with my aunt, to the point my sister wasn't talking to her anymore. My aunt died in Jan. These two ladies are lucky in the sense they were/are financially secure. So yes, my aunt used this fact w/respect to her money. Interesting, she wanted to leave it to my two brothers, her nephews who never have gotten their hands dirty doing any caregiving. I feel that when you hear an elder has savings, rentals and all of that, it should be used at the end of their lives for care of them first and foremost of all. So I agree that it may benefit you to have that talk w/your husband about his mom and her assets. There must be a way these can be used so that someone w/no gratitude burdens a daughter-in-law, prematurely w/health problems. This must be very difficult for you and your son. My heart goes out to you! Margeaux
All the Best to you and let us know how it goes!
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