My mother-in-law moved in with my family a year ago due to health issues. At the same time, we placed her husband in a nursing home. He has severe COPD and either Frontal-temporal or Lewy Body Dementia (doctors are not sure). He calls his wife frequently and makes many demands and yells at her if she doesn't meet his needs. She picks him up from the nursing home at least 3-4 times a week and takes him out for lunch/dinner and then brings him to our house for a visit. I regularly observe him continuously prod her to do things for him and then get angry because she doesn't have the good health and energy to keep up with his demands. She is starting to speak up for herself and tells him "no" which sometimes escalates into a verbal argument. Then he forgets and the cycle repeats every 20-30 minutes. Other times, she just gives in because she doesn't have the energy to fight, but his demands wear her out. On good days, none of this occurs and he is pleasant to be around.
I know that some of his behavior is due to his dementia, especially the repetitive prodding. He has only been in the family a decade and 1/2 and I know that some of his disrespectful behavior is due to personality traits and mental illness he has had all his life. No matter what the cause, I do not like watching her be abused by her husband. I am a strong women's advocate and it bothers me to the core that she is being treated that way in our house in front of our grade-school son. My husband will barely speak to his step-dad because of the way his step-father treats his mom. There are times, when I speak up and put him in his place, but it isn't really my business to interfere in their relationship.
I have considered telling her that her husband is no longer welcome in our home; however, it is her home now too. She has the right to visit with her husband. Taking him home makes it much easier on her than taking him to public places. She has been limiting the number of days she picks him up to about every other day, so that she has a break. Unfortunately, the phone keeps ringing on off days with his constant asking her to come get him.
What are your suggestions on how to handle this situation?