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My 89 year old mother in law is in rehab after a brief hospital stay for heart failure issues. She normally lives with my husband and I so it has been a very welcome break for me as I am her full time caregiver ( working part time). She has had PT several times over the past year after breaking her hip a year ago and is fine while the therapist is with her but will do NOTHING if left to herself. Before rehab she can stand with a walker and go to the bathroom by herself ( depends for leaks) but is in diapers in the rehab and is messing herself more. She is doing ok in PT and is walking a little but I am worried that not letting her out of bed to toilet herself is making her incontinence worse. I have told her and my husband that she cannot come home if she cannot get out of bed to bathroom. Last year I had her commode next to her bed and she got up when she needed to and went back to bed. One morning she decided it was too much trouble and ever since then I have to get her in and out of bed. I have nagged her on a daily basis to get up and move to keep her mobile but she will just sit in her recliner for hours and hours and complain that everything hurts. I am pretty sure that is what triggered the heart failure issues as no movement means poor circulation but she just refuses to help herself. I feel guilty for not wanting her home but at 47 years old I feel like my future is slipping away before my very eyes. I do everything for her and watch her meds and conditions like a hawk. At the first signs of dementia after her hip surgery last year I had her evaluated and the meds have nipped the symptoms in the bud but I know at her age it is all down hill from here. I don't want to spend the rest of our lives resenting having to care for her. My husband thinks I over react sometimes but I told him I feel like I am living the life of a 90 year old! It's not my job to make her happy, that will never happen, she is the most negative person I have ever met and I am definitely a glass is half full kind of person. I feel angry and depressed having to take care of her all the time but guilty if I don't!

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Thanks ladies for the advice. She told me the other day that she can't wait to get out of rehab and she hates it there and wants her own room and beloved recliner. I feel bad because she does tell me how much she appreciates everything I do for her and everyone tells me what a wonderful daughter in law I am to care for her like I do. My biggest problem is every time she has a problem and I come up with a solution, she puts it down and she doesn't have a good word for anyone. My husband and I reconnected with his father's side of the family five years ago after he hadn't seen them in over thirty years and every time we mention one of them, Mom has something nasty to say about them from forty years ago! She criticizes everything and everybody she meets and is the exact opposite from me. My own mother died when I was 18 and was the kindest, gentle, loving person you could ever wish to meet and we were best friends so my tolerance for the constant negative is wearing really thin and I refuse to change diapers when it all comes down to being lazy. I already told her I have a bulging disk in my lower back and bone spurs in my upper so having to get her in and out of bed kills me. I'm afraid she will do well just so she can come home again! LOL.
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I was interrupted by someone at work answering your question. If you feel resentment now, it will only get worse. I ended up with panic attacks as my mother's health declined. I also hid from her in the house when I got up in the morning on the weekends, so I could have time to myself.

It sounds that you are at the same point I was. Our parents forget that we are aging, too. I was at a breaking point, and it took two doctors to tell me point blank that I could not do it anymore.

Now is the time to make a decision, I can assure it will not get any easier from here on.
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While your MIL is in rehab talk to your husband about how you're feeling.

Once someone becomes incontinent I've never seen them reverse and be able to use the bathroom again. Unfortunately incontinence is just another phase in age-related decline for many elderly people.

And not doing the exercises if the PT isn't around is normal. Not many elderly people take it upon themselves to do them everyday on their own. Trying to get your MIL to do them to maintain what little strength she has will drive you crazy if she's not inclined to do them. However, I did have a patient who was 90 who did them everyday. It took her 2 hours to do them but she did them.

Talk to your husband about your feelings. Your MIL is going to need more and more care as time goes on. If you're feeling burned out and resentful he needs to know this and you two will have to figure out what to do while your MIL is still in rehab.
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It is really time to place her. I took care of my mother for 25 years. When she started falling and expected me to change diapers that was it. (I actually drew the line at having a commode.) I found an affordable, wonderful Assisted Living Home, and she thrived for 3 years. She is still there on Hospice at age 96 where she is now showing signs of dementia.
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