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My Mil is currently in a skilled nursing facility. She has started to refuse everything even food. She has been there for going on 4 weeks now. Prior to this she was in the hospital for a bad UTI. I have been her main caregiver for a year. She literally cannot walk and won't even sit up on her own even though she can. She just refuses to do it. The original plan was for her to go and do 20 days to try to learn how to walk again and then go on to an assisted living place. She made the choice to stop walking due to pain in her back. My Sil has taken charge of her care and they are starting paperwork for long term care but I know it's going to be a war with her over it. I've had health issues come up and not only that I'm just tired of being bullied into taking care of her. My children's mental health and mine as well as my husband's have taken a major hit due to having no life as she has to be watched 24/7. We have to do everything for her basically. She has even asked me to feed her. One of my kids has autism and we have all her stuff to do. What I am asking is if she refuses to go to long term care will they allow her to leave even if she couldn't get out of the bed by herself? My sil has already told them that we are unable to care for her. I am just so scared that she will just be dropped off here and left and that it will only get worse. Also would they send her home in an ambulance or will one of us have to go get her? If so can I refuse?

Alva gave great advice. If SNF calls, just keep repeating..."We cannot care for her; we have no one to care for her needs." Repeat. Work with SIL, who has POA, and who is trying to get LTC arranged. This is the best solution for everyone, including your MIL. We had to do this w/ our own stubborn mother. She was forced to go to ER after a fall, and she tried to get discharged back home. (She was falling, incontinent, couldn't even pull herself up off floor, etc, etc. Her plan was for us elderly adult children to move in with her 24/7, change her diapers, feed her, bath her, listen to endless complaints and commands, and so forth.) So my sibling told the hospital caseworker that there was no one in my mother's house to care for her, that we couldn't provide caretaking services, and she wouldn't be safe alone. That did it. Caseworker shifted into gear, and within two days, mother was in a SNF with hospice care. Of course mother didn't like it, but her care there is much better, cleaner and more medically appropriate than anything we could provide. Stay objective: think of your husband, children and yourself first; SNF really is the best solution here.
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Reply to stilldealing1
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Thank you all for the support and advice. My Sil informed me that all LTC paperwork will be turned in tomorrow. I'm dreading this for only one reason as I know it's gonna be a massive fight once she finds out. I have a plan in place for myself and that is for me to block her from my phone number and I will not be taking her calls on my house phone either. If it escalates I also will be blocking her from my Facebook. My husband is agreement that it is best for me and my mental and emotional health. Once it comes out and she starts attacking he is going to tell her that I am no longer responsible for her and that this is his decision as she's his mom and that it's mine as well. I have only begun my journey to work on my mental/emotional health and I refuse to allow her to set me back. We have a plan with our living arrangements and hopefully everything goes to plan. If I had known from the beginning that I was going to be in this position I would have never done it. I hate admitting that but it's the truth. I've had a little over a month free from her besides phone calls and that in itself is a blessing I didn't know I needed. I'm hoping that it's goes easy and smooth with very little fights but knowing her I know it won't. I will keep everyone updated and again thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the advice and support and taking the time to respond
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Beatty May 13, 2021
You have a good roadmap out of this. Stick to it.

Block/no answer all calls as required.

No-one wants to move to a SNF. Some will accept with grace, some fighting all the way. Some will hunger strike as a power play. That is their life, they may choose their emotions & reactions.
If they truly wish to die, they can. But the most demanding selfish ones will probably choose to live! Hopefully they take up any councelling that is offered to them to support them through their transition to NH resident.

I used to almost regret how I stepped in to help but fell down the slippery slope into that bog of life sucking servitude. Now I am grateful for the experience. Grateful for how it taught me to stand up for myself. I am using & building this going forward.

Kind thoughts to you.
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Yes, if she is competent and has someplace to live with care (YOU!) then they may. It isn't a prison. And people are kept only when they make inappropriately dangerous decisions for their own lives and are incompetent to make decisions.
You must get in contact with their case manager or social services worker right now and say you are not able to accept your MIL back home. Tell them what you like; that you are no longer physically or mentally able to care for her and cannot care for her if she cannot walk. Tell them you require them to find placement for her.
The most difficult thing to do is get a senior out of your home once you take him or her into it. And the easiest way to get them into care is from hospital or SNF when you REFUSE adamantly to take them home back into your care. You will have to remain strong. Don't argue. Simply state you cannot possibly accept her back into your own home. Do not waver because they will promise you anything saying "We can get you help; we can provide in home care; we can make this work". That is an untruth. They cannot and they will not.
I wish you luck.
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Amc2011 May 10, 2021
Thank you for the reply and the advice. When she was going to be discharged from the hospital, they called and tried telling me that if I refused that I could be charged with elderly abandonment. I immediately called my lawyer and they said I could but the chances are slim as I am not her POA (her daughter is) and that since I told the hospital I was unable to care for her several time that they would have a hard time doing so. I really appreciate the advice and reply. I'm so stressed over this that now not only is my mental health affected my physical health is as well and with my daughter being autistic well she picks up on everything and it's just been rough
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You mean the SNF will drop her off? Won't happen. Hospitals may do it but Rehabs are under different rules.

Your SIL has told them there is no one to care for her. It looks like she needs 24/7 care. SIL is doing the paperwork for LTC. If the rehab is like where I live, rehab and Skilled nursing are in the same building so its just a matter of transferring from one bed to another.
I really don't see where there would be a problem. Mom has brought this on herself. She may not have any say. If no one is willing to care for her and she is 24/7 care, then they can't do a safe discharge. If you get a call to pick her up, refuse. Tell the person calling that you can no longer care for her because she is 24/7 care. That with an autistic child you just can't handle her too. But I don't think you need to worry. SIL seems to have taken over.

Just curious, why did you end up with MIL who needed so much care with you having an autistic child. How were u "bullied" into it? And "now" SIL steps up to the plate.
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Amc2011 May 10, 2021
Thank you so much for the reply and answer! I have honestly been terrified that they will just bring her home and leave her here. The reason I ended being the one is we moved in with her due to some financial hardships. It's a rental and it's an easy fix for me to change the rental agreement because the landlord knows that Long term care is a high possibility at this moment and technically her lease was up and it's been a month to month type thing for a few years now. My husband and I are now financially stable and if we have to move can do so without a problem if that ends up being a last resort. I had a job but when Mils partner left her she had some ability to move around at that time but then just gave up. It was discussed that since my husband made more money and with all the therapies and appointments for our daughter that it would be easier for me to just quit and do that and help my mil. Like I said she just gave up and just stopped walking. Therapy had been talked about but she refused. My mil is amazing at manipulation. Her family honestly never came around and wanted nothing to do with her except on holidays. My sil lives 2 hours away and was working non stop with her own business and there are other reasons that she never came around as well and they are legit reasons why. The only reason she decided to step in was that my husband had to have surgery and she took us because we were having car problems and when she came here and seen just how bad her mom had gotten and just how tired we were. She stepped up when she went to the hospital. The day she came to get us I was being yelled at for not hearing her become "sick" that night while I was sleeping. I used the word bullied because that is what my therapist has stated. I have my own mental health issues that I am just now getting help for and two of them is rejection and abandonment and my therapist has stated that when I would stand up for myself she would guilt trip and manipulate me into feeling bad and that because of this issues of mine I would just give in and allow her treat me this way. My older daughter (not autistic) has told me that she feels like she's invisible because I'm either dealing with her sisters issues or my mils. I feel like a failure as a mother because of all of this. My mil has even told me that I am obligated to take care of her and that she didn't care if I couldn't mentally handle taking care of her and that I needed to suck it up and not complain.
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Amc2011,
Seems to me MiL wants to stop living. She doesn't want to die, exactly, she just doesn't want to live. Maybe she's clinically depressed.

Where is your husband in all this?
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Reply to viviannaslee
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Please keep us updated. Stay strong, and refuse to be your mil's slave.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Whatever you do, don't let your MIL come to your house. If she is unable to do anything for herself, the nursing home will not just kick her out into the street.
You can absolutely refuse to pick her up or accept her into your home to live. Even though your SIL told the nursing home that you cannot and will not be her caregiver, you have to also make that clear to them yourself so there will be no miscommunication.
The nursing home may try to be intimidating to you or your family where your MIL is concerned, but they won't just kick her out if she has nowhere to go even if she wants to leave. Most people in nursing homes who aren't gone with dementia want to leave.
Let me tell you something from many years experience in elder caregiving.
If a person can do for themselves, they must do for themselves. If a person can still accomplish the smallest daily task, combing their own hair for example, that's a form of independence. Any level of independence is a good thing and must continue as long as possible. Even if it has to be forced.
If your MIL can ask to be fed, she's capable of feeding herself. Do not feed her. Strongly encourage the nursing home staff not to feed her either. When she is hungry, she will feed herself. If she makes a mess, a mess can be cleaned up. If she refuses to sit up on her own even though she can, she has to be forced to. It sounds harsh, but it's for her own good.
If she's still capable of some level of independence but refuses, it's because she wants attention. You and your family can give her the attention and support she wants and needs without enabling her to become an invalid.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Am I missing something? Did your Mother-in-Law live with you, your husband and kids before going to the hospital?
backtrack: MiL went to hospital because of a severe urinary tract infection (sepsis?). What was she like before that? If she was behaving normally-and now she's not, have a neurologist take a look/hopefully order an MRI.
I know for a fact, ER Dr.s don't look beyond the first health condition they find when elderly folks are brought in. My mom was "fine", and then fell. She was like a ragdoll. the ER doctor said it was caused by a severe bout of colitis. They'd given her a quickie stroke test but no MRI. Hospital discharged her unable to walk or stand-or even sit up on her own. Yada, yada, yada-she'd had a stoke.
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Amc2011 May 10, 2021
The doctor that had overseen her care at the hospital went over everything. She had a battery of tests several MRIs and a load of other things. They determined that her "condition" is just her not wanting to do the things herself. She was sent to the SNF to regain mobility but has since refused to do anything of the work claiming she is to sick. They have ruled out anything causing this so called sickness except the fact that she is refusing to eat and drink.. My sil has been trying to get a mental health evaluation but they keep saying she is of sound mind.
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ALSO, if MiL did have a stroke, get her into an intensive in-patient stroke rehab, where she'll get 3 hours of rehab everyday.
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Hire an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY. You will bless the day you make that decision.
{{{{HUGS}}}}
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