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I can no longer care for my mother-in-law, what do I do?

How do we get an elder to live some where else that is safer for her, our house is becoming or is not an option.

My mother in law lives with us due to the fact she caught herself on fire, she is alomost blind a type 2 diabetic who does not like to keep her blood sugars down likes to eat what ever suites her. She has a history of falls has cracked her pelvis with the last fall. fell at christmas cut her leg, fell prior to that 2 years ago broke her hip. My husband and I both work full time, have very active children, two are in college and two in high school yet. She does not eat well or very little, is dehydrated, now has UTI. We can not be home enough to make sure she eats healthy, and even if we were she doesn't unless we make it and hand it to her. What we say has no affect on her evn to the point of telling her from the last fall cut her head open 6 staples and my youngest child witnessed all the blood all over the floor and coming out of her head. She doesn't care my that youngest can not handle that again

Status: Open    Mar 06, 2015 - 08:19 AM


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Mar 09, 2015 - 08:06 AM

One thing that I was not clear about is if your MIL (mother-in-law) has any dementia. Does someone have financial and/or medical power of attorney? Are there other close family members, other than your husband and you? If so, how supportive are other family members of your situation.

There are many issues that can be involved in this situation. You may have resolved some of these. I will address the issues that I can think of and you can decide what is appropriate for your MIL’s situation. I realize that the course you take will depend upon the family dynamics that exist in your immediate and extended family. The more in agreement all family members are, the better.

I would begin by sitting down with all ‘directly involved’ family members, significant others, and MIL to discuss the situation. Be honest and firm that you can no longer continue with this situation. But still try to be tactful. Emphasize that it is not safe for MIL. Then open discussion to what options are available. This isn’t always easy to discuss these issues but helps prevent problems in the future. I always encourage including the MIL, even if she might not be able to understand all of the issues. It can help her, eventually, accept the move. It also provides an opportunity for her to provide input so she will be more accepting when it is time to move.

Don’t forget to get input from your MIL’s primary health provider. The primary provider can help encourage your MIL to accept a more secure place for her.

A Home Health Agency evaluation may be helpful. They have a full staff of health professionals to evaluate your MIL’s situation and may be able to help you foster your MIL’s acceptance of a move.

From what you describe, your MIL needs an Assisted Living or Board and Care facility. The fact that you are visiting the Place For Mom website tells me that you recognize them as a resource for you. Hopefully, you are able to take some time to investigate different facilities in your area. I think it is important to actually visit these facilities and take your MIL with you to help her buy into the facility that all of you select.

Hopefully, you are able to choose a place close by, so you and your family can make frequent trips to make sure she is receiving good care and so she will not feel abandoned.

I wish you luck. My husband and I took care of my MIL and my elderly cousin. I sympathize with your situation, but can tell you that you will probably not regret what you are doing for your MIL.



Mar 07, 2015 - 05:21 AM

Same siuation here at our house only our Aunt is 103 and very independent "thinking". Falls a lot here and did even in the Nursing Home! We took her out of an Assisted Living place because she was out of money and couldn't pay for it anymore. Now after 2 years of us being miserable and loosing any and all freedom in our own retirement we have to find a way to talk her into selling her house that has been empty for 5 years!! She still wants to visit it and thinks someday she will get to go back there to live!! By selling it she could afford to go into Assisted Living again and we could have our lives back. We often have our Grandchildren with us and they are not quiet and we can't do anything with them together outside of the house because someone has to stay here with Auntie. We want to have a few years to be together having adventures like all our friends are having and just have to say no when ever we are invited to do anything. Sitters don't want to be with her, most only come once and say no when we call them back. They are afraid of her doing something on her own and them getting blamed for whatever happens to her. We try to explain to them that her independence is so important to her to no avail. We even advertised in the News Paper for a live in and nobody wanted to even try it when they met her. She is sweet, tiny and very strong minded so you have to do what he wants you to do and her way! She is also hard of hearing we think might be selective, legally blind with Macular Degeneration, severly bent in half with Osteoperosis and very mobile in a scooter, even though she runs into everything! She hurts herself everyday and messes up her pills, but won't let us do them!! Like I said she is very independent but getting really hard to deal with too, an even harder to make happy. We really believe it's time for her to go into Assisted Living and will be much happier there. We are just tired and worn out from trying to please her. We know we have spoiled her but we are her only family and thought we could do this because we love her. Please add us to the Question list of needing sugestions and Answers.

Mar 08, 2015 - 07:38 PM

Most elderly are not easy to deal with as they begin to lose control over their lives. It seems she has become a danger to the family and outside help is afraid. Perhaps medicare and medicaid will allow her to be placed in a home where she will get the care she needs even psychological and you all can visit her regularly to assure her she is still a part of the family. We took our diabetic grandmother in and had to put locks on the cupboards, but she became violent and dangerous to others and we had no choice. Good luck.
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