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Old 02-12-2016, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,516 posts, read 5,040,174 times
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I should add....my mom didn't want in home care for my dad, or for herself, but she was willing to accept a 'handy-man'. He does all kinds of chores around the house, anything she asks. She makes lunch for him and he chats with her. He is the ideal 'husband' for her.

Anyway, i think a fib like telling our elders they are getting a handy man instead of a home health worker is worthwhile sometimes.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,516 posts, read 5,040,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
[QUOTE

I don't know that it actually got talked about between sil and mil, but it seems mil has had to walk that statement back (don't bring him here anymore). Because sil has been here a few times now, that she has brought him along also.[/QUOTE]

Which implies that your MIL is responsive to "direct speaking".

As in, "You have to get more help, because we can't/won't do this all anymore".

Not, "Wouldn't you prefer to have your own meals delivered by Meals for Wheels?" (because that's not actually what you want/mean)

Being direct (and you can be both direct and polite) is a gift - it let's people know exactly what you need.
Yeah, I'm not sure why there is such a focus on expecting SIL travel 1000 miles with or without her Bi-polar husband. That is completely unreasonable.

MIL needs help now, in her home, or she needs to move.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,501,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnyl View Post
... I feel like the need is increasing, mil's condition deteriorating (see above, no longer comfortable showering alone in her home). I have suggested to the daughter (she is my sil) that she consider staying longer this time when she comes and/or consider that she should approach her mom that there needs to be the allowance for outside help.

Mil is lonely. Most of her friends have either passed or are so incapacitated themselves that it's impossible to socialize anymore. Mil has mobility issues as a result of a minor stroke some years back and as such, she struggles herself with mobility.

I wish the situation were one that we could spend more time with mil, enjoying her, as opposed to seeing to her many myriad of needs. I think the above would help to resolve some of that. Get her out some and enjoy lunch out for instance and just visit. She loves to talk, she can talk for hours.

The reality however, we (her son's family that reside here in the same city) are not retired, and only have so much time at our disposal. When that time needs to be spent seeing to her various needs, a presence, so she can shower, *grocery shopping, and she typically wants to go, since she's all but a shut-in*, going to the Hardware store for some need, the pet store for some need, a doctor's visit, attending to broken items in her home .. i.e., light bulbs that have burned out, privacy fencing that needs repair, a sprinkler head that has stayed in a stuck on position and won't turn off, the needs are many. Cooking and making sure that food gets brought to her, so she will eat somewhat nutritious (she is quite content to live off of cheese and crackers, and fruit). Cheese and crackers and fruit, are fine, occasionally, but not as a staple of a nutritious diet. So I also make sure that what I cook, some gets set to the side and taken to her.

The above, leaves little time to actually enjoy mil. And her enjoy us. She is lonely. When one of us goes for the various needs, she always wants whoever goes there, to sit and visit with her. See above, she can talk, a lot. I understand that she's lonely. However, I feel like if she would allow some outside assistance, that would free up more of our time, to be able to enjoy her, and her us.

She will not though. It has been approached numerous times. She doesn't want "strangers" coming to her home. Even though we've all offered, countless times, that we will meet with her and new service, to make sure she is comfortable. Still, she refuses outside help of any sort.

I have a great relationship with my mil and her daughter. I have tried to stress to sil, that when she comes next, she should stay longer, or do her best to do so, if possible. And/or she should maybe consider approaching her mother that she needs to now take seriously, the use of outside help.

I'm not getting very far with the above. Sil, when she comes here, she stays typically about 10 days or so, and she lives and breathes for her mother. She is extremely helpful when she does come. To the point that mil dreads seeing her daughter come. Her daughter, so very hyper-vigilant, and seeing to every possible need and then some. It wears mil out when her daughter comes. Her daughter is so busy cleaning gutters, clearing out flower beds, repainting garage door, calling docs, and scheduling appts., seeing about every single solitary thing. It sounds wonderful, unless you are the 86 yo who just wants someone to sit and visit with her.

When I stress to sil that she needs to consider staying longer, to ....A) give us a break, but also ....B) allow herself more time to complete all the tasks she feels she needs to see to, and not wear herself out, as well as her mother. The response that I get is typically along the lines of, "it's really hard to be away for much longer than that, we have our own home, and obligations here. As well as, sil has to bring her husband with her, who suffers from bi-polar disorder. She feels more comfortable bringing him along, as opposed to leaving him behind 1K miles away. When she brings husband along, mil doesn't like the husband. It's really unfounded that mil doesn't like him. He can't help it that he is all but a shell of a person at this point, because he stays so medicated to keep his bi-polar in check. Mil has, in the past, said cruel things to the husband, and so that makes it hard for sil to stay very long.

I don't know what the answers are here. Mil doesn't have the resources for an assisted living facility. Nor would she ever even entertain the notion of going to some sort of communal living arrangement.

The only thing I do know, is that we, her son's family are taxed. Something needs to give here.
I'm so sorry for this situation FOR ALL CONCERNED. There are no bad guys here, only victims, all of you. I've been in this same situation myself. My solution would obviously not apply to you and yours, but I concur that "something needs to give here."

Personally, I agree with the people who say your MIL has no right to make all these demands. Her desires are simply untenable. You might love your MIL dearly and have total sympathy for her, but your story of how she treats her daughter's husband shows she is not as kind as you are. All of you DO have your own lives (not without your own issues) and you have already given her so much. This cannot and should not go on indefinitely.

May I suggest that, if you haven't already, call on eldercare services in your area for information. It's usually at the county level. Google the name of your county and state with the words "elder care services." In my county it's called the Council on Aging. As my mother's caregiver, I was able to get from them, at no cost, meetings with a social worker totally cognizant of all services available to the elderly AND a meeting with an elder care attorney who advised me on what kinds of paperwork was necessary for my mother's needs to be met properly and how I could procure those things.

You should also include her will in this if you have access to it because you don't want to share all this labor and find out she has favored one child over the other in her will. That will cause terrible problems in your family after she passes.

I would suggest you get this information and plan a family sit-down (siblings AND in-laws) with a social worker the next time your relatives are in town. Personally, at the first meeting, I would not include MIL. All of your family has to be aware of available resources and come to an agreement on what should be done to best protect her life and her resources. You might even be wrong that she cannot afford some form of assisted living. If her health gets bad enough, how are you expected to provide all of her heathcare needs? The elder is quite often in complete denial of the difficulty of what they are asking relatives to do for them.

I'm truly sorry she has passed the point of being able to make decisions for her own life completely independently. But what you are describing is a situation where an elder is holding an entire family hostage so she can live a life she is not capable of living on her own. So, in my opinion as a caregiver, she's lost the right to make endless demands on what she will or won't accept.

In my family's case we came to several scenarios (all of which included Mom selling her home) and then we gave her the choice to pick the one she liked best. Needless to say, she didn't like ANY of them. But faced with a united family who confronted her as a group with the message "WE AREN'T DOING THIS YOUR WAY ANYMORE," she had to make choices. If your MIL is as stubborn as she sounds, you might have to force conservatorship on her. She might hate you for that, but if she won't give an inch, the result will be all of you continuing to play this by her rules 24/7/365. The most important thing is her children and in-laws standing as a united front and exercising their rights where providing the necessary care for her is concerned.

I'm sure she is lonely and depressed. Many elderly widows are. It's a tragedy when people outlive their spouses and peers. But it doesn't give them the right to run their families like they are ring leaders of a servant circus.
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,598 posts, read 14,200,956 times
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Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
It's time for your brother to put his foot down.

My MIL had this fantasy about being in the bosom of her family and always having a family member there to take care of her. Then reality intruded: Other people have lives of their own. It took an extended convalescence from breaking a femur to get her to see that and agree to hire aides.
I totally agree.

But elders are often in denial about how much help they need. This is hard. But the adult children have to take over as parents for their parents in these cases. Unfortunately, very elderly people often have bad judgement.

How long to visit? How long does brother want you to come? If he wants to take vacation, daughter should go at least long enough for him to have a real vacation--longer than a weekend, for instance.

And perhaps daughter can talk mom into making a change. But if she can't, then if necessary both adult kids need to present a united front to the elderly parent about changes that they both agree need to be made.

The fact that she is worried about her safety tell me that she feels fragile. I agree that help in the home, or being moved to assisted care, would be in her best interest.

These are hard choices.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:02 PM
 
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She has a reverse mortgage, no assets to speak of really.

So, protecting her assets via a will, not really an issue. She does have a small will, which dictates who gets her car, her home furnishings, etc., but that's about it.

I guess my question needs to be, since I'm the one here, on the scene. I can't get sil on the same page. She comes into town periodically, and when she comes, she literally does everything short of breathe for her mom. My husband, her son, his involvement seems to extend to fixing the various things that break in a typical home, in which case he goes and fixes it, and perhaps visits with her some. He and I both take her, occasionally, out to dinner. But the running to docs, scheduling appts., going so that she can shower, the grocery/errands, the cooking so she can eat nutritiously, the house-keeping, all done by me, and our daughters.

I guess my question boils down to, since I'm apparently not very successful at getting the attention of her two biological children, to get them to recognize that "something needs to give here", even though I'm shouting it from the rooftops as myself and our daughters run hither and yon, buttoning down yet one more grocery trip, one more meal, one more scheduled doc visit, one more errand, one more house cleaning session, one more sitting so she can shower, ..

Do I step back, and not be as "available".

I think the problem boils down to, getting the attention of the two biological children in this case, her son .. who is my husband, and her daughter, .. residing 1K miles away.

Our daughters, today a great example. Daughter works f/t. She contacted her g'mother, at my request, "it's time that your grandmother get a shower ... I was last there on Tuesday, so she could do so, I asked her yesterday if she needed me to come so she could bathe and she said that no, she was fine, but maybe tomorrow (which is today). So if you could, please contact her, on your break, to see if it'd be alright for you to come out when you get off work today (which for her as at 2:30 PM, she works about 30 mins away, and g'mother's house is approximately another 20 mins. farther).

So she contacted g'mother to ask if she could maybe come out, probably get there about 3:30 and that way g'mother can get a shower. The response she got was: "yes, that would be great, if you could come on out at 3:30 .. and then when I finish my shower, if you can, I need to go to Petsmart, and then to the grocery store, if you have time to take me".

This daughter is 23 yo, lives at home with me.

She called me in a kind of frenzy "Mom, I don't have time for all that, I feel bad telling her no, .. .but I don't have time, it takes her forever to take a shower, because she's so incapacitated, and that's one thing, but then to have to help her navigate to the car, and then go to Petsmart, which is 20 mins. back this way .. and then her navigate so slowly around Petsmart, .. and then to the grocery, same thing ... she is so slow, she can't move fast, and I don't have time for this".

I asked my daughter what she needs from Petsmart, since I'd just taken her on Tuesday. My daughter said she didn't know, something for her dog's hip.

SIGH

So what I did was ascertain what it is she needs from the Pet supply store, and I went to retrieve it, .. even though another trip this week to the pet store, wasn't on my agenda. I went and got the item in question, and then told my daughter, it's here, .. so when you get home, grab the soup that I made for g'ma, and the medicine that I picked up, and haul it out there, and so you won't have to go to the pet supply store, and now if you want, maybe just suggest to your g'ma, that she make a list, and that way you can zip through the grocery and grab the thing she needs.

She got to the g'mother's with the medicine I'd picked up, and the meal that I'd prepared for her, and g'ma wanted to "go" to the grocery, as opposed to making a list.

I was there on Tuesday, of this week, so she could bathe, that's the express reason I went, and took for her, a couple of dinners that I'd prepared, and set aside. When I got there, she asked if I had time to run her to the bank. The bank is 20 mins back this way ... where I just came from. Had I known she needed cash, I'd of gladly stopped at the ATM and withdrawn funds from my own acct., and let her write me a check. But I had no cash on me to make that happen. I felt bad telling her no. So agreed to do so. Waited for her to get her shower, .. and then we set out for the bank. Once at the bank, she asked if we could go to the pet store, .. for dog food. We went then, to the pet store.

Mind you, she has mobility issues and so taking her anywhere, takes much much longer than most of us can zip in and out of some place. So we got to the pet store, and amble our way through that. Then she wants to go to lunch. So off we go to have lunch out. I didn't have the heart to tell her no, and I usually don't have the heart to do so. She so rarely gets out, .. all but a shut in. She can't navigate real well on her own, to be able to go grab a lunch out on her own. She so rarely gets any socialization, .. other than what we can provide that comes along with whatever chore we're there to see to.

In the face of daughter's dilemma today, all she'd agreed to do was the visiting so mil can bathe. Then mil adds to it, can we go to the pet store, can we go to the grocery. Daughter didn't have time (see above, because it takes her so long to navigate around). Daughter typically takes her weekly to the grocery and/or goes for her, whichever works out.

I did communicate with sil, and told her these are the things I'm referring to. If we could maybe get "some" outside help involved here, .. that way we can pick up some of the slack, instead of having to be all things, socialization, and cook, house-keeper, etc etc.

The only feedback from sil, was "ya know I wonder if she really needs someone there so she can shower, I don't know .. I asked her the other day and she said she really does ... but I don't know .... maybe you guys can cut back on doing that for her ... maybe I need to talk to her about it more". Followed by: "I didn't know she needed to go do all that, ... I just talked to her and told her that ______________(my daughter) was going to call her on her break at work, and ck with her about coming out so she can bathe, and she never mentioned needing to go anywhere else".

That's the response I got.

Thus the reason I say, should my approach be, 'just back off, .. and do what I'm willing to do, whatever that is, .. prepare meals and maybe go out there one day a week, .. and the other daughters, they seem to go one day a week also, but needs outside of that, they just go unanswered, *unless it's an emergency of course*?

Do I need to just back out of it?

I did tell her son, (my husband) of todays' dilemma which seems to reoccur frequently, and his only response was, "why did she do that?" (speaking of his mother). I answered that with, "that's what I keep telling you, she needs more help than we can give her consistently". His response beyond that was, "well do I need to go run out there and get her to the store?". Of course, daughter was already on that mission, at the very moment he said that.

This goes on weekly. Last week, the other daughter out there to clean house. She was back home (I care for her toddler when she goes out there). She was there for 4 + hours (because part of that is spent "visiting" her lonely grandmother and having a sandwich with her, to give her some company. She'd long since come home, when I got a text from the sil 1K miles away. Would you ask _______________(my husband) if he goes back out there to work on her fence/gate, that she has a load of towels in the dryer that need to be folded, she forgot to tell _____________(my daughter) when she was out there today. And when _______________(my other daughter) goes tomorrow, can you have her Swifter the kitchen floor _____________1st daughter that was there cleaning, had run out of time and so didn't get to that.

So when the daughter went out there to go to the grocery, she did go ahead and fold the towels that hadn't been folded, .. and Swiftered the floor, and took mil to the grocery. And then mil wanted to have a sandwich and sit and visit. All of this, took more time than daughter really wanted to devote to it.

Point is, this goes on weekly, ....
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
I should add....my mom didn't want in home care for my dad, or for herself, but she was willing to accept a 'handy-man'. He does all kinds of chores around the house, anything she asks. She makes lunch for him and he chats with her. He is the ideal 'husband' for her.

Anyway, i think a fib like telling our elders they are getting a handy man instead of a home health worker is worthwhile sometimes.
I have also had friends whose parents refused to have help finally agree to have a "cleaning lady" come in a couple of times a week. The cleaning lady did the typical chores (sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, making beds, washing dishes, etc.) at first and once the parents were happy with her and her work the children extended her hours & duties to do some cooking or play card games or drive the parents to the grocery store or whatever were their biggest needs. (BTW, the "cleaning lady" always knew that she was really hired to do more than just cleaning).
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,899 posts, read 17,209,728 times
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Originally Posted by nnyl View Post
She has a reverse mortgage, no assets to speak of really.

So, protecting her assets via a will, not really an issue. She does have a small will, which dictates who gets her car, her home furnishings, etc., but that's about it.

I guess my question needs to be, since I'm the one here, on the scene. I can't get sil on the same page. She comes into town periodically, and when she comes, she literally does everything short of breathe for her mom. My husband, her son, his involvement seems to extend to fixing the various things that break in a typical home, in which case he goes and fixes it, and perhaps visits with her some. He and I both take her, occasionally, out to dinner. But the running to docs, scheduling appts., going so that she can shower, the grocery/errands, the cooking so she can eat nutritiously, the house-keeping, all done by me, and our daughters.

My question is why? Can't your husband take her to the doctor? Can't your husband drive her to the grocery store or on errands? Can't he help with the housework? Can't he make food and take it to her?

I guess my question boils down to, since I'm apparently not very successful at getting the attention of her two biological children, to get them to recognize that "something needs to give here", even though I'm shouting it from the rooftops as myself and our daughters run hither and yon, buttoning down yet one more grocery trip, one more meal, one more scheduled doc visit, one more errand, one more house cleaning session, one more sitting so she can shower, ..

Do I step back, and not be as "available".

Yes, I have seen that help several times with friends with "clueless" husbands or siblings.

I think the problem boils down to, getting the attention of the two biological children in this case, her son .. who is my husband, and her daughter, .. residing 1K miles away.

Our daughters, today a great example. Daughter works f/t. She contacted her g'mother, at my request, "it's time that your grandmother get a shower ... I was last there on Tuesday, so she could do so, I asked her yesterday if she needed me to come so she could bathe and she said that no, she was fine, but maybe tomorrow (which is today). So if you could, please contact her, on your break, to see if it'd be alright for you to come out when you get off work today (which for her as at 2:30 PM, she works about 30 mins away, and g'mother's house is approximately another 20 mins. farther).

So she contacted g'mother to ask if she could maybe come out, probably get there about 3:30 and that way g'mother can get a shower. The response she got was: "yes, that would be great, if you could come on out at 3:30 .. and then when I finish my shower, if you can, I need to go to Petsmart, and then to the grocery store, if you have time to take me".

This daughter is 23 yo, lives at home with me.

She called me in a kind of frenzy "Mom, I don't have time for all that, I feel bad telling her no, .. .but I don't have time, it takes her forever to take a shower, because she's so incapacitated, and that's one thing, but then to have to help her navigate to the car, and then go to Petsmart, which is 20 mins. back this way .. and then her navigate so slowly around Petsmart, .. and then to the grocery, same thing ... she is so slow, she can't move fast, and I don't have time for this".

I asked my daughter what she needs from Petsmart, since I'd just taken her on Tuesday. My daughter said she didn't know, something for her dog's hip.

SIGH

So what I did was ascertain what it is she needs from the Pet supply store, and I went to retrieve it, .. even though another trip this week to the pet store, wasn't on my agenda. I went and got the item in question, and then told my daughter, it's here, .. so when you get home, grab the soup that I made for g'ma, and the medicine that I picked up, and haul it out there, and so you won't have to go to the pet supply store, and now if you want, maybe just suggest to your g'ma, that she make a list, and that way you can zip through the grocery and grab the thing she needs.

She got to the g'mother's with the medicine I'd picked up, and the meal that I'd prepared for her, and g'ma wanted to "go" to the grocery, as opposed to making a list.

I was there on Tuesday, of this week, so she could bathe, that's the express reason I went, and took for her, a couple of dinners that I'd prepared, and set aside. When I got there, she asked if I had time to run her to the bank. The bank is 20 mins back this way ... where I just came from. Had I known she needed cash, I'd of gladly stopped at the ATM and withdrawn funds from my own acct., and let her write me a check. But I had no cash on me to make that happen. I felt bad telling her no. So agreed to do so. Waited for her to get her shower, .. and then we set out for the bank. Once at the bank, she asked if we could go to the pet store, .. for dog food. We went then, to the pet store.

Mind you, she has mobility issues and so taking her anywhere, takes much much longer than most of us can zip in and out of some place. So we got to the pet store, and amble our way through that. Then she wants to go to lunch. So off we go to have lunch out. I didn't have the heart to tell her no, and I usually don't have the heart to do so. She so rarely gets out, .. all but a shut in. She can't navigate real well on her own, to be able to go grab a lunch out on her own. She so rarely gets any socialization, .. other than what we can provide that comes along with whatever chore we're there to see to.

In the face of daughter's dilemma today, all she'd agreed to do was the visiting so mil can bathe. Then mil adds to it, can we go to the pet store, can we go to the grocery. Daughter didn't have time (see above, because it takes her so long to navigate around). Daughter typically takes her weekly to the grocery and/or goes for her, whichever works out.

I did communicate with sil, and told her these are the things I'm referring to. If we could maybe get "some" outside help involved here, .. that way we can pick up some of the slack, instead of having to be all things, socialization, and cook, house-keeper, etc etc.

The only feedback from sil, was "ya know I wonder if she really needs someone there so she can shower, I don't know .. I asked her the other day and she said she really does ... but I don't know .... maybe you guys can cut back on doing that for her ... maybe I need to talk to her about it more". Followed by: "I didn't know she needed to go do all that, ... I just talked to her and told her that ______________(my daughter) was going to call her on her break at work, and ck with her about coming out so she can bathe, and she never mentioned needing to go anywhere else".

That's the response I got.

Thus the reason I say, should my approach be, 'just back off, .. and do what I'm willing to do, whatever that is, .. prepare meals and maybe go out there one day a week, .. and the other daughters, they seem to go one day a week also, but needs outside of that, they just go unanswered, *unless it's an emergency of course*?

Do I need to just back out of it?

I did tell her son, (my husband) of todays' dilemma which seems to reoccur frequently, and his only response was, "why did she do that?" (speaking of his mother). I answered that with, "that's what I keep telling you, she needs more help than we can give her consistently". His response beyond that was, "well do I need to go run out there and get her to the store?". Of course, daughter was already on that mission, at the very moment he said that.

This goes on weekly. Last week, the other daughter out there to clean house. She was back home (I care for her toddler when she goes out there). She was there for 4 + hours (because part of that is spent "visiting" her lonely grandmother and having a sandwich with her, to give her some company. She'd long since come home, when I got a text from the sil 1K miles away. Would you ask _______________(my husband) if he goes back out there to work on her fence/gate, that she has a load of towels in the dryer that need to be folded, she forgot to tell _____________(my daughter) when she was out there today. And when _______________(my other daughter) goes tomorrow, can you have her Swifter the kitchen floor _____________1st daughter that was there cleaning, had run out of time and so didn't get to that.

So when the daughter went out there to go to the grocery, she did go ahead and fold the towels that hadn't been folded, .. and Swiftered the floor, and took mil to the grocery. And then mil wanted to have a sandwich and sit and visit. All of this, took more time than daughter really wanted to devote to it.

Point is, this goes on weekly, ....

A few comments in red.

I will share what a friend of mine did when her MIL started to become more and more demanding and her husband did not "see" it, mainly because her husband rarely did any of the ongoing work himself, like the cleaning or cooking or running errands or companionship. Hubby did do a few things like mowing the lawn & repair work that did not happen as often. Both of them worked full time.

After warning after warning to her husband that she was worn out and needed his help she simply told her husband and her MIL "No, I can not do it anymore" and stopped. Cold turkey, never did another thing for her again.

My friend told her husband, she is your mother and you are welcome to spend every night and all day Saturday & Sunday there but I am not doing it anymore. The husband had absolutely no idea how much work & how demanding & how critical his mother was until he took over all of the things that his wife had been doing. Very soon after that he convinced his mother to move out of the huge house in the country, with all of the upkeep, and all of her need for help and move into a senior living facility in the city with easy access to grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.

OP, what if you and daughters did a "work slow down"? Perhaps, you and your daughters could go on a mini-vacation and let your husband handle everything for a long weekend or for a full week? My friend had been telling her husband for years that his mom was "running her ragged" with all of her demands but her husband did not understand it until he had to do all of the tasks himself.

OP, another thing that I have had friends do is set up a schedule and stick to it. Perhaps, you could allot two afternoons a week and daughter can do one evening and if it does not get done during that time either her son has to do it or it has to wait until the next time someone comes. So, if MIL needs to go to the bank or get groceries or go to Pet Smart, she needs to let people know in advance as they are not making extra trips. One trip to the grocery store a week.


I know someone who took her mother (who lived in a different city) to the grocery store once a month. And, once a week would bring her mom milk, juice, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (only what Mom had on the list). Her mom managed to plan ahead & "eat from her pantry" for an entire month because she knew that her daughter did not have the time to take her more often.


I hope that you can get ideas of things that may work in your situation. Good luck.

Last edited by germaine2626; 02-12-2016 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nnyl View Post

I think the problem boils down to, getting the attention of the two biological children in this case, her son .. who is my husband, and her daughter, .. residing 1K miles away.

Our daughters, today a great example. Daughter works f/t. She contacted her g'mother, at my request, "it's time that your grandmother get a shower ... I was last there on Tuesday, so she could do so, I asked her yesterday if she needed me to come so she could bathe and she said that no, she was fine, but maybe tomorrow (which is today). So if you could, please contact her, on your break, to see if it'd be alright for you to come out when you get off work today (which for her as at 2:30 PM, she works about 30 mins away, and g'mother's house is approximately another 20 mins. farther).

So she contacted g'mother to ask if she could maybe come out, probably get there about 3:30 and that way g'mother can get a shower. The response she got was: "yes, that would be great, if you could come on out at 3:30 .. and then when I finish my shower, if you can, I need to go to Petsmart, and then to the grocery store, if you have time to take me".
...
She called me in a kind of frenzy "Mom, I don't have time for all that, I feel bad telling her no, .. .but I don't have time, it takes her forever to take a shower, because she's so incapacitated, and that's one thing, but then to have to help her navigate to the car, and then go to Petsmart, which is 20 mins. back this way .. and then her navigate so slowly around Petsmart, .. and then to the grocery, same thing ... she is so slow, she can't move fast, and I don't have time for this".

I asked my daughter what she needs from Petsmart, since I'd just taken her on Tuesday. My daughter said she didn't know, something for her dog's hip.

SIGH

So what I did was ascertain what it is she needs from the Pet supply store, and I went to retrieve it, .. even though another trip this week to the pet store, wasn't on my agenda. I went and got the item in question, and then told my daughter, it's here, .. so when you get home, grab the soup that I made for g'ma, and the medicine that I picked up, and haul it out there, and so you won't have to go to the pet supply store, and now if you want, maybe just suggest to your g'ma, that she make a list, and that way you can zip through the grocery and grab the thing she needs.

She got to the g'mother's with the medicine I'd picked up, and the meal that I'd prepared for her, and g'ma wanted to "go" to the grocery, as opposed to making a list.

I was there on Tuesday, of this week, so she could bathe, that's the express reason I went, and took for her, a couple of dinners that I'd prepared, and set aside. When I got there, she asked if I had time to run her to the bank. The bank is 20 mins back this way ... where I just came from. Had I known she needed cash, I'd of gladly stopped at the ATM and withdrawn funds from my own acct., and let her write me a check. But I had no cash on me to make that happen. I felt bad telling her no. So agreed to do so. Waited for her to get her shower, .. and then we set out for the bank. Once at the bank, she asked if we could go to the pet store, .. for dog food. We went then, to the pet store.

Mind you, she has mobility issues and so taking her anywhere, takes much much longer than most of us can zip in and out of some place. So we got to the pet store, and amble our way through that. Then she wants to go to lunch. So off we go to have lunch out. I didn't have the heart to tell her no, and I usually don't have the heart to do so. She so rarely gets out, .. all but a shut in. She can't navigate real well on her own, to be able to go grab a lunch out on her own. She so rarely gets any socialization, .. other than what we can provide that comes along with whatever chore we're there to see to.
.......
Point is, this goes on weekly, ....

Oh boy do I know this story!

My mother does the same bootstrapping maneuver. Tries to take a mile every time you offer an inch. Offer to do one thing for her only to be faced with a whole list of other stuff that she needs before you go. Often a series of errands that stretch over a mealtime so you have to go out to eat with her as well. And it does take forever to escort a person with limited mobility in and out of the car, in and out of doorways and store aisles and elevators and whatnot. It's very taxing, I know.

A big part of the problem is that you all feel sorry for her so you won't say no. You have allowed MIL to dictate too much for too long. Your daughter should have just said to her "I can't go out for errands today. After your shower, I have to get home." And you should not have jumped in and tried to patch together a way for your MIL to get everything she asked for without your daughter having to sacrifice too much time. Your MIL has to learn to moderate her demands, and that won't happen unless all of you learn to manage her expectations.

I'm not suggesting you back out. I'm suggesting you stay involved but learn how to say enough is enough. IMO, your MIL should not have a pet since she's not capable of taking care of the pet's needs, and it just puts extra strain on the helpers. Likewise, it's too bad if she doesn't want to give you a list but wants another outing to the store. Tell her she needs to provide a list if she wants to get the items on the list. It seems to me you're looking for every possible solution to MIL's excessive demands other than just learning to set limits. But I think setting limits is what you need you to do.

It's sad when a person is old and frail and can't do for themselves, and can't get out when they want to. It's sad but you can't fix it for her, and your daughters can't fix it for her, and SIL can't fix it for her. She needs to accept the amount of help people are willing to give her, and stop trying to take that mile every time she gets an inch. That's won't happen as long as all of you are running around like headless chickens trying to figure out how to satisfy her every wish and whim.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:32 PM
 
4,643 posts, read 3,968,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I have also had friends whose parents refused to have help finally agree to have a "cleaning lady" come in a couple of times a week. The cleaning lady did the typical chores (sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, making beds, washing dishes, etc.) at first and once the parents were happy with her and her work the children extended her hours & duties to do some cooking or play card games or drive the parents to the grocery store or whatever were their biggest needs. (BTW, the "cleaning lady" always knew that she was really hired to do more than just cleaning).
This.
Actually it sounds like your mother in law needs someone to live with her.

Perhaps write down a two week diary for your husband to see what everyone does.

SIL sounds maxed out.

Last edited by historyfan; 02-12-2016 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:45 PM
 
9,664 posts, read 15,796,249 times
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Meals on Wheels has been mentioned many times here, but do any of you know what you're talking about? Or is it just something that sounds good?


MOW has income limits. If you're over a certain income, you don't qualify. And you can't pay for it if you're over the limit. I know, I tried to obtain their services for my parents at different times, that's what I was told.


As one who has been given a ton of "advice" over the years, I am sick of advice from people who haven't the faintest idea WTH they're talking about. There is no "grand solution" out there that people don't utilize simply because they are too stupid, lazy, or uninformed to access. It seems the less one knows WTH they're talking about, the more insistent they are you're going to follow their "suggestions".
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