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Old 02-13-2016, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,063 posts, read 17,389,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnyl View Post


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.

I understand that she's lonely.
Have you checked out all of the free or low cost senior centers or adult day care centers in your area, to help satisfy her needs for socialization? Perhaps, she can be dropped off in the morning and picked up later in the day. In my area, most have free or low cost transportation by vans or you can arrange free transportation from volunteers. Some programs offer a free or reduced cost meal, too.

My mother was cognitively normal but housebound then bedridden the last years of her life but still maintained an active social life via the phone. She had several elderly friends who were also housebound and they spoke on the phone every day. My mother also was friends with several younger women who needed someone to talk to (such as the middle age neighbor who was suddenly widowed, or a friend of a friend who was stuck at home after they broke their pelvis). While my mom, thought that she was mostly helping them, they were helping her as well.

She also was also close friends with several neighbor children (age 10 to 14) who stopped by a couple times a week just to chat for a half hour or so after school. They would often bring in her mail or pick up things that she dropped on the floor. Sometimes she would help them with their homework as their parents were still at work.

Are there people connected to your MIL's church or neighbors that can help with socialization issue by talking to your MIL? Perhaps, you need to "think outside the box" to find more social outlets for her so that she is not just relying on a very few people.


Again, these are just "band aide" suggestions but may help until bigger changes are made.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:46 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,358 posts, read 7,754,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Your husband should bring her the food. This way he can see what challenges she has. He needs to be the one spending more time with her so he can see how taxing it is and what needs to be taken care of. She's his mother not yours.

And please stop telling your daughters how often to visit and take care of grandma. Ask them if the would be ok with one day a week. If not, that's ok. They have their own lives. How on earth can they date or have friends plus work when they HAVE to take care of grandma 2-3-4 days a week? That's not fair to them. She is not their responsibility. If they would like to help out 1 day a week that's fine, but no more.

I won't tell you where I would tell both your MIL and SIL to put those sticks from the yard! You can imagine. MIL is bored and lonely and has nothing to do all day so she's looking for stupid crap to b***c about. Playing the sympathy card....oh I need help....no one does anything for me.....tugging at those heart strings. My mother does this and she's not elderly...she's just a witch.

I'd also let SIL's calls go to voicemail periodically. She's not helping by asking/demanding others do all these things. She kind of needs to mind her own business. She's not there so she doesn't really know what's going on.

When calls and says mom needs blah blah blah, let her know it will go on the list and be taken care of as soon as possible. If it has to wait until Tuesday or Friday or whenever, so be it. You all can't keep dropping everything because she needs something.


We went through this with my husband's grandfather and his parents. His grandfather was one of the most miserable people I've ever met. I figured out why and people said no that's not it. He was over 90. ALL of his friends had died years ago. His wife had been gone for well over a decade when I joined the family. His lady friend died and then he really became horrible. He was a crotchety man before that, but after losing her he became absolutely unbearable.

My husband and I went somewhere with him and we took 2 cars. Holy moly! The man couldn't start the car with his right hand because it wouldn't move due to a stroke. He couldn't drive above 20 miles an hour. He was weaving in the 2 lanes like crazy and drove straight up the street most of the time. That was the most terrifying 30 minutes of my life and we were behind him.

We said something to my husband's father that evening. We were blown off. Of course a blind man can't see how his father's driving! We were told we were exaggerating and blowing it all out of proportion. I asked if they would listen if he got into an accident or killed someone. I was this horrible daughter-in-law....crazy me thinking of others on the road and the crazy old guy.

It took a few more years before his doctors FINALLY suspended his driving privileges. He had another stroke and lost a great deal of mobility. He fought tooth and nail about going to assisted living. He fought even harder when he had to move to a nursing home. He was an absolute nightmare to deal with. I kept saying people just needed to say no. They would come back with he's old and helpless....EXACTLY!!!! Taking care of the elderly can be just like taking care of a baby in many ways except they are much larger and talk.
I don't agree with the advice to stop telling grandchildren to visit or help out. Why shouldn't they help out one day a week? We teach the younger generation how to be compassionate and caring through our actions and what does it teach kids when we excuse them from all family responsibility? They aren't just helping out grandma, they are also helping out their own parents in the process of helping a grandparent. When my brother and I were share-caring my dad in his home over the last five years of his life a grandson cut his grass each week and a granddaughter did a weekly cleaning which really helped out my brother and me. They grew up to be great, caring adults who were not scarred by seeing the realities of end of life issues. Besides, my father gave his grandkids lots of his time and attention when they were growing up, they were only returning in kind when he needed their time and attention.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,780,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayland Woman View Post
I don't agree with the advice to stop telling grandchildren to visit or help out. Why shouldn't they help out one day a week? We teach the younger generation how to be compassionate and caring through our actions and what does it teach kids when we excuse them from all family responsibility? They aren't just helping out grandma, they are also helping out their own parents in the process of helping a grandparent. When my brother and I were share-caring my dad in his home over the last five years of his life a grandson cut his grass each week and a granddaughter did a weekly cleaning which really helped out my brother and me. They grew up to be great, caring adults who were not scarred by seeing the realities of end of life issues. Besides, my father gave his grandkids lots of his time and attention when they were growing up, they were only returning in kind when he needed their time and attention.
I said to stop asking them to help MORE than one day a week! If you're going to quote me and say you disagree with me, at least read what I wrote. You said I said something that I did NOT say.

If they don't want to help, they shouldn't be forced or harassed into helping grandma. They are adults. They have lives. Grandma needs to learn that life changes and she must change. She has everyone of the ladies in the family at her beckon call. She's abusing her grandma privileges!
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,063 posts, read 17,389,275 times
Reputation: 41538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayland Woman View Post
I don't agree with the advice to stop telling grandchildren to visit or help out. Why shouldn't they help out one day a week? We teach the younger generation how to be compassionate and caring through our actions and what does it teach kids when we excuse them from all family responsibility? They aren't just helping out grandma, they are also helping out their own parents in the process of helping a grandparent. When my brother and I were share-caring my dad in his home over the last five years of his life a grandson cut his grass each week and a granddaughter did a weekly cleaning which really helped out my brother and me. They grew up to be great, caring adults who were not scarred by seeing the realities of end of life issues. Besides, my father gave his grandkids lots of his time and attention when they were growing up, they were only returning in kind when he needed their time and attention.

I think that the poster meant that parents should stop "telling" (ie, demanding) their children to help their grandparents. Or grandparents demanding help from their grandchildren.

Or, insisting that their children help the grandparents an excessive amount of time, even if they were forced to cancel their own plans. BTW, I have seen parents do that.

Sort of if you told your daughter that she HAD to clean for her grandparents several times each week even if it meant that she had to drop out of drama club, soccer or something like that. Or if you told the grandson that in addition to mowing the lawn once a week, he had to come to do additional things every Wednesday and Friday nights, as well (even if he already had plans or a job those days).

I don't think that it meant that parents should discourage their children from helping their grandparents.


PS. In this case (this thread), it appears that the grandmother is overly demanding and inconsiderate of the time that her DIL and granddaughters help her and is always manipulating and insisting on more and more and more from them. IMHO, that is not right.

Last edited by germaine2626; 02-13-2016 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: added PS.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:42 PM
 
576 posts, read 854,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post


PS. In this case (this thread), it appears that the grandmother is overly demanding and inconsiderate of the time that her DIL and granddaughters help her and is always manipulating and insisting on more and more and more from them. IMHO, that is not right.

This is exactly on point, the above. I don't demand that my grown daughters do any of what they do, not in the least. They do what they do for her, because they love her. She was a wonderful g'ma to them when they were small, doing things like tea parties, hikes in the woods, playing tennis, trips to the beach, baking cookies, you name it. They love her.

I don't even think that the g'ma is *maliciously* manipulative. I see it that the g'mother has gotten so old that time, and what "time" means to the rest of the world who have to operate on a schedule, it's lost on her.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:49 PM
 
576 posts, read 854,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Have you checked out all of the free or low cost senior centers or adult day care centers in your area, to help satisfy her needs for socialization? Perhaps, she can be dropped off in the morning and picked up later in the day. In my area, most have free or low cost transportation by vans or you can arrange free transportation from volunteers. Some programs offer a free or reduced cost meal, too.


Are there people connected to your MIL's church or neighbors that can help with socialization issue by talking to your MIL? Perhaps, you need to "think outside the box" to find more social outlets for her so that she is not just relying on a very few people.


Again, these are just "band aide" suggestions but may help until bigger changes are made.

It's an interesting dichotomy. I had a g'mother that lived to be 90 years old. She went, every day of her life, even sometimes riding the senior bus to get there, to the senior center. There, a meal was served, and a quilting bee, and cards, and crafts and a geriatric exercise class. Numerous things she engaged in.

I know people are different.

Mil, wants no part of any of that. "Those people are old and decrepit". SIGH

Sil took her, to a senior center here, to try and show her that it's not filled with people on oxygen and wheelchair bound. She wanted no part of it. Hasn't been back. Won't be going back.

Mil, in her better days was active in her church, but that has long since gone by the wayside. There was a group of women, they met weekly for a bible study, on the church premises. It soon evolved into a setting where they rotated houses, and served refreshments. She partook, for a while, of that arrangement. But soon sent the group elsewhere. This done because mil truly has good days and bad days and she never knows from one day to the next, if she's going to feel up to it. So she long since departed from that group and has no interest in resuming her part in it.

This is why it was mentioned earlier, we are her everything, and it is taxing. We, the only family here locally, are her "social outlet", as well as her errand runner, house-keeping, etc etc.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Stephenville, Texas
957 posts, read 1,445,296 times
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IF she is truly broke, it might be good to start the process of getting her qualified for Medicaid. (It can take several months and varies by state.) I hate to say it, but it sounds to me as if at some point in time, she is going to have to go to a SNF. There is obviously some dementia involved, whether the family is willing to admit it or not. They may have to apply for guardianship.

But unless the family is willing to let her drive each of them insane, I just don't see how they could let things continue much longer the way they are going.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:07 PM
 
576 posts, read 854,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post



Obviously, it there are many problems. I think that you and your husband and his sister really have to sit down and discuss these issues before something major happens. Until then, we can suggest "band aide" solutions that will help a little but it is obvious that your MIL needs more help and more companionship than she is receiving right now.

BINGO.

That's precisely how it seems. Myself (the dil) and our grown daughters are jumping through hoops and dancing like circus clowns to keep all of this afloat.

I have shouted it from the rooftops to her daughter (living 1K miles away, and comes periodically), and I've done so with my husband (her son). To no avail. Either I'm not articulating what's going on very clearly, or they are just not wishing to actively address it. Not sure which.

WE NEED TO HIRE OUTSIDE HELP HERE!

The powers that be in this whole program, don't hear me.

If they do, they are choosing to ignore the elephant in the room.

I do love my mil, she has been a wonderful mil all through the years, and an excellent g'mother to our daughters. And I would love nothing more than to "enjoy" her in her waning years, rather than be the marionette that is being manipulated by all the myriad of texts/phone calls, chores, errands, etc etc.

I have said that, over and over, to no avail.

I've already resolved that I will take a different approach than has been the case previously. I won't go more than once a week, and only if it's an emergency. And an emergency is not "I ran out of pet food".

I will, as I've always done, with my grown daughters, continue to encourage that they do what they can, .. as was the case yesterday when my daughter called me frantic that she'd agreed to go be a presence so mil could take a shower, .. and take her to the grocery, only to find that mil now wanted to add on, a trip to the pet store, and daughter didn't have time for that. From now on, instead of me hustling to go to the pet store, to meet said need (I had already taken mil to the pet store two days prior, she forgot this other item, apparently). Instead of me hustling to the pet store, . it will just have to wait. Period. And if daughter's schedule is such that she can't accommodate the add'l requests, then so be it, that will have to suffice.

Sil's numerous texts and phone calls are going to be answered with, "Kinda busy right now, will talk to ya later". And that *later* will be, when it's convenient for me. And if it isn't convenient, then it too, will have to wait.

So the band-aids being offered here, are helpful in that they are offering some solutions to what is ailing this situation at the moment. Yes, there is a bigger picture here that needs to be dealt with. But in the end, I am a DIL, not a biological child, and I can be easily made into the big bad wolf in this whole thing and I refuse to go down that road. But I can also refuse to be a major player in it all, and that's what I'm going to do at this point.

It will take me working on me. I am a do-er. I solve problems, it's what I do, it's what I'm good at. So to leave problems *unsolved* goes against my nature, and it's something I will have to work on.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,564,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnyl View Post
This is exactly on point, the above. I don't demand that my grown daughters do any of what they do, not in the least. They do what they do for her, because they love her. She was a wonderful g'ma to them when they were small, doing things like tea parties, hikes in the woods, playing tennis, trips to the beach, baking cookies, you name it. They love her.

I don't even think that the g'ma is *maliciously* manipulative. I see it that the g'mother has gotten so old that time, and what "time" means to the rest of the world who have to operate on a schedule, it's lost on her.
I totally understand that 100%, but it's not an excuse and no reason why she should be allowed to manipulate you (and her grandchildren) the way she is doing. I completely understand your situation. My mother is near 90 and has been living with me for 10 years. She is lonely, physically disabled, frustrated by her inabilities, demanding, and OCD about everything she decides should be done at any given time. Of course I feel sorry for her. I try to make her life more pleasant and more enjoyable. But it's no reason she should ruin what very little of my own life I have left.

I have had to develop what I call "selective deafness" to keep from going insane. If I indulged her, she would run my life from the time I rise to the time she goes to bed. If she had her way, I would be her physical body and I would relinquish any free will I have.

I still do PLENTY of things I don't wish to do or on the time schedule I would choose. But we have very strict rules around here (just as she had for me when I was a kid) and I reinforce them every day. When she starts with the "suggestions" I simply ignore her. But when she escalates them to demands, we have immediate face-to-face talks in which she is told when and where what she wants will be done and she is forbidden to mention the situation again.

Seriously, do these elderly people think that if they were in assisted living they would be allowed to boss the help around the way they try to boss their children around? I remind my mother of that constantly. She was encouraged to go to assisted living and she was adamant that she would not. She chose to live with me over every other option. When she made that choice, she was told that meant she would be living in my house under my rules. She SAID she accepted that, then proceeded to try to change the way I do every little thing. Ten years in, and she tries my patience multiple times a week. But I make it work. She still thinks being here is preferable to other options.

I also have to be very adamant with my siblings that they take SOME responsibility for her on occasion. I can't count on them to do anything voluntarily other than call and chat with her. I have to make requests and appointments every time I need something. And they pretend to be agreeable but can seemingly postpone any actual caregiving for ages. I have gone as long as 18 MONTHS without having a single day off from caring for "OUR" mother. I hate having to be pushy with them, but it's the only time I ever get even a day to myself.

If we don't take care of our own needs, no one else will do it. I have read every one of your posts and I can say without a doubt you are being taken advantage of by your MIL, your SIL, and your own husband! You are setting a terrible example for your children. But these bad things are happening because YOU LET THEM HAPPEN. As the late, great Ann Landers used to say, you can only be used as a doormat when you lie down and let people walk on you.
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:10 PM
 
293 posts, read 438,606 times
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Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
I totally understand that 100%, but it's not an excuse and no reason why she should be allowed to manipulate you (and her grandchildren) the way she is doing. I completely understand your situation. My mother is near 90 and has been living with me for 10 years. She is lonely, physically disabled, frustrated by her inabilities, demanding, and OCD about everything she decides should be done at any given time. Of course I feel sorry for her. I try to make her life more pleasant and more enjoyable. But it's no reason she should ruin what very little of my own life I have left.

I have had to develop what I call "selective deafness" to keep from going insane. If I indulged her, she would run my life from the time I rise to the time she goes to bed. If she had her way, I would be her physical body and I would relinquish any free will I have.

I still do PLENTY of things I don't wish to do or on the time schedule I would choose. But we have very strict rules around here (just as she had for me when I was a kid) and I reinforce them every day. When she starts with the "suggestions" I simply ignore her. But when she escalates them to demands, we have immediate face-to-face talks in which she is told when and where what she wants will be done and she is forbidden to mention the situation again.

Seriously, do these elderly people think that if they were in assisted living they would be allowed to boss the help around the way they try to boss their children around? I remind my mother of that constantly. She was encouraged to go to assisted living and she was adamant that she would not. She chose to live with me over every other option. When she made that choice, she was told that meant she would be living in my house under my rules. She SAID she accepted that, then proceeded to try to change the way I do every little thing. Ten years in, and she tries my patience multiple times a week. But I make it work. She still thinks being here is preferable to other options.

I also have to be very adamant with my siblings that they take SOME responsibility for her on occasion. I can't count on them to do anything voluntarily other than call and chat with her. I have to make requests and appointments every time I need something. And they pretend to be agreeable but can seemingly postpone any actual caregiving for ages. I have gone as long as 18 MONTHS without having a single day off from caring for "OUR" mother. I hate having to be pushy with them, but it's the only time I ever get even a day to myself.

If we don't take care of our own needs, no one else will do it. I have read every one of your posts and I can say without a doubt you are being taken advantage of by your MIL, your SIL, and your own husband! You are setting a terrible example for your children. But these bad things are happening because YOU LET THEM HAPPEN. As the late, great Ann Landers used to say, you can only be used as a doormat when you lie down and let people walk on you.
I totally agree with the above, but wanted to comment on the "rhetorical question" highlighted in red. No, our parents don't think they'd be allowed to boss the help around in assisted living. That's why they would rather live at home and get help from their children. They expect to have control over us. They expect to be able to bend us to their will. That's why it's a constant battle to keep any kind of boundaries with them. It's even harder to stand up to them now that they're old because they're so pathetic and they expect you to do their bidding out of compassion if you won't do it out of respect for their authority.
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