My wife and I took in her mother 6 months ago because she fell a lot. We felt it was the best thing to do, but now I want her gone! The issue is that she is always in the way. She insists on doing things HER way. We have to plan our meals around her. We have to plan our times away around her. If we don't include her, she pouts. In addition, my wife has developed mixed connective tissue syndrome and is constantly in pain. Yet, her mother feels she should shuttle her everywhere and constantly lift her walker in and out of the car. My wife and I are both around 60 and still work, yet she thinks my wife should spend more time with her taking her shopping and driving around. She hates our pets and puts trash bags on her chair so she won't get any cat hair on her! She is very, very slow. She has a lot of water retention in her legs and has to use a walker. She claims she is an independent woman but has to have us to take her places. Oh, she will wash her own laundry and dishes but get in our way so much, we don't have the opportunity to keep up with our OWN dishes and laundry. She insists on going to the store. My wife and I no longer have "us" time. Our whole home is now operating on what she wants. Despite having the mobility issues, she insists she will drive again when she's already had a few minor accidents but won't give up her car. My wife and I...we've prayed, we've cried, we've cussed and fussed and have just about thrown our hands up. Her mom keeps saying "don't you put me in a (nursing) home", so we feel stuck with this woman who will not compromise in any way about anything except HER way!

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You made a mistake bc it seemed like the Right Thing To Do at the time. It wasn't.

The right thing to do now is give her a reasonable move out date, doctors orders for your wife who's NOT to have any stress in her life, and then tour some Assisted Living places for her to select. Her choice. AL offers her autonomy which is a beautiful thing, and socialization w elders her own age who she can kvetch with at the horrrrrrible dinners they serve the poor souls every night which aren't enough to fill a cavity. Meanwhile, you'll notice her behind widening like a bread delivery truck from all that horrrrible food! 😂🤣😁

My mother lived her best life in AL where she could put on the Ritz for others and spare her family the bitter histrionics she'd never display for strangers.

Take your lives back now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for ANY of us. Live life on YOUR terms while you have that opportunity. Mom will be better than fine in her own place, trust me.
Helpful Answer (34)
Reply to lealonnie1
AlvaDeer Mar 21, 2023
I will second this post!!!!
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I work in a hospital. We deal with this all the time. We give our stubborn patients options: A or B. We don't bargain, and we don't give in, but we do give them choices so they have some control in their environment or schedule. Examples: I have 10 min to rearrange your room, once done, we wont move any more furniture (yes, that's a thing). Physical therapy is at 10am, you participate with the group, or alone in your room without supervision. Dinner is at 5. Eat when it's fresh, or eat it cold, the tray is removed at 7. You can have a shower at 8 or supplies to clean up at the sink. We treat them like teenagers in a way. For your mom, suggest she can do her laundry on Tuesday or Friday (any day that works for your family). She picks, and that is her day forever. You can offer her rides on Wednesday morning or Thursday afternoon (again, what is best for the whole family). It may take a few weeks, but she'll get the hang of it.
I had a similar problem when my Dad moved in. After a few months, we came to an arrangement. At home, my father (90) does laundry on Monday, that's his day. We run his errands on Tuesday; so all doctor appointments, shopping trips, dry cleaning, etc are scheduled for Tuesdays. I do dishes on odd numbered days, he does dishes on even numbered days. Dad has a night out with friends, I drop off and pick up. We go out to eat once a week, his treat (instead of burning the house down trying to cook). We discuss the calendar every two weeks so things don't surprise us. We are flexible for changes as needed. But we don't have the emotional roller coaster of conflicting schedules, or competing power any more.
I suspect some of this is her misplaced need to feel important.
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Reply to jtompkins12
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 27, 2023
Hey, great option to go out to eat instead of burning the house down! Thanks for the giggle. Love your sense of humor. 😁
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Let her pout.

No one has ever died from pouting.

Learn to say no.

Then, say yes to all of the brilliant advice you’ve been given here.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to cxmoody

You've got yourself a senior brat. They're the same as a kid brat only old.
You deal with a senior brat the same way you deal with a kid one.
I don't know if you have any kids of your own but even if you don't ask yourself this question.

How long would I put up with my MIL's behavior if it was coming from a child?

All of five minutes. You put up with it from an adult half that long.

MIL gets told TODAY that either she shapes up or she ships out. When she says 'jump' you and your wife don't say 'how high'.
You and your wife say, 'when I'm damn well ready and if you ask again the answer will be no'.

Make sure she really knows that the nursing home will ALWAYS be an option. In fact, I would even suggest that you strategically place pamplets from different nursing homes and residential LTC facilities in areas of the house where she is sure to see them. Visual reminders may be just what she needs to keep her in line and respecting boundaries.
That if she gets too stubborn, too pushy, too entitled, or too fussy you and your wife will not hesitate to place her.
Starting today, she gets a bedtime. We will for our overly-sensitive forum members call it a 'retirement time'. At a certain time of night (set by the two of you), MIL retires to her bedroom. She doesn't have to go to sleep. She can watch tv, read, go online, take up knitting - whatever. She stays in her room though. The kitchen is closed to her. The rest of the house save the bathroom is closed to her. No one talks to her after hours because it's not her time.
It is your time with your wife.
Lay down the law with her today, my friend. If she will not live by your rules and be respectful of your boundaries in the home, then she will be calling another place home. Stay strong.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
irwind45150 Mar 27, 2023
BurntCaregiver .... Nailed it. This MIL is reliving her Terrible Twos as a senior and attempting to get away with it. Your advice is on the money. My only other suggestion might be if there are other siblings for the wife, get them involved (if possible). I'm not saying they should take MIL to live in their home; they just need to be there for the independent, AL, LTC Facility discussion.
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She says “don’t put me in a nursing home.” I’d put the responsibility back on her with “our home, our rules and if that doesn’t work for you, it’s unfortunate and you need to find a place where you’ll be happy.” Then stick to your guns.
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Reply to Erikka

"Her mom keeps saying "don't you put me in a (nursing) home".

This would be my reply.

Well Mother, it's YOUR life.
It's up to YOU where you live (from the available, suitable & affordable options).

Either in your own place alone - or a group living type of place.

We offered to put you up as a temporary arrangement but it is time for longer term plans now.

We all age. We all will need more help as we age. It is a big adjustment to make, but you will. You are not alone - we can help you find solutions - but we cannot be your ONLY support or solutions.

We can help you to find what options are available to you. Let's call our local council Aged Care office to start with.

That's the long version..

Expect tantrums.
Expect tears.
Expect manipulation.
Expect to have this conversation at least 6 times. (Was told that by a professional councellor).

Keep the focus on the future plan. A plan that works for ALL of you.
Simplify the message to MIL as you need: *Finding you a new home*. Keep on with that message until the task is done.
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Reply to Beatty

Oh my gosh. After reading your post, I am having a million flashbacks of my own life with my mom when she lived in our home.

My mom lived to be 95. She had Parkinson’s disease and fell quite a bit, so I totally relate to your posting.

I certainly feel your pain.

My mother was independent when she was younger and it definitely hurt her to become dependent on others for help. I understand this. We all want to remain as independent as long as possible.

I asked my mother when my father died if she would like to move in with us. She said, “No, the house is paid for and I would like to stay here as long as I can.” I respected her decision.

She didn’t have as many Parkinson’s symptoms earlier in her life. Her doctor did tell her not to continue driving. So, I took her to her doctor appointments and other errands.

When hurricane Katrina destroyed her home, she became instantly homeless and we took her into our home. At this point, we were all devastated and all I wanted to do was to comfort my mom.

As you know, too much togetherness in a family for longer periods of time can become very stressful. It’s difficult.

As someone who has been in your shoes, I sincerely encourage you to speak to your wife and ask her to tell her that she needs to live in a facility.

Let me tell you what my husband told me one day when I was discussing the situation with him. He said, “Honey, your mom complains if you don’t do what she asks of you. She complains if you do everything that she asks of you. So, why are you doing it?” He was right!

Of course, people are going to be afraid of the unknown. Plus, they have memories of nursing homes from way back that weren’t so nice.

My mom died in an ‘end of life’ hospice care home which was lovely. She received excellent care. She adored her nurse and aides. They were so kind to her.

Mom was actually relieved that her children were no longer burdened with her care. She had been praying for a solution for everyone.

She acclimated beautifully to her new surroundings. In time your mother in law will too. If she doesn’t, oh well…we don’t get everything we want in life.

Wishing you peace as you continue on in your caregiving journey.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

You set an "appointment" with your mother-in-law to have the conversation. Set the time for when she is not doing laundry, tired, or otherwise occupied being in your way. Tell her that it's an important conversation and you expect her to take it seriously because it's about *all* of your futures.

Once you're all sitting down and you have her undivided attention, start with a clear statement about how your current living situation is no longer working because of the size of your house, your wife's health and your own. And that you and your wife will help her figure out her finances, set a budget for herself, and find the best place that she can afford.

Be ready for her reaction to be not good. Stick to the facts - that your wife is unwell, that your house is too small for 3 adults - and that this decision that you and your wife have made regarding her living with you is not up for discussion.

Also be ready to have this discussion on a weekly basis as you find more possible places for her to live and schedule a tour. You have to make this real for her because she cannot drive and she will not pick up the phone and make these appointments for herself. You will have to drive this change!

I see LOTS of senior apartments in Bowling Green. Get her on the list for all of the ones within her price range. And when one is available, take her to sign the lease and help her move in. Acknowledge that this will be a huge change for her but that it is necessary.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

"Mom, this isn't working out for me. You will have to make other arrangements about where to live. I can help you with that, but living together isn't working."
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Sounds like elderly lady behavior to me. They are self centered, slow, needy and usually in the way. I assume I will be the same at my moms age of 90. Your mom is Assisted Living care level. You can be her care giver or ….sometimes we have to save ourselves…Caregiving is a brutal job. I personally was not emotionally physically wired for that job full time. We chose AL…mom liked it once she got there..lots of attention. Lots to do. Consider AL.
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Reply to Sadinroanokeva

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