I am a working full time mom of 3 kids who are very active in multiple travel sports. I live in my car basically. My husband works in multiple ERs so he has crazy hours and sometimes travels for a couple of days at a time. He is one of 9 kids, 2 being out of state. My MIL was not ready for a nursing home but couldn't live alone in a big house anymore after FIL passed a few years back. Family meetings among 9 siblings have come to a decision she would live with us until she is ready for the next step. (She is diabetic, losing her hearing, bad eye sight, she loves sweets and wine and bread and has an appetite of 2 grown men) I agreed to her moving in because we have an in-law suite downstairs. There were discussions that she would pay "rent" of a flat amount per month to save her from $3,500-4,600 a month in costs with assisted living/nursing homes. I was told $1,500 to cover expenses. Well almost 9 months later, not a dime has come to us. One BIL said $500 a month. Others laughed saying they will send their kids over to live with us for that amount. (such an insult). Other BIL says for me to gather expenses before and after to show the increase. I don't have time for that to dig up old bills and why am I the one doing the work to justify taking care of someone else's mom? I am good with her moving out after realizing how much work it really is. She is a lot more dependent than I thought. she makes more of a mess than being helpful. I am the one around her 99% of the time. We pay for everything. She is on our cell bill, she leaves all lights on, is wasteful with so much items like dish soap and paper towels uses 3-4 a day as coasters, eats SOOO much food which she doesn't prepare any meals, sometimes gets picky with her veggies, wants a salad with each meal, wants to be taken out often to eat and doesn't pay, won't eat leftovers despite saving every crumb, wants wine often (and in front of my kids!), sneaks their snacks and hides cookies around the house. I can go on and on about how all of a sudden I have a 4th dependent child on my hands. She interrupts me all day with 100 questions, wakes me up in the middle of the night bc her meter is going off. All these little things are taking a toll on me mentally and it is more annoying and frustrating. She also fights with my youngest over the remote (he is 9). she watches TV all day full blast but can't give it up for a show or two when he gets home before he heads out to practice. She doesn't go to her bed at a decent time, wants to stay up to the very last moment until we go to bed, so we don't have any alone time. So I am getting resentful that I feel like at this point if someone is going to live here and in my face 24/7 eating all my food and racking up the bills, I should be collecting rent from a stranger. I feel like I am being taken advantage of and my husband is too nice tiptoeing around to ask for the money. I want it retro too. I am the one dealing with everything all hours of the day on top of regular stresses of work and 3 kids. Oh and she asks to tag along everywhere when i go to drop them off somewhere, my only alone time with a little CD book to unwind. When we go to parties or away to the beach we always bring her, not one person offers to bring her with their family. (they were quick to help her move out and get stuff they wanted though). one lives 5 minutes down the road and you would think she would be there for dinner once a week/month?! I don't think anyone really understands how much it takes. Or maybe they do and that is why her own kids didn't volunteer. 1) I need to figure out what is reasonable amount and 2) how to ask for it. 3) I think I am ready for her to move on but we are looking at 6-9 month waiting list now. she is a "nice" lady not manipulative or malicious but she pays 4 others IF they take her out yet here we are doing all the work and she won't pay for her own groceries. I want some of my space back. I would love to watch TV alone too.
See an elder law attorney with your elder AT ONCE, and get the contract in writing. Otherwise it doesn't exist. All of the "he said" and "she said" and "they agreed" in the world means nothing. Start with things set in stone and more importantly, in writing.
Hope you will update us when this is done.
Why don’t you drop her off for dinner one night a week, with the sibling who lives 5 minutes down the road? Just send a text saying she will be there, later in the same day at whatever time, without them having a chance to be ‘out’. Why wait for the invitation, or for permission? Tell MIL she will be going, and as she is a ‘nice’ lady she will thank them (which puts them on the spot fairly effectively).
Does MIL know about the original cost arrangements? Does she know that they are not being followed? If she thinks it’s working as originally agreed, it might explain why she doesn’t pay you but subsidises the others.
If you say nothing and do nothing, nothing will change.
Your H is gone a lot, and so you are the one who has to deal with MIL.
You are a working mother and has children involved in sports/activities.
This whole situation really steams me. H is too timid to stand up to his sibs? Then you will have to do it.
Here's what I'd do.
1. Tell the sibs you expect payment for the 9 months in arrears and from now on, payment for one month in advance. Perhaps make it for a larger amount, too, if you consider the time you have to spend with her. So she's been with you for 9 months and there are 9 sibs. Was the $1500/month supposed to come from MIL's assets, or were all the sibs supposed to contribute? If it's the former, POA son should pay up immediately. If each sib was supposed to contribute, they would each now owe you for their month.
2. Definitely seek advice from an attorney re a contract. And MIL should pay for that consult/advice.
2. Her POA must put her on the wait list immediately for an AL.
3. Go about your life with as little interaction as possible with you. Do not take her with you all the time because she wants companionship. What does she do during the day when you are at work?
5. From your profile, Mil's issues are "age-related decline, diabetes, hearing loss, incontinence, and vision problems." What "meter" goes off in the middle of the night -- a glucose meter? If she's sneaking cookies, is her diabetes poorly controlled? If you ever have to call 911 and she is hospitalized, refuse to take her back home and simply say you can not take care of her. If your H takes her back home, then simply refuse to do anything at all for her. Incontinence? What do you do for that? I hope you don't wipe her butt or clean up her messes!
There are obviously issues between you and your H, as he's willing to throw YOU under the bus rather than deal with his siblings. Oh, yes, there is counseling, but unless the therapist facilitates a VERY quick resolution to this untenable situation, I am skeptical.
Some may say that I'm advocating for a very abrupt resolution of this mess. That is because the sibs (and your H) have been playing you like a fiddle and taking massive advantage of you. I am angry on your behalf.
Please keep us updated!
We have taken the time each month to provide them with a copy of the utilities and an itemized list of their portion of the expenses. You may find that this will be necessary especially if you are not the one with POA, but it is also good practice so that there is a record of how her assets are being spent.
I’d need to lay down some serious boundaries in this situation. You are under no obligation to take her everywhere you go. Your husband should help you explain this to your MIL.
Please don’t add onto your home for her. It will only entrench her in this arrangement. I’ll never get why we (I am also guilty of this) put up with someone deciding they aren’t ready for more care when their solution is to rely on you for the care they need. In your shoes, I’d go ahead and get her on that waitlist.
I do hope you’ll figure out a solution that works for all of you - not just your MIL who seems to be the only one getting all of her needs met (for free?!).
Who's in charge of her money?
People usually don’t want to feel like they are insulting their parents by asking them to sign an agreement to pay rent. In reality, a written contract is extremely important to avoid conflicts.
Your mother in law has a sweet deal living in your home. She not only has ‘free rent’ but also has ‘free caregiving.’
I can’t say that I don’t blame you for being resentful.
Even in reasonable circumstances, when a situation goes on for a period of time, these feelings occur and are completely understandable.
Speak to your husband and tell him what you told us. Put the ball in his court. It’s his mom!
I certainly hope that your mother in law doesn’t want your home to become her ‘permanent’ home. She will be fine in a facility. Assisted living facilities are lovely.
Wishing you and your family all the best.
Have a lawyer draw up a bill and present mom and her POA with that amount as well as a formal lease and care contact going forward.... IMO it was a mistake to leave her ignorant of the promises that were made to you and the reasons for your resentful feelings. If there is any push back it wouldn't hurt to have in hand some well researched paperwork about a few other options for living arrangements (AL or IL or whatever is appropriate).
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