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Topic Caregiver as 'bad guy' Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By rmshea On 2010.11.20 09:15
My MIL has always been a secretive and sort of deceptive person. For the past 9 yrs, I've been taking her to her dr appts. Her pattern is that she will always tell the doc she is 'fine'. Then I have to be the one to tell the truth and she gets real ticked with me. She regards this as 'tattling' and that 'my' goal is to put her away. It all came to a head this past month when the family decided that assisted living would be the best option. She found out, and voila, she started taking her meds on time, started hydrating properly, and she's like a new woman. When I told her primary care what had been going on, then MIL got really PO'd and wouldn't talk to me in the car. I told her that none of us wants her in skilled care; and that when the family decides it is no longer safe to be on her own(and we have caregiving and all sorts of support going on now) she would have to move. I know that when you have a person's best interest at heart, you have to be the bad guy. It can be very isolating for me and this isn't MY mother..the daughter abuses drugs, the 2 sons are clueless. Now that she is stable, no one wants to pursue the assisted living except for ME. I've scaled back MY involvement; the cooking and daily checking and stuff is over. I guess I'd like to hear some ideas perhaps as to how to survive this. My friend tells me everyone needs a truthgiver in their life and that isn't really a popular thing to be.

By lurkingforacure On 2010.11.20 16:47
Boy would I ever scale back. I would also be quite irritated that NOW she suddenly is able to take meds on time, etc....putting you through needless stress and responsibility before. It doesnt' sound like she is very grateful for all you do for her, which is tough to take especially at this time of year. Perhaps you should get her the "Attitude of Gratitude" series of tapes I heard recently advertised on the radio!

Tough love has been discussed many times here, and you have to do it. This isn't your mom, and you still have to live your life. I dont' think I would take on one more thing than absolutely required. Sometimes people do weird stuff for attention, my own mom does this and it has always driven me nuts. She pretends to be dirt poor to everyone she meets hoping for a handout of some kind, a discount on oil changes, a mark down on a shirt, and I cannot stand it, it's lying and deceptive and takes advantage of the goodness of people. I've just recently started putting my foot down and told her to knock it off, and incredibly she doesnt' do it, at least not around me. I've read many places that seniors become like little children again, emotionally, and perhaps that is some of what is going on. To me, this sure sounds like something a little kid would do.

By Pearly4 On 2010.11.20 18:18
You have to survive and you have to do what is right for you to survive. However I have to point out that Parkinson's patients are usually very able to fool their doctors with their abilities under examination and fail miserably at everyday living 15 minutes later outside the office. It may be that she can cope short term in an effort to remain independent but still need help and while I can't say the assisted living is a bad or good idea, I'm sure its a painful one for her to accept as it will be for me when the time comes. Nevertheless, I do commend you for taking on this thankless task however much you decide to be involved -- there should be a special place n heaven for anyone who takes this on.

By rmshea On 2010.11.20 18:24
Thanks for the affirmation. While all this was going on, I had mono, was diagnosed and getting treated for macular degeneration..we couldn't leave town or anything. She even stayed at our house for few days as we have a/c and my husband got irritated with ME because I kept hounding her to drink. And yes, her emotional maturity has always been like this for the 34 yrs I've known her. Because of this and some other issues in my home, my husband isn't speaking to me either-I know I made mistakes but at least I was in the game. Like mother-like son..hoooo boy.. Don't do anything but when someone does take an action, then judge, critique and punish.

By Michele On 2010.11.20 19:28
Wow. I'm assuming that your husband is one of the clueless sons. You are doing the right thing and you need to step back for a number of reasons. The first is your health. You need to start taking care of yourself. A few questions....Does your husband and other in-laws have a problem with you taking the lead in your MILs care? Are they content with you doing what needs to be done? Do they think you are unnecessarily concerned? Can you step back and let her children take responsibility? At worst, your MIL wil have a medical crisis, end up in the ER and then her children will have to face the hard decisions. At best, one of them may actually step up and take responsibility for her. I wish you the best and hope you have the strength to step back and take care of yourself.

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