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  1. #1
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    Default how to deal with resistant caretaker?

    My 87 year old MIL suffered second stroke almost 3 weeks ago one night late, she luckily managed to alert my FIL who was upstairs sleeping and got help to her quickly via 911. She was just discharged to her home yesterday from the inpatient rehab center for past 10 days with prior days in a hospital.

    we all wanted FIL to bring down the twin bed they had in a guest room upstairs for MIL as her entire right side is compromised now from the stroke. In addition to that, she lost vision in her right eye, likely to be permanent too. FIL veto the twin bed in den idea, as kept saying he'll bring her up to bed when he goes. That is fine for the first few days/a week when MIL is still likely very tired but not very feasible in long run, as she is very much a night owl while FIL is very much early to bed, rise with birds type.

    That was just issue #1. second issue is emergency alert type of communication. FIL is VERY resistant to our suggestions of getting MIL life alert as she is a fall risk, still at risk of recurrant stroke, among other factors. MIL had a iPhone prior to her stroke, but can't see digits or letters to dial/type out texts, so that isn't working very well for her. BIL got her a audio/large print phone for her to arrive at their house within few days, so that is solved with the aspect of keeping in touch with outside world.

    it is the other issues like issue #2 for life alert (as he cannot be with her.all.the.time) like he is saying, it just isn't realistic. Food shopping is another concern, i suggested i could order their groceries online and all FIL has to do is go to store to get them loaded into his car. FIL isn't having any of it, kept saying he will bring MIL with her, leave her in car while he goes in to get the groceries, etc.

    last issue and it is a big one for us where FIL is concered. MIL is set up with 3x a week outpatient OT/SP therapies. FIL has to drive her nearby to the rehab center, obviously since MIL wont be able to drive ever again. Last time MIL suffered her stroke (first one) 3 years ago, the outlook was much better as she only lost little movement which she regained after several months. FIL was supposed to have brought her to outpatient appoitments 2x weekly for 3 months, but stopped after 2 weeks because HE felt he knows how to do it after watching therapist and took over himself. I am afraid he'll do the same this time, as he generally doesn't like interruptions to his life/or whenever he feels is a waste of time, he won't do it.

    long winded way to ask how to deal with a caretaker like that??? BIL/SIL, DH & i are all chipping in as much physical help as we can. but hard with ourselves still 2 small kids at home, and BIL with 5 kids of his own going to all different directions. DH is still working, but BIL/SIL is off till Mid/end of August to return back to work. The fall will become much harder for us all to check in on FIL/MIL to make sure he is doing what he is supposed to, and checking MIL is ok mentally and emotionally.

    Any other resources we can take advantage to help FIL with the burden? as i don't think it has really hit him yet that this is part of new life, and not something he'll do for few weeks before resuming normal life prior this stroke.
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  2. #2
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    I would give him some time. It might take a little bit until he realizes what a burden this is going to be. You could talk to the social worker at the rehab facility to find out about in home services that might support him.
    Mom to:
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    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  3. #3
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    Where is your MIL's voice in all of this? What does she want? It's important that she communicate her wants and needs. FIL may feel he is standing up for her and protecting her independence from you when he is, in fact, curtailing it.

    I would also start every discussion with the assertion that you're trying to protect MIL's independence rather than that she (or he) is not safe or capable.

    If she wants her bed downstairs, stand up for her with your FIL. Let him know that her wishes regarding her own recovery need to honored first and foremost. Also, nothing has to be permanent. You can advocate for moving the bed for a month, for example, and then reassessing.

    Even if you know she's not going to get better, it's okay to talk as if she will until your FIL is ready to accept it. Any measures can be temporary, for while she's recovering. The important thing is to get things in place. It's always harder to change the status quo than to preserve it, so once the bed is moved and the life alert is in place, it's likely to stay that way.

    Let the therapists talk to your FIL about the importance of continuing therapy. But understand that this is hard stuff. It's about losing control and independence. Your FIL can't protect your MIL, but he needs to think he can handle it. Try to be compassionate and phrase everything as positively as possible. The worst thing you can do is try to combat your FIL's need to feel in control and like he can handle things. If he feels like he's choosing or like your MIL is rather than like others are taking over, it will be much better for all of you!




    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains mobile app

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    I would give him some time. It might take a little bit until he realizes what a burden this is going to be. You could talk to the social worker at the rehab facility to find out about in home services that might support him.
    That was our thinking too, and it WILL happen. it did last time 3 years ago, i already reached out to the social worker at rehab place today, and will give the info. However, my SIL did that and FIL outright told her he did not want ANYONE to come to their house to do the home therapies. He is funny about having strangers over his home, and it is why he vetoed my offer to send my cleaning lady over their house to clean it prior MIL's discharge. We thought MIL would appreciate coming home to a clean home, as she is OCD about keeping up with clean home.


    Quote Originally Posted by 123LuckyMom View Post
    Where is your MIL's voice in all of this? What does she want? It's important that she communicate her wants and needs. FIL may feel he is standing up for her and protecting her independence from you when he is, in fact, curtailing it.

    I would also start every discussion with the assertion that you're trying to protect MIL's independence rather than that she (or he) is not safe or capable.

    If she wants her bed downstairs, stand up for her with your FIL. Let him know that her wishes regarding her own recovery need to honored first and foremost. Also, nothing has to be permanent. You can advocate for moving the bed for a month, for example, and then reassessing.

    Even if you know she's not going to get better, it's okay to talk as if she will until your FIL is ready to accept it. Any measures can be temporary, for while she's recovering. The important thing is to get things in place. It's always harder to change the status quo than to preserve it, so once the bed is moved and the life alert is in place, it's likely to stay that way.

    Let the therapists talk to your FIL about the importance of continuing therapy. But understand that this is hard stuff. It's about losing control and independence. Your FIL can't protect your MIL, but he needs to think he can handle it. Try to be compassionate and phrase everything as positively as possible. The worst thing you can do is try to combat your FIL's need to feel in control and like he can handle things. If he feels like he's choosing or like your MIL is rather than like others are taking over, it will be much better for all of you!

    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains mobile app
    SIL and i have talked with MIL alone without FIL and have been told she was nervous coming home, and wanted a life alert when i brought up the idea at the rehab center. But is completely silent when FIL is present. I had them over my house, along with SIL & BIL over for dinner yesterday, and BIL was looking up to order the large print phone. SIL was talking the life alert, and FIL became very adament saying no to it. Kept saying one thing at a time, which is fine but we ALL know him and how he works.

    It isn't so much of his capabilty to take care of MIL that is in question; the basic stuff is covered but more of the dynamic between them and him controlling everything for MIL, which can't do any good for MIL's sense of independence. Baby steps, i guess .....and he is already telling us a big fat NO to the home therapies, so if he stops driving MIL to the outpatient, no one is gonna stop him. Then what from that point on? i feel time is needed for him to really realize just how much work all of this is gonna be for him.

    MIL doesn't speak up what she wants EVER in the presence of FIL, especially not now when she isn't feeling all that 100%. She wouldn't prior her stroke. But tells us differently from what FIL is wanting, and here we are left struggling to try be an adovcate for MIL.
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  5. #5
    abh5e8 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Honestly, it sounds like you are getting to the line of elder abuse. If he refuses to take her to therapy, refuses in home therapy and is making her walk the stairs, which sounds like a huge fall risk, he isn't taking care of her. In my state that would be neglect and grounds for a hotline call.

    If he won't clean, she can't clea and he won't allow an outside cleaning lady, so house becomes unacceptably dirty, that would also fall into neglect category.

    I don't think you need fils permission get her life lock. Can you just pay for it and give it to her? I think it's pretty inexpensive, like $15 a month? Or at least a necklace for her cell phone, so she actually has it on her at all times?
    Last edited by abh5e8; 07-25-2016 at 09:32 PM.
    loving my dh and our littles (dd ~ 11 yrs, ds ~ 9 yrs, ds ~ 7 yrs, dd ~ 5 yrs and baby brother ~ 20 mo)

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