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Night care for Mother-in-Law. Difficult new stage - Carers UK Forum

Night care for Mother-in-Law. Difficult new stage

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Dear All,
I have had a lot of support from this site in the past, I'm always grateful for that.
Mother-in-Law, nearly 94, no serious chronic illnesses, managing generally on her own but with my Husband staying with her every day at lunchtime for 2 hours but more and more often he is needed 2 or 3 times a day and sometimes he stays overnight. Her place is within walking distance, the personal alarm does its job.
She is recovering from a chest infection that made her really frail. She had a fall and yesterday she told OH that she needed somebody to stay with her for the night permanently :ohmy: Tough stuff. Her behaviour towards me is hurtful. On the other hand, I can see that OH is close to burnout. For now, I decided to stay with her 1 night a week. But to spend each night and effectively mornings apart does not seem to be good either for our marriage or for our children. Big change and I'm scared of it.
I try to negotiate:
1) one night a week we need to be together
2) the "night shift" starts at 9pm, not at 8pm so we could do proper bedtime routine with kids. But at 8pm MIL would expect to have her sandwiches for dinner. I said to OH: can you leave sandwiches covered on a plate after lunch so she could have them later? Can you buy her a thermal cup so she could have her tea warm by the evening? But even such small things are very difficult to negotiate with MIL. :cry: She's got her strong opinions and my OH struggles to set out his boundaries. I'm struggling because I can see I need to be "the bad one" here to fight for some normality for our closest family.

We are also thinking about employing one of our friends to stay with her one night but the budget is tight.
She is in the last stages of her life, and will need more and more care until she dies.
A friend cared for his mum until she was 104.

Think about what this would mean for you!

Does she own or rent her home?
Have over £23,000 in savings?
Claim Attendance Allowance?
Had a Social Services Needs Assessment?
Have you asked Social Services for a Carers Assessment?
Does she have any dementia?
Does husband have Power of Attorney?

How old are you, husband, children?
(Quick questions, family poorly).
Thank you for your prompt reply. I hope your family member(s) will recover soon.

Yep, MIL
owns her house
savings - some, no idea how much
she's got Attendance Allowance
no dementia IMO but a lot of confusion (calls my OH with our sons' names recently)
no SServices assessment
Power of Attorney question stuck due to difficulties I don't fully understand; she needs to be assessed if she is capable of doing that or something like that

Today my OH for the first time said he hated his Mother although he is one of the most caring and kind people I know. I'm worried. :cry:

WIth 5 nights a week as a carer, I think Husband can claim Carer's Allowance?
You are right to be worried. Be aware that the more you offer to help your MIL the longer this will continue.
I think employing a friend to do the night time shift is a good idea - but you should not have to pay for that. MIL must pay for her own care.
Carers allowance is a benefit for someone who is on a low income, currently £128 per week or less and who cares for someone 35+ hours per week.

it sounds as if MIL's needs are now too great for your family to manage without seriously affecting all your wellbeing. Once someone needs care over night - they really need 24/7 care and that means a live in carer or residential care. It isn't up to your husband and you to fund MIL's care - it is down to a financial assessment and either she or social care or a combination of both pay for it.

To claim Carers Allowance your husband needs to be providing 35 hours of care a week - that includes, errands, emotional support on the telephone etc as well the time he is spends with her. He is easily giving her that much care.

Since she is receiving attendance allowance what is that being spent on? It's meant to pay for support with things she can't do for herself.

I think you and your husband need to sit down and have some big conversations and then talk to MIL.

Does your husband have any siblings?
Sort out the Power of Attorney asap. If your MIL has a family solicitor, get them to manage this.
If MIL wants to stay in her home, you now need to know about how it's going to be funded.
If she's getting muddled (either through dementia or strong medication) then this is really important.
Be open and honest, tell her that she needs to let you gather up all her paperwork and sort it out.
Bank statements, savings accounts, bills etc. so you can work out exactly what is coming in and going out each month.
Use ring binders, Mylar dividers, polythene sleeves.
No siblings.
Power of Attorney - well... she was so suspicious, she thought we (I mean, my husband) would throw her out of her house if OH has POA. Very sensitive issue. I have no idea how to sort it out.
Does she have a family solicitor? otherwise, ask another one to come and see her.
Make it clear that unless she does this, you (ie. both of you) can't keep helping her, it's got too much.
It's no longer a choice, in fact it's the only way she can stay at home any longer.
If neccessary, you can remortgage the house to pay for live in care, rather than move into residential care.
If you and your husband have savings, you could even consider buying a portion of the house from her.
Then it could never be sold to pay for care later.
Thank you, that is very useful. I need to discuss it with my husband again. You know, MIL is so suspicious that I want to hurt her, rob her that I'm trying to stay away from POA issue.
The husband of one of our members, Pet, developed dementia. She didn't have POA.
It took ages to go through the Office of Public Guardian to get Guardianship, and lots of paperwork is involved.
To be avoided if at all possible.