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Night care for Mother-in-Law. Difficult new stage - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

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

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Please try to get POA or something in place. Court of protection route is very intrusive extremely expensive and upsetting.
My husband was in agreement one week for the application of POA. The next week his dementia had declined considerably and he had no idea what we were talking about. Heartbreaking.
So, I lost it tonight.
My husband told MIL that he would come to stay overnight at 9pm. I wanted him to stay with me and the kids for as long as possible. I suggested leaving MIL something to eat by her bed in case she gets hungry. She said: "no, I won't get hungry". My husband did not leave her anything. At about 8pm she calls she is VERY hungry and why he is not yet with her. :? :(
I got furious as my OH agreed to go ASAP. We spent another 15 mins arguing. I told him not to give in, this is our family time, she will not die of hunger for one more hour. He says she forgot it was 9pm although he told her twice. She is forgetful, she calls him by our sons' names, she's getting confused. Ok, I get it, but she had enough reason and memory to call him precisely at 8pm. Now I'm feeling like a completely selfish person bargaining for stupid one more hour. I told OH to tell her again and again that he comes at 9pm every night. I also told him to leave her something to nibble on by her bed in case she feels too wobbly to go to the kitchen. After he comes over, she can have her sandwich. He then says 9pm is too late for proper food for her. I say ok. 8:30pm then. Good grief, she has also had sudden hearing loss with her infection. It is getting really hard.
At least we made peace with OH before he left.
Something MUST change for the sake of your marriage!
You have to write down all the issues and agree a plan of action.
Is MIL English, or was she originally from a different culture?
Thank you. We are all Polish, but OH was born in England and culturally English, MIL in the UK for half-century, speaks English. But yes, in Polish culture there is the tradition of children caring for their parents and sacrificing a lot for them. But the elderly there used to live in big houses with extended family. We don't have any family support in the UK, everybody in Poland. You know very well how uncertain life in Poland has become recently... That adds to my level of stress. I'm telling myself that at least no bombs are dropping on our heads and feel even more selfish. Well, I have my own limits.

I agree, a sandwich left by her chair and a thermos of tea should be adequate. If she wants to be supported by family then she needs to be flexible.

What care does she need from your husband after she has had her supper?

Unfortunately, your husband needs to stand up to her. Others on here advise that the roles swap when parents become very elderly. We become the wiser ones and we have to take control. If his Mum was a child would he let her dictate what he did at the expense of other family members? I don't think so. However, you don't want his Mum to come between you - so best to have these sort of conversations when you are both feeling calm.

Thank you for your question Melly1.
You know, it looks like MIL thinks it is her right to receive care from us, and on her terms! I'm trying to explain OH: no, on our terms first of all because we have our needs. She needs overnight care because of her recent chest infection and a fall. IMO, it is for reassurance and company which is understandable but we live a 2mins drive from her, she has a personal alarm and phone at hand. It works well, my husband can see her anytime day or night.
I still hope if she feels better after her treatment, maybe she won't need our company each and every night.
Hi Jolanta.

If its really only for reassurance and company, the phone should be enough with the back up of the personal alarm. Unfortunately the more support he gives, the harder it will be to withdraw as she will become used to and reliant on the extra support.

I realise her expectations are influenced by her Polish culture - but the situation is not the same as you aren't all living as an extended family in one big house. The level of support she is expecting isn't sustainable with family life.

A member of our family is married to a lovely Polish man, very worrying times.

Does your husband juggle working with caring too?

That's what I'm saying to my husband: tell MIL straight away that she needs to manage on her own one night per week. End of story. But now I'm worried he would give in again. I don't want to be in his shoes, honestly. My husband decided to quit his job to look after MIL, but that was not the only reason. We have a stable but modest income, I work as a freelancer part-time, I hope to work and earn more (new qualification achieved).
As he has given up work (!) I hope she is paying him for his care????
This means you have to work harder than ever, that's not fair. So effectively you are paying for her care, not for a better life for your family?
Hi Jolanta

Very quickly: Power of Attorney sounds as if it may be too late. She's getting names, etc., confused, and that can be dementia. If someone is talking about assessing her it's to make sure she has the capacity to grant Power of Attorney.

Either way, it will take not less than 4 months at present for Power of Attorney to come through because of the backlog. Deputyship applications to the Court of Protection when capacity is lost and POA impossible are taking up to a year on average.

But you and your husband need first to come to an agreement about what you are willing to do. And be clear that that is all that you will do. Set your boundaries and stick to them.

If she really does need overnight support, then frankly she needs to consider a care home: it's not reasonable to expect either of you to give up a large portion of your life for her. It's not fair on either of you, and absolutely not fair on your kids.