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Supporting spouse - PIL, dementia, controlling SIL

(185 Posts)
Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 10:28:27

Quick background info: We have been NC with controlling sil (csil) for over 15 years for multiple reasons having lived away (the latter 4 years, at the other side of the world). 20 months ago when H retired we returned about 40 minutes drive from pil’s home. H also has a B and N(ice) sil (nsil) who along with csil live 5 minutes drive from pil.

csil has always been extremely (joined at the hip) close to pil and has over decades been a toxic influence on them and her brother and his wife until eventually bil and nsil saw the light and went no contact with her also. Despite csil’s best efforts both sons aided by their wives (me and nsil) managed to maintain a loving relationship with pil. Pil tried to steer their ship through all the ups and downs of their fractured family relationship - appeasing csil (as she screamed the loudest) allowing her full control of their lives.

Csil was widowed tragically in her early forties with two young children (she is now 58). We as a family were very supportive to her when this happened but sil decided ‘that part of her life was over’ and wore her widow’s weeds with aplomb. As the years passed sil and pil’s lives became more and more entwined with pil heavily involved with childcare so csil could carry on working. As pil became older csil then gradually turned the tables until neither could live without the other and she became the support to them. Eventually pil could not make any decisions for themselves, ran everything past her, domination of them was complete. Both of her now adult children still live with their mother. Both are ‘odd’ neither have managed to maintain adult relationships; their mother was highly controlling as they grew up; both were very unpleasant to us, we assumed this was due their mother’s toxicity - we did not add flames to any fires. NC was our way of managing csil and her little family.

csil in my opinion, has serious mental issues. She catastophises everything. She has cried wolf so many times that we now do not react until we see first-hand whatever crisis occurs (usually a storm in a teacup). Her anxiety levels are sky high and her anger and jealousy at my Dh - (her brother) even higher. Mostly I think the fact we moved away from the area and dared to have a happy life beyond the narrow confines of her life has angered her. She is now trying to use her ailing parents as a tool with which to control us and her other brother and wife.

Fast forward to the situation today : Both pil are now 90 (fil) and 87 (mil). Both with memory problems both 100% reliant on her, who is now self appointed carer. She is paid by pil to be their carer and because there are no assets (social housing - no savings) we volunteered to top up her earnings to make up her ‘wages’ so that she wasn’t out of pocket. Csil will not countenance outside help, until both brothers forced the issue and a cleaner was brought in to lighten the load. Nsil and I do not get involved in any decision making but support the brothers in a weekly rota to help. DH and I go every Tuesday. He does the grocery shopping, I prepare and serve the main meal (lunch), prepare afternoon tea for them to serve themselves and do some light housework. Bil and nsil do the same on Sundays. Csil manages everything else. Fil is blind, confused, has a severe tremor and diabetes. He has insulin injected every day (by csil because she is an ex nurse and fell out with the district nurses). Mil is on a zimmer, struggling to walk, completely confused and does not recognise she is in her own home now. Csil refuses point blank to consider care home for either of them and is in the process of autonomously taking them into her own home. Pil will do as they are told and are under complete control of csil.

Both brothers do not agree that she should do this but she is overruling them and steaming ahead with it.

Epic story. Thank you for reading if you have stayed with it.

I am using this as a way of keeping check on events as they unfold and will welcome constructive advice how to handle the fallout when csil crashes and burns. I am seriously worried about her (as much as I do not like her). Nobody could cope with what she is insisting on taking on.

I will add that DH has been emphatic that he has not worked for over 46 years to become a carer. I offered to take father into our home (fog) to lighten her load but DH will not budge.

Currently financial assessments are being made and occupational therapists are assessing csil’s home. We are aghast.

ajandjjmum Wed 28-Nov-18 10:33:47

You're not alone! flowers

GhostSauce Wed 28-Nov-18 10:39:13

That sounds like a nightmare.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 11:26:48

It is an absolute nightmare. Csil has ‘form’ for being violent (with us) if she is crossed. Both brothers have kept their distance over the years because of this. She is expert at playing the martyr; lies, manipulates and is a force to be reckoned with. Batshit crazy. To be fair she cares for them like a lion with her cubs. The local practice ask “how high” when she says “jump”. They would not be here now if it wasn’t for her.

She is very very angry at both brothers, especially DH because he will not bow down and come under her regime. We have said once incontinence is an issue we will withdraw our physical help. We have committed to her financially until she draws her occupational pension next year. She is furious with both brothers. Nsil and I are allies. We both support dhs but draw the line at wiping bums and bathing, because neither of them are prepared to do it.


HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 11:37:38

Does anyone have power of attorney for either pil. Have they had capacity assessments.

GhostSauce Wed 28-Nov-18 11:42:01

Do you think there's a possibility of her being violent with PILs?

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 11:47:11

Csil will not be told. She uses their bank card to access their money. Despite being asked by brothers to give an account on income/expenditure she has not produced this. Currently she is trying to ‘not’ involve the social services preferring to handle everything herself but is now being thwarted by us because we will not be part of her ‘care plan’. It is only this month she has got them involved because we have drawn our lines in the sand and will not step up to her regime. We have no idea what will transpire once they get involved. Csil has threatened us with the police for ‘harrassment’ if we contact her directly. Communications are by note on a board in the kitchen.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 11:53:00

Mil is very compliant. Fil and csil scream and shout at each other. Csil is very volatile and loses control. H has had to leave the house in order not to escalate situations. Fil in the past has said to us he dreads her coming round and does not want to move in with her but dare not tell her this. Csil thinks she has a wonderful relationship with him but he has told us otherwise. There is rapid deterioration with fil now. He is ‘resigned’ to moving in with her. He is not honest with her and will do as he is told I think. He has resisted moving for the past year but mil needs 24hr care, we can all see that now.

HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 12:01:23

I would contact the adult social services safeguarding team and their g.p. and tell them everything you have told us, in laws need to be safe.,

FadedRed Wed 28-Nov-18 12:02:24

Have you and your brother told your parents GP about the situation? And you could contact your Local Council Adult Safeguarding team if you suspect financial, verbal or physical coercion or abuse.
Difficult situation.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:07:22

Csil thinks they will not be safe in either a carehome (horror stories constantly in the news) or strangers coming for “10 minutes a day administering tins of soup”). She thinks only she (with us) can give them the care they need. I am hoping when they assess the situation they will see that no one person can physically do what she thinks she can. Incidentally she has told her brother that once they are in her house, she will not allow DH to visit. Her hatred of him is palpable.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:09:12

We have never had contact with in-law’s GP. csil is in overall control. We are observing the situation as it transpires.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:11:59

Pil trust csil implicently. I do believe csil has their best interest at heart. She thinks “she is the only one”. She is deranged. Her volatility is frightening. She is used to getting her own way in the family because both brothers have deferred to her until now.

HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 12:20:10

If fil dreads her coming round, doesn't want to live with her but is scared to tell her then surely that's not in his best interests. If she won't allow their son to visit that is abuse. Does she have power of attorney. Perhaps you should read the elder abuse website about the different types of abuse that happens to vulnerable people and what help is available.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:31:30

I don’t think it is abuse. She just thinks only ‘she’ can give them the care they need. Fil and csil clash because she is strict with him regarding diet. He has a sweet tooth and would gorge on chocolate if he had his way. She rules him like a little child and they clash. He is slowly losing capacity and appears lucid but tell fantastic stories about people long dead. Mother is frail, confused, on her last legs (literally) and diagnosed with demetia. Father is strong physically but blind and insulin dependant. Not diagnosed with Lewis bodies but has the symptoms. He had a brain scan this year but wasn’t diagnosed (yet). Neither know what day it is. Cannot operate tv, radio etc. Have no capacity for domestics. Between us we do it all. Csil wants to keep it this way due to her anxiety for them. I don’t think she is abusive for personal reasons. Just does not like to be disobeyed. She appears normal until she loses it if she is not obeyed. I think she is suffering acute anxiety (for them).

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:34:25

Thanks I’ll have a look at that. Csil is not used to not being obeyed. Both brothers let her do her thing until now. She is astonished they are not complying with her wishes. We are all adjusting to the new situation now they are becoming fully dependant on their family.

HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 12:37:14

Maybe also read the mental capacity act, all care must be given in their best interest, including financial and where they live, care they receive.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:40:03

We shall see what transpires once the assessments have happened. Christmas is coming, I don’t think anything will happen until next year. It hasn’t occurred to us to overrule csil. We are so used to her making the decisions. But we have made a stand regarding us being coerced into coming under her control using them as her tool. Thanks for listening. I’ll come back to this thread if and when something happens.

ajandjjmum Wed 28-Nov-18 12:46:13

There is nothing to stop your DH from getting an appointment with Social Services, and asking them to do an assessment of their needs - we hadn't realised this is different to a dementia assessment.

This is what DH did for his Mum (also has an overbearing sister, who is desperately trying to preserve what money she can - whatever for I can't think!!), and although it changed nothing, it has put his mind to rest, knowing that he has done everything he can.

He also saw the woman leading the mental health team, and gave them an honest overview of the dynamics of the family, and why he is not prepared to give more.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 12:54:31

There is no money in this case. Csil just wants her version of what she sees as best for them. She will crash and burn because she thinks only she (with us in her employ) is the way. We are not complying with her wishes. She is very angry at us.

HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 12:58:51

It would be worth finding out if anyone has power of attorney, the social services and o.t. will ask this anyway, their welfare is really the priority and if any professionals feel they are at risk of not getting the care they need they will act in their best interests. Her having access to their bank cards and not sharing this info with her brothers does involve money. It's about them, not her.good luck, hope they get the care they need.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 14:24:29

Thanks. I’ll come back if and when the situation changes. Pretty sure the is no - csil just assumes full responsibility, has done for years, they just trust her and do as they are told. We are the ones objecting to the ‘by mission creep’ assumption that we have to step up into her ‘care plan’ plans. I am going to suggest to H that and his brother have a right to be involved with decision making despite csil’s assumption that it her way - period.

Needmoresleep Wed 28-Nov-18 16:30:46

1. Save any emotional energy for fights you can and need to win.

2. Make your own decisions on how much physical care/support you are prepared to give.

3. Talk to adult social services. (It is worth doing anyway, as it gives SS a chance to provide informed input around, say, discharge decisions.)

4. Do not give up a Housing Association tenancy unless you are certain. Being tenants means the HA/Local Authority are motivated to help with a move to sheltered or to a care home as they will want to free up a property.

5. No POA can be an advantage as if SS decide, they can apply to Court of Protection instead. Assuming you feel they are more likely to be sensible than SiL.

Needmoresleep Wed 28-Nov-18 16:39:23

6. Money. SS can provide a limited amount of carer support plus needed adaptations. Your PiL should already be receiving full Attendance Allowance, and have applied for Council Tax exemption. Your Sil will be eligible for carers allowance. If they are not getting these they should apply.

7. Sad as it is their situation is as a result of decisions they made years ago, plus extreme old age is pretty rough for almost everyone. You can't change much. It is not your fault. Step back, help as much as you are happy to do, but dont prop up the unsustainable. If they are vulnerable, use SS to step in and protect. Save your energy for the (inevitable) crisis.

Slugslasher Wed 28-Nov-18 20:20:58

@Needmoresleep thank you for your response. They are in a three bedroom HA/Local Authority House. A wet room (fully funded) was installed in the downstairs cloakroom last year. A bed was installed in the dining room but mil insists on sleeping on the sofa in the sitting room (glass doors into the dining room). Fil has just recently started using the bed downstairs in order to be on hand if confused mil wakes up. Csil is finding that she is needed more and more and for this reason wants to take them both into her house because running between the two is becoming too much. Csil owns her own house. She gave up her paid employment the year before last and pil agreed to use their pension/benefits to pay csil to look after them. We topped up her ‘wages’ so that she was not out of pocket. She feels entitled to this and has never acknowledged our contribution nor our physical help on Tuesdays which she requested so she could have a day off. Csil did not think her mother had long to live when she made the decision to be her carer. (catastrophising), fil’s heart is strong, we could have years of this to face. Mil I think could last too. Neither of them are aware of the huge burden they are. They have always had csil in their lives. This is their normal. Bil, nsil and we think they should now be in a care home but csil is having none of it and has been expecting us all to fall in line. The manipulation and emotional blackmail has not worked. She has turned to SS for help. We are waiting for the assessments, both financial and OT.

We are not committing ourselves to being in her employ and will not enable her to make this decision. She is on her own if she does this and after a meeting last week between the three siblings she knows it.


Slugslasher Fri 30-Nov-18 06:12:03

Just had word (via bil) that financial assessment has been done. OT have said they can’t install grab rails in her downstairs bathroom because the cladding on the walls won’t support them). Csil is asking for a meeting with her sibs as it appears she has been informed following the fa that their income falls considerably if she takes them in. It appears her plans will not be financially viable. Not sure whether she is going to throw in the towel and/or consider other options. The fact she is requesting a meeting is significant.

ajandjjmum Fri 30-Nov-18 11:28:58

She's going to want you to make up the difference financially. And probably help finance an extension to house them.

Can you see how cynical I am from having a rather grabbing SIL myself!

Maybe you, your DH, BIL and nice SIL need to meet beforehand to discuss the options you think you may be presented with, and how you'll respond, so that you will all be singing from the same hymn sheet?

GhostSauce Fri 30-Nov-18 11:44:30

She's going to ask you to pay the difference.

Slugslasher Fri 30-Nov-18 20:38:01

Both nsil and I have had a chinwag. We are on the same page. DH has reaffirmed with me today that he is not going to financially support his parents to live with her because he knows this will break his sister both mentally and physically. He is adamant he is not going to be coerced into her ‘care plan’ plans. Nsil has also told her DH not to ‘volunteer’ her services either. Bil runs his own business and works 6 days a week - his only day off is a Sunday and he goes round to his parents to do his bit then. We have a busy time over Christmas holidays managing our own family (new grandchild) two sons and wives visiting all over the holiday period. Csil has been (demanding) requesting holiday cover for herself. I have withheld my services apart from the day we do their grocery shopping. DH is going to go on his own other days to give csil some respite. Sparks will fly I fear at family meeting. I am not attending due to my decision to remain NC with csil. It remains to be seen what what happens next. Csil is hitting a stone wall with us now. Mil needs 24/7 care soon. Fil has no capacity to look after himself because domestically he is of the generation of men who did nothing at home. He doesn’t even know how to switch the cooker on. Dreadful situation because despite our stance - we do love them dearly. We both think they would be better off cared for in a home. Up to now Csil has been resolute she won’t consider it because she fears they will be neglected. She cannot let go of control to others.

Slugslasher Wed 19-Dec-18 17:43:31

Following my last post it has been confirmed by SS that mil will qualify for fully funded care in a care home and fil (because he can still do his own personal care) qualifies for carers to come into his home to do meds and meals.

Csil is not agreeing to any of this and after a meeting with ss, they have agreed to give her a further small weekly sum of money to enable her to bring in her own (trusted) help. She is planning to take them into her home after the Christmas holidays and become their full-time carer. We cannot fight her/their parents/social services who all seem to agree that this is the next step forward. A meeting will be held again with siblings after Christmas to discuss how and when the move will happen. Both I and my nsil are stepping back and not getting involved whilst siblings decide with the next step forward. H has specified he does not agree that csil should take them into her home because she will inevitably not cope as they deteriorate. Bil is at the end of his tether with the situation as his work commitments are all consuming, he cannot cope with his parents too. Pil especially mil are slipping away from reality they have no idea the strain they are putting on their family. Csil is adamant that only she can look after them and has made the decision.

Needmoresleep Thu 20-Dec-18 09:43:00

Sometimes you need to just step back, and reserve your emotional and physical energy for the (inevitable) crisis.

You have done what you can. The SiL is an adult as are your PiL.

I could not do anything for five years after my dad died. I knew my mother was not coping. I would tell DB, who told me I was "visiting too often" and that my mother "valued her independence". I remember explaining it all to DC and explaining that I was powerless to prevent whatever might happen next. As it was she fell when outside so was found, and lo and behold I was expected to pick up the pieces.

So, as far as you can, enjoy the lack of responsibility. It is out of your hands. At least for now.

Slugslasher Thu 20-Dec-18 19:39:43

This is what we will have to do. H has committed to paying his sister the top-up of wages as agreed when she gave up her job to look after them until she draws her own occupational pension next year. We will review that part of the equation then.

Everything is as it is now until after the Christmas holidays. Unless anything occurs before then and fil agrees (he hasn’t been consulted yet as he can’t remember from one day to the next) I think once all arrangements are made csil will get her way.

I am waiting for the storm of emotional blackmail to happen but currently we are resolute that this is her and their decision - not ours. Bil and nsil are of the same opinion as us.

Slugslasher Sun 23-Dec-18 08:03:43

Quick update: True to form on Christmas week csil has declared she is giving notice to HA that the house is being given up. Csil assumes we jump and how high regarding removal of furniture and clearing house. We are going today to pil (a care day for us in lieu of Christmas Day) and will assess their opinion (for what it’s worth because they bend with the wind these days). We have no other acceptable option to offer. Pil would be separated if mil goes into a home and fil left to carers. Csil wants to take them in - she sees it as in their best interests. She has effectively given up her life for them. I want to remain NC with her for my own reasons, nsil is equally unhappy in her relationship (csil physically attacked her several years ago) so neither of us will help with respite once they move into her home; bil is overwhelmed with work (self employed tradesman) and H is still emphatic that he doesn’t want to spend his own retirement as carer. Csil is heading for a breakdown with what she is taking on. I am worried for all of them.

poppoppop100 Sun 30-Dec-18 00:54:30

Why is our CSIL the bad guy? You go in once a week and yje other siblings go in another day a week, and beyond that it is all down to CSIL!
I don't know why you are not kissing the ground she walks on! o you have no idea how hard it must be caring for 2 people with such complex and profound needs!!
she has enabled your PILs to be together snd in their own home all this time.Do ou reall think the would prefer to be in a care home or split up than living with our SIL???

It is guilt at letting our SILdo everthing that is making you turn against her.
I have seen this so many tmes before
If I were your CSIL I would not piss on ou if you were on fire!!

Slugslasher Sun 30-Dec-18 16:14:57

That’s the perception that I would expect from an outsider who doesn’t know the family history @poppoppop 100. I haven’t been ‘no contact’ for 15 years without reason. The fact her parents are now ailing and she cannot cope is the only reason I personally have got involved. I acknowledge whole heartedly the sacrifice she is making in order to keep them together. There has been absolute ructions between her and her father over the Christmas break. Both brothers are calling a meeting (again) next week to try to avert the inevitable meltdown that is going to happen. Csil looks on the verge of a breakdown, she will break if she takes this on. I think she needs someone to step in and take the decision from her because she clearly can’t relinquish control. She has chosen this life for herself, they are complicit in that decision. We have not had any input in any of their choices and have no wish to be emotionally blackmailed into compliance now.

ReflectentMonatomism Mon 31-Dec-18 08:13:54

I have worked with a succession of women (always women) who had “chosen” (those scare quotes are as big and scary as you like) to remain single and care for their parents. They have without exception become bitter and controlling, with a huge air of martyrdom combined with a refusal to see reality. I can imagine that for their siblings it is impossible to deal with reasonably, especially once housing is pooled. A hard situation.

Slugslasher Mon 31-Dec-18 09:23:15

You’ve got it in one @ReflectentMonatomism. Csil although is living the ‘reality’ does not and will not accept that her siblings do not want to to go further down the road that she has chosen for herself. The going is tough for us all now but once pil need personal care (both are continent, mil barely able to make it to the toilet due mobility issues) it will get physically harder. Csil wants us all along with herself to be held prisoner to their needs. Mil now cannot be left alone because her memory is non-existent, she panics if there is nobody in her vicinity. Fil had his chocolate confiscated by csil; he (although he is blind) went out to the local shop to buy more leaving mil alone. Mil in panic managed to phone both csil and nsil (they all live 5 mins drive from their house) csil then raised merry hell with fil (once he was found). All hell broke loose. Bil told us that csil’s behaviour would be classed as ‘abuse’ if witnessed by anyone else. I see a woman at the end of her tether but she can’t let go.

ReflectentMonatomism Mon 31-Dec-18 09:50:15

I see a woman at the end of her tether but she can’t let go.

Because her whole identity is wrapped up in being the selfless carer, and that in turn means that her whole conception of her parents' best interests is enmeshed with hers. She has no life other than through her parents.

Slugslasher Mon 31-Dec-18 10:48:37

You are absolutely spot on @ReflectMonatomism. The added burden is she relies on the income from them to keep the wolves from her door. She draws her own occupational pension next year. We top up her earnings - a commitment we made whilst we were overseas (as our contribution because we weren’t there physically). We agreed that this will carry on no matter what happens (if either of them died eg) until she drew her own income. It is now a substantial part of our own monthly income but we will honour it because we acknowledge her sacrifice is worth far more. If and when they go into care (or with her), the finances affect her negatively. She is (for now) adamant she is going to be her mother’s carer until the end. Father has in the past said “she can go there but I’m going nowhere”. He can be reasoned with. When I quietly talk to him he has said he would go into a home but he isn’t strong enough to stand up to csil who has been their ‘dominator’ for decades and he forgets because his memory is deteriorating rapidly.

ReflectentMonatomism Mon 31-Dec-18 11:49:36

The added burden is she relies on the income from them to keep the wolves from her door


That is territory ripe for abuse.

Slugslasher Mon 31-Dec-18 15:48:20

Whilst money is an issue with csil, I do not believe that is her motivation for the decision she has made. The reason she gave up her paid employment was because she couldn’t cope with their increased demands and carry on working. She made herself too available for them until they depended on her for every mortal thing. The decision for them to pay her to be their carer was made jointly between themselves. We were just informed about it as decision made. Csil was originally just dropping round making sure all was well. Now their care is full time and more. She has made a huge rod for her own back. Old family history (her behaviour towards her siblings) deemed her isolated from us all. We have been dragged into this against our own will, have assisted until now we realise our lives are being impacted by her decisions. We are trying to make a stand. Csil is used to her family deferring to her wishes (I opted out 15 years ago). Nsil has been supporting her husband because he is stressed with work and has been suffering with depression (the sheer enormity of parents needs has got to him). They are well loved but we can’t (won’t) put our lives on hold in order to comply with csil’s ‘care-plan’ - both brothers have agreed this and both I and nsil have drawn our line in the sand and refuse to be handmaidens to csil.

Slugslasher Mon 31-Dec-18 16:10:33

New Years Day. We are ‘rostered’ to do day care. Our family visitors have now gone home. We will assess the situation then.

Stickywhitelovepiss Mon 31-Dec-18 19:11:58

I feel for you Slugslasher... We are 2 years out of a similar dementia / elderly care scenario, which was trauma enough - but thank God DH is an only child and the decisions made were our own...

SS will in our experience use any excuse not to intervene in these circumstances (we had a year-long, utterly soul-destroying battle on our hands to get my MIL with severe dementia the help she needed), and I fear for a time your CSIL will constitute just that.

Harsh but true to advise simultaneously kicking up an absolute stink with SS (use terms such as "failure in safeguarding" and "financial abuse", etc.) and withdrawing all support from this insane DIY "care plan", and let the inevitable (as in move to care home) happen sooner rather than later - hopefully with sanity on all parts still at least residually intact...

(Not meaning to insult any social care peeps reading - individuals were at times great; the system though in our case, not so much...).

Stand firm OP, and feel free to PM me.

Slugslasher Tue 01-Jan-19 23:49:38

Well today New Year’s Day H and I had an emotionally draining discussion with pil.

Mil admitted she can’t cope any more in their home whilst ‘in denial’ fil tried to placate her. I got H to one side and urged him to have ‘the conversation’ in order to find out what they really want to happen as opposed to what csil has said ‘is’ going to happen.

Mil wants to live with csil but doesn’t want to be separated from Fil (married and devoted to each other 65 years). Fil realises that mil needs 24/7 care and admitted that as ungrateful as it sounds wishes it was not their daughter who was going to give it. He actually said (with no prompting from us) that csil “needs professional help” as she is mentally ill. We gently explained that mil qualifies to go into a care home but he doesn’t. Mil cried and said she doesn’t want to be separated from Fil and he obviously reciprocates. Mil went round and round in circles forgetting the conversation minutes after having it. She hasn’t capaciity to realise the impact and strain her (their) wishes will have on their daughter. Fil gets it. He really gets it. He knows the situation perfectly - he has just been keeping his head down and hoping the status quo remains as it is. We left the situation ‘open’ until a sibling meeting arranged for later this week. We don’t have solutions to offer. I don‘t think fil is strong enough to a) stand up to csil and refuse to comply with moving in with her and b) separate from mil and accept her going into care.

Very distressing to witness.

Bil is adamant because of csil’s behaviour over Christmas (he has a very disturbing answerphone recording of pil crying saying “she’s gone mental” as evidence that csil should not take them in. He fears escalation. Csil is in their words ‘a heart attack waiting to happen’. My observation is she is on the verge of a breakdown.


Namenic Wed 02-Jan-19 00:42:26

You sound like you are doing all you can. I’m not sure if an IMCA would be suitable (independent mental capacity advocate).

Sometimes you just have to let the s* hit the fan before people realise how crazy their plan is. In terms of separating pils - I dunno if there is any alternative to staying with csil unless you fund fil care home place - but then what happens if funding runs out (eg due to change in financial circumstance)?

Slugslasher Wed 02-Jan-19 08:52:23

There are no contingency funds whatsoever. Csil loses her income if she relinquishes responsibility (not sure if this is her motivation but it is obviously a consideration). Self-funding for fil is not an option unless we stump up - we are already committed to topping up csil's income. Bil and nsil live from month to month on their income, no extra capacity there. We have some heart-wrenching decisions to make as a family and csil is used to deference. H is in turmoil because he loves his parents but is adamant he is not going to be a carer (I have still offered to take in fil despite my head telling me it would ruin our lives and much planned-for retirement plans). H is strong, he will let his head rule his heart. Fil could live another 10 years his constitution is robust, despite his advanced age. Csil plays ‘dirty’ (a reason for my NC) if she doesn’t get her way. I won’t get involved in decision-making or indeed go to meetings as I want to stay NC. I am now an observer and support for H who along with his brother might have to overrule the woman who has given up her life for their parents and make the decision to separate them or watch his sister crash and burn under the strain of responsibility. Horrendous situation.

ReflectentMonatomism Wed 02-Jan-19 09:19:33

Sometimes you just have to let the shit hit the fan before people realise how crazy their plan is

That assumes that they do realise that the plan was crazy, and not argue that it was a perfectly sound plan that would have worked had others delivered the help that was needed.

I am often accused of being hard and unfeeling because my habit is to look at the endgame before doing anything. For example, I won't take my elderly parents shopping, or get food for them: they need to do online food shopping, of which they are perfectly capable, and I am not willing to enable their entirely irrational objections for fear that it becomes a habit. Unfortunately, a lot of people have long passed that point before reality intrudes. I can see slippery slopes, and won't event stand at the top and look down.

Slugslasher Wed 02-Jan-19 11:51:38

I’ll come back after the meeting. Nsil said there was ‘no fight’ is csil’s voice when she was last in contact with them (since ‘Christmasgate’ ). There has been less ‘nastiness’ (by note on board in recent communication - more icy politeness. I am wondering if realisation and/or a change of heart/direction is in the air. We shall see.

Thanks for listening. Seeing it written down helps. Csil will manipulate events to show us in bad light no matter what. She is a master of toxicity at the best of times. She might use this as an excuse to blame us as her get-out clause. We want what’s best for pil. We can take what crap she flings at us. I am impervious to her as long as I stay NC.

Fortysix Wed 02-Jan-19 16:52:32

Following my last post it has been confirmed by SS that mil will qualify for fully funded care in a care home and fil (because he can still do his own personal care) qualifies for carers to come into his home to do meds and meals.
Hope the meeting has a positive outcome for your PIL. It would be good if SS recognise your Csil is on her knees and take into account what PIL are telling the rest of the family and push for the above.
My experience of SS for my parents in their local area was first class. With luck SS will play a blinder and look for solutions beyond what Csil proposes.

OhDearGodLookAtThisMess Wed 02-Jan-19 19:01:19

If they qualify for funding (PIL fully and MIL partially), then are you still happy to be paying your SIL's expenses for the forseeable future? And what happens to her once they are no longer here? Have you effectively signed-up for being financially responsible for her for good? Is she employable in future?

Slugslasher Wed 02-Jan-19 21:39:17

@ohDearGodLookAtThisMess we committed to contributing to csil’s ‘wages’ until she draws her own occupational pension later in 2019. She was not out of pocket due to giving up her job as the sum total of what we pay and pil pay made up what she was earning. She and they made the decision and we volunteered because we were (at the other side of the world) not able to physically help. Csil was convinced then that mil only had months to live. Fil was not confused, he just wanted to be able to live his life and be looked after by her. Csil requested this financial help until she drew her pension. We felt obliged to help due to not being there. She knows this will stop on her 60th birthday. H will honour his commitment until then as promised no matter what happens. We don’t want her having money troubles. If they go into care before then, she will either have to find work or ask both her adult children who live with her to step up. (I have no idea whether they pay their way in her household but I can hazard a guess they don’t).

OhDearGodLookAtThisMess Wed 02-Jan-19 22:33:57

I absolutely understand your reasons for doing what you have (and generously - I can't imagine many siblings would have done what you have). But presumably, that was when they weren't eligible for paid-for care. But as you say, you committed to it, and can't really back out now.

Slugslasher Thu 03-Jan-19 00:40:29

It’s not about the money. We think this will break her. Nobody could/should look after two vulnerable people with dementia on their own. She is insisting that she wants to. She wants to drag us all into her world. We are resisting.

Fortysix Thu 03-Jan-19 12:08:21

Does your CSil live in the same neighbourhood as your PIL and come under the same Council? If they are different it's possible local SS might encourage your PIL to move out their area of responsibility if your Csil is insisting...
However, if they are both the same, the SS team will have met your CSil on several occasions by now and will realise her solution might not be the right one for all concerned. To be fair to SS they won't want to cause a big upheaval for your PIL if they see that CSil's health is about to implode and they will end up 'fixing' the problem twice. They will be able to see the exchange of messages on the noticeboard for themselves and realise that 2 x sons are also still playing a positive despite role the control of their sister. I'm willing the SS team on from afar. I think they hold the solution.

Slugslasher Thu 03-Jan-19 13:27:30

Yes both come under the same council. Thank you for your input @Fortysix. H engaged with authorities along with csil once mil could no longer manage the stairs for the upstairs bathroom. A fully funded wet-room was installed. Mil initially refused to use it and continued to strip-wash at the tiny corner sink in the room. Csil now assists her in the shower.

Further meetings with csil and social worker have been without brothers present. Csil is adamant ‘she can do it all’ she presents as coping and managing but we obviously can see she is struggling.

Siblings are meeting today (mil is poorly with a virus, csil has called out the doctor so not sure if the meeting will be postponed). Brothers were ‘summoned’ to the meeting to ‘discuss future plans’. Namely to be told what she is planning to do. Nsil and I have withdrawn our labour. Both Hs have been told NOT to volunteer our services if she decides to move them in with her. If she decides to go ahead we want both brothers to meet with social workers without csil so they can express their/our concerns. To be fair... the social worker only knows what csil has told them. SW is bending over backwards to facilitate the move (if this is the truth from what csil tells us - I am not sure about that). The recorded message from ‘Christmasgate’ will be used as evidence of upset and distress that pil suffered when csil was called out after fil transgressed and left mil alone when searching for chocolate. We also have a photograph of nsil’s face (scratches and bruised) when several years ago csil attacked her when nsil stood up to her other regarding an issue. The family swept that under the carpet to keep the peace.

I also have a note threatening me with the police for ringing her when I was trying to talk to her about a toilet issue earlier in the year. We are all worried that Csil is going to crack with the stress and strain she is insisting on putting herself under. She is capable of violence, I am not sure if she would with them, but she can scream and rant and rage - we all have witnessed that. They all appease her. I went NC 15 years ago to avoid confrontation. I want to keep it that way.

Fortysix Thu 03-Jan-19 15:23:32

Maybe a brother should phone the SW team and ask to be included at the next 'family' meeting. This intervention may be what the SW team is hoping for and will help create a wider discussion beyond your CSil's agenda..
Regardless of whether MiL moves to her daughter's house or to a care home uprooting her to new surroundings will likely make her dementia worse initially. The SW team will be well aware of this and will already be weighing up the risks of the two options. My mum had to be sectioned as she became so agitated but no two cases are exactly the same. The SW team absolutely will have built up a picture of your Csil's determination and attitude over the last few years but will also have noticed the increasing stress. They also have a duty of care to her and will hopefully guide the outcome to what they believe is feasible and helps everyone.
Never having had POA for my parents I have no idea whether you CSil holds ALL the cards at the family meeting when decisions are taken, others will need to advise.
However, my hope would be that the SW team will suggest mother in law is sent to a care home sufficiently near that DFil can be taken to visit very regularly and actually spend long days with her. (They may require to take a charge over PIL's house.) Then maybe your Csil may get some well deserved rest and time to pick up the threads of her own life.
Fingers crossed for you all.

Fortysix Thu 03-Jan-19 15:30:41

Sorry just read social housing so no idea then how the finances would work out.

Slugslasher Thu 03-Jan-19 16:05:29

Thanks @fortysix. Some good points made there. I do know that bil is adamant that they do not move into csil’s house after ‘ Christmasgate’.

As I speak (unless csil has cried off due to waiting for the gp visit) H is at his brother’s house meeting for discussions. It will be war if csil’s plans are thwarted. This is going to escalate either way. Fil too will not wish to be separated from mil and his wishes will need to be taken into consideration. He just wants the status quo and carry on regardless so he can live his life with everyone at his beck and call. He’s 90 - I don’t blame him.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 10:39:28

Following sibling meeting it appears decision is made. Csil has not budged. She has said her brothers opinions will ultimately not count. Social Worker will only take parents’ wishes into consideration. They will not want to be separated they will go and live with her. “Over her dead body” will she allow them to go into a home.

Both brothers cannot fight the inevitable. Bil is contacting social worker for both brothers to at least lodge their concern for their sisters’ well being. Bil is angry H is sad and concerned. I and nsil will withdraw our physical support (we do not want to be under csil’s regime for our own reasons) and brothers (for now) are resolute they are not going to become carers for their (much-loved) parent’s.

We now all have to reshuffle the dynamics and resume life in a new way. (FOG is going to play a big part in it I fear).

ReflectentMonatomism Fri 04-Jan-19 11:00:57

Over her dead body” will she allow them to go into a home.

By the sounds of it, that metaphor may not be so metaphorical. What does happen when the whole thing collapses with her and they have to go into care at very short notice?

I suspect the answer will not be pleasant, but who, if anyone, holds a health and welfare power of attorney? And who holds the financial PoA, which I assume exists?

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 11:59:43

None of the above. Nothing is in place csil has ruled their
roost for years. I have been no contact with her and the brothers have been happy to let her until this particular shit is hitting the fan. No assets no money to argue over just the blessed responsibility now they are infirm and in need of help. PoA would not have been on their radar. (We have ours in place).

ReflectentMonatomism Fri 04-Jan-19 12:20:15

Oh Christ.

So how is your inlaws’ money being accessed by your sister in law? I get there aren’t a lot of assets, but presumably there are pensions, attendance allowance, maybe pension credit...? For example, who has applied for attendance allowance for your mother in law, and who s in receipt of it?

Your husband needs to either walk away completely and let the cards fall where they may (very hard) or at least find out how the mess can be dealt with when your sister in law finally collapses. If it’s being done by unauthorised use of debit cards then it’s a time bomb. By the sounds of it, your father in law at least might still be competent to draw up a PoA but your mother in law is likely to need a Court of Protection deputyship, which is expensive and painful.

OhDearGodLookAtThisMess Fri 04-Jan-19 12:35:21

Reflectant raises some excellent points there. We have just sorted out Financial PoA for my dad's bank accounts, even though he is still sufficiently on the ball to oversee things. We do actually have online access to his accounts but needed to make it all legal

This all sounds a terrible situation. It's well-nigh impossible to make changes to a family set-up that has been enabled for decades and everyone has (for their own good reasons) been operating according to their well-rehearsed roles. I don't blame you and your nsil for backing away. The bottom line is that you will probably just have to let this one play out and maybe step in and help salvage things (for your pil's sake) when (not "if") it all goes tits up.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 13:33:24

Authorised (by pil) use of debit cards for shopping purposes and (agreed by pil and csil ) ‘wages’ drawn by csil after she gave up her paid employment and essentially by mutual consent, was employed by them to be their carer. We topped up her income so she was not out of pocket. When the financial assessment was done recently, csil was advised to do this legally and had to (she Informed us) fill in a form from the bank. - (I’m not not sure what as I wasn’t involved) but as far as I know this was done. Pil’s income, H and I have no idea, we are not interested to be honest. We have never been involved in any of this nor want to be.

We usually ‘help’ if any expenses arise that pil cannot afford and haven’t often had to be called up to step in. H has said we will pay to have house cleared, reparations paid (there is a greenhouse that needs to be got rid of) we do this out of love for them so that they have no worries. We are a loving family we try to help each other. We do not agree with the current situation but we won’t stick the boot in and let csil struggle with disposal of the house and contents considering what she is prepared to do. Her attitude to us is ‘her’ problem we never rise to her provocation despite her toxicity. I have learned to not feed her fire. H handles her with respect but is no walk over. Csil and we have been at arms length for years. The current situation has brought us into each other’s vicinity. She thought she could bully us into her way, she now knows she can’t. Funnily enough lately, now that we have stood up to her, her manner has softened , she has lessened the nastiness and is icy as opposed to toxic. We are concerned for her but our main concern is for pil’s welfare. The current situation is in my opinion postponing the inevitable crash that will happen further down the line. Once they move in with csil I am ‘out’ and H will visit them on his own. He will not become carer he has made that clear.

Bil and nsil are both angry because they think (as they live close by) they will be expected to be ‘on call’ whenever csil needs them and they don’t want to be. Historically they have been called upon (now on a daily basis) and they are sick and tired of it. He is working flat out and never gets down time. Csil has been told by both brothers, her expectations of them when she does this is NIL. She has acknowledged this but is intent on carrying on.

Fortysix Fri 04-Jan-19 14:18:02

This is after a sibling only meeting? Has either brother actually spoken to a social worker recently?

Fortysix Fri 04-Jan-19 14:25:26

Sorry pressed too soon. If both PIL don't have POA then the social workers will have to play a bigger role and an advocacy officer could be called in surely? The SW team hold the purse strings and control the additional resources. I don't think CSil can actually do all this without POA if the brothers and F-i-l out number her...

ReflectentMonatomism Fri 04-Jan-19 14:27:28

Authorised (by pil) use of debit cards for shopping purposes and (agreed by pil and csil ) ‘wages’ drawn by csil after she gave up her paid employment and essentially by mutual consent, was employed by them to be their carer.

Using someone else’s card (ie, your name not on the card) is always a breach of the terms of a bank account. If anything goes wrong
She won’t have a leg to stand on.

Employing people off the books is a recipe for disaster. Is your sister in law making Class 3 National Insurance contributions or obtaining credit as a credit? If not, she won’t get a full state pension. Is she making over 11k? She should be paying tax. Is she claiming means tested benefits? And so on, and so on.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 14:47:51

There has been no contact with sw recently with brothers. Csil has informed us that she told SW that her brothers disagree with her decision. Csil has handled that side of things once she made her autonomous decision to take her parents into her home. Bil works roundthe clock and H’s stance was it was pointless getting involved whilst siblings disagreed on the way forward. He wanted an ‘agreed’ family solution to the problem before going to sw for assistance.

Brothers are now trying to contact sw to lodge their concerns now that csil has made her autonomous decision. H did not want warring siblings at any meetings. I Wish he had stepped in sooner but we are where we are. You can imagine... things are tense in our household. I am not actively involved and brothers are getting to grips with it all after years of ‘leaving it all up to her.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 14:52:04

No idea about your points@Fortysix. I think all these things were pointed out to her at the financial assessment. All these ’arrangements’ were between pil and her about 18 months ago - it is only now the authorities have been involved that this is coming to light.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 14:56:18

She has worked since she was 16. I think she has more than enough contributions for her state pension (if she paid a big stamp as it was in her days). She tells us she draws her occupational pensionn her 60th birthday. I think she gets a widow’s pension too. To be honest her own financial circumstances are not on my radar.

ReflectentMonatomism Fri 04-Jan-19 15:19:43

But the implications of being party to paying her cash in hand might become your husband’s problem.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 15:26:53

....and.... after all this she was recently ranting that she has not had a wage increase in three years and because of the increase in demands and the hours she puts in “ earns less than a shelf stacker in Pound Stretcher”.

She knows how to turn the screws with emotional blackmail.

We are up against it dealing with her.

Fortysix Fri 04-Jan-19 15:26:59

I had assumed that csil held both financial and welfare POA.
If both P-i-l hold diagnoses for memory problems/ dementia and don't hold capacity, then it is my understanding that the SW may step in and overrule a family member in exceptional circumstances, especially if she is 'forcing' father-in-law to sign paper work when he has no or limited capacity. I'm absolutely not an expert in this but I'm pretty sure SS can obtain court orders to bring people to a place of 'safety'. Others will be able to comment further. Honestly I think if p-i-l have a named social worker, the social worker will be hugely relieved at the brothers getting in touch.
Tell your DH warring families are an every day occurrence for the SW team.
If the local SW has invested resources on a downstairs 'wet room' they may have a view on CSil deciding to 'give up' that facility if she cannot offer her blind father something similar. They would want to satisfy themselves that both parents' mobility issues were met for starters.
Personally I don't think SW will let it happen.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 15:29:39

That’s the least of our problems @ReflectMonatomsm. But noted. I am at pains to mention that to a distraught H.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 15:33:02

@Fortysix you have a good point when we talk to SW because csil told us when they assessed her house that her bathroom could not be fitted with grab rails and the floor was slippery when wet. Also I am puzzled because there is a bedroom for fil but mil is going to share a downstairs bedroom with csil. Alarm bells are ringing there.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 15:43:49

...the wet room is for mil. I predict her mobility will cease imminently. Fil although blind manages perfectly with his own personal care.

ajandjjmum Fri 04-Jan-19 15:47:37

The 'over my dead body' comment was uttered by my SIL as part of a mad rant - leaves me cold. Especially as she followed it with the 'I'll see you in Court' cliche! They become more concerned with having the overall say, than considering what is best for people they are supposed to love. DH has little or no love for his mother, and what he does is purely from duty, but it must be desperately sad for your DH and his DB, who love their parents.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 16:00:30

As I said previously mil qualifies for a fully funded care home. Fil because he is capable of climbing stairs and doing his own personal care doesn’t. They will not want to be separated. Csil is doing this for the right reasons despite the fact she knows it will be a huge commitment.

She is adamant she wants to care for her mother until the end because she genuinely is terrified that she will be neglected in a care home. (we all know the horror stories). Csil will still be looking after fil because he doesn’t qualify. Brothers want them both looked after in a care home. They want to fight for this. Heartbreaking to see mil crying “don’t leave me on my own” to fil. Fil will go where she goes under that sort of emotional pull. Heartbreaking to witness. Hard to argue against csil who wants to a) look after her mother and b) keep them together. It will break her.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 16:03:04

H and II along with bil and nsil are going round and round in circles but can’t offer solutions to this family problem. Csil is willing to give her life to them. We don’t want her to do that for obvious reasons.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 16:04:13

It is desperately sad we are distraught

Fortysix Fri 04-Jan-19 16:27:41

I'm not surprised you are distraught. Hugely stressful situation. flowers

Would it be useful for you and the brothers to maybe look at what the funded care home options are locally? It would do no harm to find out if any are an easy commute to your F-i-l's property.

Not all funded care homes are awful. My DM has been in three in three years. Her first one was closed down after two years, her second was always a stop gap as we had to find her an instant space, and now her third one is absolutely excellent. Truly my mum, 87, now has more moments of lucidity than she did a year ago and she is a stone heavier than when she was at home (now 6.5 stones). Several separated by care needs couples spend the 'day' together and take meals together by arrangement.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 16:39:29

If we got agreement with all siblings or a carehome for both of them we would. Csil will not agree. We need a meeting with sw next to see if we can keep them together in care. Fil will be asked what he wants to do. He will not agree to be separated from mil. Csil wins on that one. I think we are in with a small chance to overrule csil if we can keep them together. My guess is SW will love the fact she is willing to take them in. Job done, problem solved - don’t you think? We shall see.

ImaginaryCat Fri 04-Jan-19 16:40:30

This whole situation is devastating and I have no solution to offer for what is the best outcome for the PILs. But have dealt with a lot of PoA / Court of Protection / care home / probate matters over the past few years, my pragmatic self has some very big concerns for you.

Firstly the way your SIL is accessing her parents' money has disaster written all over it. I truly hope she's kept a paper trail of everything she's spent on their behalf and some form of contract showing them paying her a salary. Otherwise she could be in huge trouble legally.

And you mention clearing the house if they move in with her. What will happen to the house? Will it be sold? Assuming this unsustainable situation crashes down in the near future and they go into care homes, I fear the council will expect the sale value of the property to have been put aside to go towards costs. If SIL convinces her parents to give any of that money to her to cover living expenses she's setting herself up for serious trouble.

I really think you are doing the absolute best you possibly can in this situation but I'm very worried for you and your DH when it all falls down, due to decisions you played no part in. I wish you the very best.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 17:14:23

@imaginaryCat Thank you for your good wishes. The house is rented from HA. Pil have neither savings nor assets. There has been a fa by social services. Yes we now realise their ‘arrangement’ is not legal or usual but her motives are (naively) sound. She does love them; they have been enmeshed in each other’s lives for ever. They are her life. She assumes full responsibility for them always has done. Her resentment at us stems from the fact we broke away from the family fold and forged a life beyond. She is jealous of that but that is her problem - not ours. We have come back from life beyond to a planned retirement and hit this head on.

ImaginaryCat Fri 04-Jan-19 17:20:50

Oh I don't doubt she genuinely believes in every decision she's making for them. But when the Court of Protection ask to see their bank statements and she's made numerous cash withdrawals or paid for things that could be for either them or her, they won't give a damn how honest her intentions were. No paper trail basically means financial abuse of a vulnerable person. My mum's been dead 2 years and I'm only now starting to throw away the boxes of receipts, because I'm finally certain no one's going to ask for proof of everything I spent on her behalf. And that was with the authority of the court after being appointed an official guardian.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 17:49:12

She is perfectly capable of explaining herself. I’ll leave that to her if she falls foul of the authorities. Our concerns are pil’s welfare if/when she crashes and burns under the sheer weight of what she is insisting on taking on. We don’t agree with her decision and suspect we are powerless to stop her without upsetting pil.

Fortysix Fri 04-Jan-19 19:16:40

My experience of SS in parents' area was that they absolutely prioritised needs and safety of parents. [ However, fully aware not all the same.] They kept my parents together in their own home (parents' wishes) for about three years after my DM's eventual dementia diagnosis. When my parents' situation eventually imploded without POA, they offered effective, instant practical guidance & I will always be grateful.

The SS is your DH & Bil best hope of the least worse solution. I don't think the brothers are powerless. I think their views will be treated with equal importance as none of the siblings actually holds POA.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 22:09:14

Csil told us emphatically that ss will ask pil what they want to do. Mil wants to go to csil fil - will despite telling us otherwise follow her because she doesn’t want to be separated. (Although minutes later she has forgotten the conversation). Round and round we go.

I think brothers’ wishes will be superceded by mil who doesn’t want to go into a care home without fil who doesn’t meet the criteria. If he did, we might have a chance to save csil from herself and keep them together and cared for in a home. Even if we won that battle csil will have a meltdown. She desperately wants to do this because she is convinced that only her way is best. Her anxiety for them is genuine.

Slugslasher Fri 04-Jan-19 22:17:21

Sw apparently only works part time. We are trying to contact her. I’ll return if/when we manage a meeting. Thanks for listening.

Slugslasher Sun 06-Jan-19 12:57:53

Following a solo (care) visit by H yesterday (I am standing firm on a decision I made regarding only assisting on grocery shopping day), H and I are coming to terms with the fact that we cannot halt the direction this is going. He had a gentle conversation with them both who are now accepting csil’s offer of taking them into her house. Mil implores fil not to go into a carehome and fil has with resignation accepted he has no choice but to follow her into being cared for by their willing daughter, as they wish to remain together.

We can’t fight this.

H will with bil endeavour to contact social worker to register their concerns for their sister (and their parents) and once the plans are in motion, will assist with the move and disposal of their unwanted belongings. Nothing of value, no issues.

Bil is disgruntled because he knows through (FOG) he will be called upon when csil screams for help (inevitable); nsil is angry because she has to live with a depressed disgruntled H and expects it will be she who will get the call to do the handmaiden’s job. This is coming between them. I am a sympathetic sounding board for her - I am aware of this.

H respects my stance as I made my stand regarding his sister 15 years ago. I have always maintained I will say my “goodbyes” once they go under her roof. I cannot be in the vicinity of csil without rising to her. The situation is better off without her and I meeting.

We respect and sympathise with cil’s loyalty and love for her parents. We absolutely disagree with what she is prepared to do. It remains to be seen if H sticks to his guns regarding not being drafted in to share the caring. We know the going is tough now - it is going to be a lot tougher as they deteriorate.


OakElmAsh Tue 08-Jan-19 11:07:53

Slugslasher what a horrible scenario ... elder care is tough enough without throwing an unstable self-martyring carer into the mix

Did DH/BIL have a meeting with SW in the end ?

Slugslasher Tue 08-Jan-19 16:27:00

A more positive update:

Today we had the meeting with sw (two of them) and I must say “what a breath of fresh air!”

Tuesday is the day H and I do ‘day care’. SWs arranged their ‘interview’ with pil (without csil) in order to ascertain their feelings regarding moving in with their daughter (csil). I sat in the dining room but could hear the whole meeting and H sat quietly whilst SWs did their gentle interview. Pil came across very well and their feelings were absolute that this is their preferred next step. Mil can have a lucid conversation and her feelings are genuine and articulate but capacity of consequences of her wishes are low and memory of that conversation is gone within minutes of having it. SWs are in no doubt that they want this to happen although fil did say he has no alternative.

H then went with the SWs to bil’s house for a separate meeting to ascertain their concerns regarding the burden and stress upon which, their sister, this decision will have.

They get it.

They were very surprised to see that both brothers’ primary concern was not about the welfare of their parents who we all know are very well cared for. The brothers sang their sister’s praises but they made their case very well. I know I have explained the situation regarding csil upthread so I won’t repeat it all here but SWs now understand perfectly that we have a controlling carer who can’t or won’t accept outside help and will be infinitely worse off (without our help) once she takes them into her home.

SWs were very helpful. They assured us it that is is their job to make sure they address the causes of stresses that carers are under in order to make their life easier. They said they could offer 4-6 weeks a year respite for csil so that she could have downtime and that they would not be separated during respite. H and bil were resolute that csil will find it hard to relinquish control to outsiders (she shadows cleaner/helper now and doesn’t take advantage of down-time when she is there), that is our biggest problem. Along with her controlling ways regarding fil’s diet and their constant battles over sweets stuffs; dramatic catastrophising; ‘wolf crying’; and resentful martyrism with guilt tripping tantrums... you get the picture, bils spelled out loud the sibling concerns.

SW told us we can postpone disposing of the house for up to 6 weeks (in order not to burn that bridge) if they move in and all measure of help and support (respite for 6 weeks a year in a home of our choosing) -all news to us! They were very helpful. They are now fully aware of what we are up against trying to get csil to accept outside help to make her chosen life choices easier.

They are going away to asses and write a report and want to call another meeting with all siblings together.

That’ll be ‘interesting.

We hope we are getting somewhere. SW will not allow pil to move in until they are satisfied it is the right thing to do.

Fortysix Tue 08-Jan-19 19:35:48

What an encouraging development, so pleased there's been such a swift response . The sw x 2 must have regarded the case as priority to fit you in so quickly, so that in itself is another positive.
At least now any more unilateral decisions made by csil can be challenged via the sw x 2 and everyone else's opinion gets an airing.
Suspect there will be fireworks from csil when she catches up with the meeting... but a day worth breaking dry January for... enjoy your evening!

Slugslasher Tue 08-Jan-19 20:23:06

Cheers, having a stiff gin as I speak. Tomorrow is another day.

Slugslasher Mon 21-Jan-19 14:05:21

Hello again,

Just a quick update: SW did not call a meeting with all siblings but had a separate meeting with Csil to "address concerns raised" by her siblings. Following this meeting it was concluded by us that there is no way we can stop Csil taking her parents into her home so both brothers have accepted this and are assisting with the move which happens on Friday. H is managing and funding the house contents removal/disposal/cleaning in order to take away extra financial pressure on his family. Mil's condition has deteriorated quite rapidly - she simply cannot continue in her home - that is plainly evident. Fil too although resigned, knows he has to follow her, his memory is failing, he is blind and is completely dependent on Csil for all his domestic needs.

Both brothers have specified that they will not be 'on call' for continuing care once she has them under her roof; she accepts their stance and is determined that she will be their main carer. They will be living with her from Friday and the house is being cleared/cleaned next week and the keys handed in to HA.

It remains to be seen how long Csil manages with this huge burden she insists she is willing to bear. I and nsil are maintaining our own stance. I have sadly accepted I will not visit them there because I wish to remain NC with Csil and Nsil is reserving judgement until the first 'upset' as we know things will not remain without drama for long. Pil have no idea the strain they are putting upon their daughter... they just know no other.

ImaginaryCat Mon 21-Jan-19 19:19:19

Oh OP, I'm sorry it's happened although I think it was obvious this was the most likely outcome. I think you're absolutely right to stand back. It's like the advice to let alcoholics hit rock bottom... if any of you help CSIL out it will just prolong the agony. She unfortunately needs to break before she'll accept this simply isn't the right outcome.
And believe me, I had sobbing phone calls from the care home to go and pick my mother up and let her go home, so I really do get it. But dementia means we're the grown ups and know what's best. Or at least some of us do!

Slugslasher Wed 23-Jan-19 11:48:09

Yesterday (Tuesday) was our ‘last’ rostered ‘help’ day. True to form Csil managed to create a drama out of nothing. She insisted on taking her mother to A&E in the morning after we arrived because she had a painful shoulder. We stayed with father, H did the shopping whilst I did laundry prepared their meals ( as usual). Father is very depressed at the impending move but blows with the wind. Last week he said to nsil “Csil is looking out for them because you all want to put us in a home”. (We all know whose words they are from). He is a man who has been used to having all his needs met by others but we have gently put him straight that ‘this is the end of an era’ and we are only as strong as our weakest point. Mother needs 24/7 care he has made his decision when asked - he has to accept it’s ‘not all about him’. He knows, but he is sulking. Csil texted from the hospital telling us not to leave fil. We told her he was fine, fed and watered and didn’t need us sitting with him until she got back - if we were needed, we would return. She expected us to ‘come to heel’ - we didn’t. She returned from hospital mid afternoon. Another storm in a teacup. H has gone there today on his own to organize house-contents for the move. I have declined my help as I don’t want to be around csil who is there too. They physically move out on Friday. H is organizing the removals/dispersal of unwanted ‘stuff’ (house full of unwanted hoarding - they threw nothing out) and cleaners hired next week to finish off. (We are funding this as they have no sparemoney). Once this is done, Cil is on her own unless there is a crisis.

Slugslasher Thu 24-Jan-19 20:28:23

Another day amplifying the madness this decision is to allow one person to take on two demented elderlies. Husband has been working all day emptying/sorting the contents of pil’s house ready for their move into Csil’s house whilst Csil handled the care of them both whilst running back and forth between both houses. Bill called round after work to find the two of them confused and agitated. Neither of them can remember making the decision to move nor what on earth is going on. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for them all.

ImaginaryCat Thu 24-Jan-19 21:31:07

Again, OP, you have my thoughts and sympathies. The first day my mum went into the care home was horrific. She became violent and assaulted the staff, other residents and me. Dementia turns people into something you wouldn't recognise. I hope tomorrow is at least survivable. CSIL is about to experience just what she's signed up for and I suspect there will be some desperate reaching out for her brothers as she realises this really is it.

Slugslasher Thu 24-Jan-19 21:51:35

Thanks @ImaginaryCat. The hardest part for me is watching both H and Bil wrestle with the grief for their parents as they deteriorate and the responsibility for their sister who has taken upon herself this huge burden against their will. It goes against both their personalities to stand back and watch her struggle but neither of them want to be dragged into her world. Someone said up thread she will have to be at rock bottom before she throws in the white towel. It is going to be hard for them to to do this.

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