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How to Help Mom understand taking care of her husband is too much on her

This may sound like I am rambling, but I can't seem to put all my thoughts together on this subject. My Mother-in-Law ("MIL") has separated and gone back to her abusive husband, Larry, several times.  Last year, she found out she could make money taking care of her bed-ridden abusive husband; and while she was emphatic about not ever wanting to be a nurse, she took on the role of caregiver for her husband through the VA. He is end-stage COPD, has dementia, is mean and becomes violent.


Now, her husband has ran off every CNA, nurse, in-home care person(s) with his nastiness to them and calls to their supervisors.  So between COVID and Larry's attitude, she rarely has anyone help her take care of Larry; therefore, my husband has to spend an incredible amount of time helping her. (We are in the middle of remodeling and replacing all of the floors in our home, have 3 acres to take care of, have custody of our Godson due to COVID, in addition to just normal day-to-day stuff)

There's a toilet in her living room even though he cannot get out of chair or bed to use it so she has to clean him up several times per day and night;

His oxygen level goes too low even though he has oxygen mask on causing her to call 9-1-1 only for them to get his oxygen level up and leave, but never taking him to the hospital.  So, she doesn't get much sleep;

She doesn't remember conversations we have had and often doesn't even remember calling or messaging me or my husband.

I have tried several times to explain that Larry needs 24/7 care and it is killing her.  She is 74 years old.  At this point, she could get hospice to come in; but he doesn't want his doctor to certify his being terminal to start the ball rolling for hospice.  He refuses to consider anything more than assisted living, which he doesn't qualify for due to his need for 24/7 care....he won't even admit that he is bed-ridden.  In fact, he just made MIL buy another easy chair to replace the hospital bed and won't admit he cannot get out of the chair without help.  He is over 600 lbs and she is barely 100 lbs.

How can my husband and/or I intervene before Larry kills her?


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Regular Social Butterfly

First, let me thank you for being so caring and strong for your parents...


I personally would contact senior services in the state where they reside. They will not reveal you as the reporting party; they will provide accurate and essential services.


It's hard when we don't recognize or acknowledge limits; I personally gave up driving two years ago because someone my age "accidentally" killed another in a traffic "accident". I didn't feel I could respond as necessary while driving, but many don't recognize that and continue until something terrible happens.


Feel you've given your best and continue to love them no matter where they reside.



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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