Venting over SIL
Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:40 PM
DH hands are tied as MIL is FILs MPOA and then SIL#1 is second in line. Hospice nurse called DH yesterday to state her concerns to him and she also called SIL#1 and SIL#4. SIL#4 then proceeds to call DH and let him know he "needs to do something" as she's too old, she lives too far away (45 min. max), blah, blah, blah. At this point the only thing left to do is put him in a nursing home, yet DH does not have the authority to do that. DH tried talking to his mom last night again about the situation, there is a plan in place but the plans have changed throughout the course of a year now and nothing concrete except for trying to stick it out at home with him the best way she can. What I want to know is where in the h%ll does she get off not being there and thinking that she has a right to tell DH what he needs to do to step up to the plate? It's one thing to bury your head in the sand and pretend that it's not your concern, it's something totally different to bury your head in the sand and then have the audacity to tell others who have been there that they need to do more.
How do I help my DH at this point? How can I give him the support he needs to be strong for his parents? It's gotten so that he can't even stay in the room very long with his dad for fear of breaking down in front of him (and DH is not one to break down easily, especially in front of others). Yet his dad needs all of the support he can get right now too.
ETA: This is rosered135, one of the lead moderators of this group. Sorry to interrupt the flow of conversation but there's an error in the link to this thread that's currently on the Home Page. There it says "Venting About My Son-in-Law (italics mine)," when, in fact, the acronym "SIL," as used here, refers to a sister- in-law.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:51 PM
Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:54 PM
I'm very familiar with hospice since my mom died while in an inpatient hospice, and I worked for a different hospice for quite awhile. Any hospice is required to have a chaplain and a social worker. Those people are there to help family members as they navigate the system, and to provide emotional and spiritual support to the person who is their main client AND the loved ones of that person. In fact, their main client is the patient AND loved ones. They may have some help for you.
I wonder if your husband's family is dumping on him because they just can't handle it all, emotionally? That happens sometimes when someone is on their last road. That doesn't make it easy or fair to the one being dumped-on. All you can do is be there for your husband and keep telling him he's doing all he can. If he breaks down and cries, he breaks down and cries. It's not the end of the world, although I'm sure he wants to keep from doing that. If his dad is even reasonably coherent, he may need to be able to express his feelings too. If everyone keeps from showing emotions, then dad might feel he can't show his either. Then his come out in depression and incoherence.
Is there a hospice inpatient facility dad could go to, nearby? Those can be awesome. That would take the burden off the family to provide 24/7 care and it can cost very, very little financially.
The hospice nurse or social worker should have access to paperwork that your dad could sign when he's coherent, to give your husband legal authority to make decisions for him. It's not too late for that unless he's always incoherent.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:57 PM
I'm so sorry, Wees. What a crappy thing to have going on at any time and especially the holidays. Hugs to you.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:06 PM
People really do go down hill fast when they don't eat or drink. Their kidneys shut down. It might be approximately 2-3 weeks depending on how hydrated they are in the first place. Since he is still eating some it may be a bit longer.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:18 PM
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:19 PM
I am betting that the situation is going to take care of itself, before Mr. Wees family makes a decision. One bad fall is all it will take, then something will HAVE to be done. Sometimes I think people would rather it happen that way, so no one has to be "the one" that puts Daddy in a nursing home.
Just listen to DH and listen is he wants to talk, be silent if he wants to be silent and hold on to his arm and give extra hugs and smiles. This is going to be hard on him, and you and the boys will be the ones that get the fallout. So sorry.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:20 PM
Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:04 PM
Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:25 PM
One moment that stands out to me rather horribly from my childhood was the weekend my dads siblings all came to our house to make care and (unbeknownst to me at the time) end of life decisions with my grandmother. Reading your post, I see it with a different light since at least they did all come together and work as a team for their mom. I wish your SIL would be "on the same team" with your DH, leaving him alone in this is cruel.
I think the best that *you* can do (other than the swift kick in the pants it seems like SIL needs) is to remind your husband, now that your FIL can't, that he is doing this out of love for his father and that on some level his father knows it. Compliment him sincerely on his strength at this time.
AND I agree with PP to look for in-home resources your IL's may be able to utilize. Nurses kept my grandmother at home with us for years longer than she might otherwise have been able to be home, and it mattered to her (and to us) so much.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:45 PM
DH hands are tied as MIL is FILs MPOA and then SIL#1 is second in line. Hospice nurse called DH yesterday to state her concerns to him and she also called SIL#1 and SIL#4. SIL#4 then proceeds to call DH and let him know he "needs to do something" as she's too old, she lives too far away (45 min. max), blah, blah, blah.
Sounds like it would be appropriate for DH to tell SIL#4 if she wants to voice her concerns she is free to take them to MIL and SIL#1. They're the only ones in charge. DH should remind SIL #4 he is no more in charge than she is. No matter who lives where.
If FIL wants to die in his home, and if MIL wants to keep FIL in the house, and if SIL#1 can't or won't override her, then perhaps DH can find comfort in that they are doing what they want with their lives. He may not like it or agree with it, but this is what they want for this terrible situation and they are getting it.
DH can visit his dad as much as he can and you can support him in doing that. Maybe shorter but more frequent visits, or visits where DH takes a walk or two, will make it easier not to break down. Maybe its ok if DH breaks down in front of them once in a while, and MIL and FIL will see that as his love and empathy. Crying with someone can very much feel like support. Maintaining a facade of stoicism is not all DH has to offer them.
Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:27 AM
SIL #4 is the one that has never had anything to do with the rest of the family. She is DH only sister on his dad's side. In 18 years together I can count on one hand literally how many times DH and I have had contact with her. She calls MIL & FIL but very rarely visits.
SIL#1 is the one w/ 2nd place MPOA behind MIL. She is the one that gave me such a hard time when I asked for a break and she's the one who I handed everything over too. After I handed it over is when MPOA was implemented. She can only make decisions if MIL is not incapacited to make those decisions for herself or FIL, so yes, even SIL#1 hands are tied to some extent. Besides, the time it would take to legally get anything overridden it may not be necessary as it would be possibly too late.
DH family is the type to put issues out of sight out of mind until they just absolutely HAVE to deal with it. That is why things are at this point. They have a social worker working with them. They have the nurse working with them. But it ultimately boils down to them giving options of what CAN be done and MIL not taking the next step. She is not doing it to be stubborn...the woman feels enormous amounts of guilt over "throwing him away" as she puts it. I can't say that I blame her...TBH if I were in her shoes I don't know that I wouldn't feel the same way. DH has been trying to encourage her to let go and make sure he's in a place that he can properly be taken care of. I have a strong feeling that it's going to take a major fall for the decision to be made if things go on that long.
I feel that it won't be long...how long I can't say...I think he is giving up the will to carry on. It could be another 6 months or so. He is not coherent on most days, but he does know that something is in the making. MIL has been offered by the long distance SIL to come live with her and put FIL in the VA home a couple of blocks away from her home. FIL thinks that MIL is going to live with her and leave him behind. He's overheard bits and pieces of options but does not get the whole story and everyone tries to shield him from it. My personal thoughts are for everyone to give the man the dignity he deserves and answer him honestly when he asks questions. But again it's not for me to decide.
Hospice gave a pamplet to read of what to expect and how to prepare yourself and your loved one and how to treat your loved one. I asked DH if he has read it yet and he said no. I told him that I thought he should to prepare himself and to figure out the best way to treat his dad while he's still here that he should read the pamphlet.
Death of a loved one is nothing new to me. Being on the other side of it with being DH support is though, he's never had to go through this with a loved one before. I'm just not sure how to support him. I know how to support his Dad. I know how to be that shoulder for his Mom. My instincts are to jump in there for DH to take this load off of him. If I could carry this burden for him, I would in a heartbeat. I also know I can't do that. I know what I would have said to his sister had it been me who took the call. It just rips my heart into to watch him have to go through this and then to have to be badgered by someone like his sister in the way she did angers me to no end.
What do I say to him when that weight gets to be too much? Or do I just say nothing at all and listen? I know these aren't questions that anyone can really give me answers to. It's just so different with it being DH experiencing it ya know? The closest way I can describe it is almost like... you know that feeling of wanting to take the pain away when your child gets hurt? That except not in a motherly type of way.
Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:41 AM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:46 AM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:53 AM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:05 AM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:21 AM
What do I say to him when that weight gets to be too much? Or do I just say nothing at all and listen? I know these aren't questions that anyone can really give me answers to.
Could you ask him what he needs from you in the moment? I know it's not always possible to do that (and he may not even know what he needs at some points) but I know from my own experience, just hearing "what can I do for you?" from my DH really helps when struggling with big things like this - even if I don't have an answer. I'll be thinking of you all, and I hope things work out for FIL and MIL in a way that isn't so hard on everyone involved : (
Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:55 PM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:48 PM
I'm so sorry you and your family are dealing with this. My family had to deal with something similar before my paternal grandfather died about 11 years ago. It was really hard on my parents. We moved my grandfather into our house after he had a bad fall in his home. My mom was primarily responsible for caring for him and it was really hard on her. I tried to help as much as possible but I was in law school and out of the house a lot with studying and working. We eventually had to put my grandfather in a nursing home and that decision was a really really hard one for my father to make because it's kind of ingrained in our culture that the children are responsible for caring for elderly parents and that you don't put them in "homes." I think he felt a lot of guilt about it and that was probably it took so long for him to make the decision even after it became apparent that we just weren't capable of giving my grandfather the care he needed. Caring for my grandfather was really a 24-hour job and was really wearing my mom down. It's a really tough decision for any child to make for their parent. All my mom or my brother and I could do was just be there for my dad and support his decisions regarding my grandfather. I wish I had better advice for you.
ETA: I don't know what to tell you about your unhelpful in-laws. My dad's siblings were basically out of the picture and he didn't consult with either of them before making the decision to put my grandfather in a nursing home. There had been a lot of bad blood between my father's siblings and my father and they hadn't treated my grandfather very nicely in the past.