Should I Stay Out Of My Husband's Family Drama

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Should I Stay Out Of My Husband's Family Drama
17
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 8:09pm

I recently posted about my in laws wanting my husband to contribute to an expensive funeral for their sister and we could not afford it. Now on the heels of that drama they are faced with another financial crisis that the family wants everyone to contribute to.

My 84 year old MIL broke her leg and foot from a fall in her apartment and has been in a rehab facility for the pass three months. Now her medicare has run out and they will no longer pay for her to stay in the facility. My MIL just had surgery on her leg and foot three weeks ago and her dr has said she can not be released without 24 hour care as she can not stand and care for herself.

She would be eligible for emergency Medicaid, and an in home care giver service through the county  and Aid and Attendance benefits from the VA because she is the widow of a veteran who had served in a foreign war, but she will not cooperate with the family to get her these benefits she is eligible for. She is insisting that the family is plotting against her to put her in a nursing home and that she wants to go home and that her kids should care for her. The problem with that is… it was tried before she ended up in the rehab facility, she is over weight, diabetic, but worse of all she is mean and spiteful. Because she is so heavy and is dead weight she was dropped numerous times and the family is not trained to do that type of heavy lifting. But worse of all she got angry with her daughter who was staying with her to care for her and threw an iron at her. She then scratched her arm up trying to fight her because the daughter refused to give her a coke. Mind you this woman is diabetic and had just been released from the hospital the day before because her sugar level was 490 and she almost went into diabetic shock after her daughter had allowed her to eat a whole apple pie. The daughter left after a week of abuse from my MIL and so she was placed in the rehab facility.

Because my MIL won’t provide them with any financial information or cooperate with the family to get her additional financial help to pay for her to stay in the facility, the family is faced with a choice of bringing her home with no care in place to take care of her or pay out of pocket themselves.

My brother in law who has been taking care of all of  the arrangements for my MIL has decided to take out a loan to pay for 60 days in an assisted living facility and wants the family to help pay it back.

Our position is that my brother in law has access to all her financial information in her apartment and that we should get it and apply for everything she is entitled to and not let her continue to bully and control everything and that they need to lay down the law with her. They won’t do it because she has told them she won’t speak to them again if they go against her. My husband spoke to his brother and told him to just let us deal with this situation because he didn’t care if she never spoke to him again. Then his family had a meeting without letting my husband know about it and then decide we all are going to help foot this bill.

My husband is livid, but still trying to figure out how we are going to pay our supposed portion. I am against it because I feel they intentionally excluded him from the meeting because they knew he would be against it. But don’t know if I should just stay out of it and let him do what he feels he needs to do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

Thanks for your input, my husband is the most rational of them all in this situation and hopfully he will be able to make them see that they need to apply for all the aid my MIL  is entitled to.There are a lot of options available to her from the the state , county and VA. They did run into one road block when applying for medicaid, they said because she had a life insurance policy worth $5000 and it had a cash value that she would need to cash it in and turn the money over to the facility.

The family needs the policy for my MIL's  burial expenses so they were not about to cash it in. My husband suggested that they cash the policy out put the money in a savings bond in my brother in laws name and say that the money was used to help cover the expenses of her deceased daughter's funeral since all this was going on during the time of his sisters death it made for a perfect cover. At first my MIL was on board with the plan then changed her mind the very next day and had her bags packed saying she was going home and yall figure it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011

If you haven't already done so, Try contacting an Elder Rights Lawyer. He can best tell you how to protect family assests. He can tell you what you can legally do or not to in relation to your MIL and the health care factlities.

Wth your MIL it may be best she is in a LTC facility. I think she will burn anyone out. But  at least there is also documentation of her being non-compliant in her behaviors. And hopefully better able to control them too. Has your MIL been tested for compentency? I know she has rights but in the end you have to do what is best for you. and your family.

Good luck

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 2:04pm

Medicaid does require her to "spend down" her assets if she has more than they allow, but I'm pretty sure that there is a way to set aside money for funeral expenses, although it might be less than $5K. You could get some basic info by Googling "medicaid spend down" plus the name of your state. Like the previous poster said, an attorney specializing in Elder Law could really help in this situation and would probably be well worth the expense. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
I think you should stay out and let him handle this the best he can.
When I read this kind of posts I ask God to not let me live much, and be a big bother for my kids and inlaws.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

No she has not been tested for competency. But according to her family and from what I know of her based on the past 26 years of my knowing her, she is the same spiteful, manipulative, mean spirited person that we know her to be. She is very compentent and knows exactly what she is doing, it is those around her letting her call the shots that need to be tested for competency.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

If not for the type of person  my MIL is it would not be a bother. She is mean and ran away her caregiver and is prone to violence when she gets angry. When my mom got sick, we took turns caring for her until her dying day. We did not view her as a bother at all we were just sad to see her soo sick and unable to care for her. She was not mean or hard to get along, she cooperated with us to get her all the assistance she was entitled to. But my dad was another story we ended up putting him in a nursing home because he was soo mean and hard to care for.

I think the situation depends on the people involved and just because you get old does not mean you will be unable to care for yourself and be a bother to anyone. Some people grow old and take care of themselves to their dying day.

Thanks for your input

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