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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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

I would say to stay out of it, except that it looks like you will be financially impacted if you don't get involved. 

Is her doctor willing to discharge her from the faciility, knowing that she will not have trained caregivers, that the family cannot control or lift her, and she is non-compliant with medical orders? (and that she could have care but refuses to cooperate with the paperwork?)

You may need to talk to the business office at the facility and to a lawyer. It used to be that if she left the facility then returned that Medicare would start paying again...I don't know how it works now but I'm sure the facility knows exactly how to play the game with insurance companies. The lawyer can advise you on power of attorney issues, if she needs to be declared incompetent so a relative can take over the paperwork, or if there is some other way to get the info/apply for the aid without her agreement. 

Like with the funeral expenses issue, your dh needs to stand up to his siblings again. Your dh did not agree to the loan idea and they cannot make him help repay it, but he needs to tell them now that he will not go along with it. 

What a mess. Sorry that you are having to deal with all of this stuff. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

1.  Regardless what the family decide, they have no right to "decide" on your/your DH's money.

2.  Based on the post about your late sister in law, your DH has no money.  I don't think you need to get into your DH's drama, just hold tight to your money and a simple "no" should suffice.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

The doctor wrote a letter saying that my MIL was unable to care for herself for at least the next 10 weeks and should not be discharged unless she had someone to care for her at home and there is no one. The daughter who had cared for her before said she would try again, but today she was admitted into the hospital herself due to her her diabeties being out of control and with her health problems that is  absolutely out of the question. The family has talked to the business office and they maintain that my mil has to go because medicare is no longer paying and she has no  other insurance to pay her expenses. They only offered two additional days and to help train a family members to care for her. Their sole goal was to get the family to pony up the $260 per day for her care or to take her out of the facility. And my mil's goal is to go home and force her children to take care of her as a matter of fact they had a hospital bed and porta potty delivered to her apartment.

 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:44am
The family needs another medical opinion, because mom sounds somewhat demented. Apparently she isn't tracking with the idea that if the hospital won't keep her and her family won't take her, and she won't help herself by applying for the benefits she's entitled to, she's going to be homeless.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

According to my husband and his relatives she has always been demented. This woman starved the family cat to death when they were little kids because it jumped on the counter and ate her steak while she was letting it cool off. She said she hoped he enjoyed it because it was going to be it's last meal and she meant it. They are all so dysfunctional as a result of being raised by this mad woman and continue to let her insanity rule and control everything.

Then she acts so normal and in control with everyone else outside the family. She is active in the church and everyone in the church and in her senior building adore her and thinks she's the nicest person in her world.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 11:08am

<they had a hospital bed and porta potty delivered to her apartment>

Hopefully, when she sees that they let her go home she will agree to fill out the paperwork for the in-home caregiving.

Someone needs to keep talking to the doctor about her behavior and non-compliance; and it would still be a good idea to get legal advice regarding power of attorney and how they decide if she can make good decisions for herself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

My MIL wants to go home and force the family to care for her and that is the problem and the main reason she won't cooperate. The family is so bullied by her and they are afraid to go against her even to act in her own best interest. Plus since they recently lost a sister who they have a lot of guilt regarding the way they treated her prior to her death. They are treading lightly around my MIL and falling all over themselves to make her happy, even though they can't afford her care. That's what is so frustrating with this whole situation.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

In my experience, a hospital can't release a patient who is incapable of caring for themselves unless they have care available at home.  The hospital has a social services department that should be helping out in this situation.  This is particularly important since she is abusive and dangerous.  If family agrees to take care of her, the hospital will sign her out and you have the responsibility...then the family will be "stuck" taking care of her despite her abusive ways. 

Check with the social services department at the hospital and see what they can do to help. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

I have told the family all of that and they even gave the rehab facility the doctor's order stating she should not be discharged without 24 hour care. The social worker kept referring the family to their business office about payment arrangements. I told the family that they should inform the facility that there is no one who care care for her and force them to make the arrangements for their mother because that is the job of the case worker.

But my brother in laws allowed the facility and their mother  to pressure them into taking out a loan to pay for her care. My issue is they didn't  listen to reason and then expects everyone else to chip in to pay back the loan, whereas if they had listened to my husband and myself there would have been no need to take out a loan in the first place. My husband and I were to meet with the facility and were supposed to be taking over, but my MIL pitched a hissy fit and said she did not want us to take care of it. She knows I have legal background and has a history of getting things done and not letting people roll over me, so she did not want me anywhere near the situation because her plans were to get out and go home. So the family asked us to back off because they did not want their mother upset.

I personally think my brother inlaws  are mading a big mistake because they are thinking that they just pay for 60 days care and after that she can go home and everything will be just the same as before. I don't believe she ever be able to live on her own again because she is 84 years old, diabetic, has high blood bressure, a bad heart and is over weight. She keeps falling in her apartment and has trouble getting in and out of her tub. They have no back up plan and are letting their mother call all the shots and I just think that in 60 days after the money has run out they are going to be faced with the same situation again. But my major concern in the financial implications for us. We have a 16 year who is going to college in two years we have to think about his future. My husband keeps going back and forth between he's not going to contribute to maybe he should take out a line of credit to pay his part. I tell him he has no part since he never agreed to it in the first place, but guilt is a powerful thing to try to combat.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 1:14am

<I told the family that they should inform the facility that there is no one who care care for her and force them to make the arrangements for their mother because that is the job of the case worker.>

What kind of arrangements can they make for her, without her consent? The case worker can explain the options and make suggestions and maybe even help with forms but MIL/family need to provide documentation.

As a business they have to know how they are going to get paid for the services they provide, they informed the patient/family that Medicare will stop paying on day X. Patient/family then needs to tell them what other method of payment will occur, whether its Medicaid or VA or private long term care insurance or cash from BIL's loan; or that they are going to remove the patient because they cannot afford the facility and do not qualify for other insurance. It sounds like MIL could safely be back in her apt if she has the appropriate caregivers who know how to move her, monitor her various health problems etc.

I completely agree with you that you have to look at your own upcoming expenses--ds' college tuition etc. If your MIL had no other source to provide the caregiving then I might agree that your dh should pitch in. But it sounds like she does have other resources...and the other relatives are being stupid to pay out of their own pockets when MIL has benefits available that would cover it. It sounds like your dh is willing to endure his mother's ranting while he ignores her demands but the others won't take advantage of his offer. At church when they talk about contribution they say that tithe is not the only way to give: they say time, talent, or treasure. Your dh has told the relatives that he does not have any treasure to contribute, but he is offering his time and your talent. They are turning that down because they only want treasure, but that's their problem! Your dh should continue to refuse to chip in towards that loan, keep telling them to somehow go around MIL to get the benefits flowing. Like you said, what do they think is going to happen in 60 days when the loan money is gone? Maybe your dh can start individually lobbying the more logical relatives to form a bloc of family members who will take a rational long term approach. I realize that you already know all of this, I'm saying it more as things you can tell your dh to reinforce his position when the relatives start wearing him down.

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