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

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

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: 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.
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: 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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

 

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