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bulletin board main page >> What to do with a family member?

Posted by Jamie on August 25, 2003 at 13:16:10:

I live in NC with my husband. My mother-in-law and husbands family lives in NY, upstate near buffalo. When my husband, who is now 30, was 6 his parents divorced & a year later his mother suffered an aneurysm (severe head/nerve trauma) leaving her handicapped. She basically became a high functioning alheimzeier like young woman with three children. And she drank, not necessarily to the point of being an alcoholic, but a lot, and with her condition, she didn’t last very long. Anyway, now she’s a little old lady, she's never worked and now lives all alone. The kids are grown and the two that still live up there try to stop in once a week. My husband’s brother controls her pocket money, for grocery's and the like. He does this because four years ago, she got a hold of a credit card and ran seven thousand dollars up on it. She doesn't understand money, credit and its useless to try to explain it to her, when she forgets the next day. So, her kids try to stop in, check on her and that’s all they can do. Well, John called last night. He said that when he stopped in the other day, her fridge was filled with booze, no food, and just bottles of booze. It really worried him. 1, she shouldn't be drinking, not with her condition, her age and the fact that she's alone all the time; 2, where did she get the money, they think she's found a way, and gotten another credit card. My husband and his siblings don’t know what to do and we are all worried. What do we do???
I thought what about a retirement community-not a nursing home, but a nice place where she lives near other people her age, can make friends, isn’t alone, and has some medical supervision. My husband doesn’t want to do that, he just hears the word nursing home and freaks out. I thought about getting one of those traveling nurse assistant people to come check in with her every day. Someone to make sure she’s taking her medication, who’s there at different times of each day, to try and discourage her from drinking, someone for her to talk to and not be so alone. My husband said she was too sneaky and would figure a way around it. And, I know it would be a huge inconvenience on us, and she drives everyone crazy (just because of her condition) but I even suggested moving her down here to live with us for a few years. Then perhaps his sister or brother could take her for a few years, but he says she’d drive him too crazy and he could never stand it. I am out of ideas, but this problem is really stressing out my husband and we’re all worried about her as well. What are we to do???

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