Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by dstc_99, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I need your alls help with a conundrum I have.

    As you know I manage mother in law's banking and she recently took on another bill that she can't really afford. I finally got the paperwork on the bill and I am litterally sick to my stomach with the financing she did. 2300.00 for a lift chair at 23.9% for 3 years. Seriously sick at my stomach. We also recently started giving her $200 a month just so she has enough money to eat and live.

    Anyway I put my foot down with husband and told him we were not doing another thing for mother in law's house until her dog was gone. The dog pees everywhere and marks everything. Anything you put in that house that nears the floor is peed on. I refuse to put money down the drain.

    So here is my issue. Paying for the chair out of her billpaying account means she is paying for it. BUT when I am putting $200 in her spending account for her to live on it kind of defeats the purpose. I could just take over the chair loan and pay it off faster saving money. BUT being muleheaded I just refuse to pay for something a dog is going to piss on.

    I am going to be taking care of this woman for years to come and I dont have an issue with that. I am angry that she didn't call me or husband before making such a large purchase when she knows I pay her bills and husband has much better common sense about money than mother in law. BUT it is her life and as far as she is concerned she will just eat peanut butter for the next three years in order to pay for the chair. Insert eye roll here.

    Am I just being silly? Should I just pay for the chair and stop being muleheaded?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does she need the chair? Would it not have been covered by medicare if medically necessary? I know sometimes its not.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Yes she needs it but I don't know about the Medicare part. My sister in law was with her when she bought it and she used to work in home health so you would hope she had thought to ask.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If she needs the chair and loves the dog, it may be her only source of comfort. I would not worry about her place if you don't live there. Also, if you don't want to take care of her, then I would look for a guardian for her. If it were me, and I'm no kid, if my grown kids put conditions on paying my bills, I'd rather they give it over to a guardian. And it could be easier for you too. Sounds like you want it your way...and that can hurt everyone, yourself included, and cause more problems than it helps.

    I can't imagine taking an old lady's dog from her for any reason. I know if I were old, taking my pets would probably make me give up my will to live. Maybe somebody should come in a few times a day to walk the dog. I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and somebody comes in three times a day to feed, walk, and play with the dog. This woman's dog is her baby and the most company she has as, sadly, she does not get many visitors, although she is a very nice person.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    sister in law was with her? and sister in law didn't call you about it? Is the rest of the family on-side with the help you are providing, or even aware of it?

    If she did this by herself, it's one thing. To have a younger, presumably with-it adult along, and do it... makes even less sense.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    The dog was her deceased husbands so she keeps it. She had two of the chairs to begin with but wanted an upgraded model. I can understand that, I mean she lives in the chair and the other two were either uncomfortable or not working properly. I just wish she had shopped around and or asked for assistance. husband and I would have at least help her get it cheaper and with a lower interest rate.

    I don't mind paying the bills and helping her out I guess I just get frustrated when she makes decisions without thinking about it. Right now she gets $1388 dollars a month in SSA her bills total $1304. Needless to say $84 wont feed her for the month. Thank goodness she gets $250 from the Army also. But now she is living off of $334 a month. Lord forbid she have any kind of issue. I don't ask her about it, I just let it go, because it is a mess we will clean up anyway. That's our roll in the family. When sister in law asked, she just said oh well I will just live off peanut butter and jelly.

    Long story short she can't afford to stay in her home, she is making unsafe decisions while living there, and she refuses to move. This means that husband and I will wind up footing the bill when something goes wrong. We always do. Way before I ever started handling the checkbook we made almost every large purchase in their home. I bought the bed she sleeps in! Now we are giving her living money as well. We had originally planned to save that money in case of an emergency at her house like a roof leak or something structural or a medical need.

    We would never let her suffer and we intend to make sure she is comfortable. I just hate putting money into that house or anything to go in it because it will be ruined by the dog. The house is worth 40K less than she owes already so it just a money pit at this point. A money pit swimming in dog piss. The nursing home she will eventually move into has three or four levels of care and is wonderful but they are adamant that things brought into the home are clean. Nothing in her house is going to pass their black light inspection. I just laughed thinking about the fact that she will probably have to move to the home before the chair is paid off and wont be able to take it with her.

    See I am muleheaded! LOL I love the woman to death and would do anything for her. We have never fought and never will but man oh man does she make me crazy with the finance stuff and that dog. In the end it doesn't matter because we will do whatever has to be done to keep her afloat. Well except carpeting that is where I will put my foot down. LMAO
  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Yes she was with her, nope she didn't call until after the loan paperwork was signed, and yes she is aware of the financial assistance. In fact she is supposed to be providing some as well but she is notoriously bad with money so....... Yep you see how this ends don't you. LOL mother in law who is clueless about money + sister in law who is bad with money = me and husband footing the bill every single time.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have you and your husband had an honest and open and blunt discussion of her finances? If she cannot handle the dog, is it fair to the DOG? If you cannot afford to live, how can you keep up with the cost of caring for a dog? Dogs are not cheap. Can she cover the vet care, monthly flea, tick and heartworm medications, checkups, etc...? Can she walk the dog? Is there someone who is able to care for the dog?

    This isn't a wise decision. It just isn't. Sometimes we have to do unfun and unpopular things for our elderly parents because they are not capable of making sound decisions. Living in a home where everything is covered in dog urine is unsanitary and unsafe. Period. In MANY states, the family could be in trouble for allowing an elderly person who needs care to live in a home that is unsanitary, and a place covered in dog urine is unsanitary.

    She needs to know her income and expenses and to know that she can make sound decisions or someone can take over if she refuses or is unable to do so.

    What is the sister in law's role in the chair? Why isn't sister in law urging her to look around? The person dealing iwth finances needs to set up guidelines for when to go ahead and when approval is needed. I would say that for any item over $50 or any medical item, you should be consulted. period. Of course you need to be available AND be able to say no and deal iwth the backlash. Otherwise your husband needs to take this over, or another of her children should if they will vilify you or husband for doing this.

    It isn't reasonable to expect you to keep her money straight if she is making decisions like this. You and/or husband need to set boundaries as you are clearly supporting her.

    This chair is likely considered durable medical equipment and may be covered, but usually that has to be checked before purchase. I would still check, and I might push her to return the chair. Esp if by returning it, you can get the doctor to rx one and then insurance and/or medicare will pay for part or all of it.

    Just because sister in law worked in home health does not mean she has a clue about what ins covers. I know that my Gma's home health nurse had zero clue what my Gma's insurance covered. Why would she know my gma's or any patient's finances?

    I know that the dog may be a comfort, but that doesn't mean keeping it is the right thing for her or the dog. If the dog is allowed to urinate everywhere, and training can't or doesn't stop it, and the vet has no way to help (if this is new it could be a medical issue), then the dog needs to be rehomed because it is unsafe for your mother in law to live in unsanitary conditions. And given the help she needs, and that she is making unsafe decisions, your husband and any siblings NEED to step in and make sure she is in a sanitary situation and a safe situation or else they could end up in trouble for neglecting her. Lots of that depends on your state, of course.

    If you need help with her, or with getting the family to realize that she truly needs help even if she doesn't want it, appreciate it, or like it, call social services for help. DHS will provide certain things for the elderly and helping you figure out all that is part of what they do.
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Have you and your husband had an honest and open and blunt discussion of her finances? If she cannot handle the dog, is it fair to the DOG? If you cannot afford to live, how can you keep up with the cost of caring for a dog? Dogs are not cheap. Can she cover the vet care, monthly flea, tick and heartworm medications, checkups, etc...? Can she walk the dog? Is there someone who is able to care for the dog?

    Read more:

    husband and I are completely honest about it. Thank goodness I have his full support. He is well aware of what is going on and why I get frustrated with it at times. He does too. He knows we are one emergency away from her being forced out of her home because we can't afford to bandaid the situation. My sister in law is worthless in stressful situations so one of us will have to drop everything and run to fix it.

    mother in law has had two knees and one hip replaced. She can't bend at the knee anymore when standing or she falls. She has kind of a weird walk waddle she does. She does not need to be spending her days cleaning up dog urine off the floors and furniture. She can't walk the dog, bathe the dog, or afford any care for the dog. All she can do at this point is feed the dog and that just got way tighter. It isn't fair to the dog or her for her to have to live in unsanitary conditions and the dog to be in such bad shape. In fact you just reminded me I need to get the dog signed up for an appointment with the groomer.

    As for anything wrong with the dog, it was hit by a car years ago and it was crated during the day while the previous owner ran a daycare (its a nipper). My deceased father in law and my mother in law never even attempted to train the dog. It is their concensus that the dog can't be trained because of brain damage and they refuse to crate it because it barks when put in the crate. This is where I roll my eyes.
  10. I know that I am chiming in late here, but I'd like to pass along some support. I am also currently providing assistance for my mother who lives semi-independently; and it's not a role for the faint hearted. I continually struggle with the need to be of assistance while not interfering with her desires and life choices. It's not easy to do. Add in years-old unhealthy methods of communication and the opinions of other family members - and you have quite a complex situation. I always try to remind myself of the ultimate goals - that she live as independently and as safely as possible. Those two goals are sometimes in opposition to one another. Everyday I try to "let go" of some of my opinions and help her move forward in the best manner possible.

    It's also difficult when you find you need to spend your own money to support the cause in ways you had not anticipated. I'm right there with you and I suspect many others are as well. My mother is 87 and while she receives a small pension and SS; it just isn't enough to meet all of her needs. As time goes on, that income will cover fewer and fewer of her needs. I've come to accept that reality .

    I think it is important to get occasional respite from this responsibility. That may mean giving yourself a day or two off from even thinking about the problems. It's also okay to feel frustrated emotions in response to frustrating situations. Be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. This is definitely and marathon, not a 5K run...
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I think that is one of the hardest parts for me. My mother in law is just not stable on her feet and is supposed to be using a walker. However, my husband called her the other day and she was once again out triming the grass with scissors and raking the leaves. She knows if she falls that she can't get up and an ambulance will have to be called. BUT it is much cheaper to do it herself. I can't seem to get it through her head that the 10 bucks she saves on weedeating or raking is a lot cheaper than a ambulance call for a non emergency.
  12. I understand, and agree that is a really tough issue. When my Mom began to be unstable in her ambulation, I told her that I would like to buy her a gift. We went to a local pharmacy and tried out lightweight walkers - you know the kind with a seat. She found one that was a beautiful shade of purple "her color" ;and she fell in love with it. It was not really that expensive, and it is the best gift that I have ever given her. She is never without it, and we periodically tighten it up, and have had to buy new handle covers. She keeps her extra pair of glasses, wallet ,and other odds and ends in the seat container. The down side is that she is now totally dependent upon it; but we always know that with its use a fall is a little less likely. It's tough to overcome the perception that some folks have about walkers, but they really do make a huge difference. Maybe she will come around in time? The yard work is a whole other can of worms. Not an issue with my Mom - her retirement community takes care of that . However the issue of "saving money" is a big one. I agree, sometimes spending a little money can save large amounts later. I think that concept is hard for those who grew up during the Depression years to really grasp.