Newbie after some support

Hi all, I am new to this a bit of background, in March my husband and 3 sons moved into a council house with my mother in law, previously she was in a council bungalow and we were in private rented accommodation. We carried out a mutual exchange to a bigger property to enable us to live with my 87 year old mother in law who was not looking after her personal hygiene, not cooking and cleaning, not going anywhere and constantly complaining that no one ever visited her, not true as family did visit although not as often as she would like. We didnt take the decision lightly and knew it would be hard, but I am finding it untenable, my mother in law has always been ‘lazy’ and her poor husband was run ragged doing everything for her prior to him going into a care home with dementia and subsequently passing away. I feel I am constantly depressed or angry I work full time in quite a responsible job out of the house for around 10 hours a day, as soon as I come in she comes into the kitchen waiting for me to cook dinner when all she has done is sat in front of the tv all day and not even made herself a drink or a sandwich unless someone has done it for her. As an example last night i came in from work to be met with being asked where everyone was as she hadnt seen anyone since getting back from the day centre (we arranged for her to go to 3 days a week) i explained we had been at work and the boys were out. I then asked if she wanted gammon steak egg and chips for dinner to which she replied yes, once i served it up with no thanks she said she had already had egg and didnt want the gammon, to which I responded that I was quite annoyed as that was a waste and if she didnt want it she could have told me when I asked. Thats when the (what I can only describe as strop) starts she then sits at the table for an hour in front of her plate waiting for myself or my husband to move the plate, eventually she moved it placed it in the sink and went to her room where she sat and didnt say a word, i went for a shower and said to my husband that she would come into the sitting room when i go upstairs and low and behold she did and preceded to sit in my chair the same chair i sit in every night, she then refused to go and get her tablets or go into her room until after 9pm meaning i had no where to sit and therefore went upstairs. On getting up this morning she told us she wasnt going to her club today and didnt talk to me. I am not sure if I am being unreasonable but I feel that I cannot go on much longer like this and kind of resent my husband for playing to her when she has her strops, my son has even said the house is so negative not something that our house has ever been and he is worried about my mental health. The other issue I have is should we or I decide this isnt working out we are then effectively homeless as the tenancy is her tenancy not ours. Am I being unreasonable any tips on how to deal with this would be gratefully received.

Hi Alison … welcome to an extremely quiet forum as I type.

Others will be along to add their insights into the day to day caring side.

Social housing … tenants … and that dreaded word SUCCESSION.

Can you inherit a council tenancy? - Shelter England
Council home rights if father has to go into care home | Dementia Talking Point

Best tackled now rather than to allow events to unfurl ?

SHELTER … through the first link … best to seek advice now.

A real shame you didn’t find us sooner. We would have said a resounding No to this idea.
Find another private rental and move out. The upheaval will be worth it to get your sanity back.

Hi Alison
Sorry to hear of your situation. You haven’t mentioned the word “Dementia” in your description of MIL. If you have not considered this please do research it -google early signs of dementia.
It won’t solve your problems but it may keep that personal resentment of a loved one at bay.

It is not just the classic memory loss symptoms

Having just re read your post, you talk about your “husband playing to her when she has one of her strops”.
Maybe he is the key to all this?? Is he still behaving as an obedient little child to his mum, as I as to mine until I had counselling and realised, years too late, that it WAS OK to say “No” to my own mum?
Did she always rule the roost in her own home when the family was younger?
Is it worth having the “Her or Me” discussion?
I think you would benefit hugely from counselling to find a way through this, it certainly helped me understand what was going on a lot more, and how to deal with it.

Henrietta thank you she was diagnosied with vascular dementia around 5 years ago, however there has been no decline in her memory during that time and I was with her when she done the memory test and Im not convinced that she treated it as she should simply saying I dont know to a lot of questions, etc, during the time since her diagnosis she still knows when and what tablets to take although I do put them out for her but if I forget she reminds me, she has never gotten confused over family members, now again she has slight confusion this is usually on the days she is on her own and doesnt ensure she is drinking enough so I have tended to put that down to slight dehydration. She always knows when her pension is due and if i forget to give her it on the day she will prompt me so i struggle slightly with the dementia diagnosis. Her husband suffered with vascular dementia also and we watched him spiral over 3 years whilst in a care home.

Bowlingbun - interesting point re counselling as my son has suggested that as he can see the effect this is having. With regards to when they were younger she never ruled the roost as such but has always been ‘needy’ and expected everything and everyone to revolve around her. How did you get on the counselling route was it a referral from a doctor or something you found yourself I would be interested to look into that.

My first counselling was arranged by the local Carers Group, but I wasn’t told at the outset that it was a limited number of sessions! It was free though. It was an interesting experience, the counsellor could see the “real” me, not the bogged down carer, and he gave me “permission” to have a life of my own, not just continual carer for mother and son, both disabled.

The surprise bonus of all this is that it made me see myself differently regarding art! I always said I was useless at art, I can’t draw for toffee, and my worst school grade was for Art, because that related to drawing.

However the counsellor truly shocked me when he said I was the most artistic person he knew!!! I love colours, love dressmaking, always wore coordinating clothes, even loved wall papering, which most people hate.

How I wish someone had told me this years ago, it would have helped me understand myself, and my behaviour, so much better. I now know why sometimes I like to have “Dilly Daydream” times, when I like to sit and apparently do absolutely nothing, planning projects, playing with my dress patterns, surrounding myself with my fabric stash, etc. etc. I don’t like wearing shop bought clothes, far happier in those I’ve made, in the fabrics I like.

My second, long term counsellor is a lady called Helen. She was a huge support to me when mum was dying, and I had problems with Social Services as far as my disabled son was concerned. As I’m widowed, Helen is the only person I can tell how I’m really feeling, who can help me in any way.

She was highly recommended by my GP, but costs £30 a session. When I was in a mess, I saw her every week for a while (by this time my financial situation had fortunately changed), but then didn’t see her so often. Just knowing I can go and see her is enough, but after another flurry of stupid emails from SSD I feel another visit soon. It’s a bit like giving her a lot of unwanted baggage I can do without. Someone who is just focussed on me, and my well being, when most of the time I my chief roles are as Mum or Nanny, or owner of the house and steam engines!!