Night care for Mother-in-Law. Difficult new stage

To bowlingbun:
He gave up his job for various reasons. I don’t feel like I need to work too much so everything is ok here. As far as I know, MIL’s Attendance Allowance is used as financial support for us. But obviously, if we were fully paid carers, we would earn much more. We are happy to help without money but there are limits and we are probably reaching them now.

To Charles_2112:
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I think it’s too late for POA. GP said a psychiatric assessment will probably be needed (long queues). If only MIL was willing to accept some respite care… But she sticks to my husband and - what a surprise! - me. Unfortunately, she is able to tell me things like: “You want me dead”, “You married my son and I lost everything I worked for”. I’m trying not to take it personally and just endure but it’s hard. My husband gets similar treatment from her sometimes.

A mental capacity assessment doesn’t have to be done by a psychiatrist or Social Services.
Read up more on this subject.
A knowledgeable solicitor should be able to do it.

Just a quick clarification: a psychiatric assessment is different from a mental capacity assessment. You can have a psychiatric illness - e.g. bipolar disorder - without losing mental capacity, at least for some of the time.

Mental capacity is solely about being able to make a decision, which is specific to the decision to be made. As an example, my son can make some decisions about what food he’s going to buy, having decided on his menu for the week (with help from staff to keep him within nutritional guidelines), but he can’t make decisions about his bills. This can be assessed by any professional such as a medical professional or social worker, a solicitor or for the purposes of a POA even a suitably qualified will writer (who if they have any concerns will refuse to write up the POA and usually suggest Deputyship or consulting a medical professional for a more detailed assessment).

Thank you for your replies. They are very informative.
BTW, MIL now has second thoughts and she says she will need support at night until she recovers from injuries after her fall. What a rollercoaster!

Good, as long as that is PAID carer support, not family!

After my first night with MIL. Quite good. Looks like her main obstacle to get to bed safely is sore arm. She doesn’t want an x-raty though.
Signs of dementia? Yesterday she remembered my name, today she asked who my husband is and where I live.

The worst: my husband asked if I can do Fri/Sat as well. How angry I was!!! I told him clearly a few days ago: once a week to start with. For 5 years I was telling him about sorting out some respite/partial replacement care. He didn’t do that. Now I feel like a selfish b%#*h How though this is!

Your husband is the real issue, by the sound of it?

Probably. He is Not used to asking for help and expressing his needs. We have different opinions about what is fair share of caring duties. I would probably be able to take one more night with MIL but that will only preserve the status quo which is: no help from outside the family.
Kids coping well for now but for me it feels weird and unsettling when one of us spends each night somewhere else, even if we are back for breakfast and schoolrun. I feel 3 caring „nightshifts” a week is max for our family

Clearly then, it’s up to YOU to make change happen.
Not MIL or husband. Does MIL realise how much this is upsetting you and normal family life?

There is a saying that you get the treatment that you are prepared to put up with! So don’t put up with it any more.
Give them an ultimatum. You are going to have to put your foot down and refuse to do it before outside help is agreed to.
Does MIL have over £23,000 in savings - the limit for Social Services paying towards care.

Well, things are moving which is good. Being firm with my opinion helped apparently. My OH called a local private carer to get some information. A meeting with MIL’s family solicitor is also on the way.
But one thing baffled me when my dear husband said he may pay for MIL’s care with our savings and go to work to make up for it. I explained to him that I don’t like this idea as a starting point. MIL’s money is the first to be used, I think that is fair. She’s got a little bit more than 23k.

No way!!! If he ends up working then that will also impact on family time. It should be coming out of MIL’s savings and once she is below £23k, social care will contribute to the cost. It’s better to have a Needs Assessment.


No, No, that is your money.

Do not under any circumstances subsidise any care. You can remortgage the house if neccessary, but you MUST keep your money entirely separate!

Thank you for your replies. Yes, I know, as a principle, the money needs to be my Mother-in-Law’s and ours (mine, husband’s) need to be separate from it.
But, you know, I can hear explanations like: everything she owns my husband will inherit and so on.

Do you know any life stories when subsiding care for an elderly parent backfired? What is the danger here? I just have no experience. Obviously, we would not give her too much as we are not a well-off family. But I think my husband may treat it as a kind of a moral obligation. I opposed. I feel like the selfish one again. :wink:

the issue is that as her savings lessen the care will be funded by social care. However, if your husband is funding her care - social care will never get to pick up the bill as it will keep coming out of your husbands pocket. Therefore it will cost the family more than if she paid for it herself.