Care Giver to a Very Self Centered Mother-in-Law

My husband and I are the major care givers to his mother who lives with us and has been with us for the past 14 months since her second husband has passed away.


She has been diagnosed bi-polar and has been on medication for that for about 40 years. She has a very odd way of living life, has no friends that she is willing to interact with and does very little for her self. Not that she's not able to she just doesn't have much interest in anything other than listening to her music, watching the same movies over and over again and reading and drinking every day!

I guess I should be very thankful that she is able to do these things and really I am. It's just scary to me as to what could be in store for us.... that she can be this demanding to us of our time without being ill, she is a very needy person and can talk so hateful sometimes of the few people that show her any affection.

She is 77 years of age and is also diabetic drinks every day on top of taking depression medicine and anxiety medication. I went as far as having her doctor explain to her the danger to her health of that since she's continued in this lifestyle after me trying to explain to her how dangerous that is and not getting through to her.

I was sitting in the room with her as he told her she should not drink on the medication she takes. Unfortunately she hasn't listened to him either.

This problem has caused her to fall pretty frequently which has caused her severe bruising in the past as well as fracturing her ankle while we were gone to visit my mom for a week recently. She managed to fall the very first day we were gone but swears it wasn't from drinking.

She uses a cane to walk, but we often see her not using it. She doesn't think about what she says before she speaks in regards to it hurting anyone's feelings, she'll be the first to tell you if she doesn't like something your wearing, seems to me she's just flat out rude very often.

My husband and I did agree that she could come live with us with the understanding she gave us the space we need as a married couple, but there is always a constant interruption a knock on our bedroom door or her saying I need this or I need that when we are trying to spend time together. We both feel as though we give her plenty of attention but it seems like it's never enough for her.

She has a son that lives two towns over that gives very little of his time to her on visits or phone calls and a daughter that lives about a 3 hour drive away which does try to interact with her and have her visit with her occasionally, but she doesn't like to stay more than a week at a time and has been there maybe 4 times in the past 14 months.

It's becoming very frustrating for my husband and I, we helped her get signed up to a local senior citizens center which she went to 3 days a week but that only lasted a couple of weeks and she found every thing wrong with going and said she didn't want to go anymore which was very dissapointing to us.

It totally took away our little spark of free time we thought we were going to have. How do you get through to someone like this without hurting their feelings or should we just be up front with her. Thanks for listening.

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