Sole Caregiver for my MOTHER-IN-LAW

by Andrea

I have the weirdest situation... I'm 57 and my parents are both gone. My husband and I added on to our house years ago when we still liked his parents.

Together we decided this would be a great idea for when they got really old in that it looked like my husband and I were "tagged" to take care of them. At that time, he still had his brother and sister so there were three kids.

Since then, my father-in-law has died, then my husband's brother, then my husband, then his sister. Now all her children are dead and I'm left to figure all this out.

My step-daughter (we were never able to have kids of our own but I helped raise them after their mom died when they were little) lives in town but has a husband with cancer and 3 teenagers.

When my husband died, we had planned for her last living child, her daughter, to come live with us since my husband had been her sole caretaker while he was home on disability and I went to work.

In theory, it's not a bad situation; when we built the little apartment we thought of everything, making it accessible, small but comfy, and now I think she's going to live forever. As I said at the beginning, this was back when we liked them.

Since all these losses have occurred, she's become scared, selfish, - SELFISH! - forgetful, sad... But there can be no mention of a home because she's "comfortable" in her own home. My home.

I have lost half of my income when her son died and she doesn't seem to understand I can't collect SS survivor's benefits until age 60, and even then it will be at a diminished amount and I'll still have to work.

Everyone is supposed to drop everything at her request when she needs anything. My other sister-in-law is able to work from home and after Mother In Law's daughter died she would come and "babysit" her. Now she's had enough. The house is 90 degrees since she's always cold; we got meals on wheels so I don't have to worry about dinners but she hardly ever likes them.

I try really hard to be sympathetic; I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing all 4 of your children, but her own daughter used to say that her mom was so afraid of everything she'd probably outlive all her kids, and here we are.

I'm incredibly stuck, feel guilty but not, can't move forward. Thanks for listening.

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