AITA for not even *considering* becoming my MIL's caregiver/nursemaid?

  1. He feels guilty for not taking care of her himself, and using you instead of a stranger makes him feel better. I would say nicely, “I understand you would rather have family for her, but my medical condition does not allow me to do things like this any longer. I can barely take care of myself. I’ve already nursed two people through their later years, and I’ve already done my part. There is no price that can change this.”

  2. Thank you so much for this good advice. I'm really at a loss and do feel a little guilty, too. But I just can't do it. I appreciate the great suggestion.

  3. First of all, your health comes first. And, working in the nursing field (in the broadest sense) myself, I can only imagine how bad it would be to have to do it with arthritis. Yikes! Nobody can pay you for the pain you'd be suffering, no matter how much they're offering.

  4. She has hepatic encephalopathy and the symptoms sometimes look a lot like dementia, from what I understand. This is why she'll probably have to have daily enemas, lactalose enemas are part of the treatment to keep the ammonia levels down in the blood. She may be able to eventually take the lactalose orally but there's no guarantee and either way, that's more physical work than I can handle. It is NOT going to just be like "babysitting," no matter what my FIL says. That's why she's been in a hospital/care facility up to now.

  5. I’m a Spoonie like you are (chronic pain & chronic illness for me) and you were right to say no from the beginning. You know your physical limitations but you’re questioning them because he is pressuring you so hard- don’t! Your FIL obviously believes in pressuring others until they cave so you’re going to have to figure out how to get around it, like by not speaking directly to FIL/directing communication through your husband, or by repeating 1 solid phrase over and over like “I cannot care for MIL because I have my own health challenges and it could be unsafe for MIL.” Maybe focusing on MIL’s safety will redirect him. Good luck. NTA

  6. NTA. First of all, Rheumatoid Arthritis is no joke, you actually are limited in what you can do and need to take care of yourself. Second, you don’t have up-to-date training, and stated you may not know how to deal with a lot of care she may require. Finally…you don’t want to! And that is totally fine. You aren’t obligated to, your FIL can pay someone else who is able, qualified, and willing. It’s okay for him to ask first, but completely out of line to pressure / demand this from you. He doesn’t get to dictate how you spend your time, and if he has a problem with that, it’s just that- a him problem, not a you problem. I can’t stand people who think they have the right to other peoples’ time.

  7. NTA - I got out of Direct Support Professional work for physical reasons too. Don't feel bad that you are no longer in shape to do that kind of work - even though it is the In-laws. The pain you are in will only get worse until you are in need of help yourself if you allow them to guilt you into it. Stand your ground and tell them you would love to, but it isn't going to happen and stick to it. Eventually they will get the hint. Otherwise, write a few agency names and numbers down and give it to FIL and tell him that you are in no way, shape, or form to do that type of work anymore, but you took the time to write down some places he can call about aides. Also, tell him to look inot Mediciad/Medicare (in the US) as sometimes they can help with the costs of an aide. (spelling edits)

  8. If you are in the states, why does she not have a care manager making these kinds of arrangements, like home nursing? This is not just babysitting. These are chronic and serious medical issues that needs to be overseen by professionals, at the very least. When I needed intense in home care... if there was no care lined up, they would not have released me to go home. My sister cared for me, but someone from homehealth was there 3 days out of the week and they made sure that not only did my sister and brother in law know how to care physically for my many issues, but also that they could actually physically do what needed to be done. Otherwise, my ass would have been shipped to a long term care nursing facility. Does she not have a care manager??

  9. NTA. My family friend’s husband told her point blank that she needs to fly out to take care of his mother. It is not your obligation, even if you were healthy. Don’t let them bully you.

  10. NTA. It does not sound like you could physically do the work. If your FI thinks all the care would involve was ‘making sure she doesn’t wander off’ he is either fooling himself or deliberately trying to trap you into providing care. I personally would not think you inappropriate to tell him you talked with your physician and were told ‘no’.

  11. NTA- and firmly say no. And if FIL can’t comprehend a no, have your husband tell him no. You have a medical condition yourself and are no longer able to do that line of work. If FIL can’t understand that then that’s up to him.

  12. If I were OP I would be tempted to laugh back and say "Are you kidding? She's seriously ill and so am I. Your WIFE needs 24/7 care. Why don't YOU do it? You should consider changing her enema bags since you're her FAMILY"

  13. nta. My husbands grandfather paid 3000 plus room and board for a woman to tend to my mils mother. Its hard work..m and you don't get days off.

  14. So your FIL thinks that $100 is fair for a day's work? At 8 hours a day, that's $12.50/hr to care for his wife. At 24 hours a day (which is probably closer to what you'd be in for), that's a little over $4/hr. Has he looked into what a home nurse would cost? I'd guess he has and he doesn't want to pay that amount, so he's badgering you. Should he ask again what your final price is, tell him $500 an hour with a guarantee of payment of four hours per day, regardless of actual work schedule.

  15. NTA. You are not physically capable of this work! RA is a degenerative disease, as I am sure you know. "Trying" to make this work could lead to crippling you in agonizing pain.

  16. He won't be able to find someone right now for $100/day. My mom is supposed to have a home health aid provided by the state but they can't find anyone willing to work for the state's wages.

  17. NTA. "FIL, I've talked with my rheumatologist and due to the nature of the care MIL needs I will not be able to assist and will help you interview home health services"

  18. I don't understand why he isn't seeking professional help. Sad as this is to say, you can hire a Nursing Assistant with current certification for what he's been offering me.

  19. NTA, you know you are unable to give her the care she needs. You need to hold your ground and keep saying sorry cannot do it. Hubby needs to back you up. Good luck.

  20. NTA, “No I am not able to do this for you for health reasons. However, I can recommend some agencies and so could the local Department of Aging.” Don’t continue to discuss it, and tell husband he needs to get on board. Make sure case worker at hospital knows she needs a facility or references for in home care.

  21. NTA. With rheumatoid arthritis you cannot give your MIL the care that she requires and you will eventually injure yourself taking care of her. All for peanut wages. And heaven forbid something happens to her. She needs a professional licensed CNA or a nursing home.

  22. Nta. Reframe it like you said above: personal health challenges and lack of experience, mean you cant give her the kind of care she needs / deserves. (I think you're making a smart choice by declining)

  23. NTA, and it sounds like FIL is concerningly blasé and underprepared for what care his wife is about to need, so I really hope he takes the professional care route.

  24. NTA. That is a lot of stress and work. You need to stand up for yourself and say no if you truly do not want to. No shame in you saying no.

  25. Get a list of her daily requirements from her current caregiver and circle the ones you cannot do and tell him he will have to pay someone to come do those things. You arent saying no then.

  26. NTA. I am in a similar situation to yours, healthwise, and I found myself saying "Nooooo!" out loud at least three times while reading your post. Don't do it!! It will be bad for you mentally, horrible for you physically, probably not great for MIL since you won't be able to meet her needs. Plus FIL sounds like an awful man who needs to learn what it feels like to not get what he demands.

  27. NTA maybe write out s list of what it actually entails on the premise of helping him find qualified, insured, able help but also to make him accept that its a damn sight more than baby sitting.

  28. NTA Imagine you said yes to being her caretaker, and she fell or got hurt due to your physical limitations. Would you forgive yourself and would you FIL forgive you? Wouldn’t you much rather stand your ground and him be a little upset for a while?

  29. Nta -tell your husband to deal with his father you are not capable of doing that kind of work. I ra suffer mysel feel your pain. Just say no

  30. NTA. Even if you didn't have arthritis, him continuing to push you after you said no is inappropriate, him underpricing the labor it would take is inappropriate, like his whole attitude is just inconsiderate to you and is looking to get a deal rather than take care of his wife and respect family.

  31. NTA. Your FIL is clueless about caregiving, and rude toward someone who already politely declined. He's acting as if you're a rental item he just didn't offer enough to secure, totally ignoring the benefit of your greater experience at caregiving and your own physical and mental health.

  32. NTA. However, you shouldn’t have said you would think about it. Tell him you were much younger when you provided that care, and now you have arthritis, probably due to providing that care. You don’t have the ability to provide her the care she needs.

  33. NTA. Even without a diagnosis of arthritis, this kind of care for another adult is full on, exhausting and stressful. Your spouse needs to tell his father to back off for good.

  34. Tell FIL that your own physical condition prevents you doing this. I took care of my Mom when she was dying. It is very demanding work. NTA

  35. NTA. He needs to hire professional help and stop pressuring you to do something you are not trained for and are not physically capable of. Why is your husband not telling him to stop?

  36. He did tell him I was too ill to do this at first, so then FIL just started directly calling/texting me. I guess he won't accept this, that I have an illness that affects my strength and vigor.

  37. The dignity of your MIL needs to be prioritized. She may feel humiliated or upset by you doing such intimate care. a professional and hired caretaker/nurse would be able to uphold her dignity.

  38. If you were ever to try to return to the field, you wouldn't even make it through a pre-employment medical assessment because you're not medically fit to do the work. Realistically, if you can't lift and assist with mobility, it's not safe for you to be a full-time carer - for you or your MIL. And there won't be any compensation if you go beyond your capability and hurt yourself.

  39. NTA. You really have to be upfront with your physical inability to do what he wants. If he’s willing to hire someone it doesn’t have to be you (although agencies in California charge $34 an hour to provide in home caregivers so it can get pricey, that may hurt his ability to hire outside help). And your husband needs to step in and handle this, period. It’s his family of origin, it’s his issue.

  40. NTA he has no understanding of her care needs, rather than just refusing sit with him and make a list of what she will need doing for her and explain the parts you cannot do and what you are not trained to do. Explain that it's not that you don't want to help its that you gave done similar and know you cannot physically do it anymore.

  41. YNTA, Here is the thing, perhaps your MIL suggested asking for you since you are family. Also, your FIL may feel helpless as he isn't able to do some of these things himself.

  42. NTA and I would not get involved at all. FIL sounds like a pita and a cheapskate - $150/day is insultingly low - and your rheumatoid arthritis means you physically cannot do the job.

  43. It doesn’t sound like you generally have a poor relationship with your in laws, just that there is a miscommunication going on here. Your FIL may not want to accept how much care his wife will need - she has been his partner, not his dependent.

  44. NTA, he need’s to do it or hire someone who can. You physically can’t do it and we all know she will need more then to make sure she doesn’t walk away.

  45. NTA no is a complete sentence and you don't have to explain yourself. Where is your partner in all this? How does he feel about this abusive treatment from his father? Take care of yourself first.

  46. NTA. Sounds like FIL has zero idea what goes into full time care. On top of not being physically equipped for this situation, the demands from the family would be thankless and unending. Maybe you can advise them on ways to acquire the best professional care possible by using your background? Other than maybe that, this is not your responsibility.

  47. AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read

  48. NTA. You know fine well that, with your arthritis, you are physically incapable. In fact, I bet you know it would make your arthritis much worse and you in more pain.

  49. NTA. My father and his wife moved in with my Grandmother when she became unable to live alone and it was hell for everyone. She actually locked my dad and stepmom in their bedroom one night and my Dad had to break out of the house (windows nailed shut) to break back in. By that time she had fallen and injured herself, so they spent the rest of the night in the ER. My stepmother hurt herself lifting Grandma in and out of bed and had to have a couple vertebra in her neck fused. No no no. They need a trained professional that can pick up and reposition her in bed.

  50. He is so clueless and his behavior completely off putting. You physically will not be capable oh helping her. Put your foot down and say no and tell him to go through an agency to find someone.

  51. I think you should be honest with him, just tell him what you just told us. I think ESH might be appropriate because you wont just tell him the truth, your willing to put yourself at risk and your MIL instead of just being honest about this. You literally are physically unable to do this anymore.

  52. NTA you are going to have a flare with your arthritis overworking the joints. I’ve done home help before I got arthritis in my neck and shoulders. The amount of pain that I try to manage in a good day with anti inflammatories makes me feel ill thinking about doing a standing lift, constant bending down, turning a patient. You’d not be doing your family a favour making your condition worse.

  53. NTA-you have considered it. You considered it in the context of your own wellbeing, health and experience and know that this is not something you are capable of right now. That's what you need to explain to him, preferably in person and with your partner to back you up if needed.

  54. $150 for 8 hours is $18.75/hr. If he needs a home health aide, that's a reasonable hourly rate. The average is around $14/hour. CNAs make $18/hour. So I'm not sure why he is going after you. Is this a 24 hour a day request?

  55. NTA. But I suggest seat down with your partner and FIL and give them a punch list with explanation of what cRing for her entails. Tell them its not that you do not want to do it, its that you are not capable of giving her the care she deserves. You can offer to find somebody capable to do the job and maybe come by on a regular basis to check on her to make sure her carer is doing her job properly. He is probably at that stage of grief where he is scared for her and do not want to trust other people looking after his wife. He trust you, he probably just do no know how to express it properly.

  56. NTA- Your FIL is being pushy because this is the most convenient solution for him not you. I absolutely wouldn't agree to it because he's disregarding your boundaries now, imagine how bad it would be when your in laws are technically your employees.

  57. Nope absolutely NTA I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 21 I'm now 28 I WAS a caregiver but now I can barely pull my own bedsheets up to tuck myself in some days!

  58. If he is able to, I would suggest inviting him to meet in person or have a video call. Its a sensitive subject that may be best discussing in person and I think would help to draw a line under the topic and shows your taking it seriously. Get your husband to take the lead and plan what you want to say ahead of time. Fil is in a tough position and I have every sympathy but you are nta and right that it wouldn't be right for you to do this. Even if you just didn't want to that is a valid enough reason anyway. I would cover the points that your health means you aren't physically capable, if you tried anyway you could risk hurting her further, from your experience you know she will require a lot of hands on help that you can't give her. It's not about the money it's about what is best for everyone.

  59. NTA and your partner needs to stand up and tell his father NO!! You should not be attempting to do this. Not with your medical condition.

  60. Saying no is actually the compassionate choice here. Your MIL needs experienced, capable care and she will likely need significant aid that you're no longer able or trained to give. Her health and safety matters, so if you're both reluctant and functionally unable to give the care she needs, you shouldn't even consider giving it.

  61. NTA… but is there a chance you are wrong about her condition? Like my FIL after hospital and a rehab care facility he was ready to come home and could do most things himself and really only needed some minor help as the facility wouldn’t let him out without being able to do a lot for himself. If you haven’t visited her and know her situation, maybe look more into it. Though it is your life no matter what level of care she needs… even if it’s very minimal stuff… you are more than ok to say no.

  62. You didn't give a reason just declined so the FIL thinks it's a money issue. If you had said your reason was you are out of practice and wouldn't be able to assist physically but could be there emotionally.

  63. I did tell him I was physically unable to do it when he called me and my partner told him this the first time he asked. (Read back thru my post, sorry if this was unclear from my relaying of events)

  64. NTA for not considering it. Y-T-A for saying you’d think about it. You should have said, “I am physically unable to care for her.” It’s really simple.

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