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DH really hurt MIL's feelings tonight, but we're wrong if we don't follow through (very long, sorry)

Posted by Anonymous
  • 43 Replies

GMIL is 90 years old.  GFIL has been gone 9 years now.  GMIL refuses to leave the house she lived in with GFIL.  Her health has failed to the point she has to have a caregiver 24/7.  Because she refuses to leave the house, right now they have HHA (home health aides.)  She needs a higher level of care though than most HHA can provide and they do not last long.  

Another reason they do not stick around is because the floors are rotting and it is unsafe.   

The house was built with a crawl space.  Due to multiple plumbing issues over the years, there is a lot of wet, which has caused rot in the floor joists.  Termites have also set up in them.  

I haven't been in the house in years because the mold triggers my asthma and the last time I went out there, I ended up in the ER and a 2 day stay in the hospital.  I said then I didn't want my kids out there ever again either.  DH goes out there in the warmer months, helps with the yard and stuff, but hasn't really been inside in a couple of years.          

Last weekend DH and I went out of town.  MIL hasn't really got to see my kids in about 6 months, so she had them come stay with her while we were gone.  They could have stayed at home.  DD is 18 and DS is 14.  We were only gone a little over 48 hours.  

When we got home, we found out that MIL had convinced the kids to go to GMIL's house with her.  She had some stuff to take to GMIL's house and wanted to go ahead and take it instead of waiting for us to be home.  DD told us she walked in and had to use the bathroom.  She said the toilet tilted sideways on her, she felt like she was going to fall off and into the tub.  She said she went and waited in the car the rest of the time.  DS was more "adventurous" and checked out the rest of the house.

He told us that in the kitchen, leading off to laundry room, there is a section of the floor missing.  He said you can feel the floor leaning towards the hole.  Instead of them actually doing something about it, MIL's brother has stuffed wall insulation in the hole and nailed a throw rug down!  He said it is right in the door way of the laundry room and it is about 2ft wide and 3ft long.  No way to step around it, you have to kind of jump or take a huge step.

He said in the small bedroom, the bed is sitting in the middle of the room.  It takes a minute to realize it, but the bed is sitting lower than the rest of the furniture.  He said he walked towards it and he could actually feel the floor lowering as he walked, so he kind of jumped back towards the door, but he said when he landed, he thought for sure he was going through.  He then told us that he was looking at the walls and he can see where they're starting to crack away from the ceiling and the main support wall of the whole house is leaning towards the living room.  He said you wouldn't really notice it unless you're studying it like he was, it was just a slight lean, but once you see it, it is obvious.  

After hearing this, DH said enough is enough.  He called MIL and told her he really needed to talk to her.  I went with him.  He told her that if what the kids told us is true, he has no choice but to report the house to Code Enforcement.  It needs to be condemned.  He pointed out that she is GMIL's POA.  GMIL has been declared incompetent to make her own decisions, BUT MIL still gives in when GMIL starts in crying and begging to stay in her own home until she dies.  He pointed out that GMIL cannot make that decision, MIL is making the decision to allow her mother to live like this.  He told her that if that floor gives, the whole house is going to come down with it.  The house was built in the 40's.  The house is nearly 80 years old and it's not been maintained.  He said he is giving her until April 1st.  GMIL either goes to a nursing home to get the level of care she needs, or she can come to live with MIL and keep getting her HHA.  But if by April 1st, GMIL is not out of that house, he is reporting the house to Code Enforcement, and he is reporting her and his uncle to the Area Agency on Aging for neglect of GMIL.  He is also reporting the agency that supplies the HHA and the visiting nurse that comes out once a month to assess GMIL for not reporting this.

He told her he accepts some of the blame since he hasn't really paid attention to the inside in years, but he had no idea that it was that bad.  

MIL got really upset, said she has begged GMIL to come live with her, but GMIL cries, begs, throws temper tantrums, gets all upset, swears she is having another heart attack.  In the end, she did confirm what the kids said is true, the house IS that bad, but she knows GMIL will not leave the house.  He said she won't have a choice if the house is condemned.  MIL swears it will kill GMIL to make her leave the house.  DH said that it doesn't really matter at this point.  He also pointed out to her that if something happens to GMIL because of the house, or one of the HHA gets hurt because of the house MIL is the one that is going to come under fire because she is POA, GMIL is under her care, and the house is in MIL's name, along with GMIL.  He told her she could lose everything if someone gets hurt since she is co-owner of the house AND she could possibly face jail time if someone gets killed because of the condition of the house.  

MIL was crying and begging DH not to do this when we left.  But we truly feel he has no choice.  Someone is going to get hurt, and it will all come down on his mom.  We get it that GMIL wants to spend her remaining days where she lived with her husband and raised her children, but it isn't safe, for anyone.  

We're doing the right thing, right?

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:10 AM
7 moms liked this

As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't even wait that long.
by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:12 AM
1 mom liked this
Personally, I'd let her stay. The lady is 90 and very sick. She doesn't have years left. All she wants is to die in her home. That's probably why the aids haven't reported it. However everyone should be ashamed that they let their elderly families house go to shit instead of helping them all of these years.
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:12 AM
The whole situation is sad. It needs to be condemned but nobody will be happy. Good luck.
by Anonymous 4 on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:13 AM
2 moms liked this
Call Adult Protective Services, first. Like, tomorrow morning. The house is unsafe, you don't even have to visit to know this. Don't wait two more weeks.
And, yes, you are doing the right thing.
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:15 AM
What an awful situation. You ARE doing the right thing. Stand your ground. I'm surprised none of the HHA's has reported the situation.

I would suggest that you and your husband go for a "visit" (without telling your MIL) so you have first hand knowledge when you file a report.
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:16 AM

I don't really want to wait either, but it is his family.  I am following his lead on it.

Quoting Anonymous 2: 100% As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't even wait that long.

by Anonymous 5 on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:18 AM

Yes, you are doing the right thing. I wouldn't even give her untli the 1st, I'd do it now. 

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:18 AM

It's hard but it has to be done.

by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:18 AM
1 mom liked this

Why wait till April? It's irresponsible and frankly I think should be  criminal to leave an elderly helpless person in that condition. Disgusting you all allow it to continue. 

by Anonymous 6 on Mar. 20, 2017 at 2:19 AM
Yes you are. That's a tough situation. I can totally understand how hard that is for MIL. And also that grandma wants to stay. It's her home! And she isn't understanding how dangerous it is. But you are doing the right thing. Absolutely.

I do have to say that I'm really glad that your post did not turn into a whine about your poor snowflakes being subjected to the house. Not that they ever should have been there, but they aren't toddlers and they came out ok. Just had to throw that in there. Also, tell them not to go back in there! Lol
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