It's getting bad


Registered User
Dec 11, 2008
This is the first time I have written to the forum and just feel the need to share what things are like. My wife's mother has been slowly deteriorating from about 4 years ago - all the usual stuff, so I won't go on about that. I had seen it all before as my mother died 10 years ago from Alzheimer's and so I knew what was coming, more or less. Having learned (or so I thought) from my many mistakes with my mother, I thought it might be easier second time round. Fortunately, we live in a reasonably big house and so we converted our double garage into a small but very comfortable and quite lovely little granny flat. She moved in in August this year and we have home help and generally I don't think we're coping badly at all. But my wife takes a different attitude. She is very resentful of the way her mother has basically taken over our lives and is becoming increasingly stressed and agitated. She snaps all the time at me and her daughter and it is this I am really struggling with, not the actual caring for my mother-in-law. She is very martyr-like about the whole thing and we have to be very firm with her regarding helping out. In my opinion she works too hard at her poorly-paid part-time job, doing extra hours when she shouldn't, which doesn't help. I wish she could give it up but we need the money to pay for the conversion as of course we are not able to use any of my mother-in-law's money - or so our solicitor advises us. At this rate, I feel my mother-in-law is going to have to go into a home sooner rather than later as it is tearing our family apart. I feel stressed as I am the major breadwinner and have to make sure we have a roof over our heads; not so easy in these difficult times. All in all, as I say in the title, it's getting bad.

I'm sure there are others in the same situation struggling to cope as well and just writing about it like this gets it off my chest. I would really appreciate any tips or help from others who have struggled like this might have.

Thanks for listening
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Registered User
Nov 28, 2005

Welcome to tp - I hope you can get support from this forum.

It is a difficult disease to handle and you have managed so far ..... Has your wife been on this website? - it may help if she sees how so many have similar problems,although different.

Please keep posting as it helps to share these problems.

of course we are not able to use any of my mother-in-law's money - or so our solicitor advises us.
I am not sure about this - hopefully more informed folk will comment!!

Love Jan


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi and welcome to Talking Point.

I think some of us are more cut out to be carers than others (and I put myself firmly into the "not cut out" camp) It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with previous experience or connection to the caree: it just is. I suspect that your wife is using her job as an escape (well I would). Has she had an opportunity to consult her own GP? She may be depressed (again - this is how depression has affected me in the past: anger).

Whether you can or cannot use any of your MIL's money is debateable, I would have said that paying for the conversion out of her money would have been entirely reasonable. Are there other potential heirs? Or is this a case of attempting to stay on the right side of any potential local authority charge in the event that a care home is in her future? Even in that situation, I think I would be inclined to pay for the conversion out of her money and then let the LA work out if you shouldn't have done in the event that it becomes an issue. I do know of several people who have done something similar and it not been and issue (or at least not a major one).


Registered User
Apr 18, 2008
The Borders, Scotland
Dear Bob
Sorry to read of your situation. It jumps out of the page that your wife is also suffering from longterm deepseated stress. It is a nasty consequence and hard to recover from. I recognise it from my own experiences over the the last 3 years, steering my Mum (with dementia) through two family bereavements and so on. Stress really taints thought processes so you will both need to think through carefully what to do, if you can. The trouble is that the knock on effects of decisions made in stressful situations look so different once they are made and the immediate position eases. Is it possible that your wife might later for example feel bad that Mum has been "forced" into care because you couldn't cope with her not coping..... or indeed that she will blame herself and so on. Not knowing your situation this is just an example of how things can unwind. How you can get a bit of clear air in which to think is difficult. Is there any possibility of a respite week to start with. If that seems a hard prospect to face it will focus thoughts on longterm care. With very best wishes to you all.


Registered User
May 12, 2006
west sussex
Hi Bob606

My mother moved in with my husband and two teenage children three years ago, having used her money to convert our garage.

The last three years have been a rollercoster, but with my husbands and family support and a sense of humour (at times at the most inappropriate times) my mother is still with us and none of us would have had it any other way.

If your money in law has money it should be used to help you look after her, I can't understand why her solicitor would have said otherwise.