New member
Dec 28, 2019
My husband, myself and my girls moved in with my mother in law shortly after the death of my father in law to help look after her. At the time we agreed to move in (at her suggestion) she was still sleeping downstairs following a hip operation quite a few months before, however, we successfully managed to get her back to her bedroom before moving in and everything worked well. Her physical health is better that it's ever been.

I think she felt rather 'controlled' by my father in law and after his death she said she was actually glad that she could get on and live as she wanted. Unfortunately, it turned out that what she wanted to do was absolutely nothing. I'm not sure if it's as a result of her pretty much giving up on doing anything or if this is something that was already there that is now showing as more advanced symptoms of dementia or alzheimers. She has the general age related problems like urinary incontinence etc. I have booked her in to see her doctor next week for her to have a chat with them as I'm concerned about her memory and general cognitive behaviour which I've explained to her but is met with complete apathy. Her hearing is bad which of course probably doesn't help with her communication, despite having sorted out hearing aids for her which she chooses not to use.

The long and short of it is that I'm really struggling with living in a house with her which is not my home, with my things still in boxes and I'm looking to move back to our own home next year - but I feel so guilty. I have no intention for us to completely abandon her but just don't think I can live with her anymore (we live in the same village). My husband is really good with her but as with a lot of men (sorry), I have to remind him of things that need doing and he won't get on with them automatically. I almost hope there is a diagnosis of dementia or alzheimers because if not her behaviour feels so incredibly selfish. In the four years we've lived with her she hasn't even offered to make me a cup of coffee, despite everything I do for her! I'm sorry if this post appears I'm a bit selfish myself but I'm really struggling. I always thought I was a really tolerant, empathic person :-(

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @clifanon Welcome to Dementia Talking Point.

Three generations living in one house is a challenge in itself, especially if ground rules haven`t been set up from the start.

It sounds, even if it is your mother in law`s home, as if she thought you would be moving in to look after her. It is what you did originally because of her hip operation.

If you still have a home of your own to return to I would try to get back to it as soon as possible. Only then will you be able to assess whether or not your mother in law does have the beginnings of dementia or if she is taking advantage of your good nature.

With regard to the hearing aids, I can say from personal experience how difficult they are to use if they are not trouble free from the start. They may amplify lost sounds but they often amplify other sounds which were heard originally and then become intrusive.

I don`t think you are selfish at all. You moved in with your mother in law with good will and it is not working out as you hoped. There is nothing to feel guilty about. It takes a lot to give up your home to help someone else and if this leads to unhappiness and there is a solution, then take advantage of it.

If you will be living in the same village you will not be abandoning her if you will still be available for support.


Registered User
May 5, 2019
I have Alzheimers plus bilateral hearing aids. I can still lip read. However, for quite a while now the over stimulation (for me) of wearing them becomes too much and I do not wear them for long periods of time in a day. I know this irritates others but at the moment it is one of my coping strategies rather than being awkward.