My father-in-law asks us to contribute to his dad's nursing expenses

By Khanh   August 2, 2023 | 10:53 pm PT
My father-in-law has asked my husband and me to send VND1 million (around $42) a month to partly cover my 99-year-old grandfather-in-law’s nursing home costs.

My father-in-law is the oldest of three siblings, and the house in which my in-laws are living originally belonged to my grandfather-in-law, so my father-in-law is responsible for taking care of his elderly father who was sent to a nursing home two years ago.

The nursing home charges VND7 million a month. My grandfather-in-law left my parents-in-law VND100 million before enrolling in the home, and his 3-million-dong monthly pension is paid to my parents-in-law as well, so I think they should have no problem paying for the nursing expenses.

But my father-in-law talked to me and my husband a few days ago. He said we had only had one child, so we were not having much financial burdens yet, and because of that, should partly pay for my grandfather-in-law’s expenses, which I thought made no sense.

In addition to that, my father-in-law criticized me for not frequently checking up on my grandfather-in-law. He said my husband and I should give him VND1 million a month andvisit the nursing home twice a week.

I was mad because I think taking care of my grandfather-in-law is my parents-in-law’s responsibility. They did not do so and sent him to a nursing home instead, so they have no right to ask us to take that responsibility on.

My husband and I have also been occasionally bringing our kid to the nursing home, though not too frequently as we are both busy working, but it was our way to show how we cared.

My husband was upset as well. He said his father never touched my grandfather-in-law despite bringing him home sometimes, as he was afraid of getting dirty.

He said his father always asks him and my mother-in-law to clean my grandfather-in-law’s body and assist him in the toilet, saying he had pains and couldn’t do those things.

So, my husband and I told my father-in-law to give us some time so that we could consider and arrange our financial plans. My father-in-law then replied: "1 million [Vietnam dong] is nothing compared to 7 million, what do you still have to consider?"

I think my father-in-law is selfish for not taking care of his own father but wanting others to do so instead. I suspect that he asked for money from us to gamble as well, since he has been involved in football betting for decades.

On a side note, my husband and I have a total monthly income of around VND25 million. We give our parents-in-law VND4 million every month so that they can partly cover their expenses, and have to pay for rent, bills, and our kid’s tuition fees on top of that. So, we are not that financially stable.

My husband and I decided to turn my father-in-law down, though we know his reaction could be harsh. But I feel my husband is still conflicted, so I want to ask for others’ opinions.

Do you think we are right for refusing this request?

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