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  1. #1
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    Living with Mother in Law with Dementia

    Hi, I am living with my mother in law wo has dementia. She has had dementia for 10 years now and lives with my husband and I. Her mood changes daily and I quite honestly feel like she resents me being around even though she is living in my home, she won't speak to me, shouts at me sometimes and refuses to do anything I am trying to help her with.

    The rest of my husbands family don't even come to see her never mind lend a hand but are quick to dicate when we should have a break and actually begrudged us having time alone after getting married last year, I feel like I am burdening my family with my problems and have no one to talk to, even my husband doesnt understand because it is his mum and he understands her more than I do. She definately treats me differently when he is not around and has left me in tears twice in the past week while I have been trying to help her.

    Is anyone in a similar situation?
     

  2. #2
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    Hi Kat, and a warm welcome to Talking Point although I'm sorry circumstances have made it necessary.

    Has your mum in law changed recently or has she always been difficult with you? This disease can cause the most bizarre changes in personality. Previouly passive and calm people can become aggressive and violent, and vice versa. The only thing you can be sure of is to expect the unexpected!

    I don't have any personal experience of your situation. You say you don't want to bother your family and have no one to talk to. Well, that's all changed because you have us I'm fortunate that I have a good network of support and friends but even with those I don't know how I would have coped the last 6 months without TP.

    I'm sure there will be someone along later who can identify with your situation.

    Take care and keep posting

    Vonny xx
    Vonny
    Former Carer

    TP: "A little light in great darkness" Ezra Pound

     

  3. #3
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    Hi Vonnie

    She has not really changed recently although she does go through spells of being very difficult and sometimes not THAT bad.

    She is only 60 and I would hate the thoughts of her going into a home permanently but living with her is so so difficult, she hides dirty pads dirty underwear, won't was herself etc.

    I have been living with her for the past 3 years, my husband is the youngest in the family and was always her blue eyed boy so I'd say that's were the hostility comes from but I do things for her I wouldn't do for my own mum. I think because my husbands family take nothing to do with her care makes it worse especially when they feel the need to dictate when it suits them, this is not the way newly weds should be starting life together!
     

  4. #4
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    I agree it's certainly no honeymoon Kat. What does your husband think of his siblings' reluctance to help with caring for their mum?

    Hiding dirty pads and not washing is sadly pretty common with dementia sufferers. Do you have any help from care agencies?

    If things are getting worse you could always ask for a review with her consultant. It could be time for a medication review, or if she is being particularly nasty all of a sudden, this can sometimes be down to a UTI (urinary tract infection). If her cleanliness leaves something to be desired, that can cause a UTI.

    I think you are very brave taking on a husband with parent with dementia. If it sometimes seems that your husband doesn't spend as much time with you as you'd like, remember that caring is 24/7 and it is all too easy to get tunnel vision and be able to focus only on the one you are caring for.

    Try getting those relatives to lend a hand.

    Vonny xx
    Vonny
    Former Carer

    TP: "A little light in great darkness" Ezra Pound

     

  5. #5
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    Hi Vonny

    it is possible she has an infection she does seem to have them all the time.

    We have been given help which is great there's no chance of the family doing anything my husband had owned the home house and sold it 3 years ago I also sold my house so that we could have a home together I could not have felt like his home house was my home, this caused all sorts of problems with his brother his brother wanted his mum to stay at home and get 24hr carers it shows how much he knows about social services as that simply wouldn't happen. She gets much better care with us! I honestly think it was a jealousy thing!!
     

  6. #6
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    Hi Kat

    First - I'm not in the same situation, but I am concerned about who is looking out for you in all of this. I am in my 30s and my dad has dementia. It took a while to get it set up, but he's just recently moved into a really lovely sheletered housing flat and has accepted carers coming in twice a day. So no, I'm not in the same situation, but there was a time that I thought the only solution would be for my dad to move in with me and my partner. He didn't though and I think this was best all round (yes for my dad too.) So you know my background. Also, this forum is littered with people discussing this very thing so you'll find a lot of people's opinions and experiences on that.

    But back to your situation. Obviously I don't know the people involved but I would say that if your husband's family choose not to be involved in providing practical support then maybe you both need to accept that situation. Likewise, just as they can say "I am not willing to do x,y,z" YOU can make that same choice. So if you decide to continue living together until your MIL's illness reaches a certain stage, or decide to bring in outside care, or respite care, or decide to look at other accomodation options (and there's a whole spectrum of options between not-being-able-to-cope-in-my-own-home to full nursing homes) you can make these decisions yourselves (assuming your MIL consents or you have a POA of course but you know what I mean.) If your husband's siblings don't want to wipe her @ss, that's fine, but it doesn't mean either of you have to! But can you have an honest discussion about this with your husband? Realistically you need reliable backup in looking after your MIL. There will likely come a time when you need professional help and it may be easier to have it in place before you really need it. (I assume you may want the occassional holiday and then there's the "what if we're both ill at the same time" scenario). In the meantime, can I suggest that for the sake of your marriage and your sanity, you and your husband have some regular time off, maybe an evening or weekend afternoon when you can do some normal newlywed stuff, go for a meal or to the cinema or a walk in the park and most importantly DO NOT TALK ABOUT DEMENTIA IN THIS BREAK TIME! You need time to yourself.

    About your MIL's attitude to you - have you told your husband how this makes you feel and how often it happens? It's easy to say "she can't help it" but that's immaterial to the effect it has on you and no-one should dismiss your feelings. Also, this area of behaviour should no more be ignored than any other change in behaviour or new symptom. What does her medical team say about this? Maybe it would be helpful to explain to your husband how upset this is making you and let him know that he needs to consider you too. (It seems his mum was ill before you got married but he went through with the marriage instead of saying he only has time for his mum. He made promises to you.) Setting some boundaries upfront and discussing those unspoken assumptions about how much you are both willing to sacrifice your own lives may be needed sooner rather than later, else there's the argument of "well you should have said 15 years ago that you didn't expect us all to be living together forever". Likewise, if you want a family of your own, it may never seem a good time while you are providing 24/7 care to his MIL. If you haven't done so recently, could you talk about what you both want from the marriage and how you can have those things while also caring for your MIL? From my own experience, it's easy to focus on the person with dementia and forget about everything else - it always seems there's another priority waiting to be dealt with.

    I realise this post may seem overly negative but I believe that someone needs to stick up for you in all of this. If it was all sunshine and flowers at home then you wouldn't be here!

    best wishes,
    Last edited by katie123; 11-08-2009 at 07:36 PM.
     

 

 

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