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Accidental Invisibles

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
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I think you are right that by the time it was evident BIL had the virus, MIL would probably have it too. For that reason I would be wary about anyonelse going up to stay with her - plus, if you have to travel on public transport, you would risk catching it and then transmitting it to her, there are a lot of risks involved. Hopefully the issue won't arise, but good luck with the Facetime call.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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Facetime call didn't happen as my sister in law was turned back by the police. I think he could have probably argued her way round it, but in lots of ways it is sensible she didn't go. Not only is she in and out of vulnerable people's homes as carer, she has a daughter staying at the moment, who is acting as carer for her other grandparents.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
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Do you mean she was on her way to BIL's house? Surely the point of facetime is that it's no contact. Anyway maybe that gives your answer - it isn't appropriate to travel there.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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Hi @Sirena, sister in law was on her way to her mothers. The idea was for sister in law to have a FaceTime session with her mum and us so we could see her and catch up. My husband is still thinking he'd be able to get there if need be, but I'm not at all sure there would be trains, and hiring a car would probably mean having it for at least a fortnight.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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I asked my husband yesterday if he was going to visit his mum this weekend. He'd been very keen on the idea last week, but hadn't mentioned it for a few days. Having seen the daughter of Captain Tom Moore on the TV not visiting her dad despite his amazing achievement, he's decided a brief visit is not a good idea. We've both agreed that a longer visit to give his brother a break might be needed sometime in the near future though.
My husband and his elder sister are rather cross with their brother for not keeping them updated about their mum or sorting out a FaceTime chat so they can see her. I think that maybe he's not facilitating that as if he did he'd then have an upset mum to deal with. I can't think of any other reason. Family relationships are so tricky!
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
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I think you're right. It's likely your MIL might find it confusing / upsetting trying to use Facetime, when my mother was still at home I used to avoid doing anything which would upset her routine. My mother doesn't understand 'screens' any more and can't communicate that way, and I know other members have said the same when they try to Skype them. Does your husband speak to his mother on the phone?

It would be against the current rules for your husband to visit his mother this weekend - that isn't a criticism, I am just wondering why he thought it would be okay.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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@Sirena, I think it's taken my husband a while to realise the seriousness of the situation. Life is carrying on fairly normally for him as he is still going into work a lot of the week and working from home the other days.
As for staying with his mum, I've offered, but I'm loathe to go up there at present in case my mum becomes seriously ill with the virus in her care home. My MiL is one of my best friends, and has not lost her empathy even though her dementia is pretty advanced. Last time I stayed with her she phoned a few days later to say how much she loved having me there. I thought she no longer knew how to use the phone.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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We are here for a few days looking after my mother in law while brother in law and wife have a holiday. One of my sisters in law takes over on Wednesday.
MiL presents very differently to my mother, My mum was very unhappy at home because of all the things she thought the neighbours were doing, thought any problem she encountered must be someone else's fault and put herself at risk by going out to the local pub.
Mil is very happy at home, and seems to have no awareness of her condition. She has very little understanding, and obviously can no longer read. She was an academic and she knew something had gone awry with something to do with exams, but I don't think she understood my explanation. She can do little for herself, needs guiding with eating, though once she's got the knife and folk sorted she's ok, and guiding with getting dressed. Husband sent me upstairs again today as he thought she'd had a poo accident. It was just a muddle over clothes. She wanted socks but couldn't remember the word and when I found them for her had no memory that they were hers.
She lives in a detached house at the end of a made up road with a large garden. it's gradually falling into disrepair. Husband has come with some tools to fix things, but BiL seems to have taken the keys to the shed so we can't get at the tools to sort out the patio area where a wisteria has fallen down and it's become very overgrown with self-seeded trees etc.
The crisis will probably come this winter when the weather gets cold, but in the meantime I'll guess we'll stagger on.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
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It's good that your MIL seems content in her own home. As you say, it seems like a situation where you have to continue unless something happens which forces BIL's hand. If she's happy at home and he's prepared to care for her, there's not much more to be done at the moment except supporting them as you're currently doing. You never quite know how things will progress, it's a case of wait and see.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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My husband was woken up by the sound of his mother in distress this morning. I didn't hear her as I hadn't got my hearing aids in. He went downstairs to find she'd had a poo accident and there was poo all round the downstairs. By the time I went down twenty minutes later most of it was cleaned up. Between us we got her changed and gave her her breakfast. She was very upset as she knew what had happened but couldn't work out how. I think she'd woken from a dream in which was bleeding and had tried to get to the loo and failed.
My husband had a conversation with her yesterday in which she seemed to suggest things can't go on like this, but I know she really hates the thought of being anywhere else. The saddest thing was her saying I used to be an intelligent woman. That's true, and now so sad she can't string a sentence together. We did have a nice time chatting about family members last night, though we had to guess which ones she meant.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,110
0
Nottinghamshire
Your poor MIL @Sarasa , and poor you and hubby having to cope with the aftermath.
It’s sad when our PWD express their awareness of the awful situation they’re in. My people with dementia did from time to time and it used to break my heart.
 
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jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,993
0
Chester
My husband had a conversation with her yesterday in which she seemed to suggest things can't go on like this, but I know she really hates the thought of being anywhere else.

I know it isn't your decision and I know BIL is resistant, but you know full well that she is at the point she might well be more content and have more dignity with a team of carers, rather than in her own crumbling home.

Is it worth suggesting to your husband that it might be worth him having another conversation with BIL about the situation, when you get back from holiday, by which time SIL will have been more hands on than normal.

Well done for helping deal with it all.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
0
That's so sad, it's upsetting for everyone, Sarasa.

I agree with jugglingmum, she will be more comfortable in a care home now, and those type of incidents will be less distressing when they are dealt with by kind caring professionals. I hope your husband manages to persuade BIL of this, for all your sakes.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
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Husband said last night that BiL had told him he doesn't want to think of the next step until after his holiday. I hope being away for a week will have given him a bit of space to think things through, and he'll listen to what the rest of us think.
We're home now as one of my SiL's has taken over for the rest of the week. In some ways it was lovely to spend time with my MiL. She said in passing 'I've always loved you', which was great to hear, as I've loved her since the minute I met her. In other ways it was so sad, as she has declined so much since I last saw her in February.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
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It's very sad to see such a deterioration, she sounds a lovely lady. Please let us know how she gets on.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,365
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Things are very slowly moving. Contact has been made with the incontinence clinic and a referral made to get an official diagnosis of dementia. The district nurse is also visiting as sister who is a carer is concerned about sores developing due to the increasing incontinence problems. I did wonder if the incontinence was due to an undiagnosed bowel problem, but I guess district nurse can refer that on if she thinks that's the case.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,442
0
Kent
Hello @Sarasa

Just a couple of pointers for your in laws to consider in the best interests of your mother in law.

How much time does she spend by herself?

Is she able to attend to her own personal care if she loses bladder and bowel control?

How is her standard of hygiene? Is she open to infection?

She does seem aware of her own deterioration and knows she can`t continue to live the way she is living. She could be so much happier in a caring environment with a team of people who can make sure she doesn`t get into upsetting situations.

I used to be an intelligent woman.

So sad.

I remember my first experience of a care home and watching all these elderly people shuffling around in worlds of their own. I looked at them as people who were once loving parents, siblings and friends who held responsible positions in life and believe we owe them the best.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,365
0
Things are inching forward. My husband had a long phone call with one of his sisters last night. She is the very organised one and she is sorting out becoming her mother's deputy as we've left it too late for LPA. Other sister wants to give up her job and become her mother's carer. It's a lovely thought, but husband, other sister and I are not at all sure if it will work, not sure what other brother thinks.
Husband and I are still of the opinion a care home is the only option, but we don't want to fall out with the other three, who want to try everything possible to keep her at home.
In a horrible way I wish she'd end up in hospital after an infection or minor accident so she could be properly assessed. At the moment her needs aren't being met as the focus seems to be on what she wants.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
3,300
0
South East
It is encouraging that things are starting to happen albeit slowly , you have the right approach in keeping things amicable and not falling out , wish I had managed that .I see it that at least if sister tries becoming carer if it doesn’t work, you can all say that you have tried to carry out her wishes and it didn’t work . I too wish that mum would be taken in to hospital for something minor and move her that way , I am also hard sometimes and wished that she had a huge heart attack in her sleep to release her from the grip of dementia . Sorry that probably sounds awful . Hope your lovely Mil gets the help and support she needs soon . What caring accidental invisibles you are . My Mil is like a second mum to me too, I love her and fil dearly .