Advice - decline in health

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by JulieMG, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. JulieMG

    JulieMG Registered User

    Jul 19, 2016
    My mother in law was last assessed as being in the mid-late stages of Alzheimer's. Her husband, who was in a nursing home for well over a year, died early this year. About 4 weeks ago her daughter took her on a week's holiday abroad. Since then she has been confused about the days of the week and what day of tablet she is on. She also had what we think was a small burn on her hand yesterday but she can't tell you what happened due to her speech issue (below). We also got a call from a neighbour who said she calls to them a few times during the day and they feel she needs to go in somewhere.

    As a former home help herself she has refused all help. The carers come in twice a day and either my husband or her daughter call each evening with more time being spent with her on a Saturday and Sunday by her daughter who takes her out for a few hours.

    She also has asphasia (hope I've spelt this correctly) and therefore cannot communicate in words so is hard to understand - she might get one word out but then the rest are what I'd liken to 'ticks' if that makes sense.

    She has managed quite well in the house until now. She is petrified of going into a nursing home - absolutely petrified.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. A social worker is going to visit tomorrow.

  2. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Welcome to TP Julie. This is a very difficult problem, though sadly not uncommon.

    The SW should do an assessment and be able to make suggestions about where to go from here. It certainly sound as if your Mil needs, at the very least, more carer time.

    You've come to the right place for help and support and I'm sure others who have direct experience of this sort of situation will be along soon.
  3. JulieMG

    JulieMG Registered User

    Jul 19, 2016
    #3 JulieMG, Jul 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
    Hi stanleypj, thank you so much for getting back to me.

    Do you think the SW will be able to make a full enough assessment tomorrow that could determine whether she needs to move into a care home? Or is it a case that they come out and then make an appointment for her to be reassessed by medics which will delay things - in terms of upping her care or moving to the care home?

    I neglected to say that she has also cried two days running. I guess this is because she is aware of how bad she is and also because she is frightened of going into care. No-one wants to put someone into care and thankfully we've managed to avoid this happening for the past couple of years. Would anti-depressants be of any use? I would hate for her to be removed from her home against her will and to be put into a nursing home and to spend time crying if there was anything that could be done now to 'have her in a better place'.

    Thanks for reading.

  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi JulieMG
    your family are working so hard to support your MIL in her own home

    I agree that, from what you describe, your MIL needs more support - the SW will certainly be able to weigh up the situation from what they see and from what info they are given by family and carers - possibilities; more home care visits (4 a day is usually the max), a sitter, some day care, a respite stay in a care home, a move to a care home - SW do tend to want to keep the person in their own home for as long as possible
    so if you are able, prepare some notes about how you see your MIL's situation and what you think could be put in place to support her
    if she is self funding, you are pretty much free to organise whatever you think is appropriate - if she still has capacity, though, she can refuse (though being creative with the 'truth' may help her accept more support) so it's unlikely that any action can be taken against her will

    can you get to the bottom of her fears? were there problems with her husband's care?

    and I think it's a good idea to contact her GP about her low mood, to check what's going on - maybe meds will help, maybe something else is going on the GP can help with

    best wishes
  5. Trini

    Trini Registered User

    Dec 7, 2015
    Hi Julie
    This all sounds very reminiscent of my MIL. To cut a long story short MIL is now living at home with 24 hour live in care. This is actually more expensive than a CH but she is self funded and can afford it for now. Given her rapid rate of decline I cannot see her lasting more than another year at most. Even her carer has said we should be prepared. Having 24 hour live in care does not remove all responsibilities on the family. I was in favour of the CH option. She does not know where she is from one day to the next and seems to remember nothing. Remarkably the one thing she does remember are people so she still recognises family and friends. I was overruled by SIL so she remains at certainly sounds as if your MIL is not safe to be left on her own given the burn. What next? Good luck with sorting it out but I know from experience it is not easy as an in law. You have no say but you can help deal with the problems!

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