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Advice for MIL and FIL, FIl has Dementia

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Riley27458, May 27, 2015.

  1. Riley27458

    Riley27458 Registered User

    May 27, 2015
    #1 Riley27458, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    My father in law has had dementia for a few years now and is at the stage where his short term memory is fading and he doesn't know who my MIL is quite often now and refuses to believe that she is his wife, they have been married for 60 years so it is quite upsetting for my MIL who is 80 years old to deal with that.

    They live quite far away and my FIL is becoming quite frail, he falls asleep suddenly and is incontinent a lot of the time and struggles with physical movement, lifting his legs, walking any type of distance and leans forward when he is sitting and cannot remain upright when standing and also has Parkinsons in his hands and my MIL is a teeny lady who is not able to physically stop him from falling and is having to help him with his dressing and personal care nearly 24/7. My FIL is refusing to have home help and also refuses to move to any type of assisted living facility although my MIL says she is willing and we really think she could do with a break and would like to move with her husband while he is still at times lucid.

    He hallucinates that my partner and his sister are still living with him as children (my partner is 55) and just today I saw him put his arms out in front of him as if to hug a child and he said he wanted to say goodbye to his grandson as we were leaving, his grandson is 25 and was not with us. He often starts to talk about random things that make no sense at all and it is quite distressing watching him struggle to make sense of what he is trying to say. He can walk short distances (shuffle) but as he does so he begins to bend over forward and begins to pick up speed if he is not held back by someone holding onto him and today he nearly toppled over but I caught him just in time.

    I just don't know what to do, it's so sad and hard to watch him fade away and we really need to help him before it becomes a crisis decision but he is very proud and refuses to accept much help from anyone. He is really good with me as I always try to make him laugh and give him lots of love and attention when I am with him but my MIL says he is beginning to get nasty with her, shouting and lashing out and that makes me afraid for her as she is so little compared to him and I don't know what he might do next.

    If anyone has any advice for us it would be so much appreciated as we really don't know anything about the next steps and what the law is. My partner has POA with regards to property and financials but not regarding welfare, I'm not sure whether my FIL will grant him welfare either.

    Many thanks and sorry for the long message.
  2. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    Firstly, please do not apologise for the long message. Sometimes we need to write how things are and it then becomes clearer in our own mind just what we are up against.
    Secondly a warm welcome to TP.
    Do you know if your MIL has had a carer's assessment. Under the new care act she can apply to SS for an assessment of her needs even though your FIL does not want help. This way she can be enabled to care for him for a bit longer before a care home becomes inevitable. Please take a google of the guidance to care act 2014. It's a long read at over 500 pages but it does say how carers should be valued and that help should be given to the carers.
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    My head is telling me to tell you that someone needs to say enough is enough and to do whatever is required to make life easier for your in laws. My heart goes out to your mil, time is so precious and at 80 even more so. Like it or not help is needed in the home. Assessments with some LA's can take time. Talk to Ageuk, Alzeimer's Society and if you have permission, their gp. Take care of your mil, its a horrible illness.

    Sure others will be along with more advice for you, hope all you gather on this site will help you through all this.
  4. sheila55

    sheila55 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2014
    I am so sorry to hear about your FIL and MIL. It is such a difficult time. I know lots of people on this site have been there and I am sure lots of them will have some good advice for you. I think you have to consider your MIL's safety. On a practical level, you are probably too late to apply for welfare POA now. If he refuses to move to assisted living then at some stage you would have to have him assessed as "not having capacity" which means he is not capable of making these decisions for himself. Do you have any help from Social Services at the moment, eg carers coming in to help? If not, your local social services first response team is probably your first port of call. Unfortunately it often takes a crisis before these things are sorted out. Hope you can get some help. Take care.
  5. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Welcome to TP Riley. I would echo what Karjo has said in that if they are to remain living where they are your Mil really has to involve some outside agencies even if your Fil objects.

    In the short term a carers assessment by SS might provide sufficient support to enable Mil to continue caring but I would suggest looking at the slightly longer term in that it may be better to consider a move much closer to you to a housing option that offers support on hand for Mil, especially if Fil has an occasional tendency to violence.

    There shouldn't be an assumption, by anyone, that Mil will be willing and able to care for her OH just because he's her husband. Sometimes it does happen that choices are made, or at least heavily influenced, by the person least able to make a good decision so then it is necessary for you/Mil etc to ensure that good choices are made, even if Fil disagrees, his wishes are not the only ones that count here.
  6. Riley27458

    Riley27458 Registered User

    May 27, 2015
    Thank you both

    Currently they have no help from social services at they have refused it, but we know that they definitely need it now so are keen to find out what the options are and to present them to them while he can still make a preferred decision.

    They have private funds to pay for special care and that sort of thing so I suppose I am asking now if anyone knows what they best type of care would be for them that is out there really.

    I don't know whether there are agencies that have dedicated carers for them or that sort of thing or whether it is all run via the NHS and if there are private agencies where to start looking to find reputable or recommended carers.

    Any help is most appreciated.
  7. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    You have to decide what kind of help mil needs. If self funding then you can approach any care agency and find out what they offer, read small print / terms and conditions fully. There is also something out there called Adults Supporting Adults but don't know if they cover the whole of the u.k. urge you to talk to Ageuk they too can offer some services. I advertised privately for a part time carer/companion. It took forever but I have found an absolute gem and at the moment is not required as a carer, for a few hours a week she sits with mum while I take a break. I know that in time she will be able to help me with more hands on care. I have no real knowledge of Local Authority services / assessments. While I can afford it I'm sticking to 'private'care which gives me flexibility/choice and control of who comes into my home.

    Keep in mind mil's requirements she needs the support. Its great that you are still involving fil in the decision making, but remember any input from him will be 'fuzzy' because of the Dementia and he may continue to say no to everything.

    Friday today, weekend here. Make some phones calls today, Ageuk would be my first.
  8. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hi Riley There are lots of options for home care, from hourly (or less) visits for specific tasks like washing and dressing up to 24 hr live in care. This factsheet from the CAB https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/relationships/looking-after-people/social-care-and-support/ covers the basics of assessment by the LA - as it explains, social care, provided by the LA, is not funded unless you meet the funding levels criteria but nursing care, provided by the NHS is provided without means testing - ie. District Nurse visits etc.

    This is the link to the CQC page for home services http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/services-your-home which could be a starting point for finding a local provider of home care. You could also contact your in-laws GP, the local AS branch, AgeUK, or ask the local council to send you their list of services in the area - this will include LA and private providers.

    Your Fil should also be able to claim AA (Attendance Allowance) as this is not means tested - this link to AgeUk's page on the subject takes you through the basics - http://www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matte...dance-allowance/what-is-attendance-allowance/

    Good luck.
  9. angelface

    angelface Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    If MIL is willing,perhaps they can both go for a couple of weeks respite in a care home,to see how they get on?

    Fil could be told its a holiday,and if his short term memory is poor,he might not know if his 'holiday'gets extended.That is if it suits mil to stay for longer?

    Looks as tho something needs to be done urgently before mil cannot cope.

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