1. daveyshadow

    daveyshadow Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    My MIL has alzheiemers and macular degeneration and is adamant she wants to stay at home which I can totally understand, but:

    1) She is depressed (on drugs)
    2) She is lonely, she can only answer the phone not call out and my husband and I do our best but we both work and have children at school still and don't live in the same town.
    3) She thinks she copes but she hand washes clothes - terribly. Hasn't washed her towels or bedding in months - I hate using the bathroom when I visit as the towels are so dirty!
    4) Because of all her problems she is unwilling to try any help that has been offered - she won't accept she has depression or alzheimers and needs help.
    5) She has carer's 3 times a day but because she won't let me sort her freezer out (another story) she is stuck eating Tesco ping meals.

    My 2 daughters and I feel she would be better off in a CH as she would eat better, have clean clothes and most importantly hopefully make some friends and be socialised. She is so isolated at home.

    My husband is against it as he is unwilling to upset his Mum (as was his Dad which led to a lot of the problems)

    Any advise on how to handle this as it is breaking me up to see her so lonely
  2. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Re the laundry problem, is there any way your husband could perhaps take her out for the day and while they're out, you could then sneak into her home, pick up everything that looks like it needs proper laundering and take it home for it to be properly washed and dried? Sheets, towels and anything that can stand it to be put through a boil wash?
  3. JayneB6367

    JayneB6367 Registered User

    Dec 18, 2013

    You could be describing my Mother. Adamant she was ok in her own home, told us she could look after herself but couldn't/wouldn't strip bed, clothes were filthy, forgot to wash and was eating iceland meals for one, not cooked through properly or cakes. Plus she started to lose track of time so we caught her having shepherds pie for breakfast etc, I am sure this all sounds familiar. She couldn't dial out any more but would play with her phone so we would get constant blank texts or calls.

    We took the tough decision to move her into a care home 6 weeks ago. After a very rocky start we have turned a corner. She is eating well, she looks better, colour in her cheeks and hair washed and clean clothes. She is happy or as happy as anyone is with this awful disease. She has constant company. They check on her constantly. There is entertainment and its warm without me worrying that she will blow herself up using her gas fire or sitting for hours in front of a blank tv screen as she has forgotten how to turn it on but cant remember how to call me to ask how to do it.

    I am starting to enjoy seeing her again.

    Why is your husband so against it? I was for ages but touch wood it has turned out to be the bets thing we did.
  4. daveyshadow

    daveyshadow Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks, she is getting agoraphobic and won'y leave the house for very long although I have suggested it to my husband as a solution. Will try again!
  5. daveyshadow

    daveyshadow Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks for the comments. My husband will not do anything that causes his mother even the slightest upset and won't let me either, even if it is for the best in the long run. Will need to work on this
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi daveyshadow
    you're a bit stuck between your MiL's needs and her lack of ability to appreciate her situation ( it's not that she 'won't accept', she literally can no longer get her head round such ideas) & your husband's unwillingness to rock the boat. Sadly, something will give in time - I hope it's your husband's ability to step in and actively help her out.
    In the meantime, I gather you do visit her as a family, so maybe before your next visit you and your daughters can work out a plan of 'attack' for what you consider needs to be done.
    So, you take it in turns to keep MiL/gran occupied in her living room - loud TV watched with much chatter and laughter - a pamper session with face mask, pedicure/feet in bowl of warm suds - a sing along - you get the picture, whatever she will accept/put up with which is a big distraction. Then take it in turns ( so one of you isn't noticeably absent the whole visit to 'go to the loo' (or whatever excuse is useful) and each have a mission - to strip the bed and put on clean bedding (take clean/new just in case), used bedding to go in a container (suitcase or bin bag or ... ) strategically placed you all know where - bathroom stripped and cleaned and clean towels put out (yep, take some in case and a container with all cleaning stuffs you'll need) - clear out fridge and put in a supply of meals (M&S are really good), desserts, packaged fruit, packs of sandwiches, carton drinks, snacks etc (even use marker pen to write on days to be eaten if she will take any notice) - clear out freezer ( just DO it) and replace with whatever is appropriate - quick check of her clothes and purloin any that need washing, maybe bring new underwear or gifts of new items you'd like replaced (early Christmas presents? you bought and got the wrong size?). Take everything home to deal with (washing while you're there is a bit too close to rubbing her nose in it unless can be done so she doesn't notice) - return with clean or new, next visit.
    Of course, if she is the doting gran and will do anything for your daughters, then they distract while you whizz round. Close all doors while you are at work, keep living room door closed at all times.
    She may kick up a fuss but hopefully you will have got done what you most worry about, and then you can run for the hills.
    You mention 3 carer visits - could a cleaner be added in once a week (to help out a neighbour's daughter who needs a bit of extra for her kids - or whatever fib will salve your MiL's pride). Cleaner could be primed to sit and chat over a cuppa too - doubt if that will be a problem as she is being paid for however long a session you choose. Or could it be added onto one carer visit to strip the bed/towels and put into wash (I appreciate some care agencies won't do these types of tasks). Is one is for morning personal care? If not, as she is used to visits, would she accept this?
    Similar idea with a sitter service maybe - introduce as someone who needs some work experience??
    If you want her to be able to phone out - there are very basic handsets with only a few buttons on - there's a recent thread that's mentioned this.
    Just some thoughts - feel free to ignore.
    Best wishes
  7. daveyshadow

    daveyshadow Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015

    Thanks for that advice. Eldest daughter home soon for Xmas from Uni so may try this. She does have a cleaner once a week but she will only let them run the hoover round and wipe down the bathroom, although one did dust her room a while back. They spend the rest of the hour sitting talking and drinking tea with her as she believes she is coping fine on her own.

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