1. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    39
    Wales
    Hello from another newbie here. I've joined the forum because I'm going to need all the advice and support I can get. In a (biggish) nutshell this is my situation.

    Both my frail 86 yr old father (who lives five minutes away with my 88 yr old mother) and my frail 84 yr old mother-in-law (a widow who lives alone a two hour drive away) have dementia. My father is in the early-ish stages of both AZ and VD. My mother-in-law's dementia is further advanced but due to her resistance to accepting help and to seeking medical advice she is only now waiting on a brain scan appointment (we've been told to expect a formal Alzheimer's diagnosis).

    I have a number of chronic auto-immune conditions myself, including rheumatoid arthritis, and a young adult son at home who has (thankfully relatively minor) physical and mental health issues. I also care for my baby grandson at least one day a week. My husband helps me enormously and does what he can for his mother, but he works long, hard days (his is our only income) and as he has pernicious anaemia and it's proving hard to manage he is often tired and also has some memory loss issues himself. Nothing major in his case but it does makes delegating things to him difficult as he forgets to do them.

    I have a sister who lives a two hour drive away from our parents. My husband has a brother who lives a five hour drive away from their parents. Neither is as helpful as they probably could be. My sister visits my parents once a month or so. My brother-in-law visits his mother maybe four times a year. Both are reluctant to acknowledge the severity of the situation we're facing.

    My mother is my father's principle carer but as she doesn't drive, is increasingly physically frail, and is beginning to show (alarmingly familiar) signs of short term memory impairment herself she needs a lot of support from me. I am also supporting my mother-in-law, visiting regularly to drive her to and act as her advocate at all her medical appointments. (I have also spent most of the summer trying to persuade her to eat more than cuppa soups for dinner, take all her pills - she doesn't - and wear her personal alarm because she falls regularly - she won't.) I am pretty much holding my mother-in-law and my mother up on my own, and in the case of my mother-in-law undertaking a four hour round trip to do so. I am simply not going to be able to sustain this as things deteriorate.

    Complicating the situation with my mother-in-law (always a difficult woman) even further is that it turns out she has been keeping secrets from her sons for many years that with the loss of her memory she has forgotten to continue keeping. Recent revelations (we're not relying on her memory here, there is documentary evidence) have hurt my husband deeply but it is far too late for him to seek any meaningful explanation from her.

    And if you're still reading at the end of all that, thank you.

    I'm wondering, is anyone else dealing with the breakdown of family relationships resulting from dementia directly, rather than from disagreements with family about the best way to care for affected family members etc. And how do others cope when more than one parent/parent-in-law has AZ?
     
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,088
    Yorkshire
    My gosh Annie C, families eh!?
    A warm welcome to TP - there is so much information and friendliness here so have a good mooch around and you will get a good idea of the situations we all face and how we deal with them.
    My dad is now in a care home, and there have been family upheavals - but I hesitate myself to make a response to your situation which is so different.
    Except that you are doing an amazing job!
    I'm sure others will be along with more useful comments.
     
  3. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,342
    Merseyside
    Welcome to TP :)

    You have got an awful lot on your plate & I think you badly need to take a step back.

    Have social services assessed your parents & MIL?
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,742
    Female
    London
    You need help big time. You cannot stretch yourself into too many directions. Urgently call Social Services and ask for a needs assessment for both people you look after plus a carers assessment for yourself and hubbie. They need to put a care package together for them that relieves your burden.
     
  5. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    39
    Wales

    Any comment that lets me know there are others out there I can talk to about this stuff is a useful one, thank you :)
     
  6. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    39
    Wales
    #6 Annie C, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
    Unfortunately my mother has yet to be convinced that a SS assessment is necessary but has agreed to allow an OT to visit and carry out an assessment. My father thinks we're all making a fuss about nothing. And my mother-in-law is resistant to everything that is suggested to her, however I have now secured a referral for her to a local team who work with people refusing all assistance.

    It's just good to know that others agree that too much is being asked of me here :)
     
  7. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,342
    Merseyside
    Try & make sure that you are there when the OT visits so you can give a clear picture of what's really happening.
     
  8. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    39
    Wales
    Will do. Thank you :)
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,742
    Female
    London
    Whether she agrees to an assessment or not, you can always get a carers assessment for yourself. To be honest, OH's assessment was done between the SW and me with minimal input by OH himself. You just need to be very clear what would help you and them the most and detail their issues coherently.
     

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