1. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    As many of you know MIL lives in an annexe with us. The garden is now fenced in so that she can’t go a wandering. We very occasionally leave her for 2-3 hours, most of the time she is asleep and doesn’t know we’re out although we leave a note on our patio door to remind her.

    Today she had just got up as we were going out so Himself (my husband) made her breakfast (at 1.30pm!) and we told her we’d be back soon.

    Himself got a phone call from a neighbour to say MIL was hysterical in the garden. This neighbour is a very good friend and has a key as she often lets the dog out for us. We were only at the village hall 5 mins away so I came home straight away.

    MIL was doing a good job of being confused and upset but the neighbour was feeding this hysteria by saying “I’m going to make sure you’re never going to be left on your own again, look at me, I’ll make sure this never happens again”.

    She then turned on me when I said to MIL “it’s all ok, lets make a cup of tea”. A torrent of abuse followed and then she stomped off leaving her key in our patio door.

    I made MIL a cuppa and sat her down in front of the tv and she was quite calm, came back to my house and burst into tears.

    Now I’m totally confused and upset. I know this neighbour has got a point but she’s also upset with me over something totally unrelated and I think it all spilt out this afternoon in her angry outburst.

    We do take calculated risks with leaving MIL occasionally otherwise we’d miss out on doing some things as a couple. Most of our life revolves around MIL and sometimes I just wish I only had myself to think about. I think what I need to know is do you think it’s acceptable to leave MIL or are we indeed being cruel and abusive?
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Dementia progresses. What was a "calculated risk" yesterday might be a dangerous situation tomorrow. No, you are not cruel and abusive and you have your own life to live but maybe the time has come where she can't be left alone anymore without feeling frightened or possibly get into a dangerous situation.

    Have you looked into day centres or sitting service? It would mean she'd be supervised and would free up time for yourself. If you tell Social Services she is a vulnerable adult at risk they'll have to do a needs assessment - and you have a right to one as a carer too.

    It might also mollify the neighbour to see you are dealing with the situation. It's never ideal to leave someone unable to escape - what would she do if a fire broke out?
  3. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    You answered it yourself. The neighbour is point-scoring. Tell her if she is going to make sure 'it never happens again' you look forward to her caring for MiL on a regular or respite basis. ;)
  4. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi Margaret :)

    I think this situation reflects the level of stress you are under. You have a right to some life of your own - in fact we all need some 'space' to be ourselves - so I don't think you've done anything wrong. But your MIL's reaction shows that her needs may have changed. Time for an assessment or reassessment, I think, and to find someone who can be with her when you're out. Which I know is easier said than done........


    Lindy xx
  5. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    O Margaret, I'm sorry you are so upset and can quite understand why.
    I honestly think the leave or not to leave question has to be on a day to day decision, depending on so many things such as time of day, length of time away, your MIL's mood and so many more.
    I know you do everything you can for your MIL and would never leave her open to danger if you can possible help it.

    I do think that your neighbour was in the wrong to have a go at you as she did. As a friend, she must be aware of how difficult your life is and how much you do for your MIL. Just letting you know that your MIL was upset was enough and she should have been more understanding.

    I hope you can find a way of ensuring your MIL remains safe and reassured whils managing some time for yourselves as well. I've no idea about sitting services I'm afraid but perhaps your neighbour can sit with her for a couple of hours next time!
  6. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    #6 2jays, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    Oh Margaret sorry to hear about your day :(

    My thoughts
    Wrong of neighbour to use this as an "excuse" to bring up other issue, or what ever she said.

    As it has happened, it may be time for you to re-assess the day to day arrangements again.

    What you are saying is giving me Echoes of my past with my mum early on......

    the one that lead to my carer breakdown.

    I'm not saying you are "breaking down" but in my opinion, not wishing tinatus on you..... the alarm bells should be starting to ring in your ears as it seems to me that "things" are getting harder for you to just brush off.

    And..... if I'm not speaking out of turn.... Your own health ain't too great is it. Just makes it harder when you yourself are not feeling "quite right" and respite doesnt come round quickly enough and feels it's is too short.

    Day club may be a start to give you some space

    Forgot to ask the usual question.... She hasn't got uti or constipation has she

    Huge extra squishy hugs xxxxxx

    Ps. Yes I do think you are being cruel. You are being cruel to yourself - give yourself some slack and that rud-dy guilt monster a kick in its nut tree xx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  7. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    Beate, we don't lock her in she is able to get out into the garden which is quite large.

    Redlou, I think you're dead right that neighbour was point scoring.

    Lindy50, she has this week had an assessment by SS and the CPN was here only yesterday.

    I think you're right Saffie, each time it depends how MIL is and indeed I have before stayed at home if she's been agitated or come back after half an hour to see how she is.

    She does go to daycare twice a week but every other week we have either morning coffee or afternoon tea at the village hall which Himself & I organise and they fall on days when she's at home. She often comes with us if she's up and awake but today she got up just as we went out so we felt that she would be better eating her breakfast and pottering at home as she hates being rushed to go anywhere.

    As I'm writing this I think I'm realising that what we do is ok and that her needs always come first. If it hadn't been for the fact that said neighbour had to come in our house to get her car keys as Himself had driven it home this morning for her the everything would probably have been ok.

    She has no idea how to handle someone with dementia and was winding her up instead of calming her down. Himself has just been round to see neighbour who is still very angry and was on her way out. He said he'd talk to her tomorrow when she calms down.

    Feeling better now, thank you. Helps to put it down in words.
  8. chrisdee

    chrisdee Registered User

    Nov 23, 2014
    Hello Margaret, so sorry to hear that you feel shaky and upset. My Mum had 3 sets of neighbours, 2 were brilliant, one did not want to know and went indoors if Mum was in the garden. As others have said, it all heralds a change and maybe your Mum really cannot be left alone now . . . so its down to carers, sitters day centres and however you can stitch it all together. Sorry but I think the neighbour is saying that she's had enough, so no support there anytime soon. I do know how frightening these changes are and how we then feel are future is so uncertain, with own needs going down the drain. Don't suppose there is any chance of a bit of respite care. Sorry not to be more reassuring but most of us have been there I think.
  9. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    Thanks 2jays, sensible as ever :D

    In answer to your question, yes she does have a uti, finished antibiotics on Monday, infection still not cleared, spoke to community nurse just before I went out and prescription being delivered tonight.

    She's absolutely fine now, flipping neighbour just wound her up, and me too!! As it happens I do have tinnitus in my right ear :D:D:D Guilt monster now been given kick up a***. Telling myself I do a great job and friend/neighbour doesn't have a clue and should butt out :eek:
  10. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Moi? Sensible??? Oh where am I going wrong????? :D :D

    No you don't do a great job....

    You do a FANTASTIC job

    And yes I am shouting :D


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Now thinking about that sensible comment.....

    Tongue in cheek was it....

    I do hope so :D

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  12. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Hello Margaret, have you thought that it was probably the neighbour who set her off? My Mum is very good at reading expressions even when very confused. If you look scared or upset she picks up on it and reacts the same way.

    Dont feel guilty. Without you so close this could happen multiple times a day and you may never know about it. You are doing the best you can and we all understand. It rubbish as your life is no longer your own.

    Sending you strength
  13. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    Actually 2jays you do come out with some excellent advise, pat on the back for you too :D:D, thanks for shouting at me I HEARD you :D:D

    Quilty, it never crossed my mind but you could be so right.

    Thank you all for your responses, what a wonderful place this is, I come here feeling sh** and after a few words from others I can see the wood for the trees and see that it was more to do with the neighbour/friend than MIL or me.

    Funny that, I just remembered I subscribe to TUT and get a motivational message everyday this is today's ...

    In all tests of character, Margaret, when two viewpoints are pitted against each other, in the final analysis, the thing that will strike you the most is not who was right or wrong, strong or weak, wise or foolish... but who went to the greater length in considering the other's perspective.
  14. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Hi Margaret,

    I am sorry to read about your experience.

    This might offend you, and I hope it doesn't, but looking at this from an outsider's point of view, your neighbour sounds like the type of "very good friend" who is actually not a very good friend at all, but instead a very manipulative person who knows which buttons to push to upset you when she is angry with you. What she seems to have done is deliberately upset your MIL, a vulnerable person, to make you feel guilty, in order to get back at you about whatever it is she is upset about. I might be misreading the situation here, but if that IS what she did, then that is pretty bloody shabby behaviour and SHE should be the one who is feeling guilty and ashamed of herself, not you. This is exactly the way my mum behaves - when she is angry with me, she upsets my dad on purpose and makes it look like my fault in order to upset me. I am only too familiar with this kind of toxic relationship.

    Like I said, I hope I haven't offended you, and I may have completely misread the situation, but sometimes it needs an outsider to point out things which are toxic in your life. Honestly, if my "friend" did that to me, I would be re-evaluating our "friendship".

    Whatever the truth is, you have no reason to feel guilty. Up until now your MIL has been okay alone. if she hadn't been, you wouldn't have left her. Don't feel guilty about it - that's what your neighbour wants.

    All the best,

  15. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    I like your TUT

    thought often of you when on my holly days. I read when I could, and when I couldn't I used a special book mark... xx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  16. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    Thanks LS, not offended at all. Food for thought, you maybe right, will certainly be looking at things differently in the future.

    She's upset with me because I'm going away the day before her Birthday (for my 60th Birthday) and she says I agreed to look after her dogs as her best friend has got expensive tickets to go somewhere secret for her Birthday. I don't remember her asking and I always put something in my diary straight away if I agree to do something - it's not in my diary. So that's what all this is about :eek:

    2jays I'm glad you are using your bookmark :D:D:D
  17. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    Ah a fellow Tut'ite! I like the bits he puts at the end as a PS, today's was " Well, yeah, Celia, I did mean the final, final analysis, but you'll see, that one really counts" ☺x
  18. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    I love my TUT messages Celia, makes me think about things, not unsurprisingly most days they are very apt :D:D
  19. jan.s

    jan.s Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
    Hi Margaret

    I am so sorry that your neighbour has caused you distress, knowing how much you care for MIL and knowing how you do everything you can to keep her safe and well cared for.

    It is a good possibility that she wandered into the garden and then the neighbour caused her to become distressed. So many people don't understand dementia and don't know how to defuse such a situation, making matters worse by pointing out that you weren't there.

    It does seem unnecessarily unkind of your neighbour to use MIL to get back at you.

    Keep smiling. xx
  20. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Hi Margaret,

    I'm glad I didn't upset you :) Obviously, I don't know your friend, but from what you've said she sounds like the dramatic, emotional type, and that could be a bit unsettling for your mum. I know my mum's constant dramas have a horrible effect on my dad and make his dementia worse.

    Doesn't your neighbour have anyone else who can look after her dogs?

    Hope all calms down for you. :)


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