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Frustrated

Amadon1

Registered User
Jan 12, 2016
4
Hello, I am new to this forum and am hoping to get some feed back as to how to talk to my Mother in law who has dementia. She is in assisted living and is very beligerent when we speak to her, as she doesn't feel that she belongs there. She threatens to leave there and blames my husband and myself for putting her there. She of course no longer drives, but threatens us that she is going to start driving again as she likes to gamble and wants only to go to casinos everyday. I am so frustrated and I get very anxious when the phone rings, because she is so beligerent. Any feedback on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,165
Yorkshire
Hi Amadon1
and welcome to TP - I hope you'll post about anything that worries you as there's lots of support here
the compassionate communication Beate has linked to really helps many of us - not always easy to keep to but a useful aide to keeping the atmosphere calmer

is the gambling a real problem or an excuse? if a real problem ie hooked on it, I'm not sure what to suggest - would she play card games herself, or can you set her up with some free games on a laptop/tablet (though make sure, if she's savvy enough, that she can't register herself on sites that charge and take real bets) - there are even roulette games to by, so she might 'play' with friends
are there any activities in the complex which she can join in - or even start up a bingo afternoon (or whatever game) - she seems to be looking for some form of distraction/activity

not much help, I'm afraid :)
 

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
482
Essex
Maybe screen your calls and let them go through to an answerphone rather than automatically picking them up? If your MIL sundowns and is calling you of an evening, she could be in a more agitated state (hence the aggression) and it might be best to return her call during the day. She could be going through an angry stage right now but in a few weeks, hopefully be in a different state of mind.
 

Amadon1

Registered User
Jan 12, 2016
4
She has gambled for years and it seems that this is all she wants to do. When we try to convey our concerns to her, she becomes very agitated. She takes taxi's to casinos and stays there until late at night. She states that she does this in part because she doesn't like being around handicapped people. She has been doing this more and more and it her going back to where she live drunk has become a big concern for the staff. I just don't know what do to do as she cannot live with us (we've tried that and that was a disaster). My husband has POA, but won't stop her from this behavior. I am at a loss.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,165
Yorkshire
My gosh, Amadon1, no wonder you are worried
though, if she has capacity she can do what she wants, however foolish her actions may be
your husband can't really stop her, how would he do this? - and maybe not challenging her is the better option, so that she doesn't build up her resentment towards you both and so may accept your help further down the line
counter intuitive as it feels, you may need to just monitor her at the moment and be ready to step in if the situation hits a crisis - sorry to say, this is often how it goes
maybe you can talk with the staff at the complex and see if you can all think of what to do in the future so that you have some responses ready, rather than having to deal with something unprepared
so start looking at further support available - maybe even local care homes - see what your local AS may have to offer - and, if your MIL will allow, could your husband get some idea of her finances, ready to step in when he can

would it be possible to go with her sometimes, so that the outing is turned into a more social occasion, eg having a meal as well, rather than a full on gambling session - you may at least be able to get her home earlier

I wonder if contacting something like gambling anonymous might give you some ideas of how to support her?

best wishes
 

Amadon1

Registered User
Jan 12, 2016
4
The place where she lives wants us to meet with them next week to talk about their concerns, so that we can nip this in the bud. they do not want to be responsible for her actions outside of assisted living. I do not want to encourage the gambling, therefore do not want to take her to a casino.