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Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by martin77, Jun 29, 2006.
Wanted to say a quick Hello and welcome you to TP. I am sure you will get a lot of replies on this one - sounds as though you and your partner are doing your best in a difficult situation. Must dash (just about to leave work!). Will post later.
I think you are talking about hardening of the arteries / vascular dementia
My 90 yr old Mother is much the same as yours only lives alone a long way away from me
Theres no reasoning with my mother and what she has done to her finances is scary never mind everything else
Everything is a blazing row theres no middle road .......i object violently to her agression and extremely nasty remarks and claims of stealing etc but as others say " its the disease talking " so if like me your patience is worn thin and everything lands up in an argument give as good as you get you have nothing to loose IMHE
I trust you have an EPA if not download one from Guardiansip office and just get her to sign it in front of witnesses then put it into action with banks etc .....you should not need to rush to register it IMHE ........most Banks will take it as is and transfer all correspondance etc to you
It's a difficult situation. Even the more experienced among us find it difficult to distinguish between "personality, illness, old age, medication side effects or otherwise" as the cause of behaviour. In my experience though, (note: just my experience) we have attirbuted these behaviours mostly to my Dad's dementia because his personality changed before he started to take the medication - he was not at all aggressive or miserable - the opposite, in fact, and at 83 is still mostly physically fit.
The way I see it is that you're not moaning, you are just being honest and trying to look for some kind of solution, which won't be easy whatever way you choose to go. You don't say if you have discussed this with your partner but perhaps that might be the starting point. She may be just as at-a-loss to know what to do as you are, and would welcome an opportunity to talk it through - although she may not. TP is a good place to start too - I'm sure you will get lots of varied suggestions and support.
Firstly, don't worry about moaning - partly what TP is here for, to give people the space to have a good moan, knowing that those who are reading will be sympathetic. We all do it!
Right, lets try and see things from your MIL's (will refer to her as that cos it is shorter than partner's mother) point of view. She knows that she is getting older, and she is aware that she is getting a bit forgetful, but that happens when you get older. Admit that you may have dementia, you are going to 'lose your marbles', (and all those other euphemisms people use) - wow that is too scarey , can't be happening to me!
"irritable and can't do a lot of daily tasks she used to be able to do" - think about it. I remember when I first witnessed my mum having difficulty dressing. The thought that she had to put into just putting her clothes on in the right order. Imagine how you would feel, totally worn out mentally by the simplest of things, yet knowing in your heart that you should be able to do them.
And now daughter and partner have moved in. What must be in her head? 'Do they think I am stupid, incapable? Why are they eating my food, sitting in my chair, who is that man, are they going to steal?'- these aren't rational thoughts, but things that seem to go through the minds of people with dementia.
I don't know if you and your partner have done the right thing moving in, but if MIL cannot cope alone, then help has to be provided in one way or another.
Do your best to support your partner; watching your mum fade before your eyes is so painful - and she will feel torn between you and her mum. Try not to argue with MIL, it may well be that her brain is beyond reasoning. When things get tense, try distraction, or walk away from the situation, sometimes just humour her. Before escalating the tension ask yourself 'Does it really matter?'.
Don't know if that is any help Martin. You are in for a tough time, but it does have good bits. I suggest that you find out all you can about dementia and its progress. People on here will be able to tell you what types of help and support are available. Bye for now.
cheers for the comments......yes it's a very difficult one, I'm working now so am out the house more, but going home at night is not something I look forward to, my partner gave up her work to be nearer her Mum, so financilly it's been hard for us as well....and has cost us some of our own independence.
It's such a nightmare when everything we do in the house is eyed with suspicion, from watching the telly or using the internet to opening a window....and the total distrust ih her daughter is upsetting as well. It's horrible to see her Mum so stone cold......is this just illness?.....and also seeeing her having trouble switching the TV or oven on......and not seeming to have any feeling towards anyone in her family let alone socially??!!??
My partner got a mouthful of abuse and almost hit when her Mum went crazy when we came in after midnight having been out for a much needed drink the other saturday evening....my partners in her in her 30's and I'm not far behind!!!! it was very random though she doesn't always react like that but just another example of something that's hard to live with and doesn't make sense...and also very hurtful to my partner.........it's hard to cope with and make any sense of without getting frustrated and angry yourself. And the fact it's hard to find anyone to really discuss it with means it all builds up inside!!!......me and my partner end up arguing between ourselves rather than talking...I guess it's the frustration and not knowing what's going on.....
thanks amy for your thoughts......I think we may need live nearby but not with her, and hopefully have someone from the health service pop in (if they will do this???) to keep an eye on certain things...maybe this will be better for her Mum and us.....I hope so as things can't carry on as they are. But it's good to find somewhere I can find out a bit more about what's happening.....
See if there is a local Alzheimers Society in your area, they often run support groups for carers. A gentleman came out to talk with me when mum was in the early stages. The Alzheimers helpline is also very good - can help with practical questions, but one day a young man just listened as I cried in despair at my parents' situation.
Would it help your partner to have a look on here?
What type of medications is she on? Are there any anti-psychotics, which would help with the suspicion/paranoia/aggression? You do have to be careful with meds, not to over do it but medication does have its place.
I recommend you googling all the meds she's & seeing if there are any contra-indications. Or take a list to a pharmacist & have a long chat. I find them better to talk to about drugs.
Getting a diagnosis is key but often the same symptoms can be caused by various diseases.
Try to always remember - it's the disease which makes the behaviour so unpleasant, it is not what you are doing or the person herself. You are not moaning - you are venting (very politely too, I might add) to save your sanity.
Hang in there, you will learn to cope as you go along. It's definitely a learning curve.
I'm new here too, so I haven't quite got the hang of the way the board works but I just wanted to say that one of the most difficult things that I've had to deal with is the feeling of disloyalty when I complain about my Mother. I know it's not her fault she is as she is, but sometimes... I don't live with my Mother because my home and family is in the USA, but honestly, even if I still lived in the UK I don't think I could do it. Each visit makes me realise that I don't have the emotional fortitude to handle the day in/day out problems. I normally visit for a couple of weeks every three months, and each day, at the end of the day, I'm on the phone to my DH in tears over my "poor performance" as a daughter. It's not how I ever thought I would be. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that you can be too close - my Mother's carers tell me she's a delight to be around (she is not at all aggressive) but for me, it's like looking at a stranger, but one that you love.
I feel for you, but in my experience, (very similar to yours except that my husband and I sold our house and his mothers to move into a bigger house so that MIL wasn't on her own), as her situation becomes more familiar, she will accept help more. It took at least 6 months of MIL saying we could take her home now before she appeared to accept where she was, though since it's now been 3 years, and she thinks she's only been here 2 weeks, it is not logical!!!
Like your MIL, she puts it all down to old age and doesn't accept there is a problem, and for her, there isn't!! You will soon become as accustomed as the rest of us at dealing with her loss of memory, just remember it is far more frustrating for her than for you, though I know at first it doesn't seem that way. When living on her own, my MIL did not eat proper meals, getting biscuits or crisps was easier, and she became frightened and unsure of being on her own.
My MIL is just happy to have someone else around all day, even if she does think we've gone out if we are out of the room for more than 5 minutes!!!