1. squirrel

    squirrel Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    Hello to everyone, I'm new to this but feel the time has come where I need some advice. My partners Mum has Alzheimers for the last couple of years and is in early to mid stages of it. My partners Dad is her carer and I've tried to be as supportive as I can, we've both gone to our local alzheimers group and have found this very helpful. But my problem is over the rest of the family, my partner, his brother and sister who are having problems coming to terms with it all, to the point of denial. What doesn't help in all of this is that I am long term sick and all of the stress is not helping me, any help would be appreciated,

  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dear squirrel

    No, I'm sure the added stress is not helping your own health issues.

    I assume because he wasn't in your list that the primary carer (your partners father) isn't in a state of denial? Because that's a blessing if so. As to the others: is that becasue they're refusing to accept the diagnosis they don't see the need to provide any assistance? Or is that they expect more from your partners mother than she is capable of doing? I mean it's irritating when you have a diagnosis and the whole thing is minimised but that's just words, and I assume from your post that it is their attitude that you feel is causing problems in a practical sense, so would it be possible to elaborate?

    Broadly, some people still feel a diagnosis of dementia in the family is shameful, and therefore will do their very best to put a different interpretation on whatever is happening. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly how you get people to change that kind of mind-set. Others simply don't understand exactly what Alzheimer's disease actually is. For those, providing appropriate reading might be helpful. Are you familiar with the fact sheets (top left of any page i Factsheets Perhaps printing out one or two of the most suitable one might help.

    Best wishes
  3. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Hi Squirrel and welcome to TP,

    Well I'll start by saying well done for attending the AZ meetings - that's a bigger step than you realise and if it is as good as our local meeting will be a great source of help and support to you.

    Here on TP there is also a great wealth of support and information available and I have found it invaluable in helping with the stress of dealing with dementia on a daily basis.

    The denial is trickier to deal with because basically you just can't force someone into the reality of this - and I should know as I've been battling with my dad for three years now and he's still in a level of denial.:eek:

    To some extent it's understandable as let's face it this is a horrific thing we're dealing with and for me it sometimes feels like a one way path that there's no way of stepping off or turning around. This disease is as tragic as any other out there and your partner and his family (and you) all need time to process this and grieve.

    All you can continue to do at this time is support them, direct them to other areas of support when you can't help them (such as TP or AZ society) and remember to try and put up some bounderies (for want of another word) so that you can shut it off and look after yourself when it starts to become overwhelming.

    Try not to feel guilty about doing that as the only way you can continue to support your partner and his family is if you occasionally recharge your batteries and have some down time as it were. Your partner will also need that so do encourage him to look after himself too.
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #4 Margarita, Sep 17, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007
    God I don't think I will ever come to terms with mum having AZ , must of drove every on potty with my denial . I feel only in the last year that I am excepting mum AZ , so that could mean I am coming to terms with it and have come out of denial which I feel was a very safe place to be , because they I don't live in any pain of the reality of facing it till it hits me in the face .

    yes I would say also agree with kate
    as if you don't your get frustrated so became more stress . if anything like me they have to see drastic changes to really believe it .
  5. squirrel

    squirrel Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    thanks for your replies. All three of them have the book from the alzheimers office I have tried to give them info sometimes I think too much!! but I just want them to be prepared. In my past life I worked with dementia patients and I think thats why I can communicate well with my partners Mum and Dad.

    But this has been a surprise to me they can't see their Dad needs their support.

    I know it is a difficult situation and everyone has their own way of dealing with it so I'll try and remember that for the future.

    Best wishes to you all, Squirrel
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Squirrel,

    I think you have solved your own problem, or answered your own question.

    It is extremely difficult for anyone to come to terms with Alzheimers . You have the advantage over your partner and his siblings. You have experience in this field but it is new to them, and I imagine you are not as emotionally affected as they are.

    I think everyone has to be allowed to grasp the enormity of this diagnosis in their own time and at their own pace. You can be there to support, which you are doing admirably, but I`d let them set the pace.

    They are lucky to have someone like you who can look and think ahead, but perhaps it`s too painful for them to do ithat just yet.

    Take care

    Love xx
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think Sylvia has hit the nail on the head. The other thing, as well, is that sometimes people simply don't realise what needs to be done (yes I know it's glaringly obvious to you but...) How would they respond, do you think, to be given a specific task? You'll have to play this by ear, obviously, as while your status as a sort of outsider in the family unit might make things clearer for you, it might also make the rest of them less receptive to suggestions from you. Only you know the family dynamics.

    Best of luck
  8. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hello squirrel,
    I had a similar experience, but, with mum's sister so this is not uncommon, BUT, frustrating for those who do accept and just want to go forward and make what ever adjustments needed so that everyone's life is a little easier. However, it does come to a point where no one can deny the situation and I guess in times such as this all one can do is wait and hope that everyone soon rallies around in a supportive role. Your doing your best and I'm sure your partners dad appreciates that. Take Care. Taffy. :)

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