How to deal with unreasonable demands - any thoughts please?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CrystalWand, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. CrystalWand

    CrystalWand Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    18
    #1 CrystalWand, Nov 13, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    My MIL suffered a serious stroke last year and as a result is now housebound. She lives in her rented apartment within a retirement village and is very fortunate that they have on-site carers so she is looked after day to day by a team who visit her throughout the day and night for washing, changing, heating up meals etc.
    She is immobile apart from limited use of her right arm so spends most of her time sitting in the 4 walls apart from the occasions she is taken out locally in her wheelchair.
    We share the rest of her care with my BIL and as you all know life can sometimes be a roller coaster.
    As far as we are aware she has not been formally diagnosed even though I've asked for 2 assessments by the stroke team - I don't know what test they do but I have heard her asked more than once if she gets confused or forgetful, which of course she grins and says 'No'! However she can make 30 phone calls to the same person within hours and reading these posts it is MIL to a 'T'!
    To be honest I'm not sure what a formal diagnosis would achieve now with the support she currently gets, and I do think that the mixture of meds she is on and looking at 4 walls probably makes things worse :(
    One of my major concerns just now is my own Mum. She is 85 and pretty independent and lives close by my MIL. They have been good friends for years and my Mum pops in to see her at least twice a day. Recently MIL has been sleeping heavily in front of the TV even whilst Mum has been there (her carers think its because she's not sleeping well at night) and MIL gets pretty upset at Mum if Mum 'sneaks' back home (MIL can't be woken at all when she's asleep). On several occasions Mum has got back to her flat to get a phone call from MIL wanting to know whether Mum is going to sit with her for the afternoon/evening. This is made worse because MIL gets totally confused about the time of day (thinks evening is morning) and the day.
    This makes my Mum feel so guilty (unjustifiably) and it is stressing her. Mum and I have talked about it and I've suggested she says she will pop back as soon as she can but not do so until she was due to go again (MIL only remembers for a few minutes so will forget she has gone 'early' quite quickly). Mum can spend over 5 hours a day sat with MIL and MIL expects this and more and can sometimes become quite sharp with Mum or shouts at her because in her mind this isn't enough... :eek:
    Any suggestions gratefully received as to how we might explain to MIL or any thoughts on a way round this. I am really concerned about the effect this is having on my Mum.
    Thank you :)
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,883
    Female
    Scotland
    I would block your MILs number on your Mums phone without telling her. She would just feel guilty even though nothing is achieved by her being harassed
     
  3. CrystalWand

    CrystalWand Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    18
    Hi Marion, thank you for your suggestion. I forgot to say in my post that Mum lives in the same village and the phone system is an internal one. Sadly this means that numbers aren't flagged up and can't be blocked as they use an internal system within the village. My Mum worries about not answering in case it's someone else trying to get hold of her.
    We do each have a mobile phone which we can all call each other for free on, and Mum can ignore calls on that as she can see who calls, but MIL isn't able to call out on hers so easily now and tends to use the internal call system :(
    Crystalwand x
     
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    I have to agree that blocking calls is the only sure fire way. I don't think you are going to be able to explain to her. Can you ask at the office if they have some way of helping with this - usually even internal systems have a way of blocking or manipulating extensions - they might be able to advise. The only other way i can see is telling MiL that your mum is out 3 days a week and then either persuading your mum to not answer or to answer and then hang up, like a fault on the line!

    One other way - is there any possibility of some kind of activity day elsewhere for MiL a few days a week so that she is completely away and occupied, as you say she must be bored to tears!

    Your mum must be incredibly stressed as she is having to be a 'carer' for much of her time!!!
     
  5. CrystalWand

    CrystalWand Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    18
    I didn't realise that Fizzie, I will pop to the office and see if they are able to do anything :)
    MIL does go to some of the events in the village, usually my Mum takes her and they both enjoy it (although how on earth my Mum manages to push her wheelchair I don't know, but she is adamant she will do it!) in fact they went to one this afternoon. MIL is always brighter afterwards and I totally agree I think part of the problem is she must go stir-crazy sometimes.
    There are sometimes activity type classes there and she was told by the stroke team to go to one of the sitting exercise classes just for the social aspect but she wouldn't go. I will try and find out what is available within the town and see if I can persuade her - even half a day a week would be something if it is on a regular basis!
    My Mum has 'throttled back' on the amount of time she was spending with MIL but it has taken a lot of persuading on my part. They were always such good friends and I think that makes it harder from both sides :( my Mum finds it very hard to see how my MIL is, but occasionally the real person shines through :)
    One thing that does make me very sad is that none of MIL's friends will pop in to visit her now, no matter how close they live :( We have talked to them and they say they will but....
    x
     
  6. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,165
    There are electric wheelchair pushers available, that take the major effort out of pushing.

    Bod
     
  7. CrystalWand

    CrystalWand Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    18
    Do you mean the motorised chairs Bod? She trialled one of those but sadly there was no way that MIL could control it (the stroke affected her left side perception so effectively anything to the left of her 'doesn't exist), she would have injured herself and others :(

    If you mean there is something that can assist someone to push and could let me have a link/info that would be great :)
    Thank you
    x
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    One thing that does make me very sad is that none of MIL's friends will pop in to visit her now, no matter how close they live :( We have talked to them and they say they will but....
    x[/QUOTE]

    People are poop! The neighbours did the same to my Mum, made me cross.

    The Stroke Association run clubs and they will provide transport too. I don't know which area you are in but it would be a good one if you can find it! They do some interesting things. It's a shame back in the day the hospitals used to run stroke clubs - i was a speech therapist in those days and we used to run 5 days a week, they were great and really made a difference.
     
  9. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,165
    1st google result. http://www.tgamobility.co.uk/range/powerpacks

    Others are available, some may be cheaper!
    The great thing is they are carer/pusher controlled.

    Bod
     
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Your poor mum sounds as if she has landed up in a caring role without ever meaning to. I do agree that it is no good talking to your MIL. If she does not know what day/time it is, or that your mum has visited, she is not going to remember the conversation!

    The best way is to try and work the technology so that mum does not receive the calls in the first place. A day centre or similar activity is a good idea, especially if MIL can go on her own to give your mum a break.

    As for the other 'friends', forget about them. You cannot change their behaviour, all you can change is the way you react to it. They are not worth a moment of your time.
     

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