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Registered User
Oct 24, 2015
Hi, I have been reading the boards for a few weeks now trying to get some idea of to expect with my MIL and to tell the truth it's scaring me.
We have noticed symptoms of dementia for about 4 years but it all came to a head about 9 weeks ago when we had a phone call at 4.30 in the morning from the ambulance service that she had been found wandering the streets and could we come and look after her.
I had been going to see her every day for the last 18 months anyway to take her food and making sure she takes her medication etc. Now she has moved in with us and it's so so hard to look after her. She has no concept of anything and needs to be watched 24/7 as if you take your eyes off her for a second she hurts herself or wanders off. She doesn't sleep much and gets up about 4 times a night stripping her clothes off and her bedding so I have to redress her and the bed, she refuses to wear a nightie to bed and will kick off when we put her in one, refusing to do anything until we get her dressed again. She also has taken to wetting and pooing herself occasionally, not all the time sometimes she realises what she is doing and sometimes she has no clue.
Most days she wanders the house constantly looking for god knows what and generally muttering to herself. She makes no sence when she says anything anymore and I have taken to just agreeing with her to keep the peace.
She eats next to nothing but loves biscuits etc but as she's borderline diabetic then these have to be kept to a minimum which annoys her no end.
She sundowns every night for about 4 hours where she gets so agitated you cannot reason or even change the subject, her breathing gets bad and she goes weak like she's going to collapse and she walks around non stop.
Sorry this post is so long just need to tell someone how bad it is getting, as coping with her, my 11 year old hormonal daughter, my OH who works from 6am til 6pm everyday, and also doing my own job 3 nights and 1 morning a week is beginning to run me down a bit.
I guess I just need to know I am not alone and if anyone has any tips on how to reason with her, she fell down the steps into our conservatory yesterday and hurt her hand but she has an obsession to walk up and down the 2 steps constantly which I am trying to stop her doing but she forgets why as soon as I tell her, it's not possible to lock the steps off to stop her.
Thanks for reading.



Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
I think you need an assessment from social work with a view to permanent care. This all seems to be getting beyond you despite the sterling work you have obviously been doing. I would phone them on Monday and arrange with them how to go about it. Have you looked at homes in your area to see what is suitable. Her needs are obviously quite demanding.


Registered User
Oct 24, 2015
Thank you for your kind answers, I have been trying to do the compassionate caring things, unfortunately she makes it so hard, I think she hates me well no I know she does as I took her son away from her. He is in Spain at the moment on a holiday that was planned months ago, unfortunately due to work commitments and MIL I wasn't going to be able to go.
I can normally deal with her fine but the last 3 days she's really been pushing me to my limit, she has accused me of stealing from her in the past. So now the bruises from her falling over are showing I am petrified she will say I did it, luckily my daughter was home both times she fell so I have someone to back me up.
When we go to health professionals they can see there is a problem but when asked she says she is fine nothing wrong with her and acts as normal as she can so he doesn't seem to think there is a problem. They said she was wandering that night as she had a chest infection and now it's cleared up then she's ok now. I give her tablets every night to relax her and help her sleep but they don't work, she doesn't sleep,in the day as she's always walking round "cleaning" she says.
As soon as OH gets home I will talk to him about getting someone in to assess her as enough is enough and I am not coping well at all anymore. Most night I cry myself to sleep as I feel so alone.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Im sorry to say that things like accusing people of stealing, mixing up night and day, incontinence and above all - thinking that there is NO-THING wrong with them are all symptoms of dementia.

It really does sound to me like residential care is on the cards. You sound like you are at the end of your tether. Ask Adult Services (previously Social Services) for an assessment and make sure that you manage to tell them your side of the story about what she is really like.


Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
South coast of England
You sound absolutely at the end of your tether! And I'm not surprised as it sounds as if you are carrying most of the load on your own:(

It is clear that you are doing your utmost to care for your MIL but you cannot do it all without help. You do not have to go as far as full-time permanent care (although this is a possibility if you feel that the time has come) but there are things that can be put in place to make things easier for you.

Meanwhile, welcome to TP,you will find a lot of help and support here.