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Mother-in-law has vascular dementia - convinced her husband has another woman

ZOIDS

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
5
0
Hello,
I have joined to see if anyone has advice or experience of the delusional aspect of vascular dementia. My parents in law have been married for almost 50 years, more or less happily I think. My mother-in-law has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia after a few months of mental deterioration. She has become convinced that he has another woman who sits in a car outside their house, waiting for him. She also thinks this woman follows them when they go out. They talk through the issue but she cannot remember the outcome and so they start to row all over again. Both of them are unhappy and it seems like they may split up.
I'd really like to know if this is a stage in her illness, and that it passes, in which case my father-in-law will probably manage to stick it through, with a lot of help from his family. But if this fixation, which she is absolutely convinced is true, sticks, then he will not be able to stand the constant accusation and recrimination for something she has invented, albeit due to her illness.
Many thanks,
ZOIDS
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
It's a part of the illness, your FIL shouldn't try to argue with her or justify his actions. He will never be able to convince her in a 1000 years, it's a part of the condition. If you tell them something they are imagining is wrong they can get really angry. I was told neither to agree, nor disagree, but acknowledge their fears and distract.

Something like "Oh no, that's a terrible thing for a woman to do to such a happily married couple like ourselves, she's gone now...." then change the topic. He will never ever convince her this woman hasn't done these things, it can't be done.

There's even a word for it confabulation which is when there may be some basis in reality, perhaps a lady was behind them in a queue at Tesco's and the rest she has created..
 
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ZOIDS

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
5
0
Thank you for the reply. You are right, my FIL and MIL were out a a garden centre when he bumped into a woman he knows, and this is the basis for the accusation against him. I trust him 100% that he is not having an affair with her, but my MIL is convinced that this woman is stalking them, having been encouraged to do so by his flirtatious nature.
What is desperately sad is that there is nothing he can do to stop her stewing and she cannot move on. He is her primary carer too, which makes the situation even worse.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
I actually started a thread called "carers are criminals" because a major part of this illness is false memory, paranoia and false accusations.

You are right to trust you FIL but you both have to find out how to deal with her paranoia. I've even been accused of deliberately giving her diahorea by giving her the wrong soup. I conspire with the nurses to hide her medication so she can't come home. I've stolen her bank account, not her money, the whole account. I could go on.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
There's usually a little truth around it the rest your mum will have what they call confabulated. Where there's a little bit of truth, the rest isn't lies as such because your Mum really believes it, but it's false memory.
 

ZOIDS

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
5
0
Is this a stage that she will forget or a long-term state of mind in your experience? Because it is not only affecting her husband, but also her wider family.
Is there a treatment for her paranoia, not that she would accept she is paranoid?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,057
0
Midlands
My Mum is convinced dad is now living with someone else, so I suppose its easier just to go along with it, nod, say you're not happy about it and move onto the next thing.

Talk to your dad, help him understand she can't help it, you know he isn'the knows he isn't. That's all that matters.

My mum is convinced dad lives at my brothers now ( that's why she never goes there, really cant understand how he survives, has no money from the bank etc etc.)

My beloved dad was loved by all but NEVER looked at another woman, he died last October. Yes she knew, yes she went to the funeral, but its all gone in that dementa haze.
 

Pennie

Registered User
Jun 16, 2013
247
0
Somerset
Is this a stage that she will forget or a long-term state of mind in your experience? Because it is not only affecting her husband, but also her wider family.
Is there a treatment for her paranoia, not that she would accept she is paranoid?

There are one or two people on here (Talking Point) who are living with this very thing themselves - who are caring for their husbands and being thought of as "the other woman", which must be so very hard.

Hope it will soon pass, not sure about how quickly these "phases" last, sorry, but hope your dad is managing.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
Is this a stage that she will forget or a long-term state of mind in your experience? Because it is not only affecting her husband, but also her wider family.
Is there a treatment for her paranoia, not that she would accept she is paranoid?

There are treatments but she will have to go back to her doctor. My mum isn't suitable for them because her heart and kidneys are also compromised. I am told this stage will pass, I am waiting for that to come but the drawback is when it passes it is another deterioration.

It's an awful time I no longer speak to two of my siblings as a result.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
Is this a stage that she will forget or a long-term state of mind in your experience? Because it is not only affecting her husband, but also her wider family.
Is there a treatment for her paranoia, not that she would accept she is paranoid?


She won't accept because she is right, this woman is following her. Just the same as my Mum was burgled and the rotten burglars stole half of my son's snooker balls and left everything else. It's true. Someone did contaminate her water and she couldn't figure out why the police called me instead of the detectives. It's all true. That's what makes it hard, she's not lying in her mind it's real.

You have to acknowledge and move on to the next subject. By all means it would be lovely if she could get medication, I hope you do and I hope it helps.
 

ZOIDS

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
5
0
Thank you all for your comments.
The problem my father-in-law has is that he cannot get her to change the subject. She wants to have an argument with him about the 'other woman' - despite this being a figment of her imagination. She thinks it is a make or break issue for their relationship and that it needs to be sorted out. My father-in-law cannot make amends for something he hasn't done. As I say, it is a miserable situation for them both.
 

glennie

Registered User
May 19, 2013
17
0
93
DUMFRIES, SCOTLAND
My hubby went thru a phase like thisfortunately not big accusations. I worked
very hard to take his mind off it, start a new conversation in something he was interested in before the dementia..football..racing etc. It worked for me. Usually I made an error deliberately and he corrected me. Think he felt he had one over me!! Strange
as it may seem, we can talk about sport and he can remember different events, but cannot remember what todays date is.
Hope things sort out for your FIL, it must be most distressing. TAKE CARE glennie
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
14,825
0
England
Maybe you could intervene and tell your Mum you have had a word with this lady and she says sorry but she thought she knew your Dad but she was wrong. She has now gone to (where ever) and wont be around any more. Then when Mum mentions tell her you have sorted it and she wont be around. Hopefully it will pass but may well be replaced with another fixation as difficult as the first one. Nothing easy about this disease.

Jay
 

juniepoonie

Registered User
Jun 11, 2013
727
0
essex
strange that the desease makes our loved ones think these things. heres one for you to think about. my BIL told his daughter that my sister his wife of 6 years had been having it off with 2 men on the sofa while he was watching! ha ha don't make me laugh. my sister doesn't really get on that well with step daughter so it didn't go down very well but the joke of it is my sister has lung an bone cancer so I think having it off is the last thing on her mind! gotta smile eh. take care all.PS BIL went into nursing home today he says he aint staying so im just waiting to hear from my sister when she leaves how it went. let you know tomorrow juniepoonie.
 

Jan0702

Registered User
Aug 15, 2012
38
0
64
Elsenham, Essex
I have this problem all the time my husband tells our friends I am having an affair and if he goes out with anyone and I stay at home, " I am having a man in" you really just have to try and ignore it, hard as that is, my best wishes to your FIL
 

ZOIDS

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
5
0
You have to laugh... My FIL went out the other night with his friends (he does this twice a week and one of their children comes for the evening with mum).
His wife told him if he went she would lock him out and he can "stay at HER house!"