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Mother-in Law needs help.

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Tato, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10
    Hello All,
    I am new here and am just asking for some of your opinions on the situation in which we find ourselves.

    My M-I-L (73) has always been 'unusual' - I have known her 30+ years. Over recent years she has become more and more reclusive, in fact she has now not left the house for approx. 2 years. In recent months, she has even makes excuses not to go out in the garden. My F-I-L has always worked and continues to do so, he says for his own sanity, at the age of 75. She accuses him of 'taking over all of her jobs, ie. cooking, gardening etc, however she then goes into full scale meltdown if he doesn't cook her food. He now only works 2 days a week as she has browbeaten him to semi-retire even though he wants to work more as this is his only point of contact with the 'outside world'. They live in a remote village, with no shop, post office etc. Everything has to be accessed by car. She complains that he doesn't take her anywhere but makes a million excuses not to go even to the local shops when offered.

    Over the last few years her behaviour has become more and more aggressive. It is as if a switch flicks on and off and suddenly she becomes nasty. Her language is appalling. She has 3 children, and numerous grandchildren and all, but mine, refuse to visit. She has now accused my Son, who has been loyal to his grandparents for 17y, of being rude to her (I know he is my Son, but it is NOT in his nature to be that way). She shrieks and shouts randomly.

    F-I-L spends more and more time in the shed, drinking wine!! He has said he cannot cope with her mood swings anymore. She spends most of her day watching TV, is thin and looks unwell, hardly eats etc. However, she refuses to go to the GP as 'they will just try to force tablets into me'. Last week F-I-L phoned and said to report that he could no longer cope with her and my Husband and S-I-L visited to try yet again to convince her that she needs to see her GP. Needless to say this caused uproar! We have now bypassed her and a GP to visit her this Friday.

    Does this appear to 'normal' behaviour to you? Are these early dementia type symptoms? Another person's perspective will be so helpful as we all feel as if we are going round in circles. I worry for my F-I-L who, quite frankly has had NO life over the past 10-15 years.

    Thanks you in advance for your comments x
     
  2. Mimi5

    Mimi5 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2017
    102
    Essex
    Hello and Welcome to TP:)

    Well it certainly could be dementia, but it might well be other things or a combination!!!

    You need to persuade your MIL & FIL to go and ask their GP for a health overhaul. Maybe in the guise of a "well woman check up". Try to make some notes of incidents and types of behaviour.

    It will not be easy and even if you get answers/diagnosis it will still not be easy!!!!:(

    You have to start somewhere and just take one step at a time:D Always help, advice and support here:)

    I am carer for my MIL who has VD and AD, diagnosis 4 yrs ago now. She and I have had a difficult relationship over the 25 yrs hubby and I have been married. But actually have the best honest caring relationship now!!! Mostly because she can't be manipulative anymore!!! My hubby is her only child and our 3 children her only grandchildren.

    Sadly in the last couple of years my father also causing concern and we are just starting down his journey...

    Best wishes. X
     
  3. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    2,229
    Female
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    Hi Tato!
    You don't mention memory problems.
    Does your mother-in-law have any?
     
  4. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    483
    Essex
    If you can, it would be worth spending time getting a full picture from your FIL, before Friday's GP visit, of his wife's behaviour so you could let the GP know (even if you have to put it in a note). Does she no longer do any work around the house (hence him "taking over" her jobs)? Does he need to prompt her to do things like washing, dressing appropriately? Has she lost contact with friends/stopped going out to places she formerly enjoyed? Becoming reclusive does sound like she has depression but it doesn't explain the mood swings or the shouting/accusations.

    I think you are right to involve a GP and support your FIL. For his own sake he needs to insist on a medical evaluation as he sounds like he is at the end of his tether. Looking back I wish my Dad had laid down the law with my Mum and insisted she see a GP earlier as his life was made miserable by her changing behaviour and early drug intervention could have reduced the impact of her dementia for a bit longer.
     
  5. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10
    Thank you everyone for your kind help. It is good to hear that we are not alone!

    Margherita - it is hard to assess if she has memory problems to be honest. She is very manipulative and since Monday, when she was told that the GP was coming to visit, she has refused to speak to anyone. My Husband did note, before she adopted her selective mutism, that she had written on a piece of paper that she had to phone her other Son today (Wed). When he pointed that out to her she said, 'Your Father tells me write these things down because he thinks I'll forget'. She continually blames him for anything that has got wrong or may go wrong in the future.

    Risa - My FIL has no real contact with anyone else but his children, one of whom he works with, so we do get the full picture from him, as we are his only point of release, so to speak. This business of taking over her 'jobs' is so frustrating as if FIL didn't do things like cooking, shopping etc - then it just wouldn't get done. She makes no attempt to do them at all. She used to enjoy gardening until 4-5 years ago and they have a large garden, but he is left to see to it all now. Her day consists of getting up, watching daytime TV sat at the kitchen table and going to bed again.
    She has never really socialised with anyone outside of her Family circle, she does have a lot of Siblings, but gradually even these have slipped off the radar and no longer come to visit. She would never make any attempt, or possibly even consider visiting them historically. So whether this is the reason for their absence now, who really knows.

    Mimi5- All 3 of her children have been trying to get her to go to the Surgery for several years. Her stock answer is always, 'what do I want to do that for'? She is, I would imagine, lacking in VitD, as she does not see sunlight from one month to the next & her diet is appalling. She cannot weigh much more than 7stone and she is a tall woman. Her Surgery has sent her several letters inviting her for OAP checks etc and even one to make contact to confirm that she still lives at that address, however these have all been binned, with the somewhat terse, 'they are after me to pump me full of pills.' No wonder they are so keen to send a GP out to visit - I imagine they will get all their boxes ticked!!

    Thanks for your help everyone. It has been good to write/say all of this as it is such a frustrating situation. When you talk to anyone about it they come up with suggestions of taking her here and there, but short of manhandling her into a vehicle, I don't know how that would happen!
     
  6. Mimi5

    Mimi5 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2017
    102
    Essex
    So, hopefully sounds like a home visit from GP??

    Best wishes. Keep us posted:D
     
  7. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10
    Sit Rep!!

    GP came out and spent and 1 1/2 hours at the house (how fab). He did a MMSE which she didn't do well in. Then spent some time alone with us all.....he thinks she has early dementia, but is coming out to assess her again next week. Hallelujah! It turns out that she has been violent to FIL previously, which he was reluctant to admit to, but thankfully did.

    Since then all hell has broken loose! FIL disappeared for several hours on Friday, diabetic no food all day....aargh! MIL has lashed out and hit SIL.... and so it goes on. Will keep you all posted as to what happens on Friday...if we make it that far!!
    Thanks so much - it's a blessed relief to chat to others who know what it's like!!
     
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    6,537
    Yorkshire
    hi Tato
    so good to read of a sensible and supportive GP
    to stay that long, the GP is clearly concerned about the situation - and from the aftermath, thank goodness they have taken this seriously and will be back
    do make careful notes of your MIL's behaviour and how your FIL has responded and show the GP, as it will really help the medics assess the level of care your MIL needs, and how much your FIL needs support if she is to stay at home
    they are fortunate to have all of you standing by them
    best wishes
     
  9. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10
    So here we are a year later...….and absolutely NOTHING has changed!! The situation is worse, she weighs around 5 stone if that, has sores, dry skin, overgrown toenails etc. A few weeks ago in the height of the heatwave she slept for a 22 hour period, no fluid, no food.

    My Partner persuaded my F-I-L to go and see the GP who visited before (he went with him) to discuss where to go from here. The GP refused to discuss, confidentiality and all that, and he would come out to visit her....never happened. This was 20th July!! We keep encouraging FIL to chase GP but he just won't do it. This is causing so much angst and stress for my OH, the GP won't talk to him about it and FIL won't do anything either, except moan about MIL.

    I have no idea where to go from here now....
     
  10. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    6,537
    Yorkshire
    hello @Tato
    so sorry to read your update
    might you contact their Local Authority Adult Services and make the situation clear to them
    your MIL is a 'vulnerable adult ' who is 'at risk of harm' because of self neglect and neglect (mention the GP has said they will not make a home visit) and since the LA have the 'duty of care' for her they need to step in as due to her weight and sores you consider this is a 'safe-guarding' isse - and ask for a 'best interests' meeting to be called as her husband is so overwhelmed he cannot cope and is facing carer breakdown

    do give the AS Helpline a call as they may well be able to suggest some ways to help
    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/national-dementia-helpline

    and Admiral Nurses are there to support carers
    https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing/
     
  11. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10
    Here's an update for you all... Early October, after many days of upset and arguments, I went tor the GP surgery and demanded that someone visit her asap. FIL was refusing to go into the house and basically existing in the shed...at 78y old. Her refusal to eat was now affecting him, in that everytime he came in to get some food, she would harangue him, arguing and often violent about why he 'keeps eating all the time'! GP finally came out and re-referred her to mental health, she absolutely refused to be examined by him, still insistent that there was nothing wrong with her. Mental health were due to visit within the week. Someone cancelled it!!!!!

    On Wednesday last week, she did not get up. By Thursday evening she was hallucinating and urine incontinent, Friday morning she passed away.

    Now all the family are arguing about 'what should have been done sooner'. Two of her children hadn't clapped eyes on her for over 8 months and my poor husband is now the object of their guilt. I am SO cross about it I could poke someone...aargh!!

    Thank you all here for listening over the past year....it has helped and now it hopefully is over (though I suspect not) ;(
     
  12. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    6,537
    Yorkshire
    hello @Tato
    sad news for you and your husband and all the family; my condolences
    and sorry to hear of the 'recriminations' which are unfair - you did what you could but sadly sometimes there's just no way to sort out a situation
     
  13. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    57,413
    Female
    Dundee
    I'm so sorry to read you sad news @Tato. It's hard enough to lose a loved one without all of the arguments that seem to be going on. No wonder you're angry. Sending my condolences.
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,363
    Female
    South coast
    Im so sorry @Tato (((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))) to you and your dad
    You dont need family blame games.
     
  15. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    182
    @Tato, sorry for your loss, but as others have said sometimes there is nothing you can do. I hope you and your husband can rise above the blame being dished out. How is your FiL. It sounds like he will need a lot of support.
     
  16. Tato

    Tato Registered User

    Aug 15, 2017
    10

    Honestly, I think he is feeling a sense of relief, but with incredible guilt at feeling relief. His life over the past 50 odd years has been difficult. The last 10-20 extremely challenging! He is quite stubborn, as the above posts note....and is now refusing to let us help with the funeral arrangements etc. Although he has no idea what has to be done....its all very difficult. His life really wont change that much, in that he has been cooking, cleaning (sort of), washing, shopping, gardening and working 2 days a week for quite a considerable time, he just won't get all the abuse and grief he was getting before whilst trying to do it.

    They live/lived in a very isolated country village, no shop, post office etc. in a large house, which in all honesty is too much for him to cope with. I hope that in the future, when things settle, he will consider moving closer to the real world, where amenities are nearby and don't involve a 15minute car journey to reach a pint of milk!

    Thanks all for your wishes x
     

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