1. Vera

    Vera Registered User

    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    Hello everyone,
    I've been reading your threads for a few weeks now and so decided to jump in.

    I've been living outside the UK for over 30 yrs and my 83yr old MIL lives in the NW of England. She has been suffering from some kind of dementure for two years. She has insisted living alone as she thinks she manages very well! Over the last few months we have a cleaning lady go to her house once a week to clean, do her bed linens and her laundry. She also has a visit from a care worker, just for company 1hr a week, visits the hairdresser, who's shop is on the same street as MIL lives, she is collected to go to bingo one afternoon a week and goes to a friend for sunday lunch. So we have five days a week covered with someone 'seeing' her.
    In the last few months she appears to suffer from nightime hallucinations and thinks there are people in her house. We know this because she will call her sisters who are elderly but not mentally infirm at 1am in the morning crying to say there are people in the house and they are walking around. When she has stayed with us or my husbands visits her, she went to his room 3 times during the night because she was having a nightmare/hallucination? or because she thought it was time to get up.
    She has lost a lot of weight because we think she forgets to eat.
    She hadn't picked up her medication because she has forgotten where the Pharmacy is, it's just around the corner, the same one she's used for 35 yrs.
    She sits with a list we made her and repeats it all day. It says things like 11am have a cup id tea and a kitkat etc
    She doesn't seem to be able to concentrate on a book or the tv long enough to get into the story.
    My husband has taken her to the doctor 3 times this year and gets little help as in there's really nothing to do apart from try something to help her sleep and a little memory test of which she couldn't remember times, dates primeministers etc. She said it could be dementure but theres nothing that could be done anyway.
    The social services took her off their books because she was 'stable' as if!
    Intermediate care said they couldn't help, not their kind of work and social services now may be able to send someone twice daily for cooking a meal.
    This won't help the fear and anxiety.
    MIL always tells Drs and SS that she is ok, doesn't need any help, can manage alone and doesn't want to go into a NH.

    We think she can no longer carry on living alone but the doctor and SS say no one can force her into a home if she objects. Her stairs are very steep and she could easily fall. Her sofa is covered in burns as she smokes and she says she's afraid and can't cope but when asked if she would like to try a NH she cries and shouts and says she's never going to go in one of those.

    Any suggestions about what we can do will be greatly appreciated. Sorry this is so long.
    Vera
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,560
    Kent
    Hello Vera. welcome to TP.

    There are no answers to your problem, I`m afraid. It is true, no one can force your mother-in-law to go into residential care unless she`s sectioned, and she certainly doesn`t seem ready for that.

    Has she been officially diagnosed with dementia? Does her GP see her regularly? Is she being seen by a geriatric psychiatrist on a regular basis?

    I can only suggest your husband takes his mother to her GP to see if anything can be given to help with her hallucinations. He could write to the GP beforehand, as I always do, explaining how it is, not how your mother-in-law wants it to appear. S/he might get a better picture. Then if SS can provide more comprehensive care at home, it might ease her situation a bit.

    I know how worrying it must be for you. My neighbour was 91, incontinent and in a very sorry state, but as long as he refused to go into residential care, there was nothing anyone could do to make him.
    He finally agreed after he had been in bed for over a week and was too weak to get up. But he had to agree.

    I`m sorry I can`t be of more help. Someone else might have some better ideas.

    Take care.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hello Vera and welcome to TP

    I was in a similar situation to you: I live in the USA but my mother was in the UK. Although she had some short term memory loss it wasn't until she had two major strokes and was hopitalized that I discovered that she had had a previous strike, had not been taking her medication etc. Although I tried to cobble something together using private care staff (mummy had too many assets for social services care) it fairly quickly became apparent that this would only be suitable for a stop-gap. In the end I persuaded her to move to an extra-care faciltity. This was a one bedroom flat built in the grounds of a nursing home, with carers on tap and cleaners, food and laundry provided. If I have a regret is that I didn't persuade her to do it before the strokes - she would have got a lot more out of it. Sadly after several falls she ended up bed bound and I moved her to the nursing home where she died at the beginning of August.

    My point being: there are a variety of options that you might consider that don't involve the nursing home scenario at this stage. It is true that no one can force her into a home if she doen't want to go, but to be fair she may not have any idea what some homes are actually like now. Having said that, it can be difficult to find a facility which is not full of people who are further down the path than yout MIL - the reason being is that every effort is made to keep people in their own homes as long as possible with the result that generally, people don't end up there until they literally can't move on their own.
     
  4. Vera

    Vera Registered User

    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    Thank you for the replies.

    The Doctor doesn't think it necessary to do further tests because it is, what it is and there's no cure. She just seems to think that nature will take its course. Today we did get the name of two geriatric Consultants from the local branch of AZ society and will try to get an appointment with one.
    SS care package is that someone will go and cook two meals a day.

    It seems neglectful to me to leave someone to fend for themselves when they can't make a meal, clean a home, run their daily lives...every letter that arrives through the letterbox frightens her to death. She can't call say the gas company because she can't follow "if you need this service press 1, for this service press 2 etc. She terrified of the intruders that she imagines regularly come into her home and she cries during panic attacks, I can't cope, I don't know what to do! She repeats all day 'what do I do next?' Until the NH words are mentioned then she turns into a tyrant. I can't stand the thought that she has to have an accident or two before someone decides she needs 24/7 care.
    If she would only agree to try a NH the money is there to pay for it. She tells SS they are an intrusion in her life when they visit and when they're gone she whails I can't cope, I don't know how to manage, what do I do next.
    It seems we can't do much more.
    P.S. We do put everything in writing to Drs and SS just so there's a paper trail.
     
  5. Vera

    Vera Registered User

    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    Thank you for the replies.

    The Doctor doesn't think it necessary to do further tests because it is, what it is and there's no cure. She just seems to think that nature will take its course. Today we did get the name of two geriatric Consultants from the local branch of AZ society and will try to get an appointment with one.
    SS care package is that someone will go and cook two meals a day.

    It seems neglectful to me to leave someone to fend for themselves when they can't make a meal, clean a home, run their daily lives...every letter that arrives through the letterbox frightens her to death. She can't call say the gas company because she can't follow "if you need this service press 1, for this service press 2 etc. She terrified of the intruders that she imagines regularly come into her home and she cries during panic attacks, I can't cope, I don't know what to do! She repeats all day 'what do I do next?' Until the NH words are mentioned then she turns into a tyrant. I can't stand the thought that she has to have an accident or two before someone decides she needs 24/7 care.
    If she would only agree to try a NH the money is there to pay for it. She tells SS they are an intrusion in her life when they visit and when they're gone she whails I can't cope, I don't know how to manage, what do I do next.
    It seems we can't do much more.
    P.S. We do put everything in writing to Drs and SS just so there's a paper trail.
     
  6. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    563
    nuneaton
    Hello Vera and welcome to TP,

    We were in a similar situation in July 2006 and when I asked if she wanted to come and live with me and my partner, there was no hesitation.
    At the time SS said Mum was ok to live by herself with a care package in place and help from the family. But it wasn't working and even though she had at least 3 visitors a day it wasn't enough.
    There are 24 hours in a day, thats a long and lonely time for an AZ sufferer.
    We hoped at the time, that SS would consider a NH, as that seemed to be the answer an she would be getting the 24 hour care that she needed.

    But as they said she was not at risk, as they put it, and she would not be self funded, things would stay as they were.

    Mum moved in with us at the start of Sept 2006, I know this is not the answer for everyone and there are alot of things to consider.

    The thought of Mum being on her own, even though SS said she would have kept her ' independance' it wasn't the right thing for her at the time.


    EVERY AZ sufferer is an individual and everyones situation is different, I acted on my own natural instincts and have the most wonderful supportive partner.

    Mum has the best care now and the love and company she deserves.

    Hope things get sorted out for you all and you find the support you need, here on this forum. EVERY member has their own situation to deal with and I have found a lot of useful tips and information from them.
    Take Care
    Janetruth x
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,560
    Kent
    I`m so sorry Vera, you are in a no win situation and I wish I could think of a suggestion to help you out.

    Love xx
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, Oct 3, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2007

    I can not believe your MIL doctor attitude in saying that
    That not the point is it , that just so disgraceful to hear that from a doctor in this day and age . I would be making a formal complain about her , I'll be telling her that if she does not do the referral for my mother to the geriatric Consultants am going to make a complain about her attitude . then I would be still doing complain

    Yes social worker right about you can't force her to go into care home , but if you can get MIL to geriatric Consultants
    hope fully after diagnose , with the help of social worker if your husband and yourself can reassure your MIL that she does not need to go into care home , if she excepts the outside help , introduce all support in a softly softly way . the end result may mean care home .

    but with the help of social service MIL may be able to live at home while she can .

    Take one day at the time its hard but best way forward
     
  9. gerrystret

    gerrystret Registered User

    Aug 30, 2007
    6
    manchester
    Hi Vera
    It sounds very similar to the situation with my MIL even down to the ages! The GP needs pushing I think to refer her to a memory clinic or to a psychiatrist. Our GP was very good and MIL has regular visits from an OT who is verygood although as in your case social services were of no help. I think you have to push the GP a bit more although I appreciate it isn't easy if you don't live locally
    Best wishes and good luck
     
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Vera,

    Your mum sounds just like mine was. Several visits to the doctor, she scored well on the memory test, knew who the prime minister was, was able to say what was in the news. Very nice. I knew she wasn't safe. A little movement occurred when she called the GP out to see dad, who was very ill and not eating. GP arrived - no dad. Oh, said mum, he must have gone to the pub. GP rang me. I told him my dad had died two years ealier. Doctor then arranged a psychiatrist and she arranged a brain scan. Then we go on a couple of months. A little old lady is reported to the police at the bus stop at the end of her road at 2 a.m. We didn't know that, of course, but for an irate phone call from one of mum's friends, at 3 a.m. to say mum had been phoning her and she couldn't stand it, and would be reporting her to the police if it happened again. We tie up the threads. We then learn that mum has been going out at 2 a.m. for weeks and weeks, knocking on the door of the corner shop, ringing her friends (Itemised online bill proved that), at 2 and 3 a.m.

    You have to get a proper assessment. Ours was forced upon us cos the police did it. Her GP was very supportive also. I have to say it was all a shock to us, it happened so fast, but she had to be placed somewhere with 24-hour care.

    I can hope you can arrange the same. You don't want to get a police report at 2 a.m. or complaints from friends, as I had, for phoning at 3 a.m.

    Put pressure on them, Vera, make them see how it is.

    Hope you succeed.

    Margaret
     

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