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Not me for a change


Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
I have a friend at work who's MIL has been diagnosed with Pick's disease. It happened a short while after my dad was diagnosed with AD, which she knew about, so, naturally she has been coming to me for support ever since. I have no objection to this, I appreciate I can give her advice and knowledge from my own experience, and from what I have learned from this site.
Last week she had a sister in law come to visit. She has had difficulty getting her FIL or his family to listen to her about her MIL 's care, which has declined rapidly. The FIL gets daily help from a nurse, but he doesn't dress his wife or take her from the house. She is dehydrated and eating poorly, but he seems to make little effort to feed her, and the nurse believes she will end up in hospital. At some point another nurse told the family that day care would be 'unsuitable' because she would think it was a job and would start interfering (!). Anyway, the sister in law stayed overnight at the house and witnessed her father getting very aggressive towards his wife, shouting at her, slapping her and covering her mouth with something. My friend is very worried for them both. It's clear to me that he is not coping at all, that he's almost certainly depressed himself, and the family need to make him accept help. They have a social worker and I've told her to keep a diary of everything and show it to the social worker, but whether her family allow her to is another matter.
I don't like seeing her this way. She is clearly worrying about it all at work, and I personally don't feel it should be her problem. I've suggested she come on here for advice but I don't think she has. Her family won't even sort out POA for finances. Well it's gone beyond that know anyhow.
I juts needed to get that off my chest. I appreciate that I'm more able to understand what she's going through, but sometimes it's hard to hold on to all that.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
It sounds like the FIL may have his own issues. I find his aggression very worrying. It may be more than just depression, it may be the beginning of dementia or perhaps he's simply breaking under the strain.

Since your friend is in agreement with her SIL, is it not possible for the two of them to work together? Since it is the SIL's father, can she not discuss the behaviour she saw with her siblings? I agree that something needs to be done but am not sure what else to say. As with all of us, I am sure there are family dynamics which outsiders wouldn't be aware of.

Keep being a good friend by giving her your ear. It helps so much.