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Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Librarymaid, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Librarymaid

    Librarymaid Registered User

    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi all,

    Aside from supporting my brother and his wife as they cope with his Alzheimers, my Mother-on-law also suffers from dementia, although to a lesser degree.

    Basically, she has the attention span and recent-memory recall of a gnat! Whilst it can be a little irritating, hubby and I (and the rest of the family, bar 'one'!) accept this - each time you tell her something it's the 'first' time she's heard about it.

    The 'one' who can't seem to cope with this is my husband's aunt - Mum-in-law's sister! It's really annoying as she was herself a Nurse so you'd think she'd have more understanding.

    Last Summer we moved them both up from the south coast to a care home where we live in the Midlands as there were issues with physical and mental problems between them - a 4-5 hour sojourn each way has now shrunk to a five minute car journey! :)

    However, since they moved, Aunt has become very dominant over Mum-in-law - she's only a year older but adopts the Big Sister mantle at every opportunity!

    This is causing some distress as she seems to use every occasion to pick up on Mum's failings and memory loss.

    I think some of this is Aunt asserting herself as she considers all the other residents as 'batty' (her words!) and she's the only one with all her marbles! (the fact that I think there's a hole in her bag is beside the point.....!)

    Mum seems to be quite happy in her own little world, even if she can't remember what we've said to her five minutes earlier but occasionally she will say something sarcastic like "How nice to have xxxx telling me what to do, I don't even have to bother thinking!"

    Any ideas how we can counteract what is, to all intents and purposes, a bullying situation?

    Anyone else in (or been in) this sort of situation?

    Mentally I am sitting on my hands as I want to slap Aunt at times! :(

  2. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    So they are both in the same care home? And they do like being together? Do the care workers see what is happening? The only solution I can think of is to try to get the care workers to keep them apart a bit more to give your mil a bit more peace. But if this is how they have always been as sisters maybe she is more accepting of it than she would be from someone else.
  3. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I suppose that my only thought, would be that if someone were going to tell the aunt to cut it out (and I understand that may or may not be possible, a good idea, or effective), that it might be better coming from staff or a nurse or doctor, than from family. That would keep some of the onus off you, and she might take advice/direction better from "an authority figure."

    But I agree, a difficult situation, to be sure.

    How much distress do you think it's causing your mother? Do the staff have any input for you on this?
  4. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Do you think MIL's sister may have her own symptoms of dementia? Especially if she sees everyone else as 'batty'?
  5. RaspPav

    RaspPav Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
    Really helpful

  6. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
  7. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    My thoughts as well. Is it a case that she is trying to convince herself that she isn't going 'mad' too?

    Mum was just like this and tell me over and over that she wasn't going mad, it must be me.

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