Young family with MIL who has mid to late stages of Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by mistyfox, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. mistyfox

    mistyfox Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    2
    #1 mistyfox, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Hello, I'm new to the forum. I came across this site as I'm finding things hard with our family situation and am looking for a bit of advice that might help me support my husband better. To paint the picture we are a young family with a 3 yr old, I married my husband almost 6 years ago (2 and a bit yrs after meeting) and we noticed the first real signs that something wasn't right the day we got married. In those 5 and a bit years my MIL's condition has dramatically decinced to the point where she is now - an empty shell - I don't even know the right words. She doesn't talk - there are no facial expressions or emotion, she needs feeding, nappies,taken to the toilet, basically everything except movement which even then has to be assisted by carers. My husband has been amazing - he has set up a pool of carers to care of her in her home - pretty much around the clock care, she has a stair lift, camera and movement trackers etc etc. Basically he's committed himself to in effect running a care agency but for one patient - his own mum. He commutes an hour and a bit for work every day, has a high earning job. Does all the admin and finances involved in running the care and the home etc. We've dealt and deal with sibling rivalry, difference in opinions over care. We are having marriage councilling as we continue to have pointless arguments over the most insignificant things. I found it particularly hard after having our child and doctors suggested I suffered from post natal depression. Basically I just feel that it's all taken it's toll now and I'm looking for ways that I can adapt or change to try to help save our marriage and support my husband better before it's all too late. I'm even thinking that I want her in a care home now but I think it will destroy my husband and in all honesty don't know if it will make that much difference . Thank you for listening

    Addition:
    I also think it's important to note that I am not a saint here, i feel rage in arguments, I think if I'm being honest I am angry about the situation, angry at my husband as I feel he's changed in some ways. We can't seem to talk to each other and have a discussion about something where it doesn't go sour. I am very sensitive emotional person and maybe over think thing and take them the wrong way or too personally. I hear the frustration and lack of patients he gets with most things in his life and feel im treated the same way. I also feel like because he's having to take on that parent role with everyone he's doing that with me too.
     
  2. pippop1

    pippop1 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    501
    That sounds really hard.

    Ideally someone else, not you, could tell your husband that the situation is too damaging to his marriage and child and that your MIL at least needs to go into respite care to give him a break.

    Perhaps she will thrive in respite care and stay permanently?

    Is there anyone that could talk to your husband about it?
     
  3. Jbob

    Jbob Registered User

    Apr 20, 2016
    130
    Hi mistyfox
    It sounds really hard and I know how you feel but I'm in your husbands situation with my own Dad. It is hard for me to talk about stuff with my husband as I don't want to have to think about things sometimes and don't want all we talk about is howbad my Dad is getting. I don't know your husband but think all he has put in is because he doesn't know what else to do. I find myself worrying about my Dad and having a role reversal from father to daughter. For me it feels like I have another child to look after. My Dad is in a NH and when we first put him into care it was hard but was for the best for everyone. I contacted Alzheimer's society and got help from them and SS. Dad was admitted to hospital after wandering and falling. The hospital wouldn't discharge him back home unless he was looked after 24hrs as his needs drastically changed. It is hard but you need each other and you can't do everything. 24hr care is the best option as it gets scarier for an alzheimer's sufferer and being in a 'normal' environment where they have to stay alert and thinking how to react can be hard for them. Contact the Alzheimer's Society near you there is a great course your husband can go on CRISP1 to help plan ahead. Hope I've helped a bit?
     
  4. Oh Knickers

    Oh Knickers Registered User

    Nov 19, 2016
    500
    MIL with dementia

    Hi Mistyfox,

    Just sounds as though your poor hubby is overloaded. He has a long commute, a demanding job AND he doing all this extra to support his mum. Sounds as though he is just hanging in there.

    You must be missing your husband. Having a young child is stressy too. Have you considered phoning Alzheimer's yourself about the situation? Alzheimer's has been my sanity line when things have all got too much.

    Best time to talk with our hubby is when both of you have had a break. Stress levels are down and communication tends to be easier. Maybe a case of asking him what help he feels he needs. The constant worry about mum, from experience, can be mentally and emotionaly exhausting.

    Should your husband have time, point him to some of the threads which indicate the care home option has been helpful. So Bizarre and MollyD are two good ones.

    It does sound as though mum is well down the line. Maybe your hubby is hoping to hang on until the end.

    Very best of luck.
     
  5. mistyfox

    mistyfox Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    2
    Thanks all, I think he is hoping to hang in until the end to be honest. But that could be years off, my grandad passed away on Christmas Eve and he'd had dementia for several years. A close family friend to his mother this weekend said to him that he needs to let go (in a kind way) but it's easy for people to say when it's not directly affecting them. I'll have a look at the different bits recommended. I'm struggling to find the right threads but I'll keep investigating. Thanks for you support and kind words
     
  6. Trini

    Trini Registered User

    Dec 7, 2015
    39
    Hi Mistyfox
    I read your post and could have been reading about myself except my children are teenage now doing GCSEs and A levels. About 16 months ago I was suffering from depression and on the verge of leaving my husband but stayed for the sake of my children. Whenever I had tried to talk to OH about the problem he just did not listen. In the end I wrote him a long letter explaining how I felt and the impact MIL was having on our family. At that point he did then realise the seriousness of the problem and finally agreed to spread the load to his siblings (who up to that point had done nothing). Please do not let MiL ruin your life or that of your children. I am sorry to sound hard hearted but they do not have long left and are completely oblivious to what is happening around them. You on the other hand have your whole lives and your children are more important. From that point I started to take a back seat and passed much of the responsibility to SIL. MIL now has a 24 hour live in carer which does make life much easier. SIL agreed to this when she wanted to go back to work and realised she could not cope organising different carers each day! It is still not without its problems eg when a carer does not turn up on time at changeover or MIL needs to visit the doctor or hospital appointment. She is now virtually immobile and requires a wheelchair. Just when you think things are under control something else rears its head and there's another issue to deal with. This is where a care home would be much more practical as the condition worsens as inevitably it will.
    Good luck and stay strong. It is not easy but hopefully things will improve.
    Big hug!
     

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