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  • Dementia

    Technically not mental health but hopefully some of you will have some experience.


    Mother-in-law has been showing signs of dementia - we finally got her to go to the doctor, but apparently she passed memory tests with flying colours, and she was very indignant and resentful. Reached a new level today when she just seemed to get paranoid about a perfectly ordinary situation involving me and my brother, got very angry at me and hit me twice, the second being a bloody good right hook to the face (ok, it was an open hand, but quite a slap!).

    I remained calm. Told her it's not right to hit people. Her main anger seemed to be about me, and especially my brother, being bone idle and leaving her to do all the skivvying (yes, she did some clearing up)... and my brother being an interfering sod, wanting to be centre of attention. The reality is that we've been working our socks off, looked after her a lot, shown her huge amounts of care, attention and patience. Of course, I know that it's all part of the illness.

    So whilst I'll happily take any general advice and shared experience, what I REALLY want advice on is this. Do I confront her (politely but firmly) about her unreasonable behaviour? - It might seem only fair, and there are arguments both ways but I know that if I do confront her, I won't 'win' and she will repeat and repeat her accusations against my brother, and the more she repeats something, the more it will become embedded in her brain. So rather than doing good, I think it likely to do harm to relationships.

    Any ideas?
    Cheers.

    By the way... if I had a pound for every time I was asked tonight "So Russia are the team in red, yes?" I'd be a very rich man!

  • #2
    Dementia

    Know it is passing the buck but maybe see if there is a local group or contact through Dementia support. Even if she hasnít been diagnosed they may be able to help especially with the coping part

    https://www.dementiauk.org/sources-o...-for-families/

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks jakehake. You're not passing the buck at all. I will look into that but in the meantime if anyone has personal experience to share, particularly about whether it is best to "let sleeping dogs lie" or to try to correct the opinion that my mother in law has of my brother (and me), that would also be very welcome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
        Thanks jakehake. You're not passing the buck at all. I will look into that but in the meantime if anyone has personal experience to share, particularly about whether it is best to "let sleeping dogs lie" or to try to correct the opinion that my mother in law has of my brother (and me), that would also be very welcome.
        I can't give you a long term solution but I can tell you I'm in a similar position.......... I have two elderly, almost housebound parents in their 80's. Mums pretty switched on but has her moments of completely refusing to accept things that she's said or done and it worries me if this escalates.. Dads the immediate problem at the moment though. He's constantly having " over the top " pops at me for doing nothing more than trying to help and if it wasn't my Dad he'd deserve a punch in the face for some of the stuff he comes out with....... My wife is there almost every other day doing housework etc and I visit after work Fridays and Sundays with my son for a good few hours to help with anything that needs doing....You ask yourself why you bloody bother at times .......

        My advice is to simply count to ten, try to be diplomatic, calm things down and possibly remember them looking after you when you were younger... There is still help out there if things get ridiculous I'm sure ..
        Vote For John Brown

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        • #5
          https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dement...s-and-the-nhs/

          Maybe a safeguarding adults referral? Or Adult social care assessment will help you to find the right support There is a service called the memory clinic in the North East so I'm sure there will be an equivalent wherever you are that will assess the impact of such issues and offer official diagnosis/prognosis and also offer a pathway into appropriate services and support.
          Last edited by marsbars; 04-07-2018, 07:24 PM.

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          • #6
            I don't get how your mother in law and your brother have such an affect on each others lives.

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            • #7
              thanks Lib and marsbars. Especially Lib whose personal story resonates.

              Longshanks... I don't quite 'get' your point! But thanks anyway, I'm sure.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know this wont help you now but it is worth a read. This things always seem to be in the future. I had the same problem with my mother-in-law a few years ago kept wandering off as well patience is key .



                https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/fam...cid=spartanntp


                HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT
                WE ARE NOT LEAVING .

                Comment


                • #9
                  My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he was 79....

                  It was very, very sad to see him that way after many years of long hours chatting to him about work ( BAES ), football and cricket..

                  Towards the end of his life he didn't even know who anyone was - on one occasion he ordered my mum to get out of their house because he thought she was a stranger !!

                  One of the things that Alzheimer's patients do is get very protective about money and my Dad used to draw a lot of money from the cash point and " squirrel " it away... in fact there are large amounts of money that he drew out, which we haven't found to this day...

                  One other thing that alzheimer patients do, is get up in the night and start wandering about and that was ultimately what lead to my Dad ending up in hospital. ... he got up one night, spilt some milk on the floor and then proceeded to slip on it and ended up in hospital.......

                  A very upsetting disease.......

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Longshanks View Post
                    I don't get how your mother in law and your brother have such an affect on each others lives.
                    twatful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ando60 View Post
                      My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he was 79....

                      It was very, very sad to see him that way after many years of long hours chatting to him about work ( BAES ), football and cricket..

                      Towards the end of his life he didn't even know who anyone was - on one occasion he ordered my mum to get out of their house because he thought she was a stranger !!

                      One of the things that Alzheimer's patients do is get very protective about money and my Dad used to draw a lot of money from the cash point and " squirrel " it away... in fact there are large amounts of money that he drew out, which we haven't found to this day...

                      One other thing that alzheimer patients do, is get up in the night and start wandering about and that was ultimately what lead to my Dad ending up in hospital. ... he got up one night, spilt some milk on the floor and then proceeded to slip on it and ended up in hospital.......

                      A very upsetting disease.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks again guys. Sad story for you Ando.

                        We'll have to watch out for the squirrelling away of money... but at the moment, it looks the other way. She came into the room and gave me £10 for the kids three times in the hour before she left. Last kid's birthday.. 2 cards, each with £20 in and she duplicated a big cheque sent to me. Heaven knows who else she's double-paying!

                        I'm still unsettled about whether it's best to accept all behaviour unquestioningly, or whether to 'correct' her / inform her that she's being upsetting. I suppose I just have to make a judgement as people will be different.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                          Thanks again guys. Sad story for you Ando.

                          We'll have to watch out for the squirrelling away of money... but at the moment, it looks the other way. She came into the room and gave me £10 for the kids three times in the hour before she left. Last kid's birthday.. 2 cards, each with £20 in and she duplicated a big cheque sent to me. Heaven knows who else she's double-paying!

                          I'm still unsettled about whether it's best to accept all behaviour unquestioningly, or whether to 'correct' her / inform her that she's being upsetting. I suppose I just have to make a judgement as people will be different.
                          Even though she passed the doctors assessment, doesnít mean that she does not have dementia or something similar. You can go back to the doctor alone and explain all the things that youíre experiencing. It helps build a case for her to get recognition and treatment.
                          As for correcting her or pulling her up, it quite possibly will be a waste of time, as she will become very defensive and upset.
                          Itís all part of dementia and itís not really her fault.
                          Good luck with going forward with your family.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi mate, sorry to hear your story, I went through a parent having dementia and was really lucky to have a sister who is a nurse and watching her handle him and other patients when he was hospitalized gave me a few pointers on how to deal with it.

                            So the main advice I can give you is to give out the perception that what shes saying has some credence so maybe say I'll have a word with my brother and we'll deal with it or even say something like oh thats strange because I saw my brother clearing up yesterday wonder how its got so bad again, no worries we'll get it sorted, why don't you sit down and have a cup of tea in the mean time eh?. Quick as you like and then try and extract everyone from the moment (don't worry you don't have to run round clearing up!). Often, the worst thing you can do with a dementia patient is argue with them or make them feel what they are saying is crazy even when it is. The proviso is of course that if what she is doing is likely to put her in a dangerous situation you may need to be a bit more forceful but even then, distraction is a much better idea that restraining or verbally scolding her. Unfortunately with dementia the reality is that you are dealing with an adult who is no longer an adult all the time so reasoning or arguing with them is like trying to reason or argue with a kid in a strop except you can't send an adult to bed or to sit on the naughty step.

                            As time goes on you are likely to have some wierd ass conversations and will need to learn how to run with them to deflect from the situation - I saw my sister talk about a herd of cows that were outside the ward in the RPH just being moved on by one of the lads to an old farmer who was worried about them (he hadn't kept cows for 20 years), another time she told a guy who had served on ships in his youth and thought we were all at sea (again in the RPH) that the captain was coming round to inspect so he needed to get back on the ward (he'd been wandering all night). The main thing is that this makes them feel safe and calms them down because for the 2 guys in my dads ward that was their reality. One thought he was back on his farm, the other back on his old ship.

                            I hope some of this helps - obviously every case is different but you've made the first important step and that is to try and get as much information as possible and not try and deal with this alone. Good luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You can read all the leaflets you like, but a personal story and advice like that from Bristol White is extremely valuable. Thanks very much for taking so much time and trouble to construct such a helpful post.

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