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    In need of assistance please
    wingingit posted:
    This is my first time reaching out.
    My husband is an only child, father passed away many years ago...and his Mother is 85 with Dementia/Alzheimers. She currently lives on her own in an apartment.
    Mother and son have a troubled relationship, mainly due to his Mothers constant criticism ....his entire life, so three day's together is three day's too long.
    My husband loves his mother very much..he does anything and everything for her...mind never meets her expectations...but that doesn't stop him from trying.
    Now, lets add a dose of Dementia/Alzheimers to the normal constant criticism and I find myself alone in taking on the responsibility of caretaker. I have no experience with aging family members as my family never seems to live past their 50's.
    We can not afford assisted living, she is not yet to the point of a nursing home... yet I know my husband and her can NOT live under the same roof without complete misery for ALL.
    My Mother in Law is in denial, scared and frustrated; and I am learning I am not as strong and able as I thought I was.
    When do you know it is time to start making the calls?
    Her short term memory is getting worse, her independence stand is strong.
    Can someone please spare some good advice?
    cjh1203 responded:
    I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this. Caregiving is very difficult, even in the best of circumstances.

    Maybe a good first step would be to get in touch with your local Alzheimer's Association and make an appointment to talk to someone about your situation. They can tell you what your options are, and give you the resources to figure out a solution. It could be that bringing in nurse's aides or companions would be enough for right now. The Alzheimer's Association can definitely point you in the right direction.

    The most important thing to remember as you go through all this is not to let your mother-in-law call the shots. She will always say that she doesn't want anyone else in her house to help her, or doesn't want to go to a facility, or doesn't want to do any number of other things that may be in her best interest.

    It's hard for families not to give in to the patient's wishes, but the patient is not in a position to make the best decisions for herself. My uncle used to get furious with anyone who suggested that someone come in to help my aunt with his care. Finally, though, he was just told that that's what was going to happen, and he ended up looking forward to the visits from the nurses and aides.

    An Alzheimer's support group would be a really big help to you, too. There's nothing like talking to others who have been down the same road, to help guide you and let you know you're not alone.

    Best wishes.

    davedsel57 responded:

    I'm sorry to read of your mother-in-law's diagnosis. My dad was diagnosed at the beginning of this year. He is now happily living in an excellent assisted living facility. I understand your position because my dad and I had a falling out thirteen years ago and I had not spoken to him in all those years until he needed me this past January.

    The best thing you can do for your mil would be to try getting her a caregiver. Patients with Alzheimer's, even in the beginning stages, really should not live alone. An alternative would be to find a good assisted living facility or memory care facility and move your mil into that. You mil is most likely eligible for Medicaid and your husband could look into that for her. There are some facilities that do accept Medicaid.

    Has your mother-in-law granted your husband Power Of Attorney? That may be a wise move now so your husband will be able to take care of all of her affairs. Your husband should also have a Health Care Proxy. You will need to contact an Elder law attorney for assistance with the Power Of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.

    You can also go the the website for your local chapter of the
    Alzheimer's Association. Here is a link to their main site:

    I know how difficult this is, and pray you can get your mil the proper care she needs.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story. Blessings, Dave
    wingingit replied to davedsel57's response:
    Thank you davesel57 & cjh1203, for your responses and guidance.
    I am sorry to hear about your own circumstances, as no one is truley prepared for this stage in life.
    I have already started the process for medicaid, just waiting on the response ; I have also completed the crash course for her insurance coverage, about as clear as mud.
    All of this is a bit overwhelming, yet I am in this for the long hall.

    I guess I have my work cut out for me.
    I will first contact the local Alzheimer's association, and get my husband to contact an attorney and get all of our ducks in a row.
    You both have given me not only great advice, but also comfort in knowing I/we are not alone.

    I am sure I will reach out again shortly.

    Thank you again.
    wingingit replied to cjh1203's response:
    Thank you Carol for your pointers on NOT letting my MIL call the shots....I could write a book called "A 1001 reasons why not "; excuses not to go to therapy, drink water and eat properly...My Mother in law is an expert when it comes to the reasons for not doing what is best for her....and when she doesn't get her way...she bites hard with her words..and it takes all of my strength to remind myself...she doesn't have control ....takes a toll on you emotionally.

    Thank you again,
    Julie aka wingingit
    davedsel57 replied to wingingit's response:

    Getting my dad the care he needs is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most challenging and overwhelming thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. My wife has been a wonderful support this year and I am so thankful. The "system" is so difficult to learn and maneuver. So many times this year I have wondered how my dad or any patient with dementia could handle this on their own. They simply could not so the family members must come to the rescue.

    So far you and your dh are doing all the right things. Keep pressing forward and you will eventually see rewards for your efforts.

    Please keep us updated on the progress.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story. Blessings, Dave

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