Caring for mother-in-law with Vascular Dementia.

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I am currently caring for my mother in law 88 years old with. Vascular dementia and getting progressively worse. Seems I've been chosen to do so when I became unemployed then disabled 4 yrs ago. Since then have 3 surgeries two major. I am pretty sure I'm heading for caregiver burnout, have major health problems under doctors care. No one (his sisters) seem to care only that I'm here to care for MIL 24/7. One SIL doesn't even work! They come maybe twice or so a month to sit with my MIL and occasionally bath her. I do ALL the physical work. I've almost left my husband twice because of the strain. My husband helps when he gets home but hates to ask for help. They all have terrible communication problems. Last argu ment my husband and I had was bad. Because of the fact my youngest daughter lives her with her baby and husband and me not working I feel obligated. He's holding that over my head with them living here. But my health and nerves are deteriorating and with my sanity. My MIL is getting more and more difficult to deal with my husband will not put her in a facility, nor her insurance doesn't pay for in home healthcare. My husband said if I do not want to watch my mother in law then he would have to hire someone but hecan only offer room and board, so where does that leave my daughter and grandchild?.

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Sigh, you need to consult a certified Eldercare attorney about Medicaid. It's lovely that you are caring for her, but it shouldn't be such a burden. She should be paying for care, and for room and board, just for starts.
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Medicaid denied her claim because she has few expenses, lives with my wife and me and her monthly SS check exceeds the federal guideline for being impoverished. So if you initially decide to do what is ethically and morally right just understand you own that decision "until death you do part."
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sighk7359, Why was MIL's application for Medicaid turned down? Have you consulted an Elder Law attorney about this?
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Why can't she get Medicaid?
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My wife and I are caregivers for her 84 year mother with vascular dementia. We were forced into this role 12 years ago when my father-in-law died. It has almost broken our marriage more times than I can count, but the M-I-L no longer has the capacity to care what her disruption to our marriage means. We tried Assisted Living for 11 months, but she fell broke her hip so she had to move out. She can't afford anything, and Medicaid won't approve her application. So we are stuck. The key word is WE. My wife and I realized early on it HAS TO BE both of us as a team or you can forget the marriage, forget your dreams and be a martyr until the M-I-L eventually passes away. Regardless of how complex the issues are, how frustrating life is and how badly your marriage is suffering you have a much greater chance of surviving this IF YOU DO IT TOGETHER. If you go it alone I recommend you start going to church because you are going to need a whole lot of prayers.
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Well it's been awhile since I've been here, a lot has happened since my last visit. My MIL ended up breaking her hip. THEN when I toldmy husband and Dr. Agreed MIL should have went to a SLF they send her home. I couldn't lift her at all because of back issues and my previous surgeries, needless to say the OTHER SIL was forced to help another popped in as well to help well during transport (wasn't me) from chair to her bed because she can't walk her ribs on both sides were fractured! Next day she was badly bruised and had to be rushed to the hospital because BP dropped and anemia set in. So another weeks the hospital and she HAD to go to skilled nursing to get her strength for which we had to pay out of pocket because we couldn't find one close that was equipped for dementia patient. Today my MILis back home still cannot walk confined to her wheelchair and bed. I still cannot lift so OTHER sister in law moved down from up north to help and lift her to And from. My MIL seems so traumatized from the fall not to mention her dementia seems to have gotten worse she is a handful! And my husbands still convinced she's going to get better!
But I do have a useful tip.....my MIL is on a cath so what I did is....use those cloth bags that come with the new sheet sets that they come in! It has a nice flip Velcro fastener the catch bag fits perfect in it and it hides it very well and you caN still hang it anywhere and not have to worry about contamination!
Have a blessed day all! Thanks for being here!
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Thanks for the clarification. I can sure understand the younger brother's response once his wife was ragged at by your MIL! What I don't understand is your husband not having a similar response to your MIL raging at you? He sounds very knowledgeable but overly analytic. In this context, what I mean by asking about enmeshment is does he still need to cut the apron strings with mommy so that he can feel the bigger picture here of what his being torn between his mother and his wife is doing, plus take some proper action first as your husband and second as his mother's adult son which right now is not what is taking place?

Definitely, I would look into some marriage therapy for the two of you together. Also, if he will not do that, then I'd see a therapist for your own well being who probably could help you with setting some boundaries and consequences for when those boundaries are broken.

Praying for you and hoping for the best.
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Sandywatson55, thank you for the clarifications.

It does not sound like your husband is in denial, at least not about his mother's disease. He may be in denial about what his behavior is doing to his marriage.

He knows that his mother cannot help her behavior. That the outbursts are malfunctions in her brain. That she needs and deserves loving care. He is right about all of that.

But the notion that he can/should make decisions alone about what goes on in your joint home ignores your needs. Marriage is a partnership. These kinds of decisions must be made in consultation with each other.

Some additional clarification, please. You refer to "my house" -- is it in your name alone, or is it jointly owned with your husband. I'm not familiar with the term "family day home." Is that a childcare business? Do you currently have clients? How does having MIL there impact the business? You have an 11-year-old. Is your husband her father? Just trying to see the full picture here.

When a little home is created for your MIL in 3 ot 4 months, who will be taking care of there, in your husband's plan? Will she have paid professional in-home care? Can she have that now, in your home, to lessen the strain and burden on you?

He lived with her in her townhouse while that was being sold. It is not clear to me that if you did issue an ultimatum who he would pick.

Marriage counselling sounds like a good idea to me.
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Thank you for all these well wishes..and ideas. As for number 1 he is her middle child...there is a daughter (oldest) in Fla. doesn't get along too long w/ her mom. (she helps to give us a break every couple mos.) for a wk. younger brother about 4 hrs. away which had her for a few wks after stroke and she raged on his wife and that was it, he wanted her out and was not feeding her (she is a meat and potato person) he was veg. and she lost 40 lbs. while there and was very detrimental to her brain and recovery from stroke, so my husband took her back...moved into her townhouse w/ her for 3 mos. and that got sold, so they are back here w/ me until he can build something on the lot in the back of our house for her (which is 3 to 4 mos) I don't think I can wait that long. Husband and I had a talk, but the outcome is very hard to tell, he does research for 14 yrs on Alzheimers,..he has a website Commonsense approaches to alzheimers. and he analyzes and (hate to say it) but enjoys the challenge of his mother and mentions he is torn between her and me. I ask him what happens when she rages again (the last one lasted 3 days) she cusses and hits and bites and the things she says are very hurtful. He keeps telling me consider the source, I'm sorry the source is a lady w/ vascular dementia that's only gonna get worse and stroke victim. She is in a bedroom w/ all her things he moved my stuff out of my living room to a small room so she could have all her belongings in the living room and now she rages and accuses me of stealing. What do you mean by number 2? enmeshment? There were no ultimatums tonight. He does go w/ her to PT and doctors appts. he is very knowledgeable about health, brain etc. but this makes it harder I believe...cause he has the excuse of "this is what is happening in her brain...'''' lalalalala" I could care less at this point, I know it's hurtful what she says and prior I did everything for her. We got along great. She became very argumentative prior to stroke w/ everyone wanting everyone to cater to her needs and do it her way and everyone owed her. As for him being in denial about her getting worse. I'm not sure, I reiterate that she will only get worse, I feel like she is a grenade in my house w/ the pin pulled, waiting for the explosion. I am seeing only blue, gray and black and feeling very low and often wonder why I feel like I do. But thanks for posting your thoughts and giving me something more to think about.
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First, is he her only child or favorite son? I ask that partly because I am one.

Second, he is putting her first instead of you which shows there is some emotional enmeshment between the two for his behavior sounds codependent.

Third, I would have that heart to heart talk you two need to have this evening, but at this point I'd avoid ultimatums.

Fourth, has she been evaluated by the doctor lately and does he go with her on these appointments so that he can hear from the doctor exactly what is going on and what your MIL needs in terms of care at this point?

Fifth, he does appear to be in denial about how bad off she is and that her dementia is only going to get worse.

Six, if your husband does not respond well after tonight, then I'd wait a few days to have another talk and this time lay out how this is threatening your marriage and family life which means you want the two of you to see a therapist together to get some advice from an objective third party as to how to handle it. Try to present it in such a way that it does not sound like you're wanting to drag him into see a therapist to straighten him out (although you are), but that ya'll as a couple need some help with this situation.

I wish you well with this mess.
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