New in home care for mother-in-law with dementia.

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I am the one with her the longest time, her son (my hubby) works and is away 12+ hrs daily. He doesn't se all the anger I do when I tell her she isn't able to do something! I try to keep the topics light and non irritating but with this illness the moods swithch on and off in a blink of an eye!!! I am not prepared to handle this, we have a caregiver that comes 2 times a week to help and bath but only 4 hrs each time!? We can't afford more, and of all things my husband thinks I can do it on my own!!!! I'm frustrated and angy that he dosen't see how this effects everyone. This morning I had an argument with her about what bathroom was hers, our son was trying to use the second bath to get ready for school....! Since we moved into her home I have to try to respect her wishes but we need to function too? We , I think need to find a care center for her because I can't do this like her son wants me to...I can't even go to the restroom as she wanders everywhere and is a fall risk so I watch her like a hawk! I haven't slept more than 4 hrs a night because she wanders and gets up and turns on all the lights to see her way around. I know that we are in way over our heads!!!!!!!!!!!!! But there were other circummstances that lead up to this decision. Virginia has 2 children a son and a daughter, the daughter took POA for Virginia 3 yrs ago and had her placed in a care facility then..helped her pay the bills and alot more if you know what I mean...... with her moms money! So needless to say moms funds are almost gone and so is the "wonderful daughter!" . Now, thats where we come in,.... after no contact except for wanting something that no one else she tried would, she contacts her brother in a note that she gave up POA and she passed it to him! So we are literaly picking up the mess that was left by this waste of human flesh!

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stressedmom, I'm so glad you and hubby agreed on an alternative solution. I know that you will not abadon her in the care center, that you will visit often, and that since it will be on your time schedule it can be less frantic and stressed time you all spend with her.

Please keep us informed of how it works out.
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I have had several relatives I have cared for with both medical problems and dementia. Here are some solutions:

(1) Respect that your husband is doing the right thing and caring for the mother who gave him life and cared for him when he was a nuisance as a baby and child.One day YOU will be this woman. How would you like to be treated? None of this is her fault.

(2) Hire inexpensive "babysitters" to come in and give you time to get out and away to do the things you need to do without having to worry about her. You can even have someone who watches her while you are home.

(3) Make use of door locks and even baby gates to keep her from getting hurt when you need to use the bathroom, etc. Ditto for when your son needs time in the bathroom. At night, lock her in but have water, etc for her and have a working baby monitor in the room.

My kids learned a lot about family and about love and compassion and patience from helping care for elderly relatives.
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One of the ways I was able to have my family see what goes on is to have them spend time with Mom without me! I realize your hubby works - but 12 hours a day? - everyday? My brother & sis cannot wait to get out of here after spending about 6 hours with Mom. I try to leave while they are here so they can get just a little taste of what my life is about. Same questions, repeating everything multiple times, anger ect ect ect...... It seems that they are a little more sympathetic after their visits. But who knows?? All I can tell you is to try and carve out a little time just for yourself. Four hours a couple of times a week is not enough. That is just enough time to get some grocery shopping done, not enough time for you to decompress. Try to get a day for yourself. I know how difficult it is but you really do deserve it. I was told on this website to grow a backbone. It was kinda hard to hear but it was true. I cannot please everyone and the family just has to help. They do not really like it but at least they are being more helpful. Let me tell you when I get those hours it is like sweet freedom!! Good luck
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lillian41, I have spoke to my husband and have decide together, that mom needs more care than we or a in home caregiver can do. We have made arrangments to place her back in the facility she was previously. I to have a herniated disc, arthritis and scoliosis...I also took 2 bad falls the day after we moved mom in! I am not a whiner by any means (I come from a large family of 8) so am used to working hard. However this was just way to much and the wandering, never sleeping and getting into things was to scary. We had no time to do anything else at all! Best we could do for mom now is keep her happy and safe with 24 hr supervision.
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Dementia care is difficult and some people are trained and better at it than others. Find your local Aging agency and learn what is available for your mil. You will all be better off. And don't ruin your back lifting! A lack of funds may mean mil will be Medicaid eligible. Don't wait, find some help for your family.
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Iam sorry you are dealing with so much so fast. Dementia is not predictable. The person you helped to bed last night may not be the same the next morning. I am dealing with both parents with dementia. Mom in an earlier stage than dad but still some of the same things. Both my parents are in a nursing home, they are able to share a room and see each other every day. Your husband, because he is gone so much every day, has no idea what you do for his mom. Does he work every day? If not maybe one day he is off you can tell him you need a day off, don't ask, and you will see him later. Go shopping, to a movie something for you. Let him experience what goes on while he is at work. If that will not work because of his schedule then you need to be up front with him. Make him listen to you before your marriage suffers. You mentioned a son, this will also affect him. We moved my mom in with us for a short time, 4 months, it was the longest 4 months I have ever spent. My son was 7 at the time at we would have homework every night, he would be tired and not want to do it and she would baby him and tell me not to make him do all that hard work. If he had a friend over then she would get mad because it took from her some how. If we had friends over for a meal or something she would get mad even though we all included her. This was even before the dementia was evedent. It was hard on all of us. I ended up hurting my back lifting mom and couldn't take care of her any more. I said all that to say its hard to care for someone when they have dementia, their moods change at a moments notice, the sweet caring person they used to be may now be a mean hateful person who resents everything you do or say. The nursing home my parents are in can help you financially find out what she can get help with. Please don't delay in trying to get your husband to see what's happening to you. Keep us posted on your progress, I will be thinking about you.
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Some of what you say, I recognize in caring for my mom. Having to watch someone like a hawk is ever so hard. At least if I was busy, I could put my children, when little, in a play pen, to ensure their safety. I do not have the sleeping problem with my mom. That would drive me nuts. I just pray that you and your husband can come together on what needs done. Sounds like you need some in home help. Blessings.
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