Hubby doesn't believe his mom has dementia.

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Hello all, I'm looking for some kind of emotional support, I guess. My husbands mom moved in with us about a year ago. Inside, I was screaming NO NO NO, but I went against my intuition and half heartedly agreed to let her move in. Also, I was 9 months pregnant & went into labor the weekend she moved in w us. I had a feeling, before she moved in, that she was mentally declining & that she wouldn't be able to move out because she would be less & less able to take care of herself. Now, a year later, she displays ALL of the signs associated with dementia, but my husband insists that she doesn't have dementia and won't listen to my pleas to accept that she has dementia. She hasn't been to the doctor, mainly because she used to be addicted to pain pills and we don't want her having access to asking for pain pills. She doesn't brush her hair anymore; doesn't speak the right words; chokes on a daily basis (trouble swallowing); can't smell food cooking in the kitchen; has a hard time deciphering what people are saying to her (confused all the time); can't remember in short term and is starting to lose long term memory; doesn't know how to do housework (but she was a real pro at cleaning a few years back); shuffles when she walks & LOTS of depression. Im going crazy. I have a one year old and I need help from my husband, but he uses all his energy arguing with his mom about how come she doesn't know how to do stuff anymore. When I bring up dementia, he says she is just in the grip of fear & uses her "good days" to justify why she is fine. I am at my wits end. :( anyone have any words of encouragement or been through so much denial? I just need to communicate with people who listen to me.....I'm pretty miserable being stuck in the middle of all this.... :( thanks in advance for any words of support....


Joyful, time for all three of you to go to a doctor who specializes in memory issues, and have the doctor explain what is going on. Sometimes it takes a *professional* to explain before those in denial will fully understand.

If your husband is acting this way with his mother, will he doing to the same thing to his child?
You and the baby go on a one week "vacation" somewhere, perhaps with your side of the family, and let him cope with this on his own for a week. It will be a real eye opener.
I appreciate you two taking the time to read & respond. I forgot to mention that my husband never had a good relationship with his mom due to her alcoholism & drug addiction. This is why he has a hard time having much compassion for her & just wants her to "snap out of it"... He is a totally different person to everyone else, but he has no patience for his mom. I've helped him to be more patient with her, because it's easier on me & the baby when he doesn't argue with her (obviously). I think that her past addiction is even more reason why she has dementia, too. I will keep trying to suggest we get a doctors opinion on this, though. Even though I'm met with so much resistance, I need to get somewhere with him because I feel stuck in CRAZYTOWN most days...heh. Thanks for the advice. :)
Pam is right and i know denial and how frustrating it is! my brother is in serious denial and i wish he had time with mum for a week but coming here once a week and having a cup of tea with her hes not going to see what i see? yes hubby needs to spend more time with her so he can start to notice things!
You guys don't want her to go to a doctor because she might get access to pain pills and become addicted again ? You're kidding, right? It's not like she couldn't get them on the street if she were halfway able to go out. Leave for a while with the baby and visit relatives....great idea. If your husband can't see it, smack him upside the head and give him written material on dementia and show him some YouTube videos. If he still doesn't get it, stay longer with the relatives. He needs some medical education to see what he's dealing with now, and some counseling to get over their past. You need to take the lead since you're now the mommy here to the whole household.
She absolutely cannot get out on her own, that is one of the problems. She would be lost if she even got out the door. She doesn't know how to talk to people anymore. My husband is staying at home to care for her, so he is intimately aware of all the problems she has, and he's the first to point them out...and then ask me what he should do about it. I think next time he asks me that question, I will suggest we try to get her to see a specialist. I thought that maybe someone on this site would have experience with denial and might have some good advice. She had knee surgery a while back, so hubby blames the shuffling on her knee pain & her confusion on "fear" even though the only thing he can think of that she fears is of falling...she used to fall a lot when she lived on her own & even cracked her ribs once. I needed a place where people would hear me and acknowledge that this lady most likely has a form of dementia. I appreciate the advice, but most of all, I appreciate to have a place where I can vent some frustrations because I'm completely overwhelmed by all of this. I would most likely have already went to be with my family if I were welcome, but my mom passed from cancer a year ago & my dad is off galavanting with his new gf now & has no time for me. It's really quite depressing admitting all of this....sighhhh.....
How long ago was the knee surgery? General anesthesia is a known possible cause of mental confusion, or worsening of dementia. It may clear up, or not. Take her back to the doctor with that as the excuse if necessary.
Well, the knee surgery was over 3 years ago. I'm afraid if we take her to the dr and she complains about having knee pain, the pain pill prescriptions will start again. She's been off of pain pills for only one year now, because I basically demanded that no one be addicted to anything in my home or around my baby. When she had a prescription for pain pills, she was popping around 10 a day! I said if she was going to live with us, she has to be sober. This is why going to see a dr seems so precarious to me. I don't want a dr to say she deserves pain relief when it's a serious problem of addiction with her. Does anyone know how hard/easy it is to get a dr to see both the patient and her son? I'm afraid the dr would claim the visit confidential & not let us be there with her.
You need to find a geriatric neurologist who does workup for dementia. You need to make him or her as ware of the pain pill addiction before she is seen. Fax a letter to the office outlining all of your concerns.
Somebody else posted something very much like this a few weeks ago - but the baby wasn't born yet. Was that you dear?

Joyful, honey, I say this as an old married lady with two teenagers and a truckload of family drama behind me including both my mother and mother in law living with us for different periods of time.... You have GOT to take charge of this.

Nothing is going to change until you make it happen. This is your job now as the active mother on duty in the family.

Maybe your husband is blind to the problem because he's punishing her in a way.
He needs to work on his issues or they are going to slop over into his parenting and your marriage. But, if he won't, you need a plan B. For a brief time when the babies were little, my husband also didn't believe I knew anything and all information had to come from "experts". I cured him of that with a very plain and simple to understand conversation where I clarified exactly who knows best for our babies, and where he was welcome to put any other ideas. After I straightened him out, it was never a problem again.

I'm not there, and we don't know each other, but please know that you have every right to put your foot down and demand this woman be put in care.

Hades would freeze over and Beelzebub would turn blue before I'd let a dementia patient within 20 feet of my new baby. Living with - that's a non starter. Nope. No way, too bad.

The doctor can help you out in different ways here. He can write orders for help to come into the house for mom, relieving you. He can sit your husband down and have a man to man talk with him about where mom needs to be and what it's doing to you. Your husband needs to rise to the occasion here, and do what needs to be done.

If I were in your shoes, I would have had a very ugly, very snotty and tear filled nervous break down before now.

If you really, really, really want this to get better you need to take action.

1. Get the doctor involved ASAP. Let him be the one to explain to your husband.
2. Establish your boundaries as the Mother. The Mother. Find your inner mother bear. She's there. Don't wait for an emergency or accident.
3. Get help into the house. MIL's medicare insurance will pay. This is not your expense.

Keep checking back in and let us know how it's going.

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