I am the primary caregiver for my 80-year-old mother-in-law who has late-stage Alzheimer’s/Sundowners. She lives with me, but her son wants to take her for the weekend. Is this safe?

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80 yrs old with later stage Alz., sundowns horribly, her son wants to take her for the weekend, is this safe for her? I have her 24/7.

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I don't think it would be a good idea. If you change her surroundings I am almost positive it would throw her into a state of confusion and insecurity. I have seen it happenn too many times. Let him come to your house and help out. But even that could backfire because they only trust the ones that take care of them ona regular basis. Good Luck and hopefully there will be no hard feelings. Print out some of these post and have him read up on Parkinson's
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Monica, my mom always wanted to take my dad places with her, but thankfully, she wasn't driving. She thought he could do what he always did, but that's not the case. Actually, he was declining quicker than we realized. When I look back now, the pace stuns me. Only two years ago, he was driving (recklessly). But he was also getting lost. He went unresponsive, so was hospitalized, and we almost lost him. Then I moved him closer to me. Can't even believe mom let me do it. He is getting much better care now, and improved, but his Alzheimer's has progressed exponentially. He got in the car with me for a 250 mile trip by me, and a couple times since. But even a walk down the nursing home hallways confuses and disorients him these days. He walks with a greater stoop, and slower pace, but only to his dining room. He will not go out of the unit, and definitely not toward an exit. His world of international travel has shrunk to one small corridor in a nursing home. Mom wants to take him with her for concerts, dinner, church, and such, but he simply can't handle it. Sadly, he may never go out again. Not only that, her infrequent visits have rendered her almost a stranger (though they've been married 53 years). Dad seems more comfortable with me than her. I see him easily overstimulated by circumstances and noise, and this agitates him. Mom can't read clues, and often oversteps other's boundaries. With Advanced Stage Alzheimer's, this is difficult to handle. It takes sensitivity to deal effectively with certain sufferers. As Dad's guardian, I've vetoed her taking him out. He went to her new apartment once, and that was his last day out almost a year ago. A same-day trip to a picnic spot on the lake proved too much for him, once his feet hit the grass. He didn't enjoy that outing at all, and it was apparent the attempt was too much for him. I'm very protective of my dad, especially since my mom is not capable of understanding his level of need, due to her own cognitive limitations. What a sad scenario! I say, determine what they can handle, and be their advocate.

It's not all about meeting our need to connect with the loved one, as much as meeting our loved ones needs and comfort level. Sometimes they need familiarity, as anything else can be traumatic, especially when dealing with Alzheimer's. Even familiar routines can put them into a tailspin, for no apparent reason, at times. What a debilitating disease. I believe we must put their best interests ahead of our desires, and I like to err on the side of caution.
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I think you out to let him take her for the weekend. It's fortunate that he wants to. Let him see what you deal with.
It's rare a family member is willing to relieve you, so I say go for it. Perhaps the change of scenery may be positive.
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Can he come and stay with her in your house? Maybe that would give you and your husband a way to get out and spend some time together. (mini vacation perhaps?)
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Dear Donatella,
You seem to be doing a super job w/your mother in-law! It is a 24/7 situation and I think it is great that you question her safety because many would just jump at the chance for relief. How is your relationship w/the brother? Do you feel that it is a genuine offer for him to want to have the time w/her and to lend a hand to you and your husband? The flip - side to this would be if you feel he has "other intentions" to do with money, a "Will", "Power of Attorney" , or to get ahold of her meds. because of an addiction. I only bring this to your attention because I had to experience these things firsthand because of being my mom's caregiver and things that were happening from someone that I just couldn't have even imagined. It is really sad and devastating to realize that there are so many things to think about. I hope that you and hubby are able to have others pitch in and help you. Maybe, his brother could come to your home and let you and your husband just get out of the home together - You really need to take time for each other and yourselves and not to feel guilty - I know secretsister and others will also agree. I pray everything goes well and will keep your situation in our prayers!
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He knows what is going on with his mother, however, since I posted this, Dr. said she could only go for a few hours at a time due to her constant confused state of mind. When I realized how serious her condition was, I told all the brothers (I am daughter in law) that she needed help, they said, ok, go ahead. That is how I gained control, no one would help her but my husband & I. I was staying with her all day & my husband would sleep there at night. She had a stroke on 12/25/09 & I moved her in with us. Safety is not an issue here with me, but they have to keep an eye on her 24/7. But Dr. has taken care of that for now. Thank you for caring. Monica xo
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Does he know what he's getting himself into? What does her Physician say? What control do you have over the situation? Why would safety be an issue? Confusion may be a problem, though. We are dealing with similar issues, though our dad and FIL are both in a Nursing Home nearby. They struggle with normal everyday activity.
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