How do we handle dissention amongst siblings?

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The middle of January we had a family meeting with all the siblings. Home health care said they would no longer take care of mom because of her dimentia and forgetfulness. It was decided at this meeting that we would have mom try assisted living. Mom was severely depressed, taking/stopping medications on her own; not eating (or remembering if she ate), etc. We moved her into assisted living on a Tuesday, got her started back on an anti-depressant (one of the medications she decided to no longer take on her own) and the following Sunday one of my sister-in-laws told her not to worry that she would make sure that mom got back home. It's been an ordeal ever since. Mom's physician contacted me yesterday and told me that she had let the assisted living facility know that if mom left it would be against medical advice. Myself and one of my siblings are her health power of attorneys and we feel that she needs to be in assisted living. What can we do to keep everyone supportive of her being in assisted living - she has really improved as far as her grooming, eating, and by having her medications given to her but the "seed" has been planted and she is determined that she wants to go home, especially now that she is "feeling better". Any advice would be great.

Answers 1 to 10 of 12
It seems to me that the person who planted the "seed" that she could come home needs to be the focal point of another family meeting. If mom is doing well in assisted living, then the proof is in the pudding. It sounds like your mom's doctor is in your corner. It may be regretful that you have to be in a position to pull rank, so to speak, over another sibling's desires. Nevertheless, the doc should carry some weight here, so it's not just your opinion. Get some support from your other sibs and talk reason. Best wishes.
Maybe the one sibling who started this whole mess should take Mom to their home and do all the caregiving and make sure she gets her meds etc-once she is back she will start to not take her meds and be right where she was before AL
Well at least you had a family meeting. More than I can say for my family. You have the health POA. Sister-in-law should be told "nicely" to keep her comments to herself. I learned along time ago to stay out of my husband's family's business and he stays out of mine. It works better that way.

Your Mom needs to be where she is and in time will probably adjust. Just everyone has to be on board. Good luck
My aging in-laws take offense when discussing their future - they don't like the idea that they might be needing help in care-giving, etc. The communication is vague - no one seems to want to discuss issues and no one wants to take the lead (including parents) because it's so difficult to coordinate, plan, execute, etc. I'm the oldest daughter-in-law, have lost both parents already and I feel like I'm watching a train-wreck about to happen with my husband's family. I'd like feedback, suggestions, support, "anything"! about dealing with the impending issues my (husband's) family is inevitably going to face. More specifically, would it be better if I surgically had my tongue removed?
Well, maybe SIL assured Mom she would see that she got back home, and maybe Mom did a bit of creative interpertation to come to that conclusion. Either way, it is too bad Mom is stuck on that thought. Is there any evidence that SIL continues to encourage it? In other words, do you need to deal with SIL's sabotage, or was that a one-time incident now in the past?

You and the sister who is healthcare POA need to continue to make the decisions. Who has financial POA? Is that person onboard with keeping Mom in ALF?
Top Answer
For sure, better let every one know when they visit, if your Mom starts talking about going back to her home, everyone should just switch topics and praise aspects of her room, cards she has, flowers, food, ask about activities, etc.

Unfortunately one cannot argue with someone afflicted with dementia, and they do get fixated on topics.

All you can all do is try to change thing is to let everyone know to give the same answer, so everyone is on the same page - maybe that Dr needs her there for now, etc., and let topic pass if possible.

For sure will keeping coming back up all the time.

Hang in there...keep us posted! All the best!
Yes, this is what we do also, we change subjects fast on things that are look very nice today, your hair sure is pretty etc. Dementia is hard on everyone, and when these people get something in their minds, that is all they think about. It is so sad to see someone you love go through this. We let them know where she lives, that this is her home now, so if she starts talking about leaving, to change the subject or get her involved in some kind of activity...she will forget aout it for a while anyway....and let family members know that talking about this .... is causing more problems for her and they need to quit it
Jennyevans: You might want to post your question on a new discussion. You can go up to the top of this page and click on Caregiver Forum. You will get a pull down menu and can ask a question or start a new discussion.

I think your situation is one that others would related to. My questions would be, how many children do your in-laws have, are they able to help keep the parents in their home. I would need more background to make good suggestions, but I think it's wise that you gave keeping quiet as an option. Shows you are keeping an open mind in spite of the anticipated train wreck. Give us more info here or start an new discussion so your question won't be confused with the other posts.

Hugs and good luck, Cattails
GeriMil...I agree with caprica and aberry In my experience I learned as well that conversation can be redirected easily most of the time. If you surround your Mother with things that are familiar to her from her home and in any way make her room comfy for her. I know I have trouble sleeping if I don't have my favorite blanket. Think about where mom kept her things like pictures of family and a picture in her bedroom on a wall and hang it in her new room so she get a feeling of familiar surroundings. I would advise do not change too much at once or even let her see the changes, don't draw attention to the moving "her stuff". My Mom lived with me but still had her house but no matter where she was she thought it was her house and when she was at her home she didn't know it was her home and it was her home as a teen. I just remember something, we were in her childhood neighborhood one day, I had no idea it was there, Mom says to me this is the street I used to live on. Now this was in the 1940's it most likely looks nothing like when she lived there in 1940's, but I found out she was absolutely right. Her favorite misic bring them back and calms them because it is familiar. I have seen my Mom sing songs I have never heard in my lifetime, she never skipped a beat. I think generally home means comfortable and familiar not confusion and having to struggle to remember where her things are. Once she gets used to her new surroundings and the new routine is daily thoughtless events according to time of day. You should see what happens if lunch is after lunch time at the NH LOL... not pretty. The meds are an issue as well, adapting takes time and weeks or months to stabilize. You know your Mom better than the staff so observe behaviors in personality if it's not your Mom's personality you'll's not always dementia it's meds sometimes. For example Mom's psychiatrist was asking Mom questions to see if she was depressed or violent and medicating her according to her answers. My Mom is in fantasy land and drama land, if I only had the video's of our conversations you'd all be rolling. Anyway the only thing my mother loves unconditionally is ice cream. So I explained to the psychiatrist that if she has negative response to that simple question something is wrong with her meds. I am glad to say she hasn't been unstable since. Your in reality they are not, you need to stop look and listen to body language, not what she's saying but what she is trying to say but can't really explain her feelings in a way your used to. Personality is "born in" and never really changes you just have to look at it all in a new light. Oh an after thought if you label her drawers and closets and maybe hang a plaque with her name she'll know it's her "HOME"!
I read your story and did not read any of the answers. I jumped right to answering you because nothing anyone says is going to change the vice you are in. Nothing you do is going change your Mother's mind about anything short of going home, which you NEED to use your Med POA to stop. That is what the POA is for. Your Mother is no longer able to care or think for herself, and when she was well and cognizant, she gave someone, presumably you, a Durable Medical POA, you need to use it now. This is the time where you are in one of the most painful positions you will ever be in, short of losing your Mother, this is right next to it. You know what needs to be done. Do it, for all your sakes. She won't remember in a couple of months, and your Mom, siblings, and your mental health will be better for it. Get into therapy for a little while and center yourself. Your are a good daughter seeking a way where there is none. I'm so sorry. I'm approaching the same decisions with my parents. Short of a surgical strike that cuts to the quick, and is done with, we just don't have any other way out. They are dying and there isn't a darn thing we can do to change it. And, at the same time, we face our own mortality, and that is what scares me more than anything.

Now I'll go back and read the frilly answers that we all EMO's love to write.

Be Well, Sue

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