How do I deal with the spouse of someone who has Alzheimer's and does not take the AZ person out of the house with exception of the back porch?

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The husband will not take his wife who has Alzheimer Disease out of the house for anything. A relative had to speak up and suggest letting her get her hair done. The response was, "I'll ask her if she wants to and get a hair dresser to come to the home.' The wheelchair wheels do not lock and the left arm rest is damaged. The reply to that was "It was a loaner from the doctor's office. She cannot walk so we have to push her from point A to point B in the home." Pictures of family have been removed from sight. There is not a visible calendar to be found. The windows in the living room are to high to see out of. The only window in the dining/kitchen area is French Doors to the back porch. Curtains in the bedroom are kept closed. There are no windows in the bathrooms. Scatter rugs are picked up by the care provider who is neither licensed nor works for an agency but is a private individual. The husband puts the rugs back down. The wife has been known to slip on the scatter rug in front of her toilet. She is a fall risk, too weak to walk without assistance...from being over medicated. The wife has also said she does not want to be in a wheelchaiar. On a visit by her sister she wore a t-shirt her sister gave to her as a present. She asked for makeup so she would look nice for her sister's visit. Her cell phone has been hidden away and she is not allowed to use. Her care provider is not allowed to make calls for her. Family is not notified of changes and was not notified of the illness for several months. She was supposedly hospitalized in a psyche hospital for hitting her hands yet her hands show no signs of abuse but her face, wrists and breasts do. Several months prior she had bruises on her breasts and her back. Pictures were taken this year but none last year however APS claims they cannot investigate last year's events only current. Current: hair dresser comes on Saturdays but that only started two Saturdays ago. She supposedly can walk now but the person from APS claims she cannot. The husband says she can now. The psche meds were stopped but when the husband refuses to say. The wife appeared to be over sedated because she kept drifting off to sleep in the daytime. The husband claims he gives her only her blood pressure medicine and fluid pill. He was witnessed givng her a fist full of meds at bedtime. He leaves for work before she gets up. The care provider didn't even know where the meds were and is not licensed to give them. The conclusion is he is giving her morning meds at bedtime. You do not give fluid pills at bedtime. She takes two bloodpressure meds, one contains Diazide and she takes a Diazide pill extra. These are not bedtime meds. You get one story from APS and a partially different one from the husband. A supposedly anoymous report turns into a not anyomous report because the person from APS tells the husband what the person told her. He calls and fuses at the person who made the call and says you are the only one who has complained about what the person from APS spoke about. The person from APS states "You cannot override the husband. You cannot get more doctors to examine her." The person who did the reporting never asked for those things. It is understood that social deprivation/isolation is a form of abuse. It is understood that if the wheelchair was indeed a loaner from the doctors office that the doctor and the husband would be liable should the wife be injured as a result of the defective wheelchair. The only way family can make contact is to call the husband's cell phone. There is no homeline. The family is not kept informed and is not part of her circle of care. The family does not know who the doctors are nor what medicines she is on. This diagnosis was done in the spring of 2011. The wife is in her early sixties. The wife called family members numerous times in 2011 asking for help, stating she hated her husband, wanted to live with her sister, and he beat me. Those messages have been saved but they were last year and are of no use this month or last month. She toild her doctor she and her husband were having marital problems and that made the husband angry. She asked someone to verfiy his employment and the husband found out about it and told the party involved to "Get out of my business." He worked overtime 5 days a week and worked on weekends and stopped going to church. She was alone too much which frightened her. Now that she is supposedly worse he takes off work early to get groceries and is with her on weekends which is the only times she has gotten hurt and had to have stitches on her face and got a broken nose. She has not been injured during the times the care provider is with her. How do you handle that?

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This situation is horrifying. Please keep after Social Services to do a welfare check. You may want to call the Alzheimer's organization near you and see if a social worker can help you with this. They may have some clout with social services. Good luck and thank you for caring so much,
Cherokee40, your concern for you sister shines through all of your posts. I sincerely hope you can get steps taken to improve her situation.

Your topic heading says she has Alzheimer's but I gather from your posts that you do not believe she has it. Whether you think she was misdiagnosed or you think her husband is lying about it is not clear. Your evidence for feeling this way is not conclusive. She recognizes you and kisses you on the lips. In some forms of dementia the patient never loses the ability to recognize loved ones, and even in forms where that is common it often does not occur until later stages. Many, many cases of dementia occur without a trace of it on either side of the family for many generations. Dementia is often not revealed in a cat scan. The fact that she likes to wear certain shirts or that she wants to have her hair done doesn't say anything about whether she has dementia. Many people with dementia, especially early stage, could recognize their sister signging on a recording. It is possible that she doesn't have dementia, but your evidence would not convince a social worker or a court, I'm afraid, especially since you have no access to her medical records.

She has been injured. That is certainly consistent with dementia. It is also consistent with abuse. So, which is it? Was there any sign of abuse before she became ill? When she was taken to the hospital after "beating herself up" was there any investigation into to cause of the bruises? It would seem like that would be a normal police activity under the circumstances. The bruises and injuries always happen when her husband is home. How do you know that? He seems very secretive so I don't suppose you know what is happening when in that household. She was suspicious of him before she became sick. If she is demented (or even if she isn't), might she want to get him in trouble now?

When you are visiting her, when she stayed with you, when you stayed overnight, can she tell you the names of her doctors? Could she sign Hippa waiver forms giving permission for her doctors to speak to you? I think you would gain a lot of understanding by talking to her medical team. What exactly is her diagnosis? What doctors' names where on the pill bottles you've seen?

Please don't take any of this as criticism or lack of belief in your version of the situation. I just want to point out that if you intend to try for outside intervention you need to be aware of how your statements might be viewed by outsiders who are sworn to be objective.

And I think you should try for some outside intervention. As others have suggested in this thread, bring in a social worker, or Adult Protection to investigate. In order to make a persuasive case why they should, try to sort out your most urgent concerns, and the reasons (evidence) you have those concerns. For example, explaining your suspicions of her burises seems to me a high priority. Mentioning that the windows in her bedroom are high does not. Saying you have been told she has dementia but you are not sure if that is true is appropriate, but going on at length about why you doubt that she does may not win you any points. That she might not be getting her pills correctly is a concern worth investigating, but I'm not sure what an agency would do with the complaint that she was not getting her hair done regularly.

You are distressed by many, many things in your sister's life. To be most effective in advocating for her I suggest you focus on the major concerns that would also be viewed as concerns by outside agencies. Don't give up on all the other "little" quality of life issues, but work on those on your own. Bring the Big Guns in for the Big Issues.

I sincerely wish you luck in improving your sister's situation.
I still think the the agency in your help that takes care of the elderly needs to have an anonymous letter from someone describes the current conditions. Tell them that if nothing is done, the head of the state agency that governs them will be notified. Our country is now realizing that people are not always being taken care of after reports are made. Be honest but courteous in your letter but let them know that if you must write anonymously, the situation is dangerous. Best wishes.
If the caseworker doesn't feel as though she can do a follow-up for whatever reason, it's time to go further up the food chain where the workers DO have the power to do something. I would ask the caseworker you've been speaking with for the name of her supervisor. It's obvious by your description that this poor woman is in a horrible situation. You state the facts quite succintly in your post and with persistence, I believe you will get the attention of an APS worker that has the power to do something.
continuation: and maybe after a social worker checks up on her and finds nothing wrong, you should mind your own business.
You are very worried about your sister...I am sorry if some of the things I wrote upset you. My mother is much more advanced in her dementia and some of the things you mentioned that were/are wrong seemed normal to me because my mom won't let anyone touch her hair without a fight and she doesn't want to go outside etc. I have an aunt that calls me (she lives far away) and asks why my mom, her sister, can't talk on the phone and why don't I take her to church or out to get her hair done. She just doesn't get it. Your sister seems like she would respond to more help and social interaction. Keep up the good fight to see that your sister is alright. It is hard to know the truth without having a good relationship with her husband. I know that it is overwhelming to care for an alzheimer's patient and sometimes the caregiver is lost, confused, depressed and overwhelmed. Let us know how everything goes.
Did you ever suspect your brother in law of abuse before your sister became ill? I understood that all pics had been taken from the room but you say only her family pics. That does sound weird. We have kept pics up even though she thinks they are spying on her because sometimes she does remember who they really are. The scatter rugs don't make sense unless he has an OCD and can't change patterns. Another family member had these same type of issues and they did find out that some of it WAS over medication - prescribed by DRS!!! But one dr. took over and micromanaged better and they improved some. Once again, call Social Services for a social worker to assist you.
Our mother was over medicated and it took six months to detox her. I told that to my brother in law and he said he knew he was there. Excuse me, he was not there. He was only 11 years old when that happened. He is two years younger than my sister. As a nurse I had to make a note to a doctor when other nurses were overlooking it. A patiend had been on morphine longer than he needed to be. It is supposed to be re-ordered every 72 hours. It had been several days. When he became my patient again I wrote a note to the doctor. The med was dc'd and the patient was discharged to home only to come back addicted to the Morphine. Another patient had a sponge left inside him and ended up with feces coming out the tube that went through his nose to his stomach. The doctor also accidentally cut the man's gut (colon). The nurse did all we could do hinting the family had a lawsuit. We could not come right out and tell. Another patient had eye drops every 30 minutes round the clock and I mean around the clock. She ended up losing the eye the doctor was trying to save. It enucleated. Too many people put 100% trust in doctors. A cousin was told she didn't have cancer. She got a second opinion and she did have cancer in her larynx. She had to go to another county, a larger one, for a correct diagnosis. We do not know the names of her doctors. Except I know the name of the psych who she is not seeing anymore. It's the family doctor we need to talk to. We were not allowed to say anything to the nurse. There are two family pictures on the mantle but none anyplace else. He claimed she is not slipping now so the rugs stay down. She is still a fall risk. We do not trust him. My brother does not trust him either. He distanced himself from family from day one.
Cherokee40, you do not have to convince us. Really. You are preaching to the choir. We would like to see your sister have a better quality of life. But there is nothing any of us can do about it. We've encouraged you to contact outside agencies. If that isn't working for you, see a lawyer. Perhaps you can at least get an order to see your sister more often.

Once again I urge you in talking to agencies or a lawyer to stick to the important concerns. Perhaps a lawyer can help you sort that out. Also be clear about what you want to have happen. More visiting rights? Your sister removed from her husband's custody? Her husband to take caregiving classes? A second opinion about her possible dementia? Know what you want, and present the evidence that makes you have this concern.

Good luck to you and to your sister.

I am so sorry to learn of your sister's condition.

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