My mother-in-law's sister has Dementia/Alheimer's. My mother-in-law calls her every Saturday at approximately 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. If her daughter isn't present when my Mother-in-law calls. The sister will tell her daughter that my Mother-in-law didn't call and says something may be wrong. It causes some chaos and makes my Mother-in-law uneasy. I would be open to suggestions. I believe that the sister needs calendar to mark/record that my Mother-in-law called her on Saturday, February 18 at such and such a time. She needs a clock that displays the time and displays the date. She is always asking what day it is which wears on her daughter.  She has a companion working with her Monday -Friday. Maybe the companion could work this exercise into their daily schedule to stimulate her mind. Any thoughts or suggestions would help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I would like to thank each everyone that responded to the post. The Aunt lives with her daughter who is able to work from home. The daughter had to employ a companion because (Aunt) mother age 92 continually called her away from her work and effected her work performance. The family has pooled together to help pay for the companion time. All of the suggestions and the reality of the Dementia/Alzheimer takes a toll on everyone even those no directly caring for the person.
She ihas been an anxious and agitated woman all of her life. I am not sure that a psychiatric evaluation has been performed. It seems this would be a logical approach. I am going to strongly suggest that my Mother-in-law sends cards to her sister on a regular basis. Thank You to everyone.
Helpful Answer (2)

A digital clock that shows the day of the week, the date, and the time in large bright print can be very helpful for persons in early to moderate stages of dementia. I don't think the expectation of Sister recording the time she receives phone calls is realistic, though, even with such a clock. And even if she could be taught to do it and remembers it, it wouldn't necessarily convince her that your MIL had called. A person with dementia (or other damage to the brain) can easily look at a note they themselves wrote and not believe they wrote it or that it is true.

Your profile says you are caring for someone living in your home and her condition is simply general aging. Is that your MIL? I'll bet your MIL could learn to keep a record of phone calls. Dementia is very, very different than normal aging. There is actual damage in the brain (different kinds of damage depending on the type of dementia). Learning new things is pretty much not going to happen -- even if the person was very intelligent, sharp, and a quick learner before the dementia.

I think it best to accept things the way they are, and figure out some other way to avoid the chaos. How about if you (or your husband or even MIL if she can) emails the Daughter (your husband's cousin?) after each phone call. "Called at 11:15. Pleasant talk about the lilacs in bloom." Then daughter won't have to check on anybody. If her mom says, "Sister didn't call this week. I hope there is nothing wrong," she can say, "Oh I got an email from them. Nothing is wrong but she had an appointment Saturday morning. She will call this Saturday." The goal is to make the two old ladies comfortable, not to prove who is right or wrong.

Would your MIL like to send a weekly card to her sister, in addition to the phone call? A card is tangible and evidence that someone cares. When I sent cards to my mother in the NH (in addition to my weekly visit) I tucked in a cross-word puzzle, or a cartoon she'd like, or an old photograph. Mom really liked getting cards from anybody! And I liked picking them out. Would that be a nice activity for MIL? 

My suggestion is to not expect the same level of functioning from your husband's aunt as you do from his mother. Dementia changes things drastically. Encourage the contact between sisters, and find ways to minimize the potential stress that can occur.

How very kind of you to be concerned about both ladies! I hope if I ever have dementia (as my mother did) there will be kind people at hand to look after me!
Helpful Answer (0)

Bigger picture here would seem to indicate that this poor lady is anxious and maybe agitated, secondary to memory loss. Has a geriatric psychiatric consult been sought?
Helpful Answer (1)

Seniorseeker, sadly once Alzheimer's/Dementia really takes over, the patient no longer understands clocks and calendars :(

At one time my Dad had a "Day Clock" which would show what Day it was. Like today is Friday. Dad loved that clock and depended on it for quite a while. Then he no longer paid attention to it.

Plus the mother-in-law could call her sister, but a few minutes later the sister would totally forget that mother-in-law had called.

Does the sister live in her home? Or is she in Memory Care? It is nice that the family had a companion that comes 5 times a week. Who covers the care after that if the sister is living on her own in her own home?
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter