My MIL, who has always been manipulative, is now beginning the process of testing for dementia. She has for years stated that she was going to get it and has for years blamed small things on likely early stage dementia. Some minor examples include, when at her home she can't remember how to use the remote when someone else wants to change the channel but she can always do it when she wants to change. She won't let anyone else use the remote. When we are out about town she remembers directions to all of the places she wants to go but not anywhere else. We always end up eating where she wants because she finds some issue with every other restaurant. She participates in social groups until she is no longer the one running the group or the major influence. If someone else insists on planning functions or activities (or becomes a focus of attention) she withdraws from the group. These are minor examples, she has done worse. Her kids have tried to talk with their dad over the years about her controlling and manipulating but he will get angry and defend her.
Now all of these same issues are being presented by her (and him) as dementia. They have not completed testing yet and they are the only ones talking to the Dr.s. We understand the testing results are based on behavior and cognitive assessments but her behavior has been consistent as far as anyone can tell. Is there anything other family members can do to help sort this out? No one wants to be unsupportive if she is really in the early stages but no one wants to be played if this is just a way to justify continued control and manipulation. We are concerned for her and for FIL, who has only ever defended her regardless of how she has manipulated and hurt family and friends. None of us know quite how to respond. Overall we are waiting for the testing results or any indication that she is forgetting something that would otherwise matter to her. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.