Do others get a cold welcome from in-laws at family functions and holiday's when you bring your sister along w/ dementia?

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I am the brother and caregiver for my sister, she's 73 I am 63, I love her and she's so easy to care for,., but I am getting funny feelings and a cold welcome now if and when I bring her to the wife's parents for family functions and holidays. I am going to just stay at home with her for holidays this year.

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Unfortunate that your decision is to pick up your football and go home.

I have total empathy for you...I recognize you're a good man because you are caring for your sister and even that it hurts you to recognize your in laws are less than thrilled that you've brought your sister to their family functions. But you are wrong.

If you recognize that your sister is casting a shadow on your wife's family's get-together so, you should absolutely, most of the time, hire someone to stay with your sister at home.

Look, your wife is an angel. I doubt she saw her close-to-retirement years including sharing your family home with your sister who has dementia. I don't care how easy she is to take care of.

My advice to you would be to attend most of wifey' family functions without your sister simply telling your I laws you're happy for the break. Then, the few times you do bring her, they won't mind. I can almost guarantee it.

People who know me here know that I call a spade a spade. So I won't let them down...

In my opinion, you are ALSO an angel for caring for and about your sister. Further, and here comes the hard part, you are being selfish. Give your wife this gift. She deserves it.
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People react differently to those with dementia. I understand why. Some people with dementia are confused, they may repeat things, they may act unusual and that is not something others may be used to or be comfortable with. I would leave the dementia patient at home, unless there is a specific reason to bring her, such as a party in her honor.

I also have found that many dementia patients do not enjoy being in social situations for more than few minutes. It can create confusion and tires them out. I would see no reason to expose them to an event that would go the course of the evening. That's why I might have an odd look on my face.

Even if you sister is entertaining and conversational, for some reason your wife's family isn't comfortable with it. I would respect their feelings.
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All of the above points are solid. If you insist on caring for a dementia patient in your home, you will need paid in-home help at some point. So "start small" now and hire a caregiver for stints while you go out with your wife -- whether it's in-law gatherings or a good ol' date. This gradually gets sister comfortable with non-family carers. It also allows you to reconnect with your wife. (Trust me, she does not find sister as easy to live with as you do.) This also gets you accustomed to giving up the reins once on a while. As sister worsens -- and she will -- you and your wife will need serious help. You also need to get your household used to 3rd party carers because you or your wife might suddenly be out of commission for a while. Surgery? Vacation? Car accident? Nurturing your grandchildren? Bad back? Serious health issue? These things are a reality for most people, especially in the retirement years. It's understandable (and wonderful) that you want focused care for your sister. And there are ways to acheive that without pissing away your marriage.
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Stacy. It's not selfish of you to want to leave him home. It's selfish of you to take him all the time.
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Homesale - I agree with Maggie. Your wife deserves her husband to be with her at family celebrations. I would be rather miffed if my husband chose to stay home with his folks while I was at a holiday function. As much as my inlaws are easy to take care of, they no longer belong at every function because I have to help them make it through the event and we often have to leave early because they're exhausted. This is not enjoyable for me and I cannot imagine for the hosts who went through a lot of trouble to organize the party. Hire someone so you can be present for your wife, which is the biggest gift you can give her. Good luck!
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Actually, Stacey, if you would leave FIL home rather than bringing him to the party you know he will "poop" you are being very considerate of and generous to your host and all the other guests.
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I have a simular situation where I bring my FIL to family functions and parties. These are the parties where our eldest son and DIL hos for the Grandies birthday parties and holiday parties as well. I understand that he is their Gfeat Grandfather, but I can feel the"Groan" when we enter the room with FIL, as he Never has anything new to add to a conversation, and continues to be his arrogant, rude, selfish, self centered, boasting person that he is, and it is damned uncomfortable! He continues to believe the stories he has told 10 times over are interesting and funny, and doesn't see people cringe, and turn away to hide, when he walks into a room. Then of course, as soon as possible, he wants to leave, not considerate at all of the enjoyment we are trying to eek out of the outing, and that it took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there. I wish he would just stay home. But I know that that is very selfish of me! But just once. I would love to go and enjoy the FULL party, without having to worry about whether he has had his meal dished up and served first before me, or if he is being included in the conversation, or wondering when he needs assistance to the toilet, or if he is being bothersome to guests, but that is pretty obvious, as I get the ole eye roll, or stink eye. Then its waiting for the cue that He has decided that it's time to leave, as god forbid he miss WHEEL OF FORTUNE! Kriminey, I want to have a fun day out, not another babysitting adventure, only in someone else's home!
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Homesale, who is actually doing the hands on caregiving, you, or your wife? Is there any possibility that your WIFE doesn't find your sister all that easy to care for, and tells her family what a burden this is, and THAT'S what they are reacting to? Just curious.
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Well, to them she is not a relative, so they are feeling that an outsider is being thrust upon them, and an outsider with dementia to boot. I'm not saying that in defence of their attitude though...
How many family functions have you attended with her? It is bound to be a little awkward at first, and you may be overly sensitive as well. It may work out better if you and your wife came separately so you could leave earlier and come later.
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I second Blackhole's answer and the others here: start getting a caregiver in-home to give you a break; put your marriage/wife and yourself first sometimes; leave your sister home with a paid caregiver. Your sister is only going to get worse - so make a plan NOW for how you're going to address that.

It's one thing to bring your sister sometimes to a family event; it's another entirely if you are ALWAYS taking her.

Stacy - these answers also apply to you. Hoping you can both start to get some small part of your lives back.
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