Follow
Share

When one sibling was courageous enough to suggest Mom re-consider getting some cognitive testing, she became ballistic armed with sibling and spouse protective attitudes and enabling. Sadly Dad is overlooked entirely, with his worries for the future, seemingly sworn to silence. We were all a close family. How to live respecting her wishes while doing nothing? We know it is fear and pride and pray we are soo wrong.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I hope that your mom gets checked. As Babalou said, many conditions that mimic dementia are reversible. One in the news lately was Lyme Disease. Maybe if your parents know this, they will be more willing to move forward.

One way to help families who are at odds is family mediators. This may seem extreme, and for your family it may be, but what it entails is that a third party - generally hired through a family services agency (nonprofit) - sits with the family to discuss the issues and suggest alternatives. This person is often a social worker with a lot of knowledge in the area that you are concerned about.

People are often less defensive when a third party is present, which can keep conversations on track. This is something to think about if you see no way around the family turmoil.

We're wishing you the best,
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Vegaslady. Whoever in the family is seeing the cognitive decline should be in contact with that parent's medical provider asap. There are many medical conditions, many reversible, that can mimic dementia.

A line i used on my mom once..." you're too smart to do something this stupid". The issue at hand had to do with breast cancer, but it's always fear driving the denial and avoidance.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I can't see how the previous answer was useful. Who is it that you think should be tested? Mom or Dad? If "respecting her wishes" is allowing harm to happen to either or them, then you may not be able to do that. Contact their medical provider and express your concerns and ask for advice on how to proceed. If there is imminent danger involved call Adult Protective Services to request an investigation of your concerns.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Thank you so much, all of you have responded with such heart and wisdom. Experiencing the sting of sibling insults (all motivated by love for MIL) was NEVER imagined. FIL is what I worry about as he is strangely quiet. It might be not only his devotion to MIL, but just trying to survive her anger or outbursts- hopefully nothing worse, but he also has a life to live. I will look into the resources noted and hope legal is completed. Watching her disappear is unimaginable.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I highly recommend Roz Chast's book "Can't we talk about something more pleasant?" It's available at many libraries in the elder care section. I bet your parents have been enabling each other for decades. If you think your parents are making bad decisions, you're probably right. Your parents are going to need more help, not less. Respecting someone also includes telling them the truth. I think your sibling did the right thing. What good will come from you doing nothing?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

It's called tough love, and it is very hard. But for her own good, you have to do what is best. Good luck, It won't be easy.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

One more suggestion; I talked my mom into a cognitive evaluation ( over the objectikns of other family members) by telling her it would be good to have a " baseline" by which to measure any future diagnoses. In truth, it was suggested by the geriatric psychiatrist who was seeing her, who felt that at least some of mom's anxiety was fueled by loss of reasoning ability.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Any human being can suffer mental decline,
especially with advanced age.
But many keep their mental powers until death.
Here are four forms of possible decline:
(1) consciousness and self-awareness,
(2) memory,
(3) language and communication,
(4) autonomy.
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-PER-D.html
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

In the meantime, I'd make sure that mom and dad have their affairs in order, Durable POA, Healthcare POA, etc.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Our family (5 living sibs, dad is gone) have had our differences over mother's care off and on for ages. My brother and I are the most "on board" caregivers, and we very often disagree. We've had blowups and months of not speaking--all due to us all being very stubborn people.

But, yes, you can all get together and work for the common good. But everyone has to agree to disagree. So, you may find that in your particular situation, no, there may never be complete agreement.
We never tried "mediation" but I would certainly consider it if my mother became so fragile she wasn't safe living in her apt. with just my brother's family there. (Brother is intent on keeping her at home "no matter what".)

If your mother is sound enough of mind to understand that she was to undergo a mental assessment, I can see why she'd be upset. Esp with your dad being alive and involved. Talk to him, see what he thinks. You can't really yank her out of the house and force her into testing. Agree to disagree and try to be calm and patient. Maybe right now is not the time. I don't really know of any families of more than 2 siblings all being in agreement about a parent's care. So, you're not alone. At least people care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.