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My wife and I moved in with my mother 14 months ago to help take care of her. My mother has had 2 strokes and after her most recent hospitaliztion has been diagnosed with dementia. She cannot dress, bath, or get herself in bed. Also, my mother is extremely weak and has to use a walker with assistance! She has fallen twice luckily no bones were broken. I had to physically pick her up off the floor! Also, the stress this puts on my marriage?

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I AM THE CARE GIVER TO MY 87 YEAR OLD MOM SHE HAS THREE OTHER CHILDREN WHO WON'T EVEN GO SEE HER .MOM STILL LIVES ALONE IT'S GETTING TO THE POINT EVEN WHEN I LEAVE SHE CALLS AS SOON AS I LEAVE WANTED TO KNOWWHEN I'M COMING BACK OR WHEN SHE CAN COME TO MY HOUSE AGAIN SHE VERY HARD OF HEARING SO DOES NOT WANT TO BE AROUND STRANGERS WE HAVE NO MONEYTO GET HER HELP AND SHE WOULDN'TWEAR HEARING AIDS ANYWAY I FEEL LIKE ONLY A CARE GIVER AND NOT HER DAUGHTER ANY LONGER .AND MY HOME LIFE IS ALFUL I FEEL SO DEPRESSED ALL THE TIME .I tryed to get help to go in with mom but she won't even let them in.I don't know what to do anymore.
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Thank you for your quick response Jeanne. The answer to the first question on dementia is that my FIL gets caught in "loops" of thought and is not able to complete or stop his statements. He does get confused as to his location, particuarly when it comes to his location when needing to use the bathroom. He is not able (willing?) to prepare food for himself. He has fallen in the past to where 911 must be called to help get him back on his feet, over 200 lbs. The care givers are all smaller then he is. I am not sure as to whether or not he can safely be left at home alone. My wife and I believe that he should be in a situation that is "safe and simple". My role is that I just happen to be a "giver" to a fault. I know that my SIL would welcome a solution to where everything was not on her, she currently is afraid she may loose her job due to the amount of time off she is taking. The BIL good question, I think he cares, but sometimes I get the impression that he wants to "bury his head in the sand"! I want to be involved to the level that I can help support my wife in the decisions that need to be made. I tried to help "guide" the three of them through their mother's illness and death. (I have tried to pay attention to what others have gone thought with this issue.) Bottom line is, the decisions that need to be made about the solution needs to be made by the three of them, in a perfect world.
FIL currently has a PT coming 3 times a week, and an occupational therapist once or twice a week. My wife and I feel like the best thing to do is get him in assisted living, using all of the financial resources that are available to him (house, cars, retirement etc.) but I think there will be resistance from BIL and his wife. So...
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SteveF, yes, I think you are right to be very concerned. In spite of everyone's best intentions, the current arrangement does not sound like it can work out. At the very least there needs to be some professional in-home care here. And perhaps the best solution all around is placement in a care center. How severe is the dementia at this point? Can FIL safely be left alone for periods of time?

What is your role? Will your SIL and BIL allow you to be actively involved in finding a solution? Do you want to be?
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Just looking for a little direction. The current situation with my father-in-law is that he has just come home from rehab. The complications: diabetes, neuropathy in the legs and feet, deimentia, uses a walker and his wife just died on July 29th. My sister-in-law gave up her apartment to live at home, she works at night. My brother-in-law "was" going to help with his father at night (not happening), he is retired. My wife and I live 2 hours away and we both work. We are concerned about her (is being treated for paranoia- schizophrenic), and is doing the best she can. Because of this situation I am seeking some answers (unfortunately we have no clue as to his financial situation.) Concerned for all.
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Hi, if your sister who lives only 25 minutes away won't help you then check into home care. I know what a toll it can take on your marriage mine is suffering too. My husband is just coming around to letting someone in the house but I have to be here so what kind of break is that for me it isn't......
If you have to put her in a respite facility so the two of you can go away or just be at home alone do it......
Ask a friend, a neighbor someone at church whom you trust even for a couple of hours to just go to dinner, for a walk or icecream.
I had to put motherinlaw in a adult daycare two days a week, I drop her off hubby picks her up after work...... at least she is somewhere else for the day and gets out. I can do errands and keep up on some of the things that don't get done because I am caring for her almost fulltime........
Check out what kind of insurance your Mom has and see what options might be available to you to help you......
Call the center on aging in your area and see where to look for help.
Your not alone.......
I know your both tired. It is hard and it is frustrating.
Does your Mom need to be in a nursing home?
I hope you find the help you need. I am sorry your sister doesn't see that you can not do it all. I get mad because the siblings live in another state and it is up to us.
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About your sister: The additional diagnosis of dementia is a signal for more discussions with Sister. Did she have any say in how Mother would be cared for? Was she in favor of you moving in? If so, that should be an easier situation to work from. You and she should meet, perhaps in a coffee shop or for dinner. Tell her how much work this is turning out to be and ask for her help. Have specific things in mind -- she takes over one weekend a month, and/or a couple of evenings, and/or she takes Mom to doctor appointments, or gives her showers, etc. Ask her to think it over, and set another time to meet, perhaps this time with spouses and probably at your house. Work out a schedule for the few months.

If sister was opposed to the idea of keeping Mom home or if she wasn't consulted, that may be harder sell. "You decided you could take care of Mother. Fine, you take care of her. I think she should be in assisted living, but no one asked me." hmmm ... she has a point. This will be a more difficult discussion, but with the new diagnosis it needs to be had.

Either way, I hope that your sister will pitch in.

About the strain on your marriage: That is another tough one, Joe. Do you work outside the home? Does your wife? Do you share the Mother tasks equally, or does one of you do the balk of the care? Is this what you both expected before you moved in? Did you both agree to it?

You absolutely must have breaks from the caregiving, time when you can be together uninterupted. If sister can do regular respite care, that will help resolve this particular issue. If sister can't/won't, hire someone else to do it (with Mother's funds, which, I'm sure, you are keeping extremely careful track of spending.)

What is your mother's financial situation? If she has assets and income, use some of her money to bring in other help. If she does not have much besides the house and a small income, apply for Elderly Waiver to get some help. (Start by calling Social Services in your county and ask for a needs assessment.) Have a bath helper come in twice a week. Get a house cleaning service. Offload whatever tasks you can so that you can focus on taking care of Mother.

Would some physical therapy help Mother regain some strength?

No matter what you expected 14 months ago, things have changed. Caring for someone with dementia is a whole new ballgame. Learn about dementia. Join a support group. Take advantage of any help available. ARRANGE FOR RESPITE CARE on a regular basis.

I also suggest that you see an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. Make sure things are set up in the most advantageous way. For example, you living with her is keeping her out of a nursing home. This can help protect the house from being used to repay her expenses if she ever needs to go on Medicaid. Be sure it is documented correctly. That is just an example, but it will be worthwhile to make sure all the ducks are in a row.

I hope you will be able to keep Mother safely and comfortably in her home until the end, with help from Sister, and with your marriage intact. Dementia is a progressive disease and in many cases it becomes almost impossible to successfully care for someone with advanced dementia 24/7 in a private home. Your first priority is making the arrangement work right now. Then you also need to think of the options down the road.

My heart goes out to the three of you, and to your sister, too.
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Joe, you can't make your sister help. You can ask, but it will be up to her to decide how much she can help. It sounds like you do have your hands full. There are other options for respite. Many cities have nursing facilities that are willing to take someone for a short time to give caregivers some time off. Most areas have organizations that provide respite care. These options are expensive, but you may be able to find a way to afford some time off.

Have you checked with your doctor and perhaps Hospice to see if your mother qualifies for help? If you could have someone come in to help with the ADLs, it would be a big help. Organizations like Hospice will work for what Medicare or other insurance will pay, which is so helpful. Getting some day-to-day help may take some of the stress off your marriage.
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