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Step mom is 86 years old and has cognitive impairment with very poor memory. She has cared for my Dad (age 76) since he was diagnosed 13 years ago with Parkinson's Disease. My Brother and I moved them to NC so we could assist with his care as step-moms abilities became questionable. Brother was living with them but committed suicide last fall so now caregivers are there from 10pm to 6 am and 10 am to 2 pm every day while I work full time. Step mom was prescribed Zoloft for depression which she took briefly but then decided she didn't need it anymore.

Now she has decided that the caregivers are after Dad and want him in a sexual way. Two of them are older ladies and one is a young girl (early 20's) but nothing could be further from the truth. I'm blessed with 3 excellent caregivers but stepmom is so rude and nasty to them that I'm afraid they will quit. Stepmom even said she wished they were rude to Dad so he would appreciate her more. Unfortunately, she is hard of hearing and yells a lot. I don't think she means to be so cranky but it puts everyone around them in a difficult spot. Her kids are in another state and have flat out said they will NOT take her back. Dad still loves her most of the time although even he occassionally questions whether or not he is really married to her. He said he wouldn't have married someone like that by choice.

My questions are this: 1) Is there any legal way I can make her take the Zoloft? I've tried everything-pleading, bribing, begging, threatening but she won't take them.
2) How do I control her jealousy of the caregivers? We all got together as a group to reassure her they are only here to help them but her memory is so bad, she's already forgotten.
3) What is our legal responsibility for keeping her here if she keeps making everyone so miserable? I have POA for both of them and handle all bills, dr visits, etc. I'm still grieving my little brother and have a husband and my own Mom who is moving here from another state as soon as her house is sold and I'm working 50-60 hours a week . Things would be a lot easier if she would just take the Zoloft or go back where she came from, if her kids would take her. Dad is a joy most of the time and the only issues with him originate because of her. Advice please!

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SM feels that dad is getting his needs met. And shw feels she is getting neglected. She does not have a life. She needs a life of her own. He needs her own caregiver. Or take her to an adult daycare center to meet friends amd do activities. Or have the caregivers be creative and play. The key is keep her busy. For example give simple house hold chores.
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The Caregivers Are, or at least should be, Used To The Difficult Patients, and their families. IS, sadly, a huge part of this sort of situation
YOUR Job, is to Review The Will, Check YOUR Legal Status Upon Passing.
My Guess, she expects Full Inheritance. ZERO To His Children...
Let The Caregivers Do Their Job. YOU Do Yours...check, wouldn't it be interesting if AREN'T Legally Wed ...Maybe, she married him as a Place To Go. Many Older Women were raised that way in By Gone Days...Hubby To Take Care Of You...Get A GREAT Lawyer...Get Everything Done NOW, Before Is Too Late...BTW: HER Kids, WILL Come Sniffing Around When She Has HIS Money To Play With .......After, all the work is done
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I told her daughter that I was going to see an attorney to have her removed to a nursing home and Edith miraculously started to take her Zoloft again. We're taking it day by day. She seems to be better with the new caregiver now. Time will tell.
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I feel for you I really do and I hope you are finding your way but I said before that you really need to get rid of the step mom, she is no biting? This is serious, she is way beyond jealous, she is mentally unstable and hat is she decides to stab a caregiver in the back? Stranger things have happened. She is a liability, get her out of the house, have her committed to the state hospital and let her social security pay for it, have you Dad file for divorce. Extreme? Maybe but if you have a few caregivers get together and file suit, you'll wish you had done just that! My client died the Sunday before Thanksgiving, his wife made his last few days a living h*ll. So much so that I will not "hospice" another client with a spouse in the home. EVER!! Good Luck
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You take her to the ER and tell them that she assaulted a caregiver.
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The saga continues. I attempted to take a well-earned vacation last week and the caregiver hired to work full time left in the middle of the night with a bloody nose. Bad caregiver who left without anything more than a text message and I had to scramble to find part timers to fill the void until I could return early (but not so early I lost my entire trip). I'm still not sure what would have caused her to leave and not come back but I have my suspicions. But I returned to discover the step mom had been fighting with one of the regular part-time caregivers and had actually scratched her and tried to bite her. Now she has given notice that she will be leaving night caregiving employment from us completely. When I asked stepmom why she tried to bite the caregiver, she said it was because the caregiver aggravated her. I said OH-so that means when you aggravate me, I get to bite YOU? She actually snickered and said no-I hope not. She won't stop trying to lift my Dad out of a chair or bed and she is not physically able to do it safely at 86 years old. He ended up back at the ER while I was away because she was doing this again, even though she has been told over and over to cut it out. I've spoken with her daughter who doesn't want her back. Next step is elder care attorney to see what I can legally do with her in NC to get her away from my Dad before she kills him. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do next.
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Dementia is a very curious thing. If you calm your SM's anxiety over the females in the house, then she is likely to pick up a new issue to obsess about. I discovered that issues and obsessions could vary with my cousin who suffers with Vascular Dementia mixed with Alzheimers. You never know what your're going to get. Sometimes, the only thing I could tell her was that I had straightened out the problem. Later she would forget though. She may end up repeating the same thing to her every 2 minutes. That's stressful.

It sounds like your dad loves what his wife used to be and this new person is like a stranger to him. I'm not sure how keeping them together is helpful, when she is distressing your dad. As her dementia progresses, it's going to put more of a strain on him and you. People have different levels of tolerance, but I don't think I could handle the constant nastiness. It's not her, it's her illness, but, depending on her diagnosis, I would explore assisted living or Memory Care for her. I would just check out what is available.
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Since my above post back in June, I've learned some more from this website. Sometimes a wife will become angry and make it difficult for the Caregivers, but who she is really upset with is her husband.... that he's not able to care for her, or they can't do the same things they once did. She feels hurt that she cannot give 100% of the care.

I now realize that back years ago when my Dad had his heart attack, my Mom was scared and upset... oh my gosh, what will the neighbors say, that she wasn't a good wife because he had a heart attack? I really believe that is what she was thinking because she was in denial about his medical condition. Mom would sit and glare at the caregivers, who were only in the house at the most an hour a day.

Couple months ago, when Dad feel and hurt himself, a nurse and physical therapist would stop by daily, but this time Mom keep herself busy in the kitchen. There was a better comfort level in the house.
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I guess I am the only one who seems to think step mom needs to go. I am a caregiver and I am working with a dying man, the wife is constantly in the way, in denial, refuses to let us do our job properly. She is a pain in the a**, literally. The last thing on a caregivers mind is wanting the declining/dying person in a sexual way. When wives interfere they put their spouses lives at risk. Put her in a home. period and let these women do their job or you will lose them. The wife sounds like a liability.
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Well, male caregivers are out because they won't work for what we can afford to pay. I called a caregiver meeting and we all reassured Stepmom our motives are pure. Things were a little better for maybe 2 days. Now we're going to tell her that everyone has a boyfriend so they're not interested in dad. I bring her gifts, kiss and hug her first when I go over every day. One caregiver took her for a pedicure but she's always so negative. It's exhausting to be around her and most of the time Dad wants to leave with the caregivers just to get a break from her cranky (sometimes loud) misbehavior. I can't move him to my house yet but when she's gone, we will then.
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I am sorry for your loss and my condolences to you and your family. I agree with the others who have gave you really good advice and if the Zoloft was a prescribed med and she needs it then of course put it in her food or something, if your sure that IS what it will take. Maybe trading even one of the nurses in for one male nurse for her and filling in for the replaced nurse for him might help and couldn't hurt to try. I am more concerned with what is going to happen when YOUR Mom enters the picture??? If your dad does not want to be with her is it possible for him to leave her, live with you maybe? I am sorry you are working so many hours and at the same time I am very happy that you have the hours with unemployment the way its been. Bless you and yours with high hopes of it all working out for good for you and yours...
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Be careful about putting pills in food... check the medicine bottle first to be sure the pill can be chewed or not. Otherwise, it's a great idea about putting a pill in a treat.
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I to am very possessive, and jealous by nature. I wouldn't want female nurses. You can't win arguments with people that suffer with Dementia. See if the male care will help. My Mother, I would make her,her favorite,Favorite treat and put that Zoloft in.Desperate times take Desperate Measures. Your doing your best to keep every one together, normal and having a good life. Your out numbered. It's hard to think rational when you love, and their ill. If that doesn't improve your home life I would as caring as you can place her in another facility,where she isn't making everyone miserable in they family.You've really done so much.
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As much as the caregivers are really good, would it be reasonable to replace them with a male caregiver when they give up and quit. I'm sorry about your brother. It must be very hard for you.
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Unfortunately, there is no way to force your stepmother to take medication. And like JeanneGibbs said, her behavior is attributable to dementia which means that you can't reason with her, you can't convince her that the caregivers are not out to steal her husband. You can't control her jealousy. The only thing you can do is try to deal with it.

Your stepmother cared for your dad for years and now that she's unable to do it herself she sees caregivers coming in to do what she once did. Add her dementia to that and this must be very difficult for her. As I was reading what you wrote I was thinking, "Give that woman some extra attention" which is exactly want JeanneGibbs suggested. It may not be what you want to do, it may be very difficult because of how she is behaving but it may solve your problem in the short-term.

Long-term your family is going to have to have some discussions about what's going to happen to dad and SM as their respective illnesses get worse. SM's dementia will only get worse which will interfere with your dad's care and your dad's health will affect your SM's dementia.

Giving SM some extra special attention now may help but it's only a temporary solution. Time to make some long range plans.
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Does jealousy ever go away? If not, would it be possible to have some male caregivers for your Dad?

I know my Mom [at the time was 91] didn't like having a female visiting nurse or a female physical therapist taking care of my Dad back when my Dad had a heart attack. Some women just don't like other women in the house unless *she* had invited them.
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I read your title and thought, "Oh good grief, who is this crazy woman?" Oh. She has dementia. (Cognitive impairment + very poor memory = dementia.) Poor thing. How hard to think other women are after your husband. Paranoid delusions are not rare in dementia.

How to deal with it? Well, it would be easiest if she would just go away. But Dad still loves her. And really, it would be a very selfish person who would suddenly turn out his wife when she has dementia. Your dad probably didn't marry a woman that rude ... her irrational behaviors go with the dementia.

First step is for everyone involved to acknowledge that she has a disease, and to learn about what to expect and how to deal with it.

Does stepmom need care herself? Can she still do all the activities of daily living? Does she cook, clean, and generally run the household (except for managing the money?) If she needed care, then getting her into a care facility MIGHT be reasonable, but she would have to agree to go, and Dad would have to agree to it, too. Doesn't sound like you are at that point.

Maybe some attention to her would help. Dad is getting all this extra attention, and even if it is not remotely romantic or sexual, she is left out. What if she had a companion come in and take her to have her nails done and to the grocery store once a week? Or someone come in to help her with cooking and to keep her company? Or what if she enrolled in a day program for elders? Or went to the Senior Center once a week. Often they go on outings. If she got to go on a bus to see a live play once in a while, might that help her feel more special?

It is very hard for stable, healthy people to see their spouses decline and to recognize that they need more help than you can provide. Throw in that she has dementia herself, and it is a wonder to me that stepmom is functioning at all.

To your questions:
1) I don't know how you can force anyone to take a medication. But this is the point I'd work hardest on. Also I'd have her medically evaluated to see if she might benefit from other treatments.
2) You probably can't control her jealousy. Comfort her. Reassure her. Give her special attentions and treats. Acknowledge her importance in her husband's life, even if she isn't doing the hands-on care. Learn to deal with her dementia. It isn't going to get better.
3) If she is competent (in the legal sense), you cannot force her out of her own home. Your father could perhaps force the issue via a legal separation or divorce but that seems drastic.

A fairly high percentage of Parkinson's patients develop dementia. If that happens you would have two people on your hands with this terrible, horrible, dreadful disease. The more you learn now, the better prepared you will be for what lies ahead.
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