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I just moved to Texas to try and help my father-in-law out. My mother-in-law is 100% disabled, blind, and deaf. Shows signs of dementia, Alzheimer's, or sundown syndrome. He takes care of her 24/7 by himself and is on the brink of just walking away. I couldn't believe it when I seen them for the first time since Christmas when I moved here to Texas. Their physical and mental appearance is drastic. I need to find what resources are available for her so that I can get him/her the help they need. He is waiting on a referral to a psychiatrist so that he can get her diagnosis and get the treatment she needs but that's been over a week since his regular sent in the referral with no response. I'm new here so if anyone could give me any advice on what resources or help is available I would greatly appreciated it. I need to get him some help. I'm so worried about both of them at this point.

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Daughteroutlaw, the symptoms you mentioned for your mother-in-law's craziness are also symptoms for an Urinary Tract Infection. Have Mom-in-law tested for a UTI by the family doctor or at an Urgent Care. This can be treated with antibiotics.
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Wow thank you for letting me know this. I will see if she's been checked for this.
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Daughteroutlaw,

I noticed in your profile where in Tx you are. Your community is not that big.

My Tx community is twice the size of yours and Psychiatrists are hard to find. I agree a geriatric psychiatrist would be great.

I am hoping you will be getting a referral in Dallas possibly. I don’t know if waiting for a referral is a problem nationwide but it certainly is in Tx. You will need to call and follow up. Not with the receptionist but with the PCPs nurse. Leave a message that includes your MILs name, your relationship, and that xyz is happening and that the referral is urgent.
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Get her evaluated by a geriactric physician with memory care. As a new patient it would normally take a while to get in, but tell them the need is urgent. Usually they will move it quickly. The main thing right now is get her seen then work from that point.
Yes, bring any medical records you may have. Make sure you have all ID for medicare, SSAN, etc.
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Thank you
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Cochlear implant.

I think what you need to do first is get your MIL's medical records together and go through them. She's had quite a lot of interventions over time, so reading back over her history may well give you important information about who knows her as a patient and what has already been done.

Waiting around for a referral to a neurologist or older age psychiatrist when you suspect dementia is quite stressful enough. Doing that when your loved one is also coping with the level of sensory deprivation your MIL lives with just doesn't bear thinking about.

Is your FIL prepared to let you speak to their PCP? I would suspect that he, FIL, is not telling it like it is; and making the PCP aware of the urgency might make all the difference.
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Will do. Thank you.
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My MIL (age 66) has always been deaf. My FIL (age 71) got her hearing aids when they got married 48 years ago. She struggled with hearing even with them. He had the coplur implant put in her right ear over 5 years ago. She couldn't handle the noise so they never did the other side. But this caused her to become nervous and have anxiety way more than she normally did. And then she has suffered with degenerative eye disease all of her life as well. Over 2 years ago she totally lost her eye sight completely. She always had depression real bad. But once she lost her eye sight completely she developed extreme anxiety, panic attacks, and shaking. I'm sure there's more as well but I lived in Kentucky and not in Texas where they live so I'm unformular with everything she has. My FIL didn't want to bother his son (my husband) or his daughter with all these problems my MIL was having so any time anyone came to visit, he would hide how he was doing and pretend every thing was ok. Last year my husband and I decided to move back to Texas to help out his parents and my mother due to poor health and aging problems. So last summer my 12 year old Autistic son and I came to Texas to look for a place to buy and stayed with my in-laws for a month. Well there was no hiding anything from me now since I was staying with them and I seen what was really happening. I was so shocked. It was a nightmare what was going on. She doesn't sleep, so all night she pokes him constantly waking him up because she can't see so therefore doesn't know if he's there. So he was so sleep deprived. I asked him has he taken her to a doctor to get diagnosed and he said yes we're going to a doctor. That's my first mistake. He was just going to his old family doctor who was giving her medication to "try" and see if it would help !!! I had to end up going back and forth to Kentucky and Texas for a few months because of our business we own. Then my older son had a baby, 10 weeks early, that lives in Kentucky and I had to stay there and help out for 2 months. When I came back to Texas I could not believe my eyes on the physical and mental state of them both!!! It was so drastic. Now she's done a complete turn around and talks craziness and says things that aren't even english. She refuses to eat, spits it out and throws it on the table. Cusses my FIL and threatens to kick is a$$ and call the cops. Last night she did this after I brought over KFC for us to eat. She jumped up out of her chair with her hands fisted and starts counting guns she sees! There are NO GUNS! I was told that she came from a very abusive mother and that her mother was 100% crazy. She had shot and killed my MIL's stepdad in front of her and her siblings. It sounds and looks to me that she's reliving traumatic moments and talking like her mother might of talked to her. He said about 3 months ago she started talking about her mother and then the real nightmare began for him. If I didn't see it with my own eyes yesterday I wouldn't of believed she was that extreme. My FIL takes care of my MIL 24/7 by himself. I got on to him and asked why he has never told any of us. He said you all have businesses you own and run and you have your own problems to deal with. You don't need this too!!! 😲 So now I'm on a mission to find him all the help and resources there are out there for him. I do what I can but I have a 13 year old son with Autism and own 2 roofing businesses so I'm limited on the time I can help him. I've scheduled set days that I come over and give him a break. But he needs more help then I can give. My question is, what type of doctor does he need to go see to help get her a diagnosis? His family doctor sent in a referral to a psychiatrist, but he hasn't heard anything from them in over a week. Thank you all for answers and help. It is greatly appreciated.
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Ok she gets a diagnosis. But there is little to treat with dementia. Things will get worse. He was covering up for her. Check with social services to see what help is out there. Get yourself to support groups to determine what is common and to see if anyone can share coping skills. It does sound that MIL needs long term care which will seriously affect their finances. Ask dad if he set up living wills, wills medical proxy or POA. It is too late for the wife but not for him.
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Daughteroutlaw, sometimes when an elder becomes deaf due to age decline, they can give us an appearance that they are having memory loss.

My Mom was in her 90's, still very sharp for her age, but due to age decline hearing loss she gave everyone around her the appearance that she had dementia. She would scrunch up her face and shake her head no. But I knew what was going on, so I would quickly tell whomever was trying to talk to Mom that she is now deaf, and cannot read lips or read anything handwritten due to very poor eyesight.

Life was very frustrating for my Mom but she still did laundry and cooking with my Dad's help. This wasn't the retirement they had planned for this time in their life. She would get frustrated with Dad if he moved something that she would normally used. In her brain she knew every step it would take to go from point A to point B, and where she had placed things in the cabinets and refrigerator.

Mom's appetite wasn't very good as she had lost her sense of taste except for sweets, so she would eat cupcakes and ice cream.

Long-term-care may be the next step for your Mom-in-law, as JoAnn had mentioned. My Mom had spent her last year in long-term-care after a bad fall.
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It sounds to me like MIL may need LTC. Being deaf can contribute to Dementia. Not sure what a psychiatrist can do. I would try a neurogist.

You Dad needs a break. Medicare does not pay for homecare unless you have been in the hospital. Its usually for Therapy or woundcare. Once the patient is considered OK, they are discharged from the service. A private agency will cost money.

If MIL goes to LTC, Medicaid may pay based on income. She would get 24/7 care and FIL can relax and visit. He will become a Community spouse and not made impoverished.
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Also look on the Medicare.gov website for a Home Health Agency in your Area. Look for the ratings so you can choose a couple of different ones. Call them and ask for them to come do an evaluation. They will need to know your in laws insurance so they will know if their agency works with it. If they have traditional Medicare then you should be good if one or both are considered homebound by Medicare guidelines.
They can help you get the doctors order if they deem that your inlaws are eligible.
It could be their Doctor has an Agency they work with already. Medicaid also offers these type services. The Area Agency Barb referred to can help you determine which services they might qualify for.
If they qualify through Medicare they can get help setting up their meds, have their vitals tracked weekly, get a bath aide to help with that and help with physical and/or occupational therapy if needed. They can help you as a resource ongoing with questions about symptoms etc.
Come back and let us know how it’s going. You can find emotional support and problem solving ideas here.
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Look up your local Area Agency on Aging on the County website. Call them and tell them what is going on.

Call the doctor's office and ask for the number of the psychiatrist so you can call directly.
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