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My mother in law gets "stuck" doing things. Like stirring her coffee, she will continuously do so for 10 minutes straight. My husband will say mom six times and she ignores him or does not hear him (I am not sure if it is one or the other). There are many times that she will be doing something that when asked to stop or if we try to redirect her she ignores us and continues whatever it is she is doing. I do not want to yell at her to get her attention but I don't know what else to do.

After being sick and in the hospital, it isn't uncommon to have a period of the mind getting back to normal. I've noticed that with my dad. But, it could be something else too. I'd report it to her doctor, so they are aware. They may want to do some cognitive tests to see what they reveal. Also, UTI can cause odd behavior too, as can deafness. But, regardless, I'd just be patient and get her attention on a need to know basis. If she's stirring for a long time, just let her stir. If she's not into listening to you, just let her do her own thing. Just make sure she's safe and not into something dangerous. Some people with cognitive decline are not able to comprehend, process or communicate. They are supervised and directed so they are safe. Perhaps, she'll get back to normal or the doctors will have an explanation. I would not yell at her, though.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Hi - your mil may or may not recover - her heart attack and stroke are very recent, but indicate vascular problems that could also be tied to dementia. Have you asked the OT/PT about her progress? I don't think there is anything you can do that will change her. You will need to change in the manner that you deal with her. I am sure not being able to get her attention is very frustrating. Has her hearing been tested? Would something visual work better than a sound cue - like write down on paper what you want to say to her, or just to get her attention? Or perhaps a touch on the shoulder or arm? Maybe the OT?PT has some ideas?

Hopefully she will regain at least some of the lost function. It is early yet, I think, Good luck! Let us know how you make out.
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jenndesil Jan 30, 2020
I do try the touch on the shoulder there are just times I need her to stop while I am across the room. My husband is getting frustrated. She has a speech therapist coming to evaluate her. Hopefully they can help.
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Dolly is right. You're now dealing with a brain that doesn't comprehend sometimes the most simple tasks. It IS frustrating, but once you realize that you probably cannot change a single thing about HER, you will feel better.

My MIL has recently been dxed with dementia, don't really know what stage, but this combined with her super anxious natural personality plus just being a mean person has left us with and angry, forgetful tactless old woman who hates EVERYBODY.

A screaming match with her (she did all the screaming) one month ago today had me telling her I would no longer be able to help her in any way, shape or form. I walked out of her house and left DH sitting there, alone and that's what she's getting from me for now on. Sound harsh? Yes, I could say, but she has run me into the ground for 44 years and I am DONE. I'm SO TIRED of dealing with her, and even when she was 'OK' she was no gem.

Just be kind to your MIL and don't expect her to be the same person she once was. Hopefully, her personality will remain sweet natured, if she was before. That I could handle.

Don't yell at her. That's just going to make YOU crazy and she's not going to register the 'effect' you are trying to achieve.
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jenndesil Jan 30, 2020
Yeah I try not to yell at all because I know it is not her fault, I had a moment when I asked her to stop moving after she had an accident and proceeded to roll right through the poop a few times before I had to grab the walker and loudly say stop. She looked at me and simply said "What?" I asked her what I just said and she told me I told her to stop moving. My husband loses his patience a little more but I think that is just because it is his mother. I have a high patience level so that helps. There are just times that I wish she would hear what is being said when she is doing something. I try to touch her shoulder as she gets stuck when she does not respond...i really feel sorry for the people she sends random texts to, well no not really, she only sends it to one person but it is usually 30 one letter texts. She has a speech therapist coming, hopefully they work on cognitive issues.
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If she has dementia, you are fighting a losing battle. Has she been tested? If not, I would suggest that you take her to a Neurologist for a complete work up.

My step mother's dementia has just been confirmed as Front Temporal, she just sits there, stares out into space, and has OCD, your MIL might be in the same boat.
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jenndesil Jan 28, 2020
So she had a stroke and a heart attack around Christmas time. She has a Neurologist and cardiologist as well as a primary for her diabetes. We have a physical therapist Occupational therapist that comes to the house. I hope this will be something she recovers from and not permanent.
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