How do I get my mother-in-law involved in social activities?

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My mother-in-law is in the early/moderate stages of dementia. There is a wonderful Memory Center here in NY which has many activities that I would like to see her get involved in (she lives alone and does not have a large circle of friends). The problem is Mom was never told she has dementia nor does she admit to having any type of memory problem what so ever! How do we try to get her involved when the place clearly states it is a "Center for Memory Disorders, etc"? All answers are appreciated!

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Thank you Kathy! Although this question was posed a while ago, I am still so thankful for all answers. Mom has gotten worse but is still in denial. She has an aide (finally!!!) a few hours for three days so it is our hope that with the aide, they will be able to start doing things outside of her "comfort zone". Not quite sure how you found this question but am so grateful you did! Hugs to you!
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Why is a question from three years ago being posted?
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When trying new activity or go to places tell them let's just try this. It is wonderful that you have friends that want to be around. Sometimes friends do not know what to do or say and they are scared themselves. Hire someone to take them and introduce them as your friend. Have them at home visit you and then set up a place to go for them. Maybe for coffee, tea, lunch. A ride then a park and home.
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You can tell mom that she has dementia or memory problems but she may be in denial and doesn't want to be treated like an invalid or think there is nothing wrong with there. My grandpa has dementia and in his own world, he believes he is not invalid but then he keeps asking the same question over and over again why he needs to go here or there. The only way he's going to get out of the house is if he has an "appointment" or has church. So if we have to get him out of the house to go to the store or park or to a party, we will say that he has an appointment.
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ppc...something is wrong..what does her doctor say? Surely he doesn't think this is normal or acceptable. Of course at 86 I guess she can do whatever she wants, but if it's just to keep you as her "slave", you need to seek some professional help for both of you. Maybe she's just afraid to tell you that something hurts or is painful because she's afraid you'll put here in a home...that is a major fear for our elders. Still, you both need help...professional help. Make some calls and get her to a good doctor soon. Good luck!
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Mom turned 86 Sunday, April 7. She is in ABSOLUTE good health; no aliments or medical conditions to contend with. She is strong and physically able. Unfortunately, she refuses to get out of the bed. I've been at this five years, and tried EVERYTHING. She "plays" a very with-it role for others, either in person or on the telephone when talking to others. But she stays in bed. She is mean, cold, callous, indifferent, bitter and unappreciative. Never a kind word - just critical.
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MIL is so afraid that if she leaves the house someone will sell it. I went as far as having my daughter (sings opera) volunteer at the senior center to sing. I said, "we are just going there to listen, it's your granddaughter". She said no way and flipped out. (this is the same woman that paid 100.00 for a ticket to watch her sing) after that attempt ....I couldn't get her even to my house for 2 weeks she was so afraid I was going to leave her somewhere. Keep in mind she loves to hear her sing at church and family events and 2 weeks ago at Carnegie Hall. But the idea of a senior center is like the Susquehanna hat company (Abbot and Costello). Next month we will try again this time no mention of the senior center. And, still, who knows where that will take her, and if she will ever trust me again.....It's exhausting trying to get her out and about. But one thing I can tell you....you have to be persistent, get creative, and talk to the senior center, they might have a free support group that have good ideas as well. We have a travel group around here for seniors called Prime Time Travel. They are wonderful but a little expensive. I think MIL is too dependent for that but it might work for you. ( I still leave the magazine around hoping she will make it her own idea to travel). Good Luck
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Patience is something that has come from gosh know where,i try to look at who she was before and remember how happy,loving and what a great mother she was to me,But remember you are only human and we all have those days where we crack and raise our voice or cry.She would understand if she knew what she was putting you through,i take a deep breath and i cry behind closed door .As daughters we learned all from our loving mothers.Hang in there,keep smileing and talk to the rest of us when you need too.
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My answer for getting someone to change their behavior is: she needs a boyfriend. Something to make her feel Alive and give her a reason for being interested in something. If she's the type. My mother was boy crazy forever. Hey, you never know.
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tooyoung shares wonderful words of wisdom that i am drinking in. Thanks so very much for sharing. Sooooo true, so spot on! So difficult, and yet so simple (as is most wisdom). I too am fairly certain that I am in this to develop patience and the understanding that I cannot control everything (or anything?) (SO well said!).

The depression and misery is greatest when I resist these things and look past them to focus on the big picture (my "lot in life") rather than to allow myself to learn the lessons of each moment. What helps is continually reviewing the understanding of the condition of dementia, which allows me to draw on feelings of compassion for my mom. The difficulty (slippery slope) is being able to maintain more compassion than indignance and annoyance at the behavior that is not logical or intentional - but is sooo easy to take personally. And it takes a lot of prayer for me to get through all the times of failure at that.
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