What would you do if your Mom has Alzheimer's and you are co-caregiving with her husband and he stops speaking to you?

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I am her daughter. Ive been on the this forum several times and have appreciated the help. My step dad is in complete denial about his roll here. He is not pro active in the application for medicaid. There is no long term care. He has not retained an elder care atty and only because I pushed did he request a PRI from my mom's GP. My hands are tied. She doesn't want me in her house cooking or cleaning so I have to do what I can on the sly. There is no verbal support from him. I feel for him because he has been doing this for a while but his way of handling things is to go work in the barn or cellar or garden now that the weather is good. I came on the scene to help and I can work around her now that I am learning. I am by no means perfect. I slip up on things I say.
We all went for her yearly neurologist appointment (the yearly assessment) and I called in advance and said I am the daughter of the patient and the HIPPA form is not signed but we need to try to get that done and then I and my stepdad have questions for the DR if we could have a few minutes before or after in private(not in front of mom). Well she refused to sign the HIPPA for me to speak to the doctor and the step dad asked no questions. The this appointment was a bust except for getting mom on a low dose of seraquel. There was no admission of the hip pain she has been having or what to do if she doesn't eat and how to handle anger etc.
So I thought about things and finally said to my step dad I am leaving. I was supposed to be here to help.Before I got here my step dad said come and stay rent free (thats great since when do you ever charge your own daughter to stay in your house?) He says I will by the groceries and then pay you what your moms social security check is 600 per month. I told him time and again its not about the money its about getting her dialed in and figuring out how to keep her safe and fed and loved. He wants to go back to work next month (he is 71 this year) but doesn't need the money. I did the food shopping and he reimbursed me with checks (I never cashed them) and then he yelled at me that I spent too much money on food. A big shop every 2 weeks about 170.00 and said that they only spend 70.00 every 2 weeks. Anyway I told him forget about the money that is not my focus and that I will pay for the food. his focus is not on her its on money. Their house is paid for they don't have any major bills and between SS for both of them and SS they are ok.
So when I told him Im leaving he flipped a lid and yelled at me go ahead and bail. As we were having this conversation my mom had started walking out the back property on her own and he did even blink an eye. There is 15 acres and very cold fast moving creek back there where you can't been seen if yo are standing by it. I went after her, but said to him your first priority should be your wife then your family and then your job. He won't speak to me now.
He has now told everyone but me that he quit his job. True? Not true? I don't know. What would you do at this point. I have this codependent issue from the past the is poking its ugly head when it comes to my mom. BY the way I gave all of the checks back to my step dad, purposefully taking money out of the equation. In the 6 weeks that I have been here I have been yelled at, thrown things at me and kicked out 3-4 times (Attempted anyway). Any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. Yes there are other siblings but they are not in the picture (except the criminal older brother that I recently prevented from coming by calling his parole officer, yet another thing the step dad didn't do anything to help with.

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Picasso, you and your step-dad both love your mom. You're both worn out. Your local Area Agency on Aging or even social services may be able to provide insight and let you know what care is available in your community. Your state department of aging maybe can help arrange some services but considering the size of your community that may not be much.

GladImHere has some good thoughts. It sounds like there may be a need for placement that will allow for your mom's care needs, you step-dad's need to be out and about working or doing chores and your need to help.

The fact that the HIPAA form hasn't been signed could give you some problems but perhaps your step dad will listen to a third party from one of the agencies. I certainly hope so, since this is not a good situation for any of you.

Please do try to get third party help of some kind,
Carol
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Picasso, often placement while is about keeping our loved ones safe, it is also about keeping everybody else sane. She wanders off on the property towards a stream? That is not safe. Your stepdad has found a facility for her. Are you supportive of his decision. He is telling everybody he cannot provide for her care by himself. He wants to go back to work, but feels responsible for her and realizes that work is unrealistic.

It sounds as if he has given your mother a good life. We all have our limits, as you know. My only suggestion is to support him in this decision, help him in any way you can while being there for your mom.

Has she been checked for a urinary tract infection. These can cause audden changes and decline in the elderly. Once treated they often return to the old baseline.
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I would call Adult Protective Services so they could do a check-up on each of them. Once phoned, they have to come. I did this for some friends of mine, the husband in denial, the wife with Fronto Temporal Dementia. I explained that someone phoned them, perhaps a doctor or someone who saw the decline in the wife and who was concerned. A skilled person came to do the evaluation and thought the husband sounded very credible about how well they were doing, he kept repeating himself using the same words over and over. After 5 minutes of that, she understood he had problems as well. But, they were being somewhat self-sufficient and there was nothing she could do to force them to go to assisted living-memory care. There are no children or close relatives, so only friends like me can help them. I do have POA for their finances and health care, but can't force them to leave. The best part of their visit was when the APS person asked about how they got their groceries and when the husband replied that they drove, she pointed out that both their licenses were revoked. They acted surprised, but I had been telling them for weeks about this. When she asked the husband what he thought they should do with the car if they can't drive, he responded "Sell it!" Get some money out of it while it's still worth something! So, I was able to get the car keys finally and remove the car to a friend's garage while I secured the title so it could be sold. The husband is still in denial, but at last we have services coming to them. I have begun to have a "Visiting Angel" come twice a week, 3 hours a day, to help with the grocery shopping and cleaning. So far, it's wonderful! She can do things with the wife, that I, as a male, have to stay away from. Perhaps getting some help like this would take some of the burden off of your shoulders?
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Blimey. Should I stay or should I go? I don't envy you such a difficult decision-making picture.

Maybe… one way to look at things would be to pile up all of the things that have been done or said that ought better not to have been, and see how many of them are attributable to the sheer stress of the situation for all involved. Then you can set those to one side. Have a look at what's left: any insurmountable issues or conflicts there? If there are, then perhaps you should at least suspend involvement until the pair of them allow you to help more actively. If not, hang in there.

You're right that getting good baseline assessments of her health and care needs is the starting point for an ongoing plan, and it must drive you wild that he doesn't see that. I can't see that you're doing anything wrong, but equally it's clear that they're both happier sticking their heads in the sand for as long as they possibly can; and short of forcing the pace and going for guardianship, calling in APS - going nuclear, in short - you're a bit stuck. I'm sorry, it's rough.
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Picasso, forgive me in advance, I'm working from my phone so i can't see your backstory. Who asked you to cone to help, was it stepdad? It sounds as though he's paralyzed and panicked. I think what you need to do is manage from afar. Call the doctor's office and tell them that you've got to leave and that dad needs help. Don't make leaving about anger, make it about getting the best for mom.
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Don't know if this will help but could you and dad sit down and discuss the things that need to be done around the house, with moms needed included in this equation. Give him the option to pick 1 thing on the list then you pick one thing and then keep going till all chores/moms care is assigned. Try it for a week and reassess. My dad would say to me things like the grass needs to be cut, the car washed and I would very nicely say to him well I am showering mom today and making meatballs and sauce. What is more important, the grass or mom being clean. I would only do this with the understanding that papers be signed to allow you to talk to the doctors. You tell them you are all in but can not work half-a**. Your dad is probably used to being the boss and making all decisions for both he and mom, the whole situation may be threatening to him and he doesn't even realize it. Going in with the attitude, wow you have been doing so much for mom but now she needs more help and more then either you or I can do alone. My dad thought all was fine until I started cooking for them and pointed out that they no longer share one pork chop but each eat a whole one, everyone was wearing clean clothes, mom was showering more often because she was afraid to do herself. If you can come up with some sort of schedule with restrictions (if I am out of the house, you keep your eyes on mom at all times, etc) maybe it would help. With my dad I know it was very hard to let me take things over when I found (medicine not dispensed, etc) and after a lot of trial and error ( and screaming matches and tears) it all worked out. Good luck, I think this is just going to be a trial and error type of thing for you. I would have to remind my dad daily and still do at times that I am not the maid or paid help, just here to help my parents but he needed to pull his fair share too.
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Picasso you came to care for your Mom with the best of intentions and love for your Mom. You are in your Stepdads home by invitation only so if you are told to leave there really is no choice. However your feel the responsibility to see that Mom has proper care. The only way to do this is to involve outside authorities unpleasant as that may feel. Mom has demonstrated that she probably in the later stages of some form of advanced dementia by no longer recognising you as her daughter therefor it is no longer safe for her to remain at home without constant supervision.
Your stepdad possibly thinks he did not sign up for this when he and Mom married and has his head in the sand regarding her true condition. As he is considering placement he realizes caring for Mom is something he can not and does not want to do. You have bent over backwards to help and get things organized but does he resent this and see it as unnecesary interfearance hence he keeps away from you as much as possible. I don't know how long they have been married but they sound fairly well bonded and stepdad clearly still has good reasoning skills although you may not agree,
So in one sentence which I could have used in the first place is "Step aside and let the professionals in and allow them to recomend what is best for her going forward"
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If this situation is too volatile for you, leave. Protect yourself.
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Picasso, I hate to have to say this, but it may be at a point at which you call APS, then leave and go live your own life. There are several old sayings about how you can try to lead someone but can't force him/her to do what's needed, and it looks as if you are in this situation. You can't help someone who refuses to be helped. You should try the options suggested by others here, but be ready to follow the suggestion by ferris1 if necessary.
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This is a situation where I sympathize with everyone involved. Picasso, your stepfather sounds like a good man who is in a situation that is not fixable. He may be trying to keep a semblance of quality in his own life by doing things, rather than watch and tend to your mother all day long. You were probably a blessing to him in giving him a chance to enjoy life some.

To me it seems like the main problem is that you and he are clashing. I don't know the feelings on both sides, but know caregiving for a person with advanced dementia creates a lot of stress. We deal with the stress differently. Some people let the disease process play out, knowing that they can't fix it. I can understand that, since quality of life has to be kept for both the care receiver and giver. The main consideration is finding a balance where the receiver is safe. If you could find some way to get along with your stepfather, it would be a very good solution. You could help each other and appreciate the difference in your caregiving styles. They are actually complementary.

If you are unable to be there, having help come in sounds ideal to me. Your mother may need care in a facility in the future. Until then, I would work with the needs of your stepfather to have some quality in his life while keeping your mother safe.
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