Follow
Share

My MIL asks about traveling everywhere. She is not competent to travel but is pushy and just gets mad. She does not believe us when we tell her she can't go. She thinks she is better than everybody. She is narcissistic. She outright told us we should not go traveling without her. We have gone on two trips this year without her. One of them she was going to go but got sick (not seriously) and we cancelled her. It was extremely stressful. We just booked another trip at a time of the year she knows we always go away. When she asks, what do we say to her? Should we lie and say we are not going. She gets so angry and yells and it is very stressful for everybody. I do not want to deal with months of anger.

sounds like a situation I went through with my grandmother. two years ago I went on a trip to Houston for a couple of days as soon as a month passed the city had a major flood not Harvey I guess she saw it on the news and was furious with me I told her if the weather was of that state I wouldn't go but this was before the dementia took place. I just took mainly trips to Ocean City Md afterwards. next year depending on vacay time Im planning to go back to Houston or Las Vegas but depending on her situation is in the next year with her in the skilled nursing facility but yes I would just say you were busy with work its bad to lie but it keeps the agitation off your mothers end and stress on your end.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Coneal7876
Report

Do you even need to mention a trip to her? If she notices that you were not there for a few days, just say you were really busy and don't go into any more info. If she's going to make a big drama, don't go there. If she wants to fuss, calmly ignore it or walk away. If she enjoys drama you don't need to be her supporting cast. This may take the fun out of it for her; if not, let her enjoy it on her own.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to partsmom
Report

Sometimes therapeutic fibbing is in order. Caring for someone while on vacation is not a vacation; you've just brought your work to a different location. If you have to tell her that you're traveling for business or work, so be it. You cannot reason with a damaged brain. And I believe that keeping them calm is better than getting them all agitated because you've told them "no" to traveling.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
Report

All good answers. I'm just thinking about my folks, who went on lots of trips in US and England and Holy Land. Mother took zillions of pictures. Could you put some pictures from MIL's earlier trips w/ her family in a scrapbook and get her interested in that way in her past rather than your present? Maybe your hubby could help. Not to add more work for you, but a way to distract her, maybe over & over. "Let's look at your travel book. You had so much fun."

BetseyP
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BetseyP
Report

Does she have a passport? - if not tell her she needs one to fly/travel so she better get one - chances are that she will not be able to gather the documentation, get the pix & all the other things she would need to even apply much less get one - if she has one take it away so she has 'lost it' & needs a replacement

Put the onus on her to do it on her own so that it is her inability to get her passport that is preventing her from travelling - then pick places you need a passport for so she can't go legally as they would stop her before she gets on a plane ..... so you don't end up the bad guys either
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to moecam
Report

The thing that would keep me from taking her would be if she is incontinent or needs help with toileting, dressing, bathing. How can u enjoy a vacation when u are constantly caring for someone.

Does she realize time. Like if u don't show up one day she knows it. Do her days just go into each other? If so, don't tell her ur going away. Next time u visit see if she realizes you haven't been around. If she doesn't then no problem. If she knows but not how long, then just say you went away for a few days to be together. If she says something, have husband tell her that he needed some alone time with his wife.

Be glad that your husband doesn't see the need to take her. Be glad she is in a safe place.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

My dad had mild dementia for several years that progressed abruptly after a small stroke. This is not the same as Alzheimers, but the issues and behaviors are similar. We took him with us on short trips when we could, never more than a weekend 1-2 times/year and more often day trips. We involved him in the planning and preparation quite a while in advance which gave him some feeling of control and involvement. Our challenge was when our son was getting married overseas in the summer, and Dad insisted that he was coming. While this might have been possible to arrange, it would have been difficult and possibly dangerous because of his health issues. He would have needed a 24/7 companion caregiver. This would be needed for your MIL if you were to travel with her. Does she have the money to afford this type of help? If so, plan a short trip somewhere that you would all enjoy and let her pay for her escort to care for her. This allows her to travel safely and takes the burden of care off of you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DrBenshir
Report

Sadly Persons Who are diagnosed with alzheimers or demensia loose their sence of awareness and their mind is well removed from reality. This terrible disease of the Brain is some times referred to as "the silent thief as It robs the Sufferer of every thing, memory, balance, speech, leading to organ failure and end of Life. Far too many People all over the World are being lost to this awful disease and I Pray that a Cure can be found to give Sufferers a fighting chance of beating this condition and go on to enjoy a great quality of Life.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Johnjoe
Report

My MIL lives in AL and she has dementia. She definitely forgets things quickly and asks the same question repeatedly and sometimes a few minutes apart. She yells at us when we visit and on the phone only when we plan to go someplace. Last time we told her only a few days before she was not too bad. She does not seem to mind so much if we go away in the summer. she is much worse when we go away in the spring. She starts bugging us in November it is hard. We have put our phone downstairs and if she is in one of those moods we do not answer it. It is hard sometimes to know what mood she is in. One minute they are not able to do anything the next they can do anything. I know that we need to be strong and let her know that she can't go. I think the best is not to explain because no explanation works. She only thinks of herself and figures we owe her not to "abandon her". She has it in her head that she paid for all our trips and everything we own she bought for us. They did buy us furniture and stuff for gifts in the past. Just to let you know her husband died over 2 years ago and my husband is her only living child. There are no other relatives to help. Thanks for all your help everybody. It helps to have someplace to vent or get other people's perspective.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to helpwithmil
Report

Helpwithmil,
Your profile says that you are caring for someone with dementia. So, I'd try to take MIL's behavior in that context. People with brain damage, like dementia, don't always know what is best for them. And, she likely doesn't remember your prior explanations. I think that sometimes people think that a person with dementia is being persistent, when in fact, they have poor memory and don't recall the other 10 times that the matter was discussed.

I'd try to take the lead and say whatever you have to in order to keep her happy. Plans for trips can be put out in the future. Would she even remember? I found that living day by day and keeping my LO content was as good as I could do.

Expecting a person with dementia to understand why some family members can travel and she can't, isn't realistic to me. She can't process it, so keep her happy with only happy news that she can handle. I'd work on explanations that make sense and work for her. Perhaps your absence could be explained as work trip or something that she would not want to do.

Most people with dementia no longer can be selfless, so, I'd just consider that caring for them is like caring for a young child. Expecting them to be understanding, selfless, appreciative, etc. just isn't realistic. I'd keep in mind that eventually, she may progress and forget about the travel and not mention it anymore.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report
Ahmijoy Sep 13, 2018
Sunnygirl1, I agree with everything you said except for one thing. In my mother’s case, keeping her “happy and content” simply did not work. My mother was not happy unless she was unhappy. She would twist anything I said or tried to do into something to complain about. Talking about happy things with her fell on deaf ears with the possible exception of her great grandsons whom she adored. Trying to please her was very, very stressful and keeping her content was impossible. She was only content and pleased when she’d cause a problem. Then, she sit back with an expression between a sneer and smile, and for a few hours, at least, she was content.
(4)
Report
See 2 more replies
I checked your profile, but there was not much detail there. Does MIL live with you? Live near you? AL? What is her health situation, physical and mental?

Not having any additional detail, I would not tell her about the upcoming trip until you have left.

Where are you when she gets angry and yells, your home, hers, out in public? If it were me and she does not have dementia, I would point out to her that her behaviour is why she cannot travel with you and walk away. I would not stay and listen to her ranting and raving.

My experience with a narcissist was my ex husband. Everything was about him, where we travelled, which movies we saw, where we went out for dinner. I am glad to be free of all that.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Tothill
Report

Your profile doesn’t give much information. Does MIL have dementia? Understand that they obsess about things. It can be something as inconsequential as wanting to wear the RED shirt and not the BLUE one, or as involved as traveling. I believe even more than narcissistic, she’s controlling and probably, like my mom, jealous.

Good for you for going anyway. What if you took Mom on a few “day trips”? Every state has destinations, from Amish Country to picnic areas, flea markets, etc. You can be gone all day. She probably be exhausted at the end of the day.

This is another case of a parent feeling entitled. Does she live with you? There are many, many posts on this forum of parents as dictators over adult children. The more you give into it, the worse it gets. If she’s in a huff, fine. Let her sulk. It keeps her blood pressure up. Gives her something to do. But, don’t let her abuse you. Don’t yell back. Look her in the eye and say, “We’re going, Mother Smith. You are NOT.. Subject CLOSED!” And walk away. If she lives with you, remind her that there is always the option for other living arrangements where perhaps she’d be happier and less angry.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter