How do I deal with my MIL (82) who has developed an obsessive crush on a man?

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He is not interested in her and she is now harassing him. She was married to my FiL for 56 years and has been widowed for three. She is very lonely even though she is well supported, she goes to a day centre three days a week and we have just employed a live in au pair. She has plenty of visitors but its never enough for her. She developed a crush on a married man who goes to the same day centre and became obessed with him. He is a sick man and his feelings are not reciprocated. She has been told by the Manager of the Day Centre to keep away from this man otherwise she will be hurt, physically and mentally. They have terrible arguments and then he calls her to apologise. He is now hospitalized and she was told categorically not to call the hospital but she did. The hospital told told the family and the family are threatening to get a restraining order against her. She is having counselling and seeing a psychogeriatrician. I don't know what else to do. My husband cant cope with this at all and just shouts at her. My sister in law has schizophrenia and I can;t talk to her either. I am at my wits end.

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I was concerned, too, that she had put her hopes on him, so that with him gone she would feel there was no hope left. She would have to find hope again.
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There might be a possibility that his death will bring memories of the Holocaust, so watch and support her carefully as she adjusts to this new event. Sometimes events which are similar to the traumatic period can trigger a resurgence of the memories.
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ladygeek, I am so sad for your mother. I know it was imaginary crush, but it was important to her. I hope that it is not too hard on her.
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Update. Unfortunately the object of my MiL's affection passed away yesterday, so now we are in an entirely different siutation as she grieves and comes to terms with it all. She saw the psychogeriatrician on Thursday night who is referring her for a brain scan to see if she is developing frontal lobe dementia.
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Thanks everyone for your input. We went to see MiL this evening and I think she finally realises that whatever it was is really over and that he was not the man of her dreams after all. I think the rose coloured lenses slid away. She doesn't want to see him again at the Day Centre so we'll have to review her options. Of course she now feels ashamed of her behaviour and is very upset...she's blaming him for showing interest in her in the first place and for leading her on when he had no intention of following through. I hope she will be able to recover and that time will heal her hurt. I really don't think she has dementia, I think she suffers from General Anxiety Disorder and there's a bit of a personality issue going on there. It's so easy to label people with dementia when the behaviour goes off. We'll see what happens with the psyche appointment. I really appreciate being able to sound off. Writing it all and putting it out there in a safe environment where noone knows me clarified a lot of things for me.
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I googled obsessive behaviors as dementia symptom
These are varieties that obsession is frequent
Frontotemporal
Huntingtons Disease
Progressive supranuclear palsy

To name a few. Are there other symptoms that you may be overlooking?
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Is the GP an Geriatrician? Maybe she should be seen by a neurologist that specializes in elderly and diagnosing dementia. There are more than 70 identified varieties of dementia. I agree with Blannie that it sounds like dementia may be developing. The quick quiz given by the GP would identify major memory issues, but is not the only tool available for diagnosis. I would think a diagnosis would set everybody's mind at ease, at least that way you have a direction to look for effective treatment.
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It still sounds like some form of dementia to me - the obsession, the inability to act with any kind of normal filters. You said she had a workup by a GP. Assuming you're meaning General Practitioner, they're not great at diagnosing dementia. But it sounds like you've got her seeing someone who SHOULD be able to diagnose that in her.

But I agree that just telling her to stop doesn't sound like a very effective way to handle it. I know with OCD, there are medications that can help take that obsessiveness down a notch. Is the person she's now seeing able to prescribe medication for her? It sounds like she's still very verbal and able to articulate her feelings, they're just wildly inappropriate to her situation.

Good luck with getting her some help that can put you all at ease...
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I would definitely try to find some answers about the behavior. For her therapist to just tell her to stop the behavior.......who would think that's going to work? If you MIL had any control over the behavior, she wouldn't be in this situation.
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LadyG, how long has she been lving with you? Any other changes in her life recently?
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