Mother-in-law with dementia wants to die. Any suggestions? -

Mother-in-law with dementia wants to die. Any suggestions?


85 yr old dementia MIL went on hunger strike after AssLIv placement and then placed in psych hosp for a few days but ate right away there she has been living w/family members x 3yrs. tried assisted living to see if she would embrace the change after agreeing to 30 day trial which she says she doesn't remember. only was there 1 wk but went on basically a hunger strike right away by refusing meals but nibbling food in her room as soon as she moved in. AssLIv facility called dr who ordered psych placement in hosp but she starting eating as soon as she was there w/more restrictions put on her than AssLiv. Now even though she is out and back w/family she is miserable b/c her wording her kids did this to her. she is very religious and is against suicide but wants to die. she has apt w/geriatric psych in 3 wks. any suggestions

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Celeste, when my sister moves to a new group home, they ask me to stay away for two weeks to settle her in. I do. It works.
When my MIL threw her purse and started yelling when she was admitted to rehab, I left her to the nurses and deprived her of her audience.
When you mom has to go to the hospital, and she will soon, you may need rehab. Mom will think you are sticking her in a nursing home and throw a hissy fit. That is when you inform the nurses, leave them your cell number and you stay AWAY for 48 hours minimum. Stay only as long as she is nice. Move her from there to Assisted Living. Follow their recommendations for the amount of time to settle her in. Be part of the team.
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she is eating OK and always has except at AL which was her control factor. she is on 1 anti-dep and the dr put her on a new one so will see if that snaps her out of her whining about kids putting her in w/o her OK etc. she does have away of making things worse when its in her control so we all try to control the situation and not give in to most situations but I'm sure she know she won this one and won't have to go to AL anytime to soon.
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If she was eating well in a more structured environment, I would want her back in there. Sometimes they do better away from family, the resentment tapers off and they bond to caregivers who have no past history with them. When there are no "bad memories" or resentments, they cooperate. Next time do not give in to a hunger strike. Stay away for two weeks and let the staff handle the adjustment period. Once she sees the hunger strike is not working or getting her attention, she will adjust. Sort of like dealing with a stubborn child.
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Be supportive of her. If she says she wants to kill herself ask her why she's so sad, ask her what specifically is upsetting her. Just listen to her. Don't invalidate her feelings by responding, "Oh now, you don't mean that!"

It's good that you have that Dr.'s appointment. Maybe the Dr. can put your MIL on an anti-depressant.
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