My FIL refuses to admit he needs help With her even though he knows she is really bad. She won’t go to a doctor, denies she has problems, can’t rationalize any situation even after she finds these items I have “stolen”. I have not been in her home in over a year as a result of these accusations. He brought her to our home yesterday to look for these items and when I told her I did not have them she became violent and started screaming at me and told me I was going straight to hell for lying all the time. This is not my Mother In Law. I tried to reason with her and she ran out of my house saying she needed her heart medicine. Sort of like Fred in Sanford and Son (she has always done this sort of thing when a disagreement ensues). She moves things around at all hours of the night and then can’t find them and says I have taken. She won’t go to any doctor because she says we will tell them she is crazy. Her current doctor asks questions about memory and sleep and she says she sleeps and her memory is fine so he says there is nothing he can do (my husband talks to him before and after appointments because he has medical POA). My father in law is exhausted, my husband has tried several times to get a 72 hour hold to get her on meds at least but she is very manipulative and she still knows basic facts so they don’t see the issues. She has gone so far as to go to a lawyer and paid for a divorce and didn’t remember it for several days. Also, 2 years ago she went to the police and said my FIL beat her up. That ended her up in a battered women’s facility for almost a year and because they figured her out and she left for a doctors appt and they told her that her bed was gone). The story is unnerving. My husband can’t get a guardianship because she still has some of her faculties. Any advice for someone who is in the late stages in some areas but not in others? My fear is that she wakes up from one of these delusions thinking my FIL has hurt her and she kills him in his sleep or wanders in the middle of the night (because she is definitely sundowning) and gets hurt. My FIL won’t put things in place to prevent this because she says he already has made her a prisoner because he disabled her car. She is very angry and depressed... just need some advice for my husband and father in law if anyone has any experience. Thank you

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I think your FIL has to place his wife in a Memory Care ALF where she can get the 24/7 type of care she needs. It's up to HIM to say ENOUGH of all this, and do something about ALL of it. How on earth did she manage to get to a police station to file a battery report and wind up in a shelter for a year?? That story seems off somehow.

In any event, your FIL really has no business taking her to your house so she can accuse you of nonsense. Where is your husband in all of this? He also needs to put a stop to this by at least speaking with his father about YOUR rights and how YOU need to be shown some respect in your own home!

If your FIL is feeling 'guilty' for disabling her car, then he really doesn't understand the scope of dementia and what all he's dealing with. Go to to read all about dementia/Alzheimer's and to maybe understand a bit more about what's going on with her. The best place she can be is in a Memory Care ALF with others in the same boat where 24/7 care is available.

Best of luck
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Reply to lealonnie1

The issue is she won’t go to another doctor and she has been taken by sheriff’s deputies to a psych hospital twice and they said she isn’t a danger to herself so they won’t keep her because she lies to them... we can’t forcibly take her to the doctor. She won’t go to a new doctor.
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Reply to Milneedshelo
AnnReid May 28, 2020
You need to have a “friend” visit her with your husband.
My LO’S assessment was peaceful and gentle, and resulted in a brief written statement indicating that she had dementia and needed the cooperation of everyone dealing with her.
In the present, she takes appropriate medication and is a sweet but feisty companion, who, by God’s Grace, has recovered from Covid19.
Yes to both posters above.

There are some serious issues going on here and your MIL is beyond understanding them. She needs to be evaluated and probably declared incompetent. Then things like filing for a divorce can hopefully be nullified.

Sounds like a very stressful situation.

Very common for people with dementia to unjustly accuse others of stealing their things, so do not take it personally. Definitely tell FIL NOT to bring her back to your house. Yikes.
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Reply to againx100

This woman is not competent. She needs a full evaluation with a Dr. who knows ALZ and Dementias. A PCP knows a little bit of everything. He does not specialize. There is medication but I would want a Dr. qualified to prescribe it .

I would, too, tell my FIL never to bring her to my house again in that condition. I would have been so upset. Get ur husband to back you.
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Reply to JoAnn29

“This is not my Mother in Law”.

In that sentence you have summed up the terrible, painful, overwhelmingly sorrowful situation that is now confronting the three of you.

Each of you is observing this in your own way, but the sum total is that she is NOT able to manage her life in a way that is in her best interests.

She CANNOT be expected to comprehend, reflect, intellectualize ANY f what is happening to her, because her brain is irreparably damaged. She MAY have some behaviors left that represent “normal” faculties, but when considered with the VERY negative consequences of her overall conduct, she is even at present a serious risk to herself and those who are trying to manage her.

Her symptoms are NOT unique to her. Many of us have loved people like her, and understand your challenges. The fact that you have seen drastic change in her personal relationships and actions over time are certainly indication of how badly she needs help. She may be suffering from physical issues that make her dementia worse. You could certainly seek out an opinion from a second medical specialist with geriatric training.

You cannot expect “reason” to help in this potential crisis. You CANNOT change the paranoid reactions to what her damaged mind is telling her. Her doctor’s questions and subsequent acceptance of her answers as fact are not advancing all of you in the direction of a solution.

Find a professional who specializes in geriatrics to get some specific guidance in managing this tragic situation before it escalates. Even for just yourself and your husband, the more information you can get, the more able you’ll be to make the important decisions and planning for her AND her family members.
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Reply to AnnReid

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