If a person has dementia can they help what they are saying?

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My FIL ruled the house when he was alive. MIL has been diagnosed with mild dementia but we're having issues with quite a few things regaring hygiene and behavior. She is sweet as can be with my husband and son but downright mean to myself and my DIL. Everyone says it's the dementia yet in the middle of a rant, if my husband walks in she immediately turns into a smiling sweet lady. He didn't quite believe me when I described our conversations until he came up behind her one time and listened for about 10 minutes. If she can shut it off that quickly then I don't think it's dementia. Any advice?

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There is no benefit at all to them. They were trying to help us out. It was better 2 years ago but every month she gets meaner. They are getting to the point that they want to move out but they are called over several times a week because she falls. They pick up her Meals on Wheels lunch everyday. They do her grocery shopping every week. Her children don't have time to help and the nursing home said she doesn't fit guidelines for admittance.
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I remember the story well now. It is a very difficult circumstance.
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What will happen if DIL votes with her feet and leaves? 'Cos I think I would!
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We all are still interested in how it's going with mil's hygiene issues.

What is the benefit to your son and dil of living in the house with mil? (If I remember correctly, she has an attached apartment and refuses to let anyone in.)

If it's not his own blood relative, not sure why there would be any expectation for him and his wife to help the woman at all. And if she's mean to them, all the more reason to stay far away (actually, don't they want to move out?).
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Husband doesn't know what to do. He tells her constantly that she hurts us but she doesn't care. When we are in the US together, I let him deal with her. When I am home and he's not, then I take over all care, shoppping, doctor's appointments and tune her out.
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Yes, but my son is from a previous marriage so is not a blood relative. We live in Europe and the home is in the US. We bought it because the home she was living in was in horrible shape, with holes in the floors, rats running around and toilets not working. She lived in the country with noone around and fell and laid there for hours before someone found her. We bought a house in the middle of town and moved my son and his wife in to help. And it has gone downhill ever since.
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Hmm, I'm still trying to figure out family connections. It is your MIL, so it your husband's mother. This person is living in your somewhere far away from you. I'm trying to figure out how DIL fits in. She is married to your son. Does both your son and DIL live with your MIL? Ah, yes! It is his grandmother on your spouse's side. Okay, got it worked out.

What does you husband think should be done? Another thing coming in here is she is treating her son and grandson well, but the in-laws who are their wives poorly. She may be suffering from Matriarch syndrome and think the in-laws are outsiders.
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Yes, an understatement of the month, but I didn't want to rehash all that. Since we live so far away I'm more concerned about DIL. She's called us several times crying from the hurtful things that are said. They have talked about moving out, but we really need someone there. I am not sure how or if I should confront her. MiL has been in our house almost 2 years. If someone is not with her I'm not sure what to do.
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It could be that your MIL is of the old school where men are on pedestals. It is a sad truth that some women don't like other women. I've run across many women who will even admit that. Your MIL may be like that.
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?! "Issues regarding hygiene" is the understatement of the month, isn't it? :) Hope you're making headway with her.
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