Mom, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has been in MC for about five months now. She is adjusting well and tells me she really enjoys the games, piano concerts, sightseeing rides and other activities there. She also seems less agitated and less prone to the delusions she used to have, and more capable overall (i.e., she can read and choose from a menu, whereas she couldn’t before ) even though she often can’t remember certain information from one minute to the next.
The one delusion she will not let go of, however, is the notion that my husband stole some Christmas cards from her months ago. She has confronted him angrily about this imagined theft in the past and said he was not welcome in her home, and although she does not bring it up anymore, my husband is still so put out about this that he has refused to spend time with her. They never really got along in the first place, but because of this estrangement I find myself having to split my free time between them while I keep them apart. It’s tiring and depressing trying to provide a one-person family experience for my mom, and my husband can’t seem to accept that it was the disease talking when she accused him. He points out that she was always paranoid and mistrustful (which is true). Should I try to insist he get over it and join me in spending time with her, or just assume I will have to keep them apart forever? In other situations I’ve known it seems as if married couples share the responsibility for an ill parent. I don’t really appreciate being left on my own with this, but at the same time I believe people have a right to avoid being subjected to hostility and insults. Mom will be joining us on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the first time in months we will be together, but my husband is accepting this only because of the holiday.