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Old 11-16-2006, 04:31 AM   #1
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He infuriates me.

Hi everyone,I hope it is ok to vent

My sister is 57 and she was diagnosed at 52 with early dementia.

When I spend time with my sister I find that as long as i patiently guide her through dressing,eating,bathing or whatever,she does still manage to do quite a lot for her self. Without help though she wouldnt have a clue what to do and would wonder up and down aimlessly and mumbling to herself.

Unfortuantly,my sisters husband is far from being a patient person and is very arrogant with it. This isnt due to the pressures of my sisters illness because he has always been that way. I am aware that my sisters illness doesnt help the situation though. His understanding of helping my sister to do things for her self as much as possable is, "heres your toothbrush get in there and scrub those teeth". You cant reason with him at all because he just wont listen. He doesnt even attend my sisters Doctors apointments. Aparently he "doesnt do medical stuff,and doesnt like hospitals"

I get so angry inside at his attitude but I also know that it wont help my sisters situation if I openly get mad at him because he would probably take it out on my sister. I am not saying that he hits her(although I do wonder sometimes) but he treats her like a child, says things infront of her about her forgetfulness and toilet habits that I believe he should only speak about with my sister out of earshot. Their son is getting married soon and for reasons I wont go into here and now my sister is unable to attend and her Husband isnt attending either. Now,common sense tells me that on the day of the wedding it is best to say nothing because what is the point of upsetting my sister? But I feel pretty sure that instead of staying silent,her husband will continuely say things like "Oh,I bet they are getting married now,they will be all at the reception now etc etc.

If only he would realise that his attitude is only making the whole situation worse,not just for my sister but himself also. He drinks quite a bit too which doesnt help.

Finished now,sorry needed to get that off my chest.

 
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: He infuriates me.

I can see why he infuriates you. it is hard enough to deal with dementia without having someone making it harder.

If you think he may be abusing your sister in any way, it might be best for her to be in an assisted living facility of some sort instead of with him. He may feel freer afterwards also, and would possibly be willing to pay for it to get away from the need to care for her 24/7. If she is not that far along yet, and can be left alone, the time is coming when she cannot be.

You have to be almost impossibly tactful not to arouse his anger and have him take it out on her - but it might be possible to call a family council and discuss alternatives to having her stay home with him.

I can just imagine how my life would look if I had gotten Dementia and was still with my ex. He was uncaring, thoughtless and tactless enough when I was perfectly well. Life with him would be a nightmare for anyone he thought weak enough to bully ...

So maybe I am overreacting. I do sympathise with you though.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 11-17-2006 at 01:51 PM.

 
Old 11-16-2006, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: He infuriates me.

While you're very concerned about her feelings, you may be thinking that she will react to the wedding or her husband's treatment as a "normal" person might. Due to her illness, though, she is unlikely to be picking up on any of the things that are bothering you. Instead of conceptualizing the wedding, that she isn't there, the reasons why she isn't there, how she's feeling about not being there, her husband is being rude, etc., she might only pick up on stress and the fact that s she should be upset about something. Even if she is momentarily upset about the wedding or something her husband has said, it could blow over within a few minutes. My DH went to a wedding this summer, and was very stressed by people trying to talk to him, the noise, all the different faces and the change in his routine. He didn't want to go, even though it was his daughter's wedding. I'm trying to make the point that you may be worrying unncessarily about your sister's hurt feelings from her husband's shortness or lack of consideration.

It's sad if he is treating her with disrespect. We would complain about a paid caregiver who was treating a patient unkindly or with a lack of respect. Having a spouse with early onset, I know that the long progression of the disease as the weeks go by and your loved one disappears, is exhausting and your marriage changes forever. I'm not mean to my spouse, but I admit that I'm impatient with him sometimes (and then feel awful). I now have to be concerned about whether dirty smelly clothes are being reworn, whether teeth are brushed (even when he says he did it), and other personal habits. I can tell you that my DH doesn't know or care if I remind him of these things in front of other people -- although once upon a time he was a professional and would have been humiliated. 4 years after my DH's diagnosis, I'd put my DH's level of functioning and complex thinking at about the level of a 6-7 yr old. And yes, sometimes I do treat him like a child because he is childlike.

I may be totally off base, but I think it's a good thing that your brother in law feels comfortable enough not to put on an act in front of you. You're family, and he may believe you understand what's going on with your sister better than anyone. He didn't dump her when she was diagnosed, and he's still there for her after all these years. With your part time help and his not-so-great caregiving, she is cared for.

My only suggestion is to make your sister's surroundings as happy and calm as possible, and don't worry about her hurt feelings if her husband says something thoughtless. Both your sister and your brother in law are incredibly lucky that you're helping them.

Martha is a role model for me, since she gives such fantastic advice. In the case of assisted living, though, I should point out that the cost is very high and for the early onset cases it's financially prohibitive if you have to maintain a separate residence in addition to paying for a care-facility (never mind if you have kids.) If your sister needs someone to tell her to brush her teeth, to dress and bathe, etc., she's probably already needs more care than most assisted living facilities would provide.

 
Old 11-16-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: He infuriates me.

Hi Suzy2,

Just wanted to put in a little thought. If you really think that your sis will be bothered by not going to the wedding, perhaps you can take her somewhere while it is going on?! Or are you going to the wedding?

Also, you would think that there is a place or line or organization that you can call when a spouse (or anyone else) is verbally abusive. It is almost as bad as being physically abusive. You know, like you can call and report someone for being abusive and not taking care of them. I cannot remember when it is that you can call, something like "elder abuse" or something or another.

Hope you get the help you need for your sister.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 11-17-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: He infuriates me.

If I may make a suggestion, since your sister is so young I would assume your brother-in-law is also. Assuming he still works, he works all day and then comes home to his wife, who isn't functioning very well. It could just be very tiring for him and making him crankier than usual. Perhaps you could take or watch your sister one day a week so that your Brother-in-law could have some time off. This might lower his stress level, give him something to look forward to and help him cope a little better and be a little calmer.

Also, if he has always been an abrubt and short tempered person your sister was probably used to it before her diagnosis and it may bother her even less now. I would be leary about calling in the authorities because he is "rude". She can not tell an investigator/social worker what is really going on at home and could end up in a nursing home against both her husbands and your wishes. Physical abuse or lack of care, of course, are a different matter. If she is fed, bathed and sheltered that is saying something.

Also, this may be the time to put any anomosity towards your BIL aside and perhaps even have a little compassion for his situation. Like one of the ladies said above, he hasn't walked out, and even if you never really cared for him he is there for her. He is her legal next of kin, something to keep in mind.

I speak from experience. As my grandmother deteriorated it teared the family apart. Some family members could not put their personal feelings aside and just deal with the situation as it stood right there and then. The past kept getting in the way, like the past could be changed.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 11-17-2006, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: He infuriates me.

I could cry I just spent nearly an hour replying to you all (I am slow typing) and then i did somthing dont know what and I lost it all.

So for now I can only say thankyou everyone for your replies and I will come back and give it another go sometime next week, I am a way for a few days now.

Thanks again.

 
Old 11-22-2006, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: He infuriates me.

I am trying for a second time. Hopefully I wont lose the lot this time.

Martha... by assisted living I presume that is when a person lives on their own and there is someone that calls in to check on things from time to time? if so I am afraid that isnt an option. my sister does need someone around 24/7. She is no longer capable of even getting herself a drink of water unfortuanatly. My Sisters husband does take care of her up to a point and the mental health nurse(I dislike that term but that is what the nurse says her title is)says that unless there is any obvious evidence that my sister is being abused then there is nothing that they can do about it.

You are right Martha about having to be almost impossably tactful so as not to make him angry. I do feel like I am treading on shells when speaking with him. Take this morning for instance. It now takes longer for my sister to get sorted out in the mornings. I told my BIL that I will now call for my sister later on Wednesdays so as to give him time to be able to give my sister her breakfast,help her dress etc. I thought this would not only help him,but also my sister because with more time then my BIL is hopefully not going to rush my sister which is in my opinion pointless because they both will end up stressed out. So,I turn up at the arranged time intending to maybe take my sister into town to look around the market for a short while before taking her home with me for lunch. As we were about to leave my BIL said "Make sure that she has a drink and somthing to eat because she hasnt had anything since 5pm yesterday"

I am aware that it is more difficult now to get my sister to eat and drink as much as she should, but the tone that he took with me was as if he was thinking that I was stupid and needed to be told to give food and drink to my sister. And yet "he" is the one that should have sorted all that out before I arrived. As it happened it was raining and as I dont drive I decided that walking to the market was probably not a good idea anyway. Its a good job realy because we couldnt have gone anyway because now I needed to get my Sister to my house just so that she could have something to eat and drink. it is those sorts of situations that makes me so angry with my BIL. But I cant say anything,I just have to grin and bare it

I am sorry to go on so much here. I suppose that once I start typing I end up just letting it all hang out so to speak I think thats enough for now and I will reply to the other posts later.

Thanks again.

 
Old 11-24-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: He infuriates me.

Thankyou for your reply beginning

I am sorry to be so long winded with my replies.


While you're very concerned about her feelings, you may be thinking that she will react to the wedding or her husband's treatment as a "normal" person might. Due to her illness, though, she is unlikely to be picking up on any of the things that are bothering you. Instead of conceptualizing the wedding, that she isn't there, the reasons why she isn't there, how she's feeling about not being there, her husband is being rude, etc., she might only pick up on stress and the fact that s she should be upset about something. Even if she is momentarily upset about the wedding or something her husband has said, it could blow over within a few minutes."

Yes I think that you are right. I suppose that Within a minuet or so she will have forgotten what has been said to her,and most of the time she probably hasnt understood what was said anyway.I dont like the fact that her husband shouting and being impatient makes her stressed though.


"My DH went to a wedding this summer, and was very stressed by people trying to talk to him, the noise, all the different faces and the change in his routine. He didn't want to go, even though it was his daughter's wedding. I'm trying to make the point that you may be worrying unncessarily about your sister's hurt feelings from her husband's shortness or lack of consideration."

We have had the wedding now. And you were dead right. I asked myself while I was there "would my sister cope with all this? and I had to admit the answer was that she definatly would not have coped. It was also a 3 hour car journey so that wouldnt have helped either.

I'm not mean to my spouse, but I admit that I'm impatient with him sometimes (and then feel awful)."

Dont get me wrong,I only spend one full day a week with my Sister and the way she behaves at times due to her illness can be frustrating for me in that short space of time. I dont expect my BIL to be a saint and never get impatient,but just to show at least some patience and common sense. I mean, if you dont settle a person into bed until 3am(not because she wont go, but because he is sat watching tv and drinking)then understandably she is going to be grumpy in the mornings and not feel like co-operating when he is trying to get her to have a bath.

"I now have to be concerned about whether dirty smelly clothes are being reworn, whether teeth are brushed (even when he says he did it)"

I do see your point,I realy do. But I bet you dont shove the toothbrush at him and say "get in there and clean your teeth!" Thats what my BIL does,even though he knows that my sister needs to have the brush guided to her mouth before she starts to get the message of what she needs to be doing.

"I may be totally off base, but I think it's a good thing that your brother in law feels comfortable enough not to put on an act in front of you. You're family, and he may believe you understand what's going on with your sister better than anyone. He didn't dump her when she was diagnosed, and he's still there for her after all these years. With your part time help and his not-so-great caregiving, she is cared for."

Again,you make a good point,especialy about her being cared for(in a fashion)But to be honest,as for him not putting on an act in front of me? He behaves the same whoever it is. He just seems to be natuarly rude and arrogant lol.


My only suggestion is to make your sister's surroundings as happy and calm as possible, and don't worry about her hurt feelings if her husband says something thoughtless. Both your sister and your brother in law are incredibly lucky that you're helping them."

Thankyou I do try my best for a calm atmosphere when she is at my house.I have got into a routine of putting on the "chilled Ibeza" cd. She has even started recognising the bright orange cd and she says "I like that"and she sits listening to it very calmly for about an hour. It makes a change from the tv blaring out so the whole street can hear it at her house.

There is one thing that I admit I do struggle with a little bit, and that is, I have to try not to allow my sisters past behaviour toward me cloud my thinking when it comes to how much help I am willing to give.You see, years ago I was very sick and was in and out of hospital and eventualy had to have surgery. But I am afraid that my Sister and her family were know where to be seen And I hate to say it,but I know for a fact that if it were me with the Dementia I wouldnt be getting any help from them at all.It sounds an awful thing for me to say I know but I cant help feeling just a little bit upset by it.

 
Old 11-27-2006, 02:48 PM   #9
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Re: He infuriates me.

Thankyou for your reply ToBeFreeToRoam



Just wanted to put in a little thought. If you really think that your sis will be bothered by not going to the wedding, perhaps you can take her somewhere while it is going on?! Or are you going to the wedding?

I was invited to the wedding too and its all over with now. If I had not been going then your suggestion would have been a good one.

Also, you would think that there is a place or line or organization that you can call when a spouse (or anyone else) is verbally abusive. It is almost as bad as being physically abusive. You know, like you can call and report someone for being abusive and not taking care of them. I cannot remember when it is that you can call, something like "elder abuse" or something or another.

I think at times the way he shouts at my sister could be refered to as mental abuse. As I mentioned in one of my other posts though,the nurse that visits my sister says there isnt anything she can do unless she sees evidence of abuse herself.

Hope you get the help you need for your sister.

Thankyou

 
Old 11-27-2006, 03:19 PM   #10
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Re: He infuriates me.

Wasfatnomore, thankyou for your reply

If I may make a suggestion, since your sister is so young I would assume your brother-in-law is also. Assuming he still works, he works all day and then comes home to his wife, who isn't functioning very well. It could just be very tiring for him and making him crankier than usual. Perhaps you could take or watch your sister one day a week so that your Brother-in-law could have some time off. This might lower his stress level, give him something to look forward to and help him cope a little better and be a little calmer.

Yes my BIL is in his fifties too. He doesnt work,he took redundancy a few years ago.He did take on a small cleaning job but gave it up and now he claims full carers allowance for looking after my sister. Also,I already do spend one full day a week with my sister,plus I go with her and her Daughter to attend apointments at the hospital. One of my other sisters spend another day with her,plus one day a week someone comes in and helps to bath my sister.So although I do apreciate that it is difficult for my BIL,he does have time to go out and do what he wants to do for a while,but he hardly ever leaves the house even when he has the chance.

Also, if he has always been an abrubt and short tempered person your sister was probably used to it before her diagnosis and it may bother her even less now.

mmm, I think that you are probably right. She stayed with him for all these years so I suppose she must have seen somthing in him that the rest of us can not see.

I would be leary about calling in the authorities because he is "rude". She can not tell an investigator/social worker what is really going on at home and could end up in a nursing home against both her husbands and your wishes. Physical abuse or lack of care, of course, are a different matter. If she is fed, bathed and sheltered that is saying something.

I think you are probably right again. Its a difficult one, because on the one hand she is cared for up to a point,but there are days when I feel like she isnt looked after properly. My sisters Daughter is also still living at home but she isnt there much due to collage and work. She phoned me the other day to say that my sister had sat on the bed and used it as if she thought it was the toilet.Aparently my BIL went crazy at my sister and was saying that he would lock her in the bathroom. When I hear that sort of thing I just dont know what to do for the best.

Also, this may be the time to put any anomosity towards your BIL aside and perhaps even have a little compassion for his situation.

I do not show my BIL anomosity.I admit that he makes me feel extremely angry inside at times,but I dont show that to him. And I do have compassion for his situation,I wouldnt wish it on anyone. I just wish that he could maybe show a little compassion himself towards my sister.

I speak from experience. As my grandmother deteriorated it teared the family apart. Some family members could not put their personal feelings aside and just deal with the situation as it stood right there and then. The past kept getting in the way, like the past could be changed.

If I wasnt putting my personal feelings aside,I would be going no where near the house. I believe that I am doing the best that I can and that I am "dealing with the situation"

Good luck to you.

Thankyou.

 
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