I last posted on 12/4 I believe my mother in law has my alzheimers.She is 73 and her problems started more than 10 yrs ago. She was having problems with her vision. Many tests were run nothing wrong with her eyes, no brain tumors ect... She is unable to read, write, dial a phone, dress herself, stopped bathing and many other things. One of her first problems she was collecting fuzz balls and insisting they were bugs! She has gotten lost in her neighborhood twice in the past two years. While my father in law was home! She refuses to go to the doctor and he won't make her. She now does not remember making cookies, mash potatoes ect.. We confronted my father in law telling him we need to know so we can help her, we have also talked to him about what will happen if he is unable to take care of her ( I am afraid when he dies we will have to make disisions that he should make) HE THINKS IF SHE HAS ALZHEIMERS ITS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF IT. I THINK SHE IS A STAGE 5. HOW CAN WE GET HER DIAGNOSED?
Lots of our parents are in denial about their spouse being ill. My mom was for about 2 years. Over 2006, she has started seeing the light. But still insists that she can take care of him at home. My dad is not quite the level your MIL is. But, he will need some outside care this year, whether my mother likes it or not!
The only thing that I can think of without your MIL and FILs approval is to talk to a Social Worker. Or call her family dr., yourself. Print the stages list from the stop of this forum and circle the ones that you know that she is. And mail or take that to her dr.
If you can convince your FIL to let you take her, without her knowing til she gets there, you can always try to make the appt. and say you are going somewhere else? That might work and might not, depending on the doctor.
You could also, try telling you FIL that he could get reported for abuse of the elderly. For not caring for her properly. Especially if she is not eating right and not bathing at all. Also, if your FIL thinks that his wife could possibly have the beginnings of Alz, tell him she needs to go and have a physical and an MMSE exam, which will help the dr. diagnose her and to tell what level, is she does have alz.
These are just things I am tossing out, in hopes that one or more might work for you and your family. What struck me the most, was when you said she collected fuzz balls and thought that they were bugs! My father has been seeing bugs for about 1 year. My husband exterminated and he still thinks that they are really there.
I wish you the best, and in the am, perhaps Martha and Barbara will help you more along with the other very good caregivers on this site.
Wannabe's idea is good - tell your FIL that in the earlier stages HELP is possible ! There are medicines that will slow the progress of the disease if used early. Once he agrees to a doctor's visit, someone needs to go with her and make careful notes of what the doctor says - she herself will come out saying "the doc says I'm fine."
It's a good idea to use a ruse to get here there - ask her to go with you because YOU are having some problem and need her support.
Is it possible your father also has some memory loss? It is hard to be in denial when you live with the person. Maybe he thinks he is reassuring you, while knowing just how bad she is.
Any way you look at it, AD us a horrible disease and the caregivers need all the help they can get. A home health aide could be hired to give your Mom a proper bath every couple of days. It is a very hard thing for her husband to have to convince her that she smells - I had to do it with my mother and it was soul wrenching.
I wish you luck and lots of patience. God bless you.
I honestly don't think your dad is in denial anymore, not at the stage your mom is in. Your dad is probably the type of person who NEVER would ask for help, much less admit he and your mom need it. Very independent and strong willed. And if I'm right, he's going to be tough to convince that your mom and he need help.
I wouldn't suggest confronting him and risk argument. This may only make him more resistant to getting help for your mom. What I would suggest is that you contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Disease Foundation and ask them to send him information on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. Ask them to specifically include information on treatment. Make sure that he gets it. Then open the possibility for discussion after he reads it.
Take baby steps with him. I know you feel this has to be done NOW and it should be. But if you go too fast with your dad, it might backfire.
Many of our older generation still believe that this is part of growing old and there's nothing we can do about it. It's not part of growing old. And we can do things to make our loved ones lives a little more dignified for a while longer.