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Old 03-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #1
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Know it all family members

This is my first post. I need to vent. I am the daughter-in-law of a woman who is moving very soon to a nursing facility. In the past 4 months she has gone downhill and in order to keep her safe we found it necessary to place caregivers in her home. In all the months only two family members have helped with the situation. Their help has been a godsend to us since we live 1000 miles away. I am making my 3rd trip this week and it is my husband's 6th trip since January. In all this time my brother in law and his wife have done nothing to help and all they do is criticize the decision and competency of the caregivers. Now they go visit one day (by the way they live close to her)and say my mother-in-law just needs to get out of the house. They ignore all the medical documentation of her condition and in one day have all the answers. I can't describe the time and energy that it has taken over the past months to get her situation taken care of. They have no right to judge now.
Thank you for letting me vent.

 
Old 03-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: Know it all family members

Is your mother-in-law still 1000 miles away in a NH? Can you move her to be in a NH near where you are if your husband is the main caregiver? It helps if the family is closer to the NH. My FIL is near where we are - not so close but better than 15 hours drive!

As for the family who judged your decision, maybe you can just ask them to get involved or just back off. Either they go there to take her out of the house or they move her to where they are.
Every NH has activities and outings as well. They must have some activities or outings. If your MIL is too sick then she may not want to go out. Where my FIL is, the home has weekly outings - once or twice a week. It is up to the residents.
Also, if you feel your MIL needs more help or activity, you can talk to the director of the home and discuss the care plan.

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-18-2012 at 09:03 PM.

 
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Know it all family members

Thank you so much for the reply. We are actually moving her to NH this coming Saturday. The brother in law has said all along he can't deal with all of it leaving it up to us to do all the arrangements and testing etc to determine what direction is going to be best. We are the only family that lives so far. The rest of the family is near her. So we thought it was best to keep her there so she would have family. We didn't realize no one would step up and that my brother in law would be so immature. His wife is a "caregiver" yet does nothing but criticize. She never offers to help but tells my brother in law that our choices are bad. So in all these months they finally take the time to see the NH (which is very very nice. She will have a lovely apartment style room and lots of opportunities for socializing and outings). They had nothing good to say about it. Then they took MIL to lunch and the store and claimed she is fine and that her problems come from being "cooped" up with the caregivers who they claim do nothing. All that observation in one day. Again I am venting. My husband has had power of attorney for 10 yrs. has kept her financially comfortable. He put long term care insurance in place years ago so now the NH is going to be paid for. He has spent so much time all these years without complaint. He has been left for all these months to make the plans with only the support of an aunt and uncle and myself. I handle all the paperwork and bill paying now for her home and for the caregivers etc. I think that it may come to just moving her here where we can see her often and take care of any issues or needs. She had been evaluated and diagnosed and needs 24 hour care yet my brother in law in one day says all she needs is a trip to the store! It is so stressful and I try not to escalate my husband's stress by all my anger toward my brother in law right now so I found this forum to express my feelings. I so appreciate that you took the time to answer.

 
Old 03-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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Re: Know it all family members

Dillinda welcome to the world of Alzheimer's. I do understand your plight because I have been there as well.

First piece of advice. You can not let BIL's denial create chaos in your life. Those that can not handle it also think they know it all. He has admitted that he can't deal with the situation. He's in denial. To sooth his anxiety he has to pretend that it will be ok if you would just blah blah blah. Yep, it's call denial. SIL should know better being a care giver but sometimes those professionals are way too critical of a facility.

Yes I have been where you are. I live the furthest away. Yet I was the one that ended up getting the diagnosis for Mom. I was the one making those trips home and getting in home care in the beginning. I also thought it was best that Mom go live close to other siblings. I was still making those long trips to take care of Mom. 18 months later I moved her here. That was three years ago and moving her here was the best thing I have done for everybody I also handle her finances and have worked hard for years to make sure monies lasted longer than she did.

If the siblings that are there do not do anything now, are in denial, and do not understand the disease, then how are they going to be of assistance to Mom when she is in the NH? If a trip to the store will cure dementia how are they going to deal with the NH as Mom deteriorates?

You do have every right to be frustrated. This is a frustrating disease. The decisions that need to be made are not easy. If you throw in family members that don't "get it" it only makes it more difficult. But what you need to do is turn off their negativity. Understand that it is their choice to be in denial and you can't fix it. The only thing you can fix is how you let it affect you. You can't expect them to do any different because you are the one that is going to be upset and angry. Just like you accept MIL's disease, you have to accept the inabilities of the siblings.

My favorite statement is ... "Sorry you feel that way!" I don't try to change their mind or argue with them. I make my statement and keep going forward doing what needs to be done. When they can't ruffle your feathers they will probably back away and bury their heads in the sand. There are things worse than no help

So see how it works there if you want to try that. If it doesn't work out don't be afraid to move MIL where you and your hubby can do what you are doing without that long trip!

Welcome to the board Vent all you want because so many of us here understand and are in the same boat with you. Drag up a comfortable chair and a cold drink and type! Venting is a great way to relieve the stress.

Love, deb

 
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Dillinda (03-19-2012)
Old 03-19-2012, 03:18 AM   #5
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Re: Know it all family members

Dear Dillinda, this is much more common in Dementia caregivers than you may think. I got all kinds of comments and suggestions from well meaning (and otherwise) family members. One kept saying Mom just needs more fresh air! One said "You need to make sure she eats plenty of vegetables". Another one wanted her to carry a liter of water with her and drink a lot of it, this would magically bring back her memory.

Ignore them all. Get her placed in a safe caring facility and be thankful you did.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to take her into their own home and provide 24/7 care.

As the main caregiver for 5 years I know what Im talking about.

The last straw was a relative saying, at Mom's funeral, "if I had only taken her home with me she would not have died."

I guess eternal life is right there, in her house!

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 03-19-2012 at 03:19 AM.

 
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Dillinda (03-19-2012)
Old 03-19-2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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Re: Know it all family members

Deb, I read your post in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep thinking of all of this and I was overwhelmed and grateful for all that you said. Thank you for taking the time to give me such a gift. It is so difficult to remember that we are doing all that we are doing for the right reasons. I will re-read it this week to remind myself that no matter what is said we are moving forward and anyone who would like to criticize I will remember to say "sorry you feel that way" ! Thank you

Last edited by Dillinda; 03-19-2012 at 06:15 AM.

 
Old 03-19-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
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Re: Know it all family members

What Deb and Martha said!

When it comes to caregiving, everyone is an "expert" but few take the responsibility.

Move her close to you as soon as you can. If you don't you'll still be making those trips everytime something comes up... and that will wear you out if it already hasn't.

Tell the critics to take an active role in helping with the care giving or keep their opinions to themselves.

vent away!

K

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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Re: Know it all family members

Marha
Thank you for that reply. I am glad to know that the comments that my BIL are making are not so different than what others in the same situation have heard from family members who think they know it all. Last night when I wrote my first post I had never posted anything anywhere before but I was so frustrated and needed to vent. I never expected to have people respond with such helpful thoughts and advice. Thank you so much!

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Know it all family members

Dillinda, Deb has given you some great advice, I can only add that most of us found our way here on this board because like you we were at wits end and had nobody to vent to. Our siblings for some reason didn't beleive what was happing so they only crititized what we were doing. I agree that if you can you should try to move mom closer to you to save you that long trip, and there will be many, just because mom is in a care home does not mean that you can stop being vigilante, in fact you have to become mom's advocate and make sure she has what she needs when she needs it... That is a tough call from 1000 miles away. Most of us on here have a bag packed and keep it in our cars and we live close to our loved ones. I am so glad that you have found your way here, you can lean on us who have walked in your shoes and who are walking in your shoes.

sending lots of strength you way
judy.

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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Re: Know it all family members

Dillinda,

It is harder to visit her. We used to go to Chicago 3 times or more per year to see my FIL before he moved. It was expensive to fly and sometimes we had no choice about the timing. Now he moved to VT and we are much closer. We just sold his house in IL. We feel much better. We are not going to IL any time sooner this year anymore! (We still got the storage unit there.)

Since your MIL just moved to the NH, you may want to wait a little bit. She cannot be moved too many times. On the other hand, if she just arrived, she can move to another NH near you so she will get adapted either way.

The problem with this long distance for the NH is, at times, the NH wants to see you for a care plan every 6 months or so. At times they will ask you to buy this stuff and that stuff (clothes or shoes or cushion...) and you would like to check it out right away to see the new stuff. Given this long distance, you cannot. You may then have to hire a personal caregiver to see to it for you and report to you. This is expensive.
Also, if your family who are closer to her don't like where she is, they could also manipulate her and who knows, move her or do something to shock you. For her own sake, she needs to be stable.
Perhaps you need to look into the NH near your place and plan on it.

Siblings do have problems and sometimes you have to draw a line.

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-19-2012 at 02:39 PM.

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #11
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Re: Know it all family members

Dilllinda, I to showed up here late one night when I was at my wits end. That was.... 5 years ago!! I am so very glad you decided to chose this place to vent. You are now part of a group of like minded souls traveling on the same path you are. Some are ahead and some are behind but we are all in this together.

Yep, We all have those relatives. My sister, even after diagnosis, said if we would just treat Mom as if she was normal it would be ok. HUH? I guarantee that one day you will look back and giggle as i just did when I typed that.

Hang in there and know you are on the right path

Love, deb

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: Know it all family members

My brother told me that my mom was just getting old and that all older people act strange at times. hello, she tried getting out of a moving vehicle... hello, she would not bath anymore... I could go on, and on and on.... just gotta love my brother...

hugs judy...
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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Re: Know it all family members

Dillinda

I stumbled upon HB 4 and a half years ago. WOW! has it been that long already...?

Anyway, these folks were my rock ... often in the middle of the night. So when your family and friends don't understand, we all DO.

It's not a fun journey. But like I always tell newbies... you are SO much stronger than you ever thought you could be. And you will make it thru. .

Welcome aboard the S.S. Dementia. The seas may get a bit rocky at times, but you have fair weather ahead.

Many thanks go out to Martha, Deb, and so many others. You are a lighthouse in the storm. Thanks, K

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:35 PM   #14
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Re: Know it all family members

Thanks to EVERYONE who posted responses to my middle of the night venting. I am so grateful to realize that there are people like all of you that are willing to take the time to help and offer support. I see now that it is not unusual to have family members ignore all the obvious signs and symptoms and medical documentation and think that a trip to the store is all that is needed to help everything be normal! Believe me, there are times I wonder myself in those times of brief normal behavior if her condition is really as bad as we think. Of course that lasts only a short while. The reality is there whether other family members believe it or not. Again, I thank each of you for the support.

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:05 PM   #15
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Re: Know it all family members

Dillinda you have a good handle on the reality. Yep, the up times can fool you if you don't remember that the down times are there as well. That is the nature of the disease... up and down and up and down but as times goes on the ups get lower and so do the downs.

I have always thought it might be nice to float in the sea of denial. To be oblivious to what is going on with my Mom. Then I remember that somebody has to take the lead and do what needs to be done. I think it says something very positive about each of us that we have grasp the reality of this disease and set our minds to helping our loved ones. Despite what any other family member things we deserve a pat on the back.

It is good to know we are not alone in these experiences. When we finally find out that we are not the only one dealing with this and it is more normal than we think it does make life a little better.

So keep typing Love to hear more from you...

Love, deb

 
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