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Old 12-07-2007, 11:13 AM   #1
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In law with Dementia

This is a new disease for me. My husband's mother was diagnosed with dementia. She lives a little over an hour from us and about an hour from his brother. My sister-in-law, her daughter lives close by. We just moved her into a retirment facility; however it is clearly not enough care. She needs assisted living. To make matters more complicated my mother-in-laws mother is in an assisted living facility away from us as well. She had some medical issues about two months ago as well; however she is really sharp in the mind department. She is over 100. My point is.....The sister-in-law is burned out. My husband has been providing most of the care for the last couple of months at a distance..... (for both ladies) he is tired and it is impacting every facet of our lives. I think we need to move both of themr closer so that we can somewhat get our lives back. I don't think anyone should be required to live this way. My sister-in-law states she can't do this anymore but yet jumps back in when she feels she can. When there is a crisis we have been there. Any suggestions? My patience is wearing thin and I can't help as much from where I am. Money is not an issue in this situation as both ladies have the resources for the best care available. At what point do you say

 
Old 12-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: In law with Dementia

My husband and I tried doing everything (like your husband) at a distance and we were exausted after 3 years. We have hired caregivers in rotation 24/7 and of course, we still need to be close enough for some of the doctor appointments, etc., but not to the extent when we tried to do everything. It takes some time to realize you can not do it all. My mother has dementia and my dad has
different health problems. Neither can care for themselves and certainly not each other. If I were you I would move them closer so your husband would not have to travel to care for them and have additional caregivers come into the facility or have them a small home with caregivers 24/7.
When you say money is not an issue hopefully it would cover the extra caregivers and believe me, your peace of mind is so worth it!

 
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: In law with Dementia

I'm kind of new to the caretaker dilemma, but from my comfortable post of distance, it sounds to me like you need to give yourself permission to let go a little bit. If both ladies have the means for complete assisted living, let it be so. There are many really good facilities that specialize in just this kind of thing. I think it may be like sending a kid to kindergarten - they don't want to go, but once they get there, it's not so bad. It sounds like they've both had full measure and you get to do the same. Would you want to do this to YOUR children? No. I'd bet both mothers, if asked, don't really want to be a burden, either. The end of life is just a little scary but give these ladies some credit. I bet they both have some strength to draw on, still. Allow them that dignity.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #4
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Re: In law with Dementia

Having had my parents in a care unit, you need to have them as close as possible if you can do it. IF one of the ladies has dementia, you didn't mention which kind, they will only get worse, and your visits will be closer and closer as the need arises.

I would look for a unit that has good assisted living with step down to full care to locked down unit for dementia. If you can find that lose to you, go for it.

I would sit down with the family and make the decision. It is too wearing to the entire family for you to continue this. And, I would suggest that you jump over the Alzhiemer board and read some of the threads there for good insight as to what families have gone through there..

good luck!

 
Old 12-10-2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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janis47 HB User
Re: In law with Dementia

Thanks so much for your insight and help. It really helps to know there are others out there that have walked this road and have really good suggestions. Thanks so much. I will look into the suggestions. They all sound like viable options.

 
Old 12-11-2007, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: In law with Dementia

ANother thing, you need to make sure that someone in the family has POA,both medical and legal over these ladies so that they can be taken care of. You don't want someone else step[ping in and taking over the estate...You need general POA and medical...

 
Old 12-11-2007, 07:01 AM   #7
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Re: In law with Dementia

Thanks. We will work on that as well. It has been tough getting that since they are so independent. We have an appt. to have papers drawn up.

 
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