Hi everyone....new here need some advice about my mother-in-law

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Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/10/2008 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I am about to embark on a new chapter in my life and hubby and I will be moving to KS to be closer to his parents. So I guess I need some advice as to how to handle a current situation with my MIL. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago and still is in the early stages. She can still function as a normal person (drives, cares for herself and my father in law as well as tends to the household things) but I we will be moving in next door to them and I as I have dealt with people that have had this horrible disease before (I was a NA in a nursing home 8 years ago) I know that routine is everything.

But....never before have I had someone close to me that has been in this situation and I am afraid that I will upset the balance that exists between my sister in law as caregiver and my mother-in-law whom I love dearly by trying to help. So I guess I am asking is there anything that I can do to ease this transition into our moving next door and her life without upsetting the balance of things as they are right now.

Two I have problems of my own as I have Degenerative Joint Disease, CP and FBS that I too am seeing a doctor about. Of course my MIL knows of my problems and is very supportive, but I fear that she will forget so to speak that I too am dealing with things in my own world and expect too much from me. I know that this probably sounds selfish, but I fear that this move will throw her into a horrid complicated world that she cannot figure out.

Any ideas?

thanks for listening
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 8/10/2008 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Scarred,

Um . . . very valid thoughts. But you really won't know until you take a peek into her world and check things out.

I watched my dad drift down the AD road and had similar thoughts as you. I began by visiting frequently while mom was home and then I started "visiting" with dad while mom had some time to herself (2-3 days a weeks for about 5 hours at a time).

To my total surprise, dad could recognize when I wasn't well and he would motion me to the couch and tell me "go take a lay down" Not even my mother was good at recognizing a bad day . . . but dad never missed. Very interesting. So . . . I would usually bring something to do. Tiny jig saw puzzles (which he couldn't manage, but he loved to watch and I'd set pieces near the right spot and he'd work really hard at fitting them in). After I watched him cover one of them in a ton of tape (to hold it all together), we started "grouting" the puzzles with Elmer's glue. He was absolutely fascinated with spreading on the glue. I'd slide the puzzle on a piece of waxed paper and squirt on the glue and then he'd spread it with a tool used for spreading frosting on a cake. Then he'd watch over the puzzle till it dried and we'd hang it on the wall. We ended up with an entire wall covered with these little puzzles and he'd show each guest that came to visit. He just loved his art wall.

Early on he could even enjoy some computer fun and we'd go to the library and check out a couple compute games or go online and find something fun.

You just never know what will interest them. He even liked to stir the pot while we made lunch. I tried to take him for walks, but that wasn't his thing. But I could get out his golf putter and he'd put balls into a small trash can turned on its side and really enjoyed it. We tried put-put the living room putting was better.

I took him to some old favorite places. A small airport where he used to fly a plane. A couple places where he used to work . . . I had never been to some of these places, but I would try anything to see if he connected with any little thing.

He had done a fair amount of traveling over his life-time . . . so I took out the encyclopedia and found some good maps . . . he showed me where he was born and where he was stationed overseas and lots of other stuff.

I really did wonder how I would manage to entertain him . . . but each day brought its own adventure and plenty of things we tried didn't pan out . . . but it was always worth it to try 10 things in hopes that one of them would be interesting for him.

You'll find your way. You just won't have a road map for it ahead of time. I really think that God provides a way for people like you and me who just want to help.

So glad you will be so near to be part of things. Even having someone to talk to will be a blessing for your father-in-law who will be weary from caretaking. You can bring a meal now and then or help with some things that aren't too taxing for you.

I hope you'll post and let us know how things go.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/11/2008 4:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much Rosie for the advice. I think that I was worried more about stepping into a world that I have only seen as a caretaker of people that are not part of my family. Being a CNA I have dealt with AD in a more broader role but this has hit home so hard that even my husband is having problems dealing with it. I do know that my sis-in-law has been trying to work full time and taking care of both mom-in-law and dad-in-law and I can tell in her voice that she is tired. So maybe by hubby and I being there we can add to that extra help for them and bring some rest to my sis-in-law that she so needs greatly.

Living next door to my in-laws is going to be quite interesting. I expect my mom-in-law to come visit to get away from dad-in-law and his loud tv as well as someone new to go shopping with. I am ready to pitch in wherever I am needed and think that this is going to be a very good opportunity for both hubby and I.

Anyway I hope your day is going well.

Scarred
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/12/2008 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Scarred
Hello
You will find this an interesting and at times frustrating thing to do
BUT it certainly has its rewards
I looked after both mom and dad who I have lost recently( dad) mom 2 plus yrs ago..
Rosie and I would trade ideas back and forth with others as to what to do with our parents
Know you are not alone anymore and we will be HERE for you

I am sure your going to be an asset to your other family member
It is a very tiring thing as well
For your body and mind lol
Especially if they have active minds
I may suggessst reading some of other threads as well as checking out Resources
Again
YOU are not alone
Please do stay with us and know we are here to help you and guide you if we possibly can

Email me if you would like.......God Bless
.......................LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest
 
     Listen To Your Heart,Look Inside Yourself,Understand You
 
 
 
                    


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/15/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Howlncat. I do appreciate all your warm thoughts. I think that I will be able to handle this but I've never had anyone that I love come down with such a horrible disease and I have to wonder if I am not thinking wrong here. The one thing I do not wish to do is to butt in where I do not belong, but I have been told by my sis-in-law and brother-in-law that no worries there that my presence will help them with their tasks of trying to help my MIL with her daily tasks.

I am willing to do anything to help them and think that I will be a valuable asset with dealing with the AD. My knowledge of this disease is quite vast as I have dealt with this when I worked in the NH but too my MIL knows what she has and worked in a NH for many years, so she knows that someday she will not know anyone around her and is dealing the best she can with this.

I think my biggest challenge will be helping hubby with his own fear that his mom is going to basically loose her mind and I know he is pushing for this move so that he can spend as much time with her as he can before she doesn't remember anyone. He has been there for me through much with my health issues and this will be my time to help him through a tough time.

Don't worry about me leaving the forum, as I will stay and keep you all informed as to her health.
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/16/2008 5:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about hubby mine was and is the sam way even though we are now apart
I am helping look after his mom who I see some dementia starting and it is so sad
You give her a warm soft gentle huggle for me k
Stay strong
We will help you thru this

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest
 
     Listen To Your Heart,Look Inside Yourself,Understand You
 
 
 
                    

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