Posted 10/15/2012 9:29 AM (GMT -7)
I can SO relate and I do feel your pain, and I am very concerned about you and the enormous stress you are under. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 9 years ago and by the way, Alz is just a form of dementia. She became horribly depressed, which I learned is very common in dementia patients. Maybe that is why your MIL retreats and is so mean to your son? Depression and anxiety can cause people to lash out. I am not trying to excuse her behavior, just trying to help you. As you said, you tell yourself it's not her fault, she has dementia. I use to say the same thing, over and over and over again and yet, after a year of mom living here, I had to move her out, I became so very sick from what I went through emotionally watching her decline. Also my husband wasn't on board with her living here and I felt as if I was being torn.
I know how some people feel about skilled care facilities and how bad some can be but there is so much information out there, you can make a knowledgeable choice and the best thing you can do is make yourself known there. I realize you work and have children to care for, but once she is placed, maybe your husband can get over there, even if only for 15 to 30 minutes. If the staff know family is involved, believe me, your family member will be taken care of. My mom has been in assisted living now for 3-1/2 years and between my sisters (2) and myself, someone is there every single day. What has kept her in assisted living and not in skilled care is that we are there. We put her clean clothes out for the next day. We put her nightgown on her bed. We make sure the staff has everything they need to help care for mom. My mom can undress and dress herself, but there is no way she could find her clothes, even though she has a small bedroom with a full bath, she simply doesn't know where her clothes are.
In any case, just wanted you to know that yes, there are others like you out here that do understand.