My husband's father has Alzheimers, he received a preliminary diagnosis over a year ago (probably closer to 2 1/2 years ago). His wife (my MIL) is still living and is taking care of him. He received his diagnosis, when he was already fairly advanced (having severe short term memory issues, losing his way, focus, etc). His wife is having an incredibly hard time accepting this (which doesn't surprise me, and I can't imagine what she is going through). We live about 1/2 hour away from them. She has not taken him to the recommended specialist for followup diagnosis, appointment or meds, even though we consistently offered to go with her, support her, etc.
Dad has been getting progressively worse and is now to the point where he can not dress himself or do other things for himself, without her standing over him, 'helping' him do it. He has gotten lost once and since then, we have changed door locks and other things to keep him in the house. We are doing everything possible to keep him safe. So his safety is not my main concern.
My main reason for posting here, is: how do we help my MIL accept this and the fact that she needs to think about assisted living or getting help or whatever? Every time my husband or I broach the subject she becomes extremely defensive and refuses to talk about those issues. She doesn't want to discuss their finances with us and has told my husband to keep his nose out of their business. She is less defensive with me, but I also try not to push too hard, as I know that taking any of these steps means that she isn't able to take care of her husband, her love, the man she pledged to stick with through sickness and health, etc.
I go in at least once a week to help her and this time was originally for her to go out and run errands, see friends without having to take her husband with her. But for the last 6 months, she seldom leaves me alone with him. I believe this is because she treasures my company over more than going out on her own, but I worry about her not getting away ever to have a break. Occasionally she will go out to get her hair done or dentist appointment and leave him with me, but these are the rare exception. We are lost at how to help her through this and worry that she won't be able to make the decision of when it is no longer practical or safe for her to be his sole care provider (keep him in the house with her).
I'm not sure that she would accept a 'stranger' in her home to help care for him, as this is her 'job', her responsibility, and perhaps thinks she is failing him, if she can't do it. I see a lot of posts about caring for your parent with Alzheimer's, but little about caring for the other parent as they deal with a spouse with Alzheimer's.
Any suggestions and advice is welcome. Thank you.View Thread