advice needed(17 Posts)
I wonder if anyone has a bit of advice for a concerned son-in-law
My Father-in-law (84) has been in hospital for 7 weeks now and there is talk about let him home.
His wife (79) wants him home but she is putting up obsticles
She will not allow carers into the house, she will not have a bed downstairs. These are 2 requirements to allow my father-in-law home, we would like a key safe so we can gain access in an emergency - she will not give either of her daughters keys.
Any advice on how to talk her into seeing the only way for her husband to be home is for 2 requirements to be met and access to a key in an emergency would be good
She is suffering with sciatica and has trouble moving, she can just about answer the door (after some time) but apart from that does not leave the house
Can you gently explain that ultimately his care professionals will decide what is best for him and if his wife doesn't accept the additional needs he has and the help required they might suggest he has to go into residential care??
I feel your pain, I am Daughter in law of DH's parents who both got dementia about the same time and had endless battles trying to get MIL to agree to carers for FIL ..... she hated them, refused to let them in and care for him, although she couldn't physically do it herself but she didn't want anyone else to look after him.... "I've looked after him for 65 years"...etc etc.
Not easy - perhaps some social worker input to gently make these suggestions then you're not the bad guy in her mind ...
I will go through a social worker. I just want my father-in-law home and get the help he needs (btw he has had 4 hip replacements - 3 on one side 1 on the other)
And because MIL is 79 also not in the best health she is not able to look after him the way he needs.
Perhaps that is the issue that she thinks she can care for him and doesn't understand his needs
She surely can't bath/shower him - he needs someone that can support his weight safely in case he slips - his hygiene and personal care are no 1 priority after his safety, poor mum, of course she wants to do it all but go gently and you might get her round to your way of thinking.... (who I am kidding. haha, didn't work here).... both ended up in care home but dementia is a whole different issue to yours.
Emphasis on "temporary" help too, so she knows it isn't/might not be forever....
I'm an adult care social worker, once she gets to know the care workers it might be ok . Or you could ask for a direct payment to employ someone she knows? I usually end up saying 'he won't be able to come home unless you have help ' but you can't always force it and sometimes things have to come to a head again . But we are used to being seen as the bad guys if she won't listen to you.
My dm will only really listen to men in uniform- doctors,consultants, even firemen who persuaded her to have a personal alarm. I had failed for years. Is there a trusted official/ gap/ priest etc who could help? Makes it more impersonal and less emotional. Good luck!
Indeed it sounds like she has no idea what would be involved in caring for your FIL. At some point i think it is OK to be fairly blunt when a relative is labouring under illusions that all will return to normal and be OK when it won't , at least not without a change in routine and accepting help from outside. It's worth knowing that hospitals have a legal obligations to arrange safe discharges. They could be liable if an elderly, poorly mobile elderly person goes home to a house full of fall risks. So by all means let her know that if FIL is not safe to return home without help from carers. residential care is the next option. If there is someone of her generation who is more likely to get through to her, maybe they could try and deliver the message. I remember with my DGF, who had Parkinsons, all my suggestions about home help etc were met with irritation. Then his cousin and her DH visited, said the same thing, and he thought it was a good idea.
thank you for your posts
We have bed in living room, all equipment needed.
just waiting on the care package FIL needs then he'll be home.
Well he is back home but the MIL is a nightmare.
We set up a baby monitor so if he had a problem at night she could hear. if he had a problem - she unplugged because his snoring kept her awake
My wife opens the curtains so he can see out to road - about 30 yards away. So he can see buses etc go by. She shuts the curtains with the excuse people going by on buses will see him in bed in the lounge - as if people on buses are interested. btw If they did and as he is well liked in the village the might visit him if they realised he was this ill.
Also he had a cafiter bag in his leg, just above ankle. It was full the first time carers came. My has been shown how empty it. My wife asked MIl if she could keep any eye on it to stop it overfilling. She refused saying she wouldn't look at that.
She did make him a cup of tea served with ginger biscuits. Well him got some crumbs on himself but you'd have thought the way MIL reacted that he'd murdered someone. Then she brushes him down very roughly, goes to kitchen gets dustpan and brush and sweeps up, still moaning.
She's supposed to be in charge of meds because FIl can't read labels. That is a nightmare. I wrote down what he needed to take the evening he came home. Well apparently that is the list she is using for all day. One set of tablets has days printed on back . She used the one marked Sunday on Thursday, the day he came out.
I've got doctor going round Monday to check what meds he needs/taking.
Sorry for moan but if MIL was murdered they'd be 4 suspects - 2 daughters and their husbands.
Oh dear! She sounds like a very difficult woman. I have come across this kind of scenario before, there are possible reasons. Maybe she's thinking "what about me? I have needs too and now it's all about my husband!". maybe she is not well herself, her behaviour is so unreasonable, do you think she may have early dementia herself? It must be very annoying because you have done your level best for FIL and she is acting like some petulant child. I don't know what to suggest, maybe scaring her a bit (you'll know best what can work- mention the professionals coming in and being upset about FIL being ill treated/ he'll have to go into a home and their savings will vanish). Or maybe allowing her to talk about what it's all been like for her, getting some of her resentments off her chest? maybe one of her daughters could have a private word with her?
I mentioned yesterday that the hospital have said he needs monitoring overnight. Therefore the only options if she won't have the monitor on is to have a carer overnight or move him to a nursing home. She didn't take it in so will get dw onside to scare the living daylights out her next time she does it.
You probably need carers in to give meds and empty the bag. If she won't do it, it's for his benefit. It will also make her life easier
They had only had 1 carer yesterday, who turned up at 9:30pm last night to put him to bed. So the carers can't do the meds if they only get 1 a day.
She refuses point blank to even look at the bag let alone empty it.
Just an update
In the first post I mentioned about not have a key.
Well my MIL was in screaming agony today. Could not get down stairs to open locked door. My dw called the police who broke the door down and MIL is down hospital for checks.
If anyone has the same problem (as according to the head carer it is not uncommon) you can pass this on that the doors were actually knocked down.
Going down to FIL now to help wife.
I really feel for you. I am a district nurse, and sadly, see this scenario too often. With all the emphasis on human rights nowadays, it is so hard for professionals to intervene if refused by the patient (which usually involves the husband/wife). People are often left in these situations to fail because people are not allowed to intervene. Unfortunately this means it comes down to family to pick up the pieces. I hope all works out well for you and your in-laws. I guess it must be really hard to accept help in your own home when you have been previously capable, but it doesn't make things easy for you!
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