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Elderly parents

PIL - difficult situation

4 replies

emess · 22/05/2013 20:05

MIL, 85, has had carers coming in for the last 5 weeks as she has mobility issues. She can barely walk, even with a walking frame. She sometimes sinks to the floor, and has to be lifted up - usually by my DH. FIL can't (he's 89) and carers are not allowed to. FIL helps her on and off a commode during the day as required. To move her he pulls her across the floor on a dining chair. (Yes, at 89!). We have established that she has not been taking her pills properly (she blames FIL!). We've got her onto the weekly cassette which the local pharmacy delivers.
She has lately decided she's had enough and has complained to us, to the social worker and to the carers themselves that she just wants people to stop interfering and leave her alone to get on with her own life. MIL has developed an intense dislike of several of the carers, which doesn't help anyone. Today the SW told DH that MIL was offered intensive physio and rehab but she refused. SW also told DH PIL refused to have a community alarm. MIL is deluding herself that she can cope - she thinks FIL will help her dress, go to the toilet etc when in fact he's really stressed and this is an unfair burden.

DH (only child) is currently refusing to visit them again on the grounds that MIL is refusing to cooperate and has refused all help offered. She has become extremely self-centred, obstinate and ungrateful.

Should I leave the 3 of them to sort it out among themselves?

OP posts:
droitwichmummy · 23/05/2013 08:11

I think you may have to do what I did and risk being the bad guy by suggesting that the time has come for her to move into a nursing home. You get to a stage where you need to stop thinking about what they want and think instead of what is best for the person they live with.
It is a hard road; I wish you luck Flowers

purplewithred · 23/05/2013 08:29

Is MIL just crabby and understandably fed up or do you think she may be in early stage dementia? Is her mobility loss temporary or permanent?

What are you most concerned about? I would be worried that one of them would fall and do themselves some serious damage eg break a hip. Then it would be game over I'm afraid.

Why won't PIL have a community alarm? What does he think will happen if he has one?

DH refusing to visit may be an excellent strategy. If DH stops lifting MIL back up, is unavailable or puts his back out or something they will have to call an ambulance which may help impress on them how vulnerable they are.

emess · 23/05/2013 20:20

Thanks for your support, droitwich and purple. I was initially annoyed with DH being angry with them but at the same time I really see his point. But since they are not my family, I see things differently from him (less emotional involvement).
purple - mobility loss will be permanent if she makes no attempt to do her exercises and practice walking. She's doing neither. She has no motivation to walk, as FIL brings everything to her, or pulls her on the chair when she needs to move. Dementia? Well, can't rule it out, but DH's money is on willful manipulation at the moment (she has form).

Why won't they get a community alarm? No idea. It was first proposed by SW when DD was visiting. DD reported to us that MIL said yes, FIL said no "because DS lives along the street". We have suggested it to them too, since then: MIL looked surprised and said no-one had explained how it worked. SW has since told DH that PIL phoned to ask for an alarm then phoned back to cancel it. We no longer know who or what to believe. Repeat ad nauseam re pills, visits from GP etc.

I agree that another fall is likely - only a matter of time. I only hope that FIL doesn't get hurt as a result of MIL's selfishness. She really is putting a great burden on him, and he's getting worn down.

Maybe we just have to sit it out and wait for things to take their own course.

OP posts:
pippop1 · 24/05/2013 18:35

Sounds like there is dementia mixed up in there somewhere to me. MIL's surprise for example.

It may be that DH will have to intervene and organise the alarm. He can say that it's for his peace of mind, not theirs and if they don't need then it won't be used.

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