Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: My MIL that just went to assisted living has not adjusted- likely just too early

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,370
    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    One very wise nurse in a nursing home gave me an intelligent and loving answer to my question of "how do you cope with such challenging people?". Her answer changed how I saw those with advancing dementia and other issues. She replied very gently, " I simply see them as small children". See MIL as a frightened child and respond accordingly, gently but firmly. Hard to do, I know, but it does work.
    Those with advanced dementia are seen as toddlers. That nurse was an inspiration for many.
    I actually, having now seen this in both parents, disagree with the toddler approach. I am finding much more luck with what I am reading in the book Contented Dementia, which argues for getting inside their paradigms, which do make sense to them. My mom is not illogical--she just has the wrong circumstances. She does not act differently than she did when she was a practicing lawyer. So I can't see infantilizing her and looking at her as a toddler when she pulls the dressing off her wound or she finds a way to cut off the wanderer bracelet they have placed on her, which irritates her. At home, all her life, if something bugged her, she dealt with it herself. When she refuses to go to see the doctor, she is acting as she has always done--she always hated doctors, she never went, and why should this be seen as "misbehaving" or "being difficult" or "obstinant"--all of which my brother and the some of the nurses have seen it as. She is being consistent, she just does not understand where she is or why she has been deprived of agency, why she is not allowed anymore to not sign a legal paper she does not understand--that is imminently sensible, and not at all like a toddler. If she thinks she is on a trip somewhere with well-meaning but bossy waitstaff, then she is reacting in a way that makes sense.

    Treating her as a toddler, acting as though these are discipline issues--it doesn't seem effective and I would not want someone talking to me as though I were a toddler at this point, even less if I had reached 90, and had life wisdom to share--she still does, by the way, and it is very different than talking to my 3 year old toddler granddaughter, even if both wear diapers.

    Although my 3 year old granddaughter has a lot of life wisdom to share, too, lol.

  2. #12
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,928
    My MIL is also being consistent- like Tybee mentions above- only she's always been demanding and unreasonable and nothing has changed there. An example being she doesn't think there is anything wrong with asking someone to drive 80 miles to retrieve something she forgot to pack (and is not essential to her immediate survival), after that person already driven 80 miles that day and already spent the entire day lifting, sorting and cleaning on their day off. She didn't like hearing no, and continued to keep asking it over and over with more insistence. In our case, my husband does need to speak to her like a child. Not infantilizing necessarily, but more in the sense of a parent saying "no, you cannot have that 3rd helping of ice cream".

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Price County, WI
    Posts
    759
    I recognize the courage implicit in cleaning out MIL's apartment and visiting her in Assisted Living. In the future staying in touch with her may require effort... it may seem like thankless effort. One can be optimistic that her life will continue to offer laughter, pleasure, joy, and love.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,684
    Have you seen these? They are designed to help with the fidgeting and picking at skin that many people with dementia get.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=twid...X-GlyxuxpIAFM:

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    5,667
    My friend that got dementia young was always the most positive, kind outgoing person you would ever want to meet. I thought for sure that she would adjust to the home after a period of time because she was such a people person and just her attitude and personality in general. Her DH was dying so she had to go into a home. Instead within about 6 weeks she totally lost her mind, withdrew entirely and the doctor said no way did the dementia cause her to go downhill so fast. It was the saddest end for one of the sweetest people I have ever known. Thankfully, her cancer came back and killed her after 18 months.
    They say most people adjust after 4 months but you never know.

  6. #16
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,117
    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    My MIL is also being consistent- like Tybee mentions above- only she's always been demanding and unreasonable and nothing has changed there. An example being she doesn't think there is anything wrong with asking someone to drive 80 miles to retrieve something she forgot to pack (and is not essential to her immediate survival), after that person already driven 80 miles that day and already spent the entire day lifting, sorting and cleaning on their day off. She didn't like hearing no, and continued to keep asking it over and over with more insistence. In our case, my husband does need to speak to her like a child. Not infantilizing necessarily, but more in the sense of a parent saying "no, you cannot have that 3rd helping of ice cream".
    I see this specific situation as a classic case of drawing boundaries that protect yourself. You dont tell her what she may do, you define what you are not willing to do. So no, you are not willing to drive 80 miles to pick up the melatonin. But if she wishes to hire someone to do that, have at it.

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    5,667
    I agree with IL that is beyond stupid. It sounds like she was always unpleasant and nothing has changed

  8. #18
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    9,593
    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I actually, having now seen this in both parents, disagree with the toddler approach. I am finding much more luck with what I am reading in the book Contented Dementia, which argues for getting inside their paradigms, which do make sense to them. My mom is not illogical--she just has the wrong circumstances. She does not act differently than she did when she was a practicing lawyer. So I can't see infantilizing her and looking at her as a toddler when she pulls the dressing off her wound or she finds a way to cut off the wanderer bracelet they have placed on her, which irritates her. At home, all her life, if something bugged her, she dealt with it herself. When she refuses to go to see the doctor, she is acting as she has always done--she always hated doctors, she never went, and why should this be seen as "misbehaving" or "being difficult" or "obstinant"--all of which my brother and the some of the nurses have seen it as. She is being consistent, she just does not understand where she is or why she has been deprived of agency, why she is not allowed anymore to not sign a legal paper she does not understand--that is imminently sensible, and not at all like a toddler. If she thinks she is on a trip somewhere with well-meaning but bossy waitstaff, then she is reacting in a way that makes sense.

    Treating her as a toddler, acting as though these are discipline issues--it doesn't seem effective and I would not want someone talking to me as though I were a toddler at this point, even less if I had reached 90, and had life wisdom to share--she still does, by the way, and it is very different than talking to my 3 year old toddler granddaughter, even if both wear diapers.

    Although my 3 year old granddaughter has a lot of life wisdom to share, too, lol.
    So much wisdom here...
    I really, really hope I die before I'm reduced (by others) to the status of "willful toddler."

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    My parents tried so hard to die in their home. We are faced with similar cleanup that you are doing. They can't return home their medical needs are too great. It is heartbreaking to lose your home, and I see how it has caused them to lose their bearings completely. It is just a slow horrifying death. I hope your mil can adjust as this is such a cruel process for someone to be forced by life and bad luck into a nursing home.
    I agree. Suddenly you no longer have your home, you’ve lost your personal autonomy, and stuff you valued is being trashed.

    My MIL shares a house with us. She’s mentally sharp, physically getting frail. She can be really demanding, territorial, and picky, but she’s lived in this house for close in 50 years. She’s 95 now. I don’t like her, but I wouldn’t want her to wither away in a care home.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    196
    OP: take heart.

    I moved my elderly mother out of her house - kicking and screaming, phoning at all hours, crying and complaining - into an assisted living home.

    3 months later, the complaints became "this place is too nice. I can't afford it."

    She could afford it and happily stayed there for many years.

    During my early visits, she would start complaining. I would simply leave after telling her I would not listen to complaints unless she was willing to do something to solve the problem.

    Behaviour is stronger than words
    .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •