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My mother in law has dementia and refuses to let a caregiver help

My mother in law has dementia and refuses to let a caregiver help, she refuses caregivers in her house. They are there only twice a week 4 hours a day. She yells at her caregiver and won't let her do anything. Its only been 3 visits should we just stick with it?
Status: Open    Jan 30, 2017 - 07:43 AM

Caregiving, Dementia

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Feb 01, 2017 - 12:41 PM

You may already have tried the strategies I'm about to suggest, but the most important thing for you to know is that this is not at all unusual behavior for someone who feels herself losing her autonomy and ability to navigate the schedules and tasks of daily life as she used to. Do you and/or your partner have a close relationship with your mother-in-law? Does she trust either of *you* to be with her in her house and help out?

If the answer to these questions is "yes," then one possible approach would be to set aside some time to introduce a new caregiver to your mother-in-law as your friend, someone you'd like to introduce her to over a cup of tea or coffee and cookies. Perhaps over several visits so that your mother-in-law starts to get to know the caregiver as a person (and visa versa). If you are a trusted family member to your mother-in-law, then someone you introduce as a friend, who comes with you and leaves with you for visits over a period of a week or two, might also become a person worthy of her trust.
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By Bless Caregivers on Feb 11, 2017 - 07:15 AM | Like (1)  |  Report

I have had the same concerns with my brother, 70, with ALZ. From day 1 of this dreaded diagnosis 6 years ago he was in denial. We had to go along with "fibbing" in order to initiate a lot of things he needed, that were the best for him. Cognitively he was still high functioning, but there were behavior concerns evident and I was told it would get worse. When the normal everyday things were becoming a challenge for him, we needed experienced help, troops called in. Sister/brother has made my assistance difficult, but, finding help maybe more so. I have found it must be the right fit, experienced with ALZ and memory impairment crucial. This disease is not "cookie cutter" so an aide has to know it's ok to fib, or not, honesty may be the best policy the next day, say what you must to get tasks done; tone of voice matters and a take control attitude. I did attempt "my friend" approach with no success, it worked better when the aide was "his friend" it seemed, then you hope for a bonding to happen, a trust, it's a good sign when you hear joking, laughter. I strive for that for him. The best aides come and go, agency pay a disgrace and they move on to better themselves, the norm it seems. I wish you the best, there are many caregivers who do give up, we can't feel guilty, the role is tasking, we do our best. God Bless

By pbooher on Feb 13, 2017 - 12:05 PM | Like (1)  |  Report

Hi - I have had the same issue with care for my mother. She was so angry and kept telling me she did not need a "babysitter". I did find another person who lived nearby in the same circumstances. So I would have her bring her mother over for tea or coffee once or twice a week. She also brought her "sister" who was actually the caregiver I had hired, and the "sister" would simply stay "a bit longer". This elaborate ruse worked out pretty well, and my mother learned to trust the caregiver as someone she could talk to. However, like most things, caregivers find other jobs/move/get sick, etc. so I had to have a backup. I did find a great place that she seemed to enjoy - it was a day center for dementia patients and not any more expensive than the home care. Of course, getting her up and going, out the door and dropping off while trying to get to work myself was a job. I managed to get her to try it by telling her that it was her work - she had been a banker for most of her career (36 years) which was a pleasant time in her life and so she would get dressed and going for that reason. But the anger was horrible, and it really upset my whole world. I had never had this type of reaction or relationship with my mother - it took a lot of adjusting for both of us. I found that anyone I introduced as "my friend" was looked upon with suspicion, but anyone that seemed to be just part of her everyday interactions or introduced to her by others could skip by. It is a terrible place to find yourself and my heart goes out to you. If I could tell you it would all change in 3 months, I would - but the problem is that this disease is so unpredictable. You just never know for sure. To keep your sanity and to keep a good caregiver (which can be hard to do), find one with a lot of experience and pay as well as possible. Chances are they will have some suggestions because they have been through this before with other patients.

By Bless Caregivers on Feb 13, 2017 - 04:21 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

Thank you pbooher for sharing your story. Sounds like we are on the same page. For the "right" personal aide for my brother I do pay well, remember birthdays, vacation times, little things that matter. I make sure I respect and trust them, their expertise and knowledge. If schedules change on my end I give plenty of notification and/or suggest another time slot. I strive for a good working relationship with someone helping us, yet being considerate of each other as well. Things don't change much with behavior or personality, seems to get worse with the disease progression. This makes caregiving more of a challenge and I know caregivers who have made the decision to "give up," I get it, you want to help but with resistance it's frustrating, not easy or safe at times. My last aide for morning care for my brother moved on, like many do. I've been "it" while seeking, now waiting for the "right fit" again. He wasn't perfect, but no complaints from my end. He worked well with my brother, that's the idea and challenge, and I was grateful for that. I don't ask or expect the aide to do "nasty" clean-up, even though it's part of the task these days, it's seems they shy away from that anyway. I am blessed that he does go to a day program, every day, wants to go, not having any problems yet. The personnel are great with him and have been supportive of me. Like your mom, it's always been referred to as "work," his attire, "a uniform." It's working for him and me; the consistency, routine, structure, engaging and socializing with others makes a huge difference for him. I don't think that sitting in front of a television all day, with or without an aide, is the best choice, not something I want for him, so I don't encourage 4 or 8 hour aide time slots, like you I prefer a good day program. I'm optimistic help is around the corner, believe in prayers and faith. I appreciate your kind words and caring. God Bless

By usheroes on Feb 19, 2017 - 11:34 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

My dad thinks that the caregiver that comes in is MY friend. Now he calls her his friend that lives down the road. The denial can take years to come to terms with (my dad still refers to his truck as "If I'm not here, I've probably gone to the store", even though he hasn't driven for over two years now. But those two years were HARD and FRUSTRATING!
The caregivers I use are ladies who need part time work, and willing to work for ten an hour. One used to be a CNA and worked with Alzheimer's patients. One has done this for years and has several jobs going at once. I have one (who is retired and can't make too much), and she is my main caregiver. My dad gets along better with her than the others, but through trial and error, we've finally found a good fit.

By usheroes on Feb 19, 2017 - 11:39 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

All have good advice on here. This has helped me as well. This is a daunting task, and we need all the support from others that we can get. :)

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