Sad situation, need advice (Long)

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agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 9, 2010 10:14 AM

My FH's grandfather is 85 years old. He lives with Eric's parents, who also have Eric's sister, niece, and Aunt living there. They have a whole "it takes a village" attitude.

Anyhow, Eric's grandfather clearly has Alzeheimer's disease. He is steadily getting worse. In the last year, I have witnessed significant changes in him. Here are a few of his behaviors:

*He repeatedly loses his wallet. One time the grocery store found it and returned it, another time it was most likely left on a city bus, and most recently, it was lost and there is no idea where it was left. So we've had to go get his ID duplicated many times in the last year. Also, in one of the instances, along with his wallet he lost $250 (as to why he had that much money, see below).

*He goes for "walks" and then catches the bus and goes across town to his house, which is sitting empty. While on that side of town, he goes to his bank and withdraws money. Granted, it's his account, but his daughter is also on it and she pays all his bills. He doesn't tell her he takes money out, and therefore she has no idea the money isn't there.

*He is diabetic. At home, his diet is somewhat controlled by what is purchased and kept in the house. But while he's out walking, he goes and buys donuts and other goodies that he is clearly not "supposed" to have. (Part of me thinks, he's 85 years old and if he wants to have a donut, who am I to argue?).

*The scariest thing so far happened yesterday. Eric's mom got a call from the police department. Apparently grandpa was picked up because he was trying to hitchhike down a very busy road!! This was while he was out on his walk. The PD also got calls that an elderly man was trying to get into parked cars.

So now, he's basically on lockdown. I am babysitting him because nobody else is here to do it. I absolutely HATE this because I am not really qualified to deal with him. He is the type who will wait until you are in the bathroom and then he will sneak out the door. He also has been known to put popcorn in the microwave for ten minutes, or put a whole potato in a frying pan with oil.

My mom does home health care, and she deals exclusively with the elderly. She gave Eric's mom a few ideas, and things to do to keep him safe, for the short term. Everybody agrees that he is not going to be able to stay home much longer- except Eric's mom. She is insistent that she will keep him home until the end. She did it for her grandma.

She never asked if I would mind staying with him. She just assumed it wasn't a problem because I don't work. I don't work because I'm on disability for severe panic attacks and severe PTSD. I'm not always emotionally capable of taking care of someone else all day. Especially someone who is going to argue with me about not being able to go on his walks, and all that.

What do I do? Today I'm doing it, simply because it's all last minute and I felt guilty. But I don't want to do this long term. Then again, I also don't want to offend anybody or make it seem like I'm not a team player.

Help please. (sorry it's so long)

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 9, 2010 10:38 AM Go to message in response to: agd1017

Dear Amanda,

Here is my best suggestion:

Contact your local Alzheimers Association and the local Area Agency on Aging.

Both organizations have resources to help people deal with aging parents and relatives. They can offer you expert advice, including legal, financial, logistical etc.

Check out www.alz.org or www.n4a.org. The second link is to the national Area Agency on Aging, where you can drill down to your local area.

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 9, 2010 1:26 PM Go to message in response to: agd1017

"But I don't want to do this long term. Then again, I also don't want to offend anybody or make it seem like I'm not a team player."

My mother had Alzheimer's for nine years, so I do have some feeling for what you're experiencing. Grandpa is not safe at home anymore (nor is the house safe with him in it), and you are neither qualified nor emotionally ready to care for him. Aunt's suggestion is a good one.

If FH's mother is so determined to keep him at home and care for him until the end, then that is her choice. It is not your choice, nor is it your responsibility. I assume that you and Eric are living in the same house? One solution is to remove yourselves and find your own place ASAP. That way, you are not "on call" all of the time. Of course, it also will be best if you focus on your own health and recovery, so you can get back to your normal life and, again, not be available to be "on call."

As for feeling guilty and being a team player, learning to say "no" is very difficult, especially in your current situation. But you have legitimate reasons that you cannot do this type of work. What does Eric say? In this case, he should be protecting and defending you against the demands of his family and making sure that YOU are in the situation you need to be in.

myra@classysassyweddings.com

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 9, 2010 1:37 PM Go to message in response to: agd1017

My DH's grandmom's both had Alzheimer's. My MILs Mom stayed with them at the house while my DH was in college, working two jobs and supposed to be watching her.

Needless to say it did not work out well and they finally out her in a home. While I think it was hard for my MIL she realized that it was the best for EVERYONE involved.

Anyway, I couldn't agree with Myra more. And honestly, Eric needs to step in and run interference on this as well since it's his family.

Good luck - that is just a sad situation on all fronts.

 

 

 

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agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 9, 2010 10:03 PM Go to message in response to: myras

Aunt- thanks for those links. I checked them out briefly and will get more into them tomorrow when I'm a little more calm and relaxed. I greatly believe that there are better places for Grandpa to be than at home. There are qualified professionals and programs that could enrich his life and keep him safe.

Myra- Thank you so much for the advice! Yes we are living there at the house as well. Originally it was to save money for the wedding and such. It started to morph into a really great situation (at least in my eyes) because his family is so close and for the most part functional, which is the exact opposite of my own family. I got warm fuzzies alot being there, and everybody seemed happy to have the houseful of people.

However, now it's clear that things have changed. And I'm not angry or bitter. Eric's mom said today that if we're not willing to help out with Grandpa, she will have to quit her job to stay home with him, and then we couldn't live there anymore because her loss of income would prevent them from being able to support 2 extra people. Which is weird, because we contribute to the grocery bill, water bill, and satellite tv bill. His sister contributes to other bills and his Aunt to other ones. So I'm not sure where this is coming from? And if we would have to move out why wouldn't his sister too? I'm a little confused but I got all this information over text message from Eric because I'm out of the house tonight, so when I see him again I will get the full story.

I really don't mind helping out and watching Grandpa. I just don't want to do it all the time. And I still don't believe that he should be at home anymore.

Eric is torn. He is used to his family's way of doing things, and he feels some sort of loyalty to them. But he knows it's not safe for Grandpa, and he knows it's not healthy on the family members to all be primary caregivers of an elderly man with Alzheimers. He feels bad that I am being put in this position and he wants me to voice my opinion and my feelings. He also said that he thinks it would be a good idea to have us all sit down and have a family meeting to discuss everything. I think that's a very good idea.

Pharm- Lucky for me, Eric is really sensitive to my issues and what's going on with me. So he is standing up for me and trying to find a solution that will work for everyone. Again, I think a family meeting might help greatly.

Additonally I should add that this is all happening kind of suddenly. I mean, yes we knew that he was deteriorating, but yesterday's incident was kind of a shock. And then today was sort of pushed on me, and I was jsut overwhelmed. Now that I've had some time to think about it, I feel bad for freaking out today, and I think it's important to have that family meeting ASAP.

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 10, 2010 2:12 PM Go to message in response to: agd1017

The family meeting sounds like a good idea. It might be helpful to get in touch with the Alzheimer's organizations beforehand (even if just by reading what's on their websites), to get some ideas about what's recommended and what's available. Of course, someone needs to be with Grandpa all the time. If your FMIL needs to quit her job to be that person, then obviously the family income will suffer. If you all continue to live there, then you will have to step up financially, doing more than just contributing to a few minor bills. Or you (meaning BOTH of you) will have to contribute your time to help out. But there also is the possibility of FMIL keeping her job and hiring experienced relief help during the day. Again, the organizations can provide qualified resources for you. These situations never are easy to work out, but it sounds like you have good communicatiopn and good feelings for one another, so I'm sure that you'll find a fair solution.

myra@classysassyweddings.com

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Sad situation, need advice (Long)
Posted: Jul 10, 2010 6:51 PM Go to message in response to: myras

I'm not sure where you live but where I live they have adult day care centers. That way while everyone is out at work during the day grandpa can be in a safe environment. We also have a locator service with the sheriff office. The program consist of an id bracelet for gramps with a microchip enbedded in it so that you can always find gramps just by using the locator. It's a GPS for people who need it.

I know it is a difficult situation I am living through it now. My father's wife is in the late stages, he has insisted on keeping her home and taking care of her. It is hard on him because he can't do a lot of things. He can't leave her at home and she won't go out anymore so someone has to sit with her while he goes shopping or to the Doctors.

It also means we have to call ahead when we want to visit even if we have made plans to get together that morning. Things can turn on a drop of a dime. We may be at my dad's and have to leave in a hurry due to her behavior.

 

 

 

Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

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