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I am Caregiver who just lost a LO leaving spouse with Alz
Jace Z.
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2020 3:38 PM
Joined: 2/5/2019
Posts: 15

I am Caregiver who just lost a LO that left behind 3 adult children (im married to one of them) and a spouse diagnosed with Alzheimers. My father in law has battled health issues for the past few years. The complications finally took it toll 8 days ago and finally had his funeral service this morning. Society today is dealing with Covid-19 how it has changed many peoples lives dramatically. My life and family circle on the other hand has its blessings and very fortunate to not be effected by Covid-19, health and financial wise. 

With this said, my MIL has been diagnosed with Alzheimers for roughly 3 years now. The progression is noticeable from then to the present. I assume maybe Stage 3 in its progression. I was would appreciate any kind of insights and advice on how to deal with my MIL grievance stage with her condition, I am the only caretaker who makes an effort to mentally and emotionally sit down and just talk with her. None of the her children express emotions in the way were that MIL needs. Her children are all females (38-43yo) and now im the only Male in the household. My wife and I are the primary caregivers for mom. But, I am the only one tapping into emotional caregiving. I told my wife that I need her help in this aspect but I know its hard for my wife to express emotions in a giving manner. This is where I need my wife to step up the most since today was FIL service. The other children have their own lives but live nearby and are always over our house 3-4 times/wk lately. But neither of them can express themselves emotionally either. 

I cant do this alone and this is my wifes mother. I dont want my MIL to rely on me constantly for emotions because I have to work. House over our head, food, bills, etc. i just dont have enough time to sit down and talk, board games, grocery shop. I typically invest 1.5-2hrs every other day to just chat with her. I recently built her a 15ft x 10ft garden box to keep her occupied and focused. Its been 2wks now and I find myself caring for the garden. Im patient with my MIL to start gardening but when she does work in the garden, its to have me do the work. Im still in process of motivating her. My wife invests but minimal time to help work/motivate Mom with her new garden. At least theres a bit of effort which I appreciate very much and will acknowledge it.

 How would someone deal with my situation? And outsiders POV is usually a good start for me to revise.

Due to Covid-19: I hope everyone is being aware and healthy. Lets get through this together. Take Care and God Bless.



Posted: Friday, May 1, 2020 3:43 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 5213

Thank you for being a caring son-in-law. My husband was also very, very good to my mother but I tried not to take advantage of his good manners high morals. Have a frank talk with your wife and tell her that too much of the burden for her mother's mental health and  well being is falling on you and you will be getting a companion helper to be with your MIL for a few hours everyday (or two) so you will not get burned out. If she says- well, don't do so much-remind her that she loves you because of the person you are and you will not be neglecting your MIL needs because that not who you are.

Very early in my mother's stay with my husband and I, I hired a companion for her. Mom loved the attention and for years they did many things together. Knowing I did all I could to make my mother happy in the early stages of her disease made it possible for me and my husband to have no guilty feelings later on. I know we did everything we could to be to good to mom.  No regrets, no guilt and that is a good feeling now that mom is gone. We can happily live our lives now.

The family dynamics you are seeing is not uncommon and you won't be able to change it, so instead of fighting a lost cause-do what must be done on your end and forget about the MIA's (missing in action) siblings and do the things that will bring joy to your MIL and peace in your heart.  Good luck!

Jace Z.
Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2020 2:50 AM
Joined: 2/5/2019
Posts: 15

TessC wrote:

so instead of fighting a lost cause-do what must be done on your end and forget about the MIA's (missing in action) siblings and do the things that will bring joy to your MIL and peace in your heart.  Good luck!

  • Tess, Thank you for kind words. Signing on today and the timing on reading this couldnt have been any closer for my emotions to get the best of me. I literally had a frank talk with my wife about the constant care for my MIL is draining the life out of me. She listened to every word I had to say. She felt defensive at times but I clearly addressed the emotional connection i had gained with my MIL. My wife clearly understands the progress ive gained and she should experience the beautiful side of care taking. It will be exhausting but we both can be a force in positive way. I just cant do this alone. With this said... I didnt tell my wife but I will continue to provide care regardless the issues. I love my wife and will continue to through thick and thin.
Tess. again thank you.