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Will the aggression be worse?
My mother-in-law, 79 years old, who is in moderate stage Alzheimers,
has been living with the disease for almost 5-6 years now. Our in-laws never
had a house and have been living with their sons and daughters all these years.
We belong to a South Asian background where the sons are supposed to take care
of the parents. So
the two sons alternate every couple of months to take care of the parents where they live in either of the houses and me
(I am 42 yrs old) and my co-sister (husband’s brother’s wife) being the primary
caregivers. However, my MIL is very aggressive and delusional that the daughter
in laws are either stealing or giving away her clothes, shoes, jackets etc., to
relatives or charity. 24/7 she is combing through the cupboards, closets, for clothes, cursing,
yelling, name calling and accusations that we have thrown them away. She calls
us “devil”, “piece of sh--”, “bitch” and lots of bad names in her mother tongue
etc., The cursing is unbearable, I daily hear several ways in which I am to be
dead in her words and she has vowed that she will take me when she dies along
with her, which sometimes creeps me out. One 3-4 occasions, she has pushed me, come
to hit me with her hand but stops when she’s close to doing it. She bangs the
cupboards, throws clothes at me including undergarments. But her physical
health is very good, she eats very well that she doesn’t fit into her clothes
anymore, which is another reason to accuse us of cutting and shaping her
clothes to fit my mother or co-sisters mother. Constant complaints about the
food I cook, spitting out food, tea, because its no good. Sometimes she herself
makes tea and spits out blaming me not realizing she herself made it. She is
very good with her own kids, and is very loving towards them and keeps referring
to them “my beautiful, kind children who have been so nice to her but these cruel
wives are ruining her life”. It’s the daughter-in-laws that she cannot stand
which almost makes me wonder or what is making her do this to the caregivers
who are sacrificing their beautiful prime years for her. Also repetitive behavior
such as constantly washing the same clothes everyday, saying its dirty, washes
her feet all the time saying the house is dirty, constantly sweeping the floor,
going out every 30 minutes to spit in the lawn. Lots of other troubling behavior
too. I work from home that making me basically a prisoner in my own house that
I lock the door in my upstairs room the whole day just coming out on when I
need to serve them lunch, breakfast etc.,. But she yells loudly enough that
even closing the door doesn’t help and it interrupts my work all the time. The moment
she sees me, she starts the tirade that I get palpitations when I see her. I try
to hide from her. My husband is understandably, very possessive about his parents, so there is not much support from him. Plus he cannot do anything much anyway about these
delusions. Unfortunately, her own daughters whom she adores, do not step in because its the sons' responsibility to care for parents. We have small young children, so you can imagine the added stress. We don’t think she is yet
to be put in a care home because of cultural norms. Probably that will be an
option when it gets into more late stages when she cannot do things on her own.
My question, does anyone know how long this aggressive behavior lasts, will
they become nice ever? Will the aggression be even worse that she actually
starts physically attacking us, other than just pushing and slapping?
Oh my goodness you are dealing with a lot. I'm so sorry! ITA with those that said it's time for an anti-psychotic. The violence has to decrease or it won't be sustainable for her to stay in her sons homes. It's not safe.She could seriously injure those caring for her. I cringed when you said "just pushing and slapping" because that's really unacceptable, especially because there are children around. The daughter-in-laws should not be expected to put up with violent behaviors.
My DH, young onset FTD, hit me once in front of our grandkids (they were in the car but saw his rage) because I wouldn't let him drive them home from school. When I brought it up at Dr. appointment, I was told that if it happened once, it would probably happen again and he needed meds. Seroquel has been a lifesaver for us. DH is calmer, not at all angry enough to hit, and I feel much safer.
Please do what is best for you and your family. Your children could be physically hurt or emotionally damaged by witnessing their grandmother's behavior.
It must be so scary for your little children to hear their grandmother threaten to kill their mother. Doesn't that concern your husband?
Is there any chance for a cultural experiment and have MIL stay for a week at the "perfect" daughters home, see if she is calmer there? Wishful thinking probably.....
I'm so sorry you have this situation. A family friend was eldest son's wife and that MIL was officially bedridden BUT oddly in the middle of the night she was up and about- snooping -moving things, eating-- come dawn- back in bed whining for her bedpan. Went on for over 10 years. Friend died of a heart attack from the stress.
My father has shown aggression towards my mother and myself. My mother and I have scratches and bruise marks all over our arms. I think it was caused by Memantine, but it could be caused by the natural progression of dementia.
I think there are a couple of things you can do to help reduce the burden for you that I did to help reduce the burden on my mom.
1. I hired a cleaning lady to come and clean the house weekly.
2. I hired someone to help out with the cooking. I am also south asian so it took me awhile find someone.
3. My father's insurance (he has medicare advantage) pays for Physical Therapy/Home Health aides to help with exercise, bathing and companionship.
4. I have found adult day care centers in the area that specialize in dementia/Alzheimer's so give my mom a break. (This will be out of pocket, but worth it if it gives you the break)
Thanks for the suggestions. Really scary to hear about the scratches. Will see what meds the doc prescribes her. I have a cleaning lady to help every two weeks. Cooking I do on my own. But adult daycare could be an option for the future when things get really bad.
To Victoria2020's question on daughters stepping in, they sometimes take the parents to their homes during some weekends, maybe once a month or so. MIL is frustrated there too about clothes being stolen or given away, but she doesnt blame the daughters or son-in-laws. Its still the daughter-in-laws and their family members. And shes not as aggressive there as she is in our house, because she is not seeing us. However, the daughters help can be expected only during occasional weekends.
AAll of this is very new to me. It frightens me.
My parents did argue alot throughout my upbringing.
I have been seeing many changes, but oddly: my mom has been loving toward my dad. She jokes, hugs him and asks for a kiss. I never ever saw them show emotions. Even my dad is shocked.
I wanted so much to believe this was "WHAT WE WERE GETTING AS MOMS DEMETIA CHANGE!"
I suppose I am a fool. Im so scared.
Yes, the aggressive behavior does escalate. My Mom punched a pregnant caregiver in the stomach about 18 months before she died. My entire life was set into a tailspin with emergency calls in the middle of my emergency work life ( emergency care nurse).
I would propose to you to let your husband know that you will call 911 if his mother hits, shoves, or pushes you. You cannot be an abused prisoner in your own home. It will get worse unless you proactively change something; your husband needs to step up for you, and you need to protect yourself if he doesn't help you.