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The Big Family Meeting
Today, she is having a "normal" day. It's like the family meeting never happened. I am going to start the legal POA activities and need her to be onboard and somewhat understanding when we meet with the lawyer. She is still somewhat lucid most of the day and I need to take advantage of it. I have a plan B (full guardianship) if I need it. Which, of course, I hope I don't.
Thanks for listening......
Thanks for sharing about your family meeting! That is something we desperately need to do with mine but we're just not sure on how to go about it. My dad gets so confrontational over the slightest things and often misconstrues what we say. And he's not the PWD!
The good outcome, or as good as it could have been, from your family meeting is putting wind in my sails in a way. I have to figure out how to get dad on board and hearing that others are getting their meetings done is encouraging for me. Thank you!
Aside from memory issues many PWD also have Anosognosia, not denial but inability to understand their condition. Google it.
you make the appt with the lawyer and "sell it" last minute as she is
coming along for you to learn about the way the legal things work and
then see if she wants to do that too. A skilled elder law attorney
should be able to help once you're there.
to get her agreement or understanding in advance if probably
futile and worst of all can cause the subject of documents, lawyers,
financial medical powers etc to become triggers that she will fight .
causes emotions [sometimes just reflecting the stress vibe they get off
their care giver ] can make a PWD dig in since they can't understand
or follow logic even though their sentence structure and their
voice sounds the same. Behind the voice is their slowly decaying brain.
a PWD honor and respect is getting them safe vs getting their
agreement or trying to make them "happy." As their "understanding" maybe trying to get their diseased brain to process things that
may now be beyond them.
So glad you have family support in helping your LO deal with this.
I do need to get her to see my lawyer. I think the "last minute" idea is good and I may use it.
Again - thanks for the ideas. I am continuing forward with more tools in my toolbelt.
Judide - I am so happy to hear of your decision to take a different approach. An "intervention" type family meeting is not the most productive or even the kindest way to go with dementia.
Best case they forget it and it is a colossal waste of time. Worst case, they can't really comprehend the point but understand (and possibly hold on to) the most hurtful or distressing aspects of the experience and conversation. I would not do that to my worst enemy and definitely not a cherished LO who is already facing the most horrible situation imaginable.
Imagine the pain of hearing over and over that you are dying, there is no cure and you will have to be managed like a child basically, starting really soon thus being a huge burden on others you care about. Some of my DH's friends confessed they were afraid he might not be willing to live like that and worried he might self harm. They didn't know him as well as they thought - he is very brave and stoic, but in a very short time he had anosognosia and suddenly zero awareness that he is impaired in any way.
So, for those (many) PWDs who have that condition (anosognosia) due to the brain damage, it is beyond irritating, ridiculous and even infuriating for family or friends to claim they are ill and must relinquish their lives and plans to someone else to dictate. Leads to ALL kinds of pushback and drama, lots of hard feelings and stress for the primary caregiver and the PWD LO.
So, we learn here to work smarter, not harder. That is what you are doing now, and I agree 100% with everything Victoria suggested. Here are a couple of links that can help for you and the family members that want to learn how dementia works. And why it is kinder and wiser to work-around it. These quick reads, and many more tips on this forum are a much better use of time than family meetings that include the PWD LO, for all the reasons I mentioned above.
Wishing you all the best. I'm sorry this is happening to you all. She has a good advocate in you.
Anosognosia is a real thing. This article helped me a lot. 6 Ways to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Ill: Anosognosia in Dementia – DailyCaring
Do read this excellent article and share with interested family and friends:
Any suggestions for episodes when the PWD wants to "go home" and is very agitated and not responding to redirection? My neighbors, wife is PWD wanted to "go home" yesterday evening and this morning has no recollection of the episode. I understand that is typical, however do others just "wait it out" or try other ways to change their focus on wanting to go home?
Thanks for any ideas.
Suprnut, I haven't had that problem but others have had success with getting in the car, driving in a big circle, and ending up back where they started.
I think it’s a great idea, but I think it should be family without the person with Alzheimer’s — a family meeting to discuss the diagnosis and hopefully get everyone on board with a plan going forward.
I actually had a meeting with my husband’s daughter last fall. She’s the only family that needs to be fully aware. I arranged a time I could meet with her without DH and told her I wanted to meet with her alone. DH is aware he has ‘memory issues’. He knows he can’t handle finances. But, he still thinks he has abilities he actually doesn’t have. Speaking about this in his presence would be upsetting to him, and I saw no need to upset him. Luckily, for DH and me, she seems to have processed and accepted the information I gave her.