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Contributor
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎07-17-2010

My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

My mom in law is 79 years old and is on dialysis and has suffered many health problems. l Last year Mom began to forget our names; had no idea where she was, could not identify family members.....this week after dialysis she was very confused, developed a fever ; was admitted to the hospital with sepsis; tried to "escape " the hospital on her own....and yet despite all her symtoms my husband and family think she is going to "get better" and that her diabetes "is off" they say....I am a healthcare professional and I know she is not getting better. I have myself lost several family members at young ages. I am frustrated trying to keep up with their hop e that their mom as they will not accept she is dying from alzheimers.... its hard
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,752
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

I know it's hard and you are most likely correct, she will go down hill from here. The Docs probably want to clear up the sepsis and then see how her mental state is. Being "off" mentally is one of the first signs of sepsis we saw in nursing home patients.

Trying to make them see it will only make you the bad guy. Try to just be there for them and not say too much. I know that's hard, but IMO, it's really all you can/should do.

The Docs will approach them about stopping dialysis if they think there will be no more quality of life. I worked in a dialysis unit and have seen it happen many times.

It's God's job to judge the terrorists. It's our mission to arrange the meeting. U.S. Marines
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,697
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

I think betteb gave you some excellent advice.

It's always a victory for me when I remember why I entered a room.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,640
Registered: ‎05-13-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

The only thing I would suggest is to have MIL evaluated by a geriatrician in hopes of coordinating care for the multiple medical issues. Better yet, if there is a geriatric evaluation center near, have a complete evaluation done there. Then the prognosis is all in the hands of the professionals, not yours. Suggest it based on the need for coordinated medical care only. Really, other than this, let the family have their hope and don't try to break down their denial yourself.

Super Contributor
Posts: 1,906
Registered: ‎09-26-2011

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

Actually you do not die from Alzheimers. Just so you know.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

When a person is on dialysis there are certain toxins that just can't be removed by the dialysis and can cause dementia too if they get built up. Has she been actually diagnosed with Alzheimers or does the OP even realize there are other types of dementia than alzheimers.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,174
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

My beloved Mother In Law passed away two years ago this month and she had Alzheimer's and it is a hard disease to deal with in every sense of the word. It really doesn't matter if people accept that a loved one has it or not. It won't change anything or what happens in the future. Being positive and having hope sometimes is all anyone has and they need that to cope with a bad situation. Prayers for your whole family.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,141
Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

Unless your MIL has actually been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I would not be quick to think her recent actions are anything more than the usual age related issues. Altered mental status is associated with many health issues.
Super Contributor
Posts: 318
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

Her confusion could very well be caused from medications, etc.., and she may very well have Alzheimer's. If you are a health care professional you must realize people do not die from Alzheimers, especially in the very early stages. My Sister-in-law has been in a health care facility for 6 years and was admitted with Alzheimer's Disease, also diabetic, and other health problems.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,627
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My husband and in laws in denial about Alzheimer's

On 11/6/2014 champagnepoodle said:

Actually you do not die from Alzheimers. Just so you know.

Yes, you do die from Alzheimers. It's just not a disease that causes loss of memory. It is a brain disease. As the brain becomes more diseased, it loses the ability to control bodily functions and to maintain organ function. The organs, including the heart and lungs, will eventually cease to function. The patient dies.

"I've been here since October 2006. Wow!"