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Unexpected unrealistic complaints about me(the main caregiver)

My mother in law has lived in my home for almost three years. She will complain about me to health care professionals I think for sympathy. She is 92. Ok I get she will confuse things. She told her bone Dr ,that I don't like physical therapy to come in the house.  PT comes twice a wk now. My husband and I were floored. It's always she(me) wont let me. Help

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@JayneC674218  What Jane said! That sounds so frustrating!!! One thing I can tell you from experience, the people she's interacting with likely do understand that you are doing your best. They probably interact with a lot of care recipients and they know how to take things with a grain of salt. 

 

That said, do you or your husband go to her doc appts with her? Does she receive other services at home? Does she complain about you even when you are sitting right there? 

 

So often I find that people who feel they are losing control of their lives, (their bodies, their health, their home...everything they've always done) are just trying to have control over something. They don't want to tell the doctor they don't like to exercise because in my parents generation they really revere docs and don't want to disappoint them. So it's easier to say my daughter in law doesn't want PT coming to the house! 

 

I do think it helps to have a sense of humor about this when possible - expect it and it won't be so shocking or disturbing (unless it gets to the point where people think you are abusing or neglecting her!).

 

Hope you are hanging in! We have an entire section of the AARP Family Caregiving website HERE that is devoted to support when you are caregiving at home - hope it might be of help to you as you care for your mother in law at home! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert 

 

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@JayneC674218wrote:

My mother in law has lived in my home for almost three years. She will complain about me to health care professionals I think for sympathy. She is 92. Ok I get she will confuse things. She told her bone Dr ,that I don't like physical therapy to come in the house.  PT comes twice a wk now. My husband and I were floored. It's always she(me) wont let me. Help


Hi Jayne,

Wow, that's awful! And i apologize for not seeing your post before now. Hm. Sounds like there's something going on there with her. Does she feel neglected by her son? so, doesn't like you to care for her? Maybe she feels safe complaining about YOU but can't about her beloved son? (You know how moms can be about sons sometimes...) If you are there when the PT is there, and you can learn what the therapist is doing, and can then help your mother in law do the exercises, then what is she complaining about? Or maybe you are doing all that and she just wants to complain.

What a drag to be a caregiver and then be accused of not caregiving!

Can you share what your history is with her? And how your husband is dealing with this? I hope he's backing you up. 

    Although it may be hard to find where you're located, there are therapists who come to the home; perhaps she's depressed. Probably is depressed. She's lost her independence. Or you and your husband can go talk to someone and get some advice on how to help her feel less deprived.

    Or you might have to just accept this behavior and keep correcting the impressions of the doc and physical therapists, etc. as you and your husband help her. She's got some dementia, you said? Might just be a bit of craziness you have to endure.

    I hope not.

    Tell us more?

 

Jane

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