What can I do to minimize the negative atmosphere that my uncle creates when he visits my aunt with Alzheimer's?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Lovviees asked...

I take care of my aunt who is 99, who has moderate to severe dementia, I have been with her for four years. During this time I have taken care of everything, I have POA, and all of her financial and healthcare also. Lately, my uncle who was told by one of her friends that I stole her money, I have had elderly protective services called on me by this friend accusing me of stealing her money. which was unfounded by the elderly protective services. Case was closed, now my uncle is still insinuating that I have taken this money. I am so angry with all of this happening. We don't need the stress, it is never pleasant when he comes here, always some kind of distress and no matter what I say it is a lie or I am up to something. what can I do as her caretaker, to minimize the negative atmosphere he is trying to impue. I am going to try and not say anything to him when he asks me something or says something bad to me. This has been going on for a while now and I would like for him to stop this nonsense. Any suggestions

Expert Answers

Joanne Koenig Coste is a nationally recognized expert on Alzheimer's care and an outspoken advocate for patient and family care. She is the author of Learning to Speak Alzheimer's. Also, she currently is in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist. Ms. Koenig Coste also serves as President of Alzheimer Consulting Associates, implementing state-of-the-art Alzheimer care throughout the United States.

It must be so disheartening to be doing so much for your aunt and to have your uncle be so negative toward you. I hope you have folks who do know how much care you give and who support you. I think your idea to 'not say anything when he says something bad' is probably the best solution. If he doesn't feel he is upsetting you, which is his goal, then he might just stop making these unfounded accusations. The only other avenue is to ask him not to visit and explain that his presence causes stress for both you and your aunt. Tell him that when he can visit without being unpleasant, then he is welcome but until then you would appreciate it if he would stay away. You certainly can do this since you do have the POA and are looking out for auntie's best interests including her piece-of-mind free of negativity. Please take good care of YOU!