Where do we start getting involved in Dad's Alzheimer's care from another state?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 23, 2016
Jon's mom asked...

My father-in-law has AD in Florida. Both of his children live out of state. His caregiver is his second wife. At times she is verbally abusive to him, becoming short-tempered, also discussing his problems in front of him in the third person. I am concerned about this and feel helpless since I don't have a really good relationship with her, and can't really talk with her because she becomes defensive. He does not get adequate exercise...she is not physically healthy but he is. Where do we start?? Thanks

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.

Reviewing Alzheimer care from out of state can be, at best, hazardous! Finding out everything possible regarding the care, resources, support systems, and services in dad's FL community is of outmost importance. The more options for care, that you offer the present carepartner, the better the chance for a positive outcome. It is unfortunate that we can not insist that our afflicted loved one be offered alternative care when we feel the present carepartner may be less than ideal. All we, as loving family members, can do is to make recommendations and suggestions. However, it is your dad's comfort with today's scenario that is most important. He may be more comfortable with your stepmom-in-law's care than you are.

Give her as much information as possible about positive carepartnering techniques, support groups, and community based services. Suggest good articles and books and share your knowledge on appropriate caring techniques and hope she ingests some of the info and acts upon it.

Encourage her to be as positive as possible and to treat dad in a way that underscores his self-worth. This disease is robbing him of short term memories and cognitive function but he is still here, he is not gone and needs to be continually addressed as if he were a well-functioning human being with ideas and contributions.

A good reference point for your stepmom-in-law would be this website...caring.com could be a solid support for her hopefully new learning experience.

Community Answers

Maxwell's senior car answered...

My advice take the pressure off them and if you can hire a Geriatric Care Manager. She will assess the situation, keep you informed, give advice and execute it, once approved by you.

Geriatric Care Managers help to give you Peace of mind, avoid disasters and provide management in the lives of your elders, find respite care as needed and oftentimes save you money.

You can check on line or contact a GCM in your oiwn area, in case she can refer you to someone or you can contact the GCM Association.

Revyarb answered...

Power of attorney.