Hi Bowling Bun
Wow thanks I wasn’t expecting a reply so quickly!
Just to clarify these are my wife’s parents, not mine. My parents live across town and are in their late sixties/early seventies and in reasonably good health. My in-laws are in their 80s.
Re the lifting thing - I know I shouldn’t be doing it really. But if he’s trapped in the chair, either I’ve got to get him stood up and onto his wheelchair (and from there to the stairlift) or I have to leave him in the chair all night, which can’t be a good idea. The main problem here is the drink - he is drinking two to three large glasses of rum (and I mean, a full quarter-pint, no mixer) a night and has done for his entire adult life. Countless doctors have told him to stop but he won’t even consider it. He was very fit and active pre-stroke (even with the booze) so even when he was drunk he could just sort himself out - but now, with such limited mobility, he can’t.
Last night, while we were all watching the football (commiserations, England fans), he demanded more rum than usual but was already slurring his speech. When I told him that if he had any more we would struggle to get him to bed, he told me to F-off and become increasingly abusive. That’s a new level of anger from him. So to be honest, I think any conversation with him about drinking is off the cards - instead, I have hatched a plan to start cutting his rum with some alcohol-free pretend rum to at least reduce the consumption. Last night I managed to trick him with an alcohol-free beer, for instance. It’s not nice to lie to a grown man but I see very little other option.
You asked about alcohol-related dementia. We have wondered a) what impact the drink has had on him so far and b) whether dementia is starting to show. It’s possible his stroke was alcohol-related. With dementia, though, sometimes the after-effects of a stroke can be the same as signs of dementia e.g. mental confusion, mixing up words, reduced concentration, being quick to anger (although he always had a short fuse anyway). So if we were to try to get him assessed for dementia, and he does have it, would the care he requires and the way we should interact with him change much? Maybe there are better ways we can diffuse situations where he’s being horrible if that’s the case. What concerns me is that if it is dementia, it will only get worse over time.
Other things - my wife has financial power of attorney for both her parents, but not the other kind (I forget what it’s called). They agreed to that because they were in debt up to the hilt and we basically sold their house for them, got what little equity there was and cleared their debts. We do claim attendants allowance for them, and my FiL pays for care himself from his pensions etc. Financially it’s all pretty fair - we worked out a set amount for them to contribute to the household costs, agreed it with them and that’s just a direct debit, so all good.
We have discussed the possibility of residential care for him - but not my MiL, who is quite capable mostly but just got too frail to be doing with laundry and cooking etc. But the problems there would be separating them, even if we found a place nearby, and how to pay for it - there is no money left after the sale of the house and the debts. I am not sure he would qualify for any state support for that given that he is part of our household - I’m not sure how this is assessed?
Really what I’m looking for I guess is a way to stop these outbursts escalating. My FiL knows very well exactly how to push my wife’s buttons - there is a reason she moved away from him in her teens - and now they have daily shouting matches. I need to know how she and I can keep our cool and detach ourselves from his ranting rather than getting sucked into it, because it just makes him worse.