Hi I’m new to the forum and hoping to talk to others about caring for someone MCI mild cognitive impairment. My mother in law was diagnosed in 2018. We noticed she was repeating herself several times in a conversation. We encouraged her to go to the GP and she was referred for tests and had a brain scan and tests. We live in a different towns but we’d visit regularly. My brother in law and his family lived close by so we were happy that she had someone close by if she needed help. Unfortunately, we found out my brother in laws family were slowly taking her savings. We only realised what was happening when the pandemic hit and we came out of lockdown. Instead of caring for her they had started on her pension money too. The pension went in on a Monday and they withdrew it on the Monday morning. The direct debits were not being paid and there was no food in the house. One of our nieces had moved in with her boyfriend and was selling drugs from the garage causing a disturbance. The police were called but they didn’t check on my mother in law. The bank called the police to report that they thought she was having her money taken but nothing happened about it. She was told to change her card PIN number. By the time we got to her after lockdown was lifted she was thin, ill and confused. To cut a long story short we took her home sorted all the bills, POA and got her to the GP’s. There’s no way we could send her back so we emptied the house returned it to the council. She’s been with us for a year now although she thinks it’s been a month. Her general health has improved but her cognitive problems are getting worse. The finances are sorted and she has money in the bank. Nice end to a horrible story you think…… we’re in our 60’s and are exhausted and I fear that is it for us now. It sounds selfish but I feel our life is over and we are trapped with her. There is a daughter but she wants nothing to do with her mum. No offer of help, no contact at all. It’s as if they have disappeared off the face of the earth! I get the impression from social services that because she has no money they are not interested. I also look after my dad whose 88 part time with my sister he lives 35 miles away. He has property, social services are very interested in helping him
Hello Lesley and welcome to the forum.
It is really important that you look after yourself and your partner.
As there are 2 of you caring for your MIL then try to set some time each week for you to do things you enjoy doing by yourself. Think about what you would like to do/ what would make you happy ? Then set aside 1 or 2 mornings/afternoons each week when you can go somewhere independently so that you get a break from caring. It could be meeting friends for a coffee and a chat or you could consider joining a social club/activity group. You know that your partner is there to look after your MIL.
This is exactly what I did - I joined a dance class 2 mornings each week and it gives me something to look forward to and I’ve made new friends there and it’s given me a structure to my week. Fortunately my mum doesn’t need full time care and my son also helps look after her.
I realise this doesn’t solve all your problems but it will give you back a feeling of having some control in your life.
Your partner should also get regular breaks from caring too.
You and your partner are just as important as your MIL and your dad.
Hello Karen, thank you for the reply and thank you for the advice. It’s good advice but I can see that it could be a recipe for drifting apart. Covid hasn’t made it any easier has it. The day centres here are all closed, although a very kind neighbour has said the women’s institute is starting up soon and MIL can go along with her. Does your mum have MCI. I don’t understand why they call it mild as it seems really bad but then dementia is much worse I guess.
Hello Lesley, thank you for getting back to me.
My mum (age 90) lives nearby to me in a bungalow. Fortunately her mind is still sharp - but she has mobility problems. Mum has advanced osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
I can’t drive anymore due to eyesight problems so I take Mum out in a wheelchair. I have 2 sisters who come over once each week to take her shopping.
Lockdown made things extremely difficult for us. I hated being stuck indoors with no visitors and everything closed.
I’ve had the 2 vaccinations and most places in my area are open again. There is special meeting place which is opening in early September. So hopefully everything will be open again soon in your area.
That’s a great help from your neighbour who has offered to take your MIL out. Plus I’ve found that when you go somewhere regularly it can often ‘open doors’ for other places too. Nearby there is a weekly ‘Singing for the brain’ group which may be worth you looking into to find out if there is one for your MIL.
Please know that you are not alone and Carers UK and other forum members are here to offer support and advice. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities more challenging for carers.
Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to. You can register using the following links:
Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK
Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK - currently there are options for: yoga, pilates, wellness sessions, latin dancing for beginners and much more.
Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (email@example.com)
Carers UK can also provide advice for unpaid carers relating to:
They also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:
Benefits and financial support Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for