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Working Together

I thank a reader for sharing their family story

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My mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. What worked the best for our family was asking each other for help out of our skill sets: research, the bureaucracy, medical decisions, respite and encouragement, and doing so before we got overwhelmed. My husband and I lived 100 miles away. We could visit, and offer practical help from a distance. We listened to her family caregivers, from the medical details to their emotional struggles. The biggest success was that everyone accepted the diagnosis, and didn't try to fix the changes in her. The largest challenge was my father-in-law’s accepting she needed residential care. 

He finally accepted it and planned to move in with her once she was settled. The day they moved her in, my father in law and sister in law, went to dinner while she napped in her new room. My mother in law died during the nap. The facility graciously returned his deposit, and he gave it to one of her bathing aides to use towards her nursing studies. It really was a beautiful story at the end. Undoubtedly only possible because he was still in good health 

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