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Mil accuses DH of poisoning her

(27 Posts)
ExD Fri 15-May-20 15:09:43

MIL is disabled and living alone in a small ground floor flat. She had dismissed her carers and refuses to let the GP through the door (this was before Covid) so we look after her by doing shopping, cleaning and making her food.
She lurches from constipation to the 'other'. At the moment she is on the 'other' phase.
Since lock down we've just been doing shopping and cooking, but she had a fall and was taken to hospital a few days ago where she's told everyone her son (DH) is putting laxative in her food and trying to poison her.
Obviously he is NOT, but he's being 'investigated' - what can we do apart from just flatly contradicting her?

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 15-May-20 15:29:50

I’m sure that they are used to elderly people accusing their family of trying to bump them off. Sadly she probably has dementia or an infection that is making her say these things, hopefully it’s the latter and she will soon be fine.
I’m not surprised that they are investigating, if she is adamant about the cause I suppose they have to, but it will go on her record so that if she says such things in the future they will be aware of her problems.
Feel sorry for you both as you are doing so much to help her out.

Newatthis Fri 15-May-20 15:30:27

Who is investigating him? I think she could be heading towards Alzheimer's or maybe a stroke perhaps and the reason I say the latter is my MiL accused me of poisoning her roast chicken dinner and shortly afterwards she had a stroke. It looks as if either way a doctor's visit could help.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 15-May-20 15:37:46

Sorry , I assumed that she was still in hospital recovering?

Hithere Fri 15-May-20 15:44:34

You also need to decide how much care you want to provide yourself for your MIL

She displays behaviours that require professional care.
You and your dh dont have the training and/or physical skills to address and correct them to provide your MIL with a better quality of life

Jane10 Fri 15-May-20 15:50:36

UTI? Could explain such paranoid behaviour.

Davidhs Fri 15-May-20 15:51:41

Don’t worry about being “investigated”, the hospital are well aware of her mental state, if she really is at risk being alone at home and is refusing carers, a place will have to be found at a care establishment.

From what you say it’s probably the best outcome, wether she likes it or not.

ExD Fri 15-May-20 17:02:44

Sorry I didn't make it clear she is still in hospital, maybe sent out today some time. And the GP and carers were turned away some time ago, before Covid anyway.
I shall ask about the possibility of a UTI , thank you for the suggestion.

phoenix Fri 15-May-20 17:18:19

She refuses to let carers or the GP though the door? Why?

Sorry, but this doesn't sound like rational behaviour!

While in hospital, was she assessed for any type of dementia, or reduced mental capacity?

notanan2 Fri 15-May-20 17:26:00

This being investigated would be good. It would be an opportunity for you to share with her social workers whats been going on and the challenges youve had with her refusing other care etc. It might lead to some support

Jane10 Fri 15-May-20 17:29:36

Good point Notanan

Bibbity Fri 15-May-20 17:43:35

You can refuse to support her in any of her care needs. The hospital will not be able to discharge her without Occupational Health.

I think there needs to be a conversation where you discuss your limits regarding her care.

NfkDumpling Fri 15-May-20 19:50:05

If you’re caring for your MiL at home you really need the back up of professionals to advise on diet and what can be provided for her. Now is the time to put your needs to the Occupational Therapist before she’s discharged. Now is the time to decide if you want the ongoing responsibility of her care as she deteriorates with age.

JuliaM Fri 15-May-20 22:19:16

Maybe a spell in a care home for respite and rehabilitation would be tge best way forward for all concerned? It would give you a break from the hard work.of being her main suport and carer in the comunity, give her time to undergo further assesment with the elderly community mental health team, including undergoing a memory assesment test to determine her mental capacity and outline any potential problems. Its highly lightly that sometime in the future overnight care will need to be put in place, either due to the risk.of falls, or because of mental confusion where she starts doing such things as calling out the emergency services for no reason, calling you to request an item from the supermarket during the early hours of the morning, or becoming a fire risk by putting things in the oven at night then going to bed and forgetting about them, until the fire alarm eventually woke her up. I know its not easy for all concerned, we went through this with my 93yr old father last year, eventually choosing a place in a local highly recomended care home for him, where he still lives in safety today.

Luckygirl Fri 15-May-20 22:28:02

Oh it is so hard. I can remember being on the other side of this equation, having to investigate when an accusation of "elder abuse" had been made in relation to a patient. Whilst we all know that sometimes elderly people can start to become paranoid, we also know that very very occasionally relatives do do bad things to their older relatives, and making a bland assumption that it is dementia can mean something important is missed.

However - I am not suggesting that your DH has done anything wrong ExD!

Her mental state will be clear to those caring for her at the moment, and, as others have said, proper plans should be set in train for her care. But sometimes a certain stubbornness can hamper these plans!

Lots of good luck.

Luckygirl Fri 15-May-20 22:28:45

By the way, my poor late husband thought I was poisoning him, so I know how hard this can be.

Hetty58 Fri 15-May-20 22:45:34

The fall and hospital admission would have shaken her up, so in her confused (perhaps paranoid) state of mind she may well have thought the 'other' was due to something she ate.

It's far more likely to be constipation with bypass diarrhoea (common in the elderly) for which she'd be prescribed something like Fybogel.

She should have a discharge assessment before she leaves hospital. Find out when and make sure that you are there to discuss arrangements for proper care. The social worker may make it crystal clear to her that she must accept the help of carers - or move into residential care!

Namsnanny Sat 16-May-20 01:09:08

I have the opposite problem, my mother actually puts laxatives in my drink when she's taken exception to something I've done!
I've been on the wrong side of her quite a few times before I realised what was going on.

But she tells others that she is afraid I might do the exact same thing to her!!!

Goodness it's hard work, as I don't know who believes her (one relative definitely does) and who doesn't.

She gives people gifts (usually of large sums of money), then tells them this story. Which makes them more inclined to listen to her.

She scares the wotsits out of me with all the lies she tells.

Sorry ExD I didn't answer your post. I agree with notanan2 being investigate will exonerate you.

Alexa Sat 16-May-20 09:27:11

Alernating constipation and diarrhoea might be caused and often is caused by obstruction.

The most usual obstruction in the elderly is impacted faeces. She should have a nurse or doctor put their finger up her to find out if this is the trouble. If so she needs special enema to loosen the obstruction.

Alexa Sat 16-May-20 09:27:28


Jane10 Sat 16-May-20 10:09:55

Namsnanny- what an awful situation for you.
I've heard of so many older people who become convinced they're being poisoned. I'm sure the hospital staff will be well aware of this.

Namsnanny Sat 16-May-20 20:41:55

Thank you Jane10 it means a lot surprisingly, to be believed! smile

grandtanteJE65 Sun 17-May-20 11:57:19

Her GP and carers would probably be willing to state that they are no longer allowed in her house and probably why.

I honestly don't think you need to worry about her allegations. Hospital staff here this and worse from elderly patients with dementia.

Purplepixie Sun 17-May-20 12:04:15

My MIL had that a couple of years ago and it was a serious UTI. She took a definate dislike to me one day and even accused me of trying to kill her giant slug which lived under the TV! Then she had a herd of cats that used to roam around the hall like it was the Serengeti! By the time we got her help she had attacked her nurse who came to give her the Warfarin. The authorities were called in and she was put into hospital on strong antibiotics. Sadly she just got worse and worse and never lived in her lovely little bungalow again.

Candelle Sun 17-May-20 12:05:18

As others have said, the hospital will be well used to hearing such tales.

Although my elderly mother was fine, I used to help an aunt and once when visiting her in hospital she repeatedly told me that the nurses were hitting her.

I decided that I had to speak to the staff and they laughed which made me initially think that my aunt could be correct. The staff then saw my reaction and explained that this is a very common reaction to a UTI and even just being in hospital and that there was no truth in the allegations.

I checked my aunt over at each visit (well, the visible bits, anyway!) and saw no marks or bruising so concluded that the nurses were right.

I desperately wanted to believe the nurses but the thought of my aunt being hit and ignored was awful, hence my checking.

I am sure that the hospital will completely exonerate you so try not to worry, this is such a common problem.