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    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2008 edited
    Okay folks I need to know if it would be the right thing to do. As some of you know my SIL is in Ohio and has Alz. I think she is at least stage 5. A friend e-mailed me to say my SIL has an appointment with her doctor on the 24th and I am thinking of writing to her doctor and telling/asking him to have her evaluated and find out just how bad she is. Some of you also know my DH is in the Mild stage of Alz but his head is so far in the sand concerning his sister I don't think he will ever pull it out. I can't call the doctor because it would have to be in the day and my DH would want to know who is on the phone. Plus I am thinking of giving the doctor my e-mail address. I DO NOT want him to call here for the same reason above and I don't want a letter with the doctors name and adress on the envelope. We are in a condo and the mail boxes are downstairs so my DH always gets the mail.

    Any advice pro or con is welcome. I hope everyone has a stress free weekend.

    God Bless.

    Jean in SC
    First, let me preface my comments by stating that I am an only child, as is my husband. Neither of us has a brother/sister relationship, though we have two girls and two boys and have observed their relationships.

    I know what my daughters would do (they are more daring than me - they would go up there and take her to the doctor and ask him to evaluate her) and my sons would e-mail the doctor and request that an evaluation be done.

    If it were me, I think I would write a letter stating everything you have mentioned in the discussions (it would have to be an overnight envelope at this point in time) and mention that your DH is reluctant to interfere, so please not call you nor write you, but please e-mail you with his response. That way you will know that you have alerted him of the symptoms she has shown, and your concern for her welfare, and you will feel that you have tried your best to help her from a distance.

    Questions though:
    1. Can you do it and not feel guilty and confess to your DH afterward? That would have a bearing on whether you want to take this step.
    2. Can you live with yourself if you don't try to help and something happens to her?

    You will have to live with your decision, not me, so I can't advise you one way or the other. I can just try to give you some thoughts and questions to help you decide what is the right decision for you.

    My prayers are with you.
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2008
    Hi Mary,

    I had thought about telling my DH later if there was something serious. He probably wouldn't like it but if he doesn't do something who will? There are no children or siblings and the only way we/I get information is from a friend or the APS woman who by the way I haven't heard from for over a week and she was supposed to go see my SIL last week. Both the friend and APS send e-mails. My DH can't seem to handle anything about his sister.

    When he was diagnosed last year the MRI showed he'd had a small stroke as well as several mini's and I don't want him getting upset and perhaps having a major stroke. If I decide to write the doctor I will explain this to him plus my husband will be 80 in September and the only driving he does at home is to his barber who is less than 5 minutes away.
    I did most of the driving when we went up before and it didn't help my back one bit not to mention taking a week to get over it. I will be 69 in August so neither of us are "spring chickens".

    It is just hard to know what to do and my SIL WILL NOT listen to anyone, especially us. I have a couple of more days to think about it and make a decsion. Thanks for your reply
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2008
    Here is one more thing to think about. We do what we can do. We do our best considering the problems we have. No matter what you decide to do, you also need to recognize that neither your husband nor your SIL has invited you in. It is already a given that your husband doesn't want your help in this area and that you say your SIL will not listen to you when you try to address the issue.

    What should you be doing morally? That really seems to be your real issue. Frankly that goes both ways. But you may have to accept the fact that the doctor might not be willing to talk to you at all, and that legally he may not even be allowed to talk to you, and the best that you can do is try to allert him to what you have observed.

    You need to accept the fact that you can send him a letter and/or an email and that you might never hear back from him or his office and therefore never know what, if anything, he did with the information. And that writing to him, no matter what method you choose, may be the best you can do.
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2008 edited
    My DH has DPOA on his sister and if he is not capable of making a deciscion I am named after him so I would think that would be an invitation. All I want is for the doctor to understand how my SIL is and if something more can be done to help her. She has 2 hearing aids and uses 1 only. The friend I mentioned tried to see her on Thursday and couldn't get her to answer the door or the phone, (She has a phone for hearing impaired) and the TV was blasting out. If she should fall I don't know how anyone would know it or be able to help her. I am also afraid she may walk to the bank or the fast food place and get lost. To be honest I don't know if she knows she has Alz and if she does, what it is and what it can do to you.

    One thing about both my DH and SIL they are unwilling to make decisions on lots of things and always have been. In my SIL case if the decision was wrong then it wasn't "her fault" In my husbands case he has left most of them up to me except now concerning his sister and he doesn't want to do anything anyway and be "the bad guy". His words not mine.

    So far I am getting the feeling I should do nothing so I will sleep on it and decide one way or another.
    Since you asked for advice - I will tell you what I would do and why I would do it. I would write to the MD expressing my concerns and describing the family history of ALZ. I would do that b/c I would be the only family member this woman has (apparently) who is capable of acting in her behalf, and she gave me permission to act in her behalf in the POA when she had more of her mind working well. Unless you include a copy of the POA you are unlikely to hear back from the MD even though the MD may appreciate the info - it will help him take better care of his patient for whose medical care he is legally liable. If Adult Protective Services is already involved, you live far away and are already caregiving, neither you nor your husband may have to be involved - but if you give your name and state your POA they may expect you or your husband to begin acting in your SIL's behalf. Just my opinion...
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    Hi Folks, Well I have thought long and hard about this and I decided not to contact the doctor. He should know my SIL has a brother because he went to the doctor's with her a year or so ago. Also, it seems like he would be on the medical forms as the person to contact. If the doctor can't tell how my SIL is he is in the wrong business. Keeping in mind my SIL will say the doctor said she is okay so it will have to come from the doctor or the APS woman. If she doesn't contact me by the end of the week I will e-mail her and see what is going on.

    I thank everyone for their input and hope you all have a happy day with all problems being tiny ones.

    God Bless.