My brother-in-law is in the very early stages of dementia. So early that in fact he doesn't have a definitive diagnosis yet. He's 82.
My sister, nearly the same age, is destined to become his carer as time goes on. She already does a great deal for him, to the extent that the signs of his dementia were fairly well hidden until recently, when a sudden deterioration sent her to see their GP.
But after several consultations, she still won't or can't accept what's happening. She makes every excuse possible for my b-i-l's sudden deterioration and this is obviously not going to be helpful in the longer term.
They live in a really unsuitable house with huge garden needing a lot of upkeep. It's challenging for two quite healthy and active old people, never mind when one of them needs constant care.
The house has no space downstairs for a bed and the stairs are exceptionally steep and are not even suitable for a stair lift.
They have four children who all have busy lives, love their parents but currently seem quite oblivious to what's happening and the changes that are occurring in their dad. None of them is in a position to be of much practical help in future when the going gets tougher.
There doesn't seem much that I can do. They live about 60 miles away from me so I can't help much practically and any gentle suggestion I've made about making changes now, before it's too late, have fallen on some very deaf ears.
I tried suggesting that embracing the diagnosis early might mean at least a little medical intervention would be possible to delay effects, but again this was partially brushed aside although it did lead to the initial GP consultation.
I partially feel that it's not my business. My sister doesn't want to embrace the truth and neither, it seems, do their children, but she is my sister and I love her, and I feel for both of them if they should slide into an impossible position with regard to looking after their home and struggling generally to cope.
Does anyone who has faced something similar have any idea as to how I might be of more use in helping them come to terms with this?