My family and I are concerned about the wellbeing of my mother in law. My father in law is being very protective of his wife and will not allow us to talk about her deteriorating condidtion. We believe she has had a diagnosis of early onset Alzhiemers. And would love to know what we need to expect, how best to support her. Is there a process we can use to organise a family meeting?
Gosh that sounds rough! I’m sorry your family is going through this.
I wonder if the first step would be asking if you or your partner could attend a GP appointment with your mother-in-law. I understand this may not happen, but it’s probably worth a try.
If this does not work, it is always possible for you to meet with her GP without her to share your concerns with him/her. Under NZ privacy laws the GP cannot give you any information related to your mother-in-law without her permission, but is always able to receive information. In practical terms, this means you could explain to him/her the signs you are seeing in your mother-in-law, but the GP couldn’t give you any specific information they have (such as their concerns, diagnosis, medication etc).
It might also be worth contacting Alzheimers New Zealand as they may be able to support your whanau as you go through this process. Their website is http://www.alzheimers.org.nz/ and they have a freephone number 0800 004 001 .
I hope this helps, please feel free to get in touch again if you have other questions.
Family/Whanau Support Worker
Supporting Families Auckland