DEAR ABBY: I have some advice for your readers who write regarding problems with how others behave badly or are verbally abusive or inappropriate toward them. Hopefully, it will help someone.
I suggest recording video of the offending individual while it's happening, and then showing them the video later when they are calm/sober/receptive. If the behavior is drug- or alcohol-driven, this can show the person they're not fun and funny; they are obnoxious and offensive. I'm certain I would have quit drinking years earlier had I been able to see how I acted while intoxicated.
This advice could also work with a relative you are concerned about with regard to dementia or Alzheimer's. You could show the video to their doctor, rather than make generalizations about their behavior. Telling your husband to talk to his mom about how critical or rude she is to you puts your husband on the spot, and it's still a "she said/she said" situation. Maybe your mother-in-law has no idea how she sounds. But she should. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth even more. -- "GOTCHA" IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR "GOTCHA": I'm printing your letter because I think in some cases it has merit. However, videoing someone who is in the middle of a rant (or some other socially unacceptable activity) could cause some individuals to become violent. ("Stop videotaping me!!!") That's why I have to add that if one chooses to do this, they should be aware of the risk.