My Dad was Sectioned under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act two days after I left for Greece for a break in August. Nice!!!! He has been at the (name of hospital removed) ever since. My life is a total nightmare travelling between Stevenage and my home 30 mins away to be with him and collect the mountain of washing (he is incontinent most of the time) and juggling the needs of two children aged 7 and 11 whilst trying to work a bit to bring extra money in (husband made redundant twice in last two years and now earning two thirds of what he was). I feel like I am either about to explode, implode or crash and burn. We are due to visit the family in Spain over half term and all I can think about is how will my Dad be with my non appearance and what on earth will happen to his washing mountain.
One minute I am asked to get him another pair of slippers so that he has got two because he wets them. I do this and am then told remove the slippers they are no good get some new bigger ones. They now want me to buy some jogging bottoms for him. My father has always dressed impeccably and I know would hate to be dressed thus, but they say that he sometimes undoes his flies in the 'lounge'. I have spent the snatched moments of free time today looking online for pull-on trousers that look a bit more like trousers than jogging bottoms. He has never worn anything resembling a jogging bottom in his life. I know he is ill and that he is not the person that he once was but I am struggling with the prospect of forcing him to dress as he would not want to thereby losing even more dignity.
That is nothing compared to the fact that the hospital removed the Section at the beginning of September and have been playing with his drugs big time ever since without telling me. I only found out when I became alarmed when he was either so drugged up he was asleep on most of my visits at different times of the day or very agitated. They have put him on the highest dose of Momentine. Every time i see him now he has a new injury. He is bruised all over his hands and arms. last Sunday he had an unexplained bash to the head and yesterday his elbow resembled a very large plum it was so swollen and there was a cut on his arm. he had obviously fallen, but no one had noticed or cared. What is really awful is that my father has no speech at all and a high pain threshold. he was probably in serious pain, but could tell no one. They did get a doctor to visit hi, but I was told that there was no need for pain relief as he takes aspirin. Would you be happy with a low dose aspirin once a day for this sort of injury?
On 1st November there is a formal review meeting. At this meeting they will either decide that he needs more monitoring (perish the thought) or will decide that he needs to go on to a dementia nursing home or into continuing care. His previous home have thrown him out (his third since May). I have been told not to bother researching nursing homes. I will be given a list should it be appropriate. What they do not understand is that there is only me to deal with this. My useless brother has abandoned his father and lives in Spain anyway. Also because of the demands of trying to keep my own family going I can't spend huge amounts of time at no notice looking awful places on my own.
The care system sucks. I feel like taking him out of the hospital and sending him on a cruise accompanied by two dementia nurses whilst I try and rest before the next battle. I am beginning to think who will go down first, him or me.