Dad-min: when will it stop?!

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
I have coined the term "Dad-min", for all the extra life admin I now have to do as a consequence of Dad's dementia and being PoA and next of kin etc. Just today, we've had....

1) Ring doorbell monitoring to try and work out why a man in a hi-viz with "Gas" written across the back was at the door, apparently trying the door handle. This is the second time in the week that the same man has done this. I have therefore contacted Cadent, who are doing gas main work in the road outside, as although someone might legitimately need to access something, they shouldn't be trying door handles!

2) Called care agency because it seemed as though the door was open when the Gas person tried the handle. The carer agency sent a carer out to lock the door, as Dad had gone out wandering.

3) Using Google Maps at various intervals in the day to track his wandering and to communicate with the carers about the fact he wasn't at home for two out of the three daily visits.

4) Answering the phone to the tea-time carer, who is supposed to give him medication. He has been out wandering for the evening meds for about the last 8 in 10 visits, so he is rarely getting his donepezil or evening glaucoma eye drops, or his meds for improving his bowel habits. Fortunately, the most important life-sustaining meds are given in the morning, when he is usually at home, if the carers come roughly on schedule and he is one of the first visits of the day for this reason.

5) Dealing with the careline people just recently, as his falls alarm triggered (again) and he didn't respond to them on the intercom. It was yet another case of him dropping it, or poking it, or throwing it across the room, when getting into his PJs, probably.

6) Emailed both his GP and the care agency about the contents of what I will write about under point 8 below and what comes after it.

7) Emailed a pub in which he left his favourite hat, seeking its return.

8) Based on what I was seeing under item 3, used his Google records to work out where he was likely to be going this morning. Turns out he was going around private hearing aid/audiology providers, asking them about the bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) clip stuck in his skull. It wasn't clear from the conversations if Dad didn't know what the clip was for, or if he wanted to know how to use the BAHA or what, as the staff said he didn't make much sense and they mainly talked to him and gave him a cuppa. Our concerns were that he would be provided with a private hearing aid at huge cost (which he can't afford) or generally be ripped off.

Dad has been confusing audiology and things relating to his glasses, as he sent an email yesterday to another private hearing aid provider, saying that his vari-focals didn't work anymore. Dad has two hearing aids (conventional and BAHA), but he does not know how to use either of these anymore and trying to put them in for him is pointless. When we have put them in, he starts picking at them/pulling them and either damages them, or pulls them out/off and then they get lost. The BAHA digital processor, which is detachable, costs the NHS upwards of £6000 each and he lost one about 18 months ago and this was replaced, only for him to be unable to connect it to his clip (embedded in his skull) and he also broke his conventional hearing aid about 3 times in a short period, as he couldn't open the battery compartment to replace batteries and kept poking sharp objects into the tubing to "clean" it. This meant me or my husband going 40 miles to him to collect the damaged aids; taking them to the hospital for repair and then collecting them again and returning them to him, 40 miles away. He then forgot he even had hearing aids when in hospital in Sept last year and we haven't bothered to encourage him with them anymore because they were simply more trouble than help for all concerned.

He goes through phases of being obsessed with or fascinated with certain things. We've just come out of a door/keys obsession and one relating to his old school. Now we are back on glasses and hearing aids. He had a glasses-related obsession last year at about the same time of year, but it is unrelated to, for example, a letter asking him to come for an eye test, as his annual test is in July/August. He had an extensive examination in the glaucoma clinic in January this year and although they couldn't do all the tests properly because he couldn't follow instructions, they were happy enough with his vision when wearing his glasses. I wonder if he doesn't understand why his peripheral vision is poor? That is the glaucoma and there's not much can be done. He didn't use his eye drops properly for a long time and it's only after that last hospital admission, when carers were engaged, that he's been relatively regularly using them, although missing the evening ones fairly often, like I said before.

I wonder what the next obsession will be? And what a lot of Dad-min in one day, and that's a day when I've been off work on annual leave and trying to go out with my husband and daughter; have been dealing with our own life admin of having our leaking shower unit fixed and have taken my adult son around various late-opening pharmacies, as he had made crappy life choices and is now reaping the rewards.

It might be relaxing to head back to work on Monday!

Sorry for the essay.....
 

Spottydog

Registered User
Dec 8, 2023
136
0
Haha, I call it dad-min too! I also have bro-min as my brother has learning difficulties. We were on glasses, hoovers and televisions but this week we're on keys being stolen and how to lock the front door when keys are stolen (they aren't). I installed an external camera after a very frightening experience with an unknown man in the house when I phoned (despite water company insisting it wasn't them I tracked it back to them as they passed his details to a third party ... Still on the to do list is a complaint letter to them). I've found the camera to be a blessing and a curse... Can see what dad's wearing etc when he goes out the door, but can also see that he looks a bit lost and sad.
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
Haha, I call it dad-min too! I also have bro-min as my brother has learning difficulties. We were on glasses, hoovers and televisions but this week we're on keys being stolen and how to lock the front door when keys are stolen (they aren't). I installed an external camera after a very frightening experience with an unknown man in the house when I phoned (despite water company insisting it wasn't them I tracked it back to them as they passed his details to a third party ... Still on the to do list is a complaint letter to them). I've found the camera to be a blessing and a curse... Can see what dad's wearing etc when he goes out the door, but can also see that he looks a bit lost and sad.
Yes, we've found the Ring doorbell to be a blessing and a curse for similar reasons. Dad has episodes of forgetting how to lock the door too. We had to send out then door alarm monitoring people last week, under the guise of a welfare check, because he was telling my brother his door wasn't working. We both live 40+ miles away and I am disabled and we both have very young children. It was 9pm. Dad was trying to use back door keys to lock the front, even though the back door key usually lives in the back door all the time, and his usual key (front door) has a very specific keyring to be obvious.

Hopefully, I'll find out tomorrow if the Gas dude was a real employee or not......
 

phill

Registered User
Aug 8, 2007
70
0
I have coined the term "Dad-min", for all the extra life admin I now have to do as a consequence of Dad's dementia and being PoA and next of kin etc. Just today, we've had....

1) Ring doorbell monitoring to try and work out why a man in a hi-viz with "Gas" written across the back was at the door, apparently trying the door handle. This is the second time in the week that the same man has done this. I have therefore contacted Cadent, who are doing gas main work in the road outside, as although someone might legitimately need to access something, they shouldn't be trying door handles!

2) Called care agency because it seemed as though the door was open when the Gas person tried the handle. The carer agency sent a carer out to lock the door, as Dad had gone out wandering.

3) Using Google Maps at various intervals in the day to track his wandering and to communicate with the carers about the fact he wasn't at home for two out of the three daily visits.

4) Answering the phone to the tea-time carer, who is supposed to give him medication. He has been out wandering for the evening meds for about the last 8 in 10 visits, so he is rarely getting his donepezil or evening glaucoma eye drops, or his meds for improving his bowel habits. Fortunately, the most important life-sustaining meds are given in the morning, when he is usually at home, if the carers come roughly on schedule and he is one of the first visits of the day for this reason.

5) Dealing with the careline people just recently, as his falls alarm triggered (again) and he didn't respond to them on the intercom. It was yet another case of him dropping it, or poking it, or throwing it across the room, when getting into his PJs, probably.

6) Emailed both his GP and the care agency about the contents of what I will write about under point 8 below and what comes after it.

7) Emailed a pub in which he left his favourite hat, seeking its return.

8) Based on what I was seeing under item 3, used his Google records to work out where he was likely to be going this morning. Turns out he was going around private hearing aid/audiology providers, asking them about the bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) clip stuck in his skull. It wasn't clear from the conversations if Dad didn't know what the clip was for, or if he wanted to know how to use the BAHA or what, as the staff said he didn't make much sense and they mainly talked to him and gave him a cuppa. Our concerns were that he would be provided with a private hearing aid at huge cost (which he can't afford) or generally be ripped off.

Dad has been confusing audiology and things relating to his glasses, as he sent an email yesterday to another private hearing aid provider, saying that his vari-focals didn't work anymore. Dad has two hearing aids (conventional and BAHA), but he does not know how to use either of these anymore and trying to put them in for him is pointless. When we have put them in, he starts picking at them/pulling them and either damages them, or pulls them out/off and then they get lost. The BAHA digital processor, which is detachable, costs the NHS upwards of £6000 each and he lost one about 18 months ago and this was replaced, only for him to be unable to connect it to his clip (embedded in his skull) and he also broke his conventional hearing aid about 3 times in a short period, as he couldn't open the battery compartment to replace batteries and kept poking sharp objects into the tubing to "clean" it. This meant me or my husband going 40 miles to him to collect the damaged aids; taking them to the hospital for repair and then collecting them again and returning them to him, 40 miles away. He then forgot he even had hearing aids when in hospital in Sept last year and we haven't bothered to encourage him with them anymore because they were simply more trouble than help for all concerned.

He goes through phases of being obsessed with or fascinated with certain things. We've just come out of a door/keys obsession and one relating to his old school. Now we are back on glasses and hearing aids. He had a glasses-related obsession last year at about the same time of year, but it is unrelated to, for example, a letter asking him to come for an eye test, as his annual test is in July/August. He had an extensive examination in the glaucoma clinic in January this year and although they couldn't do all the tests properly because he couldn't follow instructions, they were happy enough with his vision when wearing his glasses. I wonder if he doesn't understand why his peripheral vision is poor? That is the glaucoma and there's not much can be done. He didn't use his eye drops properly for a long time and it's only after that last hospital admission, when carers were engaged, that he's been relatively regularly using them, although missing the evening ones fairly often, like I said before.

I wonder what the next obsession will be? And what a lot of Dad-min in one day, and that's a day when I've been off work on annual leave and trying to go out with my husband and daughter; have been dealing with our own life admin of having our leaking shower unit fixed and have taken my adult son around various late-opening pharmacies, as he had made crappy life choices and is now reaping the rewards.

It might be relaxing to head back to work on Monday!

Sorry for the essay.....
Just to say that when my dad was going through a phase of going into various opticians and I was worried about him ordering expensive specs he didn’t need, I emailed all the opticians within walking distance of his house, explained that I had LPA for his finances, and instructed them not to accept any orders from him without first consulting me.
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
Just to say that when my dad was going through a phase of going into various opticians and I was worried about him ordering expensive specs he didn’t need, I emailed all the opticians within walking distance of his house, explained that I had LPA for his finances, and instructed them not to accept any orders from him without first consulting me.
Thanks. Our issue is that Dad uses his OAP pass to get on the local buses. He still knows how to get to the nearest town and a large city, which have innumerable opticians and private hearing aid providers. He has lived in the area since he was born and so these places are in his longest memory. He has sometimes got muddled getting home, and ends up taking 2hrs to do a 15min trip, but does eventually get back. I don't know how I'd alert all possible places he could visit, unfortunately. Social services don't seem to think his constant wandering (on buses all over) is a problem. His carers and me and my brother and my husband all disagree that his wandering is harmless.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,317
0
Surrey
Now this is a great idea for a thread! dad min - I love it 🤣🤣 I don’t know what I call Mum’s min but I know it has taken over my life …so much that I often forget to do my own min 🤣🤣

I try to keep hers to days I am not at work but I have had to:

- put some thoughts together for some of her financial business
-open some post - now in a pile and needs to find it’s own file
- contributed to some dementia min research
- returned some property of hers to my sister

and I am sure a number of other things I did without even noticing

- oh yes - Amazon order of toiletries …oh and treat shopping at the market

In fact I have become her min I think 🤣🤣🤣

In fact we should advertise ourselves as PA to the rich and famous - were all very experienced!
 

phill

Registered User
Aug 8, 2007
70
0
Now this is a great idea for a thread! dad min - I love it 🤣🤣 I don’t know what I call Mum’s min but I know it has taken over my life …so much that I often forget to do my own min 🤣🤣

I try to keep hers to days I am not at work but I have had to:

- put some thoughts together for some of her financial business
-open some post - now in a pile and needs to find it’s own file
- contributed to some dementia min research
- returned some property of hers to my sister

and I am sure a number of other things I did without even noticing

- oh yes - Amazon order of toiletries …oh and treat shopping at the market

In fact I have become her min I think 🤣🤣🤣

In fact we should advertise ourselves as PA to the rich and famous - were all very experienced!
I definitely found it helpful to keep a separate diary and notebook that were for dadmin only. I was still in paid employment in those days, and I kept them in my briefcase in case I had to make or receive a phone call about him while at work. I also made an “I’m on a Dad call” sign out of folded cardboard that I could quickly hook over my monitor (I was in an open plan office).
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
The Dadmin today has been ridiculous. I'll update later but yeah. It's really eaten into our day 😕
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,345
0
Nottinghamshire
@DaftDad, this is beginning to sound unsustainable. I assume your dad would need social services to fund a move into care, because if not I think it's time to organise it. If you do need social services to agree I think really start pushing, and maybe threaten to stop doing the 'dadmin' as if you weren't picking up the pieces they'd have to.
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,475
0
I have to say that once my mum went into care, the mum-min went down considerably as I wasn’t having to run two homes and chase around lost bank cards, bus passes, find a plumber, deal with the water board etc etc. Even with live in care, I seemed to be up to my neck in paperwork.
I still have a lot of financial stuff going on but it’s far more manageable
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,317
0
Surrey
Doing the Dadmin from afar must be a nightmare - I wouldn’t have managed it myself.

now mum is in a home it has reduced but I am found left with the jobs I don’t enjoy - I would actually prefer the washing / toileting tp the POA stuff but there you go….

Today for me it’s been more of her finances ….plus her brother from N America who wishes to visit ….and has said he’s going to flood me with emails 😢😢
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
@DaftDad, this is beginning to sound unsustainable. I assume your dad would need social services to fund a move into care, because if not I think it's time to organise it. If you do need social services to agree I think really start pushing, and maybe threaten to stop doing the 'dadmin' as if you weren't picking up the pieces they'd have to.
Hi. Yes, Dad requires social services funding for care and so they are completely resistant to moving him out of his home (he lives alone), presumably because of the cost. Today, we have wasted the time of an out-of-hours GP; we have spoken with the duty social worker, and have had carers paid the minimum wage running around like headless chickens, receiving nothing but abuse from my Dad for trying to help him.

Today's events:

07:20-something - Dad's morning carer attended and he was trying to go and buy his morning newspaper, which is something he insists on doing by himself. He does sometimes try to go at ridiculous times of the morning, but not today. However, today, Dad was complaining of back pain, was described as being in a panicked mood. He asked the carer to take him to buy the paper in her car, but the carers are not allowed to do this and so she said she could not. He responded by screaming at her from the doorstep, where he almost fell over. She got him straight and then had to leave him to get the paper himself (he refuses to hand over his newspaper vouchers or any money for them to go and get the paper without him).

09:45 - I spoke to Dad on the phone, having found out the events of the morning. Asked him about the pain and he said it had kept him up all night and he was in so much pain he couldn't go out. I asked if he needed to see a doctor, he said yes. We had a further chat then I came back to the doctor and said I'd call out of hours. To which he replied "what doctor?" and when I said "for your back pain", he had no idea what I was talking about. Realising back pain could be a UTI, I decided to call 111.

10:00 - 11:30 - Variously speaking to 111 representatives whilst trying to get ready to do our weekly shop and then visit the in-laws, by this point, I was already behind schedule. 111 didn't want to speak to me, because I wasn't physically with my Dad and they didn't seem to understand why no-one could be with him (we live 40 miles away and I am disabled, my brother was at work where he is not allowed to use his phone). 111 insisted on me giving them Dad's mobile number. I explained he will not answer as he has mainly forgotten how to use his phone, but they insisted. I gave it.

13:00 - En-route back from shopping, a 111 nurse phoned me back. They had tried calling Dad x3 but shock, horror, no reply. I explained the whole s*** show again and also my own challenges, which are far more than just having Dad to care for and being disabled. The nurse was very sympathetic and kind. She said she'd ask a clinician to call us back.

14:00 - Clinician rings, she is again sympathetic and say she will send a GP on a home visit. I gave the key safe details etc. We were en-route to the in-laws at this point, an hour or more later than we said we'd come.

14:15 - Dad leaves the house, tracker shows him getting on a bus and heading to the nearby town. I decided not to tell the 111 people, because honestly, I wanted them to see that he is incapable of following instructions (I told him not to go out, but assumed this pain would stop him anyway). And that he is incapable of accurately identifying his own medical needs and seems to experience pain/discomfort very differently to people without dementia.

14:45 - GP goes to the house, lets herself in and obviously he's not there. I looked on the tracker and found he was wandering near the house he lived in as a child, with his Mum and Grandfather. His Grandfather died in 1947 and the house sold soon after, so you get the idea how far back in time he is going. In the past, he has knocked on the house where he lived and tried to go inside, so obviously this concerned me. It's also right down by a big, tidal river and at one point, the tracker had him right on the shingle "beach", where the river covers over at high tide. I explained to the GP we'd reported everything he told us and expected he'd stay home. She was really curt and told me she was the only home-call GP for X square miles and she had lots to do etc. I sympathise with that, but what can I do? I asked her to report this situation to the on-call social services people, which she initially refused to do, saying we, the family could do it. Eventually, she said she would, as I explained social services don't listen to us.

16:00 - on-call social worker phoned me and asked about Dad's wandering. She sounded concerned that he goes back more and more often to his childhood home and that he tries to go inside. She seemed to agree that it was concerning that he travels around on buses for several hours a day without much evidence of eating/drinking and that he is confrontational with carers, that he regularly misses medication through wandering, that he goes out to try and buy newspapers in the night/early hours etc. She then said she would pass it onto the "day team", which means no-one will look at it until mid-week, probably. At this point, Dad was still out wandering aimlessly in the area he used to live and play as a child.

17:00-ish - Dad's tracker eventually shows him working his way back towards the main bus station on a bus, but it had been lashing down for a couple of hours and he'd been outside, in the driving rain and wind, presumably getting quite cold.

18:00 - He arrives home and we let the evening carer know. She'd already been once, but she headed back.

Just now - Evening carer reported him to no longer be complaining of back pain, but that he is "exhausted". The tracker shows why he's exhausted - he's walked several miles in the rain and wind; waited at a cold and windy bus station for about an hour over the two ends of his journey, and taken 2 buses.

I have replied to thank her for going back after her shift is supposed to have ended and her reply is the sort of thing that keeps me plodding on - "it's alright, it's our duty to care".

Dad still hasn't noticed the x3 missed calls from 111; the x2 or 3 missed calls from me trying to get him to go home, nor the 2x text messages about the same thing. He is losing the ability to use his phone quite quickly now.

The Dadmin is never-ending. I await the social services contact at some point this coming week, if we're lucky. I don't expect anything useful will come from it, however.

Another day in Dadsville....
 
Last edited:

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,317
0
Surrey
I would say this is more than Dad-min in my book @DaftDad! This is safeguarding a vulnerable person which as you well know SS should be doing by looking at residential care.

Keep pestering social services and the police if needed!
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
I would say this is more than Dad-min in my book @DaftDad! This is safeguarding a vulnerable person which as you well know SS should be doing by looking at residential care.

Keep pestering social services and the police if needed!
I was tempted to phone the police today when he was wandering around his childhood home/area, but then social services phoned and I was trying to be present with my in-laws and for our young daughter and by the time I checked the tracking again, he was at the bus station and likely heading home. He nearly missed the last bus home, so had decided to report him missing if he missed that bus. I might need to start reporting him missing if he goes off wandering for long periods, I am realising that,

I'm still not clear if he does/did have any back pain. All I know is that when we visited over Easter weekend, he did mention some back pain, but it seemed minor and he took the paracetamol I gave him. He refused paracetamol from the carers because it's not in his daily blister packs, according to the carers. His GP/pharmacy are also being ***** about prescribing him paracetamol for pain. He went into his local Tesco, where he goes 3, 4 or more times a day, and tried to buy about 6 boxes of paracetamol, about a week and a half ago. The staff then refused to sell him any, not even 1 box, as they know he has dementia and because he tried to buy so many. But we cannot rely on random supermarket staff knowing not to sell him paracetamol. He would probably take more than the recommended dose if he bought some himself.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,317
0
Surrey
I think you may have to bite the bullet and call the police. They will alert SS each time an incident happens. You can’t keep this sort of monitoring from a distance - and at the same time try to maintain the rest of family life. I, surprised your writing such coherent posts - I would be all over the place 🙈🙈
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
Dad's just been on the phone complaining about back pain again. He's been told a doctor tried to see him yesterday but insists no-one came. I pointed out he'd gone wandering and he doesn't understand why those two things are connected. I had a call from the 111 services again, asking if he does need to see someone. I said yes. I've told him (again) to stay home, he says he will. We will see.

He is doing so much wandering and riding around on public transport that he's probably exacerbating his pain, he's exhausting himself physically and mentally but no attempts to stop him will keep him at home.

SS are fine with it (it's adorable etc) unless he doesn't find his way home. They don't seem interested in the fact that in 5-6hrs out and about, he's not drinking or eating anything and it's not clear he's eating/drinking much before or after the wandering either.

That's two more Dadmin calls already today.
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
I second the advice from @sdmhred about phoning the police and alerting Social Services.
I spoke with SS yesterday. They've noted my concerns and it has been passed to the regular duty team who don't work weekends. In my experience, it will take most of the week for the issue to get to the top of their pile and sometimes they don't call back at all.

I am realising we will have to involve the Police with his wandering, yes. I've been hesitant mainly to avoid wasting their time. I know some Police forces have started refusing to attend anything deemed a mental health concern (and therefore medical in nature) and it's not clear where dementia falls on that. To me, it's medical, but it's dealt with as purely a social care issue unfortunately.