1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    Hello all,

    am about to go back to the UK till Tues to see my aunty...had phone call she's getting weaker now and has started having fits. Docs have prescribed some sort of sedative, so I've been reading up on previous threads on TP describing fits and seizures and, as always, have found some answers to my questions.
    No idea if this will last, if it will get better, if it can be brought under control (it can to some extent, as some of you have experienced).
    My uncle has been sounding very low and concerned for the past week or so, but his son and daugher-in-law are with him, and two of his sisters and my aunt's sister are there too.
    I'm so far away and I feel so helpless and lost. And I wish I could say or do something clever to make things easier for my uncle and cousin. Not just because of Aunty Jean having fits but because of her condition now in general. It's so hard on them to see her like this. They are coping, and coping "well" under the circumstances, and they do have support from sisters and brothers-in-law. And they'll come out the other side whatever happens.

    I'm not sure whether I really need to go at this stage, it might not be as serious as it sounds or as my uncle thinks (who knows with this disease, and aunty has proved us wrong before), but gut feeling tells me to go. So I'm going and hoping for the best. Whatever that may be....

    Finding hard to be sensible and see the good side of things tonight. I know there must be some somewhere. Answers on a postcard, please.
    Wine and chocolate anyone?

    Hugs, Tina
     
  2. Whiskas

    Whiskas Registered User

    Oct 17, 2006
    158
    Corby
    Hi Tina
    I think if you feel you have to go then that's the right thing to do. The 'best' will be that you are there for your aunty and the rest of your family whatever happens
    and the good is that you are all in this together and will as you say come out the other side.
    Take care
    Whiskas
     
  3. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Yes, Tina, go with your gut feelings. In the weeks before Dad died my sister had to make a trip overseas and my other sister and I encouraged her to go because we didn't think Dad was near the end yet. Well, we had to make an emergency call for her to rush back in time. Thank goodness she made it in time and Dad could talk to her (in and out of consciousness but he knew she was there). This sister was always Dad's "favourite" (altho' he loved us all) because she looked so like his own mother. All of us went through great anxiety ewaiting for her to get back and praying it would be in time. We were blessed that she made it.
    I'm hoping your visit to Aunty Jean is premature (for obvious reasons!) but I'm sure you'll feel better knowing you have been to see her. Nell
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Tina,

    Hope things aren't as bad as you fear, but you're right to go. Count me in for the wine and chocolates.

    Hope all's well,

    Hazel
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    1,157
    hi tina

    thinking of you all, hope things turn out ok for you
    take care xxx
     
  6. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    it's not very good

    Hello all, and thanks for your kind words and good wishes. They are much needed and much appreciated.

    Sadly, Aunty Jean is deteriorating, and pneumonia has set in. She's been taken off the feed, just getting fluids through the peg at the moment, and the decision has been made not to put her on antibiotics, just make her comfortable and keep her free of pain. We've spent the week with her in hospital, my uncle, cousin and assorted relatives and I, day and night. Her breathing is more laboured and rattly now, she isn't opening her eyes any more or gripping your hand when you touch her. My uncle is "reasonably" composed, but he's heartbroken, as is his son. And me. I've had to come back home to the family and work over here, and rarely have I felt so lost.

    The nurses and doctors are wonderful, kind, caring, loving, careful, tender. More than anyone could ask for. I've tried to comfort and reassure my uncle and cousin as much as I can, we've had good long talks, endless hugs, cups of tea, lots of tears and a few smiles inbetween. They are very special people, and I wish I could take some of their pain away.

    Now waiting for the phone call....again. Can anyone rally with pneumonia and without antibiotics in the state my darling aunty is in now? She did it once and surprised us. The docs and nurses don't think so and, if I'm honest, I don't know if I want her to rally to go on suffering afterwards. Actually, I probably don't, because she herself would be livid and ready to jump out of her skin if she were aware of her condition. They've reassured us they'll make her comfortable and look after her well. When it happens, it'll be a relief because she won't be suffering any more, but oh, how I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all of this just disappear and go back to how it was....don't say it, I know, I know it doesn't work that way....

    Tina
     
  7. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Tina love,
    We all have our own path to walk, our own pain to bear; but I do know how you feel.

    I was going to write 'I am so sorry about Auntie Jean' - but that is not so. She sounds to have reached some sort of peace, and for her that must be good. I am sorry for you, it must have been so difficult to leave them - but your love is such a testament to them.

    Thinking of you.
    Love Helen
     
  8. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    now feeling very lost

    Aunty Jean died peacefully surrounded by her family this afternoon. I feel relieved, overwhelmingly so, because she is now at rest and no longer suffering. She did what was best for her in the end and I'm glad she finally felt able to let go.

    And yet I'm heartbroken.

    And I feel privileged to have known her, she made the world a better place, she was my lifeline, my rock, my encouragement. She was the best aunty anyone could ask for. How lucky I've been all these years to have had her.

    Thanks to all of you for your good wishes and prayers. To say they were appreciated would be the understatement of the millennium.

    Tina
     
  9. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hi Tina,
    So sorry to hear about your Auntie, but she is whole again now and at peace. She sounds to have been a very special lady.
    Lots of love,
    Helen
     
  10. mojofilter

    mojofilter Registered User

    May 10, 2006
    130
    St.Helens
    Hi Tina,

    Sorry to hear about your lost ...... The lady that you loved so much is now at rest and free of this terrible disease.

    She can fly once more, be the person that she was meant to be ..

    My thoughts and prays are with you and your family ..

    Paul
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    1,157
    hello tina

    im so sorry to hear of your aunt, sending you and your family my sincere condolences
    take care xxx
     
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    What greater accolade could there be to anyone, but that?

    Except, perhaps, that their legacy goes on…..

    Tina, in a vastly different way to your relationship with an aunt you so obviously loved deeply, this might be the right time to say (in case you didn't know already) what a ‘rock’ and a lifeline you have been to me (and I’ll bet I’m not the only one to say it here)….. your dedication, sensitivity and selflessness - not to mention downright energy, spirit and humour - have awed me, helped me and inspired me through some rough times….

    You - and what you have shared of your family - has been quite inspirational. For that I personally thank you, bless you and all the ‘Aunty Jeans’ of the world who have shown and nurtured such amazing spirit……

    Tough, tough times, and it feels like everything that can be said will just sound trite…… but I know you’ll get through it … and you know where to come for support if you need it….

    Much, much love,

    Karen
     
  13. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Tina,
    I was so sad to hear about your Aunty Jean and yet relieved for her too, as she is now free to be her real self once more. I hope the deep loving relationship you shared with her and still share with her husband and family sustain you in the weeks ahead. As someone who is currently grieving my father's death, I can sympathise with the tumult of different feelings you are experiencing.
    Go in peace. Nell
     
  14. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    Nell,

    I'm sorry about your dad, too. I know it's a relief that he went peacefully and is probably in a better place now, but the pain for those left behind is just so awful, isn't it. I've been trying to console myself with the "it was all for the best" approach all day, and I have failed miserably. I just want my aunty back. So hard to reconcile the feeling of loss with the feeling of relief. It does comfort me to know I've been so lucky to have had her, and all the lovely memories which no one can take away from me. And I know, I know it was the kindest and best thing to have happened to her, to be able to let go and be rid of the suffering. It just hurts so much that she isn't here any more....

    Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and sympathy. They, too, have brought comfort and consolation.
    Tina
     
  15. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Tina,
    Just wanted to send a <<Hug>>. Go with the feelings - it is very early days.
    Love Helen
     
  16. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hiya Tina
    I'm so sorry to hear about your aunty......her spirit is free and she's now at peace.....just hold on to those lovely memories of her
    love
    Wendy
    xx
     
  17. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    at peace

    Hello all, don't know if this should stay here or be moved to the After Dementia-dealing with loss section. If it does, no doubt some clever people (Amy, Nada, Brucie?) will know how to move it.

    We laid Aunty Jean to rest last week. Lots of people turned out to give her a good send off, and we scattered her ashes in her favourite place under a tree by the river, as she had wanted it. The lump on my chest has gone, a chapter is closed and moving on, or settling into a routine, is in process, but the sadness is still there.

    I've spent lots of time with Uncle Harry, and there have been lots of tears but also mutual comfort and consolation, memories of happy times. The house is so strange with Aunty Jean....everything is still the same, the ornaments in the same places, the books on the shelves, the pictures on the wall, even the smell is still the same, and it feels as though she's just popped out for five minutes. I expected to hear her voice calling from the kitchen saying the tea was ready and would I come and lay the table or did I want Victoria Sponge or chocolate sponge. But there was only silence....her shoes are still by Uncle Harry's chair, her coat in the hallway. And if I as a niece feel all choked up just thinking about it, how much harder must it be for him....doesn't bear thinking about really.

    Some days were better than others....I was SO pleased Uncle Harry came out with me a few times while my cousin and his wife dealt with paperwork and organisational things. We went for a little walk and a cup of coffee. He's coping ok, obviously everything is still so raw and fresh and there are still lots of tears, but he's on the right track. Bless him, he is trying so hard, and it's so difficult for him. On one bad day when I was at home with him, he was just staring into space and the expression on his face was of such unbearable sadness, it tore me apart. When I said goodbye to him that day, I told him to look after himself and he promised me he would, but behind his sad smile I could see the unspoken question "What for now? There's not much point." I just said aloud "oh yes there is, we need you around and you'd get one hell of a ticking off from Aunty Jean if you didn't comply!" And he said "how the hell did you know what I was thinking?" Well, you didn't have to be Einstein to figure it out....

    But I also told him it was quite natural to feel sh***y and to let it happen, there were bound to be better days, brighter days, and there was still so much love and happiness out there and plenty of people who cared for him. But I do know too that he just needs a bit of time to settle down and come to terms...he must be absolutely exhausted and I know he's not sleeping much now either. It needs to sink in really and he needs to fill his days which consisted of driving back and fore to the hospital so regularly. And of course there are all the memories of the happy times, and the difficulties, and that awful pain of knowing Aunty Jean is no longer here. Luckily, luckily, his son and daughter-in-law are close by and they're brilliant with him while coping with their own feelings!!

    I'm ok, just very, very tired, and I still get weepy. Crying in the carpark??? Yes, plenty of that.
    I felt really bad having to leave Uncle Harry, but of course I know he's not alone and I couldn't stay indefinitely. It's at times like this I HATE being so far away. He was worried last week that people would forget Aunty Jean and just go back to their normal routines now. I said well, I'm going back to the routine of work and studies and dealing with the other part of the family, but there's no way I could ever forget. Aunty Jean will always be around: I only need to look up from the computer and there is a photograph; my thoughts only need to stray a little, and there she is, alive and well and happy and strong; I touch my ears, and there are the earrings she bought me when I passed my A-levels; I only need to feel I can't cope, and there is her encouragement she was always so ready to give and which will stay with me forever; I only need to feel a little confused or disoriented, and there will be memories of her wise words and gentle guidance.
    But I don't half miss her.....the world was a nicer place with her in it and while the treasure trove of happy memories is a blessing which no one can ever take away (and I do know how lucky I am to have them!), I'd give my right arm and leg to have her back healthy and happy and the way she always was.

    Right, enough waffling, and thanks if you lasted till the end....:D
    Tina
     
  18. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Tina,
    Don't know what to say. Your waffle was beautiful, and I am now sitting here with tears in my eyes thinking about your wonderful Aunt and her family.

    This post belongs just where it is. The 'Dealing with loss' is for those who prefer to post there - no-one has to - the main forum is still the place for you and Auntie Jean.

    With much love,
    Helen
     
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
     
  20. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hiya Tina
    It was very moving to read your lovely post and i agree with Helen and Hazel.
    I remember,what seems to be many moons ago, i posted something along the lines of everyone should have a Tina!........the love and devotion you have shown to your aunt and uncle is outstanding......yes it will take time for you to heal but one day you will look back on your memories and be happy....at the moment they will be painful for you.......
    Please keep in touch
    and take care
    love and hugs xx
     

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