1. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007
    #1 kayleigh999, Oct 24, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    Hi All

    I have not been on the boards for a while and I am a bit embarrassed to be back now because I have a problem. I do "lurk" and read the posts but mostly dont feel experienced enough to really reply to many posts.

    Anyway to recap, Mom 83 and diagnosed april of this year with vascular dementia with possibly AD too. She was 2 years post stroke but it still came as some suprise. She was very aggressive to my Father and started attacking him which ended up with her using a bread knife to cut his neck. Until this illness a kind, placid, lovely lady (dont know why I added that but I am sure you understand)

    So to move on, she diagnosed with "capgras syndrome" alongside it which is a rare disorder where the sufferer thinks their spouse (usually) has been replaced by an identical looking imposter. Wont go into it but very distressing for all concerned. Was prescribed anti-pyschotic medicine which was at firstso effective,it felt like we had won the lottery but does wear off and she has had it increased 4 times already.

    My dilemma now is this; Mom lives with Dad and I help to care everyday although I dont live there. Dad is very low and stressed now and has asked me if I have ever thought of the possibility of him dying first ( I have done but then put it out of my mind its so unthinkable) He has asked if he did will I move in and look after Mom. I would if I only had myself to think of but I am divorced parent of a 10 and 17 year old and am worrying of the impact it would have on them. I want to help Mom, please dont get me wrong. My house is too small for her or she could live here with us. The alternative is a home which is a non-starter as I could not bear to even think about it yet.

    My other problem is that in my divorce settlement I have to sell my house if I dont reside here for a period of 4 months or more,and pay my ex his part I owe him on the house, so in the meantime would lose this home for us three. My parents own their home but when Mom passes away I know my Brothers will want it sold and share the money.

    I suppose I have two separate problems, can I make a promise to my Dad should anything happen and then not be able to keep it or should the nursing home be looked at as I am sure many people reading this will have gone through the denial of using one but had to in the end.

    My friend said I should forget about it as Dad dying first" may never happen" but I cant do that as Mom could not stay one day or night by herself now as she is so bad. He is 81 and I see him getting lower by the day, some months ago he had a new knee and contracted no less than THREE hospital bugs. Although they are allegedly clear from hs system who knows.

    I hope I dont come across as selfish. My brothers will be more than happy to let me move in but then I know in all fairness will want their money and I wont have enough to buy another place.

    I hope this letter makes sense, I dont think its very concise and I lie awake at nightworrying about all the jumble in my head. My Mom means the world to me and somedays seeing her is too painful to convey to anyone but at the end of the day she has one daughter and as in the care it has all fallen on one childs shoulders.

    Thanks for reading

    K xx
  2. cariad

    cariad Registered User

    Sep 29, 2007
    Hi, I think it would be wiser to promise your Dad that you will always ensure your Mum is well cared for (be it in a home or else). My Dad (71) died suddenly in Aug and I had no choice but to take My Mam in (she has Ftd or Az). There may be other options open to you should the situation arise. e.g sell your Mam's home so that you can buy a bigger home to look after her (but I don't know where that leaves you with your ex). If she went straight into a home your brothers would probably not get ant money from the house as it would probably be used for care fees. If you moved in with your mam and sold up your other house (the home would not be used for care fees because you as a carer gave up your own home to reside there). You don't sound at all selfish! You are just being practical.
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Kayleigh

    I remember your posts about your mum, because I had never heard of capgras syndrome.

    It sounds to me as if your dad is finding it all too much, even with your help. I don't think you should promise to move in with your mum, that would cause far too many problems, and might not be for long in any case. In fact, it might never be necessary at all.

    Could you promise your dad that if he were to die, you would make sure that your mum was safe and cared for, and you'd always visit?

    It might also be an idea to broach the subject of a care home with him. He really has been through a lot, and I suspect he's almost ready to give up full-time caring.

    You don't come across as selfish at all, in fact you are a lovely, caring daughter, and you have to think of your own family too.

    Try to talk to your dad, I think he might be ready to listen.

  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Kayleigh.

    Sometimes we are asked the impossible, and I think your father has asked it of you. I`m not judging him, he can only see the agony he`s in with your mother and is still protective towards her. He wants to make sure the provision is there if he dies first.

    But he is unable to understand the complexities of the life you have, of your home and your children.

    So I`m afraid I would be tempted to tell him what he wants to hear, to reassure him you will do as he asks, if he dies first.

    And meanwhile I would be researching and visiting homes that would be suitable for your mother and have a contingency plan ready just in case.

    I`m sorry this sounds so deceitful, I`m almost embarrassed expressing these views publicly. But you want to give your father peace of mind, you need to ensure there is care available should your mother need it, and you have to take care of yourself and your children too.
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hi Kayleigh

    We all have our own views on this subject, but I'm quite happy to tell you mine. Under no circumstances should you make this promise (to take care of your mother in the event that your father dies first) and if you do get pushed into it in a weak moment, well just don't because I don't think this is a promise that should be given or asked. It's not just your financial situation vis a vis your house or your parent's house, it is simply that I, personally, feel that this is not something you should be expected to do. Period. I can give you a number of legitimate excuses about it, the most important being that it is simply not fair to expect your children to have to deal with this, particularly as you know she has the potential to be violent, but it simply comes down to the fact that you have the right to your own life.

    I have already told my children that the extent of their responsibility to me is to make sure I'm somewhere safe and well-taken care of - they have absolutely no responsibility to put their own lives on hold to do this physical caring should it come to that. I have also pointed out that down the road, I may try to make them promise something but this will not be my considered view.

    I don't know how much you can plan in advance for something that may not happen, but it might be worth your while if you have any spare time (hollow laughter) to have a look at some local nursing homes, so you'll have a better idea what is available. Then, even if your fatehr holds on to his prejudices against nursing homes, you at least will have a better idea that they are not all the worst possible placement.

  6. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hello Kayleigh,
    I do agree with previous threads but on a personal level, you do have 2 young children and dealing with ex's and property, I have been there. I got the children and he got the house ! Don't get me wrong, I came off the better deal. Sixteen months after my divorce, I met Peter - my soul mate. We were married for 12 happy years until 4 years ago he was diagnoised with A.D. and now is in a E.M.I. unit. Your brothers should be made to understand, it is their parents as well. You sound such a loving, caring daughter. I have told my family they have their lives and put me in a Care Home. Your children are so young and they must come first. It is a difficult position I know but everyone on T.P. are brilliant.
    I wish you all the best. Christine
  7. paris07

    paris07 Registered User

    Jul 11, 2007
    Dear Kayleigh

    I can understand your concern for your dad and how you would like to promise him that his requests would be carried out,but from past experience in promises ,I can only say sometimes we cannot fulfill some promises ,try as we may and this takes it's toll on our own lives.

    I wonder if your Dad would consider some respite care for your Mum, he may get a well earned rest also. If he is feeling stressed and low himself, these thoughts of him dying first may be telling on his mind.

    I am an only child (daughter) looking after her mum with dementia, in my home for 2years I know the road can get rough.

    I send you best wishes,
    regards PARIS07.
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    My elder sister and I had this discussion yesterday as to what would happen to us if we were to develop dementia, or for that matter any other illness that meant we needed full time care.

    My elder sister has 2 children who are now 18 and 15, whereas I and my other sister have no children.

    My biggest fear is that either my nephew or niece would feel obliged to look after me. FOR GOD'S SAKE, PUT ME IN A HOME!

    But of course my Dad said this many years ago (along with 'If I ever get like that, just shoot me') as did his mother before him before she developed dementia. Now that time has come (or nearly) he is not the same man. He is not the strong fearless man that could cope with whatever life threw at him. He is a vulnerable elderly man who is probably very scared of what is happening to him and I'm sure he would be frightened of going in to a home whilst he has his present level of understanding.

    Although I agree wholeheartedly with all the posts that say that you should make no such promise to your Dad (or if you do keep your fingers crossed behind your back) it's not as easy as that when the time comes is it? Even though we know it's in theirs and our best interests, and from a financial view it sounds as though it would be the very worst thing you could do.

    So, my sister and I decided that all 3 of us will go in to a home together...where we will no doubt be a complete and utter nightmare for staff and other residents alike.... :D But we decided we would move to Greece or Italy first (or anywhere in Europe where the climate is better and where the elderly are treated with more respect than in the UK. :( )
  9. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    manchester, uk
    Hi Kayleigh

    I am sorry to hear of the heartache you are going though at the moment.

    I personally would not promise anything I knew there was no chance I would follow through. I am wondering as Nada has said "he is at the end of his tether and not able to cope anymore". Could this be his way of him asking you if he should consider a nursing home. Have you ever talked with the family about 24/7 care for your mum in a home? Your dad would be able to visit all the time but still get his much needed rest. Maybe try talking to your dad about a care home for your mum, he might just be looking to you to bring the subject up.

    I hope this helps in some way, and my thoughts are with you.

    Take Care
  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #10 Margarita, Oct 24, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    I was also thinking along those line , but me being me am also
    thinning panic alarms , cry for help is my dad going to kill himself , so would tell him NO am not looking after mum because your not ready yet to die , saying NO in looking after mum so he could be left with the worry to keep his will to live , that if he died they be no one to look after mum , then its off to social service telling them what my father said , and get my dad respite .
  11. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Sorry Kayleigh - this is probably no earthly use at all - but it reminds me of a phrase oft said by my own mum: 'Promises are like pie crusts - some are meant to be broken' ..... :(

    Love, Karen, x
  12. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Kayleigh,

    My first thought was along the same line as Nada's, that this in some way reflected your father's own internal struggle with continuing to care at home as he has been doing.

    As others have already said, I think making a promise to ensure that your mother is well cared for is the best that you can offer. Given your own role as a mother (I say this as a mother of an 11 year old myself) I think that is a realistsic reflection of your situation.

    I would always say go and look at homes as you need to know what all the future options are. Right now, I don't know what the phrase 'care home' conjures up in your imagination. There are a variety of homes out there and some are very good. It might be that if you can find a very good local home that you could imagine how your parents' situation could be improved by something like a spell of respite to give your dad a break or possibly something more long term.

    There is a good fact sheet on this:


    The fact sheet has a link to the CSCI website where you can search for EMI homes by Post Code.

    Take care,

  13. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Kayleigh,

    Caring for someone 24/7 is very exhausting, physically as well as mentally and possibly Nada's right.

    You know your dad best and maybe you could tell him of your concerns for the future of your family if you were to commit to caring full time for your mum. This would be a huge commitment for you to take on. If your not comfortable telling him this, then personally I wouldn't promise anymore than seeing that your mum is well cared for.

    Care Home placement is a very hard decision to make, very very stressful indeed. BUT, unfortunately we all have our breaking point and the caring role does become to great for one individual to endure alone, and not through the want of trying.

    Many people have to face the same anguish and usually when placed in a very difficult situation. I can fully understand your concerns and think that it wouldn't do any harm for you to check out what is available in the way of care homes.

    I know it's hard not to worry and I also think it is wise of you to be thinking ahead.

    Caring Thoughts
  14. jacqueline100

    jacqueline100 Registered User

    Jun 16, 2007
    Hi kayliegh,

    This might sound like avoidance but I would do what your heart tells you. You are the person who knows your dad and mum best, if a kind lie feels right then so be it, if not then reassure your dad that you will ensure your mum will be cared for. Life often throws us curved balls, try not to worry until you need to (easy to say I know) Most of all be kind to yourself.

    regards Jacquie
  15. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Kayleigh,my problems are no where near what yours are,but i was thinking today,what if mum goes before dad?what will i(being the only one of 4 who thinks these things) do?to be honest the thought of mum going has taken me over.i am the youngest and have it all piled on me.I am so under pressure that i feel a need to walk away.not that i would,but the thought is scary.love and take care elainex
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Have I got the wrong end of the stick? Your brothers would "want the house sold to get their money"? and you seem to agree that is right. I think I have missed something, cos my impression is the house should be used to support your parent(s) which ever one need it, and any beneficiaries of a will will have to wait till the last parent dies to be even thinking about benefitting financially.

    I think I have got it wrong. Please tell me that I have.

  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Kayleigh's talking about what would happen should her father die first, she moved in to take care of her mother and then her mother died.
  18. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks for messages

    Hi All

    Can I say a big thank you for taking the time to reply. Things are horrendous really and I think Dad is just so mixed up he is asking these sorts of things and worrying all the time and its just awful.

    He is seriously worrying me now. He wants to show me where his stash of money is, is talking of writing his eulogy and said he hopes him and Mom die on the same day. My boyfriend asked me if I have considered he is going to do anything silly. Although the signs are there I still cling to hope that he is too level headed and I dont want to admit it to myself.

    Saw Mom sunday, without trying to overdramatise it I thought she was on her way out, a terrrible blank look, not my Mom at all and even dropping off to sleep,at 10am in morning. She is waking terrified in her room (separate beds since Dad became the "imposter") and not knowing where she is, she also is forgetting where the toilet is as well. She is so terribly frail now and is hardly walking, is dribbling down her chin and it is a terrible thing to witness, her obvious progression.

    Dad has told me he feels he is having a breakdown, we have never been a family prone to depression or the like (and I dont mean to disrespect anyone who is) so when he says those things I think its crisis time. He has said he cant go on. She wont shower or anything now.

    He did ask me if I could speak to my brothers for him and ask if they would go to visit her one hour a week. They both simply said they are too busy and anyway whats the point? I wont go into that anymore as my BP is rising as I type!

    Anyway to sum up Dad took it on himself last night to reduce moms dose of anti-psychotics.Her dose was increased last week as symtoms worsening and he is clinging to the hope it has made her worse. I cant convince him that she needed the increase as the "other" man was back. I have spoken to her CPN today who told me with Moms condition alongside the dementia, capgras syndrome, its very dangerous to mess with medicine. She is going to see him Friday and psychiatrist going with her.

    So thats my week, the worse ever and reading peoples posts I know I am sadly not on my own. I do all I can for them and I have a horrible feeling time is running out for Mom and the questions on my original posts may not need answering. In saying that Dad asked again today if I would move in if he goes first. My brothers said if i did and lost this place in the process they will drop a few grand to make up to me when we sell Moms, a gesture of sorts I suppose but at this moment in time money has no bearing at all on the situation.

    Thanks for listening and god bless.

    K xxx
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Kayleigh, your situation sounds serious. It does sound to me as if your dad may be contemplating suicide. At any rate, he's at the end of his tether.

    Nada's suggestion of ringing samaritans is a good one, if you can persuade him to do it. He will be able to talk to someone outside the family, in complete confidence, and can call them at any time, day ot night. He doesn't have to be suicidal, just need someone to talk to.

    I also think you should be talking to him about a care home. I don't think it's at all realistic for you to consider moving in, you could find yourself in a real financial mess, and it's unfair of your brothers to put this pressure on you.

    But your dad can't go on like this. Please talk to him about a care home, and perhaps take him to see one or two. It sounds as if it would be a relief for him if you were to take responsibility for this. He wouldn't have to sell the house as long as he was living in it.

    Please try, I do know how your dad feels, and I know how grateful he will be to have someone understand. It's a tough decision, and you're going to have to be very strong.

    Let us know how it goes.

  20. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    manchester, uk
    Hi Kayleigh

    I'm so sorry you had such a bad week. I am also so sorry your brother feels he can't even give up an hour each week to go and support you and your dad and see you mum.

    My Nanna's medication was changed on a number of occasions over the time, and I do wish your dad wouldn't change it unless he has spoken with someone first. Sometimes the medication they give can take a while to get into the system.

    I hope you have a better week this week. Please keep us posted.

    Take Care

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