Advice- Dad wants me there all the time.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by beclola84, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. beclola84

    beclola84 Registered User

    Sep 4, 2015
    2
    Hi,
    I'm looking for a bit of advice please. My dad is 80 and I became a full time carer for him in February of this year when my mum died suddenly at aged 60. As they lived together she was the main carer although me and my brother (ages 31 and 27) did see them both usually around 3-4 times a week. We didn't tell dad about mum dying rightly or wrongly as when I started to try and explain he went into a panic and over 6 months later he hasn't even asked for her more than twice. We both live around 10 minutes drive away so the decision was made to support him to live at home so we go on a morning to give him breakfast, medication and prepare his lunch and then go again after work to prepare his dinner and bathe him and settle him into bed so sometimes are there until 9-10pm. We leave him a note with our numbers while we are at work and he will still phone. I feel guilty but being the age we are we dont want to move in or have him move here as we are trying for our own family and am not willing to sacrifice this which makes me feel guilty but the dementia nurse said it was better to keep him in a familiar environment anyway. After around 4 months we were both shattered so we now have some help with a carer 4 nights a week. However he sometimes wont eat for her or wont go in the bath and I get calls almost every night I'm not there as he doesn't want her he wants me there all the time. I feel constantly stressed worrying about when either dad is going to call or the carer phone with a problem. We have a holiday booked in October and the carer is going to stay over for the nights we are all away but I'm so stressed about going away as what if the carer cant cope and he wont eat the while time we're away? Also I'm not sure what we would do if we did have a family as I wont be able to do what I'm doing with a small baby. How do you cope with the constant worry? Should I tell dad we're going away? I dont think he's ready for a care home but I don't know? He cant prepare his own meals,wont eat unless there us someone there with him, he talks to himself in the mirror all the time. I adore my dad and love him beyond words but I don't know how to live with the constant stress and this holiday is nit going to be relaxing as I'll be getting phone calls for problems I can't solve while I'm away. Sorry for the long thread, I've been wanting to post for a while. Thank you
     
  2. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    839
    Fife Scotland
    hi beclola and welcome to TP.

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your mum, I am sure you will get loads of advice and help from longer servred people than me, but I would say go your holiday forget the worls and worry when you come back
     
  3. Moonflower

    Moonflower Registered User

    Mar 28, 2012
    775
    I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice here
    I think you will need to try to separate what your dad needs from what he wants
    You won't be able to do everything he wants, in the long term, as well as working or having a baby.
    So you'll have to make sure he gets the help he needs, but with some of it provided by others

    A care home might work, if he is lonely - you could look at ones near you so you are ready
    Good ones will probably have waiting lists anyway, and if you get to the top of the list you can always say "not yet"
     
  4. beclola84

    beclola84 Registered User

    Sep 4, 2015
    2
    Thank you both. We went to have a look at care homes in the advice of the dementia nurse as he has vascular dementia she said it was a good idea as he might have a big downward step without warning and be unable to live at home. There is such a difference in some of the homes but we do have one we would like to use if it comes to that. I am always torn between doing everything I can for dad but also knowing I need to have my own life for my sanity. I just don't know how to switch off from worrying all the time!
     
  5. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    Your Dad does sound as though he needs some extra help-and you do as well.

    How about getting some respite care in a CH for your Dad while you are away. It could be a step towards seeing how he would cope in a residential setting. At least you would know that he was being looked after 24/7 while you are on your hols. It won't be much of a break if you are worried all the time.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  6. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK
    Hello, if you are happy with the carer and you know she/he will be able to cope, try not to worry. In the whole scheme of things it does not matter if he refuses a bath while the carer is there, no point stressing your father when you are not able to visit. Same goes for that evening meal, if he is eating breakfast and lunch with a family member just make sure there are plenty of his favourite snack foods for the evening. As long as the carer does not make a big deal of these two issues and you know he is safe, then try and relax.

    For the future, do think about putting his name down for the care home that you like, like someone has already said, the waiting lists can be long and you can always refuse a place if the time is not right, he will not loose the chance of any future offers.
     
  7. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Beclola84 welcome to TP. This isn't the first time I've posted this advice to younger carers on TP, but it bears repeating.

    As a parent, the most important thing for me is that my daughter makes a success of her life and realises her dreams for her career and her family. If I need care, I hope she will help me find it if I can't do that for myself, but I would not want her to sacrifice her own future or drive herself to exhaustion looking after me herself.

    Please try not to feel that you are shortchanging your Dad by going on holiday. You have every right to do that, and in fact if you don't get some breaks you are at much greater risk of carer breakdown which won't help anyone, least of all your Dad. None of us can have everything they want, even if they have dementia, and sadly as the illness progresses people tend to want irrational things which aren't practical or sensible and to lose the ability to consider anyone else's needs but their own. If your Dad wasn't ill, he would want you to go and enjoy yourself.

    You have made arrangements to ensure your Dad is safe and cared for while you're away, and that's all anyone can expect.
     

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