Advice for new member Hi Hope you can advise me as I am very new to this! My dad aged 77 has recently been diagnosed with dementia ( what is the difference between dementia and alzheimers?) and this came as no surprise as his memory has been dreadful for ages now. However he is steadily getting worse and complications are arising because -and I find it really hard to say this, its like a betrayal- he is not a greatly loved family member. He was a pretty awful dad causing pain with his tongue, his hands and his belt. He has been a dreadful husband in some ways as well, with affairs, another child with someone else, and a definite lack of love and care for his family, though he never hit my mum as far as I know. There were some good times and I can remember him being very protective of me when I was young. He was particularly vile towards my younger brother who killed himself 14 years ago at the age of 33, my brother had a lot of problems, alcohol being one but he was a gentle loving person and needed help not abuse and my dad gave him hell from morning till night until he took an overdose and died-he was living with my parents at the time, not from choice but neccessity. I am not saying in any way that my dad was responsible for that, there was so much else involved but you are getting the picture. I have just re-read what I have written and it sounds bad but things are never simple. My dad had a tough upbringing himself though we have never known any of his family as they came from Ireland. He has never been able to express himself in a loving way and even when he did buy a birthday card for my mum he would always just sign his name, so there is a lot of repression there. My mum and dad have been married for well over 50 years and I suppose it is a feat that they are still together but it was like a battle ground when we were younger and every one of us (the children) have had our own demon(s) to deal with as adults-battle scarred!?! Anyway back to my problem, he has been diagnosed and is waiting for a place at a day centre where he can attend twice a week but there are 2 people ahead of him in the queue ( is this a deadmans shoes type of thing?) and in the meantime he does absolutely nothing all day except fret and worry about non-existent things. My mum is a lovely person and has had a very tough life bereft of love and care from dad and had a close call with death herself just last year (my dad was devastated but only from his point of view of who would look after him) I think she now feels extremely angry at now having to care for him and can be quite nasty to him. He talks about killing himself all the time. I live over 100 miles away and have huge responsibilities here and so cant run up and down all the time. My younger brother is great and buys dad all sorts of things to try and get him interested in life, he also just bought him sandals as his feet were painful and my dad is very scathing to him, though occasionally he will say to me "what a good lad he is".Of course i pass this on to my brother! My older brother doesnt want to know and has said for many years that he (my dad) is of no use or ornament and would be better off dead. We are definitely a rum lot! I am so sorry to ramble on and on, my real point is, how do I ensure my dad gets the care he needs, no-one goes to the doctors with him and when he gets there he cant remember why he is there and goes back home where mum has a go at him. He still drives, which I am appalled at. My husband and I recently took him and mum on a short break to Ireland to rekindle some memories for him and it was so stressful for all of us because he couldnt find his way back to the hotel room when he went outside for a smoke, he couldnt find his way back from the toilet and thought I was his wife and he only had one child instead of 5. Quite often he didnt know he was in Ireland and thought the hotel was a hospital and they were trying to keep him there. SO, how can he possibly be allowed to drive??I think mum has lost a lot of confidence and is quite worried about trips to the hospital and drs etc. When he was well he was the stronger one when it came to getting to and from places. Mum is the power in the home. I Just went up on his birthday and he looked so sad, he has vile feet but i gave him a foot massage and he loved it. I live so far away that I can afford to go there and be positive and loving because I dont have to do it often. The best day of my life was leaving home at 18. I am very aware of how stressful this must be for mum and my sister and brother and I feel bad about saying oh why cant you do this or that for dad because I am not on the front line with them. What advice or agencies can you recommend. I feel my dad is in a bit of danger in some ways, that sounds dramatic I know but I think he is like a toddler let loose with a car and left to roam on his own. Obviously sometimes he is quite aware of whats going on around him. When I was up there for his birthday, while I was doing his feet, my mum and my husband were in the kitchen making jokes about just dropping him off outside the day centre wether he had a place or not. I kept up some inane chatter so dad couldnt hear and had a word with my husband later. I am no saint, despite my "handle"! However we are all human and need some dignity. Thankyou for listening, this has been quite cathartic but I still need REAL advice!!!