Advice for new member please

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by saintbee, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. saintbee

    saintbee Registered User

    Jun 5, 2006
    3
    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!!!
     
  2. saintbee

    saintbee Registered User

    Jun 5, 2006
    3
    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!!!
     
  3. LindaD

    LindaD Registered User

    Nov 17, 2004
    30
    Suffolk
    No easy answers

    I felt so sad reading your post and don't have any real answers for you. I think you need to involve Social Services and get some help to come in for both your Mum and your Dad. Her needs can be assessed as his carer which could lead to some respite being organised for her when she needs it.

    Your comment about dumping him at the day centre reminded me of a news story sometime ago where the family dumped their dad with Altzeimers on the dorstep of the hospital as they had had enough. Both myself and my friend who's Mum had AD could relate to this and found it funny! The press were up in arms about how terrible it was but we understood perfectly!

    My best wishes to you and all your family.
     
  4. saintbee

    saintbee Registered User

    Jun 5, 2006
    3
    thank-you

    Hi

    Thanks to Nada and Linda D for their responses and useful info. I have contacted my parents local social services and both mum (her health and mobility are poor) and dad are going to be assessed for any help they may need.
    I phoned mum and told her in a very diplomatic way about the assessment and although she is fiercely proud and independent, she is pleased with the idea that help may be on its way. My sister will try and be there for the assessment if I cant be there.
    My dad hasnt informed the dvla or insurance company about his health. I spoke to the dvla and they advised me to write a letter with his details and they will check with his doctor. This smacks of sneakiness but I dont want an accident to occur before he decides he will give up, this may be never with dad. He constantly forgets his routes even though he has done them hundreds of times, then he gets upset but still doesnt see the need to give up. How long before he forgets the traffic light sequence. He has had a couple of minor accidents in the past 2 years.
    Once again, thank-you. this is a brilliant forum for people to discuss their problems and it is so heartwarming to see how many people with dementia are so loved. Also the black humour is so funny. You really do have to laugh!!!
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Not a betrayal at all, I would say.... that you can accept him for what he is/was/has done/ not done etc etc in your or your family's opinion and still care so much is a tribute to you.

    I think there is something intrinsic in 'wanting' to love our parents (even when we go through periods of not actually 'liking' them) and generally the best of human nature to want to care in different ways for those we feel are vulnerable......

    Well done you! You come across with such honesty, strength and humour - best armour you could have!

    Certainly, I think you will gain the support you want for your dad - as well as you and the rest of the family should they wish to receive it - from 'impartial' and professional sources.....

    And of course, there's TP!!!:)

    Love, Karen, x
     
  6. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    I can relate to that

    My Mum has had her moments too, not the same things you have said about your Dad but she left us years ago for the man she fell in love with. At the time she said she did not want anything{us] to get in the way of her happiness. She has been very self centered in the past 25 years Im not saying she was never around for us, but she only responded if it did not get in the way of her happiness with my step father. He died last November and it became apparent that Mums memory was not what it used to be. We now know she has dementia but the brain scan is next week so that is all we know. But any way since then she has become completley dependent on me and I am already a registered carer for my disabled daughter,I work full time and am a single parent so I now have no life as such. I have very mixed feelings wanting to do the best for my mum but also holding resentments from the past. She is in hospital at the moment but will be out next week and she believes I have locked her away for grief, she can not understand why I had a problem with her phoning me all hours of the night to tell me how her neighbor was plotting to kill her. Or why I am insisting someone needs to give her medication to her each day. Because she can not remember how she took a weeks tablets in one day or phoning the police 12 times to report her nice neighbor for beating up his wife. [lucky for me they understand. Any way what I have done about the car problem is I have taken her keys and she thinks she has lost them. Not nice I know but for her safety and others I feel it is neccassary try it
     
  7. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    Hi

    Talking of sneakiness I could run a course on the subject, it's a way of life for TPers.

    Hugs

    Dick
     

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