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At a loss what to do

Hellsbells64

New member
Aug 12, 2020
2
Hi there. I just registered this morning and am looking for advice/support.

My Dad (86) was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia 2 years ago and the decline in him is so frightening. He lives alone but I am only 15 mins drive from him. I could (as I’m sure all of you could) write a book at this stage on how it has progressed and the various situations we have faced.

The most recent concern was that I got a call from Dad’s neighbour last Monday night at 9.45 to say that he had come into them (he doesn’t really know them) and told them he had lost a baby in the house and could they come and help him find her. Needless to say, there was no baby but trying to convince him of that just wasn’t getting through. He was so distressed and had clearly been very upset about the whole situation. He eventually calmed down and I stayed the night with him.

He has a carer that comes into him for an hour each morning and then another carer for an hour on 2 afternoons but I’m very very worried about him. I called the PHN yesterday and am waiting to hear back from her.

Dad’s memory is so so bad. He has no recollection whatsoever of what happened on Monday night. He honestly can’t remember things that happened within 30 minutes. He thinks he still works and calls me every morning asking me to ring his employer to say he’ll be late in. Yesterday he said he was supposed to be flying an airplane for Aer Lingus and would I let them know he wouldn’t make it! He has never flown a plane before or had any connection with an airline company. My Mum passed away when I was very young - 39 years ago but Dad can’t remember that and sometimes asks if she’s gone out to do the shopping, etc. Most days he doesn’t recognise his house and asks where he is. I try to reassure him and say that where he is is the best and safest place to be because, if I say he’s at home, he gets really annoyed with me.
Yesterday he thought he was in America. The list goes on .....

Now I’m waffling so apologies 🤦‍♀️

I guess I’m hoping somebody can give me some advice/guidance as I’m the only one of his children who is looking after him and trying to make the right decisions and I honestly don’t know what to do next. I am very concerned about his own safety living at home on his own and am not sure what to do at all. It’s a constant worry and I’m afraid to mess it up.

Thanks for reading my post x
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
63,012
69
Dundee
Hello and welcome to the forum.

You’re not waffling at all! The situation must be very worrying for you. I know that there’s every likelihood that these issues are directly related to the dementia but I wondered if your dad had been test for a urine infection,. My mum had vascular dementia and when she had a UTI her agitation increased incredibly, If he hasn‘t had a test for a UTI it would be worth seeing if your GP could do this.

It also sounds as if he needs to have a needs assessment for his care, or an update of any existing needs assessment. If there’s a social worker involved then I would contact them and ask for an urgent assessment as it sounds as if your dad is becoming very vulnerable.

I‘m glad you’ve found this forum as I know you will get lots of help and support here. Hi
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,930
Kent
Hello @Hellsbells64. Welcome to Dementia Talking Point

It sounds as if your dad is at risk and would be better receiving 24/7 care. This is a big and very painful decision to make but once people who live by themselves become so confused, it`s often a decision which needs to be made.

Have you spoken to your dad`s doctor? It might be best starting with them for a referral to Social Services for an assessment of needs.

Have a look at this factsheet and see if it helps.

 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
879
Hi @Hellsbells64, welcome to the forum. I can understand your concern for Dad. Have you spoken to the care company to elicit their thoughts? It is certainly worth speaking to the GP and getting a UTI test as an infection could well increase Dad's confusion. But the way you have described it gives a picture that it has been going on for a while - not remembering the house, believing he works etc.

Was this an isolated incident or have there been other instances e.g. leaving the house and getting lost?

Is Dad self-funding his care or is it provided by Social Services? Do you have Power of Attorney to make decisions for Dad?
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
672
Hello @Hellsbells64 . I agree with the advice already given. A UTI would certainly explain severely increased confusion, as they can have a pronounced and terrifying effect on people with dementia. Also dehydration can make a big difference in confusion levels (and contribute to urine infections!). I would definitely speak to your Dad's GP as soon as possible.

I see that you have been give a link to explain how to get an Assessment for your Dad.

This is all very difficult stuff to deal with, so keep posting for support and advice. It is a constant worry trying to look after a parent with dementia but don't feel that are messing things up! It sounds as though you are on the right track and there is no right or wrong way of doing things most of the time, just coping with whatever comes up.
 

LouJT

New member
Aug 12, 2020
8
Hi, in my experience sometimes people can be stuck in a certain stage in their life, when my grandma had Alzheimer’s she went back to her 20’s and almost relived it and we heard new stories about that time, sometimes to keep her calm we went along with it and then it would pass. I also agree with the other comments and may be worth increasing his carers.
 

Hellsbells64

New member
Aug 12, 2020
2
Thanks for the replies and sorry for the delay in responding - one of those weeks!! Have an appointment for Dad with his GP tomorrow and I also spoke to the PHN who will arrange for a re-assessment over the next couple of weeks. Dad doesn’t have a UTI so I guess it’s all just dementia related. He’s very delusional - he is with me for dinner now and when I went to collect him earlier he said he had to get out of the house quickly as ‘they are coming to shoot me’. It’s just so frightening. Has anybody experienced these kind of delusions and if so, what did you do?