Being the bigger person?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by KMH, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hello there

    I have been posting on and off for a few years because I always get such sensible help here, just about the only place really. Once again I am seeking your better brains, although maybe I will have the courage to come on a bit more now dad has finally been diagnosed so I can say 'yes - this is dementia, not just a mean old man'.

    After a long history of my dad's domestic abuse, attacks on mum's carers and several arrests, my 81 yo mum (who has MCI) sought an occupation order against my 83 yo dad (recently diagnosed with vascular dementia although I would say symptoms go back at least 5 years). Their home is jointly owned, she is living in it quite happily with 4x a day carers, he is in sheltered housing down the road which he hates and has just got rid of his carers yet again. I live 50 miles away and for the past 4 years have been going over Wednesdays and Sundays, do shopping, prescriptions and laundry, plus medical appointments when they come up. I always do this for her but for him it is intermittent as from time to time he tells me he has always hated me and never wants to see me again so I get a few weeks off - although probably will not allow myself this now I know for sure it is dementia. I am LPA for her but not him, their house, bank account and savings are joint.

    Although dad is violent and abusive to mum, he also protests that he is devoted to her and cannot live without her. She does not want him back. She has easily accepted that he has dementia although for a number of years psychiatrists etc had been saying it is probably personality disorder although hard to diagnose because of his age. I am now starting to wonder whether this might be what happens when somebody with a personality disorder gets dementia as well.

    We were in court yesterday for the fourth time, yet again it was adjourned. Once again, we all turned up, including mum who fell asleep, but the judge (once again, one we have never met before – four different judges so far) said there was not enough time allocated (by the last judge!!) and wanted a full day hearing. Plus Dad’s solicitor (he now has one) wants to apply for medical evidence. That probably means at least two more hearings. Mum’s barrister doesn’t think mum can do a full day in court so is pushing for video link. I am the only person who has been at all the hearings so far and I am shocked by their rather shambolic nature.

    Basically my growing impression is the district judges are very reluctant to make a ruling, may even kick it off to the High Court (please god NO), and want mum and dad to sort it out outside of court. I am not opposed to this but just don't know HOW, the only thing I know is that if he goes back things will quickly get very chaotic and dangerous for mum again. There was a possibility he would be sent back yesterday, mum had agreed to an emergency bed being arranged in a local care home if he was, although that is not what she wants at all.

    Up until yesterday Dad had not been communicating with me at all, having thrown his stick at me and thrown me out of his flat. He then started calling mum every day. After the hearing for some reason we all hung around and the court turned into this ghastly mum and dad show for a bit with dad, his social worker, and his solicitor having a little meeting in the corridor. I was exhausted (so was mum), fed up and just wanted everybody to push off home so I could get mum out the door in her wheel chair without her having to see him, but they wouldn’t. I came under quite a bit of pressure/ emotional blackmail (‘’blood is thicker than water’, ‘be the bigger person’, ‘you won’t have him forever’) to speak to dad, once again he got all the others to act as go-betweens and so now I am back visiting him and doing his laundry. It all happened in public, it felt humiliating and really inappropriate – I had to hug and kiss him in front of everybody which I hated, yet another snapshot to add to the album of horrible memories. Judge me for feeling that way if you like and remind me 'he has dementia - he can't help it' but I have had a belly full over the years.

    However - but we did make a little bit of progress in that dad is now prepared to talk about living somewhere else. I want to hear a bit more about that from him. His angle now seems to be that he has had a magical personality transformation since getting a pacemaker so he now has more oxygen to the brain, which I will not believe unless I see consistently changed behaviour for a long time. It also sends me into hysterical crazy laughter when I think about all the years he insisted he would not have a pacemaker and did not need one, he only got one because I consented it when he was very confused and he has berated me bitterly since then for doing it.

    So mum is back at home, which is a good thing and for me the most important thing. Mum said clearly in court yesterday that she does not want dad back because she now lives a peaceful life, although she does not want a divorce and speaks to him daily, which I think the judge found a bit confusing. Dad also is saying that as an alternative to a long drawn out court battle he would be prepared to think about living somewhere else if it was a place he liked, but their borough is very expensive and their savings would go within a few years on rent. One possibility is to sell their home and find two different places, but if he has dementia how long will he be able to live independently? Personally I think the place where I live (50 miles north of London) has its attractions but mum and dad both like their London borough. Needs a better brain than mine really - which is why I am asking you because you have LOADS of brains.

    Having been advised to go down this road it proves complicated, exhausting and tricky but at least the emergency placement scenario was avoided, which is good. I am not sure I would describe myself as 'desperate' any more (four years after first posting) but I am super tired.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Pinkys

    Pinkys Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    South of England
    Dear God, what a mess. You need help with this and I do not know what is available. If it were an issue with children and parents, it could be CAFCASS, I think. Maybe you need a solicitor? Does your mum have an allocated SW? Who supports you in court?

    How absolutely hideous about the 'happy family' show. Well done for cooperating at the time, for your mum's sake perhaps. (Oscar nomination coming up) But you may want to back off again from the duties you feel you have to do. Also, maybe a message to his SW about how inappropriate you felt it was. While dementia may account for some vile behaviour, as you say, years of it makes your position a little different. And just because someone has dementia and hits out, it does not mean the other person has to paint a target on their face and take every blow.
  3. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    hallo again KMH, I know I responded to your earliest, very harrowing, posts on the forum, and I'm sorry to hear that things are still not in a "stable" situation where you can be sure that the best for everyone is being achieved.

    I really have no solutions for you. Your brain is actually pretty amazing, that you have coped with all this.

    Hopefully by responding I will bump this up for you and others who have faced similar challenges may join in.

    (((hugs))) from owly
  4. carrieboo

    carrieboo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2016
    herts uk
    What an absolute nightmare. I'm afraid I have no advice except to suggest that every incidence of violence or aggression (including the throwing of a stick which is technically threatening behaviour) should be logged. Unfortunately I think your mum's position is undermined by her continued contact with your dad, it's not unusual in victims of dv but the courts will generally take a dim view...

    I hope there are others on here who can give you some really practical advice... Anybody?

    Dealing with dementia is hard enough without all the added complications you're facing :(
  5. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you Pinkys. Mum does have a solicitor but she wasn't in court in an attempt to keep the costs down, which are ballooning with the repeated court hearings. Mum also has a barrister also as of yesterday though, who put me in a half nelson to co operate as it doesn't 'look good' to be hostile. She is right, but I only had the dementia diagnosis confirmed on Thursday after years of being told he knows what he is doing, so am having difficulty adjusting to a 'he really can't help it' mindset, also I wasn't expecting the 'reconciliation' performance. But actually I can be less cynical after a day's rest, maybe he does just want to be back in touch as he is probably very lonely and afraid.:(:(:(:(:( as well as wanting lifts, shopping and laundry.
  6. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you Owly. You and others like you have kept me coming back as you really do 'get it' as many others do not. Unfortunately social services don't always have the answers but mum at least now wants to get a lot tougher with them. We know he has dementia, he can't go home (and court was their suggestion) so what are they going to suggest? Even with her MCI she was switched on enough to see that with dementia buying a place for him to live independently doesn't make much sense, as he is barely able to do that now. I think that is where this is taking me - but not sure how to go about it as they may hold their line of 'they are both capacitated adults who can make their own decisions and his decision is to try to return to his house'. But actually he did change that line a bit yesterday, I think if he is open to discussing solutions then now is the time to research them.
  7. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you Carrieboo. I agree with you but there's no way of stopping her speaking to him as those kinds of nuances escape her, also she has been in an abusive marriage for a very long time and normalises it. Actually yesterday's judge was really unhelpful in that he suggested they 'meet up for coffee' more often (which I will have to facilitate) and 'see whether they can get on'!!!!! These kinds of unhelpful messages are what we seem to get in court every time. The judge at the January hearing did not believe mum really wanted the Occupation Order because they went out together on Christmas Day! That is why she had to go in person this time. The judges seem to want them to 'patch it up' out of court rather than giving an order.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Like they have never heard of DV. The law, as they say, is an ... finish the sentence yourself so I don't get deleted!
  8. Gwendy1

    Gwendy1 Registered User

    Feb 9, 2016
    Good grief :/ what a horrible, complex and soul destroying situation for you. I can only imagine it will need to play out through the courts.. I'm sorry, I have no words of wisdom, just really feel for you. You must be at the end of your tether. Please stay well and strong.x

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.