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Can I leave him alone in the house?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by NorthLondon, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. NorthLondon

    NorthLondon Registered User

    Dec 18, 2015
    4
    My husband has FTD and so far his problems have been to do with emotions, energy, concentration and imagination. And his speech is very bad now, he can't organise his thoughts, and even a yes/no question can be quite upsetting. All these things make it difficult for him to manage socially and his relationship with our 6-year-old daughter has disintegrated due to his unpredictability. He can't work and his daily routine is shrinking. But he is not confused, knows where he is and who people are (though he forgets their names), he still cooks and manages himself physically. So I've been able to leave him alone in the house and he goes about his routines, often I suspect more peacefully than when he is having to cope with interactions. This has been so important for my daughter and me as we've been able to spend time together away from home just the two of us.

    BUT the other day the kitchen roll caught fire when he was cooking. Luckily I saw it and called out to him, he reacted but a bit slowly, he put the kitchen roll in the sink, but didn't try to put it out. He didn't see that a plastic pack of snacks was also singed and still smouldering and melting next to the cooker so I ran over and put that in the sink too and put water over everything. He then grabbed it all and put it in the (plastic) bin straightaway without giving it a minute to cool down.
    He then seemed annoyed that I opened the windows to get rid of the plastic fumes, as if I was making a fuss.

    Now I'm wondering if I can leave him alone in the house again... My instinct is telling me no, I need to put something in place to make sure he doesn't cook unsupervised. But it's the very first time anything has happened and I'm doubting my instinct. Especially since it's a huge change. The thought of being stuck in the house all day isn't appealing and I certainly don't want to put our daughter through that too. Is there help? I don't know how far into the future to plan... What can I do? And how would I go about it? It's the first time I'm faced with potentially forcing something on my husband and I'm finding it very hard.

    Very grateful for any thoughts
     
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Merry Xmas North London (well it's only 24 hours away)
    Cooking accidents seem to be a trigger point, my mother and uncle both ended up in hospital from kitchen related incidents, my uncle ended up in care and my mother came to live with me.
    A few years back the assessment letter from the memory clinic about my wife said "that without constant supervision Mrs XXX represents a danger to herself and other people" I got in black and white that forced me to stop brushing it under the carpet and face the fact she was a potential danger.
    I'm lucky I was able to work from home for a couple of years before I was the (easy target) and was made redundant.
    So I know being with someone 24/7 isn't the best place to be and with a 6 year old...no idea what to say...how much more difficult could it get it's hard enough coping one to one.
    I don't know what, if any help you're getting but I'd start looking for what is available and get yourself on the social services radar by asking for an assessment for him amd one for you (as a carer) and see what is on offer.
    K
     
  3. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,084
    Brazil
    It is time for next step. Maybe a sitter from crossroads. Maybe daycare. Maybe smoke alarm.

    It is time to ask SS for more help.
     
  4. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    What a difficult set of decisions you are facing. I hope you can have a Happy Christmas together and then make plans for how things need to change for all your sakes. I live in North London too and there are quite a few services around, but as we all know it is whether our OHs can accept the need for help. Look after your self and your little one as well as your OH.
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    As soon as your instinct tells you something , you know the answer. :)
     
  6. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    I'm so sorry you are having to face this NorthLondon especially as you have a small daughter to consider as well. I had a similar experience with my husband re fire years before he was diagnosed. It just seemed very strange at the time, but we were very lucky to avoid a huge house fire, with him going up in flames and unable to move fast enough to escape.

    I don't know how easy this would be for you but we now have an induction hob which seems so much safer.

    I hope you find a way to manage which will allow you and your daughter some freedom.
     
  7. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    Can you have the cooker/hob fitted with a safety button? Regardless of if you should leave him alone you need to make sure he doesn't cook when you aren't standing by his side.
     
  8. NorthLondon

    NorthLondon Registered User

    Dec 18, 2015
    4
    Nerves

    Thank you for commenting! It's so helpful, and reassuring to hear things from this point of view. Most of my time is spent around my husband who thinks everything is fine except I've become less fun to be around...

    I've now got someone coming on Wednesday to look at our situation. They're from child services as the school reported my daughter's troubled state of mind. They've been very supportive and stressed that they were not concerned about mistreatment at home, just a difficult situation. It breaks my heart, she's only six.
    But this person from the council was very helpful on the phone and said she wanted to see if we need help and arrange a carer's assessment.
    I'm very nervous about the meeting. I don't know what to say and I'm scared that she will see a normal home and just tell me to get on with it. Do they do that?
    My husband can seem very normal sometimes.
     
  9. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    We had a great person doing our carers assessment. Actually she was an occupational therapist not a social worker and she was really helpful. I told her everything I had to do in terms of support and asked for some respite to spend with my teenagers - they gave us carers for 6 hours a week (we never managed to get the full 6 hours lol ).

    My son went to a young carers group (through our local carers organisation) and he loved it - they have children from 7 so it might be an option for your daughter soon. He absolutely loved it - they did fun trips and it gave him a complete break - as they got older they took them on weekend trips from time to time too but they did activities each week like cooking, table tennis, bowling, a meal out and there were always people there who understood.

    Your local carers organisation would be a great source of information generally and well worth contacting.

    Try not to worry about the carers assessment - they are doing it to help and support you :) xxxxx not to judge you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  10. Tracyfaria

    Tracyfaria Registered User

    Sep 4, 2014
    6
    Taplow
    nerves

    Hi my husband has alzhemiers n we have a 2 year old so I know how tough it is for you
    I remove all the knobs from the cooker as he set fire to the oil pan n left on gas hob not the sane time thankfully you sometimes have to go through the arguments n stubbornness when it comes to yours n your daughters safety least when you go out you can have peace of mind
    Sometimes I don't know how much longer I can hold it together as we also got to think of our children n how it's affecting their lives
    Life is so cruel to rob them of their dad's unfortunately x
    Just make sure you all stay safe n keep your chin up your doing the best you can xx hugs
     

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