Caring for the carer

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Teo, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Teo

    Teo New member

    Aug 14, 2019

    I am the daughter of a recently diagnosed PWD (dad). He lives with my mum who is now his primary carer but I am effectively the carer of both of them as I live in the same town. Both of them are in their late 70s.

    I am struggling to support my mum. She has gone into panic mode about what may happen in the future especially regarding her ability to live comfortably should my dad need nursing care later in his progression.
    I am concerned because she is trying herself in knots and twisting what people are saying to her, she is also cutting back on some of the things they already pay for such as dog walking to save money but I think this will only add to the load she is feeling not reduce it.

    She has voiced a need for a break but when offered one refuses it and comes up with reasons why it can't happen.

    My dad was diagnosed less than a fortnight ago and fundamentally things haven't changed except he has been put on medication that is reducing or getting rid of his hallucinations. At the moment he is safe to leave alone and it is really only making sure he eats and takes his pills that is needed and I can do this by popping around.

    Looking for tips on how to deal with this situation as I am getting frustrated with mum's irrational behaviour which I hope is a result of stress and nothing more.
  2. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    Just be there for her and let her know you are there for her. She needs time to come to terms with what has happened. I can understand her feeling that it's her problem and that she needs to deal with everything. Let her do the best she can but let her know that you are there for her.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Yes. If your dad was diagnosed only a fortnight ago your mum will still be in shock and even in a panic.

    Hopefully, if things calm down and your dad`s medication helps your mum may feel more able to cope.

    It`s tough on you though. Please try not to take too much on. You can do this by trying not to let your parents become too dependent on you. I know it`s a tall order but it may help you and your mother in the long run.
  4. Agzy

    Agzy Registered User

    Nov 16, 2016
    Moreton, Wirral. UK.
    I think most of us had moments of fear and panic at or after diagnosis and I think the best advice is as said, do not take too much on yourself but take time out to think things through and seek out all resources available as calmly as you can as they may give you direction and how to help mum.
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Its a steep learning curve when someone is first diagnosed and often comes as a shock, even if you are expecting the diagnosis.
    When she starts panicking about how she is going to pay for your dads care later on, you can reassure her that the house will not be taken into consideration all the while she is living there and that there is help to pay for things if they cant afford them.
  6. Teo

    Teo New member

    Aug 14, 2019
    I have tried this but her thought process is irrational. Also she is taking things said and twisting them to make them untrue. Maybe to hide what is really happening in her head but I feel trapped in a no win situation with her.
  7. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @Teo
    and welcome from me too
    sometimes the fear and worry that comes with a recent diagnosis can be focussed on something 'tangible' such as finances, which may be what your mum is doing at the moment

    so you have the appropriate information, here's a link to the main AS site

    when your mum is ready to take this in, you can reassure her that no-one can ask that their home be sold to pay your dad's care fees, which is one fear that many spouses have
    any care fees will be paid from her husband's finances only plus half of any shared assets (NOT the house and not your mum's monies) ... if his finances fall below a certain level, the LA will contribute to his care
    and should your dad move into residential care, he can give half any private pension to his wife
    also the LA are required to consider the ability of your mum to pay her way, though this may mean ensuring she applies for any benefits for which she qualifies

    there will also be benefits that your dad can apply for when his needs are at the level to qualify
    and then a Council Tax disregard, so your mum is assessed as a single occupier

    it may be worth considering splitting any joint savings, so your mum knows that her half is separate and not to be used to pay for your dad's care needs
  8. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    Hello, I have the t-shirt, cap etc. My Mums behaviour towards Dad when he was diagnosed was negative in every way. I think that you have concerns about your Mums cognitive ability to understand what’s happening? Is that right? My mum would end up ring me up & saying about Dad “you have him”.
    It didn’t take long to see how neither of them was coping.
    In hindsight I wish I hadn’t done so much so early on, & insisted that both Dad & Mum we’re properly assessed. Mum never has come to terms with Dads dementia but that is because of her own dementia.
    I hope I’m wrong & your Mum is just panicking, but alarm bells are ringing for me in the similarity of her response.

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