Coping with the "other " parent

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Evie5831, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Evie5831

    Evie5831 Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    108
    Hi All, first of all Happy Christmas to everyone and I hope you get the Christmas you all deserve.
    Now to my question. My Dad has been in hospital since the summer and has recently moved into a care home. He has experienced a rapid decline in his dementia from nothing more then a little strange to full blown dementia needing 24/7 care in a little under four months. My question relates to my mum more though. She cries constantly, swings between thinking he doesn't have dementia when he is on a good day to utter devastation when he is having a bad day. She is racked with guilt at him being in a home but knows he can't be cared for at home. Her own memory is shot to pieces and she is struggling to remember more than basic things.
    She has had a basic 30 point dementia test ( although I couldn't see how that would have given any significant clues to her state of mind) which she scored well on and the doctor has concluded she is just adjusting to her new reality. Has anyone got any advice on how I can bring her through this stage as I am struggling. She tells me to "stop getting on at her" and refuses to talk to anyone else about how she feels.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,206
    Merseyside
    Happy Christmas.
    Your mum has had a massive upheaval this year which is enough to unsettle anyone. It's a kind of grief & I think you just need to let her come through it on her own time whilst being there for her.
    Easier said than done I know.
     
  3. Evie5831

    Evie5831 Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    108
    Thank you
     
  4. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    I have always had a really good memory but when I got stressed out and then added grief I couldn't remember a thing. I would check doors, couldn't find my purse and ended up convinced I had dementia too.

    Let your mum grease for her lost life and guilt that she couldn't do more. If she is no better in a few months then revisit the issue.
     
  5. Evie5831

    Evie5831 Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    108
    Thank you for your response. Very hard day yesterday as I brought Dad out of the care home for Christmas lunch, a rookie mistake I now understand. My Mum was devastated at how things turned out, I have definitely set her back further. As you say, I just have to give her time to adjust to the new reality of her life.
     
  6. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,206
    Merseyside
    Don't beat yourself up about mistakes. We're all on a massive learning curve & what's wrong today may well be right tomorrow.
     
  7. Evie5831

    Evie5831 Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    108
    Thank you for your understanding and kind repsonse
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Evie
    When I am stressed (quite often lol) my memory goes, completely goes, I have to write everything down and even then I forget I have written it down - it isn't dementia, it is stress and it takes forever just to get back on an even keel. My stress is nothing compared to your Ma's which is all mixed up with guilt and stress and worry and not being able to care for your dad herself after doing so for most of her life xxx I think it is partly about helping her to realise that she is still looking after him but in a different way and with some practical help - just shifting her perception slightly. We have a number of carers at our carers cafe who have loved ones in homes and they are still carers just like you and your Mum are.

    I agree that you just being there by her side to listen and spend time with her, and maybe a few joint treats here and there, will help enormously but it will all take time, it is a massive adjustment xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  9. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    537
    Female
    Surrey, UK
    Evie, just to add my sympathy for your predicament. I'm in a similar place with both parents-in-law with dementia, and MIL believes she's responsible for FIL even though she is struggling to come to terms with her own illness. There are no easy answers, no rights or wrongs. I reassure myself (and hopefully, help them too!) with frequent but short visits - I'm lucky to live just 20 minutes away. There is some good advice here which has been helpful to me too - thank you. xx
     
  10. Evie5831

    Evie5831 Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    108
    Thank you for your kind words. This site is a Godsend for me, I can ask what I want with no judgements passed.
     

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