Dad suffering Mum's aggression and paranoia

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Charlottie, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Charlottie

    Charlottie Registered User

    Aug 12, 2015
    6
    Hi,

    My mother was diagnosed with mild dementia (probable Alzheimers) last year, and at the same time, clinical depression – something that she’s suffered with (unofficially) her entire life. She’s a very smart woman who has sharper wits than anyone I know and because of her career choices, could not afford to give credence to any mental illnesses that she may have been suffering.

    My father (they’re both now in their mid-70s) is her main carer and unfortunately, the brunt of her paranoia and aggression. She’s always been, for want of a better word, “feisty”… but obviously with the progression of her depression and dementia, things are now pretty appalling for him.

    My mother sleeps most days until 3 or 4pm in the afternoon and does literally nothing to help him manage her condition, indeed, she won’t even admit to it other than to accept that she has a “memory problem” – one which half the time, she says that my father has fabricated simply as a way to bully her. She also struggles with recognising that she’s a depressive, and is highly suspicious of anyone bringing up the subject, no matter how gently.

    Her paranoia is extreme and ranges from suspecting that my father is having an affair, to hiding her debit cards (she still has joint financial control). She won’t let him claim attendance allowance and punishes him by not eating/refusing her medications (she’s also on statins and other things)/barricading herself in her bedroom etc.

    My mother has always been a hoarder and their house is not only cluttered but becoming dirtier as time passes. I’ve tried to step in and help declutter but it always results in her screaming at me to get out in a paranoia-driven rage, she accuses me of interfering between “man and wife”.

    I’ve suggested that they hire a cleaner for a couple of hours a week but neither are willing. I do what I can to help in secret but it’s not even scraping the surface.

    The sad thing is that my father still has so much zest for life, although I see it being beaten out of him before my eyes. My mother would rather not go anywhere or see anyone.

    My Dad is lonely and trapped.

    I don’t know what additional support we should hope for from health services, they seem so disinterested. It’s a battle just to get them to manage the depression side of things. I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking but I can’t help but wonder just how much of the daily struggle could be alleviated with a better grip on my Mum’s depression.

    She’s taking a combination of Sertraline at apparently the highest possible dose (150mg, I think) and generic Aricept (I’m not sure of the dosage), and whilst this combination initially seemed to have a huge effect on her willingness to converse and join in with family life… things seemed to have slowly returned to their original state.

    I’m so sorry for the ramble, it all just fell from my fingers onto the keyboard.

    I guess what I’m asking for, is your experiences of the male carer struggling with a female partner’s aggression/abuse and also, your opinions on how unmanaged depression can affect this horrible disease?

    My Dad is beginning to crumble and I see him looking to me for support in the way I always imagined only I would look to him. I just want to be able to help but don’t know how without making things worse, every time I try to be proactive, it boosts my Mum’s paranoia and my Dad ultimately, suffers more.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    9,769
    Merseyside
    Welcome to TP Charlotte :)

    I would contact the GP & tell them what's going on. Ask them to do a medication review.
     
  3. Mannie

    Mannie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    115
    Bracknell area
    I agree with your other response about getting help from her GP.
    The best way to do this I find is to try to keep a diary of the behavior for a couple of weeks, and then the GP has facts to help them.

    I always have a large a4 notebook to help me manage everything, get one for your dad and one for yourself.

    I think you are at the point where we have all gone through where you and your dad will need to take more control of the situation, but at this point it is so difficult because you feel unsure and you are inexperienced.

    You may need a referral or a re-referral which happens as circumstances change, to social services to assess the situation which will assess the affect on you and your dad to see what support you need.

    Although it may seem like your mum is being deliberately difficult, it is very likely that she is unaware of this, because likely she cannot see the "pattern" because she cannot recall it. She won't remember that she has not helped around the house or refused her meds/food. also she is likely desperately trying to retain control role as she did all her life and career.

    Your GP needs to help you with the situation , especially your dad. if they are unhelpful then you can visit another GP in the practice, you are quite entitled to do this.


    Another key thing is arranging LPAs for both your mother and father . You will need to explain that if this is not done then the alternative is a lengthy and very costly process to get a court order., or non family members may be making decisions instead of the family.

    A solicitor can help you for a cost of approx 600 pounds, or if you have time you can do it yourself.

    Just some ideas.
     
  4. Mannie

    Mannie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    115
    Bracknell area
    #4 Mannie, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
    I agree with your other response about getting help from her GP.
    The best way to do this I find is to try to keep a diary of the behavior for a couple of weeks, and then the GP has facts to help them.

    I always have a large a4 notebook to help me manage everything, get one for your dad and one for yourself.

    I think you are at the point where we have all gone through where you and your dad will need to take more control of the situation, but at this point it is so difficult because you feel unsure and you are inexperienced.

    You may need a referral or a re-referral which happens as circumstances change, to social services to assess the situation which will assess the affect on you and your dad to see what support you need.

    Recommend to read the carers UK website for what help you can get which starts with an assessment, and how to get it, and also think how to prepare for it with all your gathered facts from your diaries. Y ou do need to prepare for the meetings by documenting your facts and thinking about what help you want and asking for that and justifying it.

    Although it may seem like your mum is being deliberately difficult, it is very likely that she is unaware of this, because likely she cannot see the "pattern" because she cannot recall it. She won't remember that she has not helped around the house or refused her meds/food. also she is likely desperately trying to retain control role as she did all her life and career.

    Your GP needs to help you with the situation , especially your dad. if they are unhelpful then you can visit another GP in the practice, you are quite entitled to do this.


    Another key thing is arranging LPAs for both your mother and father . You will need to explain that if this is not done then the alternative is a lengthy and very costly process to get a court order., or non family members may be making decisions instead of the family.

    A solicitor can help you for a cost of approx 600 pounds, or if you have time you can do it yourself.

    Just some ideas.
     
  5. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I am sadly only too familiar with horrible situation, dreadful for everyone. I tried so hard to help my parents but it just felt as if all our lives and the house were totally controlled by dementia, nothing logical or good or happy seemed to happen...at all.

    I live about 150 miles away from my parents and went over every week for a couple of days. All I could do was try to support dad. I took my own sheets and pillows because the state of the house was disgusting and I was not allowed to do anything, even if I had been able to it would, as you say, have been merely scratching the surface.

    Only when my parents moved and I took mum on "holiday" to a rented house in the next small town (so that packing and clearing out could be done) did things change and then Dad and I had a window of opportunity to get some order back. Mum unfortunately became so bad that she had to have antipsychotics which controlled the most violent behaviour and then things settled down. Dad gave her pills covertly ground up in cups of tea. Probably not ideal but we were dealing with a hellish situation.

    So although this might make you shriek in horror, how about you take your mum away for a week and get contract cleaners in, or do some variation of this. Or get your dad to take her away, though he may not have the strength to do this. Or get your mum into respite care. You have to be tough if you want things to change.

    I also suggest that you get your mum by hook or by crook to see a proper consultant psychogeriatrician and see what can be done with medication. You will have to be tough doing this too, go with them and stay with them afterwards to deal with the fall out.

    I am sorry, you and your dad may not feel that you have the energy to do this but in my opinion you need to get on top of things and restore order in your surroundings to feel able to cope with your mum's illness.
    It is also worth getting the POA's sorted out even if it makes your mum really angry, and again staying with them after it is done for a while to protect your dad.
     
  6. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    Sorry to read about your worries Charlotte. You'll find plenty of understanding and kindness on here, and good advice.

    I agree with everything you've already had suggested, especially the need to get Powers of Attorney in place, though that may prove difficult with your mother's desperate need to hang on to her own control. I hope you succeed in that, and find an understanding GP who will really help.

    Have a look at Grey Lad's threads. He talks a lot of sense, and he's looking after his wife.

    Your father is in a horrible situation, and must be so glad you understand what he's going through.
     
  7. janetlynn

    janetlynn Registered User

    Jul 22, 2012
    107
    England
    Hi,

    This must be so worrying for you! You have had some good advice from others, so I can`t really add to it, but just to suggest that if your Mum is ok to be left alone for short periods,
    could you take your Dad out for a short break and a natter? It would do you both good.

    Warmest regards,
    Janet.
     

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