Dementia’s journey

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Dutchman, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    So, I’ve been to the doctors and she’s put me on an anti depressant. I’ve come realise that I can’t do it all, take on all the responsibility as I did when Bridget was at home. There’s only so much any one person can take. The care home is registered for challenging behaviour as well as dementia so let them manage it. I pay enough.

    Some of my thoughts are about — if I’m not at the home what’s happening with Bridget, then when I go in and see her it’s all one sided and she’s agitated and sitting there and I get restless. I mean, it’s a merry go round of stress. She not settled yet, hopefully she will.

    Going to see the home’s doctor later with Bridget and staff to talk about a possibility of her having constipation ( they haven’t seen anything in the weeks she’s been there). Surely they should be checking this? Do I have to do everything?
    Thanks once again for your support
     
  2. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    1,452
    East of England
    This is definitely a concern and I had the same problem at home and I had to take drastic action. It was obvious that he couldn’t go when it got blocked. I was a nurse back in the day and knew what to do so they should too. Now I give him a sachet a day of Laxido, prescribed by the doctor which seems to be doing the trick. He can’t tell me and can’t remember so if I don’t see anything I don’t know. I just have to watch for symptoms. The care home should be aware of all this but I hope my experience helps you with information.
     
  3. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    860
    Male
    Newcastle
    Hi @Dutchman, I think that you need to take a step back and let the staff take over the heavy load of caring. It is not easy to do when you have been used to doing everything. At first I used to stress over (often quite little) things but I have learned that there is no point as they are not mine to deal with.

    I don't know if my wife is any happier or more content now that she is in residential care but I do know that she is kept clean, engaged, and looked after day and night in a way that she wasn't when she was with me. My wife goes in and out of rooms as if she owns them. She has also shown some interest in the one man on her floor then tells me that he is a 'horrible man'. It is all part of the "dementia experience" (maybe that could be a new fairground attraction!).

    I am sure that the staff in your wife's home have seen all her behaviours before. They are unlikely to be fazed by them. If she is agitated and seems unsettled when you go to see her, think back to when she was at home. I am sure that there were times when she was agitated then too, but the difference was that you were the one who had to deal with it all of the time. Your caring role hasn't ended but it has changed and you need to give yourself time to adjust.

    Put some time aside for yourself. Do something that you enjoy and missed doing because caring got in the way. You deserve it.
     
  4. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    Thank you Northumbrian, comforting words and advice.

    The care home is what it is and is well run and the staff are hard working and dedicated. Like you I’m not sure if my wife is happier in the home rather than back here. All I know is that when she was here she didn’t eat, wash, change her clothes, was very agitated all the time and wouldn’t spend much time with me preferring to go to bed (fully clothed and dirty). At the end she was pulling wildly at the door to get out.

    My wife is still unhappy, but I believe perhaps a little happier more times (I think). She still prefers to keep her clothes on all the time but we managed tonight between us to get her changed into night wear and a fresh pad. Before she was sitting in that all night .

    My biggest anxiety I suppose is the nature of the place.
    I get very miserable just leaving her there when I decide to leave. Some residents are constantly wanting to go ‘home ‘ and constantly vocalising this need to the staff. How the staff keep their patience I do not know! My wife also tries to explain quietly to me ways that we could go ‘home’ and I’m always saying no we’re not going anywhere and this adds to her frustration. I mean, if it was me, I wouldn’t want to be there either! So round and round I go, guilt frustration, stress etc.

    So I’m home now and feeling a bit wretched. It’s 4 weeks since she’s been there. Early days everyone keeps telling me.
     
  5. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    332

    Dutchman I’ve been reading your posts and was waiting for you to say it and you finally answered your own problem. The following is not meant to sound harsh so please don’t let anything I say upset you x

    To all intents and purposes your wife has gone.
    You can’t make her happy whatever you do it won’t make you or her feel better. I think you need to stay away for a while and recharge your batteries. Your wife will settle and eventually get into a routine and you can then resume your visits. She will begin to recognise the care workers and they will be more familiar to her than you are and you should will that to happen.

    You can phone the care home daily if you must and I’m sure they will tell you she’s fine. When you do visit try and visit the same time of day so both you and her can get into a routine. At the moment you are torturing yourself for something that is completely out of your control and you can’t make it better so you need to stop trying it’s clearly making you ill and it’s not sustainable. You still have a life and I’m sure your beautiful wife wouldn’t want you to carry on punishing yourself, so tell yourself that and believe it. Big hugs xx
     
  6. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    Wise words indeed. Thanks for encouragement.

    Doctor saw me today because I needed some more sleeping tablets and straight away she recommended anti depressants. My daughter is dead set against such stuff, says it masks the depression and it’ll come out later. I was initially pleased to have something that would help, now I have an element of doubt cause by my daughters concern.

    Anyone else have experience of this medication?
     
  7. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    332
    Take the medication and get back control. You aren’t well you can’t keep ignoring it! I have been in antidepressants and they worked brilliantly as long as you follow the doctors advice when you’re more able to cope you can stop the medication in a controlled way. Millions of people successfully take antidepressants x
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,773
    Female
    South coast
    Ive taken anti-depressants too and it just takes the edge off it all so it makes it easier to cope while I was healing.
    No-one worries about taking paracetamol for a headache. If its OK to mask physical pain, why is it different for mental pain?
     
  9. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    Great. It’s good to hear from those with experience. With something to help it give hope for a less stressful time.

    Many thanks everyone
     
  10. White Rose

    White Rose Registered User

    Nov 4, 2018
    108
    That's the spirit, I hope you've managed to get out on the bike and enjoy the lovely weather. 4 weeks is such a short time for such a big adjustment, hopefully you'll feel a bit more positive in a few months time.
     
  11. White Rose

    White Rose Registered User

    Nov 4, 2018
    108
    Lovely words Kindrid and certainly this forum is such a godsend, struggling through this horrendous period of our lives would be impossible if we had to do it alone. Just knowing that others have been, or are going, through it gives you a little strength.
     
  12. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    Well said. When I do get my life back together again I hoping to participate more in supporting you wonderful TP’ers. You are supporting me wonderfully and I’ll alway be extremely grateful. It’ll still be needed I’m sure But I will be there for as many as I can..promise.
     
  13. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,088
    Yorkshire
    that's good to know @Dutchman
    have a good night's rest
     
  14. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,821
    Yes I have been on these for 20 years due to having had Mini strokes over 20 years ago. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain which can be brought on by many outside or physical issues. Medication doesn’t mask issues, it helps even the imbalances & this you are able to deal with the issues from an even playing field.

    Don’t worry you won’t become dependent, these aren’t the drugs issued back in the 1960’s, but gently help balance
     
  15. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    332
    Well done Dutchman you would be missed if you disappeared! I’m new here and reading your posts have inspired me to keep reading the brilliant advice.

    Have you decided what your going to do? Are you going to try done tablets and try and take some time to yourself? X
     
  16. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    469
    Just to say, my mother has hit staff and residents, unfortunately. Though the care home have to inform me, I think we are all still resolved towards keeping her there. I am surprised how hard the home are trying - I think the staff are sadly used to agitation. I also found,t hat whilst Mummy had "lashed out" she had been approached by another resident, who, believing himself to be a carer, tried to "help" her. Though it doesn't excuse her kicking him (though she has no idea of what she has done) sometimes talking to the staff gives you a better idea of what happened which can help everyone avoid future issues.
    I always dread getting phone calls, because I fear her being asked to leave the home but I now try to keep calm (I had begun to jump every time my phone rang) and found counselling very helpful.
     
  17. Dutchman

    Dutchman Registered User

    May 26, 2017
    431
    Male
    Devon
    I tried to go and stay at a carers meeting today hosted at our local pub. They were all looking after their OH at home to some degree or other. I couldn’t stay long as I think it’s all a bit too soon for me sharing their problems. Next month I’ll try again.

    This afternoon I went to the home and we went, just the two of us, to a local cafe. That went well. When we went back to the home my wife leans over to me and starts again in lowered voice repeatedly asking....now if we do this, and what we could do...it’s all the jumbled wrong words but basically she’s working out how to get out with me, to escape. It’s driving me crazy because it spoils my visit and I sometimes dread going if she’s going to be like this. But I can’t blame her because the place gets on my nerves too sometimes.

    Yes I’m taking the tablets and yes I’m trying to have some time to myself. Thank you, bless you all.
     
  18. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    332
    Why not try and stay away just for a day to recharge your batteries it really is ok your wife will be safe. People with dementia have no concept of time she won’t remember when you were last there. You really do need a break from everything x
     
  19. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,773
    Female
    South coast
    Im glad you had a nice time at the cafe and managed to do something together.

    With regard to her trying to escape - dont forget that she was doing that when she was at home with you.
    Im sorry to say this, but she is almost certainly not asking to go back to your home. She will be trying to escape from the confusions of dementia, although she doesnt understand what is happening. Mum did this - she would say "Lets go - lets get out of this place" and she thought that by going somewhere else she would leave the dementia behind. But, of course, she just took it with her, so everywhere she went, she wanted to be somewhere else.
     
  20. SingsWithPugs

    SingsWithPugs Registered User

    Sep 17, 2019
    15

    Are you in the UK? From what you are saying, does this mean that in the UK you have to use up all your savings before the government will pay for a care home?
     

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