Don't know what to do

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Crag, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Crag

    Crag Registered User

    Jan 3, 2015
    76
    I'm having a problem with Dad's Alzheimers again and haven't a clue which way to go next.
    For the 2nd time this week he's been packing up his wardrobe to take home, yet he is at home (and home it's been for 50 years).
    I've taken him to other areas of the house including the garage in hope he'd recognise something and snap out of it. I've even offered to drive him to wherever he thinks home is, as he has spoke the address correctly.
    I've been onto the crisis line who won't do anything for him as they say he was discharged on 17th February which was his reassessment day.
    They've told me to get into the GP for a referral to send them,which I have done and they've told me they can't do anything, and sent us back to the crisis clinic, who again can't do anything till they get a referral.
    So back to th GP and they've booked him in for an appointment, but Dad is refusing to go
     
  2. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,126
    eastern USA
    On the few times when my mother has behaved like this, I have sat down with her, given her a hug, asked her if she would like a cup of tea or a back rub, and invited her to go to the bathroom. In my experience with her, she becomes more delusional when she needs to use the toilet. If that fails, and she persists in her assumptions, we go back to her room (the bathroom is ensuite) and I hug her again and ask her to tell me about her home. She'll often back off when she is asked to explain about her home. I'll sit and hug her and say that sometimes I get confused about what she wants to do, because I can't quite understand what she is asking for. Usually when I sit quietly with her and don't get alarmed but just give her hugs and lots of attention, she will snap out of it. More often than not, she is constipated and needs to relieve her bowel when these events happen. I try to reassure her that everything's all right, and she is safe. Sometimes I have pretended that she is visiting me and we can't get her home until daylight arises (because the delusions typically happen at night-time). I'm sorry you have this with your father. My *father* used to become indignant and even belligerent. He was impossible to settle.
     
  3. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    538
    It's an aspect of dementia that we call "sundowning" and it's particularly hard to deal with.

    Really, they want to go home to a place that is no longer existing, often in their childhood and where they felt safe and looked-after.

    It may be worthwhile to try and get him to say what he feels anxious about, that he needs to get home and feel safe again. Try and get him cosy on the sofa with a cup of tea and some cake. Assume that he's back in his childhood mind and consider what would have made him feel safe and secure at that time. Does he still have some old childhood toys like Mecanno, that could be brought out and fiddled with?

    It can also help to go outside for a little walk with him, and then return to the house and say, "ah now we're home again!" as if you've found the place he's looking for.

    When this phase starts, the person can start to simply walk out of the house without notice, trying to get to that home they are yearning for. So more supervision is needed. If he's living alone, then he's at greater risk than before.

    When this happened with my Mum, the doctor said they could offer sedative-type drugs but those could have side-effects such as making her unsteady on her feet or unable to get to the loo as speedily as usual.

    She only escaped once without notice to my Dad, and was found by the neighbour waiting at the nearby bus-stop.

    When she got agitated on other days, he would get the carer to take her for a ride on the bus to have a snack in a cafe and home again, and then she was happy.
     
  4. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    290
    London
    Hi Crag,
    Tomorrow, everything happens tomorrow.
    My dad has mixed dementia. He often wants to go home, despite living in the house he is currently in for over 40 years. The way I currently manage is to tell him that tomorrow will be the best time to go because it's raining, dark, too late, car won't start, trains not running etc. then I try and distract him with a nice cup of tea.
    It's really frustrating and I have to brit my teeth quite often.
    Music is a great help particularly from the 1930s.
    Take care
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,569
    Kent
    Hello Crag

    I agree with everything Adcat has said about trying to distract by putting forward any disadvantage you can think of. It's a terrible time and even if your dad agrees 'tomorrow' might be best he may still be unhappy.

    My husband packed every night for months and months. He tired himself out which is when I'd suggest he went to bed for a rest and while he was sleeping I put all his clothes away again.

    I'm sorry to say this didn't always work and he often became very cross with me for keeping him with me against his will.

    It's a tough time and I have so much sympathy for you.
     
  6. Crag

    Crag Registered User

    Jan 3, 2015
    76
    Thanks for the replies. I'll try the 'tomorrow' trick next time as I think I tried all the other things mentioned.
    He has gone walkies before as on Boxing Day night he was on his way to work.

    I'm just baffled with Doctors though. He had his first assessment in Jan 2014, but could t see the doctor from that till June as the doctor was on indefinite leave.
    In August he was prescribed a drug, only to get a phone call the next day to tell us not to let him take it as they have found on his records that he has a minor heart condition.
    There was no alternative offered, but New Year we had to get him an out of hours appointment, and a reassessment booked for February 2015. That was a fortnight ago, and now I find he's been discharged without us being told.
    Mums struggling to cope with the Alzheimers but ends up in tears of frustration trying to get help. and then I struggle with them both

    Everything has been put back in the wardrobe, and he's now asleep in the chair. We've now been told to go to A&E if the problem persists, but can't imagine coping sitting outside A&E
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,569
    Kent
    Sadly the only drugs which might help are sedating drugs and these are given sparingly because they could cause your dad to fall.

    A&E is a last resort for the carer more than the patient, if either become at risk. It does sound as if your mother is on the verge of carer breakdown and it's not surprising.

    I was in a similar situation a few years ago and remember following my husband who was carrying a black bin liner full of clothes as he was trying to 'go home'. The only way I got him to return with me was because the bag was too heavy. I'd hidden our suitcases so a bin liner was all he could find.

    It's absolutely heartbreaking and there's little we can do. I remember the pitying looks from my neighbours. They asked if they could help but what could they do?
     
  8. Vintage43

    Vintage43 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2013
    4
    Hi

    Hi there
    My mum is at a similar stage just now. She lives alone but
    Has carers in 3 times a day and attends day care 3 times a week.
    I find a bag packed at her door almost every time i am round,
    neighbours are now telling me they see her out on her street looking lost and have had to take her in or guide her home. But its not her home any more, she is searching for her home in another town where she lived as a child.
    I have supported mum myself all through this illness and told my self it will be ages till mum needs to go into care, but I think this is the clincher,
    Everything is getting out of my and her control, and sadly I am about to face the inevitable sooner than expected.
    It is a very stressfull time, and I do recognise how you must be feeling.
    C
     
  9. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    290
    London
    Crag,
    Have you read any books on dementia, I dip in and out of contended dementia by Oliver James and Prof June Andrews has just written a book called dementia - one stop guide. It's a really easy read.
    Take care.
     
  10. Mossyanne1

    Mossyanne1 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    45
    My hubby starting regressing two weeks ago and I just didn't know what to do, I managed to get in touch with his specialist who suggested to I give him a sedative but only once a day because of the falling situation, also to put lavender on his pillow at night as this has an amazingly calming effect, he then suggested I get in touch with the dementia crisis team. I phoned them and they told me there was not a thing they could do until I had seem my GP so that he could make a full medical assessment in case my hubby had a UTI or some other physical problem. This done the surgery phoned the dementia team who came to see me last Monday. Hooray we are now in the system, Hubby is now set to see the social worker for a new assessment, the Admiral nurse in coming to see me next Monday and I can phone the dementia team during the working week for support. If I feel at all threatened (which I did) out of hours, I am to phone the out of hours doctor or the emergency services. Thank goodness a plan has been put in place. I hope this might help anyone reading this. M...xxx


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  11. addler69

    addler69 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2015
    2
    East Ham
    New to this site

    Hi all

    Just joined this site tonight,
    my sister and I are looking after my dad who has dementia
    not sure if it's good or bad to be in the company of others who are in the same boat as me.

    I wish us all well...
     
  12. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    290
    London
    It's good, your never alone.
     
  13. Mossyanne1

    Mossyanne1 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    45
    It helps me so much to know other people are having the same struggles as myself. I don't feel so alone and I thank you for being there...xxx


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  14. addler69

    addler69 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2015
    2
    East Ham
    thank you.
     
  15. Crag

    Crag Registered User

    Jan 3, 2015
    76
    Thanks all.
    It's not clear whether dad believes he's at home at the moment and seems calm watching TV. He's also had a nap in the chair which is to be expected being as he has been at his wardrobe since 8 this morning.
    Yes, I need to read a bit more about this. Mums done 3 sessions of a 4 week course with the Alzheimers society but I think she's finding it hard as it covers so many areas that may not be all applicable to her situation.
    I doubt we'll ever find out why he has been discharged from the system other than he's not on medication for it, yet on is reassessment did not get many of the questions correctly.
     
  16. stu100

    stu100 Registered User

    Feb 4, 2015
    70
    Birmingham
    My nan is lime this she says how did this house come from Ireland I just tallk about the old days
     
  17. Crag

    Crag Registered User

    Jan 3, 2015
    76
    Today Dad is a bit more normal and is going out shopping with mum.
    I was dreading the weekend with not knowing what to do, and hope to get to Monday without any problems. And then back onto the GP to find out what is going on at their end, and get him assessed again

    Thank you everybody for the support
     
  18. henfenywfach

    henfenywfach Registered User

    May 23, 2013
    333
    rct
    Hi!..not that ive had to go through thid situation with my dad...it is possible that the disease in his brain has damaged his recent memories skills and that he his at the point in his memory that he is young or a teenager or a child..he would then judge everyday situations through the memory stage hes at.
    For example if hes living in his twenties..he might not have lived in this house or even know it...
    Please look at the bookcase..it becomes clearer...if he is at a different stage in his memory 30s or 40s or whatever age..what he have done then..where wouldve he been lived??..that might help..create that place or world within the house if it helps.
    Best wishes

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Talking Point mobile app
     

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