Family fallout, advice please....

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Dear blooddiamond,
I really hope that no-one thinks it was me who complained about Sandwichboy
Please do not worry, Sandwichboy was warned following a pm to another member.

I am so glad that you were able to take all the comments on board.
Yes, many and varied. Each one coming from a different perspective.

I hope that things resolve amicably for you and your family.
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
I have also done a lot of fighting on my fathers behalf and know in my heart I have done the best I can for him as well, but I feel empty right now and don't know how to proceed anymore, I have never been one for giving up, yet I have no choice and I feel so awful, perhaps it is indeed time to cry.
does make you want to cry just reading that so now how you feel , letting go is so hard to do . I'm glad you said this
Dad knows how I feel, but I won't say anything anymore, I have lost Mum to her illness, I don't want to lose Dad as well.

because my father neglected his own heath looking after my mother , that he had a heart attract that killed him . My daughter's say to me that I have given up my life in the last 5 years looking after my mother keeping her out of a Care home , I got my mother exbiza medication , but still like your mother, my mother would sit in a chair or lay in bed all day if I let her . I fight to the end , but I feel I am fighting a losing battle

I do hope one day in the future you can tell your father that he did the right thing for him , putting his wife in care home , because of his own ill heath.
 
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Mameeskye

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
1,669
56
NZ
HI Blood Diamond

((((((hugs)))))))

the lousy thing about this illness is it makes us lose our loved ones before we realise and accept that they are gone for good but there is still no ending. However when you reach an acceptance of the situation you grieve but then find yourself able to move on as you have done.

Do not feel bad..you have done your best and tried your hardest and that is the best that any of us can do.

Wishing you and your family some good days ahead.

Love

Mameeskye
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Hi Blooddiamond
Quote:
Dad knows how I feel, but I won't say anything anymore, I have lost Mum to her illness, I don't want to lose Dad as well.
I have never subscribed to losing a loved one to AD,at least not until the end of the journey
They are still in there somewhere and we must make the best of the flashes of the times when they do return if only for a split second.
Wishing you may find some comfort from that ,I did
Norman
 

christine_batch

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
3,388
Buckinghamshire
Hello blooddiamond and welcome to T.P. Families falling out are very common. In my case I am disabled and for 4 years I cared for my husband with Alzheimers. It got to the stage whereby I had no option as the powers that be put my husband into a Care Home. Peter has a lovely inviorement there and is very settled. \his family have never contacted to see how he is. Not even his son and daughter. We have been married for 16 years and my 4 children have a closer relationship with Peter than with their natural father. They have been so supportive during the last 4 years. Power of Attorney was done along with our wills at the very start of Alzheimers. Peter chose who he wanted on the P of A both his stepdaughters. We can let off frustration, anger, guilt but that is the way the illness effect so many of us. Sometimes not knowing the right thing to do for our loved ones is herendous. There are Care Homes that do cater for couples. The one my husband is in is run just like a 5 star hotel. With regards to my situation I was told by my Doctor due to my disability if Peter did not go into a Care Home he would outlive me. As I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren I had to think about them as we are very close. Each day I miss my husband so much but I know in my heart that as he is in the last stage of the illness, he is being looked after by the professionals. I wish you all the best and good luck to you. Christine
 

blooddiamond

Registered User
Hi all,
Well the latest development in this saga is that my Father has o go into hospital mid October for a camera to be inserted. This is to check for anything unusual in the bowel area.
The problem was that he was told he will need to be in all day and that he must have someone there to care for him for 24 hours after the proceedure. This, on top of someone to look after Mum while he is at the hospital and for the 24 hours after. He could not find anyone to help him out, all his friends (the few still alive) cannot help out.
My lovely brother (who only lives five minutes away) cannot spare the time to look after him and has made no effort to help Dad in anyway, not even to try and help find a solution.
I received an email from my sister asking me to try and find a solution from Germany as she was not sure our brother was telling her the truth anymore.
I phoned Dad last night and discussed the situation, he was even going to have to get the bus to and from the hospital as my brother and his wife, wouldn't even pick him up from the hospital after the proceedure.
So, the solution is that I will have to find a flight from Germany and stay with Mum, take Dad to and from the hospital and stay the time needed until Dad is ok. This means I will lose several days work and have to find and pay for flights etc all because my Brother and his wife, who live round the corner cannot even spare the time to just sit with Mum and Dad.
My brothers excuse? That he has taken too much time off already from work and has been told he can't have anymore. The truth behind this excuse is that he often told his work that Mum had had to be rushed into hospital and simply taken the day off. It wasn't true about Mum, he just wanted the day off.
It would be fair to say I am a little exasperated about all of this, but, I guess there is a (slight) bright side, if I go over the day before, then I can look at a nursing home that my father mentioned on the phone and is only about two miles away.
So there you go, a slightly ridiculous situation but I suppose it gives me another unexpected chance to do something positive and help out practically.
 

steviel

Registered User
Sep 17, 2007
22
Hi Blooddiamond
I really feel for you at this difficult time.
I too have a sister that does very little and expects me to do it all and once she does one thing she cannot understand what all the fuss is about!
I do not live far away as you do but it is still difficult to organise all of my fathers affairs when I have a young family to deal with, perhapes that is why your brother feels this way because you live in Germany and he is close by.
However you can be safe in the knowledge that you are doing the right thing by your mother and father.
Good luck
Stevie
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi blooddiamond

It's so difficult when families don't co-operate in the care of parents -- and I know all about that! I'm afraid it happens so often.

Well done for arranging to come over to help your mum and dad. As you say, it will give you the chance to look at nursing homes -- don't just look at one, you need to be able to compare, and you'll soon know which one is right.

It may also help to convince you that a NH is the only way forward. If your dad is having health problems, this situation is going to occur more and more frequently, and it will be easier if you at least know your mum is safe.

I hope your dad will be OK. It's a procedure that people react to very differently. I found it incredibly painful, but it didn't bother John at all.

Let us know how it goes.

Love,
 

blooddiamond

Registered User
Hi all,
I justthought I would update anyone who was interested. Tomorow morning I fly over to the UK in order to be there for my father who has to go into hospital for the day. He cannot be left on his own when he comes out for 24 hours acording to the hospital and it appears that I am the only one willing to help out.
My brother lives 5 minutes away but has said he cannot help. In fact he has used the excuse once too often that Mum or Dad had been rushed into hospital in order to get a day off of work. His wife, who is at home also can't/won't help Dad, so I end up cancelling work from Friday through to Wednesday, which being self employed is a bi of a killer.
Anyway, as those interested know, I had a huge falling out with my brother over the right sort of care for my Mother who is suffering from this hateful disease Alzheimers and he and I had not spoken for several months.
It seems thatthree weeks ago, I suffered my second mini stroke in ten months and though this one was extremely mild it still scared the living daylights out of me, I am only 48. So I decided to bury the hatchet and speak to my brother. He was so smug and self righteous I almost wished I had buried the hatchet properly....in him! But I wanted to ease the prssure on my Dad and when I told him I had spoken to my brother he sounded very relieved.
The other bit of news is that Mum has gone into a home for three weeks respite care and the home is apparently only a couple of miles away from Dad and the hope for my Dad is that this place will be suitable for Mums needs. ~If it is they will probably convert the three weeks into residency.

I am very sad that she is going in, but I cannot fight anymore and I had to decide to let her go. But far more importantly, speaking to my Dad yesterday, he sounded so much better, clearly the weight and stress of looking after Mum had dragged him horribly down and it was, for the first time in ages a conversation with him that was not depressing. So many things are saying to me that this is the correct thing to do.

So, I fly in tomorrow morning and if anyone is interested I will update when i get back. I am going to take a video camera to film the home so that I can send a dvd to my sister in Canada for her to look at as well.
cheers,
Blooddiamond
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,487
Kent
Thank you for the update Blooddiamond.

I`m really sorry about your second ministroke. It`s not really surprising considering the stress you`ve been under. I hope the stress will be reduced considerably, once you`ve been over and seen your parents for yourself.

Well done for making the first move towards your brother. Whether he was smug or not, is not the issue. You have done the right thing, so your conscience will be clear. If he is unable to meet you half way, that`s his problem.

I`m sorry for you that your mother has gone into a home, but pleased for your father. It is obvious how much stress he was under, by the speed in which he has rallied. I know it`s a cliche, but it really does sound as if it`s for the best.

I hope you have a good trip and will look forwards to hearing from you when you return.

Take care xx
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Blooddiamond, thanks for the update. I'm glad you came back to us, I'd been wondering how you were.

The mini-stroke must have been very worrying -- a warning to try to avoid stress? Impossible in our situation, I know.:eek:

Well done for contacting your brother. It doesn't sound as if he's going to be much support to you, but at least you've broken the ice.

I know how you feel about your mum, my husband has also just gone into a NH, unexpectedly following a severe infection, and I'm devastated. You can't help feeling you've let them down, though realistically you know it's the only option. Like your dad, I'm physically much better already, in spite of the negative emotions.

I hope your trip over is OK, and you like the home your mum is in, also that your dad is OK after his trip to hospital.

Please do keep us informed, I'll be thinking of you.

Love,
 

Laylabud

Registered User
Sep 7, 2007
111
Kent
Hi Blooddiamond

Having read most of the postings on this matter my heart goes out to and you must be at your wits end.
i have an older sibling who has not given a damm about either of my parents over the years, she only contacted them when she wanted something. She moved years ago about 20/30 miles away until more recently about 14 years ago she moved back to the same town and it has always been down to me to take my parents to see her, she never bothered to make the effort even on birthdays etc.
When my Dad died 10 years ago the few months that follwed his death she was around more but over the last 9 years she has not bothered.
My mum has lived with me since Dad passed away so everything has been left to me to do the right thing for Mum, which hopefully i have. Since i first noticed my Mum declining memory i told my sister but she was not interested and only said that if i needed help then let her know, which i did but again there was not a great deal of support and things have got worse between us but for the time being i have had to put my own personal feeling towards her to oneside for Mum's sake only, i do and will aways harbour a grudge against her and who know what will happen once Mum is no longer with us.
Mum got worse and i have had to make the choice of having to put her in to nursing home now which has killed me to go through the process. I was not happy or comfortable about having a carer in the house whilst i was at work all day as you hear so many awful stories about some of the carers stealing things etc ( i know that this is the minority but it does put you off).
Life as a carer is very stressful and takes it toll eventually and you have to think of your own well being as well as the person you are caring for.

Don't be bullied into something you are not comfortable with and certainly don't let your Dad be treated the same way by your brother. Your Dad has has the ultimate choice on what happens to your Mum and if he wants to move.


Maybe in time you and your brother will sort things out, but this will only happen if you both meet half way, if at the moment you feel things have gone too far to ever go back, then do as i have done grit your teeth and show a united front for both your parents sake.

Wishing you well
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Thanks for your update.

Will add only one thing to what has been said already, in response to
So many things are saying to me that this is the correct thing to do
very often this is what we have to go on. When most of the signs point in a certain direction, sometimes it really is the way to go, even if we do so with a heavy heart.

Please keep us informed of how things continue
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Hi Blooddiamond, good to hear from you - and echo previous comments on 'Well done' how you have handled the situation with your brother.

I hate to be the one to do the 'reality check' but feel I have to say this ..... I assume the procedure your dad will be going through is a 'colonoscopy' .... yes, it needs 'supervision' for some limited time after the procedure .... but your dad will need some TLC too afterwards between the investigations and results .....

I wonder if some of your dad's relief just now is knowing that his own health needs are being investigated and addressed?

I cannot applaud you enough for championing what you see as your mother's needs (and indeed helping your sister even further removed from the situation) ... but your dad's health clearly gives cause for concern too ....

On top of all this, you have your own health to worry about - what help are you receiving from professionals in the UK and 'at home'?

Will be thinking of you, Love, Karen, x
 

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
3,725
North Derbyshire
Blooddiamond, of course we are interested, most of us care deeply about the plight of others in our situation, please keep us informed, we hope your dad's invesitgations prove nothing amiss, and your mum enjoys (or at least accepts) the respite home.

But if not, do stop telling yourself that you have given up, and have (can't remember your exact words) abandoned your mum. You have not given up, you fought for what you thought was best, you actually fought a lot harder than some people I know, and than some are capable of. You are still fighting, helping your dad, and you have not abandoned your mum. You are going through an incredibly difficult time - gee, I thought I was, but yours is worse - and doing very, very well.

I'm sorry about the situation with your brother and his wife, can't comment as I have no siblings. But I do have two wonderful grown up daughters who support me all the way. Do you have adult children you can talk to? Mine are very understanding. They don't live close by, but are always available on the end of the phone. It is easy to think us 50/60-somethings have all the answers, but sometimes 20-somethings can be helpful too.

Your parents sound a bit like mine, mine had no close friends to help them out, so it was always me taking them to medical appointments (my dad had cancer, so we had the trips to hospital regularly, fortunately - ha, ha - I am University lecturer, so while I do a 60-hour week in term time, I don't have to do it 9-5, so I could take my dad for his chemo at 9 a.m., stay all day, bring him back at 8 p.m., and then do my 10 hours Uni work! I've just discovered I could have applied for compassionate leave and been paid!

I hate to judge people that I don't know, and having no siblings (neither has my husband so it was just us dealing with his parents too, now both gone), but is your brother perhaps scared of illness? Some people are. Not everyone is as pragmatic as you are (and I am like you - these are the options, lets pick the best and fight for it), maybe he just has a different personality and doesn't cope as you do. I remember 10 years ago, a work colleague dying of cancer, and I asked all his colleagues to visit him (6 of them), and none did. I was really cross about it, but they eventually told me that they were scared of illness. I didn't understand it. I visited my colleague nearly every day. I saw all the illness, all the stress, sat with him through his chemo and radio and it didn't bother me at all. I was with him an hour before he died, dealing with some pretty unpleasant bodily problems (while his wife went to have her hair done!), and I thought nothing of it. But not everyone is like me. Maybe your brother has similar qualms.

I recall when I was 17, mum and I visited my grandma. She had had a stroke half an hour earlier, and a neighbour had called the doctor. We arrived to find her on the settee having emptied her bowels. While my mother heaved over the toilet, it was me who got a bowl of warm water and a cloth, and cleaned her up. I had never done anything like that in my life. It was me who found a clean pair of pants, and moved her gently to one side, and then cleaned the settee. My mother couldn't do it. But I did. We are all different in how we cope with illness. Maybe your brother just doesn't see the pros and cons as clearly as you do.

But you are not giving up or abandoning. Your mum is now starting a new phase of her life. She might find companionship amongst the other 20 or so residents in the home, as well as amongst the staff. As Bruce said on his interview on Radio 4 this week, the staff all come to the job fresh every day, not wearied by 24 hours of care, and can give the resident more attention. Your dad, meanwhile, will hopefully be in the same situation when he visits. He will be be relieved of the burden he has borne so bravely, and will be glad to see your mum.

Eh, Blooddiamond, I hope this helps. I know other members on this site have given me stirling advice that hasn't worked for my mum, but I thank them for it. Maybe my advice won't do anything for you either.

At the end of the day, friend, you can only do your best. And from what you have said, you have certainly done that.

Now, just a final idea. You are abroad, your sister is abroad, your brother is less than helpful. Most towns in the uk have some form of volunteer service. It seems sensible to me that you suss out what is available in your parents' area. My mum's town (ex) has a superb service that provides drivers to take people to hospital, people to sit with sick people, they will do shopping, collect prescriptions etc. For the hospital trips there is a mileage charge, I don't know what it is, and for other services they just ask for a contribution. I am joining them as a volunteer when I retire in a couple of years, cos I think the service is invaluable.

Much, much love. And do cry if you need to, no shame in that, it is incredibly relieving of tension to have a cry.

DO keep us informed. Most of us out here do care about our fellow carers.

Margaret
 

blooddiamond

Registered User
Margaret W said:
Blooddiamond, of course we are interested, most of us care deeply about the plight of others in our situation, please keep us informed, we hope your dad's invesitgations prove nothing amiss, and your mum enjoys (or at least accepts) the respite home.

Hi all,
Thank you for that and all the encouragement and advice, so here's an update.

I have literally been home for about half an hour having driven back from the airport. It was with a sense of the inevitable, because the airline have currently lost my suitcase which was stuffed full of pressies for my wife, which I had bought on whims and because she has been an absolute rock for me to cling to.

I went to check out the home Mum is in and I was really pleasantly surprised. It is three houses converted into one and so has the feel of "home" rather than "a home" if you get my meaning? lots of little rooms and nooks and crannies, the residents were not all lined up in their chairs like a waiting room or anything, there were one or two here, one or two there. A lovely garden, Mum has her own room with Ducal furniture, not some plywood effort, she can have her own paintings put up if she wants, the carers there were real carers, not like some i have seen who seem to drag the resident because they are a little slow etc, I met with the weekend manager and also the main manager as well as the district nurse and so on.

If Mum has to go into a home then I would like it to be this one.

I spoke to the manager and decided to tak some of the burden off of my Dad who couldn't quite bring himself to commit his wife of 50+ years to being a permenant resident (she is there for three weeks respite at the moment). So I told the manager that this is where we would like Mum to stay. They were delighted and when I later told Dad that I had preempted him a little, I could see the relief that he felt. He just cannot accept responsibillity and so I did it for him. Despite my own feelings, I would rather be the one people blame than Dad.
I don't think I have worded that very well, but it is very similar to when I was going through my divorce, I never, ever said anything bad against my ex wife, I let people blame me because it protected my two beautiful children. They only got one side of what happened, but because I rarely fought back it never developed into an argument in front of them, they were safe, happy and had their Mum, so what about the truth, they were more important then, as is my Dad now.
I am not trying to be the big brave hero or anything, I just think he needed not to have that burden of guilt.
The very next day he was able to phone the social worker and let her know that I had decided and that he agreed. So now the process has been put in motion and Mum should just continue to stay there without any further upheaval.

One difficult thing was when I asked Mum "Are you happy?", "Oh yes" she replied, "Do you like it here?", "Yes" she replied and hen the crucial one, "Would you be happy to stay here?" I asked her this six times, in six different ways and each time, having answered all the other questions clearly, each time I asked that, she closed her eyes and wouldn't answer. Dad leaned over and asked her and she did the same to him, which made things very hard and emotional because she was clearly saying no.
This clearly upset my Dad and it would have been too easy for me to say "right, we're taking her home", NO, as hard as it was, I had to be the strong one here for Dad, as this was about them, not me and my feelings anymore, I told Dad that I believed it is the little girl in her frightened she is being abandoned, every child of a very young age, on hearing that Mum is going out, will cry and become fearful and want to go with their mum, I told him I believed this was what was happening here and that we needed to decide if she really understood the question, or if she was just avoiding answering because she couldnt. I told Dad that I did not believe Mum was capable anymore of making a decision like that and so took it for her and recommended to Dad that Mum stay here and that he just needed to reassure her.

I cannot pretend this was an easy weekend at all, my brother never spoke to me, though he did phone Dad up to borrow £100. This, the day after he had been into the hospital for his colonoscopy or whatever it is called.

Dad is fine, he does not have the cancer he always thins he has, what he has is a moderately severe disease in the bowel. This is, if not caused by, then at least exascerbated by the fact that Dad does not wash properly anymore. I gave him a pretty graphic description of the cycle I believe he is in at the moment, with going to the toilet, not washing, cooking and eating food etc etc. He is a proud man and I used that in order to get him to think about himself for once, if he is ill, how can he see Mum? he got the picture.

The worst thing I saw during the weekend was when I cleaned the front room, I have seen this before when I was last over and asked my brother to ensure chairs etc were moved when hoovering etc, he assured me they would, yet when I hoovered on saturday evening I found maggots under his chair!!!
I know Dad cant move the chair, it is a special electric chair that I bought for him that lift him up to almost standing, so he can get out of the chair easily, it has a motor and so is moderately heavy, but my brother is only 42, half Dads age and that chair has not moved since the last time I hoovered. Sometimes I despair, but when I left, I noticed that Dad had done a couple of things I had pointed out, like finally wash the towel in the bathroom that was once yellow and was now a dirty grey! He had cleaned the special booster toilet seat he uses, which he never used to, so there is hope and I really pray he begins now to come out of his depression and start taking care of himself. I have nudged him back onto the right path, I just hope he continues down it.
Sorry its a bit long, I will stop there and say thank you all for your comments and encouragement. In a dark and sometimes deaperate time, it is always comforting to know you are not alone.
cheers.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi blooddiamond, thanks for the update.

So I told the manager that this is where we would like Mum to stay.
This is the bravest thing you could possibly have done, so many, many congratulations.

I'm so glad you've found a home you like, it makes all the difference if you can picture your mum in pleasant surroundings. I'm not surprised she wasn't prepared to commit to staying there, I don't think anyone would happily give up their home and familiar surroundings, but hopefully she'll soon begin to regard it as her home.

You've done well to motivate your dad to take care of himself. I'm so grateful to friends who did this for me when John went into hospital. It would be so easy to become depressed and lonely, and just the thought that someone cares makes all the difference.

Regarding your dad's health, I'm assuming he has diverticulitis, am I right? I have that, and it's not really caused by lack of cleanliness, I do wash, I promise you! It can be ontrolled by diet -- lots of fibre, nothing too spicy (garlic's the worst for me), and lots of water. He'll just have to work out what suits him best. I haven't had a flare-up for three years. It's good news that it isn't cancer, isn't it?

In fact it's good news all round, apart from the missing suitcase. I hope it turns up, it would be a shame for your lovely wife not to get all her pressies. What a thoughtful husband you are.

Keep in touch,

Love,
 

Petrus

Registered User
Aug 7, 2007
61
Northumberland
A Father's Thanks

Blood diamond,
Well done.

My son (A. 35) has been a great help to me in getting my wife (J.) to accept (sort of) going into a home for a respite break. It is likely that J. will need to go into a home next year. However, he and I agreed I needed a break now so that I can look after J. for as long as possible. I had been advised (consultant and care manager) to check out homes quietly this summer. Having done so, I asked A. to visit so we could look at my top half dozen homes together (my sister and brother-in-law came to look after J.) and he could join me in the decision-making. He took the opportunity to have breakfast with J. while I showered etc. and introduced her to the idea that I needed a break. With luck the break will take place next month - J. goes to the top two homes for a visit and needs assessment in the next few days and they each hope to be able to take her in November. A. knows how much I appreciate his active help.

I tell this story to say that, if the words have not been said to you, what I told A. in thanking him was that his help took a huge burden from my shoulders; it was effective in opening the subject with J. (a subject we knew, because of family history, would be extraordinarily difficult for her) and in smoothing my way; having him be part of the decision-making helped me to manage my worry and guilt; this whole joint exercise deepened our mutual respect and love. So, again, well done.
 
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117katie

Guest
I'd like to change your name - to mine! Because when I read your tale, I felt as though I was looking into a mirror! I don't quite understand how the similarities and the differences between your own situation and my situation are ... well, just so similar! I cried and cried and cried when I read the beginning of your story .. which I have only found today as I am a relative newcomer to the site .... and the latest updates too! Like you, I am dealing with a fractured sibling-relationship, except that mine is a sister. Like you, I am dealing with a mature person in need of care, except that mine is an 83 year old aunt who has only 3 living relatives, one of whom doesn't give a da...! Like you, I live a bit away from my loved one but in my case it is a mere 50 miles away, but it could be 1000 miles away, and the problems remain the same.

All I can say is: would you like to be my Brother? Or my son? Or whatever you choose, really.

You have given me so much hope - in return, I only would like to give you all the very best wishes for a happy future for your Mum and Dad and for yourself.