Feeling a bit overwhelmed...

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by DreamsAreReal, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. DreamsAreReal

    DreamsAreReal Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    I’ve been lurking for quite a while on here, but don’t post much. Tonight is the first time I’ve felt like I don’t know what to do.

    My pwd has so far not been too bad. Forgetting, repetitive speech, confusion, being emotional etc. But the last week has seen a sudden rise in symptoms. Pwd keeps changing the time on the clocks then phoning me and asking what the time is. Was complaining of severe pain in hip - Dr. referred for urgent x-ray - then pwd tells me she has constipation and thinks this is the reason for the pain! Of course X-ray shows nothing wrong and dulcolax clears the constipation and the pain goes away.

    I tell Dr. about this and that I also think she has a uti as her symptoms have suddenly got worse. He prescribes an antibiotic - take 1 twice a day for three days. I left a post-it note on her pills saying take one at 11pm and one at 11am and tell her I’ll phone her at 11 to remind. It worked perfectly for the first two pills. The third time I called her to find she’d just taken them all! Why?? She didn’t know why, of course. That was yesterday.

    Tonight about 9pm I get a phone call from the tele-care people saying she pressed her emergency button and when they called her back she sounded confused and they didn’t know what was wrong. So I phoned her and asked what was wrong. She asked me if the police are coming because there are people in her flat - she hasn’t seen them, just heard their footsteps outside her door and she’s shut herself in her bedroom until the police come. Lots of paranoid disjointed talk about “they must have got in when we went out today”. We didn’t go out today I tell her, so then she changes the story to, “me and my friends went out”. She hasn’t got any friends and never goes out. She’s convinced the intruders are hiding in her flat and then says she’ll have to leave the bedroom soon because she’s in terrible pain from being constipated again!! There’s no way I’m calling the police for this so I tell her I’ll come over. Pack some overnight stuff and drive half an hour in filthy weather to her flat. I give her a sachet of laxative the dr. gave her a while ago (she says she has terrible constipation pain) and get her settled into bed. Btw, she’s in bed because the clock says 11.30, but it’s actually 9.40.

    Hour later she says she feels better and I give her cocoa and go to bed. An hour or so of peace, then she’s up and down visiting the toilet every 10 minutes. I need the loo myself but don’t dare go whilst she’s in and out so much. Suddenly there’s a noise of running water and much muttering and groaning. This goes on for 15 minutes so I get up and ask is she’s ok? “Yes, but I had a huge movement and had to clean it up, it’s ok now though”. So I take the chance to go myself and the stench in the loo is so strong I’m gagging, plus the brown streaks on the floor and seat...

    I’m sitting in bed writing this and the smell of faeces is really strong in my nose, I suppose the smell molecules stick to the hairs inside the nose? It’s like it’s stuck to my skin.

    I realise now I shouldn’t have given her the laxido. I’m not trained to do this and feel so out of my depth. I suppose I’ll have to get more antibiotics from the doc, but how to stop her taking them all at once? What if she doesn’t have a uti and this is just the natural progression of the dementia? I don’t know how much longer she can go living alone. She really believed people were hiding in her flat. She also thinks they can get in through her loft.

    Sorry this is such a long rambling post, but I just feel the need to get it out of my head, if you know what I mean (of course you do!)
  2. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    Yes, lots of us do know exactly what you mean and have experienced the very same things. It's awful but it looks like your pwd might have a UTI or need more care. You can only do what you can do - we all have our limits . Share will doctors, adult social services and get all the help that you can. xx
  3. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    I think your mum needs more care. Maybe time to see about carers coming in??
  4. Topsy Tiger

    Topsy Tiger Registered User

    Nov 12, 2019
    This needs to be nipped in the bud. I don’t know what your circumstances are and understand that engaging social services (if you need them) can be a dispiriting grind but this lady and you need help. Others will give you much better advice on this than I can as we never engaged them for our mother - I was the live-in carer for years until she moved into self-funded residential care. But I can tell you that this is only going to get worse. The poo is one thing (I have cleaned up enough to know) but inadvertently misusing antibiotics in this way is dangerous. It’s unfortunate that this is all happening over the Christmas period but please do not put off getting her into the system otherwise you are going to have more frantic phone calls, mad dashes in the night and many more situations to clean up (literally and metaphorically). Keep posting.
  5. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Sorry you are having such a horrible time with your relative's dementia symptoms, @DreamsAreReal. The mistake with the tablets is not your fault, but enough to call adult social services to request a review of care needs. Whether it would be extra care housing / supported accommodation with carer support or just a locked cupboard and carers coming in regularly is hard to say, but they will advise.
    Good luck and keep posting.
  6. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @DreamsAreReal, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. It is really challenging. I'm afraid when the PWD can not longer manage their medication, even with a daily pill box, it is problematic to manage. There needs to be someone there to give them to her when they are due. Please don't blame yourself, there's always the first time this happens. Hopefully it is an infection that has increased the confusion, but of course it may a worsening of dementia. It does sound as though she needs extra support, in any event (UTI or otherwise) this is likely to happen, so it sounds as though now is the time to act. All the best.
  7. DreamsAreReal

    DreamsAreReal Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    Thank you all for your kind replies. Feeling a bit better about things today, but you’re right, we do need more help.

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