1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. debby13

    debby13 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Not literally I hasten to add! Basically as you know (thank you a million times for everyones kind words) Dad died on the 17th December, I have cried alot, felt angry, shouted at people, felt demotivated and lost...all normal I know. Last night though all I can suddenly think about was Dad's last week and how the palliative nurse had asked him if he was frightened and he said he was. It breaks my heart to think of him what he has been through and the fact that at the start we didnt believe him and thought it was just depression etc. He must have felt so alone and frightened and we were so useless. I feel so broken hearted and terrified that we did all wrong and now (and I know its mad) have started thinking that maybe there was more we could have done to help him and that we were all just willing him away.. Anyway these are dark and scary thoughts ....does anyone else feel these things?

  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Debby,
    Unfortunately you witness a passing of your Dad with a herrendous illness.
    Many people, myself included think back and think If I had done this or if I had done that.
    This unknown and hard to diagnoise illness shows so many different aspects.
    When you did know what was wrong with your Father, you still loved and cared for him.
    You are still mourning your loss and I send you much love at this difficult time.
    Very best wishes
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Debbie,
    My mum died in July last year. We asked the doctors not to administer antibiotics, and asked the carers to stop trying to get her to eat or drink as she was choking each time. We declined her going into hospital and the option of a drip.

    There comes a time when it is the right time to die; when the body and mind have had enough. Just because there is the means to prolong life....it doesnt mean that it is always right to do so. I have read through your posts, and sounds to me as though your family made the right decisions for your dad, and for the family. Dad was tired, and the family had reached a point where they could let him go.

    I get the 'did we do the right thing', 'should we have...' thoughts......especially those days when I would give anything just to go and sit with my mum, no matter what her condition.

    Debby dont be scared. You loved your dad to the end, and beyond. You did the right thing.

    Love Helen
  4. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Hello Debbie,

    My dad died 3 years ago at home-he had cancer and refused to go into hospital. So I went home to look after him with mum-and we brought the hospital to him.

    For the last 8 days of his life he was in a coma-having gone through some really bad times-as mum and I did too. But those last 8 days were the worst-mum and I couldn't eat or sleep-because we knew he was dying-but didn't know when. Many's the time my mum said she wished he would just go...and I thought that too.
    There comes a point when you know it has to happen and you cannot change that.
    You all did your best. He knew he was loved. None of us can change what has to be.

    You're grieving..it will become clearer in your mind and you will feel better about it. And you won't forget your dad-but one day your memories will be of happier times.

    Let yourself grieve,cry,miss him..but don't beat yourself up about this..you did your best..and your dad would know that..

    I'd like to add that I don't htink your thoughts are dark and scary..I think they are very normal.

    Love Gigi xx
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Debby

    Yes, everyone feels these things! I'm not trying to minimise your feelings, I know how real they are. But I doubt if anyone who has lost a loved one hasn't felt guilt. Even if the death was sudden and there was no care involved, there are always guilt-feelings about disagreements, angry words, failure to say 'I love you', anything. We know these feelings are irrational, but we still feel them.

    How much more so when the cause of death is dementia, when every stage is stressful and unpredictable? The guilt is just as irrational, but how many of us don't feel it?

    Debby, your feelings are going to be all over the place for a long time. Just try to remember that you did everything you could to care for your dad, you didn't do anything at all wrong, and that he died at peace with you all.

    I hope you can find some part of that peace.

  6. nickyd

    nickyd Registered User

    Oct 20, 2007
    Dear Debby,
    I sure know how you're feeling and believe me its quite normal to be feeling the way you do. I'm still reliving the whole thing from the very early days to Mum's last days and I question everything.
    You are not going mad, you are grieving for your beloved Dad, who you loved with all your heart. You did your very best for him, don't you forget that.
    The old saying '1 day at a time' is so true. Take care Debby,stay strong and thinking of you.
    Love and Hugs,
  7. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Debby,

  8. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    My Mum died suddenly in May and although she had been in a Nursing Home for 18 months and we knew she wouldn't get any better, it was still a shock and hard to adjust to.

    I think that Mum had probably had enough and wanted an end to her suffering, but she seemed reasonably content in her room, as she had a friend who came and sat with her.

    Mum had been ill with a tummy bug and I didn't see her the day before she died, because I'd been out for the day at a course. I was intending to visit first thing in the morning, but Mum collapsed at about 6am and was taken to hospital. By the time we got there, she had already passed away.

    Although I wish I'd gone to see her on that last day, I'd been the day before and we had no way of knowing what was going to happen. I'm just glad that I had tried to visit as often as possible, several times a week and we had spent time together playing dominoes, looking at pictures, reading books and chatting while Mum was in the NH.

    There is always something extra that we could have done, but we can only do our best.
    I think that people may know when their life is about to end and I do wonder if they have a certain amount of choice about it, as Mum had been talking about funerals and people dying in her last week, while she was unwell with the tummy bug.

    It does take a long time to grieve for a loved one, as I still think about Mum a lot and keep thinking of things we used to do together when she was well.


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