From granddaughter to carer

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Flossy987, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Flossy987

    Flossy987 New member

    Dec 29, 2018
    Morning all,

    Not sure what I'm after but felt like this was a safe space to get things off my chest.

    My maternal Grandad has dementia and lives in a care home not far from where I live. My Mum is also local and does lots of the mid-week visiting as I work full-time, she also deals with the financial and legal side of stuff for him. My Mum also goes away on holiday a lot (my parents have an apartment abroad) and near enough every time they are away, there will be some sort of emergency (or perceived emergency) that requires my Grandad to end up in hospital.
    I've spent hours and hours with him, staying with him on a ward overnight previously, as he can get frustrated and agitated and as he knows he knows me I tend to be a calming influence. The previous hospital visit where I stayed overnight, I had some support from my brother and we managed to get Grandad discharged to prevent a second nights stay. Trying to get my Grandad in the car was difficult, he became agitated and angry with us which is so far beyond his character pre-Dementia. It was upsetting but after a bit of a cry and a chat with my brother I thought I was okay.
    This weekend I had the dreaded call that he was going into A&E (parents are away again) and so as usual I accompanied him. We weren't there that long this time (he was physically well) but during our time there he needed the toilet and got very frustrated about not being able to get out of the bed (he's unsteady on his feet) and tried climbing over the rails. I managed to get a nurse to help but he got really angry with me in the meantime. It was like he was taken over by a different person, his angry face was almost unrecognisable to me. During the toilet fiasco I even tried helping him with a bottle to pee into something I've not had to do before.
    The whole experience has left me pretty shaken, I am upset that he was so angry, upset that I got frustrated with him and I'm angry that I can't just be his granddaughter and enjoy him anymore.

    I'm really sorry for the long post but hope that someone on here can offer some words of wisdom or even just someone who's been in a similar situation. I'm a big crying mess today and don't know where else to turn.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @Flossy987
    I recognise your description of that angry face and how it denotes an abrupt change in behaviour as my dad was the same at times
    it was very much as though his frustration in that moment completely took him over and blocked out everything and everyone else - part of the disinhibition of the dementia. I guess - he was totally focussed on getting what he wanted and nasty with it
    yet, as you say, most of the time I was the one he trusted and turned to for comfort
    so you're not alone
    the first few times left me shaken, after that I backed off and let him be, but it's much trickier in a hospital and in the situations you describe

    is it possible that your Grandad feels vulnerable when your mum goes away, so is seeking reassurance through 'illness' ... you do seem to be suggesting that there's a pattern to these hospital visits ... though it may be mere co-incidence ... maybe don't tell him when your mum goes on holiday and if he asks about her say she had to go shopping, had a hair appointment
    it's good that your mum is getting a break ... though it's now tough on you to be dealing with these scenarios alone .. is it possible to say you won't be available and ask that a sraff member accompany him, though this can be hard for a home to organise on the spot so may come with a charge
    you're an amazing grandchild to be supporting your Grandad so much, he's a fortunate man to have ypu looking out for him
  3. Flossy987

    Flossy987 New member

    Dec 29, 2018
    Thank-you so much for your reply, it's been a huge help. Grandad's trips to hospital when Mum is away is coincidental and down to a very over zealous care home who send him in at the drop of a hat (this will hopefully be changing through an advanced directive document!)

    Huge thank-you for taking the time to reply, it's really appreciated.

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