Going into care due to spouses inability to cope & understand

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #1 Linbrusco, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
    Have said this all along of my Dad 78 who has mild cognitive impairment ( at times I suspect Frontal Temporal dementia)
    He sabotages almost every aspect of Mum 74 with AD living safely at home.
    They do live in their own house behind ours so we keep a close eye.

    Insists on carpet mats round the house when Mum shuffles and is at risk of tripping. ( i have fixed them all down)
    Plugs in the heater in an unsafe corner of the lounge, saying Mum can walk around it.
    Arranges for her to walk on her own to meet him at his club for lunch, when Mum has no traffic awareness.
    Leaves Mum at home alone while he walks down to the store, as a result she decides to go for a bath, and doesn't lock the front door.
    Has no awareness of what Mum is/is not capable of.

    This has truly been highlighted in recent days with Mum developing a bad cold, which has given her a rattly chest, and her GP has put her on anti b's as a precaution so it doesn't devlop into a chest infection.
    As a result Mum is very confused and wobbly on her feet.
    Was only yesterday he told me that Mum was on her hands and knees picking at the carpet. She thought there were crumbs when it was flecks of white wool in the carpet.
    When I said why didn't he phone me or get me, when he has promised all along to let me know if Mum developed any sudden strange behavior, he said he would be phoning me every 5 mins.
    Today I have taken a day off work to be with Mum, as Dad insists she is OK on her own while he goes to his club for a few hours!!
    I have phoned them this morning, and Mum has burnt her finger on the kettle trying to fill a hot water bottle. I asked Dad why he didn't fill Mums hot water bottle he said because he was in bed reading.

    I'm tearing my hair out. Am I totally expecting too much as he has MCI , of Dad as to regards Mums safety here? He obviously doesn't think about potential consequences :(
    He also seems to have a strange sense of loyalty, as rather than not go to his club and stay with his wife who is not well, he is going to help a mate who is in a wheelchair :confused:
  2. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    I am with you!

    It sounds like either he does not understand that he needs to look after, is in denial about her care needs or quite simply doesn't WANT to look after her! And the truth is being a carer is hard and no-one can make him take on a carer role if he doesn't want to. I was called by neighbours because Mum had been found wandering in the street, I found Dad at the bowling club. he had an opportunity to 'play a tie' and thought Mum would be fine so I am with you in your frustration.:( We are now in the process of looking for a care home place for Mum. At the end of the day the most important thing is that your Mum is safe and cared for not who does the caring. maybe you need to think about doing the same if you can't get through to your Dad? Good luck!
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    When was he diagnosed with MCI? Because it can develop into dementia, or he was misdiagnosed. Whatever it is, he's clearly unable to cope so other measures will be necessary. Don't get yourself stressed out trying to get someone to look after someone else if they don't want to, are in denial or simply don't know how.
  4. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #4 Linbrusco, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    He was diagnosed with MCI July last year after a brain CT, tests and memory tests and assesment by clinical nurse from Memory Team.
    In fact his brain CT was in worse shape than Mums with frontal lobe atrophy.
    Although forgetful, he functions on a day to day level way better than Mum.
    It's more his behaviour. He is due to see Memory Team again soon.
    I have had him at our GP recently and of course everything is hunky dory.
    He has also seen our Alzheimers Key worker a few times.

    Personally I have had enough, not so much coping with Mum, but the interaction between the two, and dealing with Dad and his bull in a china shop approach to Mum.
    My siblings just shake their head, but no one offers any solutions, or wants to think about a care home for Mum. I don't like to think of Mum in a care home either, but feel she would be a lot safer, and a lot less to feel anxious about.
  5. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Your dad sounds a bit like mine so can understand the frustration. Since I have stepped back and accepted that nothing will change until a crisis happens then I don't get myself worked up about the situation anymore.

    My Dad like you has signs of something, but as he thinks he's still as bright as he was aged 40 we are on the road to nowhere when arguing so I don't. Some days he thinks mums dementia is like a cold and she's recovered, others he is worse than she is with the stories he comes out with, never the same story told always exaggerates or plays down depends who it is. Another day he thinks he can bully her into understanding, doesn't give her chance for opinion he just takes over.

    I think you're Dad like mine will never fully understand because he doesn't want to. In his world him and your mum are still the same as they were forty years ago and nothing will convince him otherwise. Logic goes out the window as they get older too so he won't think of consequences. I can tell my Dad until I'm blue in the face to do or not do something but as I'm his daughter he won't take orders from me so does as he pleases, which is probably what the other family members think or see.

    Unfortunately you will like me have to wait for a crisis, not pleasant I know. Or maybe if you mentioned a care home for one or both of them he may try harder for a while but I doubt it. It's easier for him to ignore it especially when you're so nearby to deal with in his absence. Hugs to you.
  6. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    The frontal lobe deals with judgement, impulse control and problem solving (among others). Expecting your Dad to deal with these things is a futile as expecting your mum to recover from her dementia. He might have always been difficult but he is now also suffering from brain injury, there's as much point in trying to reason with him as with your mum.
  7. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hi, Lin, and I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I would agree that your dad is not capable of looking after himself or your mother and that's it's pointless (certainly fruitless and frustrating) to expect him to act in a rational manner when he has mild cognitive impairment. I don't think he is disloyal to your mother or in denial, I think he's not able to understand due to his MCI.

    My best guess is that for their own safety, they either need 24 hour supervision in their house or a different living situation. I'm not sure how the assessment/recommendation process works in the UK (or even here in the States, to be honest!) but perhaps there is some information available to you through that route.

    As an aside: I often have to remind myself that the "mild" in MCI doesn't mean, level of severity of impairment. In fact, my mother's diagnosis is MCI with amnesia but the neurologist explained to me that this was the best diagnosis he could offer, without further testing, and she definitely has Alzheimer's, she's severely impaired, and she has almost no short-term memory. I know all of that but there are still moments when she's so seemingly lucid that I question myself. "Seemingly" being the key word, of course!

    I know this must be horribly stressful and difficult for you and am so sorry you are dealing with it.
  8. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Not quite sure I can say anything helpful. Tried to reply last night and failed.

    I haven't read back over your posts, but I think your mum has been slowly deteriorating for a bit, and maybe your dad is struggling more himself (which I suspect) or just doesn't want to acknowledge the issue. They've been together a long time so there will have been a certain dynamic that they remember of how it used to be, and dad with his issues can't understand or remember what he needs to do now.

    When I tell people my mum has dementia, they assume it is memory issues mainly so I always follow it up with that the memory loss is the least of the issues and the inability to process information is just as much an issue.

    It sadly sounds as if you can't rely on your dad to provide your mum with the support she needs and something else needs to be sorted out, whether in their house or a care home.
  9. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Thanks all for the replies.
    Personally I don't think Dad can cope with Mum, but he muddles on best he knows how and tells all and sundry everything is great.
    A few weeks back I found him with a tear in his eye and he said Mum was getting worse and might need to go into a home. My sister took him for a night to give him a break and I stayed with Mum.
    Of course he wouldn't tell my sister or the family GP the same.All suggestions of help, home care help, support groups has fallen on deaf ears.
    My parents are not financially well off to afford to move into care themself.
    Mum would be assesed as needing and qualifying for care under our system here, which is Goverment funded if under the threshold, but Dad would not.
    Dads memory can be a bit hazy when it comes to names, faces, times etc but he still does all the practical stuff like washing, cooking, no issues bathing, toileting or dressing.
    He is still able to get out and about when he wants to.
    He has respite from Mum 4x a week.

    I have a weeks holiday coming up, and my sister is taking Mum & Dad for a week.
    Apart from the odd weekend, it is almost 10 mths since she has had them for this period of time. I am sure she will notice a deteroriation in Mum more, which might make her think twice. At this stage she will not even consider placing Mum into respite.

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