Guilt monster - what to do for the best?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by lesley1958, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. lesley1958

    lesley1958 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2015
    107
    Bristol
    - though I know with this disease there isn;t any besst.

    Dad is 91 with mid-term dementia. Still some quality of life, still recognises family most of the time but not always. Main carer is my Mum, 84.

    I live in Bristol about 50 mins drive away from them. I see them twice a week (just reduced my days from 5 to 4 at work to help this).

    When things were better Mum and Dad always came over to Bristol on a Saturday to get their hair cut and it was a really nice outing for them. Realistically my dad can't do this any more but Mum still wants to come and I want her to have the break. Most times I go over and stay with Dad while she comes over here.

    I hardly get any time with my mum because when I'm at home with them I spend all my time with Dad to try to give Mum a break. So today we arranged that my brother (lives about an hours drive away) would go over and be with Dad while Mum came over so Mum could have her break and I could spend some time with her. Sorry, this is going on a bit!

    Anyway, she rang earlier to say that Dad was very confused by all this (mornings are bad) and when she rang he had been saying he couldn't remember my brother - he didn't have children; how could he, he had never been married? That is something that happens quite regularly but - I have got to the point - I know feel terrible for (a) exposing my brother to the distress of my dad not knowing him - he doesn't see as much of Dad as I do - and (b) arranging all this anyway and getting Dad worked up which Mum will probably suffer for later.

    She is still going to come over and told me not to phone my brother to warn him that Dad had had a bad morning. I feel awful. Upset for Dad, upset for Mum, upset for my brother. I feel I should have had the sense to say to Mum "we can't do this anymore" - but I wanted her to have a break, she is with Dad 24/7.

    So that's it really. Not expecting any solutions - there aren't any! Just wanted to share with people that I know will understand, most of whom have it far worse than me.

    Thanks.......
     
  2. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,158
    Would Dad going to a day centre be possible?
    Give mum a break, and give you the chance to see her.

    Bod
     
  3. lesley1958

    lesley1958 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2015
    107
    Bristol
    Thanks Bod. He has a carer for 2 hours once a week who takes him out but Mum usually uses that time to do her shopping - she takes her nearly-blind next-door neighbour - my mum is amazing. But I have suggested to her that we try to arrange some more time with the carer so that she and I can meet up. I guess it's all about learning what can be done with the least possible wear and tear on everyone.

    The carer did take him to a day centre once but she feels that currently that's not the way forward though obviously things may change. That's the one thing we can all be sure of - things will change!

    Lesley
     
  4. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,158
    Who feels its not the way forward? Carer or day centre staff?
    In order to care better for your Dad, Mum needs time off!

    Bod
     
  5. lesley1958

    lesley1958 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2015
    107
    Bristol
    The carer took him when she first began coming - back in April this year - but has said to me since that as she has got to know him better she felt that day centres were not helpful at this stage. Knowing my dad I am inclined to agree with her (as is my mum) - but of course, the issue is also how to do what's best for my mum so that she can go on caring for him at home as she wants to.

    I do struggle, as I know everyone on this forum does, with accepting that are never any answers. You can only do your best and deal with things day by day.
     
  6. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    It is so tiring, we plan, think of every eventuality and still something could go wrong. Think you should continue this Saturday plan, your father will probably recognise his son, just not be too sure about the relationship. Maybe the time has come for mum not to give dad too much info about plans for the day, just let son turn up and then leave the house, going to the shops, will be back soon. I have a sitter a few hours a week so I can get out for lunch with girlfriends, because my mum seems to have no concept of time now, I tell her that I am just popping next door to let neighbours dog out/walk.
    I used to try and protect my brother from some of the bad stuff that dementia brings, its opposite for us, mum is obsessed with her son. Now when he comes he takes her out to our café for coffee and cake, its familiar to mum, the staff know her and he can handle most of it now. Hope your mum enjoys her day with you, its a wonderful thing you are doing for her.
     
  7. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    253
    Hi
    It might be worth phoning your local Age Concern and Alzheimers society. We had a day centre run by age concern which had a special day for people with dementia. They would pick dad up and drop him home and he had his lunch there. I can't remember how much it was but mum had time to herself from 9.30am - 3pm.
    Dad quite liked it, they played dominoes, watched old films, had a nice cooked chicken lunch and in the summer took them out to garden centres etc

    Could you try and find someone local to sit with your dad on a Saturday while your mum visited you? The Alzheimers society might be able to help.
     

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