Having difficulty coping

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Spikey53, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Spikey53

    Spikey53 Registered User

    Dec 29, 2015
    I feel humbled reading some of your messages, and realise that my own situation is nowhere near as difficult as it is for many of you. My dad is 89 and now in a nursing home where he is well-looked after but his dementia is getting worse. We try to go and see him most days and today was upsetting as he was particularly hostile to me and my husband, accusing us of taking all his money.

    I have known for some time that my dad has had dementia, but his condition was in a way covered up by my mum who has been - and still is, to an extent - in a state of denial. She is 88, partially sighted and still living at home, and it is really her that I am having most trouble dealing with. She is incredibly negative and, in spite of the fact that we support her and do a lot for her, it never seems to be enough. What I find really upsetting, however, is how she feels that she can 'get dad round', this really means that when she visits she bullies him and tells him off if he is in a strange mood, in a sense he is frightened into submission. She has always been a very controlling person, and likes to feel that she can control every person and situation.

    I have tried to be very patient and gentle with her but to be quite honest I am completely worn down by the situation of dealing with her and dad. I have my own family and I work too, and to be honest it feels as though I am being continually hit round the head with a bat. I am very lucky that I do have a lovely supportive husband who helps me as much as he can, but I just feel completely overwhelmed sometimes.

    I am now thinking of going to the GP, as I feel that I probably need some support.
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Spikey, welcome to TP
    There's nothing wrong in getting some help if you need it so see what the GP has to offer I hope you get something positive from them.
    The bit where you say "she feels that she can 'get dad round" does say something, my wife has got to the point where memory clinic visits have been "ended due to aggression" hospital, GP, COPD, thyroid clinics and other NHS appointments are all a waste of time because they want "to listen to the patient" and not the people who can put it into context of what it means in their everyday lives.
  3. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Sorry to hear about your situation . I think firstly be glad your Dad is in a home, so doesn't have your mother with him as much as he would at home. The nursing staff will soon be aware of her personality if she visits Jim, and may notice a change in him after her visit, so at least if need be she maybe asked to limit visits diplomatically by the staff or if you speak to them on the quiet they would suggest it on your behalf.

    Your mother is in denial because she can't cope with the reality of your Dad not being around, especially if she's a controlling person. Controlling people are usually very insecure but putting on facade for others, rather than looking weak. Can you arrange any help for her, even just a cleaner to start with etc to relieve you of that job. She's probably stubborn too, so will refuse any offers of helpers visiting etc. maybe make her GP aware of the situation. Try to step back, very hard to do I know, but just phone her regularly, and don't be at her beck and call. People do become more self centred and demanding as they get older, and will get you to visit on any pretence just because they are lonely. Day care centres, or befrienders will help with this. But while you fill this gap she won't attempt to attend these etc.

    My dad is in a similar situation and U.S. Refusing outside help, but expects me to be on call 24/7, so I do know how it drives you mad and you never switch off. I have had to step back and I know until a crisis happens nothing will change, then decisions will be made without his opinion. I've explained this but he won't help himself. I had to step back to keep my sanity and my own sons well being, who has anxiety issues due to my parents situation. But Dad won't compute that either!

    Be kinder to yourself, put you first or you will end up burnt out and too ill to care for your own family.
  4. Spikey53

    Spikey53 Registered User

    Dec 29, 2015
    Thank you!

    Thank you so much - wonderful advice. I realise that I have not been stepping back, and I do need to for the sake of my family. It sometimes takes hearing it from somebody else in order to be able to do it. Best wishes.

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