1. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    #1 crazyjude, Dec 5, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
    Hello all,
    Im feeling a bit isolated in caring for my Dad. He's 88 and had a couple of strokes 2 years ago. His behaviour and memory have become increasingly bizarre and vague since then, culminating in depression and suicide attempts. It finally dawned on me about a month ago that he possibly has vascular dementia and i'm in the process of making contact with Social services and the community mental health team.
    I release its only the tip of an iceberg and im already exhausted by trying to balance the needs of my Dad, my kids and husband and various other commitments.
    I had some issues with my dad before his illness became apparent and was not able to resolve them. Now i feel they're trapped forever inside me and its too late to sort them out. Ive only just stopped grieving for my Mum and it seems such ironic timing that now i'm grieving for a Dad that seems to have simply disappeared inside an old frightened man.

    Feel split in two. To care for Dad I try to be as practical as possible and contain my emotions because if i let them out i turn to a useless blob! So much anger, guilt, sadness inside me that i fear will explode one day!

    Its very comforting to find this forum and read some of the posts . Makes me feel less alone and that there is somewhere to come when i need to let my head pour out! xxx
     
  2. EmJ

    EmJ Registered User

    Sep 26, 2007
    230
    Scotland
    Hi Crazyjude

    This is certainly the best place to visit to get the right support you need as everyone is in the same boat. Hopefully by contacting SS and the mental health team you will get more advice and support with regards to your dad's situation.

    All the emotions you are feeling are understandable in the circumstances. Hopefully talking to people on the forum and reading other people's experiences will continue to help you in what is bound to be a difficult time for you.

    Take care

    EmJ:)
     
  3. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Hello, and welcome to TP.

    I can understand your difficulties and hope that you get some support to help with your dad. It's very hard trying to look after two families and indeed it's a balancing act.

    I am sure that you'll find this forum helpful and supportive. It is good to be able to release your pent-up emotions and there is always someone here to listen. Take Care Taffy.
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #4 Margarita, Dec 6, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
    You never be a useless blob if you let those emotion out, your get stronger as time go by if you just let all that pent up stress out in tears as your only human

    Like Taffy saying its all a it's a balancing act, also finding a balance in how to control your emotion is hard when your feeling so low as it make you feel negative

    For me what help while I was trying to set up support trying to get mum diagnosed trying to keep 2 family going and dealing with my father death and me feeling that I was going to crack if I stop think about how I was feeling , then when I cry it seem to help me, but tell myself some positive affirmation to lift myself out of all the sorrow .

    Recognize it

    This time will pass [Tears ]
    This time will pass


    Its normal to feel what I am feeling .

    Emotion tears can't kill you just make you stronger and I needed to get stronger and I did :)

    So will you if you recognize what your feeling is normal reaction to you situation xx
     
  5. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hi Crazy Jude and welcome to TP.

    I'm glad your finding TP useful and I hope you will continue to do so - I personally have found it a God send - I can't imagine how I would have coped without it.

    I too had unresolved issues with mum but the moment has passed - mum would have no idea what I was talking to her about and to be honest even if she did I would be reluctant - feels a bit like kicking someone when they're down.

    I personally found help in dealing with those unresolved issues through counselling and it really did work wonders for me, certainly in terms of me feeling less emotional when caring for mum - I suppose resentful is the word - I just didn't want to say it because it makes me feel like a horrid person.

    I hope you find the help you need.
     
  6. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    thank-you for your kind replies. I really feel like theres a deep well of tears somewhere in me that i dont have access to and probably need to let out. My Sister came to visit for a week (she lives abroad) and just pulled the rug from under me by being angry with me for trying to cope and trying to get support for my Dad.She seems to think ive left her out and taken away all her control by doing things here. I understand she feels guilty and upset but i really dont think i deserve this and i dont know where to put my anger, distress, and sheer disbelief at her attitude. My Dad , of course is blissfully unaware of any of this. Bring on Christmas! :)
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,649
    Kent
    I`ve only just caught up with your post, but I had unresolved issues with my mother and felt just like you do.

    It`s quite surprising how many on TP didn`t have the ideal childhood we think everyone had, and I hope that knowledge is as comforting to you as it was to me.

    Your sister is hitting out at you because she feels guilty for not being here. Don`t let it get to you, you are doing your best for your father in your sister`s absence.
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, Dec 16, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
    I had lots of unsolved issue , with my mother before I stared caring for her,


    when my father died , a friend told me to write him a letter write down all my feeling negative positive thoughts , that I always wanting to open up talk to him about . It did help me to let go forgive, but never forget .


    Never thought of doing with my mother , as she alive
     
  9. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Hello Crazyjude,
    Welcome to T.P. Do you have a Local Alzheimer's Branch near you? They will come to your home and offer help and support.
    We all go through that guilt feeling but all you can do is your best and you seem to be doing so much.
    I wish you the very best. Christine
     
  10. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    #10 crazyjude, Dec 28, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
    Thanku again for all your replies. My Social worker has been incredibly helpful and prompt and got Dad a carer who came once a day to ensure he was eating and taking his medication. This was meant to take some pressure off me so that i could spend the morning wht my kids instead of worrying about Dad. After a week, however , it became apparent that the carer was merely turning up, getting Dad to sign to say hed visited and then leaving straight away without doing anything to help.This came to a head Christmas day when he didnt even leave a record of visiting and Dad was hungry and in pain. Needless to say ive complained about this but already Dad needs more care than can be provided in his own home so the carer is now redundant.
    With great reluctance i asked the SW if respite care could be provided and she immediately responded. So Dad will move into a care home tomorrow and it is unlikely he will return home. Guilt, sadness, but also relief that he will be safe and i finally managed to have really good cathartic cry that got all my pent up emotion out. I feel quite cheerful now and ready for the New year!:)
     
  11. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Jude (crazy or not!),

    It sounds like you have found a solution and I do hope it works out well for you.

    I personally am a great believer in Care Homes (altho' none is perfect) because we have so many conflicting priorities in our lives and it is really IMPORTANT that our loved ones with dementia are safe and being cared for.

    May you have a lovely happy New Year, and then go on to cope with the refreshment that a relaxed good time brings!
     
  12. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,649
    Kent
    Dear Jude,
    `Great reluctance`, `guilt`, `sadness`, `relief`, conflicting emotions showing the only solution.
    I wish you and your father well.
    Love xx
     
  13. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    urghhh!! The New Year has now worn off and guilt set in instead. Im so reluctant to even visit the place and keep putting it off. There arent many people dad can talk to there so he thinks of me as the visitng entertainment! Im shown off to the staff and other residents and everyone seems so greedy for attention. Its been really quiet over the Christmas week and i dont think any of the usual activities were running.
    The staff dont seem to have much time and dad hasnt had a bath or been given hangers to put his clothes away.I wonder if theres a pecking order between permanent residents and respite residents?
    I know that Dad is safe, well fed, less at risk of hurting and has 24 hour care but still i'm feeling bad. Is this the best thing for him??:confused:
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Jude, it certainly doesn't sound like the best thing for your dad. There shouldn't be any difference in the care of respite patients, and the fact that there was no entertainment over Christmas is disappointing. As for the hangers, you should ask for them. When John moved into his room there were no trouser hangers, as a lady had had the room before him. I pointed this out, and hangers were brought immediately.

    If you think your dad will not be coing home, I think youi should be looking at other homes. The ones ised for respite are not necessarily the best, and you may find one locally that you prefer.

    Good luck, and thanks for trying so hard to care for your dad.
     
  15. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Jude,

    Hang in there! Don't let the guilt monster get you!
    There are very few (if any) perfect Care Homes. The way to make it work for both you and your Dad is to keep visiting regularly and keep aware of the factors that are a problem.

    I think it is reasonable that there are few activities when the actual holiday period is on. But I do NOT think your Dad should go unwashed! One is a "quality of life" issue (entertainment) but the other is "duty of care" (bathing). I'd be stressing the need for that ASAP!

    As for details in your Dad's room: we do everything we can to make Mum's room a "home" for her. We don't rely on the staff for anything - not even hangers! I would suggest that this is one area in which you can make a difference - by ensuring he has everything he needs and is as comfortable / cosy as possible. Sadly, the idea of "comfort" for most care homes is to supply the bare minimum. Our loved ones need to rely on us for everything that makes life more tolerable.

    Give it time Jude. I know that in your "heart of hearts" you have realised that he can no longer cope in his own home and that you can no longer cope with trying to keep him there. Now you can focus your energy on trying to ensure the Care Home does the best possible for him.

    It is a never-ending job! Even when our loved ones are in a CH, we cannot really relax - but we can enjoy knowing they are safe and (reasonably!) well cared for. So please don't let the dreaded guilt monster (a well known but unwelcome TPer :D) affect your judgement!

    Every best wish.
     
  16. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    Hia Guys!! an update: Dad has settled well into his care home and has a small network of friends whom he relies on as much as myself for company and comfort so i have no qualms about leaving him any more and am able to have a bit of selfish time. The staff like him and have got to know his individual quirks and are responsive if i have any concerns. However, it is just residential care and now he seems to have a fair few medical problems so it may be time to start looking for nursing homes.

    My sister and i have had a few meetings and ironed out some of our conflict. I understand how powerless she feels and my guilty feelings are at bay for the time being. The rest of my family, husband, in laws and oldest daughter (11) wont visit dad any more but my youngest daughter (5) takes him as she finds him , cheers up all the elderly residents and even provides a bit of physiotherapy! Its comforting to have her with me when i visit. She makes me see the lighter side of things! :D
     
  17. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Jude,
    Glad to hear from you again. It's good to hear your dad settled in well and enjoys his home.

    What a wonderful child! She will also have the advantage of having happy memories of your father and their times together.
     
  18. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    thanks Joanne. I have some lovely pics of my Dad with Sarah last year before things went downhill for him. They remind me of what a gentle guy he was and the playful side of him . xx
     
  19. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Please post a picture. I would love to see them together.
     
  20. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    44
    Yorkshire UK
    now theres a challenge! ill see what technophobe me can do .xx
     

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