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Help... I went on holiday for a week, came back, and Dad dosent recognise me.

JoJo36

Registered User
Mar 28, 2011
47
0
Hi everyone,

You may know from previous posts that I have lived with and cared for my Dad for the past 4.5 years (as well as holding down a full time job) and things have been incredibly tough as Dad's Alzheimers has progressed. I have really struggled as my family ostricised me (as I wouldnt give up my job to care for Dad full time) and my Fiance left me as he couldnt handle the pressure of living with Dad, or, more to to the point the effect/stress it was having on me. I am currently seeing 2 x counsellors to help me cope.

Anyway, I went on a much needed holiday a couple of weeks back and we, as a family, decided to put Dad into a care home for respite (as none of my incredibly critical family would help look after Dad). Well, I have good and bad news... the good news is that Dad loves the home!!!! he has settled in fantastically well and befriended a few of the men and they laugh and joke together, which is brilliant (all I want is for Dad to be happy). But the bad news is that I went to visit Dad as soon as I got back from holiday and Dad didnt recognise me... I've lived with Dad for 39 years and cared for him for 4.5 years and he didnt know me... to say I am heartbroken is an understatement. I know its part of the illness, but my goodness, it really really hurts. I sat with Dad, choked, holding back tears (I truly wanted to sob) but the only thing that kept me going was how settled/happy he was!!

My family want to transfer Dad to a home closer to where we all live as the home he's in now is a 45 min drive, each way, for all of us. I'm not happy as Dad is settled so I'd like him to stay where he is, but, the reality is that after 1.5 weeks Dad still dosent know where his own bedroom is, so I'm praying he will be OK after a few days in the new home and adjust. Its a tough call, but worst comes ot the worst I will just take him back to his current home.

I confess that Dad's illness drove me to the point where I craved my own space and freedom and now I have it I feel lost.... It really dosent help that its Dad's house I live in and its feels empty without him pottering around... but the truth is he is happier/safer in a home as he has someone to talk to 24/7 whereas he had a period of about 2-3hrs alone from when my uncle left (he did the day shift) to when I got home from work and dad would always be in a foul mood when i got home as he hates being alone... he truly is thriving in the care home and hasnt mentioned home... which is hard, but I have to focus on the fact he is settled/happy.

I’m not coping with the fact Dad doesn’t know me, I want to see him, of course I do, but I keep fighting back tears when I’m with him and I’m finding it very hard to get my head around. To be fair, Dad is very happy in his own world and its all of us that feel terribly guilty, when in fact, he really is settled… he was trying to get rid of me on Friday night, towards the end of the night, and that really really hurt. I’d rather see Dad with someone and not on my own… its horrid situation to be in… It’s a double edged sword cos if I don’t see him more than once a week it will give him even more cause not to remember me, but I’m finding it heart-breaking to see him… not good! I need to toughen up and quick!!!!!!

Can anyone else relate to how I feel and how did you cope? I'm crumbling inside whilst trying to put on a brave face...

Social will be calling me about transferring homes and what will happen to Dads home, I presume they cant make me homeless (especialy as I pay bills, council tax and always have done). I'm taking one step at a time... but my head is spinning with it all.

I REALLY need a hug... could really do with a boyfriend right now, but hey, I need to solider on right??!

Jo xx
 

oneloopylady

Registered User
Oct 16, 2011
263
0
No, that hasn't happened to me, my dad still knows me, but I wanted to come and give you a very big hug because I can feel your pain. Every time I visit my dad, my heart is in my mouth until I hear him say 'hello sweetheart' and I know that thankfully, he still knows me.

If your dad is settled and happy where he is, and you are hapy with the set up, then try not to move him again, whatever the other family members say. Moving him could cause more distress and confusion and as you say, you just want him to be happy - and he is.

So, it might be a little further away, but to be honest, Care Home choice can be a minefield and you would have to sift through, look at CQC reports, visit them etc, and the 'best one' after all that could still be a distance away. Its not always about distance, but about what is right for the person, and if your dad is happy and has made friends (which is a huge bonus!! My dad has been in a CH for 3 months and still won't mix with other people!) then the kidnest thing is to leave him there.

I don't suppose the family will visit him daily even if he is only 5 minutes away anyway....

Go with your heart - if you think he is happy and settled - leave him there and dig your heels in, for his sake AND for yours. You have put a lot of love and care into your dad, and you also deserve peace of mind.

Take care and HUGE hugs for the pain you are in right now.
Trisha
xxx
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
I can also give you a hug, and to say that hang on in there, because your dad's recognition of you may come back. My mam has lucid moments if I'm unwell, and she can snap back into recognising me, so it could happen, keep visiting him and you may at least become someone he is familiar with and who he knows cares for him, even if he can't place you exactly.

Big hugs and much sympathy xx
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,958
0
Brixham Devon
Hi JoJo

This one of the worse things to deal with. My Husband doesn't know me as his wife, and he hasn't since last Oct.He started to get very upset when I went to bed with him, then he told me he was thinking of 'doing something to have a baby' (he hasn't any children of his own). Then he told me that he was going to ask one of the ladies at the day care centre out:eek: He forgot my name and used to call me 'Billy' which is the dogs name-and he hates the dog. None of this , of course, was his fault. I visit him everyday and he views me as a person who brings him treats. He has no cognition at all.

It used to hurt more than it does now as I've come to terms with it all. I know that Pete would never have done a single thing to hurt me; when he was well he was the kindest person you could ever meet.

As far as your Dad goes I would keep him where he is.His happiness is priceless.

Take care Lyn T
 

angecmc

Registered User
Dec 25, 2012
2,108
0
hertfordshire
Hi JoJo36, another big hug coming your way, like CG says keep visiting your Dad may well flip in and out like my Mum does, some days she seems to know who I am and other days she struggles, strangely she seems to know my name most times but doesnt see me as her daughter. When I visit her with Dad at the care home, she always wants to know how he got there and how he gets home and he says "Ange drives me" she then sometimes says"but I dont know who Ange is":( and then when I say I am Ange, Mum, she says"why do you call me Mum?" I agree it is heartbreaking the first few times it happens, but I am now getting used to it, as you say we have to toughen up, though its not easy. What I find harder and cannot get to grips with is that I think she needs me to call my Dad by his name as she gets confused and thinks I am talking about her Dad when I refer to Dad, its my respect for them that makes this too hard. As for moving your Dad from this care home, I would be reluctant as it sounds as if he is settling in nicely and it is lovely that he has made some friends, that is one of my Mums biggest problems, that she cannot seem to make friends. Take care of yourself and try to start enjoying your visits, try taking in a photo album that you can sit and go through with him, sometimes it helps.xx

Ange
 

marsaday

Registered User
Mar 2, 2012
541
0
Jojo, try to console yourself with the fact that Dad would have forgotten you at some stage anyway whether at home or not. Think of the positives: him being settled, making friends and being happy - that's what a lot of us on here wish and hope for- and for some it is never to be. I think some men really do relish the company of other men in a care home and it's lovely to see.

I don't mind admitting that the pain of Mum not recognising me would be easier than the pain of her looking at me with desperate eyes as the only one who can save her from the terrible place she is in (not terrible but it is in her mind).

You are obviously very close to your Dad, having lived with him so long, so it will take time for you to accept. Think of how you can start to get your life back-maybe even your financée? I wouldn't think too badly of him as living with a dementia sufferer would be enough to drive anyone away.

I don't think you should change homes as he is obviously very content there.

Give yourself time and go go easy on the rest of your family- their decision not to be hands on carers has to be respected too. Not everyone can do it.
 

JoJo36

Registered User
Mar 28, 2011
47
0
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support xxx

TP truly has been my saving grace as there is always someone to listen and offer advice and that is priceless...

I will toughen up ;) and go see Dad and put my foot down with my family (they are ultra controlling) but My dad and his happiness comes first!! not thier petrol bills... grrrr

Thanks again and hugs right back at you!

Jo xx
 

moonshadow

Registered User
Aug 22, 2013
16
0
here is a really huge hug :)))

home empty without dad? it's the transition time after all these years, JoJo. you need time to learn to live without him.

and for not recognizing you... are you sure? He is maybe not in position to tell your name, or clearly state his relation to you ... but didn't your face seem familiar to him?

Ive noticed with mom that close family members with multiple functions (husband+father+name Alex) get dived into these 3 in the mind of an AD patient, but never all 3 components together. My mom speaks of herself as "She".

PS my mom has completely 'forgot' my brother: she calls him by different names but never his own, she desn't recognize him as her son. As for me... well... once I'm "Little Helena", another time "Little Rita" and once she called me with a nickname she used to until I was 5 or something. I want to believe that deep in her troubled mind, her heart knows I'm am her little -now middle-aged - child.
 

Nanak

Registered User
Mar 25, 2010
1,973
0
62
Brisbane Australia
and for not recognizing you... are you sure? He is maybe not in position to tell your name, or clearly state his relation to you ... but didn't your face seem familiar to him?

It hurt me a lot when Mum didn't recognise me but as I lived halfway round the world and only saw her a couple of times a year I realised it probably be me (before my brother and sister) that Mum would 'forget' first.
The thing was I felt Mum knew my face but just didn't realise I was her eldest daughter. It was heartbreaking though

Kim
 

cheryl k

Registered User
Sep 9, 2012
116
0
Hi everyone,

You may know from previous posts that I have lived with and cared for my Dad for the past 4.5 years (as well as holding down a full time job) and things have been incredibly tough as Dad's Alzheimers has progressed. I have really struggled as my family ostricised me (as I wouldnt give up my job to care for Dad full time) and my Fiance left me as he couldnt handle the pressure of living with Dad, or, more to to the point the effect/stress it was having on me. I am currently seeing 2 x counsellors to help me cope.

Anyway, I went on a much needed holiday a couple of weeks back and we, as a family, decided to put Dad into a care home for respite (as none of my incredibly critical family would help look after Dad). Well, I have good and bad news... the good news is that Dad loves the home!!!! he has settled in fantastically well and befriended a few of the men and they laugh and joke together, which is brilliant (all I want is for Dad to be happy). But the bad news is that I went to visit Dad as soon as I got back from holiday and Dad didnt recognise me... I've lived with Dad for 39 years and cared for him for 4.5 years and he didnt know me... to say I am heartbroken is an understatement. I know its part of the illness, but my goodness, it really really hurts. I sat with Dad, choked, holding back tears (I truly wanted to sob) but the only thing that kept me going was how settled/happy he was!!

My family want to transfer Dad to a home closer to where we all live as the home he's in now is a 45 min drive, each way, for all of us. I'm not happy as Dad is settled so I'd like him to stay where he is, but, the reality is that after 1.5 weeks Dad still dosent know where his own bedroom is, so I'm praying he will be OK after a few days in the new home and adjust. Its a tough call, but worst comes ot the worst I will just take him back to his current home.

I confess that Dad's illness drove me to the point where I craved my own space and freedom and now I have it I feel lost.... It really dosent help that its Dad's house I live in and its feels empty without him pottering around... but the truth is he is happier/safer in a home as he has someone to talk to 24/7 whereas he had a period of about 2-3hrs alone from when my uncle left (he did the day shift) to when I got home from work and dad would always be in a foul mood when i got home as he hates being alone... he truly is thriving in the care home and hasnt mentioned home... which is hard, but I have to focus on the fact he is settled/happy.

I’m not coping with the fact Dad doesn’t know me, I want to see him, of course I do, but I keep fighting back tears when I’m with him and I’m finding it very hard to get my head around. To be fair, Dad is very happy in his own world and its all of us that feel terribly guilty, when in fact, he really is settled… he was trying to get rid of me on Friday night, towards the end of the night, and that really really hurt. I’d rather see Dad with someone and not on my own… its horrid situation to be in… It’s a double edged sword cos if I don’t see him more than once a week it will give him even more cause not to remember me, but I’m finding it heart-breaking to see him… not good! I need to toughen up and quick!!!!!!

Can anyone else relate to how I feel and how did you cope? I'm crumbling inside whilst trying to put on a brave face...

Social will be calling me about transferring homes and what will happen to Dads home, I presume they cant make me homeless (especialy as I pay bills, council tax and always have done). I'm taking one step at a time... but my head is spinning with it all.

I REALLY need a hug... could really do with a boyfriend right now, but hey, I need to solider on right??!

Jo xx

Jo

I am so sorry to hear your Dad doesn't recognize you after a holiday. I have only experienced it once where my Dad did not know me. Then after that he has so hopefully your Dad will know you again. It sounds like you are your Dad's girl like I am which makes it so difficult. This disease is so hard on the families -- harder at times than on the one's that have the disease. Sending alot of hugs.

Take care

Cheryl
 

Pottypeg

Registered User
Aug 4, 2013
908
0
66
Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Jo,

Cheryl is right, this awful disease is harder on the family than the sufferer, I was speaking to a friend and his wife (she has EOD) and as she sat in her wheelchair she said, this is harder for you, than it is for me.

Hope things get better for you soon, sending virtual hugs, (((((hugs))))):)