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Help, the family has turned against me

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by MrsDoyle, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Registered User

    Mar 28, 2019
    #1 MrsDoyle, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    My OH is older, has mixed dementia and has started refusing to go on trips or go with me to places. He is mobile and still capable of personal hygiene but is dreadful with his meds and is obsessed with wanting to drive. I have organised for his family to help when I’ve had prearranged events but they have now found out how difficult it is and said I should’ve cancelled my plans to be there. They have not turned up on time after I’ve gone and he’s tried to start the car with a fob despite me hiding the keys.The family decided this was a terrible risk and moved the car on a permanent basis to his son’s, half a mile away. I would have to ask to use it. This has since been revoked. I have also been reported to social services ‘anonymously ‘ for neglect. I am his partner of only 5 years. I have no rights, no inheritance ( not that it should matter) and I’m not next of kin but I’m being blamed for things that are happening for the first time on our horrendous learning curve ; missing meds’ once. I fear the family, or part of it has a plan to get rid of me or sully my name. If they succeed, they’ll soon realise how hard it is on a daily basis to cope. Instead of taking it on though, they’ll bring in professionals. Professionals instead of me who really cares.
    He still is very capable of self hygiene and holding a good conversation and his mental maths is superb! It’s just his memory and intermittent confusion.
    I have a wedding coming up for some dear friends‘ son who I’ve known all his life. My OH doesn’t want to go. Am I supposed not to go despite the family having previously agreed it was ok? My OH is happy for me to go but I’m now worried Social Services will turn up and blame me when the family are supposed to be covering for me.
    Btw the Occupational Health said he was fine on his own except for prompting meds and meals.
  2. Dosey

    Dosey Registered User

    Nov 27, 2017
    Hi mrs Doyle
    So sorry to hear of your situation.
    5 years is not a long time to be with someone, don't take this the wrong way. You must really love him and want to be there for him. Hid family should be happy that you have not just walked away. You are entitled to some time to yourself. You are there because you want to be and care. As you say you are not there for any financial gain, purely because you love him.
    Does your partner still have capacity to say what he wants and needs.
    His family should be thankful that you are standing by him, despite the horrible journey that is ahead of you both.
    Don't worry about Social Services being involved, surely they can see the care you give him. If family can't or are not willing to help out, is your partner in a position to self fund some respite to allow you some me time?
    Hopefully you find a solution for this difficult situation, please do not give up your little bit of life you have
    thinking of you
    Rose x
  3. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Registered User

    Mar 28, 2019
    Thank you . I think the world of him. I was widowed at 45 years old from my soul mate. Luckily my OH knew him and really liked him and understood my grief.
    I truly believe I’m a side effect of the children being brought up by nannies and then sent to boarding school. They can take revenge (subconsciously) by making their father rely on professional help rather than loved ones. Sounds deep but it isn’t.
  4. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    You sound right, I hope your understanding helps you cope with a very difficult situation.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    My understanding is that one adult does not have a duty of care to another adult so you can’t be held responsible for neglect in spite of what your OH’s children might think. What matters is what you and your OH think. Enjoy the wedding!
  6. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    It might be an idea to get ahead of the situation and start dealing with the social services on your own terms. Ask for an assessment for your partner and one for yourself as his carer. If you get a decent social worker involved you'll be able to explain the issues with the family and who knows, maybe get an ally who will support you. At the moment the social services might feel like a bit of an eneny. They needn't be. At the very least you'll be able to demonstrate that you have everything pretty much in hand.
  7. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @MrsDoyle
    why not use the family's preference to your advantage ... your OH may not yet need several home care visits a day while you are with him but it may be worth you having a visit a day, maybe to check on the meds, so you both get into the routine of having someone provide support (you will need more as time goes on, to give you a break from doing all tasks yourself) and the family see that you both are willing to accept some support as you need it
    there might also be the possibility in your area of having a befriender visit, which would be useful on days you want to spend with friends
    if your husband has a good level of income and savings, he will self fund any care you organise

    here's a link to the Directory of local services on the main AS site, something there may be useful
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I get the impression that you are afraid that SS will swoop in and completely take him over. I have to say that this will not happen. SS are so strapped for cash that they will only pay for things if they absolutely have to. If you are there looking after him they will not be interested. His family have no idea.

    Unfortunately families will often let you down in my experience and it is best not to rely on them.
    Go to the wedding, but get a carer in to check on his meds and sort out a meal for him. You can do this yourself - contact care agencies and discuss it. I would also be proactive and request a needs assessment from SS, so that you can see what help they would offer (probably not much). This would get you on SS radar and if there is any comeback from the family with accusations of neglect, ss will already know about your situation.
  9. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Registered User

    Mar 28, 2019
    Thank you so much for your replies, support and links. It’s been an awful week but we’re coming through it. The family member has suddenly become helpful ( I believe the other members have had a word with them) and has offered to cover if I ever need to be somewhere. They’ve even offered to take him on holiday but he’s not keen to go without me. Holidays with him are not a hardship as it’s a change of scenery but I wouldn’t really like to go with the family at the moment. Not invited anyway!!
    It was thought I left my OH on his own too much. Occupational Health said he was fine except for meal time and meds prompts. He has never missed his lunch yet as 3 meals a day is still ingrained in his mind and he has the same every day of Ryvita, tomatoes and cheese.
    Until recently, he was on a beta blocker that knocked him out and was sleeping most of the day.The doc has since halved the dose and he’s so much better. The family member felt he was sleeping because he had nothing to do as I was out. I was out knowing he’d be asleep- and I missed his meds once. I was reported and I was stunned to be lumped in with scenarios of gross cruelty and neglect. I have to expect another visit yet but I feel sorry for those who are not being seen because time is being taken up for me.
    I have asked for family mediation and they have accepted this too.

    Despite Occy H saying he’s ok to be left , this family member doesn’t want him to be on his own for more than half an hour. Going to the wedding will make this very difficult and my son has offered to go in my place. He grew up with the groom. Until I know my SS case is closed, I daren't go. The rest of the family tell me it’s fine to go but I’m worried if something goes wrong, it’ll come back to me for not cancelling. The wedding is easily five hours drive away (including a break) and this family member thought I’d only be away for the Saturday!

    I will try to work with them and forgive the reporting. There will be a time when he will not be fine on his own but we are getting heat sensors for the cooker although he doesn’t go near it, door sensors to remind him to shut it, a panic button and simpler tv remote and phone. This, it seems, will appease the family. We already have the dementia clocks which have been useful. I’m having a carers assessment done soon. The family member wants him to have a cognitive ability test because they think he’ll fail it and they can then use POA (Heaven forbid), I want him to have it done as I’m sure he’ll pass it.
    It’s all a steep learning curve. The OH is only just realising the reality of the diagnosis and that he won’t get better but he still thinks he can drive...
  10. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Registered User

    Mar 28, 2019
    I’m going to ring the person today who visited me. I’ve a feeling she’s quite understanding.

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