1. Stookie

    Stookie Registered User

    Apr 14, 2006
    hi, i am new to this so I am sorry if i get it wrong. my uncle adopted me 40 years ago and now is in hospital waiting for a place in a home. he has a diagnosis but i can't believe how quickly this happened. the ward just phoned and i can hear him swearing at the nurses. yesterday he hit one. he is 88 and all my life i listened to how he hated men who hit women. i miss him. his body is strong but his mind is gone..... I fought really hard for this move to the home to be temporary until his home is specially adapted for him but now i think he will never go back. I know i am letting him down by not taking him in but my children are scared of him now. they are still very young and i have a small baby but it all feels like an excuse. :(
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Stookie,
    You are not letting anyone down; your first responsibility is to your children. Your responsibility to your uncle is to ensure that he is safe and cared for, and feels loved. My children are now teenagers, and I juggle family, work and visiting my mum who is in a nursing home. Whenever any one has to make the decision for residential care or nursing care, they seem to feel that they are letting their loved one down - you are not on your own - it sounds as though you have done your best for your uncle, that is all anyone can ask of you. I won't say 'don't feel guilty', as it will make no difference; as you make these hard decisions you must also be guided by what is best for your children and partner, for your uncle and for you. You are all equally important.
    Take care,
  3. Finnian

    Finnian Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005

    If all this has happened quickly you must be reeling. Take a little time to browse through the threads and see how other people have reacted. It does seem a little easier as you absorb the shock and get used to the idea of living with dementia in the family. Take things bit by bit.

    As for taking your uncle in, I agree with Amy, especially as your children are frightened. Maybe everything will settle down and you can re - introduce them to this "new" uncle at a later date and they will be able to accept the changes. In between, have you anyone who will look after the children whilst you visit him ?

    Use Talking point to discuss the worries you have, folks will reply with plenty of advice. Some will suit you, some won't - only you can judge what feels right for you, but it will all be well meant.

    Hope to see you posting again soon.

  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Stookie, Hi!

    I'm sorry this is a tough time for you. Please don't feel you are making excuses. Children's welfare is first and foremost.

    Dare I ask why it was important to you to mention that your uncle adopted you?
    I only dare ask that because I was adopted myself (about 40 years ago). I do understand the additional emotional 'baggage' that that can bring throughout our lives, and now, especially. Anything I can share with you, to help, I will.

    With love, Tender Face, x
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    This happens but generally the assessment unit will work out what medication is needed to help them be more calm - without turning them into a couch potato.
    I have no experience of adoption, but in a way it must be a little like marriage - with family we have no choice, we are blessed or lumbered with whatever fate deals out to us.

    With a partner, we choose out of love, and make a bond that is based on that, and a knowledge and acceptance of mutual responsibility. I have found my bonds with Jan were stronger than those with my family, though the family bonds are strong as well.

    With an adoption, the person who adopts makes a huge commitment to care for the person they adopt, and there must be such a huge element of trust in that - from both sides.

    When later on the roles are reversed because of dementia it must be very difficult, particularly if circumstance means that the adopted one cannot in reality take on the hands-on caring role.

    That's my reading of it, probably completely off target.

    Whatever, welcome to Guilt World, stookie.

    You can only do what you can do!
  6. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    Couch Potato

    Dear Brucie.
    My husband is at this moment being assessed in a over 65s mental ward. The day centre said he was aggressive and did not want him to come any more. He has vascular dementia and has suffered mini strokes and several years ago had a quad by pass. They have put him on QUETIAPINE and after googling this drug i am very concerned about this. I have a meeting with the powers that be next Monday and will go armed with the information such as THIS MEDICINE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED TO TREAT BEHAVORIAL PROBLEMS IN OLDER ADULTS WITH DEMENTIA. This is just one aspect that this drug is not for him. My friend a retired ward sister said she wonders if they are using him for a trial !!!!

  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Brucie, what adoptees do is never good enough (to them). We have already lived in a 'guilt world'. Guilty that we were in the position to be placed/removed for adoption at all... guilty that we have 'imposed' on someone to take the place of our parents..... (all absolutely non-sensical, of course). Generically we live our lives in 'payback' - striving for perfection, for security, proving our worth.

    Adoption is obviously as unique to every individual and family as dementia. Combine the two in any family equation and there are bound to be some very complex issues. I posted elsewhere some time ago that I was hurt by a remark (from someone outside TP!) that caring for mum was not an issue because she was not my 'real' mum. How could someone say that when she has been 'mum' for 40+ years?

    It's a refreshing slant to liken adoption to marriage (although an infant child of course has no choice in the relationship). No blood ties (in many cases) just a 'legal' contract to care for each other.

    I'll post here a poem (anon) so I don't think there is a copyright issue (?) which mum has repeated to me a million times over the last 40+ years:

    'Not flesh of my flesh
    Nor bone of my bone
    But still, miraculously, my own.
    Never forget for a single minute.
    You didn't grow under my heart but in it.'

    We are no less parents and children because we have no genetic link - yet both Stookie and I have felt it important to mention our 'status' (Stookie, find me the right word!) in both posts and our public profiles. What does that tell anyone??
  8. Stookie

    Stookie Registered User

    Apr 14, 2006
    thank you all so much

    Hi. Can't thank enough everyone who replied. I had put that i was adopted becuase i call him uncle but he is so much more than that, but now i think about it, it goes much deeper. He took me in at 14 days old when my mother left. I have so much guilt that I can't take him and he is equally as helpless. I know the children come first but.......

    I am leaving soon to pick him up from the hosptial, I hope i am doing the right thing. The home seems lovely and he wont be as bored, but the guilt!!!!

    My partner is great and I think the children will be able to visit him if he settles well my oldest (14) is the most shocked as he knew him for longer and the change is so great so quickly.

    Once again thank you its the first time since this all started that i didn't feel quite so lost (i have lovely people around me but they dont KNOW how it feels).

  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I have moved this thread to the main forum area where it should get more readers and responses.
  10. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hi Stookie,
    There are no boundaries or labels for love. Guilt is just apart of AD, we all feel it and it really doesn't have anything to do with how we entered the world but more with how our hearts are torn. Everyone has past baggage of one sort or another and AD just seems to accentuate it.
    You must take care of your own family first. You could spend 24/7 with your uncle and it wouldn't be enough. There is no such thing as enough with AD. It is like trying to fill a bucket with water that has a hole in it. You'll put some in and it will just run out. I can spend all afternoon with my Mom and she will call 15 minutes after I have left and ask when am I coming over. There is no "enough"
    You just do the best you can, take care of yourself and your family and understand that you will be conflicted about it. I fight every day to not let AD consume me and rob me of my joy. I thought I was doing a good job at that but my daughter told me over the Easter weekend that I am not myself and not happy. Well, I guess I'm not happy, but I'm trying really hard to get and stay that way.
    Take care and welcome to TP
  11. jks

    jks Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Stookie
    You're not letting your Uncle down: your family have to come first - I'm sure your Uncle would want it no other way.

    My daughter is 12. She gets a bit scared of her granddad (so do I, actually) when he 'goes off on one' as she puts it - talking to imaginary people, yelling at them to come out from where they're hiding - so I tend to let her set the pace. If she doesn't want to go and visit, she doesn't have to. But in a few days, she's forgotten the upset, and is ready to visit Granddad again. He loves her dearly, and she him, and despite her young age, she realises that it's the disease talking, not her beloved Granddad.

    All the best, Stookie.

  12. Stookie

    Stookie Registered User

    Apr 14, 2006
    hi everyone (again)

    thank you to everyone who replied to me. so glad to know i am not alone. thought i was the only one who felt guilty, inadequate, and ashamed of myself. don't know how i would have coped without you all the last few days.

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