Help

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
Sorry guys and girls, I'm in need of some advice again. 80 year old Dad has Alzheimer's and has been admitted to hospital this afternoon in preparation for an op to remove a cancer lump from under his side burns.
It's not going to be pleasant as there's is a very high chance he will lose the sight in his left eye and some mouth movement. I fear how someone with Alzheimer's will deal with this and how we are to.
The hospital rang me at 9pm to ask if I would go and sit with him as he was trying to go home, and getting aggressive. I arrived to find him thinking he was at work, and was prevented from going home.
I got through to him he was in hospital to have an operation, and he seemed to take it all in as he does feel pain from the growth.
I know they are short staffed but I'm just frustrated that they can't deal with it, and this is before the operation. Tomorrow he will have tubes coming out his arms etc, so how the hell are they going to deal with that?
They wanted me to stay all night, and I can see I may have to tomorrow. It would have helped a little if they had prepared me for this, as I'm in full time employment.
I can't expect a 78 year old mum to be with him day and night, but it seems I'll be sleeping at dads bedside for the next few nights.
It didn't give me a lot of confidence the way they put dad to bed. He had a cardigan and a pair of trousers over his pyjamas, and that how they were putting him to bed.
 

lizzybean

Registered User
Feb 3, 2014
1,366
Lancashire
You have my upmost sympathy but I have no practical help I'm afraid. I presume they wouldn't have got him ready for bed that way? If he was determined to go home he may have dressed himself & they thought it prudent to leave him like that rather than argue with him. Just a thought.

Hope everything goes well tomorrow.
 

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
Thanks for the replies.
I would have understood more putting him to bed in his clothes had he still been arguing, but he was fine by then, and I was there with him. I would have thought putting him to bed was the easy bit, and worried what I'm expecting tonight, although I best take a good book as there is no mobile signal in the hospital

Fortunately the night passed without any further calls from the hospital
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,619
USA
Crag, we are all sending good wishes. When you have time and energy and if you are so inclined, please return with an update. In the meantime, we are thinking of you all.
 

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
Thanks for the support. We were told that we could visit dad between 6-30pm and 9pm, but stayed till 9-30 pm without the chance to see him as he was still in theatre.
Thought best to come away and try and get some sleep in case I get a call to go back, as they did mention they could do with a familiar face when he comes around.
Mum's obviously worried sick and I need her to get some rest.
I was expecting to have to stay at the hospital tonight as he'll be pulling his tubes out.

Something Ive learnt tonight though is that they give dementia sufferers a blue pillow so that staff are aware. Strangely it hasn't been done for dad before. We've been in touch with somebody from the Alzheimer's society today who has been to the hospital to epeqk with them.

When I know more I'll post it here. Strangely I'm coping with it better than I do with his sun downing, packing his wardrobe wanting to go home etc. I'd like to think he's in the best place
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,619
USA
Crag, thanks for the update. I hope the procedure went as well as possible and that your dad's recovery is okay. What a long day that must have been for you all. Hope you can get some sleep and that your Mum is also able to get some relief.

Best wishes to you all.
 

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
It's now 12-15am and I'm sat at dads bedside having to watch him in case he removes the tubes and monitors that are connected to him. Fortunately my brother was here earlier and had to help me control him.
I asked a nurse when I arrived if I would be needed over night, but was told that someone would be with my dad, but the nurse on the next shift wanted me to stay as they don't have enough staff, so I'm feeling quite frustrated that I have to nurse dad myself.
Thankfully dad is calm at the moment as I don't think I could have managed to be restraining his arms all night.
I don't know what the morning will bring, I'm supposed to be at work at 7am, and I suppose I will be here again tomorrow night.

Apologies for feeling sorry for myself, I know others will have suffered this too, but I can't get my head round why there's no help for such a situation
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,619
USA
You don't sound to me like you feel sorry for yourself, you sound tired and upset and frustrated, and no wonder.

I wonder if you talked to the PALS person at the hospital, if they could offer any advice or suggestions? Or if anyone else here in the UK has any suggestions?

Wish I had better advice for you :(
 

Louby65

Registered User
Mar 26, 2014
619
Scotland
Hi Crag . I hope your dad is feeling better. The reason why many nursing / medical staff ask families to stay with the person with dementia , is to provide them with the comfort of knowing someone they hopefully recognise and trust is with them while they are in unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps in pain , which will make them even more anxious and unpredictable . The alternative may be to sedate them and surely no person wants that . I would have thought that people considered that they may be called to sit with their loved ones to avoid this . I know this is something that I always discuss with relatives, who have all welcomed the opportunity to have open visiting and a chance to stay with their relative . This is not because the hospitals are short staffed or staff lazy or inexperienced . It's about common sense and ensuring the person with dementia has the best care provided by all people involved in their care . Perhaps relatives of people with dementia should consider this aspect , especially if they are working and inform their employers who should be considerate in giving time off if it is required. You should be entitled to carers leave . Best wishes . Lou
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
Hi Crag

Hope you, your brother and your Mum are coping and your Dad's doing as well as can be expected.

it's very difficult being torn by competing obligations (your Dad, your Mum and the pressures of your job). it's also very scary, feeling both responsible for preventing medical harm over an extended period of time and doubtful about your ability to meet the challenge. You can only do your best (as is true for all of us); hopefully, that'll be "good enough". Your "best" will certainly be much, much better than "nothing" even if it's not 100% successful all the time.
 

arielsmelody

Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
516
Crag, if you have to be at the hospital every night to help look after your dad, you will wear yourself out complete if you try to work as well. I think you need to talk to your work and ask if you can take compassionate leave. If not, unless you can get some sleep you will very soon be ill anyway. I hope things settle down a bit soon and that your dad makes a good recovery.
 

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
Thanks for the support. Just been for the night shift tonight, and was able to leave him at 1-45am.
My shift followed mum's evening shift which found dad starting to communicate, although still not able to speak. He had been good for mum but for me he starting pulling at his drips, dressings etc, and trying to escape the bed. It was a constant fight, but found from the smell it was the need for the toilet, and nothing was going to get in his way.
Nurses sorted him out and he became a bit more settled, but still pulling at his dressings.
I decided to leave him for 5 mins to see if he would settle without me there, but a trainee nurse kept an eye on him from the door to his room.
She was everything I had expected, admitted she hadn't been trained in Alzheimer's or any other dimentia, but had a good awareness of it. She convinced me to go home as she would sit by the door and keep an eye on him. This was a far cry from the other nurses that didn't answer my calls to for help to urgently when struggling with dad.
There was a chance that he would lose his sight in one eye, or at least he would not be able to close the eyelid on that eye, but all seems fine at the moment. So fingers crossed, but still a long way to go.

I understand the shortage of staff issue hence for trying to have one us there all the time. I've tried to make them aware of dads antics at home preparing them for the difficult times, but it was like speaking in a foreign language, but tonight I had especially regarding getting dad to understand he is in hospital.

I think I got mum sorted too, and understanding that she can't be there all the time, and not to feel guilty for leaving me with dad, and that instead should think that she is helping me, and that I don't want her driving early or late hours whilst it's icy on the roads.
My bosses also accept I may not be there all the time, and I don't know how long for yet, but will do what i can when I can.

Hopefully things are going in the right direction
 

Crag

Registered User
Jan 3, 2015
76
Hi Crag . I hope your dad is feeling better. The reason why many nursing / medical staff ask families to stay with the person with dementia , is to provide them with the comfort of knowing someone they hopefully recognise and trust is with them while they are in unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps in pain , which will make them even more anxious and unpredictable . The alternative may be to sedate them and surely no person wants that . I would have thought that people considered that they may be called to sit with their loved ones to avoid this . I know this is something that I always discuss with relatives, who have all welcomed the opportunity to have open visiting and a chance to stay with their relative . This is not because the hospitals are short staffed or staff lazy or inexperienced . It's about common sense and ensuring the person with dementia has the best care provided by all people involved in their care . Perhaps relatives of people with dementia should consider this aspect , especially if they are working and inform their employers who should be considerate in giving time off if it is required. You should be entitled to carers leave . Best wishes . Lou
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I do understand this, but it's not for the reason why we are watching over dad the way we are. Dad had obviously had Alzheimer's when he had a water infection whilst on holiday overseas. They had to strap him down as he was pulling all his drips and tubes out and trying to get out of bed. This has happened everytime he has been admitted to hospital. Last time he was in they put a heart monitor on him, but he removed it 4 times in as many days, so they gave up on him.

I have left my phone number at the desk if they need me in, as after what happened on Sunday before the operation. I don't know what the consequences, or the seriousness are of what may happen if he gets out of bed, or removes dressings, tubes, montiors etc, so it feels it's down to me and mum to keep an eye on Dad, but also I'm having to keep one eye on Mum.
It's not that haven't warned them, but it just gets ignored.