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How do you convince a step daughter how hard Dementia is affecting her mum and you?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by nae sporran, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    Long winded question, just looking for a few ideas and advice. I know its the old invisibles question again.
    We have moved into a nice new supported housing scheme and are finally getting all the housing benefits and that sort of thing sorted, if it wasn't for the road noise I would say we are actually fairly settled and should be happy. It's Cs children who just take me for granted and seem to think if their mum is well dressed there is nothing to worry about. Or we get the other extreme where I am told if I can't cope then put her in a home. Ok, C's daughter has had her own illnesses for about 5 years. I know she has enough to worry about, but it feels like when we go out for lunch I have to try to listen to her, advise her and take her shopping, though she never stops talking about 3 things at once long enough to listen to either advice or our problems. Just cuts her mum off and dismisses her, no compassionate communication or attempts to understand. When I tried to talk about it last week I got a cursory "I know all about that" in a voice which said the complete opposite. If we have to go out for lunch I can't cope with all the negative energy coming from her when it's hard sometimes dealing with her mum's confusion. Can't tell her and can't really abandon her and cut C off from her daughter however hard it is take.

    Sorry to ramble, seem to be fighting off depression and anxiety attacks recently. The support here is excellent and I appreciate all my TP friends, but still feel isolated and lonely even in a restaurant full of people.
  2. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Sounds like you are never going to convince the daughter!!! When you say you do not want to abandon her, does that mean you do not want to leave mother and daughter alone having lunch? Because that is what I was going to suggest. Drop off and leave with a good excuse and then return just in time for coffee, less time for daughter to monopolies you, and she may just begin to learn how the Dementia really is. She may not realise it, but she is using you as a buffer and a reason not to deal with it all.
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello nae sporran
    I had the same thought as Tin while I was reading your post - leave the mother and daughter alone as much as possible, use the daughter's visits as a chance for some time for yourself - if you go out for lunch, just have to nip off to do ??? as you settle in, say not to wait for you to order, come back when they will have finished their meal, having had a sandwich elsewhere - if this isn't safe, then when daughter arrives, suggest lunch at your home, let her know all the makings are in the fridge and that you just have to pop out but will be back; as they are in your home, it's safe to stay away as long as you chose
    seems to me that if the daughter is being thoughtless, then be equally so to your benefit - she needs to realise that your time is precious and you deserve support, not having to be the supportive one
    I'm glad you are settling into your new home
    best wishes
  4. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    I was really thinking of the two never seeing one another, rather than abandoning C, but it's an interesting thought Tin and Shedrech. It might waken her daughter up to how it's affecting her. Though we do still need to drive across town and pick up C's daughter, so actual time to myself would be short. She is always too ill to drive.
    What you said about using me as a buffer makes sense though Tin. Thanks for the replies.
  5. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015

    Just a thought..... Is there a comfortable cafe/ restaurant when you drive across town where you could get a meal? If so ,I suggest that you join them for the first visit, then on subsequent visits leave them to have meal and chat while you have a break. You are in my opinion being taken for granted and it is not fair. What happens if you don't feel like driving?

    Sending support,

    Aisling x
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    Any chance you can take your wife to your daughter's for a visit, then leave them, for a break for yourself - I appreciate you may not want to do this; I know what you have at heart is your wife's welfare and leaving her in a situation which may well cause her anxiety isn't something you'll be happy with
    to be honest, I don't see why the daughter can't arrange her own transport, there will be a local taxi firm she could use - maybe your car could be having problems one day and you don't want to drive it until you've taken it to the garage?
  7. kassy

    kassy Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I'm sorry you feel depressed and isolated,but I'm not surprised. You have moved home which is stressful enough,and its now you need support,especially from family.
    I had no support from family when I was caring for my mum,when she went into a home they thought I should skip around happy!
    It caused me more stress wondering why they couldn't just listen to me,I'd been their shoulder to cry on many times,but I learnt you don't get back what you give,so I didn't bother with any of them,and concentrated on mum.

    I doubt you'll change your stepdaughter,she is obviously too busy thinking of herself.
  8. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    new zealand
    Excellent idea. I would suggest you ring and say you are dropping her Mum off for a couple of hours as you have a dentist/doctor's appointment, or any other imaginary or real excuse and her Mum would like some company. No daughter worth her salt would be able to refuse that suggestion. Not 'look after' but 'keep her company' - same thing but tugs at the heart strings more:)

    Good luck

  9. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    #9 nae sporran, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

    Daughter's flat is up steps, so sadly that wouldn't work, Di65. She is always ill too, so worried she will give her mum whatever she has. Doesn't stop her joining us for lunch or going out for lunch with me when C is in hospital, even if she is too ill to visit hospital with me. :rolleyes:
    I also tried to get C's son to give her a weekend with him and his family at their wee bungalow a couple of summers ago, while I got some respite at a previous difficult time. He was too busy, even though he works from home as a musician. C's daughter has had genuine illness, though it seems to go from ME to liver to shingles to something new, but the way she plays on it to excuse self indulgence and rudeness while accusing her brother of exactly the same is too much.

    Thanks for all the support, but the one the idea of dropping them both off at pizza shop and going to the pub round the corner to read the paper and have fish and chips does sound like it's worth trying once to see how they get on.
  10. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi again nae sporran
    picking up on this
    may I be blunt (in other words don't read past here if you're not up for 'advice)

    do it

    C won't be abandoned, she will be with her daughter

    if C does feel the lack of your presence, she will fret a little and when you are back, all refreshed, she will settle back

    the word 'abandoned' is emotive, it's a guilt word, and it's your emotion - you are feeling you will be abandoning her, which you are NOT - you are giving her time with her daughter - and you are allowing yourself a much needed few hours to yourself - you will feel better for it, and therefore it is good for your relationship - just a guess; the 'before' C would have sent you off with a flea in your ear for being so daft ?!

    meant with kindness :)
  11. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    I edited that bit out shedrech, as I realised while out at the bin that it was a daft thing to write, for the reasons you state.
    It still leaves the feeling I would be in a pub on my own, but C would be with her daughter and her daughter may connect with her mum directly. Sorry, I should be more relaxed after yoga but it's too emotive to think straight. Thanks for the sobering advice.
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    Just a quick note to say I'm sorry things are bad for you Rob.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  13. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    Thanks Izzy.
  14. bumblefeet

    bumblefeet Registered User

    Oct 25, 2016
    It seems to me that far from cutting C off from her daughter, her daughter is actually doing the cutting off.

    You can't visit her, because there's steps, fair enough. But, all the meetings/visits take place with maximum input from yourself, collecting her in the car, visiting restaurants etc. I can't help feeling, (and I may be way off the mark here, in which case accept my apologies), that the daughter would not actually visit C if it wasn't for you making sterling efforts to ensure that it happens.
    It's fantastic that you do such things, but, it seems that your good nature is taking a beating here.

    I'd do as others suggest, and arrange a lunch, then vanish, whether it be at your home, or at a restaurant. If nothing else, it will hopefully open the daughter's eyes as to the actual situation.

    Much love.
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    It makes me really cross when family members make problems for carers. It`s such selfish behaviour. Me! Me! Me!

    I understand it may be even more difficult when children of a previous relationship are involved, but they are children no longer and need to appreciate the care their step parent is giving .
  16. nae sporran

    nae sporran Registered User

    Oct 29, 2014
    Thanks bumblefeet and Sylvia, it's lovely to get support from others who have more on their plate than I.
    I keep thinking I'm being unfair in implying C's daughter wouldn't visit if I didn't make all the effort or if we didn't do it on her terms, but no you are not off the mark at all bumblefeet. :(

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