I can't cope any longer

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Lisa74, May 12, 2015.

  1. Lisa74

    Lisa74 Registered User

    May 27, 2011
    #1 Lisa74, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
    Background: I'm living at home with my parents (i'm in my twenties) and my Granny, having lived miles away for a few years until a couple of years ago.

    I really can't cope any longer. My Granny has been completely mental running around since this morning, trying to break out of the house by trying to smash the doors, throwing things, hitting, pouring a cup of tea over my Dad (my parents both work but my Dad has a conference this weekend and is preparing at home for that), verbally assaulting my parents and me. We can't leave her so we're completely stuck in the house whenever my parents are home and I'm stuck with her when they're not (minus the one day of Day-Care per week that we can afford).

    My Mum and I couldn't even leave my Granny with my Dad to go for a walk this evening because my Granny was trying to break the front door open and get to her parents and she has already hit my Dad and thrown hot tea on him today.

    She is finally sitting but is constantly telling us all to go hell and telling us how disappointed she is and that she thinks we're so cruel etc etc. This is despite half a Lorazepam/sedative :(. My Mum is trying to write her notes for work (she got back at 7pm (after a 7am-6.30pm working day) and my Dad is trying to get on with his work.

    I can't cope with this and a few times recently have thought life isn't worth living. The constant agitation and aggression all hours of the day and night is too much to cope with.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Aggression is serious and if it can't be controlled by medication then you have to consider calling the police. This is the only way as I understand it to get someone sectioned and taken in to a place of safety until they are stabilised. The more experienced will better advise you.
  3. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    I have no personal experience of this either but I agree with Marion. I think you should phone the paramedics as she clearly needs more help than you can give her. I'm not sure if they would alert the police but I think it would also be a good idea to alert them to the violence.
  4. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Have you told your parents how you are feeling, Lisa?
  5. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    I'm sure you've mentioned this before, but my memory?!!! Are you your grandmothers main carer while your parents are out? It may or may not be a phase or infection. She needs help, Your parents need to think seriously about sectioning or at the very least talk to her gp or consultant, it may just be a tweaking of medication. My mum's consultant is amazingly open and ready to listen to me. If its support and empathy you need, then keep posting, but please take care of yourself.
  6. Lisa74

    Lisa74 Registered User

    May 27, 2011
    #6 Lisa74, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
    Thank you everyone for the replies.

    Hi Tin, yes I'm sole carer when my parents are at work. Thanks for caring :)

    Hi Redlou, I have but they just say they feel the same! Things are difficult altogether at the moment and they're both really busy.

    Hi MarionQ and Izzy (<that's my real name :)) I really want to get her sectioned or phone for an ambulance but every time my Granny has been in hospital (she was in for 1-2 week stints with serious health conditions 3x last year) she has been such a problem for the nurses that my Mum has had to sit up in a seat next to her all night for much of the time. When my Mum did leave her on a ward at hospital she got phone calls asking her to come in and calm my Granny down (one of the times they'd had two healthcare workers trying to keep her in bed and she was screaming her head off accusing them of raping her, another time she had torn out her IV/drip and was trying to make a break for it out of the ward). I'm not sure if our local hospitals are just terribly understaffed most of the time or whether this is a problem everywhere but they didn't even give her sedatives when she was agitated, running around etc and last time she was in she caught C-diff.

    I guess I do just want to talk to people that can really empathize because I know that you are in similar situations.

    Re. Sectioning- if we did call the police would they see a 5 foot, white haired lady trying to break down the door as a 'threat to self or others' or would they just leave?
  7. jan.s

    jan.s Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
    Hi Lisa, what a difficult situation you find yourself in.

    It sounds like your granny needs help, as she is clearly agitated and unsettled. In answer to your question, yes, the police do take such matter seriously, even if she is a a 5 foot little white haired old lady. She could be a danger to herself and to you and your family. Throwing hot tea at your dad could be a danger, and her behaviour could easily become more extreme.

    I don't know how your parents are feeling about the whole situation, but I think you need to talk about this. Keep a record of your gran's actions and if you can, try to note down what lead up to her reaction; finding the trigger can be very helpful.

    From your viewpoint, I would visit the GP and tell him/her what's going on and how you are feeling.

    If the situation gets too difficult when you are caring for her, please phone the police and get some help. It sounds like she needs to go to hospital for an assessment; if she goes into hospital under these circumstances she will be on a unit that is used to dealing with difficult behaviour issues, so no one will have to sit with her.

    Please take care of yourself and try to get some help for your gran.
  8. marsaday

    marsaday Registered User

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oh this is so difficult for you. You shouldn't have to live like this. But such is this disease that you end up feeling sometimes that gettinghelp (i.e. in this case sectioning) is a betrayal of sorts.
    You would all have to agree that this is what should be done. Would your parents go along with it? I don't think this is something you can take responsibility for. I think you would be justified in telling them that YOU cannot continue. I remember your story and at the time it seemed as if your parents weren't considering you much in this. But you live in the house they are relying on you to shoulder part of the care and clearly no-one is coping.

    Your last sentence says it all. I don't mind admitting, at my worst, i had similar thoughts due to the stress of my mum's dementia. But you are in your 20's. Your needs deserve to be considered as at least as important as your gran's.

    It sounds like you all need urgent help. Can you speak to someone like your gran's social worker, if she has one, and tell them what you've told us?

    I would agree that phoning the police will certainly get the ball rolling. This is what many people have had to do. It is not cruel.

    Could you show your parents this thread? I have 2 daughters around your age and it doesn't seem right to me that you have to cope with this.
  9. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Dear liza74, As far as I understand Sectioning is not the same as a general ward where quite frankly the staff have little or no understanding of Dementia. From what I have picked up from various threads sectioning wards seem to sort out meds and only when the patient is safe do they return them to their homes. The word sectioning automatically conjures up terrible visions of uncontrollable madness and it isn't like that now.

    Have to say if you were my daughter I would be just so proud of what you are doing and dealing with, I could not have done the same, all I cared about in my twenties was the next date and my social life. Again I say take care of yourself.
  10. Jasmine123

    Jasmine123 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2014

    Sounds absolutely awful. I am in my 20s and my mother was quite difficult and violent and she got sectioned under the mental health act. It was very upsetting at the beginning as she absolutely hated being on the ward. After being on the ward for a couple of months though they had managed to stabilise her and she came back home and is a far happier person now. Also as a result of being sectioned she receives ongoing support and care as well.
    She wasn't sectioned as a result of the police but instead she was quite hysterical so my father, on the advice of the GP, took her to the hospital and a decision was made there to section her.
  11. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi you are doing an amazing job in a really difficult situation and my heart goes out to you. Have you thought of phoning social services..they have an emergency duty team in most areas and at least they would come and assess and you should get more help at the very least. You do need more help and so does your Gran. Think about it but meanwhile we are all here to support you x
  12. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Lisa - my honest feeling is that someone in your household needs to get her assessed properly and her meds changed at the least. What happens if she throws a kettle of boiling water, for example? If your parents won't act are you able to move out? I'm sorry to sound so drastic but you are young and - frankly - you deserve a life, not cowering under the shadow of this foul illness. :( *hug*
  13. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    Is it possible your Gran has a urinary tract infection (UTI)? If you have read here at all, you'll see that it causes enormous, upsetting changes in a person with dementia, and it can be hard to diagnose. Dehydration, constipation, same. If this is an abrupt change in her behavior, it is one thing to have checked.

    If this is an ongoing thing, sectioning may be best. Again, you can do a search here for the word to read that it has been helpful in calming many agitated persons, as they can rapidly adjust medications.

    Best of luck.
  14. Animus

    Animus Registered User

    Oct 27, 2012
    #14 Animus, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 23, 2015

    Sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. We have also experienced a period of very challenging behaviour recently with my father who has AD, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

    We had some help from the community mental health team, so I would recommend approaching them for help if you haven't already done so. Our care coordinator in this team arranged for physical health checks and a psychiatric review. However, as his behaviour quickly became a risk to himself and others, a section (admission to a mental health unit) was recommended. We were reluctant to go down this path at first as the word is very scary and it conjures up all sorts of images. However, it has certainly worked out well for us. Dad is finally getting the help and support he needs as an in-patient, and the stress levels of us as his carers have dramatically decreased. The ward is very nice and I feel grateful that this help is available. They are also going to help us find a suitable placement for when he is discharged from hospital, and we as a family will continue to support him when he is in a care home.

    I hope that helps in some way.


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