I'm at a complete loss of what to do

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Mum 74 with moderate Alzheimers, and Dad 77 with cognitive impairment.
    Dad has a hard time understanding Mums Alz, he has no coping skills or strategies to deal with Mum. You can talk to him till your blue in the face, but he really doesn't get it.
    For a long time now its been a day to day thing, but Mum has declined since Christmas.
    I am Mums main carer, and Dad supervises day to day.

    My parents live in their own house behind mine.

    The other day it was Mums birthday. I had work, but Dad said he would take Mum to his club for lunch. My husband dropped them off, and Mum & Dad walked home. A 10mn walk.
    When I came home from work, Dad didn't look at all well.
    Glazed eyes, hesitant speech, lightheadedness, he said he had a headache and I got him to take some water & paracetamol. He perked up for a wee while, but then looked just as terrible. Possibly a migraine? He said he just needed a good sleep, and the next morning he looked a lot better.

    Dad is a man of few words and will tell everyone who asks including our doctor, things are great and he's feeling champion.
    He finally told me that things are building up with Mum, and he found it very stressful taking Mum out for the day.

    Dad already gets respite 3x a week for a couple of hours, he goes to his club once a week, and I take Mum out another 2 days.
    Mum has refused day care, as she says the people there scared her and they had things wrong with them. My sister does not want Mum to go into Respite Care, but as she is doing home renovations can't have her to stay. None of Mums sisters can have her to stay as a strange house would be too disorientating. I have no room for Mum to stay.

    Honestly what do you do, when your other parent is not coping, at the risk of their health, but your parent with AD is not high risk enough to qualify for care?!
    On the other hand its only because Dad is there that Mum can still live at home, as she would be so unsafe to live on her own, that she would qualify for care.

    I've taken a day off work today to see my own GP, as its causing me many sleepless nights. Least of all I can talk to him first, in the hopes of of getting Dad in for a check up and chat:(
  2. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    Hello. It sounds like you're in a difficult position, and it is undermining your own health. If your mother accepts carers into her home, then it's time to have a carer there daily. That way, your father can be there or not, as he might wish. I don't know whether you would be self-paying or not, but it seems as if your mother's level of competence is such that she can't be left alone, and your father is now no longer able to care for her alone. Surely someone will come along who can tell you what would be the right words to use to make sure they get the help they need. And if you can self-fund your parents for a bit, it sounds like now is the time to do so. Your father and you and OH need a break. I hope your visit to your doctor helped you feel better about caring for yourself for a change. Keep us posted on how things are going . . . .
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Sadly it seems mum is in no position to make the decisions Lin. She is part of a whole and your dad is obviously feeling the strain and so are you.

    This is the time for tough decisions. The fact your mum would be at risk being home alone and the fact your dad is suffering too means tough decisions need to be made.
  4. Girlonthehill

    Girlonthehill Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    I feel for you, I really do. I am in exactly the same position with my parents. No one can tell you what to do,you just have to go with your best instincts. Look at some care homes, draw up a short list at least then, when the time does come you will have some thoughts on which is best. Can they go somewhere together? Talk to others, get feedback on homes. At least you will feel like you are doing something.

    I would humbly suggest that as your sister is unable to help with the care then she doesn't get a say in the process! People(family) will let you carry on taking the burden until you stand up for yourself. It is hard, bloody hard I know but step back, take a deep breath and go on in the best way you can. A very big virtual hug from across the world.

    This disease is a terrible, worldwide problem. Why is no one sorting it, looking for a cure, doing something to help. There are thousands of people like you and me just doing our best and struggling to cope with elderly parents
  5. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Thank you for your replies.
    Unfortunately our family GP was away on holiday, and I will have to wait a week.
    I didn't fancy seeing a GP that didn't know us or our situation.
    We have see the same family GP for 30 years.

    I did however contact our Community ALZ Key worker. She is coming out to see Dad and I on Mar 16th while Mum is at her Alz activity group.
    She has a few suggestions, and this is mainly going to be in the form of daily Day Care for Mum and/or regular respite for Mum.
    Obviously this would benefit me & Dad, but the problem is getting Mum to accept it.
    It would take Mum to have major behavioural issues/incontinence/wandering or falls for her to qualify for Residential Care.
    On the subject of behavioural, Mum is showing a degree of anxiety/agitation only because of her confusion, and Dad adds to it due to his MCI.
    The ALZ key worker mentioned an anti depressant for Mum.

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