I'm struggling.

Kezster

New member
Nov 21, 2019
2
Hove
Hello everyone.

I'm posting here because I think I need some support from members who care for someone with dementia or have a parent with dementia.

My father has vascular dementia and was diagnosed about 2 years ago. In that time, he's become very aggressive and was sectioned before Christmas after he attacked my mum the second time. It has now been decided that he needs to go into a care home because he's a risk to himself and also to my mother.

Because I suffered a severe spinal injury, I have not been able to visit my family who lives 200 miles away, for 5 years. I've now had corrective surgery and I'm finally in a position where I can go and see them. I plan to go early March, all being well.

But I'm struggling. Since he was sectioned, his mental capacity has dramatically decreased. I know I'm in for a big shock when I see him because the last time I saw him, while he had some cognitive impairment, he was nowhere near as bad as he is now.

He doesn't know he has dementia. Neither does he know he will eventually be going into a care home when the dementia team have sorted it all out. I'm under strict instructions not to cry in front of him because we need everyone to be "normal".

How on earth do I do this? How on earth do I set aside my emotions when I see him for the first time and see how much he has declined. I desperately wanted to see him sooner, but my spinal injury and years of waiting for doctors to finally decide on surgery meant I was unable to. I feel so angry that I've lost precious time with my dad because of this and I know this could well be the last time I go up and he knows who am I.

What emotional support is there for people in my position?

I really hate dementia. If it was a person, I'd like to beat the living cr*p out of it, because it is so bloody cruel. It's just a long process of repeated grieving. I grieved when I noticed the changes in him, I grieved when those changes became more apparent. I grieved when he was finally diagnosed. I've grieved when the decision was made to put him into care and I know that when I see him, I'll be grieving again. It sounds awful, but when the evitable happens, and I know it's coming sooner rather than later, it will in some ways be a relief because I feel like we are all being emotionally tortured by this awful disease.

So I'd welcome any suggestions or just any kind of interaction from others who have or are currently in the stage I'm in. I feel so alone right now because I have to be strong for my mother, who will go to pieces if she doesn't have the strong support I'm giving her.

How do I get through this?
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,338
Hello everyone.

I'm posting here because I think I need some support from members who care for someone with dementia or have a parent with dementia.

My father has vascular dementia and was diagnosed about 2 years ago. In that time, he's become very aggressive and was sectioned before Christmas after he attacked my mum the second time. It has now been decided that he needs to go into a care home because he's a risk to himself and also to my mother.

Because I suffered a severe spinal injury, I have not been able to visit my family who lives 200 miles away, for 5 years. I've now had corrective surgery and I'm finally in a position where I can go and see them. I plan to go early March, all being well.

But I'm struggling. Since he was sectioned, his mental capacity has dramatically decreased. I know I'm in for a big shock when I see him because the last time I saw him, while he had some cognitive impairment, he was nowhere near as bad as he is now.

He doesn't know he has dementia. Neither does he know he will eventually be going into a care home when the dementia team have sorted it all out. I'm under strict instructions not to cry in front of him because we need everyone to be "normal".

How on earth do I do this? How on earth do I set aside my emotions when I see him for the first time and see how much he has declined. I desperately wanted to see him sooner, but my spinal injury and years of waiting for doctors to finally decide on surgery meant I was unable to. I feel so angry that I've lost precious time with my dad because of this and I know this could well be the last time I go up and he knows who am I.

What emotional support is there for people in my position?

I really hate dementia. If it was a person, I'd like to beat the living cr*p out of it, because it is so bloody cruel. It's just a long process of repeated grieving. I grieved when I noticed the changes in him, I grieved when those changes became more apparent. I grieved when he was finally diagnosed. I've grieved when the decision was made to put him into care and I know that when I see him, I'll be grieving again. It sounds awful, but when the evitable happens, and I know it's coming sooner rather than later, it will in some ways be a relief because I feel like we are all being emotionally tortured by this awful disease.

So I'd welcome any suggestions or just any kind of interaction from others who have or are currently in the stage I'm in. I feel so alone right now because I have to be strong for my mother, who will go to pieces if she doesn't have the strong support I'm giving her.

How do I get through this?
All my fellow sympathy. This is so tough. I lost my husband fairly recently to this ghastly disease and I now work as a volunteer in his nursing home, and with family support. At a practical level, family members frequently come and are full of smiles, then they retreat to somewhere private where they can cry. This happens all the time, tears are normal, people are overwhelmed and shocked. The staff will know this and will be helpful. They will distract your dad in a cheerful way. Please do not worry about crying, crying is a normal reaction.
You are right, it is an emotional torment and you asked what support there is for people in your position. Frankly, the support of members on here is the finest emotional support I experienced. I am psychotherapist and I am not sure that that kind of therapy is the appropriate one in this situation. Talking point and the Alzheimers helpline are more what is needed now. Other members will be along to tell you more. You have certainly come to the right place joining this forum.
with warmest wishes, Kindred.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,301
South coast
Go with someone else. That way conversation will be easier and the other person can taker over if you are temporarily "floored". Try and staple on a a cheerful smile and an upbeat demeanour. Say how well he is looking (I know he wont be), admire everything around. Get him to show you around. Admire the view from his bedroom, say how lovely it looks, how nice the staff are etc etc. If you know you wont be able to stop the tears say you need the loo and your friend can take over for a while.
 

Kezster

New member
Nov 21, 2019
2
Hove
Thank you everyone. I can't tell you how good it is to finally speak to people going through what I'm going through. These are all wonderful suggestions and yes I will be using each one. I won't be going on my own though. My mum and brother will be going so that will make things easier. And yes, I can always fake a "need a vape, need the bathroom" excuse if it gets too much. Thank you xx