Just need to unload, am not Dad's partners councellor

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by saucepan, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. saucepan

    saucepan Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    I have just had another call from Dad's partner, who I have tried very hard to support over the last 12 months or so. I started putting in the extra effort because I am so grateful to all the support and love she gives him. She sees him on more of a day to day basis, as she is local and I live an hour away and work.

    She is so good to him, but her long phone calls, detailing every small event, hicup, outburst are doing my head in. She clearly doesn't want to talk in detail to her own children and I don't know if it's to protect Dads dignity, or to protect them but I am dealing with the loss of my Dad, all the greiving before he is gone and it is very sad, and I don't feel I can be there to support her so much.

    The last comment was that she didn't feel she should have to clear him up and get him changed when he had an accident at her house, when she had taken him back there for lunch, because 'we' (she's not) are paying all this money for him to live in the care home, has made me really cross. What else was she going to do? I know it's horrible and Dad would have been difficult and it's not what anyone would want. and sorry for being angry, I just need to unload.

    I know that she loves him and she is a genuinely lovely lady, I just can't keep supporting her emotionally. I have taken action and have had an assesment for some councelling, but as things aren't in place yet I needed to unload here. I don't think it's fair for me to unload on my friends anymore, and I hope someone will understand and no one will judge me here for feeling this anger.

    I am sure it is all displaced as my main anger is with this totally (and I'd like to use strong swear words here) horrible disease.
  2. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    No judgement from me, completely understand your situation. Could you ask her to email you her reports about your father?
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    It must be very hard for you. If she's able to use the internet, could she perhaps offload here instead?

    If your dad is prone to 'accidents' and she doesn't want to clean him up (and nobody could blame her if not) then surely it'd be better not to take him to her home any more. Could she have lunch with him at the care home?
  4. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    She is being good to him because that is what she wants to do and that is very nice of her...... but that does not mean you have to do anything you don't want to do, or don't feel able to do. Can you tell her that you find it too difficult at the moment to worry about who cleans him etc, perhaps she would be better to let him stay at the nursing home rather than taking him to her house and risking accidents - but try to make it sound as if you are telling her this out of consideration for her.

    I think you are in a difficult position, I understand that you want to be nice to your dad's partner but I don't think you have to be supportive, especially as you are finding it really hard to support yourself just now. Could you tell her this too?

    Then do you have anyone who can screen your calls? On my bad days my husband just tells people I am out, or I sometimes don't answer the phone. Perhaps you could stop being available for every single call.

    Please take care of yourself, you sound as though you need it. x
  5. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    It is very kind of her and no doubt you feel grateful but frankly you're not here to support her in her supporting role.
    If she doesn't like cleaning your Dad when she brings him home for lunch, then she needs to accept what you have already accepted...that your Dad needs support.
    So she shouldn't bring him home for lunch.

    Perhaps you could have a quiet word to the carehome manager and let her know how unhappy Dad's partner is when he has 'accidents during home visits and ask the manager how she/he can help...if she/he can help? with advice or even suggesting that if it's too much for Dad's partner to manage...to suggest that perhaps it's better she doesn't take him home.

    Sister M's idea is the easiest though...filter the calls and arrange to be called away if they go on for too long.

    You haven't swopped one worry for another.
  6. saucepan

    saucepan Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Thank you so much for your kind words (made me cry again.) It is so lovely to feel that there is support out there. I live alone so don't have anyone to screen my calls, but it is a reminder that I do have the technology of an answer phone.

    I will speak to people at care home, but I do know they are great and do their best to try and get Dad to co-operate and would only wish for him to go out clean and in fresh incontinence pants, to avoid accidents on his trips out. I really think it was just her way on unloading, the same as I have just done on here.

    On this journey I have met some wonderful people who work with dementia patients and overall I have picked up that honesty is the best policy. Which I agree with, and I do think I need to tell her that I can't cope with supporting her, and suggest that she gets some councelling too.

    Thanks again, you kind hearted people.
  7. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    West Sussex
    Well I expect the partner is feeling quite sad and lonely herself, so I can understand her wanting to talk to someone who can sympathise.

    Perhaps you could make out your husband is getting jealous of the time you spend on the phone, or you could encourage her to write you letters instead, then you could read them when/if you had the time and the energy.
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Maybe your Father's partner is now feeling it is difficult to take your Father out and is feeling a little guilty, as we all do at times, and is looking for your support to say the time has come to stop taking him out.

    These times are very difficult and at times heartbreaking when we are forced to realise that we can no longer do what once was a pleasure. Tell her you think it best now that your Father is having accidents that he is not taken out.

    Emailing is a good idea if she can manage that. You can read when you feel you want and she can off load her worries.

    Dementia is difficult and I hope you can both work something out that will help you both.
  9. misinito

    misinito Registered User

    Feb 9, 2015
    So glad I'm not the only one!

    In my case it's my mum. Both my sister and I live in England, whereas my parents are in their hometown in Spain. My mum is calling me an average of three times during the morning at work, then twice more at home in the evenings.
    I was coping fine (minus annoyance at my sister being spared). But when my mum started talking about getting my dad out of the day care, and my sister encouraged her... Grrrrrr. I've been very close to saying "fine, but then I don't want to be the receiver of the cries and complaints".

    My dad is now even a bit worse, so at least my mum is being reasonable again about what she can do. But I seriously doubt the relationship with my sister will survive this illness.

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