Just one more kick in the brutal early onset tool kit!

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
visiting my partner in his care home today and going along with the group for a short outing I had the really upsetting experience of witnessing my partner holding hands with one of the other residents as we walked to along. I gather it’s not the first time they’ve been ‘close’ on an outing and I had my suspicions when several of my partners’ pictures and clothes disappeared and were found in her room. He is absolutely oblivious of anything and wouldn’t hurt me for the world, (in pre-dementia times) but hurt it does. I’ve no idea how much understanding she has of what she’s doing. I know she’s married and I know she was looking straight at me whilst she was walking along holding his hand, which made it feel worse. How does one handle these situations? If he hasn’t got mental capacity to consent, is this a safeguarding concern the home needs to address? Or do I need to accept it as yet another of dementia’s evil hurt bombs?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
5,826
0
Midlands
Its the hardest thing!

Have you seen any innapropriate behaviour between them at other times? Holding hands alone it probably not a safeguarding issue however hard it is for you to see. Does he object to her holding his hand?

If she looks straight at you I guess she doent realise- it would be pretty audacious to deliberately set out to hurt you, and probably has no idea that she is

Have you talked to her husband?
 

The Saint

Registered User
Apr 29, 2020
46
0
I have the same situation. I noticed that a particular lady resident was always around when I visited my OH then one day the senior carer took me aside and discussed the situation with me. She said she was duty bound to discuss it with me for safeguarding reasons. It seems they have formed a 'friendship' and spend most of their time together. For obvious reasons staff keep a close eye on them.

How do I feel? Hurt of course! But they both seem to get an innocent pleasure in having each others company. When I visit him he recognises me and gives me a big smile and hug even though she is sitting beside him. When I bring him back to the home after taking him out somewhere he will be looking for her. I know in my heart that he is not hurting me intentionally and has no idea that he is. In fact a couple of times he has asked if she can come out with us too!

You appear to put the onus on the lady that she may know what she is doing but she may not have capacity either. I would consider it a safeguarding issue, at least potentially, so you should discuss your feelings and fears with the manager. They are or should be on the look out for any safeguarding situations that arise.

I have concluded that my OH recognises me as someone he knows well and feels comfortable with but does not remember our relationship. For me it's very painful, not only do I suffer from guilt that he is in a home but also that I have lost him as my husband. I read this forum most days although I don't post very often but it gives me a feeling that I'm not alone and maybe my problem is not as bad as many others.

So although it came as a great shock to me to hear of his friendship I would rather he had some pleasure in this lady's company and her his than him be miserable and lonely. It's tough I can only say that but after you have got over the shock you may see things differently particularly if you know the home is aware and monitoring things.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
Its the hardest thing!

Have you seen any innapropriate behaviour between them at other times? Holding hands alone it probably not a safeguarding issue however hard it is for you to see. Does he object to her holding his hand?

If she looks straight at you I guess she doent realise- it would be pretty audacious to deliberately set out to hurt you, and probably has no idea that she is

Have you talked to her husband?
I agree, the hand-holding is not a safeguarding issue in itself. However the fact that she has managed to go into his room and remove his pictures and clothes and take them through a security door and put them in her cupboards (her room is in another part of the care home) makes me concerned. He can not access her room at all.

I understand about getting over the ‘shock’ He didn’t even seem aware of things and it was a case of her clasping his hand and she is the one hovering around during my visits recently. I haven’t observed it the other way. She was not pleased when I resumed my place by his side on the walk back. I haven’t told her husband. Although in his place I would want to know, I’m not sure it’s my place to tell him. I guess I’m just in a bad place after the last few years and wonder if watching him being moved in on by another woman is something I’m supposed to gracefully watch.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
I have the same situation. I noticed that a particular lady resident was always around when I visited my OH then one day the senior carer took me aside and discussed the situation with me. She said she was duty bound to discuss it with me for safeguarding reasons. It seems they have formed a 'friendship' and spend most of their time together. For obvious reasons staff keep a close eye on them.

How do I feel? Hurt of course! But they both seem to get an innocent pleasure in having each others company. When I visit him he recognises me and gives me a big smile and hug even though she is sitting beside him. When I bring him back to the home after taking him out somewhere he will be looking for her. I know in my heart that he is not hurting me intentionally and has no idea that he is. In fact a couple of times he has asked if she can come out with us too!

You appear to put the onus on the lady that she may know what she is doing but she may not have capacity either. I would consider it a safeguarding issue, at least potentially, so you should discuss your feelings and fears with the manager. They are or should be on the look out for any safeguarding situations that arise.

I have concluded that my OH recognises me as someone he knows well and feels comfortable with but does not remember our relationship. For me it's very painful, not only do I suffer from guilt that he is in a home but also that I have lost him as my husband. I read this forum most days although I don't post very often but it gives me a feeling that I'm not alone and maybe my problem is not as bad as many others.

So although it came as a great shock to me to hear of his friendship I would rather he had some pleasure in this lady's company and her his than him be miserable and lonely. It's tough I can only say that but after you have got over the shock you may see things differently particularly if you know the home is aware and monitoring things.
I am glad you find comfort in some of the posts. It’s so lonely being in this position. Having to absorb hurt after hurt and knowing dementia always has the last word.
I take on board what you say and concur/empathise with your experience and feelings. I just don’t know that I have it in me to be quite as magnanimous as you are as regards a new relationship. I don’t want him to be alone. I want him to be happy in his days. I just don’t know I am prepared to accept organising my days around visiting him and taking his dog for him to see/walk, only to have to see that. I’ve much to contemplate, which is why I sought for guidance on here. It’s totally thrown me.
 

Rishile

Registered User
Dec 28, 2022
412
0
I would be very cautious in this situation. Please discuss this with the manager and ask for them to be watched. There was a lady in the Care Home where my husband was and he referred to her as his wife. Neither of them have capacity. At one point they went to his room and there was a window opportunity of an hour (I was told later) where they were found having oral sex. Obviously I was very upset but he insisted to all the carers that she was his wife and they both forgot about it within seconds of being separated. I couldn't understand why nobody noticed they had been in his room for so long. It was raised as a safeguarding issue and I have seen that the home has been investigated and is now in Special Measures partly due to 'sexual issues'. Although I was told this is not an uncommon thing to happen, it is very painful for the husband/wife to deal with.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
I would be very cautious in this situation. Please discuss this with the manager and ask for them to be watched. There was a lady in the Care Home where my husband was and he referred to her as his wife. Neither of them have capacity. At one point they went to his room and there was a window opportunity of an hour (I was told later) where they were found having oral sex. Obviously I was very upset but he insisted to all the carers that she was his wife and they both forgot about it within seconds of being separated. I couldn't understand why nobody noticed they had been in his room for so long. It was raised as a safeguarding issue and I have seen that the home has been investigated and is now in Special Measures partly due to 'sexual issues'. Although I was told this is not an uncommon thing to happen, it is very painful for the husband/wife to deal with.
Oh heavens! That must have broken your heart. I know that we convince ourselves that they don’t know what they’re doing, but it still hurts like crazy.
I am going to ask for them to be watched. Hand holding is one thing but what you have described is awful. It’s so difficult when they’re physically quite fit and young, but their memory has gone. I am confident the home will do whatever it needs to protect the residents. The early onset section is like an extended family, which is partly why I felt so hurt.
I’m in new waters here and I’m hating it.
 

Rishile

Registered User
Dec 28, 2022
412
0
Oh heavens! That must have broken your heart. I know that we convince ourselves that they don’t know what they’re doing, but it still hurts like crazy.
I am going to ask for them to be watched. Hand holding is one thing but what you have described is awful. It’s so difficult when they’re physically quite fit and young, but their memory has gone. I am confident the home will do whatever it needs to protect the residents. The early onset section is like an extended family, which is partly why I felt so hurt.
I’m in new waters here and I’m hating it.
Yes, it was very painful at the time. With help from the Care Home Manager, I was able to totally forgive him and move on. I couldn't have held on to the pain and couldn't deal with it alone.

They started off just holding hands. The lady would see me and act guilty and wouldn't sit anywhere near us. When I was there, my husband totally ignored her. I also found her walking frame in his room (before the incident) and her son said that it was 'cute' that they spent so much time together in each other's rooms.

Things moved very fast and nobody seemed to notice until it was too late. I felt that everyone considered that it was my husband that was the 'villain' mostly because he is male but I heard that she had done similar things but it wasn't reported. These could be rumours so I didn't pursue that.

Neither of them were young. My husband was 82, I think she was probably nearer 90.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,421
0
Surrey
This was an issue I observed in mum’s care home. The lady was moved floors as a result which solved the issue. She has now made friends with other female residents instead. Chat to the manager to see what they can do to support you.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
This was an issue I observed in mum’s care home. The lady was moved floors as a result which solved the issue. She has now made friends with other female residents instead. Chat to the manager to see what they can do to support you.
I will and thanks. She already has a room in a different area but spends her days in the young onset part where his room is. I think they’ll do what they can but it still shocks and hurts
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
Yes, it was very painful at the time. With help from the Care Home Manager, I was able to totally forgive him and move on. I couldn't have held on to the pain and couldn't deal with it alone.

They started off just holding hands. The lady would see me and act guilty and wouldn't sit anywhere near us. When I was there, my husband totally ignored her. I also found her walking frame in his room (before the incident) and her son said that it was 'cute' that they spent so much time together in each other's rooms.

Things moved very fast and nobody seemed to notice until it was too late. I felt that everyone considered that it was my husband that was the 'villain' mostly because he is male but I heard that she had done similar things but it wasn't reported. These could be rumours so I didn't pursue that.

Neither of them were young. My husband was 82, I think she was probably nearer 90.
I can relate to that. (Apart from the fact they’re nearly 30 years younger). Trouble is, because they have the dementia card, no one thinks they can be aware of what they’re doing. I’m not sure she isn’t aware of it
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,371
0
South coast
My mum was the one who pursued a male resident in her care home.

She had Time Shifted and had forgotten that she was a widow, so she she still felt married and in her confusion tried to work out who her husband was. She latched onto an unfortunate male resident who was still married and thought he was her husband - and it didn't help that he had the same first name as her late husband. She was absolutely convinced that he was her husband and introduced him to me as such.

The carers worked hard to keep them apart and eventually the delusion passed. It never got further than them holding hands, but if it had she would have known on a certain level what she was doing, although in her mind she would have been having sex with her husband which would have been an entirely normal thing. It would have been the confusion about who he was that showed the lack of capacity
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
My mum was the one who pursued a male resident in her care home.

She had Time Shifted and had forgotten that she was a widow, so she she still felt married and in her confusion tried to work out who her husband was. She latched onto an unfortunate male resident who was still married and thought he was her husband - and it didn't help that he had the same first name as her late husband. She was absolutely convinced that he was her husband and introduced him to me as such.

The carers worked hard to keep them apart and eventually the delusion passed. It never got further than them holding hands, but if it had she would have known on a certain level what she was doing, although in her mind she would have been having sex with her husband which would have been an entirely normal thing. It would have been the confusion about who he was that showed the lack of capacity
How distressing for everyone concerned. I’m glad the delusion passed but at the time it must have been challenging.
It’s hard enough when your partner goes into care, let alone when these curve balls catch you out.
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,036
0
Kent
I'm sure that in many such cases the PWD is not the person they were and thus there is no knowing intent but an idea that they were married and therefore husband/wife must be around somewhere.
Many have long forgotten how to be intimate.
In the situation of a care home, all the residents may be at different stages and thus some remember more than others, have their sexual urges more than others, etc
Throw a lot of disorientated PWD together and this is likely to happen unless the care home management and staff are wise to the situation of each individual.
Gradually, as PWD spends more time with the other residents than he/she does with family/spouse the need for such friendships and such friendships develops/flourishes.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
I'm sure that in many such cases the PWD is not the person they were and thus there is no knowing intent but an idea that they were married and therefore husband/wife must be around somewhere.
Many have long forgotten how to be intimate.
In the situation of a care home, all the residents may be at different stages and thus some remember more than others, have their sexual urges more than others, etc
Throw a lot of disorientated PWD together and this is likely to happen unless the care home management and staff are wise to the situation of each individual.
Gradually, as PWD spends more time with the other residents than he/she does with family/spouse the need for such friendships and such friendships develops/flourishes.
I get it, it’s just really tough to watch and fear of how it may develop. I’m hoping it doesn’t, but it’s that lack of control that can be hard to take
 

The Saint

Registered User
Apr 29, 2020
46
0
@KElizabeth you say that I'm magnanimous but I certainly don't feel it but I have put my trust in the carers and manager of the home. They were quick to inform me of the situation and we discussed the process very early on of what would happen if things progressed. This has all happened in the last month or so, so very new to me too. I see an innocence in their behaviour at the moment but of course that might not last and I certainly wouldn't feel an acceptance of the situation if things became more intimate. After reading @Rishile post I shall certainly be on the look out but totally agree with the comments made by @Chizz.

I try to take all these events one step at a time. My husband going into care, his family not being supportive and this friendship. I have to be honest I don't know who I am at the moment. All normality seems to be thrown up in the air. I just try to cope along with many others on this forum.
 

DeeCee7

Registered User
Oct 13, 2023
332
0
@KElizabeth you say that I'm magnanimous but I certainly don't feel it but I have put my trust in the carers and manager of the home. They were quick to inform me of the situation and we discussed the process very early on of what would happen if things progressed. This has all happened in the last month or so, so very new to me too. I see an innocence in their behaviour at the moment but of course that might not last and I certainly wouldn't feel an acceptance of the situation if things became more intimate. After reading @Rishile post I shall certainly be on the look out but totally agree with the comments made by @Chizz.

I try to take all these events one step at a time. My husband going into care, his family not being supportive and this friendship. I have to be honest I don't know who I am at the moment. All normality seems to be thrown up in the air. I just try to cope along with many others on this forum.
I just wanted to say how sorry I am to read your post @The Saint . The rug has certainly been ripped from under your feet, and you must question everything you thought was real and stable, about your life. Give yourself space and time to reset.
 

KElizabeth

Registered User
Oct 28, 2022
14
0
I just wanted to say how sorry I am to read your post @The Saint . The rug has certainly been ripped from under your feet, and you must question everything you thought was real and stable, about your life. Give yourself space and time to reset.

@KElizabeth you say that I'm magnanimous but I certainly don't feel it but I have put my trust in the carers and manager of the home. They were quick to inform me of the situation and we discussed the process very early on of what would happen if things progressed. This has all happened in the last month or so, so very new to me too. I see an innocence in their behaviour at the moment but of course that might not last and I certainly wouldn't feel an acceptance of the situation if things became more intimate. After reading @Rishile post I shall certainly be on the look out but totally agree with the comments made by @Chizz.

I try to take all these events one step at a time. My husband going into care, his family not being supportive and this friendship. I have to be honest I don't know who I am at the moment. All normality seems to be thrown up in the air. I just try to cope along with many others on this forum.
It is reassuring at times of great stress to find that others are sharing your pain. We forget just how difficult everyday life has become until someone points it out. I share some of these experiences, not least the lack of support from his family and in some cases open hostility. Over the last few days it’s been difficult to accept that not only has my partner gone (which is painful enough) but that I might have to watch as dementia puts on a cruel play for me to watch. I know it’s all part of the disease, but as you say we try to muddle through. I too feel completely lost atm, can’t move forwards, trying to not dwell on the past etc… it’s overwhelming
 

The Saint

Registered User
Apr 29, 2020
46
0
It's overwhelming and heartbreaking. Whatever ad they put on television it will never convey what we go through. You have to live it to know.