1. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    My Mum who is in mid to late stage of the disease is looked after by my Dad. This evening I had a call from their neighbours to say that Mum was wandering outside and was quite agitated and distressed. Dad was not home. It turns out he had gone to the bowling club to play a tie! He regularly goes out for up to 4 hours or so and locks Mum in the house. She doesn't usually look for (or maybe find) the keys and go out and he says she happily lets him go and doesn't seem to be upset when he returns, until this evening. I was kind of horrified to discover he has been doing this but I don't know if I am over-reacting or not so I would appreciate another perspective.
     
  2. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    You're definitely not over-reacting and what happened tonight illustrates that perfectly.

    My Dad is struggling to understand the disease, he still tries to use reason and logic and they have no place any more. He does understand though that Mum can't be left alone, not that he is physically able to leave the house unaccompanied now anyway.

    Literally anything could happen to your mother while he is out and he needs to have that driven home, sounds like he is in denial about how vulnerable she is. Maybe you could contact a sitting service like Crossroads to sit with her while he goes out, although I don't know how far into the evening they would do it.
     
  3. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    Hi,
    My husband has severe Alzheimers plus vascular dementia and I never leave him alone in the house just in case he fiddles with anything and has an accident, but we do have a person who lives in the village, with Early Alzheimers and she is left for a few hours at a time while her daughter works. The person is often found walking around the close not knowing what she is doing and the close neighbours think she shouldn't be left because they always have to help her.So it really depends on each individual that is caring for each particular person. I completely understand your horrified reaction. I would be concerned about the neighbours having to call me,if I were you. Perhaps your Dad could get a sitter or friend if he goes out.And I know that's easier said than done!
    Best wishes
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,499
    Female
    London
    In my opinion it's not ok to lock someone in the house and just leave them. Apart from the distress it could cause it's also dangerous in case a fire breaks out and she can't manage to escape. If you leave someone you have to be prepared that they might leave the house which obviously can be equally dangerous. So in my opinion, if you know someone would leave the house unsupervised and might not find back on their own or being left alone could cause them distress, you shouldn't leave that person on their own anymore. That doesn't mean the carer is trapped too. Some charities like Age UK offer sitting service and I urge your Dad to look into it. Likewise, Day Care is a very good option to ensure the carer gets some free time, plus it gives the cared for social stimulation and a chance to do various activities.
     
  5. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,490
    West Midlands
    My thoughts....

    No you are not over reacting...

    But.....

    Also think this way.....

    If your dad isn't getting the support he needs to care for mum, I guess the only way he sees that he can have some time for himself..... is to lock mum in the house... So he locks mum in the house to keep her safe....

    Which could be a dangerous situation

    I see that he is in a no win situation....

    It's not easy or cheap to get evening sitters.... Or any form of support/sitters during the day without having to go through a barrage of head hitting the wall scenarios, and eventually/maybe getting support that is then rejected by the person who needs sitters/support, ergo the easiest solution is to lock the person who needs the supervision in the house to keep them safe.....

    What's happening is the box of frogs that he has struggled for so long to keep in the box... are escaping....

    Time now to give him some slack, and find a way to help him, and mum
    That works for all of them.... The frogs, mum but especially dad

    just my random thoughts... xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    Thank you

    Thanks to all of you for responding. Dad already has time out when Mum has respite two days a week and we do use carers and sitters - who Mum sometimes refuses to stay with! However my Dad at nearly 80 loves his bowling and his social life. When asked to play for the team at short notice he wants to say yes, not say no and stay in to look after Mum. He didn't want to stay in with her even when she was fit and well. He's just not that type of chap :rolleyes: In other ways he is a really good carer and very patient with her. There's only my sister and I who both work, and my Dad so not many of us to share the load. I want to tell him that if he wants to continue to live his life with his hobbies at this level then he needs to consider a care home for Mum where she will be safe (though will no doubt still be anxious) Sometimes it feels like a choice between my Dad's life and my Mums. Either he can happily live out his remaining healthy years with freedom to enjoy them - and at his age there will not be that many left, or Mum gets what she would want - to stay home and be looked after by Dad.:confused:
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    I'm afraid spontaneity falls by the wayside when you are caring for someone with dementia (unless it's more about following the person with dementia's lead), and your father is either going to have to accept that or find other options. I understand that at 80 (or come to think of it, any age) to change the habits of a lifetime is difficult, but I agree with you and the others: locking a person in their home is absolutely unsafe and inappropriate. Don't get me wrong, I understand why some people do do it when there are a lack of care options and an emergency comes up, or even a need to rush to the shops, but to be honest , this isn't what happened here: he wanted to go out and chose to leave her and lock her in. Really not acceptable and I think you may have to be crystal clear about that (although I do understand that's hard when it's a parent).
     
  8. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    Dad

    Hi Jennifer - those were my thoughts when he told me he had been asked to play for the team at short notice. He should have said no. He is really not free to do these things at the drop of a hat any more and he had played for the team on the Wednesday evening when he did have a sitter. However I don't think it's quite as simple as changing habits. He would have to change his whole personality. He is an always out always sociable 'man's man. If he had to give that up and spend almost all of his time with Mum I think he could become very depressed....he already had a serious bout of stress/depression a few years back not long after Mum's illness began to have an impact. The Alzheimer's came on the back of years of mental illness for Mum. She suffered from depression and then from bi-polar disorder so there has always been a degree of having to perform a carer role for Mum. His sport and his friends were his 'escape' and re-charge time. I am not sure he can give them up without losing his own health and well being. I do feel sometimes like I am having to choose between my Dad and my Mum. What's good for one is bad for the other.:(
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,499
    Female
    London
    No one can be forced to care for another person. If he is not willing to change any of his routines, then really a care home would be the best option.

    If he is willing to adapt and put the cared for first, he would lose some of his freedom but not all of it. There is help out there and perhaps he should speak to social services about increasing the amount of day care and sitting service. No one says he had to give up his friends and hobbies, however he will have to accept that spontaneity is a thing of the past.

    So maybe another carers assessment is in order. He should also ask for some weeks of respite.
     
  10. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I feel for him ( I think you do too). Its like someone moved the goal posts. My father was very much the same, his thing was local history society, who met on a Wednesday morning. He'd leave mum, who to be fair wasn't a wanderer but could ( and did get up to mischief indoors)


    Occasionally there was an evening meeting, which naturally he wanted to attend.

    I did feel sorry for him when it all pretty much ended because mum got anxious when left, and if he did go , she'd give him hell for days.

    Sadly it caused resentment in dad ( which I can understand)

    its very very hard. It must cause the need for a partner to completely re-evaluate their lifestyle- they didn't sign up for *D* but got it foisted upon them nevertheless. the sufferer cannot change so the husband/wife has to.

    Its horrid. ((hugs) for you and for dad.
     
  11. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    Thank you

    Thanks Jessbow to you for your kind words and also to 2Jays. I can tell you both 'get it'. My Dad does love my Mum and wants her to be safe, but it doesn't seem right that he has to give up his own life to do this. If he were more of a 'homebody' it wouldn't matter so much- there would be less of an adjustment to be made. Sometimes it seems when I read the forum posts that the person with dementia is the only one whose life and needs matter, when the truth is both of their needs matter and one though more vulnerable, is not more important than the other. Thanks for the input as we try to navigate how to be fair to everyone. As you say Jessbow nobody asks for Dementia and none of us have 'be a carer' on our wish list.Incidentally he has had a carers assessment and he gets day care and respite for Mum. Both have been invaluable and without them Mum would already have been in a care home as Dad would most certainly not have coped. These of course don't occur regularly enough or on the days and times when a fit active 80 year old actually needs the breaks. There is no easy answer to this one. Thanks for the hugs- much appreciated!:)
     
  12. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Absolutely, I totally agree. My FIL sacrificed everything including his own health for MIL who had dementia; in the end we lost him to cancer two weeks after she died and we had to face a joint funeral. He was admirably selfless but if only he had accepted more support things could have been so different....
     
  13. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    :(
    That is really sad for you. It's just too much I think for one person even with support to care round the clock for a relative with dementia, but everyone is different and the decision to pass the role of day to day care to others is not an easy one. I am so sorry you had to face a double loss.
     
  14. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    332
    Ontario canada
    What a sad position to be in for your dad. Mom has been in a care home for a year and a half now and dad has no life. He insists on going every day to the home and is exhausted and we do worry about him. He has finally this week decided he will go every second day...we hope this helps. He feels very guilty about mom but she needed care and was not willing to let help come in. There r choices to be made. Maybe it's time for your dad to think about a care home. It is so very heartbreaking for all concerned....but I wish my dad would take some for himself, but sadly this does not happen. We would like him to go to Scotland and visit his brothers and sisters but he will not leave mom. For a lack of better words, it is killing him. Believe me, I know how u feel.
    Carole
     
  15. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    4,937
    Female
    Chester
    I do often think that the carer loses sight of themselves, and a lot of the time, the caree when well would have been horrified at the sacrifices made for them. I think a balance is right.
     
  16. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    I agree that usually this is right, JM, just so hard to achieve :(

    I know I find it very difficult.....I feel I am caring for my mum who is sick, and if she had any other illness I'd do the same. How on earth do we decide when and where the tipping point is? :confused:

    Lindy xx
     
  17. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    It will be different for everyone, but I would say listen to your loved ones when they are worried about you and your health and well being.
     
  18. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    That's very wise, Pickles - and somehow I know that you know I haven't been doing that! :D xx
     
  19. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    Looking after yourself

    Lindy50...I wonder what your Mum would be saying to you about taking care of yourself if she was well enough to have that conversation?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.