Little boy missing out......

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by keegan2, May 24, 2015.

  1. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    O/H was diagnosed 4 years ago with alzheimers and since that dreaded day things have slowly deteriorated. We always knew they would so that comes as know surprise. From being a provider both financially and physically he is now reliant on me to make all the decisions I cook, clean and do the diy, work part time and make all the financial decisions. I can cope with all that. However I had to stop my little boy from progressing in his gym class as it is consuming to much of our time, time that he wants to spend with his dad at home, time that we don't know how much of we have, time that no one can bring back. The worse thing is although our son is only 7 his life and his ambitions are having to take a back seat because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Our son started gymnastics at 5 years old. From training one hour a week he is now on 8 hours a week which is being increased to 10 hours. Little one wants to go gym but at the same time he doesn't want to be away from dad. Decision has been made to go back to 6 hours. How do you go forward when you cannot advance without sacrificing the time that you don't know how much of you have.................
  2. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs

    What a difficult choice for you and your little boy to have to make. It sounds as though you're striking a balance between the two. I think it's lovely that your little boy wants to spend precious time with his dad, but equally it's important that he has some time doing the things he loves to do where he can forget all about dementia for a couple of hours.
  3. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    10 hours a week or even 8 hours a week sounds a lot for a 7-year-old to be doing and he can always go back to the gymnastics later in life, there's no choice really . . . x
  4. annie h

    annie h Registered User

    Jun 1, 2013
    Contrary to what Opaline says there is a choice but perhaps not the one you think it is!

    When everything is overshadowed by this dreadful disease it’s easy to get other things out of proportion. I have a son who has done his particular sport at elite level for several years. He’s now nearly 15 and just hitting that age where most kids have dropped out so I thought I might be able to offer a bit of perspective. I would say that you can leave the factor of your OH out of the decision as there are even bigger (for your son) factors to think about. Elite sport stinks. It is a parasite on parents who are not experts in the sport. My son hasn’t given up yet but I’m sure he will. It will be the same in your son’s sport – the number of kids who continue beyond the age of 15 will be approximately equal to zero, although of course coaches wouldn’t tell you that because it would hit their pockets. In many sports, to succeed you have to start training hard at a really young age, but for many kids the excessive training at a young age leads to a life of pain and injury or impacts on their physical development. You’re being told 10 hours now but that will increase relentlessly and impact on his school work. It’s difficult to have really good friends if you spend all your free time doing an individual sport because the kids you’re spending time with are your bitterest rivals; and you miss out on lots of sleepovers and activities with school friends because you can’t afford to lose sleep or get injured fooling around with friends because there’s (always!) an important tournament coming up. Luckily as my OH had played the same sport himself we were under no illusions about what it would be like, and didn’t have to pay others to do the coaching. But we are aghast at how much some families sacrifice with so little real prospect of making it, and most of the kids who were winning at age 8 have sunk without trace now. I always refused to let our son do the number of hours the sport’s governing body thought necessary because I knew it would affect his performance at school and thought it would be detrimental to his physical development. Do I think that if he’d done the hours he’d have made it? No chance – none of the kids we know who complied have made it either. Do I regret all that time he spent? Yes, because although we tried to keep things in perspective there's no doubt that he missed out on a lot.

    So I suggest you look really carefully into how your son’s sport operates locally, regionally and nationally and then ask yourself honestly whether it’s something you really, really think you would like him to do. If the answer to that is no then there’s no real dilemma!
  5. kayze

    kayze Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    #5 kayze, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

    My husband is in the later stages of dementia, my daughter has just turned 17 she is an open championship irish dancer she has been dancing since she was 8.

    It is very hard to get the balance right, she used to go to a dance school miles from where we lived and it was just not possible to get there due to me caring.
    Last year she said she wanted to quit, so around christmas time she did.
    By the end of January this year she seemed to be getting a little depressed,I spoke to her about it she said she couldn't live without dancing.

    So we found a nearer dance school, I explained to her teacher about her dad, that she may not be at every class or competition, the teacher was very understanding and helpful.
    I also told some of the other mums when they asked why she was not at class, these other parents have been so helpful and kind, offering to pick her up,bring her home and take her to comps, I am so grateful to these parents.

    I believe my daughter should have as normal childhood as possible and her dancing gets rid of any frustrations, she has other young people to talk to without dementia being part of her life for a few hours. She still spends time with her dad and enjoys being with him.

    She is training for her qualifiers for the world championships at the moment and still loves her dad every bit as much.

  6. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    thanks for your replies..

    Thanks Annie your response has made me realise the decision made is the one I feel is best. Although my son has not given up completely he will be only going Mon, Tues and Wed 2 hours each time. His weekends will be free allowing him to do more things socially. He will also not be doing any competition. The cost of what he was doing has also paid a factor in the decision. Part time single wages is not enough to cater for the costs of this sport. I feel upset it was not because of these reasons he has to give up but for the fact his dad is ill. Good to talk................
  7. Liz57

    Liz57 Registered User

    Dec 22, 2013
    My husband didn't have dementia but had a whole host of physical problems which ultimately shortened his life. My children were young when he was diagnosed and as he deteriorated so family life was more and more affected. In the last two years of her GCSE course, my daughter rarely went to school as she was concerned about him at home (I had to work to pay the bills). She's bright so in effect educated herself and fortunately her school were supportive. She passed her GCSEs with a clutch of A grades and then did the same with her A levels despite her father passing away dramatically in front of her during her A level course. She's now at university and the self study skills she learned during that time has helped her enormously.

    What I'm trying to say is that caring does impact on the family but often opens doors that you might not expect. Reducing your son's training hours may lead to a whole new set of interests and skills.
  8. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    I think you may be right. Within a week of making the decision to cut back. My son has signed up to train for football on Saturday mornings (which is local to our house) and his dad can sit and watch. Also he has started to self teach himself the keyboard. Early this space.

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