living with an alzheimers sufferer

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by beancounter, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. beancounter

    beancounter Registered User

    Oct 20, 2007
    2
    My dad is suffering from dementia and its so hard to understand what is happening. It oftens feels like he is acting as he repeats himself so often and he does odd things like flushing the toilet a lot of times or showing his money purse constantly.

    He was such an active person before this happened - he'd never ever stay indoors and now its like watching someone imprisoned as he wanders around the home. My mum is suffering from renal failure so I really look after them both. My dad's "activities" tend to wind my mum up so her blood pressure increases.

    I feel guilty as I often lose my temper with my dad and feel like hitting him. The stress is getting to me so much and I often feel that it would be great if he dies.

    Is this normal or is there something wrong with the way I am feeling?

    Please can someone give me any guidance/advice on this subject.
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Dear Beancounter, welcome to Talking Point.

    It sounds to me like you desperately need more assistance than you are getting - are you getting any help at all? Losing it is not uncommon (the constant repetition can drive a saint to distraction) but if you're getting to the point where you're finding it difficult to avoid a physical reaction you are under more pressure than anyone should be expected to withstand.

    I think we've all on occasion said things (or even shouted things) that we would wish we hadn't because we know this is the disease not the person, but most of us have managed to avoid a physical response (even if that's meant we've stormed off in the opposite direction, slamming doors as we go).

    I think that when one gets to this point one has to recognise it for what it is - an inability to do everything one has been doing and a motivator to seek more help.

    Best wishes

    P.S. My mother died at the beginning of August and my overwelming emotional reaction was and is relief on her behalf (and if I'm honest on my own behalf).
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,647
    Kent
    Hello beancounter.

    You are certainly under more strain than you probably realize having both parents in failing health.

    Your father`s obssessive repetitions are enough to send anyone up the wall, but as jennifer said, if you are having to control a violent reaction, you need as much help as they do.

    Please contact your GP and let him/her know the pressure you are all living under.
    There must be some help available for you.

    Your father certainly cannot help his behaviour. Would anyone choose to have such a dramatic change in their way of life. Your mother cannot help but be irritated by his activities and you seem to be bearing the burden of them both.

    Ask yourself who is supporting you. Please try to get some help.

    Take care

    Love xx
     
  4. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Beancounter

    You need all the help you can get.

    Does your parents have a social worker, if not, phone Social Services as an emergency, IE. YOU CAN'T COPE WITH BOTH AND NEED HELP!

    Possibly, respite and daycare will be available, or crossroads or a befriender.
    If you are coping on your own so far, it is no wonder that you wish things were different.

    Next thing is, does your Father have a CPN? If not ask to be assigned to one. Cpn's can be very helpful.
    Along with the Cpn should come a Geriatric- Pyschartist, who could be very helpful.

    There is help out there, you just have to fight for it.

    Good Luck
    Alfjess
     
  5. lizzie2596

    lizzie2596 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2007
    91
    Hi Beancounter

    Coping with one ailing parent is difficult enough, but two including an AZ sufferer!!! It's no wonder you are struggling to cope.

    When Mum was living with me I went through the same build up of stress and frustration as you until I reached the end of my sanity. It was the support of Mum's CPN, her social worker and the wonderful people here that got me through. It was hard to make the call admitting that I couldn't cope but once I had the support was there. It helped me so much and made Mum's care better as well - a win/win situation.

    There is no shame in getting the help that is available for carers in your situation, it will benefit all three of you.

    Good luck

    Liz x
     
  6. debby13

    debby13 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    41
    Hi Beancounter

    Rest assured what you feel is very very natural, terrible though it sounds. A few weeks ago my Dad got a urine infection collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital (he has dementia), when my mum rang me all I could feel was relief as I thought at least now she has some break from him. She like your mum is ill herself (heart problems) and suffers with huge amounts of stress just from coping with him. Anyway we have got him in respite now for 3 weeks and she was able to come and spend a lovely weekend with me and the twins to celebrate their 2nd bday party. I still miss Dad terribly but have learnt to live with it and to try and ensure my Mum gets the best of life that she possibly can in the circumstances. I would definitely recommend looking at some respite places or getting on to social services before its too late. My experience with my Dad is that he is physically ok most of the time and well looked after its just my poor mum that isnt! Take care of yourself and your mum first otherwise you wont be in a fit state to even try and look after him.

    xxx
     
  7. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Beancounter,

    I a guessing you are an accountant - so am I. The problem with us accountants is that we are used to dealing with problems which have a solution - we put in a formula, inject a few variables, and BINGO, there is the answer.

    AD ain't like this. I recall when my daughter was a month old, and the wise Health Visitor came to advise me on how to cope with her crying, and she said just as much to me - yeah, you've read the books haven't you? You've tried the nappy, the feed, the temperature, and still she is crying. Yes I said. Well, she said, just live with it. There isn't a set answer.

    The feeling of annoyance with your dad is cos you can see logic and he can't.

    Don't feel bad about feeling angry, I recall one occasion with my mum when I phoned my husband and said (very angrily) "Come and deal with this STUPID woman because she will not listen to me" (Pre AD diagnosis, I add, but I was SO frustrated by her apparent stupidity). And if my husband had been at work, or I had no husband - who knows what I might have done in my frustration?

    Of course, I hope you won't strike him, there would be no point, it would make you feel worse - we all have our views on smacking children, but that is different cos some would say it is part of their training (I am not commenting on what I think about that), but you can't train a person with AD. You just have to accept how they are. It is, after all, a mental illness.

    If you are feeling like this, I would seek some help from your GP or social worker, just to enable you to react or not react to your dad. The best solution is don't react, but if you feel the anger building up, ask for help. We all need help at times. It is an unknown illness with unknown reactions from us all.

    I'll read your post again, not sure I absorbed it all, I just latched onto the frustration bit.

    Take care, stay calm, remind yourself that you are doing your best on a short wire.

    Much love

    Margaret
     
  8. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    HI Beancounter,

    Having read your post again, I get the impression that you need some help - probably practical as well as anything else. Are you getting all the support that is available - visits, day centre care, GP support? If not, I suggest you get someone to organise it for you if you can - ring Social Services, tell them you are desperate, and let them sort it for you, if they will. Just say "I can't cope, do something please".

    And don't feel bad about it - accountants want solutions, think they can provide them themselves (if you are like me), but sometimes other people are better at it than you.

    I truly hope you get support and feel more comfortable with the situation.

    Take care

    Margaret
     
  9. Petrus

    Petrus Registered User

    Aug 7, 2007
    61
    Northumberland
    The Wrong Way

    Or as my daughter-in-law said, "Looking after J. is as trying as looking after T. (22 months now) except I see him progressing almost very day, you see J. going the wrong way. All the work; only negative progress".

    As accountants you probably remember the mathematics of imaginary numbers - we deal with imaginary logic.
     
  10. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    hi darling,without being uncouth,i have this all the time.Mum,huffing and puffinig,why? its all about learning to know what to say and what to do when these circumnstances occur.Take a deep breath,a step back,and accept it for what it is.It's an illness that can or can't be treated.either way it's an illness that tears families apart.thats if you let it!love elainexz
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #11 Margarita, Oct 24, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    Good book to read is The Selfish Pigs Guide to Caring .. Hugh Marriott .

    it cover a part about that called '' pushing them down the stairs ''

    last part of that chapter says Get help also

    seeing that they cover it in a book , just show one that its normal part of caring to feel like that , and a trigger point in oneself to recognize to seek some form of respite
     

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