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Mum behaves differently when away from dad

shakes53

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
3
0
My mum has been recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. I spent 2 years encouraging my dad to take her to the GP as I felt the early symptoms were obvious but she is only now 61 and he wished for them to enjoy a healthy retirement - obviously.

Dad finds me a bit 'hard' and indeed we fell out about a year ago when I insisted he stop her driving. Of course the first thing he was told earlier this year after her scans and confirmed diagnosis was to not let her drive and dad seemed to think I'd get some pleasure out of being right but that's not true at all. I just feel desperately sad.

I live several hundreds of miles away from mum and dad and changed jobs from full to part time so I can help more but it's not going as I had hoped. Mum behaves differently when she is not with dad and he feels she's happier just with him so after another recent visit he's suggested I don't see them as often as they are happy enough just the 2 of them as he can 'manage' her behaviours. I just don't know what to do as I want to help and feel dad needs a break. What experiences do others have and what could they suggest?

When I do spend time alone with mum should I just not tell dad the kind of things mum is doing? If he is happy to accept some of her odd behaviours should I accept them too and not correct her? Some examples are: changing her clothes repeatedly; rinsing dirty dishes in cold water, wiping them with a dishcloth and putting them away; showing pictures of my dad to strangers; complaining about ANY insect life in shops or restaurants demanding they deal with it; using inappropriate language that people can hear; going on and on about dad demanding I take her back to him; generally talking to strangers at length about herself. She is almost nasty to me and was a couple of times to my teenage daughter but these incidents always happen when dad is not there. Typing this I realise that the answer is to ignore and wait for dad to ask for help but I'm sad and feel helpless :(

Any advice gladly appreciated.
 

malc

Registered User
Aug 15, 2012
353
0
north east lincolnshire
has a fulltime carer for my wife with alzheimers,i bet you your dad is aware of the behaviour of your mum but probably chooses to ignore it or treat it has the new normal,i personally believe the best way to cope with this disease is to just get on with life the best you can and not let it get you down too much,if you do let it get you down it will slowly screw you up.i totally accept my wife's child like ways and love her even more for it.don't let it depress you because your life will suffer just enjoy the time you have with her.
 

shakes53

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
3
0
You could be my dad as I do think this is how he feels. I have been reading 'and Still the music plays' and have learnt so much from it and I think I've been guilty of thinking I can manage a solution instead of accepting and not over analysing mum's increasingly odd behaviours. Your description of your wife's ways as 'child like' sounds very like mum. I realise I need to ignore the 'behaviours' and just enjoy good times with her whilst I can and try and create an environment around her that doesn't make her feel insecure.

The new 'normal'. That's about right for dad but with no local friends or family (they recently moved and now that that is familiar unlikely to move again) I do worry about respite and support as things develop.

Thank you.
 

malc

Registered User
Aug 15, 2012
353
0
north east lincolnshire
shakes53,if you read some of my early posts,the depression and worry shows through,it's only been about 6 months since i realised that it's not possible to be depressed about all this every day,it makes you ill,re respite etc just cross that bridge when you get there and concentrate on the here and now,a sufferer is only interested in the here and now so you might as well join them,while your worrying you're missing out on mum,i must admit it does take a lot of adjustment and getting used to.goodluck with the new strategy,malc.
 

Lovetosing

Registered User
Sep 15, 2013
24
0
West Midlands
You now need to learn to live in mom's world because unfortunately she is proably not going to be able to live in your world much, if at all in future. My adorable dad has this devastating illness but we do still have some lovely times together. I can ignore the fact he wears his tie outside his jumper, that he would just as happily wear mom's coat as his own, that he can no longer make a decision about what to eat or drink, that he can say inappropriate things and behave inappropriately in company and to strangers, because none of it is life threatening to anyone and it makes life less stressful for us all. Getting annoyed or frustrated won't change anything but he doesn't do any of it on purpose and certainly not to evoke such responses. However it is extremely wearing for my mom as dad can do very few everyday tasks to help her without 20 basic instructions, he cannot be left on his own because he picks things up and moves things around, empties drawers or cupboards and then doesn't know where he's put things, talks of people and places that no longer exist and cannot hold a conversation or watch tv because he can't remember what has been said. I'm more worried about my mom's physical and mental well being. She's the one who needs the support as dad is quite happy at present in his own world of about 40 years ago. I wish you well in coming to accept the reality of this diagnosis and it sounds to me as though your dad is trying to cope as best he can and your mom feels that one of the people/places she can still feel secure is with him. Sadly you do need to accept her behaviour as she is not deliberately trying to annoy/upset you. I'm not sure what professionals your dad is receiving support from but there is a lot out there. In the first instance it may be helpful if you contacted your local Alzheimers Society to ask for a visit to help you understand why your mum does what she does. I too have read the book you refer to, amongst others, attend a local carers group and have attended some excellent seminars etc all of which have helped me learn about this disease and thus accept it. It doesn't stop me be desperately sad or crying regularly about our situation but it does help to know why things happen.


My mum has been recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. I spent 2 years encouraging my dad to take her to the GP as I felt the early symptoms were obvious but she is only now 61 and he wished for them to enjoy a healthy retirement - obviously.

Dad finds me a bit 'hard' and indeed we fell out about a year ago when I insisted he stop her driving. Of course the first thing he was told earlier this year after her scans and confirmed diagnosis was to not let her drive and dad seemed to think I'd get some pleasure out of being right but that's not true at all. I just feel desperately sad.

I live several hundreds of miles away from mum and dad and changed jobs from full to part time so I can help more but it's not going as I had hoped. Mum behaves differently when she is not with dad and he feels she's happier just with him so after another recent visit he's suggested I don't see them as often as they are happy enough just the 2 of them as he can 'manage' her behaviours. I just don't know what to do as I want to help and feel dad needs a break. What experiences do others have and what could they suggest?

When I do spend time alone with mum should I just not tell dad the kind of things mum is doing? If he is happy to accept some of her odd behaviours should I accept them too and not correct her? Some examples are: changing her clothes repeatedly; rinsing dirty dishes in cold water, wiping them with a dishcloth and putting them away; showing pictures of my dad to strangers; complaining about ANY insect life in shops or restaurants demanding they deal with it; using inappropriate language that people can hear; going on and on about dad demanding I take her back to him; generally talking to strangers at length about herself. She is almost nasty to me and was a couple of times to my teenage daughter but these incidents always happen when dad is not there. Typing this I realise that the answer is to ignore and wait for dad to ask for help but I'm sad and feel helpless :(

Any advice gladly appreciated.
 

zeeeb

Registered User
I'm sure he has his way of dealing with her new reality. And I feel the same, and feel the need to try and fix things that are unfixable with my mum.

Dad for the first 2 years, thought he was coping ok and dealing with things in his own (and in my view somewhat skewed) way. It's taken him 2 years, but he did finally say to me that she's going downhill and it's getting bad. Mum is only 59, and only diagnosed just over 2 years. But yes, she is getting bad, she's starting with the agression and paranoia. demanding behaviours, relys on him for everything. I've seen this building up. But dad is just realising that it's getting to be a lot for him.

So maybe your dad will eventually ask you back in for some support, just wait patiently, try and be as tolerant and accepting as you can, and it will play out however it plays out.

I say that, as if i am the perfect daughter (which I am very very far from), but i spend hours agnoising and torturing myself and my partner and anyone else will listen over how to deal with the frustration I go through daily, weekly, monthly...

It is a complicated and difficult journey for all involved... thats all there is to it.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
0
Cotswolds
My mum has been recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. I spent 2 years encouraging my dad to take her to the GP as I felt the early symptoms were obvious but she is only now 61 and he wished for them to enjoy a healthy retirement - obviously.

Dad finds me a bit 'hard' and indeed we fell out about a year ago when I insisted he stop her driving. Of course the first thing he was told earlier this year after her scans and confirmed diagnosis was to not let her drive and dad seemed to think I'd get some pleasure out of being right but that's not true at all. I just feel desperately sad.

I live several hundreds of miles away from mum and dad and changed jobs from full to part time so I can help more but it's not going as I had hoped. Mum behaves differently when she is not with dad and he feels she's happier just with him so after another recent visit he's suggested I don't see them as often as they are happy enough just the 2 of them as he can 'manage' her behaviours. I just don't know what to do as I want to help and feel dad needs a break. What experiences do others have and what could they suggest?

When I do spend time alone with mum should I just not tell dad the kind of things mum is doing? If he is happy to accept some of her odd behaviours should I accept them too and not correct her? Some examples are: changing her clothes repeatedly; rinsing dirty dishes in cold water, wiping them with a dishcloth and putting them away; showing pictures of my dad to strangers; complaining about ANY insect life in shops or restaurants demanding they deal with it; using inappropriate language that people can hear; going on and on about dad demanding I take her back to him; generally talking to strangers at length about herself. She is almost nasty to me and was a couple of times to my teenage daughter but these incidents always happen when dad is not there. Typing this I realise that the answer is to ignore and wait for dad to ask for help but I'm sad and feel helpless :(

Any advice gladly appreciated.


You have already helped by changing jobs so that you could help your dad more than when you were working full time. I'm afraid he will need your help as the difficulties increase for him, caring for your mum 24/7. And you are already helping by learning as much as you can about your mum's condition and the best ways of dealing with the day to day difficulties...

Correcting your mum about the things you described almost certainly won't help, because she' s not aware of her mistakes; so pointing them out will only upset her. It won't change the strange things she does because she really can't remember.

A sad fact about Dementia is that no one can " make" a sufferer do anything such as giving up driving...It's one of the most upsetting and difficult things to deal with, and has to be handled very delicately, as your dad has probably discovered already.

It's wonderful that you are trying hard to understand how to help, and I'm sure in time your dad will really appreciate whatever you can do to help him.
 

shakes53

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
3
0
Thank you

Just have to thank you all for your words. As someone used to organising and planning everything to the nth detail I have found something I can't fix - but I can make myself a better person through this. I am trying hard to 'go with the flow' and just be there for mum and support dad.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,546
0
Find out what help is available for your mother in her area, and how to access it.
Don't say anything at present to your Dad, rather wait till he asks then aim him in the correct direction, with your pior knowledge.
Get Lasting Powers of Attorney for both parents arranged now!
Bod