Mum is struggling with dad

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Tillymint49, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Tillymint49

    Tillymint49 New member

    Jun 23, 2018
    Hello everyone, I've just got off the phone after trying to calm down my mum who was crying. My sister in law passed away two weeks ago and the funeral is not for another two weeks, to add to that pain, it's a two hour drive! With dad's incontinence and immense confusion, this journey is simply not practical for anyone. Mum has been able to find a place for two nights in a residential home and they want to meet dad this week so we broached the subject with him last night. Dad seemed on the surface, after some discussion, to accept this plan.

    However, overnight has been difficult for mum. Dad has been shouting at her, wandering around the house naked, soiling himself and mum says he was so angry she was scared he was going to hit her. I spoke to dad on the phone but it was a very fractured conversation and sadly I wasn't much help. That was at 7.30, mum rang me in tears when the carers arrived to wash and dress dad at 8.30. I think the time has come to consider dad moving to residential care but how on earth do we explain this to him? He's my dad and I love him very much, but I can't stand by and watch my mum crumble into someone I don't recognise. I don't want to burden my brother with any details at the moment as his grief is incredibly raw and he has to be there for his children who are very young and missing mummy terribly.

    Are there ever any easy answers?
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    No, there are never any easy answers.

    People with dementia very seldom agree to move into a care home as they are unable to understand (or remember) the reasons why. Often it has to be done by stealth - telling them that they have been booked in for a holiday (your mum might want to tell your dad this when he goes for respite) or that the doctor has said he needs to go to get stronger.

    Is this overnight confusion and aggression something new or has it been coming on for a while? If it is new then he might have an infection of some sort. Either way, I think his GP aught to know about it. The GP can check for an infection and if he is clear the GP might refer him to the Community Psychiatric Team for assessment to see if they can help with medication.

    Tell your mum that if she is ever afraid for her safety, to call for the police straight away - they are used to dealing with this sort of thing and will send a report back to Social Services, which will help your mum get support.
  3. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    Sorry to hear about your sister in law. This sounds all too much to cope with for all of you. I would ease the problem with residential care for your father. What has probably made him worse is talking about it to him. He will blame your mum and think she is trying to get rid of him. But he won’t see all the problems you have at the moment and that no one can cope with him. It sounds far too much for your mum now and everyone will be happier knowing he is being cared for by professional staff and not by your poor mum struggling on her own with someone who is no longer capable of looking after himself. I would tell him he is going on holiday. Make it sound nice and say your mum will join him later.
  4. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    So sorry to hear of this. Is your father known to social services? If not, get them involved. Tell them it's urgent because both your parents are vulnerable adults, your mother has carer breakdown and social services have the duty of care.
    Will he be self funding? If so, you can arrange care yourself without involving SS if you want to.
    We tired of waiting for help from ss (although it wasn't as urgent as for your father). So we got an independent (private) social worker to advise us, assess my aunt, find her a care home and actually take her there. Best wishes.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    To add to what canary said I would advise that your mum has an escape plan if your dad gets violent. A room she can lock herself into and always keep a mobile phone with her so she can call for help. I know from a tragic incident with my friend’s parents just how important this can be.

    The behaviour of people with dementia is totally unpredictable. No matter how lovely your dad was it’s best to err on the side of caution.
  6. Tillymint49

    Tillymint49 New member

    Jun 23, 2018
    Thank you all for the advice and support. I have been to my parents house this afternoon and dad had calmed down but I did suggest to mum that we need to consider full time care, she wants to wait until May before deciding as dad's cousin is visiting from Canada and for dad this is a big deal. We are waiting for social services to carry out a financial assessment to find out about funding for care and hopefully this will happen soon. With regards to mum being safe, I will pass on the advice about keeping her mobile with her, thank you.

    Dad suffers with hallucinations at night so it's not unusual but last night was quite aggressively is new, however, I suspect it's because we discussed the care home. Mum and my brother are taking him to visit the care home this week so we'll see how that goes. Fingers crossed...
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    May is a long time away. Surely he could be visited in care home?
    Considering my husband was only in a home three months before he died! Plus I couldn’t have coped any longer.
    Please persuade your mum that lots of things, probably bad things, can happen in the next six months.
  8. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    County Durham
    I’ve said this lots of times, (not to you personally, obviously) but respite care can be a great thing. Mam went in a couple of times, 2 different homes. It gave dad a break and gave us all the opportunity to see how mam would cope in each.
    Dad eventually suffered carer breakdown and mam needed placing quickly. Thankfully we knew which home to choose and they had a place for her. The respite made things much easier as the home was a little familiar to mam, the staff knew her and we were happy with the care they provided.
    When she moved there permanently we told her it was for ‘rest and recuperation’, as we had previously. At the time the staff and Social Services were very clear to dad that nothing was set in stone and it didn’t mean she had to stay there forever, Which gives a little breathing space and perhaps makes it easier for the carer to come to terms with.
    I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time and hope all works out for the best x
  9. Tillymint49

    Tillymint49 New member

    Jun 23, 2018
    Thank you, this helps a lot. We have visited the home and it seems to be very nice, far better than the home my grandad was in years ago; i can still smell the overwhelmingly awful stench of that place and it was 23 years ago! Dad seemed okay with the home too, although that can change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Fingers crossed. The funeral is on Thursday, dad in the home Wednesday to Friday so we'll see how it goes.
  10. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Care homes and nursing homes have come a long way indeed!

    Such a difficult time for all your family. I hope the funeral is okay (as okay as it can be) and we will be thinking of you on Thursday.
  11. Tillymint49

    Tillymint49 New member

    Jun 23, 2018
    Thank you Amy. It was a beautiful ceremony for a beautiful person who was taken from us far too young, she was only 45. Dad was okay in the care home, although he cried on the way home this morning. He said "that place was lovely and the people were lovely but I'm not going back". Mum and I are going to visit some care homes closer to home next week with a view to the inevitable. I went to see mum and dad this afternoon and dad was very quiet but it may have been due to my uncle staying with them for a couple of days, dad thinks he talks too much! Day at a time...
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Thank you for checking in, @Tillymint49. Such a sad and upsetting time for the entire family, I am sure. Best wishes.

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