My dad has Vascular Dementia, but I have a toddler to look after. I can't cope!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by trotc, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. trotc

    trotc New member

    Jul 17, 2019
    Hi all

    This is my first post on this forum as my dad was diagnosed today officially with Vascular Dementia, but he's been deteriorating for 1+ year.

    A bit of background: I have a 16 month old toddler, my dad is divorced, I'm his only daughter & his parents are deceased. He doesn't live with me but wants to come over everyday. The thing is, its so difficult right now as I have my toddler who really needs me, and then also having my dad who needs constant help etc gets to be too much and I almost feel like I might explode. I can't take my eyes off him or leave them in a room together because he has started picking my son up roughly (he loves him to bits, he just doesn't understand) or pick my son up away from his toy and my son is always screaming and getting annoyed (ive told my dad repeatedly not to do this but he still does). The other day he also left the garden side gate open and my son nearly walked out into the road!

    Its such a hard situation right now because I'm sure my dad isn't looking after himself properly in his own flat so its either he comes here and then I get so overwhelmed that I feel like I am going to explode or I tell him not to come here and then I worry whether he's eating/getting lost/feeling anxious/lonely.

    I feel so incredibly guilty to be honest right now. I've lost my cool with my dad too many times before this official diagnosis due to the combo of dad/toddler, and because of the fact that at first they were telling us its just anxiety! So I flittered between thinking he did really have dementia or that he was being self-indulgent. I feel awful that I wasn't more patient
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    You need to contact SS so they can put daycare in place for your Dad. Tell them it's urgent and a question of safety.
  3. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    Yes, definitely seek help - you will need to. Far too much to cope with on your own and the state have a duty of care to make sure his needs are met. Let us know how you get on x
  4. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    You do need help you can’t look after both. Do contact SS as suggested as he will only get worse and your son is your priority.
  5. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    #5 2jays, Jul 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    It’s early days, and you probably want to make sure you do everything you can for dad, whilst not knowing the “rule book” or know anything about now, the future, when ever

    Your child MUST be your priority

    Dementia and children up to at least age 17 do not always mix very well, and certainly not a little person

    DO NOT give guilt monster house room or you could fall to pieces and then where would little person or dad be, let alone you and your partner

    Get all the legalities sorted out of the way.

    Lasting power of attorney, both financial and health and welfare

    Attendance allowance. Contact AgeUK to help with form filling. It’s difficult to completely understand how to fill these forms. Eg if you feel you need to be available at any time of the day or night, then the higher rate is a possible outcome

    I only got this because I would have “underplayed” what my mother needed but was supported by AgeUK to have the correct words for the form

    Think very hard about your line in the sand. This means, what would you find almost intolerable to do for dad. Once you have decided what that is, stick to it come what may.

    My guilt monster caused me to step a bit over my line in the sand, and it didn’t do me any favours....

    Huge hug. Early diagnosis..... This time is so hard to know the right thing to do

    Compassionate communication. Initially not easy to do, but can almost become second nature.

    More hugs x
  6. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    Hello @trotc and welcome to DTP
    You need to contact your local SS and ask for an urgent needs assessment for your Dad, please remember you do not have to take responsibility for your Dad.
    It may be a good idea to google carers groups for what is available locally, also the Alzheimer’s society has a list of fact sheet which can be helpful
    I hope now you have found us you will continue to post
  7. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    Hello @trotc and welcome from me too.

    I used to look after my dad with vascular dementia and also young children. It soon became untenable. I did find that there were certain things I could do in the early stages that would keep all of them safe and amused like going for a walk in the park. I’d give dad a coffee from a flask so I could take the toddler on the swings. But it was very very hard work and dad started to get upset when I wouldn’t let him give boiled sweets and pound coins to a one year old!

    I agree with the others - you need to find some kind of care for your dad. Maybe if your dad was going to daycare he wouldn’t feel the need to visit you everyday and you could have some quality time with him while your partner is around to keep your son safe (if you have a partner).

    Just my thoughts. I hope you find a solution. You can’t do this alone.
  8. trotc

    trotc New member

    Jul 17, 2019
    Thank you everyone so much for taking the time to reply,

    I’m sorry for my late reply, this morning I’ve been on the phone to the nurse at the Dementia service. Yesterday the psychiatrist who diagnosed him told me she would make an urgent referral to Social Services regarding my dads living situation (he lives in a shared house with 3 people in their mid-twenties, and poor them because they are having to basically look after him a lot right now!). I was happy she was doing the referral for housing support. But then this morning when I spoke to the Dementia Nurse (who came to see us 2 weeks ago and brushed my dads situation off as anxiety even though my dad thought the year was 2016..) he again brushed me off saying we have to wait a month before he will refer us because he might improve(??). He also said “I met his flat mates and they seemed helpful” Well, yes they are but that’s not the point, it’s not their responsibility and unfair to put that on them. He was being so patronising on the phone, grr. Anyway, I’ve got the direct number for Care First (I think it’s called) where I can apparently speak to them directly about my concerns.

    My dad being here is not good for my son, I found feces on the bathroom floor and he smoked a cigarette in the kitchen when I was out of the room. I’ve cleaned the mess up and taken away the lighters but new things like this will just keep happening
  9. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    When social workers give you this stuff you will have to be stronger. Remind them they have a duty of care not you with a small child or some young people who just happen to live in the same house.

    They should come up with solutions not you

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