My dad has vascular dementia....I'm a 46 year old 'daddies girl' and struggling....


Registered User
Mar 2, 2014
My dad was diagnosed 2 years ago with vascular dementia, my amazing mum pushed and pushed for a diagnosis after 30 yrs in the care profession.. My dad is diabetic, had a heart attack, has high blood pressure and arthritis...

I feel so angry... After a life of no smoking, no drinking, playing football and cricket at a high level until his late 40's early 50's and working hard for us as a family forever... Why does he deserve this?

I'm writing this is tears as I'm such a selfish cow... My mum copes so well, her life has turned upside down and at a time when they had planned to enjoy their retirement, she is watching my dad put tea bags in the kettle by mistake and so caring...

Me, I'm feeling angry and upset and all consumed with the fact that my dad, my rock, my 'go to and no matter what it is, he knew what to do' person... Is now the vulnerable one..

When the shop assistant looks at him like he's nuts, whilst he counts out money for his paper and tries to make conversation with her.. I feel like I want to drag her over the counter.... When the dr receptionist raises her voice higher and higher, as opposed to just letting him take his time, I have the same reaction....

The impact of this on my family is all consuming... My mum, struggling with her new role, a career for the one person she never wanted to.. Me, I'm a little girl in a grown up body who never realised how much I'd miss my dad, just being that... My dad...:confused:


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
Hi, just wanted to say how much this makes sense to me, I too miss my Dad who I used to ask for advice all the time, now I'm the one giving the advice, I miss my Dad (the one he used to be) too! Thinking of you xx


Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
Hello Debbie, the anger you feel will go in time, I still get "bitter and twisted:eek:" on how it changes the ones we care for and how it changes us, acceptance of this illness and getting to know this different person helps(most of the time) my mum had a very healthy lifestyle and has Alzheimer's and mum in law, a totally different way of living.....she has vascular dementia:( you are supporting your mum and being there for her so don't ever feel selfish, enjoy the good days you have with your dad and above all please keep posting here whenever you need to talk, support and understanding, empathy and even smiles are here.
Take care and a warm welcome to you to Talking Point
Chris x


Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
When the shop assistant looks at him like he's nuts, whilst he counts out money for his paper and tries to make conversation with her.. I feel like I want to drag her over the counter.... When the dr receptionist raises her voice higher and higher, as opposed to just letting him take his time, I have the same reaction....

I know exactly were you are coming from on this one. The times I have had a row of a thousand words with just one look. :banghead:

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Talking Point mobile app


Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
eastern USA
Hello. I'm sorry. I have been like you. My father died when I was just 38 - way too soon - and our family had difficulty coping with his loss for a long time.

It is hard to watch this happen. People can be so rude when they don't know what is going on. They don't know that they are watching our world crumble. They can seem so calloused.

I'm sorry you are having a hard time. Your mother needs you, even if she is not showing it right now. She is wanting to be strong for everyone, but soon you will be her rock, because she will need help and caring and all that your dad can't be for her.

Such a hard time for you all. Many of us have been there, in one way or another.


Registered User
Jan 6, 2014
We all know how you feeling it's grieving for the person you used to know. Your mum knows that the person that is there now is probably frightened, vulnerable and deserves the best quality of life she can give him now.

There are memories still to be made so don't miss out because you're angry about what's gone. In the long run you will feel better for knowing you did your best for your dad.
As for other people's actions they don't understand the problem. I don't wish the experience upon them and that some of the anger you feel is displaced anger.

there's no-one to blame for what's happening to our loved ones and not being able to make them better is the most frustrating thing. I want to scream and shout sometimes why is happening to my mum when she is so lovely and doesn't deserve it. I just try to do things to keep her safe and from getting upset or frustrated. I hope she always knows and feels how much she is loved. If you can do this for your dad then when it all comes down to it I think it's all anyone would want.

It's hard but both your parents need you now and you will find the strength to rise to the task and it's ok if it's not straight away. We are all thinking of you


Registered User
Mar 2, 2014
Hi, I am new to TP only joined yesterday and have been reading posts and i can relate to nearly all of them in some way. However after reading your post the tears are flowing (as they do every day). I am a 55 year old woman, and my dad has eventually been diagnosed with AD just recently. I am his only relative and he has looked after me as a child when my mother walked out on us 50 years ago! I have always felt the need to look after my dad, and felt incredibly guilty when I got married and left him on his own. He has lived on his own for the last 35 years. The incidents you mentioned tea bags in the kettle, shop assistants etc are a carbon copy of my dads behaviour. I am finding it extremely difficult because he is still living on his own and I live 25 miles away, although I phone every day and go over most days to take him shopping, doctors appointments or out for lunch etc, I am unable to be there 24/7 as I have commitments at home looking after my grandchildren whilst my daughter works, and trying to help my husband in our business and look after my own home etc.

I am constantly worrying when I am not with him that he is ok. He has been calling me in the middle of the night, or early morning asking me to pick him up and take him home, and I'm not sure how to deal with this, I find myself driving over at all times of the day and night to reassure him.

I feel incredibly guilty him being on his own, but at the same time want him to keep doing his usual things for as long as he can, is this the right thing to do?

Anyway I just wanted to reply to this thread, "little girl in grown up body" really touched a nerve. I hate the thought of anyone going through the same emotions, but it is strangely a bit comforting knowing you are not the only one grieving for the dad you once had and the dad you have now.

Tears are flowing again, I pray I have the strength to do my very best for my dad in the future, whatever it may bring xxxx


Registered User
May 16, 2013
So sorry for you situation :(
I'm 48 and not really a Daddies boy, but my father was diagnosed about 2 or 3 years ago in a very similar scenario.
Please be strong and remember that you are not alone.

Kate and jack

Registered User
Jan 19, 2014
Southend on sea in essex
Hi debbyf don't apologise ever for the way you feel ,what you sails is exactly how I feel and many of us on here. I'm too a little girl in a 44yr old body,but coping with my mum who's had dementia for 6 years and who is now 66. It's a complete turmoil coping from day to day,but expressing how we feel has really helped me to cope better,don't feel like I'm going mad ,knowing their are others in the same boat. I hate the fact I haven't got the love and support I had from my mum,as you think your mum ,or in your case ,your dad is gonna be there forever.accepting ,adapting is the hardest thing ever.but your not alone ,we all feel the same.sending you a hug love Nicci xx


Registered User
Jan 10, 2013
There are some people out there who do not know how to behave when confronted with someone who has Dementia etc, if the person was drunk they would know what to do the same if the person was ransacking the shop, not that I'm making excuses for anyone.
In saying that, if anyone had treated my mum like that well I'm sorry but I wouldn't have been able to keep my mouth shut, the shop assistant I would ask what the hell her problem was and more than likely mention something to her manager, as for the Dr's receptionist I would say loud enough for everyone to hear that the person you are with has Dementia, they are not deaf!


Registered User
Mar 2, 2014
I'm also new on here and thought it was uncommon to experience this dreadful illness ( as a carer) so young (45) . It seems I'm very naive. I too can relate to many of the posts I've read and I too am all consumed with the emotion .
It's dreadful watching your loved one become a different person :(


Registered User
Oct 14, 2012
Hello Debby F
I am really sorry to read your lovely but so sad post. It has helped ME in a way though. The thing is my lovely husband has 3 strokes over the past 10 years and is totally paralyzed.

My husband was really the mother figure to our boys and I the father who always worked, worked and worked.

We lost our youngest son some years prior to my husbands first stroke, but ever since that our oldest son has been so very angry all the time. He is married with a child of his own, yet does not seem to understand how we feel. His anger is worse here and he takes it out on me as if it was my fault that his father is so poorly.

He does not relate to his father at all and only says hello and god bye to him nothing else at all he barely looks at his dad and of course the grand daughter is just the same.

He recently wrote to me and apologized for his awful behavior but said he just cannot cope with his dada being like he is. I believe he needs his dad as much as we need him. We only see him a handful of times a year sadly.

Please don't let this happen in your relationship with your parents. I so wish my son could support us better even though I do know he is there if we have an emergency. I am longing for more contact.

Best wishes to you you sound a lovely caring daughter.

Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
I'm sorry but my dad had died when he was young so at least you've had 46 years with him.So selfish? yes you; are but aren't we all in a way. This disease robs us all of either a partner, sibling, parent or other relative. We can't change that their is no cure only a downward spiral that may be fast or slow no one can predict that either.
So I think its about feeling helpless and facing an unimagined struggle to help your loved find security, compassion and peace in a world that is so busy, we after all have our own lives and families how will this additional burden affect them and our relationship to them?
I don't know the answer but assure you am still finding questions long after my mum was diagnosed. Its hard emotionally and physically my only advice to you is always give yourself time and do not agree to "just do this or that" but think about a commitment that could be for a great many years. A few months is hard after 10 years its simply dreadful and can't be put into words easily.So good luck and best wishes with sympathy and understanding.