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My father cant / wont accept my Gran's condition

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by alfie's mum, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. alfie's mum

    alfie's mum Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    Hi, I am 38yrs old and have an elderly Gran. There has been a rapid decline in her "state" over the last 4 years. I live 400 miles away so don't see her very often, therefore the differences each time is very obvious to me. She no longer recognises my husband and at first when I visit I am a stranger. My Aunt who is single is her only carer, although she is lucky to have support from close friends and cousins. The problem is my Father...
    He always says "Gran is fine" doesn't seem to notice how bad she has got. When I have mentioned things she has said or done he dismisses it. Unsure if he is selfish or just in denial.
    This causes the problem that my Aunt is left solely responsible for my Gran. She is exhausted, frustrated and constantly trying to do the right thing. She is a proud lady and recently surprised me by admitting how much she was struggling. Many chats with my Dad I have tried to speak about it but the conversation is changed almost instantly.
    I have tried speaking in many ways and even to the extreme that he may want to spend a day looking at care homes because if anything happens to my Aunt then that's where Gran will end up. Still no reaction. He criticises my Aunt and offers no help whatsoever. Not even support. My Aunt is trying her best and I truly believe she has given up on my Dad ever accepting it so she doesn't even try with him.
    Sorry this is a lengthy one... all new to me on here. Anyone any experience or suggestions on how to get the message across. Harsh reality is we are losing my Gran, his mother to this and he is becoming the son who doesn't seem to care. Any suggestions welcome xx
  2. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Hi, welcome to TP.
    I am sorry about your dad denial.

    Some stuff that can help your aunt:

    Does your gran has a diagnosis? If not, you can help your aunt to talk to GP.
    Does your aunt has any help from SS? If no, you can ask here the patch to get help

    Does your aunt think about respite? Can your gran be sent to daily center in order to give your aunt some rest?

    If your gran is able to made decisions, you can talk about POA to your aunt.
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi alfie's mum, welcome to TP
    Without telling anything you don't want to is the situation your Dad, Aunt and Gran all live in the same house or does the Aunt live with Gran and your Dad somewhere else?
    You see why I ask, if the Aunt lives with Gran your Dad may be in denial, if he lives with Gran and the Aunt doesn't...without the whole picture it makes comments a bit difficult as the dynamic of the situation may change depending on who lives with whom.
    You live 400 miles away and sometimes can on here be refered to as "parachutes" (a term I totally disapprove of), drop in loads of advise then back off to 400 miles away leaving those on the ground to carry on.
    I'm in no way suggesting this is what you are on the contrary your objective view and your Aunt's admission she is struggling is cause for concern so rightly you want to do something so that's good of you to do that.
    The way forward would I guess (on what you've said) would be to get some support for Aunt either from inside the family (you mention close friends and cousins) or possibly you need to look outside the family.
    I don't think it's any secret that many older people "fear" the authorities becoming involved as they tend "to take" over and "stick their nose in all your personal business" so if you suggest that you may hit some resistance.
    As you say "you don't see her very often" and you "live 400 miles away" so the Dad, Aunt, Cousins and friends are very much the troops on the ground and I'd be guided by them, it is a concern that Aunt is struggling than that is an issue that needs addressing.
    Not sure about "Unsure if he is selfish or just in denial" I'm in denial in so far as when my kids make the 150+ mile trip to see us (it happens every now and again) their "helpful" suggestions take no account of the reality of how our/my life is, so I smile, don't tell them to butt out and thank them for their advise because I'm the one dealing with it not them and yes, I underplay my hand by saying it's all fine because if they really wanted to help then I have; a big pile of ironing, 2 loads of washing, the grass needs cutting, the bed needs changing...but helping comes in many forms.
    Don't blame your Dad, we're all trying out best.

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