My mother has dementia, father will not accept this

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Onlychild39, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    I need some guideance please I really dont know what to do. My mother aged 82 has dementia and is cared for at home by my dad aged 80.My mothers condition is deteriorating to the extent she is not washing or changing her clothes, because she does not realise she needs to do this. My dad does not like to discuss this with me and despite me telling him it will be better for him and mum to have help , he is being very stubborn and burying his head in the sand about things. Currently he has only me to help out when I can - I work full time and have 2 jobs to cover my bills (recently divorced)so cannot visit everyday. I can see that they need help and it is so upsetting to see them this way. Where do I start to look for help ? Should I visit my doctor ? Dad said she had eaten raw gammon from the fridge thinking it was ham recently. I have started to go in and place a bowl of water in front of her and have found that she will wash herself if I tell her what to do and where to wash but only after a verbal fight.:mad:To top this she also has breathing problems and has oxygen at home. Please can someone guide me - I need to get Dad to accept this and accept help, but what help is there and how do I go about getting this for them ? The house is really bad too, smelly and dirty but he wont accept help..:confused::confused::confused:Onlychild39.
     
  2. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    270
    England
    Dear onlychild
    This is a really difficult situation that, sadly, many TP members have faced, so I am sure you will get some good advice. The starting point is probably your mum's GP. Could you persuade your dad that they are both due for a general check up? You could then phone or write to the GP (do they share one?) and explain your concerns. Some GPs are helpful in such situations, some aren't, but it's a starting point. Another route would be social services, but this would not be successful, I think, unless your dad would co-operate, and he might be more ready to accept a doctor's involvement initially. It may well be a very slow process, I'm afraid. There is help out there, but getting your dad's willing participation is crucial and I appreciate how difficult this is at present.
    Blue sea
     
  3. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    627
    Yorkshire
    Welcome to TP

    I feel for you it's not easy getting parents to accept help (I'm an only one..:rolleyes:)Could you contact Mum & Dad's doctor directly either by letter or phone call and express your concerns? Maybe get him/her to call on the pretext of a general health check up for them both. I know the doctor is bound by patient confidentiality but I found my Mum's doctor was accomodating.Social services are the place to start for assessments for help etc. But why not look up the local branch of the Alzheimers Society and give them a call,they will probably have a good idea of what is available in your area as it does tend to vary. I'm sure others will be along with more suggestions soon, but hang in there.;)You can get rid of the dirt and smells when you've managed to sort out Mum & Dad,:)we can only do so much at a time, try not to stress too much ( I know.... easier said than done:eek:)and look after yourself too. Take care
     
  4. CHESS

    CHESS Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    136
    LANCS.
    Dear Onlychild39,
    So sorry to hear about your parents, but wanted to welcome you to TP (Talking Point). There will be other members who will have been in a similar position to you and will, no doubt, be able to advise you better than I can, based on their own experiences. I would have thought that your idea of speaking to your doctor would be a very good place to start. I wish you all the best and am sure you will find TP a most rewarding forum. Please let us know how you get on.

    Love, Chess xx
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hi, OnlyChild .... just picking up on this point alone ... if your mum needs 'pure' oxygen for whatever medical reasons ... then she needs a 'safe and clean' environment too ..... perhaps one other option is to share concerns with whoever is responsible for overseeing the 'oxygen at home' treatment ..... (be that at consultant or nurse or any other level) ... no point treating one medical problem if others are sadly overlooked ....... could be a way round discreetly getting the messsage over to dad and securing help and support for both of them ......???

    Just an idea, love Karen, x
     
  6. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    Father will not accept this

    Hi all and thank you for the kind words and replies, I have since sunday been speaking to dad about getting him to call the doctor to mum for an assessment and he really does not want to do this - I say to him what if something was to happen to him, what would happen then but he just says nothing will happen to him.. I think I will have to ring their GP and tell them of my concerns and I will ring the AS for support too. I feel this is going to be a very long process and is leaving me feeling guilty,worried,and drained. I cant go over everyday as much as I feel I should.
    Onlychild39:(:(:(:(:(:(:(
     
  7. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Dear Onlychild....I know exactly how you feel as I too am an only child living quite far from my AD dad, ,working more than full time hours etc. Please PLEASE dont feel guilty...it puts even more strain on you. You are doing the very best you can and you are quite obviously a very loving and caring person.
    This will be a stressful time there's no doubt about it.YOU WILL GET HELP EVENTUALLY. You have to stay well and strong to be of use. Accept the fact that you are human and can only do what your circumstances allow you to.
    To get help for my dad I told absolutely ANYONE at all who had ANYTHING to do with his care.(Social services were quite rubbish). Your mum must have some input from medics to be on O2 so tell them, aswell as the GP. Keep a diary on everything going on in mum and dads house to show the GP.
    Make an appointment for yourself if you cant get one for them, and explain how stressed and ill this is making you feel. Ring Age Concern.
    And keep talking here on TP, because you will have wonderful support, and helpful advice from people when they can. Dont let it get you down....when you have the help they need your dad will be proud of you and you will all feel better. Good luck with everything.:)x
     
  8. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    232
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Dear Onlychild,

    Hi and welcome. I am an only child too. I was in your exact situation a little while ago - Dad with rapidly worsening AD and Mum not caring for him properly (this was because she too has AD - only not as advanced - I thought it was just stress). I kept telling Mum she should do this and do that, take him to the doctor etc. - she just said yes, but never did.

    Anyway, my breakthrough was when I made an appointment with the local Alzheimer's branch and told them things were getting so bad and I was sure Mum was ill too. It was great just to be able to talk to someone. They rang Dad's psychiatrist and asked him to visit, and also told him about Mum. I couldn't do it because I was at the stage where I couldn't ring anyone without breaking down. Presumably if your Mum has been diagnosed she has a psychiatrist. The AS also contacted social services, though they won't get involved unless your parents are willing to accept help - which mine weren't. The AS also kept ringing me back to see how things were going.

    Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes,
    Carolyn
     
  9. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    #9 Onlychild39, Mar 27, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
    They rang Dad's psychiatrist and asked him to visit, and also told him about Mum. I c

    Hello Carolyn, and zoet - thank you so much for replying to me. How many others feel their eyes filling up when you know people out there do care and understand how you feel.

    Ok, no medical help is being given at all to them, mum was diagnosed as having a stroke a few years ago, because she had memory problems and now has lost her short term memory, but no "official" diagnosis has been given re the dementia. This is why I need Dad to agree to speaking to the GP but he wont - as no-one out there knows how my mum is. She has no comprehension what day of the week it is, that she needs to wash or get dressed. I know she has this but I feel like banging my head against a brick wall because it seems only me that can see this and I need people to hear me. I have to contact their GP and see what I can do from there.
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hi there. Now you mentioned "stroke" I'm not entirely surprised you find yourself in this position . My mother had several strokes and I don't think dementia was ever mentioned by anyone except by me. The only help I found was here. I mean to say - the doctor was OK but honestly, there wasn't a lot he could do - monitor the blood pressure etc but there's no medication to help the symptoms. I'm afraid that if you have a stroke when you are elderly it's like you don't exist: no rehab, no nothing.

    I just came here (Talking Point) for help with understanding, and set up support for her on the basis that it didn't matter what it was called: she needed almost continual monitoring.
     
  11. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    232
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Dear Onlychild,
    In that case I would either ring their GP or write to him/her with all your concerns, tell them how worried you are. Does your Mum have regular check ups for the stroke? If so ask your GP to do a memory assessment on the pretext of doing a regular check up. I'm sure he will see how things are and hopefully refer your Mum.
    Best wishes
    Carolyn
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Just to clarify: I found in two separate areas that "memory problems due to stroke" did not make you eligible to referral to the Memory Team - that was only for people with AD and similar.
     
  13. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    In that case I would either ring their GP or write to him/her with all your concerns,

    hello, just wanted to let you know i will be ringing their gp tomorrow to let her know of my worries. I wanted to ring at work but we were so busy I could not. I feel sick about this and am crying as I as typing this. My dad still is not willing to speak to the GP just says he will carry on for now and that mum will not have any help. When I said that she is not in a fit state of mind to know what is going on anyway he just said he manage. I feel as I am betraying him but know it is for my mums and his,best interest. Just wanted someone to know what is going on:(:(:(:(
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,584
    Kent
    Dear onlychild,
    It might be best if you put all your concerns in writing to your parents` GP. That way you can be sure to include everything.
    If you speak on the phone, time might be limited, you will probably become emotional and not have the chance to say all you want to.
    If it`s in writing, be sure to keep a copy.
    I hope you get some help.
     
  15. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    It might be best if you put all your concerns in writing to your parents` GP

    thanks Grannie I think that is a good idea the thought of doing this makes me feel sick but I know it has to be done. A letter it has to be. Thankyou.
     
  16. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    232
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Dear Onlychild,
    Just to say I know exactly how you are feeling - the number of times I've welled up on the phone, but don't worry, the people you speak to will probably understand. It does get easier, believe me, the more you have to do it. Best of luck - let us know how it goes. You are right - you do have to do it for your mum and dad's sake.
    Best wishes.
     
  17. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    You are right - you do have to do it for your mum and dad's sake.

    I know, I will draft the letter over the next few days and get it up to the doctor soon. Thank you and yes I will stay in touch.
     
  18. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    Dear Onlychild

    I believe you will find your Mother has Vascular Dementia as a result of her strokes just as my Mother did and its very difficult to cope with the problems that ensue

    Your Father is in denial and as is typical of his generation does not like to seek help

    If your Mothers GP is like my Mothers were you may get the answer I did ........"we cant do anything unless she asks us " which is of course ridiculous given her condition

    However the valuable lesson i have learnt from the experience is ....it is vital to write to the GP and to demand a referral to the Memory Clinic

    If your Mother then develops Pneumonia or some other severe infection given her age they are likely to make her comfortable rather than drag her through weeks of treatment and distress for all .
    This may sound callous but can assure you my Mother would never have wanted to see her wretched state of one infection after another during the 5 weeks she spent in hospital before she died
     
  19. Onlychild39

    Onlychild39 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2008
    11
    Bristol
    Hello all,
    Well at last I have typed the letter for the doctors to ask for someone to assess mother and telling them how bad she has got. Dad is still in denial about this so I do feel as though I am going behind his back about this, but know its for the right reasons. I am going to the local AS support group tomorrow for the 1st time, so I guess this is where things start to change. I know it will be a long old process and I feel mentally drained by this but I cant let mum carry on without anyone knowing how she is. I feel so alone with this, my daughter will not read the letter I have typed up, my father is burying his head in the sand so its just me and it really helps having this site to vent my feelings. Thank you for being there xxxx
     
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,584
    Kent
    Hello Onlychild.

    Well done for facing facts and trying to get some help for your mother.
    And well done too for attending your first support group tomorrow.
    You are going behind your father`s back but you are acting in the best interests of both your parents, so I believe you are justified.
    I hope after tomorrow you will feel less alone.
    Please let us know how you get on.
    Love xx
     

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