New to the forum and looking for any advice/need to get the emotions out

vegetabletarian

New member
May 24, 2024
1
0
Hello everyone!
I'm new here and looking for some general advice please.

My dad (in his 70s) has been diagnosed with vascular dementia around 3 years ago following on from a series of strokes/TIAs starting around 7 years ago.
We had been coping as a family until around 1 year ago when both the physical symptoms and personality changes really started to worsen and we are now in the more advanced stages quite rapidly.
It is now at the stage where he is becoming physically and verbally aggressive towards my mum (in her 60s) as is incontinent of urine as well as urinating all over the bathroom floor, but rarely in the toilet itself. His speech is limited to a few words at the best of times, and the phrases he says aren't always making sense and he gets very frustrated when we try to help or don't understand him. He is very unsteady on his feet and cannot walk very far at all. He also sleeps so much during the day and wakes up at 3am ready to start the day. We have tried trying to encourage him not to sleep during the day but he becomes angry and no techniques we are trying seems to work.

I unfortunately live several hundred miles away and in a job that it is very difficult to take leave from. I try to be on the phone/video calls as much as possible but I'm scared it's getting to the point where we may have to consider carers or a care facility to keep my mum safe. Sadly our extended family hasn't been much help and seem to be avoiding us right now.

She understandably wants to do everything she can for him at home, but I am so scared she is going to get hurt. I know this is all due to the dementia and he would never mean to hurt her. With his words and actions she thinks he hates her which is heart-breaking.

I'm travelling up later this month to support them both for a couple of weeks however I can but I don't really know where to go from here.
Does anybody have any books or resources they would recommend in general? We're accessing all of the local support we can but sadly it's a very long process to get my mum and respite help or even get carers to come and do an initial assessment.
Whenever the idea of having folks for respite or carers it makes my dad very angry and he says he doesn't want strangers in the house, which I understand, but my mum can't cope alone and I'm not in a position where I can be there physically all the time.

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense overall, we have just reached our breaking point as a family and I just feel heartbroken that the man who raised me, was in mensa and climbed mountains for fun is now struggling so much with so many things. Is there anything else we can be doing to better help him or understand him?
 

2ndAlto

Registered User
Nov 23, 2012
461
0
Hello @vegetabletarian, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad - and your Mum. It must be very difficult for you living quite a long way from them but knowing they need help. It is a difficult situation all round but it may well be getting close to the time when your Dad needs to be in a care facility, particularly as he is showing signs of physical aggression. Meantime there may be some medication that will calm your Dad down and hopefully get his sleep back into a more normal pattern - have you spoken to his GP?
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
75,075
0
73
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @vegetabletarian.

I’m so sorry to read about your parents’ situation. It must be really worrying for you.

Your mum is clearly in a very vulnerable situation. I wondered your dad is already known to the social works department. If not I feel it would be reasonable for you to contact their local duty desk and tell them that your mum is vulnerable and at risk due to the situation. They may be able to advise.

I also think it’s a good idea to let your dad’s GP know about the situation. If you don’t have power of attorney they may not talk to you directly. If that’s the case you could write to them setting out the situation and emphasising your concerns for you mum’s safety as well as your dad’s health.

I hope you can get some help for them.
 

Angel55

Registered User
Oct 23, 2023
197
0
Hello everyone!
I'm new here and looking for some general advice please.

My dad (in his 70s) has been diagnosed with vascular dementia around 3 years ago following on from a series of strokes/TIAs starting around 7 years ago.
We had been coping as a family until around 1 year ago when both the physical symptoms and personality changes really started to worsen and we are now in the more advanced stages quite rapidly.
It is now at the stage where he is becoming physically and verbally aggressive towards my mum (in her 60s) as is incontinent of urine as well as urinating all over the bathroom floor, but rarely in the toilet itself. His speech is limited to a few words at the best of times, and the phrases he says aren't always making sense and he gets very frustrated when we try to help or don't understand him. He is very unsteady on his feet and cannot walk very far at all. He also sleeps so much during the day and wakes up at 3am ready to start the day. We have tried trying to encourage him not to sleep during the day but he becomes angry and no techniques we are trying seems to work.

I unfortunately live several hundred miles away and in a job that it is very difficult to take leave from. I try to be on the phone/video calls as much as possible but I'm scared it's getting to the point where we may have to consider carers or a care facility to keep my mum safe. Sadly our extended family hasn't been much help and seem to be avoiding us right now.

She understandably wants to do everything she can for him at home, but I am so scared she is going to get hurt. I know this is all due to the dementia and he would never mean to hurt her. With his words and actions she thinks he hates her which is heart-breaking.

I'm travelling up later this month to support them both for a couple of weeks however I can but I don't really know where to go from here.
Does anybody have any books or resources they would recommend in general? We're accessing all of the local support we can but sadly it's a very long process to get my mum and respite help or even get carers to come and do an initial assessment.
Whenever the idea of having folks for respite or carers it makes my dad very angry and he says he doesn't want strangers in the house, which I understand, but my mum can't cope alone and I'm not in a position where I can be there physically all the time.

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense overall, we have just reached our breaking point as a family and I just feel heartbroken that the man who raised me, was in mensa and climbed mountains for fun is now struggling so much with so many things. Is there anything else we can be doing to better help him or understand him?
💗 Hello

I will answer the last part of your post. I am still even now a firm believer that a person is never ever entirely not there anymore, until I am proved otherwise so I found that separating Dad who was the Dad I grew with and who raised us from Dad the one who swears, is difficult and has an illness that has damaged his brain helpful. I adopt a different way of speaking to Dad and sometimes less words is better. As you probably know already reasoning in the way we reason isn't going to happen. Your Dad is still your Dad and always will be but the illness that takes over is insidious and very cruel. It feels like grief, grieving for someone who is no longer with you but physically still here and with flashes of the person still popping in from time to time. I am so sorry you find yourself here and of course you are heartbroken xx

I suspect you are doing everything you can to help and support right now but a time always does come more often than not when alone as a family it becomes too much, My own Dad would never have agreed to for respite or anything else so a crisis then comes along. He still believes nothing is wrong and we are two years into living in a residential place. My heart breaks every time I see him although I know he is as safe and well cared for as he can be. It was never our choice for him but we had no choice in the end.

I am most worried in your post about your mum and physical violence and getting hurt. Although words are not as strong they can still cut like a physical wound and that coupled with severe sleep interruption is really difficult to bear physically and emotionally.

I am not sure from your post what outside support you have ie carers and alike but there is lots of information on here and on the main site that is useful as the processes can be confusing.

Someone is always here to listen though so never feel you are alone x