1. LittleFeet74

    LittleFeet74 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2014
    This is my first post, and I'm not really sure where to begin. My Dad was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's in February. At the time I was living in Australia but have moved back to the UK to try and be there for Dad as much as possible. I think I completely underestimated the enormity of how hard this would be. My Mum died when I was child, so my Dad raised the 4 of us and never re-married. He lives with my 2 older sisters but they both have different special needs. My brother lives over 5 hours away with his family. I have a husband and a young son. We moved back in June (but I'm not local) and since then I have been helping as much as I can, taking Dad for his appointments, arranging a carer to come in, trying to get him into a day centre, bathing him, cleaning his house, the list goes on. I'm not coping with the changes in Dad. He is at a point where he is restless in the house and says we are holding him prisoner. He often doesn't recognise it is his house even thou he has lived there for more than 50 years. There is also someone who did the garden once and now keeps coming back and asking for money. I am terrified he might hurt Dad. Most days he is on his own, one sister works and the other goes to a day centre for her own needs. My son is feeling neglected, he miss Australia, his friends, his life and tells me how I have ruined his life and he wants to go home. He starts a new school next week and he doesn't want to, wants to back to his old school in Aus, it's so hard. I am clearly not being a great parent as I am torn between the needs of my Dad and my own family. We have turned our life upside down to be here for Dad as I couldn't not support him at this time, but I am feeling resentful that my brother's life is completely unchanged and unaffected by everything that's happening, & how he is happy to leave everything to me. My sisters now call me at the drop of a hat if Dad is having a confused moment and I just want to cry. My husband is trying to be supportive, but he didn't want to move back from Australia so that kind of hangs in the air between us at times. I don't actually know what I need or what I was writing for, I think I just needed to tell someone that I'm not coping, I feel caught in the middle and I just want to cry. Thanks for listening if you got this far.
  2. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    I am so very sorry for you, and am very tempted to say that, all things considered, I'd go back to Australia, but I do understand that things are never that easy. Perhaps someone with experience of your situation would be able to advise you better than I can - especially since I'm struggling myself at the moment.

    Welcome to TP by the way, and I'm sure you'll get lots of support here, as I do.
  3. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    Oh gosh you really have so much on your shoulders LittleFeet. I'm so sorry you ahve to deal with all of this. I do feel that you belong back in Australia with your family. Your dad would probably want this for you. Contact social services and let them know that your dad is vulnerable but that you aren't able to stay to manage things. Make your plans and let them know when you'll be going so they can make the arrangements for your dad's care.
    Do what you can now to set up the supports he needs- social services, carers, whatever it is. But I think you should go back and protect your family. They need you
  4. Bythspirit

    Bythspirit Registered User

    Jan 26, 2014
    You've got so much on your shoulders Little Feet! I agree with others in that I'm sure your Dad would not want you to sacrifice your own life and family. Let your family know you want to return to Australia, but arrangements must be in place for your Dad before you go. All best.
  5. ASH74

    ASH74 Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Oh you are being pulled in so many directions.....and feel responsible for everyone....their happiness and safety.....you have so much on your shoulders!

    Using my logical brain (kicks in every now and then) long term do you plan to return back to Aus? If yes work out a time scale....a year? 5 years etc explain that to your son and hubby.

    Then look at your urgent short term goals for your dad and your sisters them medium term plans ( supported living for them?).

    Breaking a problem into smaller parts helps me.

    Don't beat yourself up for wanting to cry it is totally understandable. But don't forget you have needs too.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  6. chrissychrissy

    chrissychrissy Registered User

    Dec 31, 2012

    Just wanted to let you know how touched I was when I read your post. My mum lives with me and I find it very difficult, even though she is not at the same stage yet as your dad seems to be. Whatever we do it never seems to suit everyone does it? We can only do what we think is the best thing at that time. It certainly isn't easy. As I am an only child I sometimes feel that I would have support or help if i had siblings, however, after reading your post, I feel that maybe I would have extra feelings of resentment etc to deal with if I did have siblings and they did not help. I don't know what I can say to you to help you feel a little better about the situation, but I am so sorry you feel so stressed at this time.
  7. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    Welcome to TP from me too.

    I read the post as saying Little Feet and her family have already moved from Australia to the UK ... and are coping with all the stresses an unwelcome migration causes as well as the pressures of trying to deal with LF's Dad's dementia and birth family relationships.

    How about using your possible move back to Australia as a negotiating ploy, with Social Services and your brother and his family?

    You could try smiling ever so sweetly and telling everyone the arrangements to support your Dad and sisters effectively need to be put into place by X date because your family now plans a return "home" by then and so won't be available to help out / organise the support? Point out this timeline means certain things have to be done by dates R, S, T, etc ... because otherwise everything will still be up in the air by the time you go back to Australia.

    Whatever you do, I think you can't afford to become your Dad and sisters' main carer. It sounds as if the impact on your own family would be unendurable if you did.

    I'd suggest reading over the many posts on TP about expediting SS care and dealing with unhelpful siblings. They may give you ideas ... and they'll also give pre-warning of what you're up against.

    GOOD LUCK! Everything may fall into place unexpectedly - they sometimes do (though more usually they don't).
  8. 12gettingthere

    12gettingthere Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    Yes it is extremely difficult I know, do you have a care plan in place with social services? eventually your Dad will need the care of the experts as the Alzheimers takes further hold of him. I am struggling day to day with my mum who is in middle to late stages, eventually she too will need 24 hour care and as I work full time and have a special needs daughter my mom will need residential care. You have given up a whole different way of life to be with your Dad, perhaps once you are confident he has the right care in place you can then return to Oz with peace of mind? I wish you well x
  9. Redpoppy

    Redpoppy Registered User

    Jul 31, 2012
    Glamorgan s.wales
    I agree--you cannot continue living like this.It seems you are not only caring for your father,but also taking on the housework etc,for your 2sisters with their own special needs. Your father would be well looked after in a reputable Care home,,which would make it easier for your sisters to look after themselves,maybe with help from social services. All this looks simple on paper,but I know it won't be easy to leave, and return to Australia. I hope you get the help you need so that you can go back with your family knowing your father is safe,and cared for. We all here on TP. realise how this disease affects the lives of all close family members and feel sure you will have many more replies I send you good wishes,whatever decisions you make.
  10. Oxy

    Oxy Registered User

    Jul 19, 2014
    I am so sorry for all understandable upsets your move has caused. I presume that your husband has come over to a job so any plans to return will have to take that into account. Caring is very hard on every level and your father would settle into a good quality care home. Your sisters might benefit from some sheltered housing. Social services need to get involved and whilst very hard, please try to push for their input.
    You really need to think of your husband and son. Homesickness is very hard to deal with. He would ordinarily need your undivided attention to help him settle but you are already consumed by caring and all that entails. His wellbeing is so important as is his education in his formative years. Whilst unhappy, he can't take new concepts on board as easily and unsettled children can be affected socially and emotionally too (behaviour etc).
    I do hope that whilst you still have the strength you will be able to put all plans into effect. I say that last sentence as the caring process just zaps your every motivational etc juice without realising at the time. Very best wishes to all in your family for the best outcome for all.
  11. LittleFeet74

    LittleFeet74 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2014
    Thank you all for taking the time to read my post & also for your supportive replies. It makes a difference being able to talk to people who get it.

    We have no plans to move back to Aus at this stage. We would have no jobs to go back to, and we couldn't afford to move back. Having all our stuff shipped back was very expensive. We have used pretty much all our savings to move back, so for now at least we are here to stay, who knows what the future holds but it would be a good few years before we could afford to move back. To make the decision to move back to the UK took a while & wasn't an easy choice to make but I think I've always been the one to care for my family (maybe moving to Aus in the first place was an escape?) & as hard at is I don't regret coming home to help. I just don't think I prepared myself for what I would be dealing with. My Dad initially would tell me to stay where I was but as the illness took hold he kept asking me to come home, he would say he wants to see me before he dies. Now he doesn't always remember I even lived there....

    Social services have recently got carers involved and I have a meeting with them soon for the financial assessment. Trying to find all Dad's financial information is a nightmare. There is no order in his house. I'll save that rant for another time!

    I guess what I need is some advice on how to balance Dad's needs with that of my son & how to manage the guilt if I put my own family first.
  12. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Hi Littlefeet,
    You don't say how old your son is and that will make a big difference as to how well he adjusts. If he is still quite young, you may find that once he has started school and makes some friends that he will be fine and perhaps your husband could get involved in taking him to football or something similar.

    However, if your son is teenage or almost, he will definitely find it harder to adapt. It is not just friends and school, but lifestyle is different and he nmight benefit from an activity where he can feel part of the community. And if he feels he has an ally in your husband about going back to Australia, then you and your OH need to have a conversation about that.

    It's all about trying to get the balance right isn't it?
  13. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    RE Dad's finances, if you have not already done so, go to his bank with Dad and get him to ask them to put you on his bank account(s) as Third Party Access for administrative purposes. Then you'll be able to sign cheques, set up direct debits, etc, as necessary for paying bills, making care arrangements, etc.

    You also need to start the process of getting LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) for your Dad's affairs, then you'll be able to handle everything, all his accounts and assets.
    The quicker the better, while he is still able to agree to it in front of a witness. There is a lot of info on this site about Powers of Attorney.
  14. halojones

    halojones Registered User

    May 7, 2014
    Hi Littlefeet

    I have read on the posts that all are telling you to return to Australia, which would have been my advice as well...It says it all really! Sadly, as you say, its not an option....I would say put your own family first, get your dad into a safe place, just don't take it all on, the situation is way too much for you. You are obviously a kind person , but the authorities etc etc will leave you to fend for yourselves and believe us when we tell you how hard it all is and what a toll it can take on your own health and wellbeing...!! As for the invisible(that's what we call the missing ones),it is quite common to have relatives that do absolutely no thing and leave it all up to one person, and yes it adds resentment and anger into the mix..! ! (I have 3 invisibles...)... All the best to you and your family xxx
  15. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Hello...like many others, my first instinct was to say go home....then I reached your post where you say that financially it's a no go.:(
    I think that you are being overwhelmed from all sides, and need far more support that you are getting from your family.
    I know that your OH and your son have come with you, presumably willingly, however it is a huge lifestyle change for them. I hope that your OH has been able to get work and that you are making a home here. Your son will be finding it very strange too, new school, new friends but as it's a new term for everyone tomorrow, hopefully he'll soon find his place quickly. His classmates will want to know if it is all like Home and Away or Neighbours living in Australia.
    You are struggling, practically and emotionally. You too have left your home, friends job(?) and way of life. You are faced with a set of circumstances so out of your expectations. You have come back and found your Dad not himself anymore. The Dad that waved you off, that talked to you by phone or SKYPE at Christmas, who remembered your childhood and who raised you and your family does not exist anymore. Your siblings have changed, they have their own set of problems and issues and all of a sudden everything is down to you to sort out.
    You have set in motion the Social Care side of things. I don't know how you and your siblings feel, but I think that permanent Residential Care must be worth serious consideration. When you say that Dad lives with your two sisters who have needs of their own, do you mean that they all live in Dad's house, because that will have a bearing on his financial contribution to residential care.
    If Dad has any time when he is aware of what is going on, you ought to get a LPA authority signed for both Health and Welfare and Financial and legal affairs and get them registered asap. This is assuming that you wish to be his Attorney of course. You are not obliged to become one. You could contact the OPG and ask them to appoint a Deputy on Dad's behalf.

    I'm sorry this has become a very long post.:rolleyes:

    You and your family, OH and your son, must come first. Home, jobs, school all are important. As Ash suggested, how about setting a target that in twelve months time you will be in a position to make plans for your return to Aus. That no plans or promises will be made for twelve months and therefore no arguments either. They ( and you) need to look on this next year as a job/school/home exchange programme.
    Let your son use the computer to skype his pals, and you do the same to your girlfriends. By setting a timeframe, hopefully, in twelve months time, you will be in a much clearer situation.

    Hard to believe, it may be, but you have all done this with the best of intentions, give yourselves a chance to adapt now.
    Take care....Maureen.x.
  16. Redpoppy

    Redpoppy Registered User

    Jul 31, 2012
    Glamorgan s.wales
    I didn't realise that you are not in a position to return to Australia,when I strongly suggested you and your husband and son return once arrangements have been made for the care of your father. You have sacrificed your home etc to care for him, and deserve all the help you can get.I think with the advise and support from others on TP who are more knowledgable than I am, you will get through this in time. I wish you well.

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