Only child, Mum has dementia, looking for someone to talk to

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Layla Pigeon, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. joggyb

    joggyb Registered User

    Dec 1, 2014
    You and your dad have made a good start. :) Him having PoA for your mum will certainly help with some things. But I would recommend that you also get PoA for him, at some stage, to ease your path in the future, too.

    Could you perhaps go with your dad to the GP? Perhaps he might open up more if you're in support there with him? Might be worth asking him if he'd like you to go, just in case.

    And the more he and you can learn about dementia, the more it will enable you both to cope. It's all about accepting - as far as is possible, and no one's saying it's easy! - that your mum has a very different perspective on life because of her illness from you two, and that trying to reason with her is simply unlikely to work. You have to try to work with her, so to speak, and not get frustrated and stressed when she doesn't cooperate or understand, otherwise you'll all get upset. Don't sweat the small stuff, as they say! ;)

    And keep posting on here, of course. Everybody is on here to share problems, experiences, and support.
  2. Ballykeith

    Ballykeith Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    I'm now a lonely only, 48, caring for mother, 79. The downside of being 'one' really comes into play at this stage in life. My mum refused to go for help for a long time after I began to notice things - months, maybe a year or more. Eventually a neighbour whose partner had had Alzheimer's said to me that I had to get her to go to the doctor and this galvanised me to insist that she go. At least my mum did concede eventually. That wasn't the end of it because the GP said to her, 'You've definitely not got Alzheimer's'. I asked for a referral to the Memory Clinic but this didn't happen and we ended going back months later. I marvel when I see videos of people with dementia who are still very coherent and have insight into their condition and find ways to manage things as well as possible. That is the benefit of early diagnosis. It also enables plans to be made for care and accommodation in good time. My mum is still living alone with me helping for around ten hours a day. Were I not there she would be utterly lost. Had we had an early diagnosis at a time when my mum still had insight and reasoning ability then we might have arranged a move into supported accommodation and much angst might have been averted. Hope you get that diagnosis one way or another and you can begin to make things a little easier for all of you.
  3. Debbiedebs

    Debbiedebs Registered User

    Apr 12, 2015
    Another only child looking after dad with early stages of dementia.

    Hi Everyone

    My story is very similar to Layla's as I am an only child, 47 and from Essex too. My father is showing signs of the early stages of dementia and I co care with my mother, a former retired nurse. My mother is amazing but I am struggling to cope, especially when he starts pointing and talking about his friend in the corner. Another time he is fine and talking as normal.

    The next appointment with his consultant is in July and is it impossible to bring this forward, as the consultant only works two days a week!

    Help, what do I do next?

  4. Debbiedebs

    Debbiedebs Registered User

    Apr 12, 2015
    Another only child looking after dad with early stages of dementia.

    Layla, your story is so similar to mine and I'm from Essex!


  5. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    Why is it impossible to move it forward? Can you not ask the GP to refer him to a different consultant who is full time? That is totally unacceptable.

    I'm also in Essex. Must be something in the water....
  6. SueShell

    SueShell Registered User

    Sep 13, 2012
    Only child too, aged 62. Mum in nursing home at present but don't know if this will be permanent. I had a nervous breakdown caring for her. Dad died when I was 32 whom I loved dearly. Never got on with my Mum, but hate seeing her decline by this awful disease. Any questions feel free to ask. I had POA Health and Welfare, but didn't think I'd needed the Financial one being only child and no other relatives and Mum just having the one account in both our names. Now realising I should have got it as having devil of a job even getting the address changed on her pension slips so they come to me, its a nightmare.
  7. pipd

    pipd Registered User

    Apr 12, 2015
    Leigh on Sea Essex
    Hi I am also in Essex, 50, and am an only child (wasn't always but lost my sister to cancer in 2013 and two weeks later mum was diagnosed with mixed dementia), My dad is still with us too (89) but does nothing to help my mum or me with the situation and just shuts himself away in the lounge all day with the TV. I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with all that this disease throws at me and could also do with someone to talk to who understands. I wonder if any of us 'Essex Girls' live anywhere close to each other and maybe we could form a local support group and meet up ?? (I am in Leigh on Sea)
  8. Fastwalker

    Fastwalker Registered User

    Apr 27, 2010
    Tyne and Wear
    Hi I am also an only child of 50 years. My mum died in November after four and a half years in a home or rather three homes. I was with her from diagnosis to the end. I have dealt with homes, hospitals and councils on my own. I am single so I feel my own life and house has slipped. I am now trying to rebuild my social life now I have almost sold the house and almost got probate. I battled with the first home to get my mum the care she deserved and fought for everything. She paid for herself so I felt that we were on our own. Social Services wouldn't or couldn't help because she paid for herself. I had to make a difficult decision on my own about whether she should be treated for an infection. If I know what I know now and that she would be in bed for two years whether I would have made a different decision. I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. You will get excellent advice on this site. My mum was 86 when she died so had a good innings. My dad died of cancer in 2000 so didn't. Feel free to post for advice and support as often as you want to. There is always someone to listen even in the middle of the night. I have to go to work so don't post as often but many people especially the moderators post more frequently.
  9. mumov4

    mumov4 Registered User

    Apr 10, 2015
    Hi I totally know how you are feeling I'm 42 a I'm dealing with this on my own even though I have siblings I also have a brother with severe learning difficulties who I have to help too my other bothers and sister work and this is there constant excuse for why they can't help I along have four children too .my mum like yours is in total denial that anything is wrong even though she has a diagnosis we get no help I am just trying to get her more help as I am struggling now as she is getting more difficult I also know what u mean about when they refuse to do something there no changing their minds x
  10. nessy22

    nessy22 Registered User

    Nov 22, 2014
    Dear Layla Pigeon, I am another only daughter ( 55 ) struggling with looking after Mum (85) from a distance:(. Although it is hard being on your own I suppose it would be worse with absent siblings ( that would probably drive me mad and crazier ) so let's look on the bright side:). I do miss some close relative's shoulder to cry on but they are even further away in NZ and don't really get it. Talking point has helped me through many a sleepless night just by making me realize I am not alone. I hope it helps you too down in Essex.
  11. Leswi

    Leswi Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    I haven't got much to add that will be of help but just wanted to say that being an only child may not be such a bad thing when dealing with parent's health problems. I have a sister but she pops in when it suits and causes more problems than she solves. sorry but I had another day of her text messages telling me what she thinks needs to be done for mum today. Look after yourself on this difficult journey as well as your mum and dad if you can.
  12. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    Hi, your post struck a chord with me. I am not an only child but my siblings did nothing to help, never took Mum to an appointment or brought her a bag of shopping. One does live in Manchester whereas Mum was in Essex, but still.... I am in Suffolk, just over the border. I think someone else's suggestion of an Essex meet-up for support would be wonderful. My Mum is still alive, got sectioned into hospital for assessment last Nov and now been in a CH near me since Dec. I have been broken. She never acknowledged her illness and despite being prescribed Galantamine just under three years ago when she was diagnosed, wouldn't take the meds. She got very aggressive and abusive with me, blaming me for loss of independence, driving licence being revoked, meddling, stealing, turning neighbours against me. I was called so many names and it hurt. I really didn't understand the disease then and have been very ill with it all. I wish I could help you in some way, it is a very difficult road. I am 47 too by the way. It is such a cruel disease and the loss is huge but I have received so much support on here which has helped me through dark times and I hope it can in some way help you. Can you get dementia services to come and visit you, or Alzheimer's Society to come over? I think someone else mentioned Age UK. They can give you support and advice in your home, esp as you can't get your Mum to GP. I kept writing to Mum's GP all the time by the way.
  13. mumov4

    mumov4 Registered User

    Apr 10, 2015
    I know what you mean about being accused of stealing my mum does it all the time and it's heartbreaking I get accused of all sorts I was so close to my mum before this x
  14. FozzyC

    FozzyC Registered User

    Aug 3, 2014
    Only child of 51, long long story, but two parents in 80's with different care needs. Check out my posts for more of my messy saga, but you're not alone in feeling the weight of being an 'only one' and yes, I know siblings are no guarantee of help, and often they are more of a hindrance, but the mathematical possibility of someone to take up their share would be nice sometime? It's the knowing that if you don't, then who will? Sympathy and a hug xxx
  15. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    It's so sad and it changes everything, I couldn't see it was the disease for a long time, it's only now she's in a CH and I am slowly putting together all the pieces.... I feel for you.x
  16. samfordb

    samfordb Registered User

    Feb 21, 2015
    I cared for my mother for several a years and I am an only child. I did not want her in a nursing home but I found a retirement village that would deliver meals, provide social activities and give help with medications during the day. I made daily visits to her and managed her doctor visits and medications. It was difficult. I could not leave town for more than one night because she depended on me being there daily. I had to take her car away when she could no longer remember how to drive and did not like to ask for help. It takes a lot of patience and you always need to take time for yourself as well.
  17. Catia

    Catia Registered User

    Jul 12, 2015
    Vancouver Canada
    Only children

    I am also 47 years old and an only child. My mom has middles stages of Alzheimer's and my dad is now 82 and is having a hard time coping. I have no partner and no kids of my own and have been drowning in my own tears. I don't know what to do

    I would like to connect with people who are going through the same thing as I am.

  18. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    48 and only child here. Mum refused to have any more children and divorced my father when I was 11. She never remarried and I have seen my 'father' once in 37 years. She has vascular dementia, is in a care home and is unaware. I am her only visitor. I have a tiny family (1 aunt with renal failure who lives 150 miles away). No help BUT when things go right, I know I am the reason. I have given up on soc serv or official 'agencies.' None of them (including CAB) were helpful. This forum is my outlet, my solace and my sanity restorer! Keep posting. There are some wonderful people here. Happy Sunday to you all! Xxx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  19. Wendy3040

    Wendy3040 Registered User

    Jul 12, 2015
    I am not an only child but the wife of an only child. My husband is unable to cope with his Mum's dementia. He will do the practical stuff when asked but the emotional side is left to me. It has been a hard journey and many have said why do you do it but how can I not? My mother in law has been in my life for 30 years I can't abandon her now when there is no one else. The dementia was brought on by a stroke but the beginnings were there before, it has just exacerbated it. As she is self funded I too have found social services unhelpful, only being interested if a financial assessment is required. I have been lucky to find an excellent care agency who come in for an hour in the morning then I go in after work for an hour in the evening. I also do all shopping, washing and organising. I have arranged meals to be delivered daily. I feel guilty as she doesn't go out as has limited mobility and would not be able to cope with going out alone. I have tried to arrange befriending and lunch club or day care but she refuses. She would go out if I took her but I just can't do any more. To compound all this my husbands Aunt who is 92 clearly has established dementia, she has no children of her own so unfortunately it is down to us, or should I say me again. The Aunt lives 15 miles away so I can't just pop in. She thinks she is perfectly ok and nothing is wrong but she is not managing, can't remember her PIN number to get money out, leaves the gas hob on, the front door open and clearly cannot manage everyday life now. Again, she would be self funded so social Services not interested. I am feeling overwhelmed by all this as there does not seem an end to it and I feel I cannot do any more. On a positive note, my own Dad is 90 and manages perfectly well on his own with support from me. I have a sister who lives away but I can at least discus matters to do with him with her. It makes such a difference to at least have someone to share concerns with. It occurs to me that the majority of people on this forum caring for loved ones with dementia are female!
  20. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Hi Layla,

    I sympathise and empathise. Also an only child, 47, dad has dementia, mum has long-term mental health issues and it's increasingly likely she also has dementia. I live halfway around the world and can't move back for health and financial reasons, but most of all because I'm married to a non-EU national, which under the current regulations means the only way I could look after my parents would be if me and my husband split up after 22 years of marriage.

    You'll find lots of help and support on here. Best of luck,


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