Peer Support/Depression

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Nitwit, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Nitwit

    Nitwit New member

    Jan 19, 2018
    Have not been online for months now and am getting more and more depressed. My son and I were due to take my wife now 69 to a memory clinic last September. Her vascular dementia condition then was mild (passwords/logging on the computer/days of the week) but at the beginning of September she contracted urosepsis before the assessment took place and her condition after 6 weeks in hospital nose dived and she was discharged into a wonderful nursing home but confined to a bucket chair, unable to walk, incontinent, and with challenging behaviour.

    The 50 plus mile commute to visit her 6 days a week with our old dog that I have now been doing for 10 months (used to be 7 days until friends told me I should take time off for myself) and then returning to an empty house is so deeply depressing. She was so much brighter than me and seeing her for instance trying to raise a beaker and not having the cognition to tilt it to extract fluid when I go in to help her with her lunch is heart breaking. This is such a CRUEL condition. Fortunately she does remember people and I daily use my ipad to show her photos of our son who unfortunately lives 735 miles away in the far NW Highlands of Scotland. He has been wonderful support and takes a long weekend off every month to fly down and visit her and support me but I still often come back home deeply depressed knowing that she never will.
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @Nitwit, with these rapid changes and the current commute and loneliness it's not surprising that you feel depressed.

    I'm sure you will get support here, however, don't hesitate to turn to your GP for help at this time.
  3. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Oh @Nitwit , I'm so sorry to hear this. What a dreadful time you, your wife and son have had. It seems to me that you've barely had chance to adapt to this very rapid change in circumstances.
    With such a long commute, too, your visits must be exhausting as well as depressing. I know only too well that awful feeling of coming home full of grief, and not knowing what to do with those feelings.
    I'm pleased that your son is being so supportive but if you feel the need to speak to someone who is not directly involved, then perhaps see your GP, or try the National Dementia helpline on 0300 222 1122.
    For what it's worth, I believe your friends are right, you do need time for yourself. I hope you get support to help you work out a way forward - I'm sure your wife would not want you to be suffering like this.
    All the best
    Lindy xx
  4. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    @Nitwit, I am so sorry to read about your situation. The two shining lights are thatbyour son is supporting you as much as he can, and it sounds like you have really good friends too. Would you consider going to your Dr about your feelings of depression? Or would you consider seeing a counsellor? I am finding counselling invaluable at the moment, when life seems overwhelming.
    I am glad you have turned to Talking Point, in any case. The members here are an invaluable source of support and information. Please keep posting and take the support offered.
  5. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    What an awful situation you find yourself in, I am so sorry. You have barely had time to think given that the changes have been so rapid over such a short period of time. It's no wonder that you are feeling overwhelmed.

    I do understand the compulsion that makes us visit our loved ones every single day. My late husband was in an NHS dementia unit for five months this year and I too felt driven to make that trip every single day to spend time with him, help support him, do his laundry and generally look out for him. It was an exhausting business both mentally and physically and yet I was much more fortunate than you in that he was staying close by, so I didn't have the extra stress of having to travel far.

    One day I got sick and didn't visit. It was a bit of an eye-opener because I finally realised that nothing would come crumbling down if I couldn't get there every single day. He was safe and in good hands and it was ok for me to take a breather if I needed to. I only missed about 5 days throughout my husband's stay but those days enabled me to have a much needed break, re-energise and carry on. On days when I couldn't visit I just rang up to get an update on things - though I know they would have contacted me if there has been anything urgent.

    I know it is the last thing we want to hear at these times, but we do need to take care of ourselves too. I am glad you dropped down to 6 days per week visiting but don't be afraid to take more time if you need to. I would urge you to be a bit kinder on yourself, step away from the manic treadmill and take time to gather your strength from time to time during your visiting routine. It is much better for us to miss the occasional day than to become so ill or exhausted that a much longer break is needed.

    You have been given contact details for the National Dementia helpline, which is a good starting point. In my situation I also found that our local carers' support groups were a good place to just talk and unwind - and of course, here on Talking Point, where there were so many people who totally understood what I was facing and feeling. As others have suggested, it would be worth letting your GP know how things are affecting you as he/she will be able to help and support you too.

    Please keep posting. I find that just writing things down is a release in itself - but the support and feedback we receive on top of that is a huge help at such stressful times too.
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I suspect that you are suffering from grief
    Everything has happened so quickly and the sense of loss comes over quite strongly to me. I too feel I have lost my husband even though he is still at home with me.

    Can you find some other interests? This is not betrayal, but a way of giving you additional things to think about for when you get home. Perhaps some form of evening classes, or researching your family history, learn a new language or take up woodwork or pottery? It s perfectly OK to have a life outside of your wifes nursing home in addition to you visiting there.
  7. Nitwit

    Nitwit New member

    Jan 19, 2018
    Thank you all so much for your help and support. Had our son down who is a great support for the last few days so have not been online. I have seeked depression counselling from my GP and had an appointment on 12th July to see someone at the local hospital that I had waited approximately 2 months for! What does Nitwit do? He puts the wrong date in his diary and turns up on Friday 13th! I was born on 13th so naturally it was going to be on that day! I have rebooked a telephone consultation on 27th. The problem with taking more time off is that I am going in early to help feed her her lunch that is her main meal that the nursing home finds extremely useful as it often takes over an hour for her to consume her first course. I have my lunch at about 11am before leaving but my main meal is in the evening. I have started yoga on the day off and recently meditation at a centre where I live that I find useful and stress relieving and I have resumed swimming twice a week that I always used to do, once after yoga on the day I have off and another on a day after visiting my wife. Great to read your posts and know there is support out there.Kind regards Nitwit
  8. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    @Nitwit Glad you're feeling more positive. The yoga, swimming and meditation sound great. Well done you!
    I was sorry to read that you missed your counselling appointment, but with all the stress you've been under, it's not surprising! Hope the telephone consultation is helpful :)
    I understand your point about your wife's lunch but surely, if you're not there, it's something that the home should help with?
    Anyway I'm so pleased to hear you sounding better.
    Take care and keep it up :)
    Lindy xx

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