Should I have stopped my Mum being with her abusive partner?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Lisethepiece, May 3, 2015.

  1. Lisethepiece

    Lisethepiece Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    #1 Lisethepiece, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
    I am new to this site, but hope it helps as don't know where else to turn.

    My Mum is 77 and was diagnosed with dementia at 68. She now has advanced stage and needs 24 hr care. My Dad was with Mum for 60 years before he died of cancer 3 years ago which was the worst thing that has happened to our family, until now. Mum was suicidal at the time and just got through the next year with the support of family and friends.

    2 years ago, one of Mum And Dads friends came to stay for the weekend at Mums house and never left. Despite the fact that Mum was advanced stage by then, they soon were sharing a bed and having a sexual relationship. We all found this confusing at the time, but Mum seemed happy and it worked for a while. We were grateful to this man as we knew that if he wasn't there she would have to go to a CH, so we did not ask for a penny from him for house bills or food or anything else. The main thing was to keep Mum in her home that was familiar and she loved.

    However, over the last year things started to deteriorate. The house got really dirty, there was always rotting food around and worse, Mum always looked dirty with sores and cuts and lived in filthy bed sheets that the man would not allow me to change. If I tried to suggest clearing things up it would end in battles with Mum who defended everything her new partner wanted. More worryingly than that, I would get frequent night time phone calls from Mum saying her partner was being so verbally aggressive that she wanted him out or she wanted to leave and was scared of him. I challenged him about this and he admitted losing his temper out of frustration on several occasions. Much as I know it's such a frustrating illness, I was getting increasingly worried about the decline in the situation. Every time these arguments happened I would tell Mum I would talk to her partner about it in the morning and sort things out, but when the morning came Mum would have no recollection of any fighting and get angry at me for even suggesting such a thing was possible!

    Things limped on for a few months until Mums partner suddenly took to his bed as he claimed his legs no longer worked and he needed to admit himself to hospital. I took time off work to go and look after both of them as neither could get food for themselves and also organised for a private carer to come in for when Mums partner was away. Mums partners view at that time was that I should give up my job and come and look after them both which is not a financial option for me and my family. He was permanently in bed and peeing into bottles which I had to empty and exposing his genitals to me at any opportunity then laughing when I complained.

    Meanwhile I told the whole sad tale to the local Adult Care team who said that there was a safeguarding issue for Mum and advised that I needed to get this man out of Mums house and the opportunity would be after he was admitted to hospital. Once he was in hospital I contacted the adult social care team there and they told him that he was to be discharged the following day back to his home and not to my mothers house. By the way he had very little wrong with him and was walking around the ward with a little effort despite telling us this would have been impossible at home and should never have been sent to hospital in the first place. We also found out that he was not feeding Mum and hadn't given her medication to her for the last 6 months because she didn't want it.

    So now he is at his home many miles away and Mum is living with the carer, very expensive, but looking to see if we can get some help from the council, but what choice did we have? Every day my Mum demands to speak to her partner over and over, she rings him constantly. She is very angry at me because he told her it is me keeping them apart. He does not think he did anything wrong, she calls him the love of her life and frequently screams the house down trying to find him, smashing the walls and throwing things about. The carer is amazing and mum is clean and healthy, washing properly, eating well, taking her medicine, but totally obsessed with getting back with her "lover". He keeps ringing me saying they had a relationship and he should come back as his home is not suitable for his care needs and he would be much happier at Mums.

    With every decision I make about Mum I think about what she would have wanted me to do when she was well, what I promised my lovely father I would do for her ie keep her in her home as long as the money lasted and she was safe. It is so hard and I fear that the stress of all this will take me down the same road as Mum. Her dementia began shortly after her mother died from dementia and all the stress that involved so I know it could happen to me too. I have three brothers but they have done very little over the last few years. I have POA and so do pretty much everything for Mum despite having a full time job and children. My brother seems to be more worried about the cost of this and his inheritance, but I really don't respect that view. My other brother keeps saying that we shouldn't split up my mum and her partner as they are a couple, but he is not the one on speed dial when she is hysterical or wanting to run away from this man.

    Sorry to drone on, but it's been a horrible few weeks and, despite all my friends and mums friends saying I did the right thing it doesn't feel like it when Mum is screaming at me for her man. Has anyone else had a situation like this? I couldn't find anything like it and I really would like some advice on whether I am doing the right thing, how long this nightmare may last and is there anything else I can do to make it better?
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Go with your instincts on this. You are the one at the sharp end so know what is really going on. Block this other man from your phone if necessary.
  3. Blackfield

    Blackfield Registered User

    Mar 8, 2015
    Goodness what a dreadful situation for both you and your mum. However, you have to keep reminding yourself that your mum has no rational thought and you have to make decisions for her. I would have done exactly the same in those circumstances as it sounds as though she was being abused and used by her partner.

    Deep down you know that you have done the right thing but it is the constant abuse from your mum that is making you doubt this. In many ways I have taken the cowards way out with my dad. I had to make the decision to put dad in a CH for the sake of my 85 year old mum who just couldn't cope any more. The family all agreed. I know this was the right thing to do and when I am not around dad is coping in his new surroundings but when I visit he turns into a monster and a very angry man. I have therefore made the decision to stop visiting and so have the family. I'm not suggesting this is right for you, but taking a step away from the constant barrage of abuse and accusations may help your state of mind.
  4. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Hi and welcome to TP-I hope you found it useful to tell us about your Mum's situation-you really are experiencing a lot of stress. In my opinion you have done EXACTLY the right thing to keep your Mum well cared for and safe. The situation sounds absolutely horrendous and your Mum's 'partner' a low life (if I could use swear words I would have).

    Your mindset in putting your Mum's welfare above everything else is spot on. Remember you have the support of Adult Safeguarding so if this man continues to phone you I would advise that you block his phone number if you can. Make sure that you do the same with your Mum's phone. In addition, if he visits your Mum just ONCE take an injunction out against him if you can. Adult Safeguarding could possibly help you. It is entirely possible that AS would make the decision to place your Mum in a CH if he gets his lazy feet under the table again.

    You are doing so well in an impossible situation

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    There comes a time when a person with dementia is unable to make a decision and stick to it and then is the time to take over.

    You have made this decision in your mother`s best interests, and she is confused by her memories.

    She was being taken advantage of even though she might not have realised it.

    Perhaps when she is screaming for her man you can simply say he has gone back to live in his own home and you can do nothing about it.
  6. Moonflower

    Moonflower Registered User

    Mar 28, 2012
    You have done the right thing. Block this mans phone calls.

    His problems are not your responsibility.
    You're doing what has to be done for your mum
  7. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    Goodness as if having to deal with dementia isnt bad enough you have all this to contend with. In my opinion you have done exactly the right thing for your mum. Why should you have to look after this despicable character as well. If it is working with the carer that's good but if you have to go down the CH route its not all bad and at least she would be safe and away from him. Hope you find your way through this living nightmare!
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    What a dreadful situation and what a scumbag!

    You did absolutely the right thing by reporting it to SS - it is indeed a safeguarding issue. Once dementia reaches a certain level they are not able to make logical decisions and you are the one to make them for her. Your brothers seem worse than useless, so go with your own feelings, which IMO are spot on.

    Could you get a new number for your mum and remove his number from anywhere in the house so that she has no contact with him? I would also block him from my own phone too.

    When she asks about him, she will probably be distressed to hear that he has gone as she wont remember anything about this - in her eyes he was good to her and is her partner and she will get distressed all over again everytime you tell her. Instead, say that he is at work, or gone shopping or whatever other love lie will pacify her. With a bit of luck, if there is no further contact she will start to forget about him.
  9. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Whatever you promised your father, I can guarantee that he never envisaged this scenario! So I would go with your gut instinct on what would be best for mum.
    As a point of interest, does she think this man is her late husband or is she fully aware of who he really is? I only ask as most dementia patients live in the past and confuse spouses with children. I am occasionally meant to be OHs mother. He is living in the past, so an adult female living in the home is obviously 'mother'.
    That might explain the rages etc.
  10. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Absolutely you did the right thing, this is Dementia you are dealing with and there really is a time when you have to step in and make decisions and choices for your mother to keep her safe. With my mum obsession with someone or something is part of her illness. Have you had your mum's meds reviewed recently?
  11. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013

    From me, I fully agree with all the comments made, you are doing right for your Mum.
    You must be strong, and be prepared not to pussy foot around, should this man appear back on the scene. (check up on what would be needed for an injunction)
    Would Adult safeguarding accept the idea, that you mother would be safer in a care home, rather than at home?
    As for brothers, inheritance, well you all are in the same boat!
    Would he rather she be safe and well, in care, or living in crisis, and costing the earth to sort out each time?

  12. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    I 100% agree with the other comments here. I would block this man's number from your mother's phone- both incoming and outgoing. Some of the things you described about the situation when he was living with your mother make me cringe. Just the fact that was not feeding her properly is reason enough to keep him away.
    You have to realize that dementia takes away a person's ability to make safe decisions about their own life. My mom lives in a care home and she still tells me adamantly that she prepares all her meals for herself. If it were up to her, she would walk straight out of there and promptly become lost.
    Your mom needs your protection and guidance now, just like a small child who needs her mom to make the safe decisions.
    I know it seems odd, as she is an adult and it feels wrong to take away what she seems to want (ie: her lover) but she doesn't know what you know (he wasn't feeding or keeping her clean or giving her medications) She only remembers what the dementia allows her to, which could even be memories of your loving dad.

    You are doing the exact right thing. Protecting your mom from a harmful person.
  13. Miche47uk

    Miche47uk Registered User

    Apr 3, 2015
    Well done

    At the start of my mums dementia post stroke in about 2008/9, she was dating an **** of a man, I caught him once checking out her vases and seeing whom they were made by, but post stroke the calls came from Mum, raspberrys stolen, jewellery missing, locks changed time after time, partner ditched (thank god), nothing was stolen, it was the start of vascular dementia... as somebody else said, she may be confusing her partner with your father, just reassure, don't try to reason too much as if in a vascular episode as I call them, there is no reasoning, so I reassure, acknowledge, try and distract and leave Mum (safely) until it passes over... I even use fake wine (Mum loves wine), best distraction on the planet but Mum seems to have stayed in the early to top end of moderate on the silly scoring boards... sounds to me as if you are doing a fab job and good for you. Half the battle seems to be that social services seem to do more when someone is under their wing financially but when they have their own means then less is done other than that they safeguarded my Mum in hospital last year when she nearly died in a care home, so she couldn't be sent back when 'medically fit'.... follow your heart xx
  14. Lisethepiece

    Lisethepiece Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    Thank you so much to all of those that responded I can't tell you what a comfort it was to hear so many people agree with what I have done. It is still really bad at Mums as she cries for her "lover" all the time and definitely seems to confuse him with my Dad as man suggested. I'm not sure how long she will be at home as she bashes her head against the wall saying life isn't worth living or throws things around screaming for her man. The carer is amazing but there is only so much one person can take. We are getting the house valued and will start looking at homes. I hope my brothers will help with this. Hope to get some help from the council as Mums pension will only stretch so far.
  15. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Your doing right girl!
    Don't forget to involve her GP, as this may be the introduction the care services, you need.

  16. Lisethepiece

    Lisethepiece Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    #16 Lisethepiece, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
    My Mum said she wanted to kill me today

    Today I went away for the weekend for some time out with girlfriends. I thought I would give calls to Mum a break. Then just before going down for dinner I thought I would ring Mum to just check everything was OK- big mistake. She was in a really bad mood and didn't want to talk. When the carer put her on she told me she wanted to slit my throat. Much as I have long ago accepted that the loving, best friend mother I once had had gone, to hear your mum say she wants to murder you is pretty upsetting. I just cried my eyes out. It was all about her wanting her abusive partner back and she hates me completely because she believes I am stopping them from being together. I just don't know how much more of this I can take. I have two amazing , beautiful daughters that I love more than life itself, and the idea that I could ever threaten to kill them makes me want to vomit. That comment from Mum has hurt me so much and ruined my time away. I just wonder whether the time has come to look at residential care for Mum. I have to put my family's and my needs first or I will break down.
  17. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    I'm so sorry this happened. Try to remember, it's not your mum, it's the disease talking. I know that doesn't make it any easier to hear though.

    When I was considering moving my mom into a care home, I asked myself this: If she were well, and her thoughts were clear: my old mom who would know she needed help, would she want me to be hurt by her disease? Would she be horrified that she was upsetting me and worrying me endlessly? Of course she would. She would want me to do whatever was necessary to have her well cared for and to put my mind at ease, knowing she was safe.

    Try to remember your real mum. The healthy mum and what she would have wanted for herself and you.
  18. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Yes. The answer to your question is just yes.
    And in view of the seriousness of the emotion expressed get her meds looked at.
    Sending you a huge hug. --Don't feel bad. Don't feel you've done badly. It's just that you can't fight dementia; it will always win one way or another. The fact is: you done good, girl.
  19. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Hope you had a good night and lots of support from your friends. Your mother can no longer make logical, safe guarding decisions. As heart breaking as it is, you have to make these for her and what you have done and still doing is protecting her with love and care. it may get confused with other things in her life, but it will go the way of most dangerous obsessions, forgotten. Try to have a quiet Sunday with your own children, take care of yourself.
  20. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    quote <Try to remember, it's not your mum, it's the disease talking. >

    Now that is a very good way of putting it, makes it like a horror movie, the Alien or something.

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