1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. optocarol

    optocarol Registered User

    Nov 23, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I thought we had an OK relationship, it took long enough to get that far - it took a day to see how fragile it obviously was!! OH went into care yesterday, a bit unexpectedly because a vacancy came up at the retirement village's (where we live) dementia unit. It has a very good reputation and report from the District Health Board. A neighbour whose job includes finding such places for people said, "They never have vacancies, I can never get people in there." Given, I'd just had a suspected TIA and the doctor said, "Do it," I did.

    Stepdaughter (presume speaking for all) has written 2 horrible emails. She disagrees the situation is as desperate as I'm trying to make out and much more, much worse. I do have supportive friends, family, support group leader and mental health team, but I really could never have imagined she could be so vitriolic.

    Feeling better since I told her I didn't need the stress and to communicate through my daughter. Having a couple of days away too.

    I doubt this can ever be retrieved.
  2. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    I'm sorry you've had the step daughter problem to deal with on top of everything else going on.

    I'm glad you've arranged to communicate with the step-daughter through your daughter, it'll make her pause and step back and gives a chance for the relationship to recover.

    Please don't assume your step-daughter speaks for the other members of the family, they may well have different views.
  3. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    You being the primary carer are the only person who really knows how bad your OH is and I am sure that the doctor would not have suggested the dementia unit if he didn't think he needed to be there. In view of your own health issues, this would seem a sensible move. And I am so pleased for you that you are getting away for a couple of days and that you have a lot of support in place.

    Obviously, your stepdaughter doesn't really understand (or is burying her head in the sand) about dementia but at least she seems to care about her dad.

    I have never met one of my two step sons and they both live halfway round the world from us. But all they want to know is what is in our wills so they are far more interested in our money than the state of their dad's health. Unfortunately greed has the happy knack of turning ordinary human beings into monsters. One keeps suggesting that we go over for a trip with no idea that OH could not handle long haul flights.

    Is there anyone from the mental health team who would be able to sit down and talk with your step-daughter about dementia? If she is determined to cast you in the role of the wicked stepmother, then nothing may help her see things differently but in the interests of her dad, it could be worth a try.
  4. optocarol

    optocarol Registered User

    Nov 23, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks all. I have given her the mental health team phone number, suggested she phone. Response was, "They won't listen anyway." This because she was there when they reassessed him and said they make these decisions on the basis of the 5 minutes they spend with him. I pointed out it was a lot longer the time before, when she wasn't there. They won't phone her as I have POA.

    However, we will have to have a meeting possibly about some details. I have said I won't do it without someone else there e.g. support group leader. Her response to the emails I received was, "Put me in front of them!" I really don't think she has educated herself about the disease.
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Hi again,

    She certainly sounds very hostile which is rather sad under the circumstances. I think I would take her at her word and put her in front of the people who have been assessing your OH. She appears to have no idea about her father's illness and it wouldn't hurt her to receive a little instruction from professionals whilst you take a back seat until required.

    I would have thought that as you have POA, then someone from the mental health team would have been able to phone her providing you gave them permission to do so.

    I gather that there are other siblings and you seemed to think that they agreed with her. Is there any possibility that there may be some support for you from the others? If they were all made aware of the true situation rather than the noisy one's opinion, perhaps they could help.

    Do you think that it is a personal issue with you or would she have been antagonistic towards anyone that got involved with her dad? As if your life wasn''t already complicated enough!
  6. optocarol

    optocarol Registered User

    Nov 23, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    "Put me in front of them" was the support group leader's remark, not stepdaughter's.

  7. optocarol

    optocarol Registered User

    Nov 23, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    The mental health team didn't say they could phone if I gave permission.

    I now know they agree as the needs assessor phoned me today saying the younger sibling had left her a message asking for the documents. I guess she means the assessments. She (needs assessor) recommended I consult a lawyer. :(
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    My guess is she knows the costs of being in the dementia unit and sees any possible inheritance diminishing. Forget her. Anyone who challenges the caregiver in this situation is not interested in you or your husband. Leave her to ponder her own agenda.
  9. optocarol

    optocarol Registered User

    Nov 23, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    His income from rent/interest covers the fees twice over. Yes, I guess they'll still get less than they would have, but she was the one who always said it's Dad's money!
  10. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Part of me thinks what I tell most people to remember, which is what a counsellor once told me ' you don't have to explain yourself to anyone, you aren't answerable to others, as long as you are happy with your decision, that is their problem not yours'. Which I do agree with.

    Another part of me thinks I would ask her what she would do if you weren't available through ill health to look after her Dad? Is she prepared to pay someone to sort his needs and caring out? Or is she prepared to give up her life, her job etc to come and live with him, or move her father in with her? The answer will be No if course, and if she thought about properly it would still mean she loses money. Paying others, or sacrificing her earnings! So be quiet and thankful she has somebody else making decisions for her father as well as making themselves unwell trying their best!

    Sorry if I'm blunt, but I believe in straight talking and calling a spade a shovel! Maybe Daddy's girl needs to grow up a but and not be a princess.
  11. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    I'm sorry to say but you don't stand a chance of any compassion. He's there dad and you are the wicked step mother. They can choose as to what they think of there dads condition to suit themselves and it will never be the same as yourself as you are not there flesh and blood. I am in the same situation with my stepchildren and I could walk over hot coals to please them but in the end they curse and talk about me behind my back. In 2009 I told them there dad had early dementia and they accused me of making it up. Now I care for him full time and they still ignore the fact that there is anything wrong.
    Do his children visit him and will they visit him every week. If so they might see for themselves how bad he has got, but in the end they will still say that he should be at home with you and that you couldn't be bothered to care for him.
    It's the hardest thing to do but I am learning, just ignore anything horrible they say let it flow over your head and if ever you need to communicate grit your teeth and be pleasant and placid. Then when finished curse them and forget them. They are not worth wasting your time and feelings over and as you say you have other support so just accept them as a slight inconvenience and at least now they can visit there father without any contact with you. That is a plus side.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  12. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Sometimes blood relatives are no better. My sister called me a control freak when i got carers in for my mother. All she saw was the cost and her inheritence getting smaller. She never visits the care home either. Twice last year and she lives 10 minutes walk from it.

    Do what you have to. Trust the advice of those that know and dont have their own agenda.
  13. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    I agree with quilty that there can be similar difficulties with blood relatives too. It's all too easy for relatives to base their ill informed judgements on phone calls or short visits and to make judgements about how their relative with AD is coping or what the regular carer is telling them or is doing

    The suggestion that the step daughter communicates via your daughter is a good one. I'd also suggest you re-direct emails either to your daughter or to spam. I hope your daughter is a good support to you.

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