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Trying to get dad to accept he needs support caring for mum

Hattie66

New member
Oct 26, 2021
5
0
Hi all - I'm new here and to be honest hadn't thought this forum would apply to me until someone recently suggested that I had a caring role. My parents are both 85 and ten years ago mum was diagnosed with Parkinson's and in the last couple of years the associated Lewy body dementia. There are other medical problems as well but they have always been fiercely independent and in their sixty two years of marriage have looked after each other. Mum is at the stage where all she wants to do is sleep all the time and it is a struggle for her to get dressed and move around as she used to. Her hearing and sight are also affected so she can't concentrate on simple things like watching the tv. More recently she has been getting quite aggressive with dad and is refusing to go to medical appointments etc. I know dad is finding this very difficult to cope with - in his words 'if we can get mum sorted I'll be fine'. I speak to dad every morning on the phone for half an hour which gives him a chance to offload but he is reluctant to speak to anyone else apart from the doctor as he feels he's doing mum a disservice. I live twenty miles away and go and visit once or twice a week but apart from that they have no friends or neighbours for local support (those they knew when mum was 'well' have moved away). I have tried to get them involved in local support groups but dad really doesn't want to go. What I find difficult is trying to say to him that things are unlikely to improve - not only for mum but his health is obviously affected as well. I have spoken to local support groups and they have been lovely but again dad doesn't see the point. I'm worried for both of them and don't quite know what more I can do.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,433
0
For richer for poorer, in sickness and health, till.....
At their age, love, honour, and obey, probably came into it as well.
There is nothing about doing without help, when needed.
I would take father aside, and spell out in no uncertian terms, what will happen, when he collapses. Which he will do sooner rather than later, at the rate he's going.

Bod.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,757
0
Oh such a common problem with independent and stubborn parents. They are from an age where asking for help was seen as weakness. Would your mum’s doctor be willing to prescribe an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication for your mum? This may help improve quality of life. I wonder if your getting in touch with Age UK might be useful, as they might be able to offer some help to get your parents used to having at least a little support.

Here’s a link:

 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,222
0
High Peak
Could you start with small things he might find acceptable, like someone coming in to do cleaning and change beds, etc?

If you haven't already done so, you should sort out Power of Attorney for both of them.
 

Hattie66

New member
Oct 26, 2021
5
0
Could you start with small things he might find acceptable, like someone coming in to do cleaning and change beds, etc?

If you haven't already done so, you should sort out Power of Attorney for both of them.
Yes they do have someone coming in once a week to do a light clean which is good but dad sees that as a practical measure - it's the opening up to a stranger he finds difficult.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,101
0
South coast
Yes they do have someone coming in once a week to do a light clean which is good but dad sees that as a practical measure - it's the opening up to a stranger he finds difficult.
If hes happy with someone coming in to do practical things, would he accept having carers in to help get his wife up in the morning and perhaps help her get ready for bed in the evening?
I have carers coming in to help OH get washed and dressed and found them a godsend.

She might also enjoy day care which would give him a bit of a break
 

Hattie66

New member
Oct 26, 2021
5
0
If hes happy with someone coming in to do practical things, would he accept having carers in to help get his wife up in the morning and perhaps help her get ready for bed in the evening?
I have carers coming in to help OH get washed and dressed and found them a godsend.

She might also enjoy day care which would give him a bit of a break
 

Hattie66

New member
Oct 26, 2021
5
0
Up until now he's thought having people in would be too intrusive but she's having an assessment next week so hopefully they might be able to suggest something he'll accept. She was taken for an afternoon out recently to give dad some respite but didn't enjoy it very much - part of the issue is that they just want to be together all the time.
 

Hattie66

New member
Oct 26, 2021
5
0
For richer for poorer, in sickness and health, till.....
At their age, love, honour, and obey, probably came into it as well.
There is nothing about doing without help, when needed.
I would take father aside, and spell out in no uncertian terms, what will happen, when he collapses. Which he will do sooner rather than later, at the rate he's going.

Bod.
I feel so guilty but don't feel that I can put anything else on dad - and to be honest he wouldn't take it from me. I've set up various conversations for him to have with different people who have all been lovely, recommended local support groups etc. but ultimately it's getting dad to accept he needs help as well as mum. I have been in touch with someone from a local carer's support group and she is going to visit them next week and try to persuade him of the benefits of meeting other people in the same situation.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
153
0
Up until now he's thought having people in would be too intrusive but she's having an assessment next week so hopefully they might be able to suggest something he'll accept. She was taken for an afternoon out recently to give dad some respite but didn't enjoy it very much - part of the issue is that they just want to be together all the time.
If you can’t change their behaviour then you’ll have to change your own. I know it’s easy for me to say stop worrying so much, but I think your worrying is just as injurious to your health as their wish for privacy is to theirs. If not more so.

I used to worry all the time about my pwd but I had some cbt and it helped me enormously. My pwd wouldn’t accept help either until it was taken out of our hands by Social Services. Continue to be a listening ear for Dad, help where (or if) you can and offer to facilitate some outside help if he seems out of his depth, but try not to worry yourself into the ground over them.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
581
0
Does your dad "do" internet?
I wonder if it is worth him looking at some of the posts here, and realising that there are many, many husbands in just such his situation. I have just read a post by @blackmortimer , who has recently lost his wife. He makes some very good points about coping with dementia.
No, it may not make him accept support, but sometimes just knowing that others feel as you do can be helpful.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,101
0
South coast
There are so many people around who think that getting in outside help is a "betrayal" and feel that they "aught" to be able to cope all by themself. I think it might be a good idea to back off a bit as continuing to press him might make him dig hid heels in further. Just be ready to help him implement help if he starts to show signs of accepting it, or, alternatively, pick up the pieces when it all falls apart. You might want to look at care agencies (or even care homes) so that in an emergency you know who to turn to.

BTW, I have found that the carers have very quickly ceased to be strangers and both OH and I look forward to seeing them.