Trying to ignore the stuff that doesn't actually matter...

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by TooHard, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    109
    I know some things just aren't important but I find it so difficult not to interfere...

    Mum lives alone with her (very) small dog. I've been staying (go home tomorrow) and find it very stressful to ignore some of the odd dementia related stuff she does - like the fact that there are currently ELEVEN plates of water/dog food/grated cheese etc down for the dog (in 3 different rooms). Last night I sneaked away a full packet of cold meat that was down for him. Other than the fact it's not good for the dog (though mostly he doesn't eat it) it's not actually a problem and I shouldn't let it bother me. But it does! It really does.

    I need a good online shake from you sensible people!
     
  2. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    No, I don't think you need a shake from any of us.

    Learning to ignore the small stuff needs practice ... and unfortunately we all get lots of it and so become good at it eventually :eek:. Coping with the grief and irritations of dementia is hard - please be kind to yourself.
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,737
    Salford
    Hi TooHard
    Have you had an assessment done by the local authority, is she getting help when you're not there? It sounds like it's time to involve the social services both to get her on their radar and to have someone coming in to check how she copes when you're not there. You can refer her (usually it can be done on-line) and they can assess the situation and advise what care packages they can put in place.
    K
     
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    It's good to hear that she is feeding the dog lol and water too!! So many people with dementia and pets forget to feed them :( .
     
  5. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    539
    Female
    Shropshire
    I think you need to qustionif she is actually fit to look after the dog as is needed, it appears not. Don't ignore this as a possibility and just keep an eye onit
     
  6. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    109
    I already contacted Social Work but mum continues to refuse any sort of support and they continue to accept that.

    We have a vet in the family and we have ensured that the dog is checked over regularly but, apart from being (unsurprisingly) a bit tubby he is healthy enough. To be honest the dog is what keeps her going and I suspect her deterioration will be swift if something happens to him. I'd much prefer if she fed him normal dog food and in appropriate quantities but there are worse things than this. I just find it ridiculously stressful to see.
     
  7. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,715
    Male
    Bristol
    It is the accumulation of little things isn't it, TooHard. OH doesn't have too many serious problems with her dementia compared to some people I read about, but her daughter really struggles to deal with seeing her mum as she is when she used to be so lively and took pride in her appearance.
    You are doing really well to quietly tidy a few bowls up when you mum is not looking and to make sure the dog is healthy.
     
  8. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    109
    You're spot on with the 'accumulation of little things' - in many ways mum manages remarkably well considering the combination of near blindness, dementia and mobility problems but the fact that she can't use the cooker or microwave, struggles to put on her trousers, can't see when clothes are dirty, hasn't had a bath or shower in over 2 years all bother me and I so wish she'd accept some help.

    I often feel really sneaky as I wait until she's not looking before I sort things out. Sometimes, such as when I change her bed, I have to do it in the face of her being really bad tempered about it and demands that I leave it alone!

    ...all made harder by the fact that I live over 100 miles away so I only have a limited period of time to deal with things when I'm here.
     
  9. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,715
    Male
    Bristol
    That is a lot of little things, sorry TooHard. I only got through problems with SS and persuaded OH to set up a care plan because I am here when the reviews take place and when carers arrive. It must be so hard if you can't be all the time, but you are doing your best so I can only wish you well.
     
  10. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    109
    I do try to be here when there is an important appointment - the Social Worker (who was lovely) visited my mum on a Monday and then came back on the Thursday when I was there. She couldn't have been more helpful (she certainly made me feel better) but all her suggestions were met with refusal by my mum.

    It's when there's a big problem (a recent upset stomach led to a disastrous mess in the bathroom) that being so far away makes dealing with things so hard. Having to arrange an extra visit just to clean the bathroom (days after the mess!) makes making personal plans really hard. Or guessing that the swollen leg that I can't see is a recurrence of cellulitis and get the doctor to visit (mum can't get there on her own). That's why I'd like to be less stressed about stupid things like eleven plates down for the dog!
     
  11. twinklestar

    twinklestar Registered User

    Sep 14, 2014
    84
    I am not afraid to say that we did things/tidied up when mum went to bed or was in the other room with someone else.

    It is hard enough to deal with these things when you live with them let alone when you live miles away.

    My mum did all the house work and took pride in it. Would not let anyone help her. It was her job. You get the picture. When you look after someone with dementia all that changes. What they can do becomes less and less and the whole things gets very sad. However, what it does make you look at is what is important and what is not. We are all different and only you can decide that. Eventually you learn to give yourself a break.
     

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