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Unhelpful family

jackson21

New member
Jul 26, 2021
2
0
Hello, my Grandad who I'm really close with is currently in the early stages of being diagnosed with dementia. I am heartbroken as he has already not recognized me and forgotten my name which I know is something I am going to have to come to terms with but I'm finding incredibly difficult as he is a massive part of my life. As much as this is already hard to deal with when trying to talk to my Dad about this for support (my Grandad isn't on his side of the family so it isn't his Dad) he straight away said I can't see why you're surprised by this he's 84 you should've expected it and it's very common showing no sympathy at all to the situation and what myself and my Mum (they are divorced) who is now going to be his carer giving up her job are now going through. He hasn't been in touch since as I was so shocked and upset at what he had said when I told him I was so down and depressed about what was happening. Now the way my Dad has made me feel is even worse as I feel like I can't talk to anyone about how I'm feeling as it's made me feel like it's not valid and that I shouldn't be upset but my Grandad has never had any health issues before it's a massive shock for me and I'm very fearful for what's next. I don't know what I'm wanting to hear back from this maybe if you've been in a similar situation with a family member not supporting how to deal with this at the moment I can't stop thinking about it and having bad dreams about it just want it to stop??
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,328
0
N Ireland
Hello and welcome @jackson21

Your feelings are valid but it's an unfortunate truth that not all family members are supportive when dementia strikes.

Stick around the forum as you will get plenty of support and information from people who travel the same journey and will understand.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,328
0
N Ireland
By the way @jackson21, don't get too downhearted about the failure to know who you are. It's true that it's just a symptom and I have to deal with this on an almost daily basis with my wife. However, it's obvious that, even though she doesn't always know my name or our relationship, my wife does know that there is a close bond and I take comfort from that. I hope that you will also find this to be the case.

This can even result in some unreal, but touching, moments. A couple of weeks back my wife was walking out of a room as I was walking in and she stopped, put her hands to my face and declared that she thought that she was falling in love with me! It was the sort of thing that one might expect on a date with a serious girlfriend!
 

jackson21

New member
Jul 26, 2021
2
0
By the way @jackson21, don't get too downhearted about the failure to know who you are. It's true that it's just a symptom and I have to deal with this on an almost daily basis with my wife. However, it's obvious that, even though she doesn't always know my name or our relationship, my wife does know that there is a close bond and I take comfort from that. I hope that you will also find this to be the case.

This can even result in some unreal, but touching, moments. A couple of weeks back my wife was walking out of a room as I was walking in and she stopped, put her hands to my face and declared that she thought that she was falling in love with me! It was the sort of thing that one might expect on a date with a serious girlfriend!
Thank you for replying this has made me feel a lot better already. Really lovely to hear about your wife and that there can be good moments through it all. Would you say it gets easier as time goes by as this has only been going on for me with my Grandad for a few weeks I am hoping once the shock wears off it might not be so upsetting all the time?
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,802
0
Hello @jackson21

I am sorry your Dad is being this way but you will find plenty of support and advice here. As you say, it is early days and you will all need a bit of time to adjust. Keep posting to tell us how you are feeling, and how things are going. We are all treading, or have trodden, a similar path so truly do understand and can help you, your mum and your Grandad along.
 
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Mr.A

Registered User
Jun 5, 2021
14
0
Hello and welcome @jackson21

Your feelings are valid but it's an unfortunate truth that not all family members are supportive when dementia strikes.

Stick around the forum as you will get plenty of support and information from people who travel the same journey and will understand.
Of course you are upset and rightly so. But you are not alone. There are many of us out here in a similar situation and will try to help you in any way we can. You see people react to such situations in different ways and sometimes things are said because they don't know what else to say. It could be fear on his part as he obviously is growing older and wonders what the future holds for himself. You say he hasn't been in touch but have you been in touch with him? Please keep in touch because he may turn out to be your greatest support in a way you didn't expect. He is not without feelings but probably finds it hard to express how he feels. We all have feelings but react differently. Try to include him in family conversations and discussions so that he feels a valuable part of the ongoing journey. I am sure that in opening up to your own feelings you will sense that there a lot of people who are mentally supporting you and thinking about you. Keep in touch on this forum and don't hesitate to express your innermost feelings. God bless.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,463
0
Scotland
You asked if it gets easier @jackson21 and the sad truth is that dementia of any type is not a straight line. You master one issue and another pops up. It is a constant relearning of how to handle situations. You love your grandpa and so you will be able to tolerate more along the way.

The only people who can understand the stress are those who have travelled the road.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,059
0
Kent
Hello @jackson21

I`m sorry your dad seems unsympathetic to your granddad`s dementia. It is as it is though and we can`t make people care if they are trying to be pragmatic about the situation. Sadly there is nothing pragmatic about dementia.

All I can suggest is you off load to those you know will understand. Dementia Talking Point sadly is full of people like you and we all know where you are.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,198
0
High Peak
Your dad's reaction was insensitive and unkind. I wonder if there is some bitterness remaining from your parents' divorce that might explain his lack of sympathy for 'that' side of the family?

Perhaps you need to have a heart to heart with your dad and tell him how hurt you were by what he said. He may not care about his ex-father in law but it's your Grandad and he needs to realise that you are really upset.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,843
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @jackson21 , sorry your dad didn't realise how upset you were about your grandad. If he hasn't had much to do with him over the last few years, he might not have twigged how much he means to you. Even though he might not always remember exactly who your are, your grandad will know you are someone important to him, specially if you keep on visiting him and talking to him about things he does remember.
You mentioned your mother was giving up work to care for him. An important thing you can do is make sure she has lots of support and knows about what services she can access to get that support. These Fact Sheets might help her do that. She might also like to join Dementia Talking Point herself. It's a very friendly place, and the members have lots of experience of dealing with the sort of situation you find yourself in.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,328
0
N Ireland
Thank you for replying this has made me feel a lot better already. Really lovely to hear about your wife and that there can be good moments through it all. Would you say it gets easier as time goes by as this has only been going on for me with my Grandad for a few weeks I am hoping once the shock wears off it might not be so upsetting all the time?
As others have now said, it's early days. There is a thing called 'Anticipatory Grief' that many people suffer after diagnosis of a loved one and that is as unsettling as any grief(it's grieving for a life lost, even though the person is still alive). I worked my way through this grief by reading as much as possible about dementia and helping my wife get her affairs in order - Wills, Power of Attorney, etc.

As has been said, dementia progresses so new things will pop up. However, I have found that my reading has helped me know what is going on and so deal with the issues better. Things happen that will be a shock, and may even be hurtful, but one learns to 'roll with it'. Don't stress the little things.

Stick around the forum and you will get help.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,324
0
Newcastle
It may be that your Grandad knows that you are someone he can trust but can't always remember how you are related @jackson21 . If he can't quite place you or verbalise your name that does not mean that he doesn't find comfort when you visit. I am as likely to be called 'dad' by my wife as I am to be addressed by my name. I have learned that the words don't matter so long as she is happy to sit beside me and (sometimes) give me her hand to hold.

I am sure that your support will help both your Mum and your Grandad