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Uregent advice please...mum and dad fighting!

snowygirl

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
151
I had the most awful day yesterday and need advice to get me through the weekend. I visited my parents who live 1.5 hrs away. They both have dementia as I've mentioned before. We had a good morning and all seemed ok. During lunch we had a Tesco delivery as I'm trying to get them to do this as they keep running low on food and a member of their Home treatment team called in. As I was seeing this lady out and having a small chat all hell broke loose as mum came to the door and said'you better come in weve had a fight'...well it appears it was over putting the shopping away but dad ended up with deep nail cuts and was bleeding and mum said dad tried to hit her first. It seems dad tried to put the shopping away and mum tried to stop him. It seems she doesn't give him any responsibility these days. I had to then take mum to an apt which was very necessary so the HTT lady stayed with dad until my sister came. She said she was very concerned and suggested respite for dad over the weekend. Dad said he didn't want to stay 'with that woman' and mum in the car said she was happy for dad to go. Unfortunately respite didn't happen and we as a family have been let to 'hold the fort' over the weekend. We've never had to deal with this before and we don't know if we've done right but we took dad to my sisters and let mum at home(she isn't that far down the line to not leave). I spoke to mum and she said this happens a lot and its the 'norm' now but at the time she suggested dad had scratched himself which he hadn't. She said she knows he needs to go away sometime and that she must get used to it but that they had never been apart. Anyway mum was ok during the night as it ok still at home but the problem is dad. He has woken today and has forgotten all that happened yesterday and want to see his wife. I came home and intend to go back tomorrow but if dad says this all day long what should my sister do? We wont be back with the HTT till Monday when they are coming back to assess mum and dad. Do we take dad back today or at least hang on till tomorrow. Mum was meant to be having a break will one day be enough? If she's happy having him home should we take him back? They've never been apart in 53 years and its so so hard to see this going on. My brother is hopefully going to support my sister today but dad was up at 7 ready to go 'home' to the place he will hate when he gets there because once there he wont recognise mum. Sorry to go on...any advice anybody????
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
It's a very tough decision, my worry is the violence may escalate, I dread to think what dangers there are in an average kitchen for someone who is mentally unwell through no fault of their own but unable to contain that anger.

I think I'd tell some love lies, if he asks to go home, say "its being decorated, the door/bathroom/lounge is being repaired, the heating has broke" or whatever you think you'd get away with. Give him a different reason as to why he can't go home this weekend. I do feel for you.
 

snowygirl

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
151
Thanks Norza my dad is still with my sister and is being supported by my brother. He was told a little white lie about why he couldn't go home. WE will keep up this pretence when I go to see him tomorrow. Meanwhile mum is coping on her own and didn't seem bothered earlier about dad not being there. Hopefully we will be able to cope until Monday morning when the Home treatment team will come round.
 

Tears Falling

Registered User
Jul 8, 2013
637
Probably worth speaking to the gp or health worker to advise that this has happened as they may be able to provide medication to help. So distressing for you all :-(
 

snowygirl

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
151
The weird thing is things started to go wrong just after dads last Alzheimers apt three weeks ago. As a family we could feel things brewing and told the Home Treatment team this. At the apt my mum surprised us by saying her and dad had fights. The consultant didn't seem too bothered I have to say but told mum to keep a record of dates times etc and hide it away from dad. He knew he was talking to a lady who herself was diagnosed :confused: I wish he had delved more. Anyway its in the open now so we shall see what's recommended next as I'm not happy about the two of them being left alone for too long now.
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
You must all be dreadfully worried.

If the professionals aren't taking the problem sufficiently seriously how about photographing the injuries and taping the accounts of how they were inflicted?

I wouldn't assume the professionals realise just how far away you live and how difficult it is for you to supervise / intervene from afar. There often seems to be the assumption that caring relatives live just around the corner and don't have other equally compelling responsibilities to attend to ....
 

Weary

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
86
Its a very difficult situation. We had the same problem, FIL had vas. dementia and MIL had Alzheimers. They never did get on before they were ill, and it escallated when they were. FIL hit MIL and gave her a black eye so we had to make the decision to separate them. Social services put mum in a care home and they had weekly visiting with a carer supervising and the family also did this regularly. The worst thing was although they hated each other when they were well they both forgot all that and went on about how much they missed each other, and FIL kept wandering off trying to find her care home which resulted in us having to get the police involved once when we couldnt find him. Another time we got a call from the police to say he had ordered a taxi and got the driver to take him round all the local care homes trying to find her then couldn't pay! Despite them saying they wanted to be together they would both just sit there agitated - no conversation until dad got fed up and wanted to go home ! It was a nightmare! Fortunatley he eventually fixated on his carer who he then wanted to marry and stopped the searching for MIL so it wasnt so bad.

God i hate these diseases. If only more people realised what a total nighmare it is for all concerned then the government would be more sympatheic with research and help.
 
Last edited:

MissBB

Registered User
Aug 20, 2013
21
I do feel for you. Things got violent between my mum and dad (mum has alz and dad had a nervous breakdown) and it was awful. Eventually, after desperately trying to get help from social workers, GP's, home carers, dementia nursing team etc - my brother and I just had to step back and insist we needed help - that neither of us could control the situation.

We told all the professionals that there was a 'risk of harm' - and I believe that once they are informed of this that if anything were to happen, then they could be held liable for neglecting the situation.

Take note of the dates and times that you have told Drs etc about the risk of violence. You are doing everything you can to control a situation which unfortunately is uncontrollable. Maybe at some point, as a family, you will need more professional help in coping - so I would advise that you make yourselves known to the relevant people and tell them there is a 'risk of harm'.

Eventually with my mum and dad all the Drs, mental health workers, social workers etc told us to call 999. This seemed incredible - that ultimately it was only the police that we could rely on for help. Neither my mum or dad are criminals, they have always been the most law-abiding people.

I very much hope you can get the support you need without having to involve the police.
But if things do escalate beyond your control then police intervention did mean that eventually my mum got admitted to hospital and is now getting the professional care she needs. Dad visits every day and they have good times together for now.

Best wishes.
 

snowygirl

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
151
Thank you for your replies. I am so grateful that weekend is over and another crisis has passed by! In the end dad stayed in my sister's house all weekend with my help and my mum stayed in her house with us making constant phone calls. Neither of them mentioned the other and we did in fact have a nice time with dad who apart from getting dressed once at 4am was no trouble with us. I dreaded Monday but dad didn't seem bothered to be going home when we told him. He had in fact forgotten the fighting incident by the next morning and had no idea where his injury had come from. When we got home mum and dad embraced and dad cried and said 'I've missed you so much!' It was very emotional. They seemed fine and although the HTT came round and offered respite the next day because of their weekend away from each other each of them said no which was completely different to Fridays reactions! We left them last night very late and all seems ok today. The HTT team are going in every day this week and dad is being encouraged to go to another COGGS group in the week and respite is going to be preplanned so we will see how that goes when it happens. Although all seems ok now we are under no illusions that this situation may rear its ugly head again but Social Services are aware and I hope everyone is on the ball now. Its been a rollercoaster weekend but weve got through it. Its so horrible though as mum and dad do love each other dearly and its not their fault that this ugly disease takes over... thanks everyone!
 

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