Visiting Mum today at Care Home...nightmare!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    sorry just posting here as more people...

    Nightmare because my Dad 79 has cognitive impairment, has never , and will never understand Alzheimers, compassionate communication, or will be able to visit freely without me or my sister there.
    Dad was a big part of the decision to place Mum in care.
    8 weeks later of Mum in care and it doesn't get any better.

    He does not understand that like Mum, some of the other residents have Alzheimer's, or dementia caused by strokes, or other causes.
    He jokes around, talks as if they all know what he's on about (broad Scottish accent) makes comments like " Are you all going home for the weekend"
    Makes barking noises when he sees this elderly lady who wears slippers with like dogs face & ears, sneaks up on Mum and gives her a fright. ( has been told off by me & my sister)
    Tells Mum that he does all the washing and cooking now, and then makes sarcastic remarks, and when is she going to cook him tea.

    Today I took him up for Happy Hour as they have old time music, and dancing.
    As long as Dad goes slow Mum will get up for a dance.... but today a faster song came on, he was spinning Mum around and she got the wobbles, and then sat down in a strop as she said he made a fool of her.
    That got them arguing, so I tried my best to distract them both.

    Then when it was time to go, Dad gets out his house keys and says Well I'm off then.
    This of course set Mum off. We couldn't leave her, she wasn't staying etc.
    Mum got quite agitated, and in turn he was saying things making her more so.
    I had to basically order Dad through the security door, and to keep walking and not look back.

    How on earth do I manage this for the next however long???
    I think it really will come to the point where by its a quick 15mn visit, or he doesn't go at all. If Mums Alz does progress to next stage, he really won't fathom it in any case.

    Otherwise, if me, my sister or brother visit individually it goes reasonably smoothly, no dramas at all, apart from Mum asking continually what Dad is doing, and then next minute saying she was going to visit Dave. ( He is 2 people to her)
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    As one Scot to another I would tell him to stay away. If he doesn't raise the issue of visiting then say nothing at all. Was he always a bit insensitive?
  3. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Yes he has always been insensitive... as is being a joker... gets worse with age :rolleyes:
    He has been assessed by the Memory Team a year apart with no change. No dementia.
    Mainly lacking in spatial awareness with Frontal lobe atrophy.
    He is an ex amateur boxer, which may explain a lot.

    he is always asking when we are taking him to visit. My sister and I take turns twice a week.
    To get there himself he would have to take 3 buses, so I know that's not going to happen.

    With dad it's all behavioural.... if we don't ban him from visiting Mum, I'm sure at some point the Care Home will.
  4. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    What a dilemma. Perhaps you just have to decide what is in your mum's (and indeed the other residents') best interests, especially at this early settling in stage. If that results in your dad not visiting, so be it. That's a legitimate considered decision.

    Would it bother him if he didn't go and see her?
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Lin

    It`s impossible to change a personality. Unless your mother benefits from your dad`s visits, I`d keep them as infrequent as possible.
  6. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hi, Lin, sorry to hear you're having such a time with this.

    I have to be brutally honest and say that in your situation, I wouldn't take him to visit your mum. It is clearly not in your mum's best interests (to say nothing of how difficult it is for you, or him making upsetting remarks to other residents). I'm sorry if that sounds unkind and am not being judgemental of you, just saying what I would do.

    As you say, because of the MCI/his personality/whatever it is, he cannot understand and be sympathetic and supportive and of course you know you can't change that, so maybe changing the circumstances would make it less stressful.

    One idea, as you mentioned, would be shorter visits. It could be helpful to time this for tea or a meal as that provides more structure, perhaps.

    Maybe your sister could pick up your mum and you could drive your dad and meet at a cafe or garden center or someplace "neutral" like that?

    I understand if you don't want to take your mother out of the care home just now (or ever) but perhaps they have a smaller lounge or sitting room you could use to "have tea with Mum" in or something like that, if sitting in her room isn't an option? I definitely wouldn't take him to any more of the social events at the care home.

    When he asks when you're going to visit I'd say something vague like "soon" or "next week" or blame the weather, the car, your health, anything like that. Or maybe the home is under quarantine for flu or something.

    Sorry I haven't better advice and hope you can sort something out. Best wishes.
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I agree - dont take him

    Behaviour problems, inappropriate comments, loss of empathy, an inability to understand social situations, laughing at things that arnt funny etc etc are all symptoms of frontal lobe atrophy. He cant change, so you will have to work around it.
  8. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    I agree with Canary. Don't take him but go back to whoever is dealing with your dad's health and talk about fronto temporal dementia. The fact that he shows all these other behaviours but his memory is still good is classic for ftd.

    If it does result in a diagnosis it explains his behaviour at the home and nothing will change that. It will only get worse. Can you take your mum out for coffee and take your dad too, or ask for the use of a quiet room to keep him away from the other residents? You don't have your sorrows to seek. Big hug
  9. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    So hard... No, Mum gets absolutely no benefit out of his visits, unless she recognises him as her husband, and she asks if he has missed her, and cuddles up to him.... but he doesn't reciprocate, or if at Happy Hour he takes her for a dance... but then anyone could dance with Mum and she would be happy.
    I think as suggested if we can get Mum to come down to communal area, that's where Dad will have to have his visits..
    Dad otherwise thinks the care home is fantastic, as he loves the Happy Hours himself, and the circle of friends Mum has made laugh at him, but who knows if they understand him.
  10. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    I thought i was the only one in the same situation! You have my sympathy with dealing with this as i know it too well myself. My dad is similar, 74 with moderate congnitive impairment, does not understand compassionate communication at all, always tells the truth even if it hurts massively, always says 'i couldn't stand this place' meaning the care home, reminds mum she has a house and what is she doing there when she could be at home with him. Tells her how unhappy he is and how seriously unwell he is. This results in mum being up ALL night worried sick then she is a nightmare with the staff due to tiredness.WHen they lived together He actually drove her nuts 24 hours a day talking nonsense and blaming mum for absolutely everything.She asked me to get her a place in a care home. He also flirting outrageously with carers infront of mum with greatly upset her and made her mad. Every visit involves dad talking to mum about 'getting her home' and then leaves he in an agitated upset state. We had to resort to visits in communal areas only but this did not change anything. The conversations from dad continue regardless. I am now faced with mum being served notice because of her agitation and agression triggered largely due to dad spouting nonsense. But i'm struggling to come to terms with how to stop all this madness without having to stop the visits. Even if i go with him he still says ALL the things which upset mum. The only thing i can think of is shorter visits, and less often but its a hard call when its your parents and they have been married 50 years. I know what you are going through.Sorry i can't help much though just sypmathise X
  11. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Oh my... maybe our Dads are twins :D:rolleyes:
    The only thing Dad doesn't do is ask Mum why she is there, or to come home, but when she asks him what he's been doing, he tells her things like he 's been to parties or out every day , as a joke. in reality he goes to his club once a week, grocery shopping with me and in between glued to the TV and his sport.
    Despite 55 yrs of marriage which was never happy, I would not jeopardise Mums place at her care home.
    Towards the end, before Mum went into care she was saying things like, she could not hack living with Dad/Dave anymore, and if she did she would have a nervous breakdown.
    Dementia or not, I knew I had to listen.
  12. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    Reading your posts, Linbrusco and Miss Diane, illustrates yet again that there is no end to the ways dementia can present us with impossibly difficult situations.
    Both your fathers' behaviours add yet another tier of difficulty, and you must feel so torn.
    Having followed your thread for so long Linbrusco, I too feel the time was right for your mum to go into care, and I admire your strength in making that difficult decision, and I'm sure you will make the right decision about your dad's visits too if it comes to that. But it must be so hard for you -- the feeling that you are trying to do what's best, but it still feeling wrong.
    best wishes to you both.
  13. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I would ban him - it must be so distressing and not at all beneficial for you and your sibs and your mum too. She has made friends and you children visit her - I'd send him off to the pub with a flea in his ear and say she isn't well enough to see him at the moment and hope he loses interest. Obviously his sense of humour is rather unique!!!!
    Poor you xx

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