Visted dad today, feeling so guilty.... How can I do more for him?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by burfordthecat, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. burfordthecat

    burfordthecat Registered User

    Jan 9, 2008
    1,707
    Female
    Leicestershire
    #1 burfordthecat, Jan 26, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
    Visited dad today, feeling so guilty.... How can I do more for him?

    Hi everyone

    Today, I decided that I needed to visit dad. During the week, he had received a few letters in the post which I needed to look at. Eventhough I had explained (earlier in the week) on the phone that they were not urgent, dad had rang again asking the same questions. Best plan was to collect the letters sooner rather than later! I had to motivate a reluctant 7 year old and "happy to go" 2 1/2 year old together with a "rock" of a husband into action! Again the promise of "you make take your PSP and we will have lunch out at a well known fast food chain Mc...." worked again on the 7 year old.

    On arriving at dad's I was pleased to see how well he was looking. As normal, I had a list as long as my arm for things that I needed to do, get, fix etc. Why does it feel that when I visit my dad that I have no time for him. It is always the other things which take up my time....the boring admin type stuff which needs to be done. Anyway, my daughter needed to go to the toilet. So, once she had finished she needed to wash her hands. Grandad had a bar of soap which my daughter took great delight in squeezing in her fingers and shooting all over the bathroom floor. Needless to say, I decided that a wet floor and soap was a dangerous combination for dad. I began to wipe up the soap and water and was horrified to see just how "black" the cloth was. I feel so guilty that I am not able to visit dad and keep his house clean for him. His only form of heating is open coal fires which make for a lot of dirt:(

    I want to look after dad properly. How can I do this when I live an hours drive away and I have two young children to look after:confused:

    I almost dread visiting dad because I never know how I will find him. But once I see him, I don't want to leave him. He is now just so vunerable and I feel so protective towards him. The only thing which I can relate the feeling to, is how a parent feels towards their children. It is as though I am now the parent and my dear lovely dad is my child. Sorry if this sound silly but it is how I feel.

    I have thought about getting dad some home help but a couple of things bother me. I am not sure that I would be happy letting a stranger into my dad's house....How trustworthy are these people? and also dad in currently in denial with regard to AD and I want him to keep his independence for as long as is possibe (he still lives on his own). What do I do?

    Once I have visited dad I just feel so tired and exhausted, eventhough I have not really done that much for him. On a much happier note dad loves his meals on wheels:) He is eating much better now and I think he enjoys knowing that someone will knock on his door everyday. I guess that sometimes it will be the only person who he will see that day:(

    Sorry that I have gone on for so long...... Thanks for reading.x

    Burfordthecat
     
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear burfordthecat,
    With young children to look after and it is obvious that your Dad needs more help.
    Does he have a Social Worker?
    You can get advice and support from your Local Alzheimer's Branch, Help the Age, Age Concern, Crossroadm=, and the Princess Royal Trust.
    If you make a complete list of the things that will help your Dad, it will make things easier when asking for help and advice.
    I wish you all the very best.
    Christine
     
  3. Doreen99

    Doreen99 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    66
    Sheffield
    Dear Burfordthecat

    I think you definitely need to explore getting some extra help for your dad. There is a limit to how much you can do, you've got your own family to cope with, as well as him. And it can't be very easy when you don't live close to him.

    My dad, who had emphysema, was very independent but when he agreed to a home help coming in, he enjoyed their company. Mind you, they did seem somewhat limited in the services they provided. They wouldn't do any housework, just made sure he'd had his meds and did him something to eat. It seemed ludicrous, because he could hardly get from the living room to the bathroom without oxygen. But he got himself a cleaner - a very nice neighbour - which helped no end.

    I hope you'll be able to get something sorted out, so that you can spend some quality time with your dad and not have to be always doing practical things.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,735
    Kent
    Dear Burfordthecat

    Have you considered trying to get some sheltered housing nearer to you, for your father? Or even considered residential care? I know it sounds pretty drastic, but when you have a young family and live an hour`s drive away, it`s too big a worry for you.

    Wouldn`t it be lovely if you could visit him and spend time with him, instead of spending your visit sorting out his problems.

    He might accept the idea of a move if he thought it would take him nearer to you.

    Just a thought.........

    Love xx
     
  5. burfordthecat

    burfordthecat Registered User

    Jan 9, 2008
    1,707
    Female
    Leicestershire
    Hi

    Thanks everyone for some great ideas. The advice available on TP is priceless - real people in real situations.:)

    Sylvia, how you have touched a subject so very close to my heart. Dad moving closer to me. I have already spoken to my local council who have said that "in view of dad's current circumstances" he would be very near the top of the waiting list. Even better, where I live there are warden controlled bungalows (about 10 mins walk for me - even better still I pass them twice a day on the walk to/from school). The big fly in the ointment is that dad is refusing to move:mad: He has lived in his cottage for over 40 years and has said that "as there is nothing wrong with me(still in denial), I will never leave this house".:eek:

    So very difficult, it I force him to move(if that is possible) he will be so unhappy but if I leave him where he is then it is not ideal (for me or him!).

    Does dad have a social worker? Urrr - sorry to sound stupid but I am not sure:confused:. Dad has had a home assessment from SS end result being immediate start of meals on wheels. The SS lady offered dad some extra bits for the house eg grab rails up the stairs and bits and pieces in the bathroom. Dad declined these as he felt that he did not need them:( (even though he really does) dad is such a proud and independant man he is not willing to admit things. Quote " I am not a sick man and I do not want anybody thinking that I am or treating me as such" I walk on eggshells when trying to persuade dad to do things. Last thing that I want to do is for dad to say "enough is enough" and stop me helping him as well. I feel that I have to be reactive to situations when I would rather be proactive.
     
  6. Roma

    Roma Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    122
    UK
    I know myself how difficult it is trying to care for someone who doesn't just live round the corner. I'm about half an hour away from my Mum so it isn't always easy to just pop in and do a couple of things at a time. I know when I go I'm always doing chores like her washing, getting her bathed, housework etc. and when I've left her I feel like I haven't had any quality time with her. She has a carer who goes in twice a day, once in the morning to give her medication and once at teatime to heat a meal up for her and give her the rest of her medication so that helps slightly. I also know they would contact me if she needed anything or she was ill.

    It's very hard to keep from feeling guilty thinking that you could do more, but you must also think about your family and yourself of course, because all this juggling will take it's toll on you - hope that doesn't make you feel even more guilty. It's a vicious circle.

    Take care

    Roma
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,735
    Kent
    Burfordthecat.

    Do you think your father would consider moving nearer to you if he felt it would help you rather than him.

    How about a few moans about the traffic, or something to that effect when you go to visit.

    I know all about proud independent old men and women, and so do most people. Unfortunately most of them have to experience a crisis before they`ll accept help.
     
  8. Doreen99

    Doreen99 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    66
    Sheffield
    That sounds like a good idea. What about the grandchildren - would he like to see more of them? Could you tempt him with the idea of you being able to pop in with them on the way home from school?
     
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    To echo what others have said - I was always MUCH more successful about getting my mother to do things when they were presented as a favour to me, rather than as something for her. That, and "free from the government" was also a good one: having paid into the system for 80 years or so, she was always quite happy to think that she'd get something back. She did get a bit confused about that towards the end - it's irritating to be told time and time again that "isn't it wonderful what we're given" when in fact she was paying for it, but better that than refusing all the help.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.