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We’re worried about my mum and dad.

g12AFH

Registered User
May 17, 2022
10
0
Hi there,

I've joined as we're worried about my mum and dad. She's 85 and has "dementia" of which sort we're not clear because she won't admit it. My dad (87) is trying to care for her, we can see that he needs help and he can see that (finally) but he's somehow not able to say no to her.

She's recently insisting on going to the pub every night and my father can't cope, he's exhausted. She's also becoming more abusive towards my father. Before she'd say that she couldn't stand him and just wanted to separate (but also showed that she was completely dependent on him, asking "where's Graham?" all the time when he wasn't there). The abuse is becoming more extreme, my 7 year old niece heard her say that she'd kill him. Dad also told me that when they were coming back from the pub, she was physically abusive to him (I think because she didn't want to go home just yet, even though it was 10:30pm).

This forum looks like a great resource, hopefully I (and my brother) can meet people who've been through the same situation and can learn something from them.

Looking forwards to meeting you all.

Thanks,
Anthony
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
6,326
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @g12AFH welcome to the forum 🙂

Sadly behaviour like your mum's is not all that unusual. I was lucky that my dad was not that lively but your dad must be exhausted!

I'm sure you'll find plenty of support here and hopefully someone will have some suggestions for how to manage your mum's behaviour.
 

Lostsomewhere

New member
Jan 15, 2022
7
0
Hi Anthony, it is hard to say how long your mum will go on for visiting the pub so often but she obviously enjoys going & she probably sees it as her only pleasure. Perhaps someone else can take her instead of your dad. Your dad has probably always curtailed the time she wants to spend in the pub, lol and I think she is rebelling like so many older people do as they lose their inhibitions and see the nearest and dearest as a bit controlling. Women in particular feel this in later life; let’s face it your dad probably had more freedom to go to the pub than she did... it is unfortunately true even today where equality rarely exists and your mum’s era in particular. My mother loved going to the pub, too... and when my dad died many years ago she filled the cabinets with booze and encouraged boozy parties; which we all got used to & she became ‘one of the girls’ on a night out... luckily she had daughters to share her passion, her escapism - whatever it was. She has recently died, after a short but rapid onslaught of dementia and it was a blessing that she enjoyed doing what she wanted when she wanted and did not suffer long term dementia having been deprived her chosen lifestyle... although I do believe loneliness plays a large part in dementia even if they are not actually alone...this sounds a bit crass, I guess but I hear about so many teetotalling dementia patients living in distress for years... I’m glad my mum didn’t- she went out with a glass of red and a morphine patch and the agony was over, how she wanted to go, at home and ‘out of it’. Your poor dad will have to reel in friends to keep your mum happy for as long as it takes. Good luck.
 

g12AFH

Registered User
May 17, 2022
10
0
Thanks for your replies. It's a difficult situation. My mother has always been a strong personality and I think it's fair to say that there is no little vanity involved. She refuses to wear hearing aids, she had dental implants but somehow lost them so now she has the false teeth she initially despised. Even when my kids where born, she refused to be called grandma because it made seem 'old'.

I'm getting a sense that a lot of the anger is coming from the loss of her ability to do normal things and this refusal to accept this makes her angry in a way that we don't recognise her.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,859
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @g12AFH, your mum sounds rather a lot like mine. There are a lot of pluses in refusing to become ‘old’. My mum was still very much involved in politics and loved going to the theatre and to parties up to when she was in her late eighties. However when dementia really started to hit it also became a bit of a problem. One of the reasons I moved her into care was her forgetting she wasn’t a young woman any more and going off to the pub to flirt with young men. She also flatly refused to engage with the memory clinic as she thought she was fine and any problems she had were either the fault of the neighbours or me.
Does your dad have any help coming in? As @Lostsomewhere said if you could find someone to go out with her it might give your dad a break, or is he the only one she'll trust. If your mum would be self-funding (having assets over £23,500) maybe you can get someone in to take her out for a walk, for a coffee etc.
This is a very friendly place and you'll get lots of help and advice here.
 

Showmino

Registered User
Feb 4, 2019
25
0
Thanks for your replies. It's a difficult situation. My mother has always been a strong personality and I think it's fair to say that there is no little vanity involved. She refuses to wear hearing aids, she had dental implants but somehow lost them so now she has the false teeth she initially despised. Even when my kids where born, she refused to be called grandma because it made seem 'old'.

I'm getting a sense that a lot of the anger is coming from the loss of her ability to do normal things and this refusal to accept this makes her angry in a way that we don't recognise her.
I think the abuse, both physical and verbal is important- is it also fuelled by alcohol? I appreciate what others are saying about your mother living it up and enjoying life but it shouldn’t be dangerous to your father! Is the abuse happening at other times of the day too? I don’t know whether a call to the helpline might be beneficial- I don’t think your father should have to deal with abuse
 

g12AFH

Registered User
May 17, 2022
10
0
I think the abuse, both physical and verbal is important- is it also fuelled by alcohol? I appreciate what others are saying about your mother living it up and enjoying life but it shouldn’t be dangerous to your father! Is the abuse happening at other times of the day too? I don’t know whether a call to the helpline might be beneficial- I don’t think your father should have to deal with abuse
Thanks, She was over yesterday for my youngest's birthday. My dad said that she was being abusive and he was upset because he didn't know if they would come over. In the end, they came over and I genuinely believed that she enjoyed herself.

I have been concentrating not on words when listening to her but emotions. I don't think that she is an abusive person (although my brother may disagree). I think that she has a short fuse and as well as being strong-minded, so when she can't do the things she wants to do then she starts hurling out the abuse.

I'm beginning to think that the problem might be the way that my father communicates with my mother. I think that he maybe inadvertently pushing all the wrong buttons all the time. I passed him a print-out of the compassionate communication link I came across and Ill see if he;s read it tonight.

Of course, the trouble with this disease is that it feels like you need to be a mind-reader as well. At the risk of sounding sexist, this might be harder for a man to understand than for a woman.
 

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