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Wedding

LisaV

New member
Feb 22, 2020
5
0
Hello all, I'd really welcome some advice. My Dad (80) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a year ago last February. He is at home on his own with carers coming in every day. Sometimes he is strong and sometimes he is wobbly, and when he gets very anxious he can have falls. He gets easily confused and memory is getting worse, thinks he can do more than he really can, but still relatively independent. My brother lives nearby to Dad and I live about 250 miles away; we organise things between us and I go back to see Dad for a weekend every month.

The question is about how to deal with an event next spring: I am getting married, where I live! I would obviously love my Dad to be there, and he would expect to be there, but I am concerned that the anxiety and the people and the unfamiliar situation would just cause him too much anxiety. Last time he visited, about 20 months ago, he cried and was deeply anxious every night - and he has got much worse since then. My brother has offered to look after him but I think he is being unrealistic about how much stress it would cause for Dad and for everyone. I keep telling Dad about the wedding and he keeps forgetting!

What can I do? If he doesn't come to the wedding I will feel like I am betraying him / cutting him out of one of the most important days of my life; if he does come along I am worried that it will be too much for him.

Argh! advice or ideas? anyone else had to tackle this one? thanks in advance....
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,542
0
If your father was in hospital with a broken leg, would you delay the wedding?
The reality of the situation is not far different, he is unable to travel, and to force him to, would cause great grief for him, and those around him.

Bod
 

thistlejak

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
238
0
From what you have said your Dad was like last year and the fact the your wedding is next year , I think it would be too much for you Dad.
It is a sad situation as having your Dad at your wedding is something sold to us from being little girls , but you have to do what is best for everyone and the stress of travelling ,staying away from his regular environment and lots of people will be too much for him and you will be on edge all day
I know you wish for something or someone to come up with a solution that reflects the 'little girl' dream but realistically you know that isn't going to happen.
Have you considered seeing him afterwards in your dress , with cake and bubbly?
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,960
0
Kent
I think one of the key things you said is that he keeps forgetting you are getting married and in that sense, for him it is not an important or understandable event for him to remember and the pre dementia importance of a father to the bride status doesn't register with him now, however hard that must feel for you.

Not quite the same but when my dad was in a care home I thought long and hard about taking him to my son's wedding, he was close to his grandad, but what would have been the point for him just for us to feel he wasn't missing out...he would have been anxious, not understood proceedings and no doubt would have become agitated and want to go 'home'.

Unfortunately as well trying to make the decision based on how he is now and if the wedding is next year. he may remain stable but equally may decline and it would be more difficult for him.

My inclination would be to have a special time with him after the wedding..a bit of cake, bubbly and enjoy a few photos if you felt by then it would not upset him.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
14,969
0
England
There comes a time when dementia dictates that it’s no longer what we want to do but what we need to do.
It’s understandable that you want your Dad at your wedding and it maybe that that won’t be possible. Your Dad will struggle and you will worry about him. I think I would stop chatting to Dad about your wedding and see how time affects him. If you decide it wont give him any pleasure to attend and it could be a big problem if he decides to ‘kick off’ it will also spoil your day.

I think @love.dad.but.. is right, arrange a get together with your Dad after the wedding for cake and bubbly, you could even wear your dress. He may not associate wedding with a ceremony and reception but would love to see you in your dress, but don’t be surprised if he asks you why you have your nightie on. If I wore trousers other than black ones my husband thought I had pyjamas on. 😅
 
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LisaV

New member
Feb 22, 2020
5
0
Thank you all for your thoughtful and considerate replies, they really help!
The thing that concerns me now is how to / what to tell Dad. I think I will work on telling him the positive about a celebration and turning up with bubbly as you say. Nothing wrong with saying 'we didn't want to make a fuss' - I won't lie to him but I don't want him to have the distress of feeling he has missed out even if he forgets it all in an hour!
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,286
0
It may be better to stop reminding him now and then he won't have to worry about it. I think it is a good idea to turn up after the event and just say that you decided on the spur of the moment to have a small ceremony and as you say he will probably forget about it afterwards anyway. You don't need to show him all the photo's as it could just confuse him, stick to pictures of you and the groom and don't be disappointed if he does not show a lot of excitement. Bubbly and cake may go down well.

I found the key to managing my dads dementia was to always keep things the same, no changes and definitely no decisions, just plod along as usual, this kept him pretty worry free.

Enjoy your wedding.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,960
0
Kent
Yes I too would be inclined to stop mentioning your wedding unless your dad brings it up, the date is still such a long way off if next year that it is probable he can't relate it to something happening in the future.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
As dementia progresses unpredictably I suggest you put the decision on ice for some long time until maybe a month or so before the wedding. When the time does come, if you do decide to take him, you'll need to arrange a carer for him so tha your brother is not in that role full time.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,190
0
High Peak
I'm thinking that next Spring is a long time off - anything could happen between now and then. Yes, it's sad not to have your dad at your wedding but in all honesty, I think it would probably spoil the entire day for you because you'd be concerned about him all the time. Imagine if he was anxious and crying again as he was last time.

I'm sure between now and the wedding it will become pretty obvious that it's completely out of the question for him to come, which might make you feel easier about it. I'm sorry but your wedding is just not on his radar anymore, so best not to talk about it.