1. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    170
    SOMERSET
    #1 EllieS, Sep 16, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
    Dear All

    I think this is the first thread that I've actually started - and I would value your thoughts.

    My Mum is 79. Following Dad's death in Feb 04 Mum was admitted to a "mental hospital" as she was very depressed and talking of suicide. She did not/has not grieved for Dad - who'd needed 24 hour care for the last year of his life. She was not taking her tablets and had not been giving Dad regular food/drink or medication. (Carers were going in but Mum was confident when telling them all had been done and they did not question this until too late). They lived 60 miles from me so my visits were not as regular as I would have liked! My brother lived one road away, but in truth did not give very much support to Mum & Dad.

    Anyway, following her hospitalisation Mum's health & mental state improved considerably as she was taking her medication (Atenelol for blood pressure problems and Anti-depressants). She had a scan which showed early signs of AD.
    She was prescribed Aricept and her anti-depressant was changed at the same time and her mental state deteriorated. Aricept was stopped. She improved a bit but never really got back to where she'd been.

    We asked if she could receive Counselling to hopefully help her come to terms with Dad's death - although they'd been devoted to each other for all of their married lives, things had gotten frought toward the end and things happened that I'm sure she remembers and feels very bad about - lost tempers, plates flying etc.

    Counselling was not on offer! We were told that she was not safe to live on her own, so found Resdential Care for her close to her sisters who were able to visit 2/3 times a week, my brother passed through the area to/from work and although 100 miles from myself - my Aunties and I thought it was probably the best place, because if she moved close to me (which I would have preferred) my brother would NEVER visit and it would be difficult for her sisters to visit also. (Sorry if it's long winded).

    There was a delay in the room at the Care Home's availability - which lead to Mum getting very frustrated in the Hospital (her sisters and myself were visiting weekly, brother twice in the 4 months she was there - he & his family including 3 grown up grand-daughters who had been the apple of Mum's eyes lived 5 minutes away!). She had gone for brief walks in the Hospital grounds on a number of occasions but because she became agitated about going "home" the staff started to stop her from leaving the Ward - anyway, she hit a Nurse then phoned the Police to say that basically her freedom was being impinged. She was put on a 72-hour section. The hospital rang the Care Home and asked if they would still be able to take her - they said NO. Anyway, as soon as the 72-hours were up we discharged Mum into the care of one of her sisters - she was prepared to take care of Mum at her own home for a month to try to get her settled and calmed. This she did and I managed to talk the Care home into giving Mum a chance. This worked until July of this year, when Mum "went home" (35 miles in a taxi we think) - on 3 occasions . I should add that by this time her short term memory was very bad. She didn't know where she was living or that she'd had visits the day before etc etc. Obviously the Care Home were worried and although she was no problem at all 95% of the time they were unable to accept responsibility any longer. She was given notice and the decision was made for her to move close to me so that myself and my 2 adult sons could visit very regularly and give her lots of love and affection. Unfortunately, we had to find a Secure Residential Home close enough to my own home that would enable the regular visits. ( We have a family business and work long hours). Her sisters are going to visit whenever they can and they ring her each week.

    Have you ever tried to find a Secure Residential home - well I couldn't and Social Services couldn't either. Result is Mum is 5 minutes from where I live but in an EMI Nursing Home - it's very nice, staff nice, seem to be pretty caring etc etc.

    Anyway, she moved in on 8 August (having had a stroke, we think, 2 weeks prior) - she was unable to walk and was very weak. After the first week with daily visits, she was walking and quite bright. Short term memory still very bad, but talking (when spoken to) quite confidently about all sorts - including Dad. So I was very happy. When I visited she contributed to the answers of crosswords, and tried to assist with a puzzle - but glasses no good - but she tried and was happy to try, we watched tv together and listened to her tapes.

    However, last week she had her first visit from the new GP (I attended), he assessed her - as expected, she scored less than 20 (how can she know the day, date, month when she's not in the least bit interested in life in general, her glasses prescription way out of date so not read a paper for years, unable to remember how to turn TV or radio off so preferring not to put it on at all). The drawing she did very well, subtract 7 from 100 and count backwards - no good at all (neither could I). Based on this he told me she would not get any better and would deteriorate (slowly or rapidly - no-one knows). He decided to stop her Atenelol because there was a chance it could induce a stroke but was to be monitored by b.p. checks. He also put her on a course of antibiotics to counter a recent UTI. Result: 3 days later, Mum started sweating profusely misjudged when she was sitting down and fell to the floor bruising her back and causing her to be very confused next day. Is this coincidence I wonder!!

    The last 2 nights she seems a little brighter but she is quite down and very weak unable to walk, and is not eating or drinking well, asking how she comes to be in a "hospital" like this - there aren't any other residents who are really able to be company for her. The staff are okay but each time I visit (at different times) she is sat in a chair with her eyes shut. She is always so pleased to see us and expects very little. It's difficult to leave her because it's not what I want for her. Since moving into this Secure home, she has not talked about going home or trying to get out. My brother doesn't want to know. Everything I do or say is wrong (I've been sorting out the Probate, Care Home Costs etc because he didn't have the time to do it, finances have run out, the Care Home Mum's in costs £715 per week!!!!!, I have an appeal in place regarding whether Mum has any share of the flat to take into account by Social Services, there's an Appeal in place because I've been advised that there's a case precedent for Social Services to pay for all of Mum's Care costs due to the Sectioning etc etc - only found this out when I asked the Solicitor to help in sorting out the probate).

    I don't know, I just wish I could find something/somewhere better for her!

    My husband reluctantly accepted that I wanted Mum close to me but is jealous of any time I spend with her. God life has become so difficult. But I love my Mum and she was a good Mum and an excellent Nan to my boys - and my Dad was just wonderful - so I have to do everything I can for him!

    Any words of wisdom - better still any ideas about what might be a better solution for where Mum can live!

    N.B. Mum & Dad had a falling out with my brother & his family at about the time Dad was diagnosed with PD. It went on far too long - although I tried to reconcile them by saying Mum & Dad were not perfect and perhaps had been wrong about things, they had also been wonderful parents and grandparents for the most part and that they were getting old and loved and needed his family . My brother was totally unable to forgive and blamed them 100% for many of his problems with one of his children! He's so stubborn - not necessarily wrong in the facts but so stubborn!

    Help!

    Ellie
     
  2. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    HI Ellie,
    I am so sorry that your having such difficult problems. I'm not familiar with the system in your country but havejust one insight that might help you deal with your brother and husband.
    Tell them that what your are doing for your Mom is also teaching your children how to treat their elder parents someday. Kids learn from observation and they pick up on everything. It might just come back to haunt your brother and husband someday!
    Take care,
    Debbie
     
  3. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hello Ellie

    I am so sorry you are in such a state about everything. We have had family fall-outs too and even though they are now resolved, they can leave a lasting shadow.

    I am incredibly lucky to have a close and supportive family, but even with them it is hard to watch mum being destroyed by AD.

    In my opinion, for what it is worth,if your brother won't help and criticises your decisions, then you do what you feel is right for you and your mum. Why ask his advice or tell him what is to be done if this causes friction. He has made the choice not to visit her, or help with practical issues and so can't expect the right to question any decisions you make.

    Your husband sounds a bit selfish too, but as you all work long hours and are probably stressed at work and at home, maybe it would help if the two of you could make some time every week to spend together, making a rule that the subject of your mum and brother are taboo for that time.

    I hope some of this helps.

    Kathleen
    xx
     
  4. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    Dear Ellie, I wish I could give you some words of wisdom, but I just wanted to say that with respect to your brother, I can understand a lot of your feelings there as I have them too about my own brother.
    And Rummy, I like that. It's a very good way of looking on things -thankyou.
     
  5. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    170
    SOMERSET
    #5 EllieS, Sep 17, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2005
    Went to see Mum last night and something had obviously been bothering her, she tried to tell me what it was but was a bit muddled. It sounded like one of the residents had been rude to her and she "was not going to have it" - "she'd smack her face if she does it again". I tried to calm her and said I'd have a word with the staff to see what had happened and she was not to worry because it'd be alright. This didn't wash with Mum but she did calm a bit.

    So we went to her room and I thought we'd get the puzzle out now that her fever had subsided and as she had her new glasses (got them on Wednesday) thought that would take her mind off it.

    Couldn't find the glasses. Asked a Carer when she popped in to the room, if she could have a look in the lounge in case we'd left them there. They weren't there. Carer advised that if the Nurse in Charge had come across them she may have put them in the locked medicine cabinet and that she'd ask her when she came down from the Unit upstairs. I was with Mum from 8.45-10.30pm - no sign of nurse so unfortuntely in spite of having Max Bygraves assistance, a cup of tea, a chocolate mini roll, cleaning her nails (I do wish the staff would pay more attention to all of the Residents finger nails!), & de-fuzzing her "moustache", I was not really able to get Mum's mind off her problem. She said she didn't have any money - I gave her her handbag and showed her that she did, but that she didn't really have anything to spend it on at present. She also mumbled something about "people not being bothered about her and that she was a nuisance" - I cuddled her and said tht wasn't true and that I was really glad to have her and especially to have her so close that I could see her every day. But I couldn't help wondering if this could lead to her trying to leave and if that happened I hope the staff would be able to calm the situation as I really don't want to have a repeat of the "hitting the nurse" situation. I tucked her in and kissed her good night, as I was leaving her room, another resident was standing in the doorway (she's a harmless lady - but she hovers and is not able to talk in a sensible fashion) but had I not been there it would have been quite worrying for Mum, so I sweet talked her to trundle back to her room as Mum was going to sleep and went to try to find a Nurse to mention this and the glasses - I couldn't see any staff at all on the Unit at all. I left the Unit but couldn't leave the home - went back into the Unit and saw a Carer who was talking to the other resident - this made me feel easier so I gave her a note for Mum's Keyworker about the gasses.

    Rummy: You are so right and I really hope it does come back to haunt my brother - aren't I horrible! With regard to my husband, he does resent the time I spend with Mum but he also is very angry that I'm taking all the hits - so, yes he is definitely being selfish but there is some rationale for it. Our sons are 31 & 28 so they tell their Dad exactly what they think about it but leave with a hug!

    Kathleen: You are very astute, and we do need to make some time for each other. I'll work on that one.

    Lulu: I really hope the situation with you and your brother is nothing like mine. If I can help by listening in any way - please do contact me. My lifeline on this has been an old schoolfriend who has been able to assure me that none of what he says makes any sense. Not that it helps deep down.

    I don't have a computer at home - I'm at work at present but THANK Y'ALL for being there.

    Ellie
     
  6. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    hello Ellie, Thanks for offering, but I have decided not to dwell on it anymore as it was making me quite ill, and instead try to put all my energies into Mum. Strange though, that I too have an old school friend who has appeared from nowhere and to whom I can tell all! All the best to you.
     
  7. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hi Ellie & Lulu,

    I can understand your frustrations about other members of the family being 'unavailable', (physically or emotionally), to give support in some way. Personally I've found that no matter how annoyed I became inside, nothing would change their position on things. All that happened was that it would eat away at me and, as you say Lulu, could have made me ill. Focusing on our parents needs, instead is probably for the best.

    I can also 'feel' your despair, Ellie, at trying so hard to make your Mum comfortable and happy. I've felt this too, about my Dad. If I think too hard about it now, I can imagine him, sitting in a chair, miserable, lonely etc. (This might be true because, I have to face it, he's often like this now - I believe the cause to be his illness affecting his view on things. Even when Mum and I visit and try to cheer him up he is often moody, quiet and seemingly depressed.)

    On the other hand, it might be that he's enjoying a chat(?) or a laugh with one of the staff, a roast dinner, a sing-song along with the visiting guitarist etc. It's my thinking too hard that, again, is eating away at me and isn't helping Dad.

    I remember thinking like this about my dog, when I used to leave her to go to work. I'd think things like 'What sort of life must she be leading, I would hate to be stuck at home, no-one else for company, nothing much to do'. Then I realised that in some ways, I was probably trying to relate too much to her life and was dwelling on the negatives. She was warm, had a bed, food, could go into the garden when she needed and I'd be back to see her, when we would share some good times.

    I don't mean to compare my Dad with my dog again(!) but it just reminded me of that feeling of sadness, and I also felt this when Dad first went into his Home. I think that sometimes we can worry a little too much for our own good. There's not much else we can do, other than to be there when possible.

    "I was not really able to get Mum's mind off her problem"


    No-one could be there 24/7 for your Mum and even if they could, no-one could stop her irrational notions all the time either. You're doing as much as you can with trying to distract her, moving to another place etc. Sometimes your Mum may just want to ruminate over a problem for a while.

    "She said she didn't have any money"


    My Dad is always looking in his pocket for money to pay for the food, or whatever. Mum tells him it's all free!! and his face lights up at that, although he also looks a little disbelieving! He'll say, "Oh, that's good then".

    "Couldn't find the glasses"

    Dad lost his a few weeks after he was in the Home, never to be found I'm afraid, it's a side-effect of living with other people who pick up things and move them around. The up-side is that Dad seems to not need them - he can still read words from magazines. (Although your Mum's glasses may still turn up.)

    "another resident was standing in the doorway (she's a harmless lady - but she hovers and is not able to talk in a sensible fashion) but had I not been there it would have been quite worrying for Mum"

    This may sound a strange thing to say, but you AND your Mum, will probably eventually get used to this. As you say - harmless, and somewhere this lady will have sparks of individuality that you will start to recognise and respond to. (Some residents at Dad's Home will chat almost normally, some will occasionally smile, others will 'hover' and mumble for a while before walking off etc.)

    It is still only 6 weeks since your Mum moved to the Secure Nursing Home (my Dad's been in his 10 months) so remember your advice to Elise in a previous thread and "Be kind to yourself" and I hope you'll feel better about some of it fairly soon.

    Best wishes,
     
  8. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    50
    England
    Hi everyone

    Just read all the posts. What is it about brothers. My sister and I over the past year have had to deal with dads death, moms AD and her going into the home and now closing up their house and giving all her things away. My brother has done very little except take things from the house that he can sell. He visits mom only rarely and tells us that we have to get on with life. I wish. My husband who has been very supportive is concerned that I am stressed. If only other family members would realise that if they visited mom my sister and I could let go a little and maybe not be so stressed.

    I know that we have to deal with AD but it is hard at times but how good it is to have friends here to share the burden.

    Take care everyone

    Jacky
     
  9. Dawnb

    Dawnb Registered User

    Mar 2, 2005
    30
    dublin
    #9 Dawnb, Sep 18, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2005
    Hello Ellie
    I think you have hit the nail on the head with regards to your husband, I dont think its that he is being selfish when he resents you spending so much time with your mum, its just that it obviously upsets and stresses you out a lot when you go to visit her. Its so difficult to let go even when you have as you say been visiting her almost every day. when you come home I would imagine that you take your upset and frustration out on those closest to you ( I know I do) and therefore your partner wishes that it was different, wishes that your mother didnt have AD, and wishes that so much of your time was taken up by the illness.
    If he didnt want to spend time with you then I would worry !! Its that fact that he loves you that he makes a deal of it.
    I think as girls we worry a lot more then men, its just in our genes. We never switch off and sometimes as Hazel says we worry far too much and that effects our life. We build something up into something its not or might never be and that cause stress and anxiety. Your brother will look back in years to come and breate himself for not having been there more for your mum ( or thats my theory anyway) and that is what he will have to deal with in time.
    They say 90% of the things we worry about never materialize anyway so bear that in mind and know that you are a great daughter to your mum and thats all that matters.What goes round comes round as they say.
    All the best.
    Dawnx
     
  10. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,112
    Toronto, Canada
    siblings who don't visit

    Hi everyone,
    All I can say is that the siblings who won't visit will surely regret it when your mother/father is gone. They will probably be wracked with guilt but that will certainly be their problem. You keep doing what you need to do to make your loved one as happy as is possible in the circumstances and try not to feel guilty!

    I'm fortunate this is not my case. My sister can only visit 3 - 4 times a year as she is almost 350 miles away. But she supports me through phone calls & emails and we discuss everything about our mother.

    Good luck to everyone dealing with impossible relatives. We have enough trouble with the AD, God knows we don't need any extra stress. But life doesn't necessarily go that way.

    Joanne
     
  11. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    Siblings that don't help

    I am reading the book "How to care for your parents" by Nora Jean Levin. On page 234 she says:
    You will discover that the responsibility of caring for your parents may be unevenly --perhaps unfairly-- distributed. ( yes we all can identify with that) Unless you come from a family with a dozen mature married children with equally devoted spouses within three blocks from you parents-- each "Pitching in" by mowing the lawn, gathering groceries, cooking meals, managing the finances, submitting medical claims, visiting for tea or taking mom or dad to the doctor--your will probably have to do alot by yourself. ( they still wouldn't help)
    page 235
    It also seems that in any family, the division of labor in caring for parents rarely is equal. Age, distance, personalitites, and financial capabilities shift primary responsibilities to one adult chilld over another. There is often one sibling who never worries a minute and does nothing. And there always seems to be one--by choice or circumstance--(me) who feels taken advantage of but who bears the entire burden reluctantly or gracefully. The imbalance in caregiving may be self-imposed, and the martyrdom self-fulfilling.(martyrdom is kinda harsh I think) The one who takes on the duty may shut out others perfectly willing to help by rejecting all their offers and suggestions. (no offers of help or suggestions to reject here!)

    I guess the point is, what we are all experienceing is not uncommon. If there is any peace in knowing we are in the same boat paddling up the river of AD, then we can be at peace together.

    My brother is flying in on Thursday to see Mom. He has been pretty clueless as to how it is to live this every day and I hope staying with Mom for a few days will enlighten him. Will it change much, no but at least he will get a taste. The other siblings that live close enough to help and come visit ( all I asked them to do was call every week and they don't do that ) well, lets just say I haven't a very high opinon of them but am trying not to judge. Who knows, maybe it is a blessing not to have them around
    Take care all ,
    Debbie
     
  12. Dee

    Dee Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    41
    Shropshire
    Hello everyone,

    I have been reading this thread with great interest. I am amazed that so many of us are in the same boat - I have 2 brothers who refuse to have anything to do with my mum. This has gone on for some time, long before the AD struck - I dont really know why and mum is adamant that she does not know. What I know is, that as her AD has got worse, she has found the situation more and more distressing which is so sad.

    She is not so far gone that she cannot talk sensibly about things and she feels that her depression and memory problems are made worse by the situation - she could well be right. I know she has always had the potential to be difficult but she is still our mum and I love her to bits. On a more cheerful note, yesterday I went to the care home where she has been for nearly three weeks , and she looked so bright that I suggested she came to our house and spent the day here which she did and seemed to really enjoy it. What I was pleased about was she was very happy to go back and seemed very comfortable with the whole thing. It will be interesting if she has any memory of it today! Even if not, at least she (and I) enjoyed it at the time.

    Anyway, Ellie - I know where you are coming from and I know how frustrating the situation with your brother feels. All I can say is that there are times I want to phone mine up and give them a piece of my mind but then I think that they are the ones that will have to live with themselves and their actions (or lack of them) whereas I know that I have done everything possible for my mum.

    Take care

    Dee
     
  13. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hello All

    It may not be PC to say it but men and women are different in many ways.

    I have been if the situation many of us are in, where sons don't seem to have the same approach to their mothers when they have AD as we daughters.

    Perhaps it may be that we all see our mother as just "mum" for years, but when we daughters go on to have children, we see life differently and realise that "mum" is a person in her own right as well.

    Men become fathers, but for the most part, becoming a parent does not have the same impact on their lives as it does the mother.

    i.e. They still go to work and have a seperate life to the one at home, they still are free to have a shower or nip to the shop when they want to as opposed to when they can get time. People call them by their own name not "juniors dad".

    Perhaps they as adults and even fathers themselves still see their mothers as just "mum", they love her as much as they always did, but don't have the same empathy that daughters mostly seem to have.

    Of course there are always exeptions and I don't wish to offend anyone at all,and I may well be totally wrong in this view,but it is just a thought.

    Kathleen
    xx
     
  14. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Kathleen

    we are all entitled to our views and to put them forward on TP and elsewhere. Doesn't mean they are correct, or that they are incorrect, and they make others think about their own views.

    I believe that there are many differences between men and women that are not acknowledged in these PC days, but there are also many similarities that are likewise not acknowledged.

    There is also the situation that there are not two pigeon holes, one labeled 'women' the other labeled 'men'.

    There are women who like dabbling in car mechanics and watching football, drinking heavily and swearing riotously. [perhaps not all in the same person...]

    There are blokes like me that open the engine to add water to the windscreen washers, and that is all. I wouldn't watch a football match if you paid me [that goes for pretty much every sport with the exception of F1, rowing and golf]. I drink in great moderation [partly after getting totally slewed in Dublin some years ago with a mate from Oz, partly because Jan was taken off alcohol at one stage and I gave support by doing the same and never gained the taste for more than a glass or two an evening again]. I don't swear.

    I do, however arrange flowers for our dinner parties - N.B. I am a red-blooded male, lest ye think otherwise.. :D .

    I can't speak of how daughters compare to sons when parents have AD since my Mum died of stroke.

    I always prefer to divide people into "those who do" and "those who don't", regarding AD, regardless of facial hair. ;)
     
  15. Dawnb

    Dawnb Registered User

    Mar 2, 2005
    30
    dublin
    Those Irish are terrible for leading people astray Bruce !! Anyone for a Guinness ?? :)
     
  16. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    These people were my mate from Oz [had dinner with him and his wife last Tuesday] and his mate from Oz who happens to work in Dublin, so we can't blame the Irish!

    We ate dodgy duck and decidedly dodgy Dublin Bay Prawns then spent a long evening with me drinking Budweiser - can't abide Guinness especially as it takes so long to settle!

    Have touched neither beer nor prawns since. I'm back on Gin, Rum, Vodka and wine....in moderation.

    I just love Ireland and the Irish though!
     
  17. Dawnb

    Dawnb Registered User

    Mar 2, 2005
    30
    dublin
    I wouldnt eat a thing that came from Dublin bay !! ha ha. If you want to get back to eating prawns then you will need to have a word with your friends from Oz now thats what I call a REAL prawn. Sydney fish market, 2 prawns would do you for your dinner they are that big !! my last request on my death bed would be for a plate of those prawns and a nice cold glass of chardonny !! mmmmmmmmm just thinking about it makes my mouth water !!
    BTW thats a fair selection of drink you have left to chose form !! of course in moderation !
    All the best :)
    Dawn
     
  18. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I have a standing invitation to stay in Sidney so I may yet sample prawns again. Same mate gave me his solution to travelling to Oz in economy class - sleeping pills by the handful.

    Just off for my G&T.
     
  19. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Regarding brothers, husbands (of carers) etc.

    Like many things in life "it's not Fair" but generally the female of the species is traditionally, by conditioning, or actually the better natural 'carer' of the 2 sexes. Before I upset too many people :mad: here, please remember I am talking about those males of the species who are 1-step-removed from the AD-sufferer, not those dedicated husbands & sons who are devotedly in the thick of it.

    The brothers, husbands, sons-in-law, male cousins etc. (OK, and also female relatives) are probably over-whelmed at the awfulness of it all, and wouldn't know where to start helping. Men are used to Fixing things & situations - if they can't do so, they regard it as a Failure. Helping out by relatively menial tasks day in & day out isn't seen as Fixing the problem. Therefore they are reluctant to let themselves get involved, perhaps for fear of "doing the wrong thing". (If only they knew!!) We ALL do the "wrong thing" a lot of the time, because there isn't a set procedure; there isn't even a known progression of this awful disease, it's as individual as every Mum, Dad, husband or wife that it gets its horrid claws into. So there's no guidance, no text-book, no chart (for family OR for the Medic professionals) and no timetable to be able to make plans by. It sounds awful to write or say "When this is over (by which we mean a death) we can get on & do so-&-so..." but it is human nature to need to be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. Also, many men may feel the need to keep one step back because they see it as a way of protecting their immediate family by being objective (as they see it).

    I don't suppose I shall be able to get any confirmation of whether these theories may be right, since the "uncaring" men won't be coming to this forum to speak for themselves or to reply. However, as an only daughter of an AD-Mum, with only 1 brother, who lives in AUSTRALIA! ( :( ) that's the kind of feed-back I have had from him. It's NOT that he doesn't care - he cares deeply and is heart-broken to see the change in Mum since his last visit - but he doesn't know how to handle it, or how to help, or what to say & do. But this didn't come out until he & I had a big row after he told me to "be more patient & respectful" and I responded venomously (& shamefully) that "it's easy to be patient from thousands of bloody miles away." It was only after tears from both of us, & apologies & making up, that he was able to tell me how he felt, and how helpless he felt. So don't waste time & hurt yourself if your menfolk can't bring themselves to help. If you can offer them practical, useful tasks to do, they may get involved and start to FEEL useful. Then, if they can get some sense of achievement out of what they do, they may take some of the load off you - or they may not. No one can take any of the emotional load off - it's called love, albeit the darker side of love.

    Thanks to all the regulars here, who give us L-platers the benefit of their painful experiences. God help us all.
     
  20. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Well said, Lynne, I agree. It's unfortunate that boys are still expected to not show emotion because it's seen as weak. I believe it's only when men are 'brave' enough to show their feelings (and I don't actually mean they have to behave like a girly :rolleyes: )that we see how really strong they can be.

    My son is 15, and he won't thank me for telling you this, but we watched the film 'A Beautiful Mind' the other night. It was a great film and, without giving too much away, it showed mental illness from the perspective of the sufferer. My son and I discussed it afterwards, about how it helped us to see a little more of the 'reality' that his Grandad must sometimes see. It's not real to us, but it is to him so we should try to respect that.

    I know my son wouldn't go and discuss any of this with his friends, because boys don't do that, :cool: but I felt proud that he could grasp such a difficult concept. If we didn't discuss things like this then I'm sure he would be much more fearful of visiting his Grandad because he just wouldn't understand any of it.

    Perhaps boys who have not been allowed to talk about emotional/mental problems, (and haven't been able to bring themselves to think about them), are genuinely scared. Come to think of it, you don't have to be male for that to be true either.
     

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