What should I do???????

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by melbee, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. melbee

    melbee Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    North West England
    Hi there,

    Not written on here for a long time but have spent hours reading everyones posts.

    This is my/our story:-

    Mum diagnosed with Alzheimers and depression last August, 2006. Her score was 23. (if you know what I mean).
    I knew something seriously was wrong back in June with her short term memory etc, and she kept ringing me very tearful, saying she hated being on her own. When we discovered the outcome I was devastated and found it very hard (still am) to accept the illness and its affects. Mum prsecribed Aricept and Anti-depressants Nov 2006, taken off the Anti-depressants in Feb 2007.

    I also found out Nov 2006 that my Dad who brought me up is not my biological Dad (after 43 yrs being in the dark) all the family knew the truth except me and my sister. Mum had put off telling me for whatever reasons I'll never know now, but Dad has always wanted me to know the truth, especially after he and Mum divorced. He met my Mum just after I was born and when they married I was legally adopted. So dealing with that news aswell has had its affects on me. I am now seriously depressed, signed off work and just about coping on a day to day basis.

    We moved up to the North West from Surrey March 2007, and because I would never leave my Mum before, prior to the illness it was agreed within our family to bring her with us.
    Everyone was concerned and kept saying "Do you know what you're taking on" & "What about the impact on your family life, etc, etc"
    But I was detemined to look after Mum if I possibly could.

    Everything seemed to fall into place, my husband got a job and we found a wonderful nursery/school for our little girl. Mum seemed fine at first, and we would go out & about, then after 10 weeks or so she became either verbally aggressive, tearful, wishing she was dead to hyper active and excitable. I found myself slipping into a downward spiral where I couldnt cope with Mums mood swings and was forever worried about my little 4yr old girl who Mum would sometimes play nicely or bully, tease & push away. And as for my poor husband, he only wanted to protect us but in doing so made an enemy of Mum and she hated him with a passion.

    It all came to a head back in June and basically without going into details Mum flipped completely and ended up in hospital, in a secure unit. They have been monitoring her meds and have taken her off the Aricept, which they say wasnt working for her, but since diagnosed Manic Depression (Bipolar), aswell as the Alzheimers and her latest Test score was 14. The depression is now being treated and Mums moods have calmed.

    We (my sister & I) recently have had a meeting with the Consultant, Social worker and all, and have another planned for this coming Monday 30th July 2007.
    Last meeting they advised with Mums illness, added bladder incontinence and need for 24/7 needs she should go into a home. Residential recommended because she is very sociable, physically fit and can look after herself with a little reminder. They do not feel that it would be beneficial (not sure if thats the right word) to either my family or Mum if she was to move back to the family home.

    Again I am distraught as to know what to do....................... My sister and I have visited 5 homes and come up with 2 very nice possibles. But have we visited enough though ?????? And Mum doesnt want to go into a home. We have explained it is more like a hotel, with all your food provided etc. But I feel so guilty and do not know what to do for the best. Mum is only 68 and was still driving only 18 months ago.

    My heart tells me to look after Mum as long as possible, she has always been there for me through thick & thin, and you never know how long they have left with this evil illness. But my head tells me to think about my family, the future and Mums long term needs.

    I am being torn in 2, am physically & mentally shattered, not sleeping at all and feel close to meltdown.

    Please, please, please, all you wonderful & caring people on TP do you have any ideas, advise or answers for me.

    love and regards
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Melanie

    Glad to see you back on TP, though not glad about the reason!

    First priority -- look after yourself!

    You cannot care for your mum, your husband and your daughter if you are facing meltdown yourself.

    It's sad that your mum has deteriorated so quickly, but realistically, bipolar disorder on top of AD sounds like more than one person can cope with.

    Your husband and daughter need your attention, and they must be your second priority (after your own health).

    You have done your best for your mum, bringing her to live with you, but AD does not stand still, and there comes a time when we all have to admit defeat.

    You say you have found two lovely homes, so you are still doing your best for your mum. Let someone else take the strain now, and enjoy your daughter's childhood. You can also enjoy your visits to your mum.

    Don't worry about it, you are not letting your mum down.:)

    Love and hugs,
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Mel.

    You are in no state just now to make any decision or take advice. You are far too stressed, worn down and emotional.

    Your heart is responsible for the guilt. Your head is responsible for practicalities. The practicalities have to be given priority, because you can only cope with so much, and with the best will in the world, you don`t only have your mother to consider.

    If your mother is agressive, has fallen out with your husband and has very changeable mood swings with your daughter, it might be better to take the advice of the professionals.

    You will be unhappy whatever you decide. There is no answer to this, to solve your dilemma. I`m so sorry Mel, you really are between a rock and a hard place.

    Sorry, not to be of more help. Maybe someone else will have some more positive suggestions.

    Take care

    Love xx
  4. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    I think Skye and GrannieG have said it all. You and your own family are first priority. If your Mum were 'normal' as in the old days she would want whatever is right for you too. If there are good homes available for her then that is in her and your best interests.

    It is hard and difficult (I do not want to face the prospect of NH for my husband so who am I to talk) but reading all the posts in the past, if your Mum goes into a home then you will be able to give her quality time as you will not be so stressed.

    Take care - many people here will be thinking and feeling for you.
  5. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Dear Mel,

    I do feel for you.

    You have and are being a wonderful daughter and you must find a way to block out the guilt as you have nothing to feel guilty for and it will serve no purpose at all - it won't change the situation with your mum and it can't help you or your family in any way.

    I would assume from your actions so far that you have always been close to your mum so you must know practically that if she were well she would not want you to care for her to the detriment of your young family.

    As others have said your priority is to your husband and especially to your daughter who cannot possible understand why her grandma is so changeable and is not emotionally equiped to deal with her grandma's behaviour.

    I would recommend a few counselling sessions if you can get them - I find they help me get through the guilt relatively unscathed and with a renewed attitude of common sense each time.

    Guilt seems to be the carer's disease when dealing with dementia - we must all learn to put up a guilt shield as we're all doing our best - easy to say, difficult to do.

    Thinking of you.

    Kate P
  6. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Mel, agree with what everyone else has said, so won't repeat it all again, BUT

    It would seem to me that this would be the best time for your Mum to move into residential care, while she is still sociable. I don't think you would be doing HER any favours by delaying. If you crack up, suddenly the whole situation may be likely to escalate out of your control, whereas now you still have input into it. Can't say that the guilt monster won't still have a field day, but your sensible head (rather than your sensitive heart) knows you are doing the best, both for her and for other family members.

    Best wishes
  7. Sunlight

    Sunlight Registered User

    Feb 12, 2007
    Melanie I know it's hard but your mother going into residential care might be best not only for you and your family but also for her. I don't envy you having to make this decision - thankfully I haven't quite got to that stage yet.
  8. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    I TOTALLY agree with Lynne. Dear Mel, many of us on TP are sufferers of depression and we can all relate to the stresses this disease adds to our caring roles. You did your best, but the ILLNESS beat you. You haven't failed your Mum - the dreadful disease has made it impossible to continue.

    If you have found two homes you like, you need look no further. Lynne has described it beautifully above - your Mum now has a chance to build herself a new life in a safe and caring place.

    On another thread, Magarita mentioned that, when someone goes into a home, you can go back to your original relationship with that person (in your case, daughter) instead of being mostly Carer. I think this will be a good thing for you and your family.

    It won't be easy to get your Mum on side about the move, but it will be a great deal harder to have her back at your place. And if you do, how long for . . . .?? Maybe no more than a few days or weeks? :(

    Wishing you all the strength you need, and hoping for a very positive outcome for all of you.
  9. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    Great advice!

    Got to agree with everyone on this ..... in our own situation MIL was becoming more aggressive and irritable with us as her close family, we were getting cross with her ..whereas her new residential home have the time a the patience ..and the advantage of a shift system which means they get breaks and are fresh to the job! We didnt want our relationship to deteriorate any further, o that with MIL, and I know it was the best thing Good luck
  10. melbee

    melbee Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    North West England
    Many Many Thanks................

    Thankyou to all those who replied.

    I visited Mum last night at the hospital, and she had already gone to bed - 6.45 (very unusual for Mum) and she was very down & tearful, and I asked her what the matter was. She replied "I dont like it in here, when can I come home." I tried explaning again, that it would not be best for her to come home as I am not qualified to look after her. She insisted she could look after herself. I mentioned that my sister and I had found a very nice place nearby, but she refused to listen and carried on playing with my daughter.

    I went and spoke to the Ward Sister, who said that because Mum was quite elated and excitable at the beginning of the week they had increased her medication, and she would voice my concerns to the doctors. She also said that maybe Mum had some insight regarding her moving to a home and thats why she may have been down too.

    When I returned home from the hospital, again an absolute wreck, I looked at all your posts to me with my husband and we were both in tears.

    I told him about Mums mood & what they had done with her meds. I told him that someone had cut Mums hair and it looked a right mess, and she asked me to trim her toenails, and when I looked at her feet she had developed a fungal infection in a nail and her feet were filthy dirty. My Mum used to be immaculatly turned out, beautiful clothes, hair done, make-up on always and manicured hands & feet.We had a long chat and I decided then and there that although I didnt want it to come to this, Mum moving to a home has got to be better than her deterioration at the hospital.

    Today Friday after an emotional chat with my sister I rang the Home on the top of our list and the Manager is going to the hospital to assess Mum on Monday.

    So fingers crossed, we have made that first step, which seemed an impossible task 2 weeks ago.

    I will keep you up to date on our progress.

    Love and best wishes to all

  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Well done, Mel. I'm sure you're doing the right thing, it sounds as if your mum is deteriorating in hospital.

    I hope the assessment goes well.

  12. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Oh Mel, I`m so pleased you have made the decision.

    I know just how you felt. I once went to see my mother to find someone had permed her hair. She had good strong naturally wavy hair, and none of us ever had perms. She looked awful. Just like a clone.

    It`s good the home at the top of your list is doing the assessment. Fingers crossed.

    Love xx
  13. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    I agree, Mel - I am sure you are doing the right thing. Others here have gone through similar things and, fter the settling in period, your Mum will hopefully improve.

    You have taken the first step - wonderful. Let us know how it goes.
    Best wishes Beckyjan
  14. SteveS

    SteveS Registered User

    Jun 20, 2007
    Altrincham, cheshire
    Having visited some homes ourselves, we are one step behind you, and have not seen one's with suitable vacancies.

    We have come to a mind that Dad will soon settle, because he is calm - your Mum will settle more easily than you imagine - The emotional guilt that goes with relatives probably circles around the "locking away" thought. But most caring facilites and these "hotels" are very open, visits will be like going to their house (albeit the memories you ave from their original home will be real too), and it will seem like a house move without the furniture van.

    Our experience is that all the homes we visited and liked, were full - no surprises there! - but we put Dad on a waiting list for each and are pretty sure the right place will come up soon.

    If your gut instinct is right - let it all happen, then rest.(says he who is manically running around)

    Take care

  15. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Mel

    I hope you get mum settled in a NH soon, then you can start to repair your own health, and start to enjoy being a 'normal' family again.

    You have done your absolute best for mum, and you are continuing to do your best by having her move to where the staff are qualified to help her with her now complex needs.

    Better now calmly and planned than in the midst of another crisis.

    Chin up, take heart, it will get better.


    Cate xx

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