When do I step in and overule the rest of my family regarding my Dad?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by GailM, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I've posted on this forum in the past. My Dad was driving and I knew he had undiagnosed Dementia. He lives with my Uncle, Auntie and Cousin. My Uncle won't take him to the doctors. The rest of the family have in recent months admitted to me that they have been telling my Uncle to take my Dad to the doctors. My Uncle won't take him. The only way for a doctor to see him is if I ring the surgery and ask for a home visit. I would say he is mid stage. I don't know what type of dementia he has. I managed to get his doctor to do an over 75 medical a couple of years ago, but have no idea what happened. Later that year he was hospitalised. The hospital recommended he attend a memory clinic and sent a letter to his doctor. The appointment should have come through in three months, but didn't. At a further hospital check up, the hospital asked about the memory clinic and why my Uncle hadn't chased it up. He said because he figured they were busy!!! So...as far as I know he hasn't been diagnosed. The family were blaming it on the high level of statins he's on. but he was showing signs of dementia before that. To cut a long story short, when do I step in, or do I leave it? My Dad is still shaving, but smelled of wee last time I was there. I checked his bed which was dry but also smelled of wee. He kept saying he was wet at the front. I told my Uncle. He said it was sweat. I've looked after my Dad for a few hours for three days whilst my Uncle visited my Auntie in hospital. He thinks he's working (he retired in 1998, and the job he thinks he does, he left in 1986). He is hallucinating, his balance isn't good. He thinks people on the tv are staring at him. He thinks he has no money (he has plenty). He's tried to pay for meals or a cuppa that we've had in the house. I could go on and on. On the plus side, he's being fed well and all his meds are given at the correct time. My Auntie says my Uncle is burying his head in the sand, which he is, but he's my Dad. What do I do?
     
  2. allchange

    allchange Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    75
    Firstly I think you have to be aware of the possibility of financial abuse. Secondly that your uncle may have the start of dementia himself or be in some other way unable to cope. He may as you say just have his head in the sand though, many people do even when faced with the obvious.

    Taking the above into account is your dad as happy as he could be there. People with dementia often seem very flat and unemotional but a move into a care home is a risk as it may or may not work out. Many homes smell of urine and are not over prompt at changing wet/dirty clothing.

    It may be best to try and work with what you've got if possible. Maybe encourage the purchase of a new bed and waterproof bedding. Purchase more underwear and trousers/joggers if necessary, even a new washing machine. You could try to get carers visits but this may be trickier as this is somebody else's house, and Social Services will be reluctant to provide carers when he is already being looked after by family.

    You are in the best place to judge as you know the house and family interactions. There is probably no easy answer but hopefully others will have more ideas.
     
  3. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I don't have to worry about financial abuse (thankfully). My Dad only pays for the food, and nothing else. My Uncle has plenty of savings, although not as much as my Dad. My Cousin has more than my Dad's and Uncle's put together. I trust them totally moneywise. My Uncle doesn't have dementia. I am sure it's the head in the sand scenario as he's always been the same. I doubt my Dad would want to be parted from his brother. I know my Uncle wouldn't ever want to put my Dad in a home, but he may not have a choice. I expect it depends on my Dad's behaviour etc later down the line. My Auntie is really struggling with it even at this stage. I will certainly mention the bed, but it will fall on deaf ears. Maybe when things get worse my Uncle will listen...I would say at the moment, Social Services won't get involved. As you say, he's being looked after. I don't want to contact them. I'm trying to step back and let them get on with it. On the other hand I need my Uncle to do what he should be doing. For now I will observe when I visit, and see how things go.
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,677
    Female
    South coast
    Write a letter to your dads GP so that s/he is aware of the situation and if get to think that your think that your dad is unsafe at home (which it doesnt sound as though is the case at the moment) you can contact Social Services safeguarding. @allchange is right, though. SS wont do anything if the person with dementia or the main carer refuses help and they think they are coping - which realistically means that there is no crisis. Do keep an eye on the situation, though


    PS - it is unclear from your post whether your dad is still driving. If he is and you think it is unsafe, you can report it anonymously to the DVLA
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,554
    Female
    London
    Unless you have LPA over your Dad, you're not really in a position to overrule anyone on anything. All you can do is try and persuade people to see things your way, but as others have said, certain authorities will only step in if the PWD or their Carers ask for help themselves.
     
  6. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    316
    Female
    High Peak
    The only other thing you could do is get tough with your uncle. Make notes first about your father's behaviour and incontinence situation so you can refer to it then ask him - calmly and politely - what he intends to do about it. Tell him how concerned you are. Ask why your uncle hasn't followed up with the memory clinic as the hospital have suggested. In short, demand proper answers and don't accept him brushing you off or making excuses.

    Your uncle does seem to be in denial. You mentioned you didn't know if there was an actual diagnosis, but whether there is or not, I'm sure your uncle knows what the problem is. Unfortunately, many people think that if they pretend nothing is wrong, the problem will go away. It won't. You might also point out that by denying your dad his appointment with the memory clinic, your uncle is also denying him access to meds than can slow down the progression of dementia.

    There's also your aunt to consider - you said she is struggling with your father, so again, mention this to your uncle. If it was me, I would literally guilt-trip him into realising that his inaction is hurting/going to hurt others and that is not acceptable. As others have said, you can also write to your father's GP but that may go nowhere if your uncle won't take him.

    Finally, you can threaten your uncle saying you are not going to accept your dad smelling of urine and being in wet clothes and that you will report the matter to Social Services Safeguarding unless he acts.

    Of course, none of this is going to go down well. But you've tried the 'softly, softly' approach with your uncle and got nowhere so maybe it's time to get tough. I don't know what your relationship is like with your uncle and aunt - confronting them about their lack of action may cause arguments so you have decide how serious the situation is and act accordingly.

    Good luck - it's very difficult when family members disagree on the right course of action.
     
  7. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,364
    Female
    It sounds as if he is as happy as he can be, and is being looked after. Possibly your Uncle just can't face the truth, as you say it's head in the sand.

    In one sense it doesn't really matter whether he has a diagnosis - nothing will change as a result of it. So it isn't really worth getting people's backs up to achieve it.

    Do you have LPA? If you have access to your dad's money you could buy waterproof sheets for the bed and other aids which may be of practical help. If you can do this, don't ask your Uncle about it, just do it and give the things to your Aunt. It sounds as if she at least realises what the problems are.
     
  8. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    My Dad hasn't driven as such for two years. This was due to chest pain, but thankfully it meant he was off the road! He should have stopped driving way before he did. I created a post previously regarding his driving, and was close to reporting it to the DVLA. I spoke to them twice. Up until a few months ago he was still driving to the next village to take bottles to the bottle bank. He shouldn't have been in that car. Anyhow, he definitely doesn't do any driving now. There is no LPA in place. There is nothing in place of any description relating to his dementia. He had a prescription review earlier this year. I was praying the doctor would see him and act on it. Instead it was a nurse who reviewed the meds, took his blood pressure and a blood test. Surely though the dementia would have been noted on the system??? You can't miss it. My Uncle goes in with him as far as I know. My Dad's trousers didn't look wet, so short of making him drop his trousers I have no proof of the incontinence side of things. He did tell me that his "bladder had burst" so maybe that is one episode of not being able to control it sometimes? Actually he told me the bladder burst story three times, and each time it was in a different place in the house, so I'm just going round in circles really. I'm not due to visit again till August, but I'm going to go over next month. I need to try and get my Auntie on her own and ask a few questions. She washes my Dad's clothes and bedding. She will be honest with me. It's like trying to fit pieces of a jigsaw together without the damn picture! My Uncle admitted my Dad had dementia a coupe of weeks ago, but said there's nothing can be done about it. He won't discuss it.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,677
    Female
    South coast
    Im glad your dad has stopped driving now - thats one less thing to worry about.

    It sounds like your uncle is beginning to admit there is a problem, but I think your idea of talking to your aunt privately is a good one. Eventually your dads dementia will get to the stage where they will have to have help and if you can remain on good terms with them then they may listen to you.
     
  10. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I get on very well with both of them. I also hate confrontation. I'm very diplomatic, but am having to bite my tongue as I need them to give me information freely regarding my Dad, as well as having to ask a few questions. I need to remain on good terms with them. We are a very small family, and I don't want us to fall out. Whether or not my Uncle will cope when things progress remains to be seen. He will do his utmost to keep him out of a care home, that much I do know.
     

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