When the other spouse cannot cope

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,600
Auckland...... New Zealand
Mum 74 with moderate Alzheimers and Dad 77 with cognitive impairment.
My parents live in their own house behind ours. I am registered as Mums Carer, and have POA.

Dad has very little to do in the way of "caring" for Mum, apart from find things that are lost, and get Mum cups of coffee and cooks the evening meal... And generally supervises.
He has never understood Mums Alzheimers, despite having visits from our AD Key Worker., and many conversations with me. He has no coping skills or strategies, to help on a day to basis, but I have been told this is due to his cognitive impairment.
Mum still bathes, dresses herself, no incontinence, makes herself the most basic of meals, does the laundry (but starting to have difficulty)
All her other skills and activities as far as knitting, baking, reading, catching the bus to town, gardening, dancing, socialising with friends and family have been lost.
Even 2 yrs down the track Dad is either telling Mum to do some baking, or to catch the bus to her friends place, or asking why she doesn't do XYZ aymore :eek:

Dad really does at times look so flustered and at a loss with Mum, and as she is starting to get a bit tetchy, and up and down in her moods, its causing a lot of arguments between them.
Has anyone been in the situation where your other parent has just not been able to cope, even though your parent with dementia, is not at Care Home level.
Short of me giving up work entirely and being there 24/7, which is just not going to happen, that would be the only way Dad would manage.
Dad gets many hours respite from Mum, between me taking her out and Mum going to an Alzheimers activity group 3x a week.
They are not in a position to financially pay someone to live in ( Dad would not hear of it) and our Welfare system, would not deem Mum of a high enough level to qualify for regular home carer visits.
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
I don't know whether it would work but if you start telling SS that there are two vulnerable people here together would they look at it as the potential difficult situation that it will become rather than as just each individual's needs?
I would have thought that day care every day for your mum might be justified, but suppose this is a long shot.

My GP said to me years ago that in her experience things have to get to a crisis before changes happen in service provision (or getting Dads to accept help in our case) and I have sadly found this to be true. I don't imagine that is a lot of help to you but I found it strangely comforting that what was happening to us was normal, and it reduced some of the utter misery and frustration that my efforts to ward off a crisis have all been futile.
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,600
Auckland...... New Zealand
I took Mum to a Daycare programme, but she said she wouldn't go back as everyone had something wrong with them, and some were off their head. She also said that some of them frightened her. This was a Daycare progamme for people with mild to moderate Dementia.
Dad has an appt with the Memory Team himself soon, and I think I will ring our Key Worker. I really don't know what they will suggest.