Worst Christmas ever....!!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sony, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. sony

    sony Registered User


    I don't post that often, but feel the need to today.....
    I'm 23years old and my grandparents have been my world throughout my whole life....almost like second parents....
    My Granny (77) has had alzhiemers for about 9/10 years and my Granda (83) has just recently (about 1/2years) been diagnosed with VD.
    My Mum is one of 7 children but bore the brunt of caring, even moving them to a house next door to ours....the others tried to do as much as they could but seemed to have more important commitments....!
    However, on Christmas Eve, it came to a head and it was decided that my grandparents would have to go for respite.....but because of the holidays nothing could be done until today....so 10 minutes ago, my Granny and Granda left to go to a Nursing home together.....however, the nursing home is over 30miles from our town and they won't be together....they'll be in different wards.....I'm heartbroken, have done nothing but cry and my poor Mum couldnt even go to say goodbye to them, 4 of her brothers went with them....
    We've been told to leave it until Sunday to visit.....would it be a good idea to bring each of them a photo of the two of them together to keep in their rooms or would that just cause further problems?

    I think my Granny will be fine coz all she does is sleep now anyway, but my Granda is still very fit and strong, he'll be a bigger problem....I have visions of them sedating him so much that he'll become a shell of himself....the whole plan is to give them 8 weeks respite and then bring them home but I can't see that happening....if they last 8 weeks. Apparantly my Granda had a mini-stroke overnight.

    So upset..... thanks for letting me vent.....
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Sony, just feel for you and the family. How sad and upsetting.

    Read you post and just wanted to reach out and give you a hug. hugs.gif

    I am sure someone who has been in a similar situation will have some good advice for you soon.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Sony, how can any one give advice to help you get through such a heartbreaking situation.

    Many members have been through it themselves and they all felt as you do. Others, like me, know we may well have it to come and don`t even want to think about it.

    This is one of the certainties of dementia and it`s painful in the extreme.

    I can only say it had to be. There was no alternative as your mother is probably at the stage where her own health is suffering.

    I hope you manage to visit and are able to support each other as a family.

    Take care xx
  4. Jane1

    Jane1 Registered User

    Mar 3, 2007
    I am so sorry for the way you are feeling right now and i can offer you no advice except to say hang on in there, look forward to your visit and make the very best of it that you can. Know that people are on here to listen and they do care. I wish you and your family all the very best
  5. paris07

    paris07 Registered User

    Jul 11, 2007
    dear sony,
    I can understand how hard it is for you to see your grandparents go to respite,I hope they settle in ok, I can say from experience with my Mum that it takes a few days but after that I am sure things will get better.
    I think taking some photos and personal items to make their rooms more homely is a wonderful idea .
    I wish you and your family
    best wishes
  6. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Sony,
    Life really stinks doesn't it? Although in an ideal word, keeping your Grandparents together would be wonderful. Unfortunately with this illness other courses of action has to be done for the well being of both your Grandparents.
    Taking photos to each of them is lovely, also I took soft toys, and a pretty pot plant.
    I send you my sincere wishes that everything on visiting go well for you all.
    Best wishes .Christine
  7. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Sony,

    I feel so sad for you as my Christmas with mum went so well.

    Re splitting up your grandparents, you'll really have to see how that goes. When my dad died, I thought my mum would go to pieces cos they had shared 55 years together, but she didn't.

    I think the photo of them both, and of the children and other family, is worth a try. My mum is delighted by hers.

    However, she doesn't want her room over-personalising cos she thinks it is temporary accommodation (it will be permanent).

    I don't know why you are talking about your grand-dad being sedated, unless it is essential. He should be allowed to be himself, not zonked out for no apparent reason.

    Yep 30 miles is a fair distance, but if you can couple a visit with a shopping trip it is less of a strain. Or a pub lunch on the way. Treat yourself.

    Hope it works out.


  8. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Sony, maybe the care home staff will see that your grandparents have some time together each day. This would be lovely if they will, as it will be reassuring for them both. Maybe, your mum could request this.

    I can relate to how difficult this whole situation has being for your poor mum and I'm sure she well and truly needs the respite.
    There will be a settling in period for all concerned and I hope that the staff can manage any challenging behaviours your grandad may have without sedation. It is my understanding that sedation is always the last option, so try and not worry about that.

    I am sorry that your Christmas didn't go well and I hope that things work out with your grandparents and that your mum can benefit from the respite. I hope that your feeling a little bit better yourself and try to just take each day as it comes. Caring Thoughts, Taffy.
  9. sony

    sony Registered User

    Hey everyone,

    Thanks so much for your encouraging and supportive replies....
    I didn't want to reply until I had some news for you.....

    My grandparents are about to spend their 4th night in the home and my grandad has barely slept since he got there....he paces the floor all night. My Granny has been quite settled but when we went to visit them today she was just like she was at home - constantly trying to get up 'to put on the dinner' even though she can barely walk now....
    Also my grandad can't move his right arm at all, he's holding it and claims the pain is in his shoulder and is travelling up his neck into his ear. When he was walking I noticed that the right shoulder is sticking out alot more than the other....it actually looks dislocated....I don't know whether is was or whether it was just becasue of the way he's holding it.

    The home was lovely and clean, etc but seemed to be very short-staffed - I counted about 25 people in the sitting room and there was only 1 male nurse and 2 auxhilleries!! We alerted the nurse to my grandad's shoulder and he said he doesn't normally work that ward so didn't know what had happened but he'd note it for the Dr tomorrow....I thought this wasn't really good enough??

    However, the one good thing is that they were able to put my grandparents in a double room with two single beds....BUT because my Grandad isn't sleeping and has been found trying to waken my granny to take her home, they are saying that they may have to separate them because my grandad is disturbing my granny.... :(

    My Grandad also wasn't impressed with the male nurse rubbing my granny's shoulder....telling him to 'take your hands off my wife'!! :eek:

    We're still not coping with it very well....the nursing home said they've never seen a couple with dementia.... I truly hope that we can take them home again after a few weeks....my parent were supposed to be away on holidays over Xmas but cancelled because of what happened so I'd love for them to get away for a break before they come home....if!

    I hate seeing them in there and of course would want them at home but it's got to the point where my own mum's health is suffering....so the way I look at it, as much as I love them, I'd rather they went into a home at the ripe old age of 77 and 84 than my Mum become seriously ill at the tender age of 45! Hope that makes sense and doesn't sound wrong!

    Anyway, thanks again for the support, it's truly appreciated!

  10. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    I think you are very wise to consider that now is the time to make a permanent move. Once your Grandad gets used to the place (which will happen - altho' it may take a while) he and your Gran will be safe and cared for. It is WAY too much to have to care for two elderly people with dementia - and it sounds as if your Mum would be facing serious illness herself if she tried to keep going.

    I encourage you to help your Mum to see that this is the right decision, and to not feel she is "letting them down" by not having them home again.

    GUILT is a huge factor for all of us with relatives with dementia - we all worry we should be doing more for them. But in the end, common sense must prevail and we must realise that our guilt is not helping those we love.

    Your Mum is lucky to have such a loving and caring daughter - please help her accept that she now needs to think of herself as well as your grandparents.
  11. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Sony,
    Your Mother and Grandparent as very lucky to have you, loving and caring for them. Unfortunately, with you Grandparents there comes a time when the experts are there to do the 24/7 caring.
    Your Mother is so young to have all this to deal with and the main issue is that she is not ill from all the caring.
    Sending you my best wishes. Christine
  12. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Dear Sony

    Both my parents have dementia and I tried to care for them, but caring for them was affecting my own health.

    I lost lots of weight, although I made sure Mum and Dad ate well, I was very stressed and couldn't be bothered with food. I was having palpitations, was breathless and exhausted.

    Like you I wanted to keep my parents together, after all they had been together for 61 years. It wasn't to be. I eventually had to put them into a lovely care home, in a double room, but Mum, like your grandad would not let the carers look after Dad and she also had Dad up all night. Mum became extremely agitated and was admitted to the psychiatrict ward in hospital, where she is still.

    Dad is still in the care home and seems quite happy and settled. I don't think he would recognise Mum now, which is very sad in a way, but quite a relief in another way.

    It is very difficult to care for two people with dementia, your Mum shouldn't feel guilty, nor should you (easier said than done, I know). You've all given of your best. Hope your Mum gets away on a break

  13. sony

    sony Registered User

    An Update.......

    Hey everyone, how are you all? Just thought I'd give you's another wee update....I can barely believe that my grandparents have been in the home for two weeks now!! Where does the time go??

    My mum and I visited them today....my granny is much the same as she was at home, except she's not walking at all now - they use a hoist to lift her from the chair to the wheelchair....that's hard to watch because she gets very distressed and frightened by it. My Granda is a shadow of his former self....:( thinner, vacant looking and (most heartbreaking of all....) he looks really really sad. He was delighted to see us.....he has always described me as his 'best friend' even though he is 60 years older than me....I always thought that was ludicrous but I am now realising that he is my best friend too....it's completely breaking my heart to even visit him but I miss seeing him everyday. He asked us repeatedly to take him and Nanny home, so we had to get the nurses to distract him so that we could slip out making me feel so guilty, every other time I've visited I've always given them a kiss and hug before leaving and he hasn't had a problem staying, not this time though. :(

    The predicament now is that the dementia team are having a big meeting (my Mum and her bros and sis included) on the 6th February (at which point my grandparents will have been in the home for 6 weeks) to decide what happens next.....I think most of the boys (my Mums brothers) will be very happy for them to stay permanantly....my Mum won't want them to stay and I'm not sure about her sis......
    I was just thinking today....would it be worth giving them 8 weeks respite, bringing them home for 4/6/8 weeks, then another 8 weeks respite, and so on and so on? This would be too much hassle for all involved wouldn't it??
    Any other suggestions apart from leave them in the home? :rolleyes:

    My Mum is still devastated...we went shopping on Tuesday and this really over the top sales woman was in Next looking my Mum to sign up for a Next catalogue.....my Mum happened to have a top in her hand and the woman started commenting on the top and how it was "in" in the 60's, etc....to make her point she said 'go home and ask your mum and she'll tell you that it was in in the 60s', well this brought my Mum to tears.....its amazing how something so insignificant can bring about that reaction....

    Alfjess, so sorry to hear you're going through a similar situation....wouldn't wish it on anyone! Hope things are going as well as they can for you. :)

    Thanks for letting me vent.....:)

    Thinking of you all....


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