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Coping with elderly parents – particularly Alzheimer’s Rant

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes helpful I think that folk acknowledge this and are honest
    Lara mfl 05 and emerald52 like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'm not gonna lie and pretend my family is wonderful.

    Some of them are! But that's just an accident of fate. I never romanticise about family. That would be silly.
    Lara mfl 05 and Ivartheboneless like this.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Lara, thank you for directing me to this thread, I've just been reading for an hour, and shedding more than a few tears. I'm not ready to talk about everything that's happening to us, but I can identify with so much I've read. It does bring some comfort to know we're not alone. Our next big step is the assessment in September. Dad's GP is certain he has dementia; an assessment appointment was made at the hospital during July. I took two days off school (very supportive HT) and travelled the 120 miles to take dad. He flatly refused to go. Dreadful day, he was very upset and aggressive - I know he was scared. A friend, who has been through a similar situation and works in the NHS, told me that they have an obligation to come and do the assessment at home if the person refuses to come to the clinic. This has been very difficult to arrange and we've had to wait, but they are coming. We're hoping that, with a confirmed diagnosis, we will be able to persuade dad to make changes in his home and accept the support he so desperately needs.

    Thinking of everyone else who is in a similar situation, watching someone they love disappear.
    emerald52 likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Welcome @sunshineneeded , although I'm sorry that you've had to. :(

    Although it seems this thread was started by lindenlea, in fact it was a couple of years before that I started the thread, but those pages got lost in an update. I will remind others and tell you, we have one rule on this thread in that no-one is allowed to criticize what anyone else says. If that;s what you feel, when you post, that's what you feel and need to let it out somewhere. Believe me there probably isn't any thought or emotion, which someone on here can't identify with.

    Although it can be used to rant, we do have a collective knowledge of many strategies to employ and which agencies to contact etc, so whenever you feel the need just post.
    You may not be aware but at the start of this thread I was caring for 4 'elderlies', dying from heart failure. a mother with dementia, a f-I-l who was greta but had several types of cancer and then m-I-l who was physically frail, blind, low mobility . . .so lots of different experience of how becoming elderly affects one.

    My mother was 'diagnosed' at home and simply refused to accept the result, so you may still find your father resistant. We're here for when you need us.
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    It's a horrid situation, sunshine. And no one is prepared for it. And every time you're getting used to how things are, they change. I hope you manage to get things in place for your dad. My dad has Lewy Body dementia and the doctor thought some physio would help, which I'm sure it would. But he was really rude to the physio and said the exercises were stupid and that he just needs to go out for a walk, which he is both obsessed with and also totally incapable of.

    We try and keep a sense of humour and enjoy his better days. There are still good times.
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Good wishes to all resilient and selfless contributors.
    emerald52, Lara mfl 05 and cissy3 like this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    This thread should be entitled

    Coping with Elderly Parents - Rant and Advice Spot

    and the initial post, lost in the last update should read

    'As some posters know, I am coping with 'the long, slow goodbye of Alzheimer's' with my Mum, in addition to caring for my elderly in-laws. Several people have posted recently they are having similar problems (often juggling our children at the other end too), either in separate posts and on the Bereavement thread.

    So following in the spirit of that thread, I wondered if we ought to have our own thread to 'rant' on occasionally or offer help and advice, use as an outlet /counselling etc.

    The object is to support each other and there is one rule, we do not criticize what others say. If that's what they feel at that moment in time, that's fine and here is somewhere 'safe' to share it, with no recriminations.
    minnie me likes this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    In relation to the above post technically the above should read
    This thread should could be entitled

    Coping with Elderly Parents - Rant and Advice Spot
    if the original title
    Coping with Elderly Parents - particularly Alzheimers Rant and Advice Spot is too long.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Just wondering if you've had this assessment yet @sunshineneeded ?
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  10. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi lara - yes, the assessment was yesterday. My sister went down to be with Dad. We have to wait for the formal results in a couple of weeks, but the two nurse practitioners who came were very skilled and said that are quite certain that Dad has early stage dementia. When they arrived he said they couldn't stay long at he was flying to Spain that evening!!!
    They recommended that he has a carer call in every day asap. Sadly, he just won't hear of that at the moment. We've spent today discussing the way forward and are talking to a 'care' company about his needs. We're all (me, my brother and sister) travelling down to see Dad together next Saturday, hopefully with a plan firmly in place. It won't be easy, but we need to get him to agree.
    Thanks for you thoughts, lara x
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    What are the neighbours like? Neighbours can be great. OK, they're not going to take him to the toilet but he doesn't need that yet.

    But they might bring him a "spare" sandwich or make him a cuppa. They were great with MiL.
  12. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Our "across the road neighbour" thankfully spotted my dad falling in the doorway and came over to lift him up, sat with him for a couple of hours and agreed with Dad who was rather irate that the ambulance wouldn't come out as he hadn't hit his head! Dad too is beginning to show signs of dementia, at the moment he is just easily confused, sometimes can't remember what he is meant to be doing and where he is meant to be but is still ok with familiar routines. Despite crashing his car into a post, he is still driving daily to see Mum in her care home-even though she has no idea whether he visits or not! Trying to deal with one parent with dementia is bad enough, now I seem to have two!
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh Carrie that is as you say very tough.
    Here's something to make you laugh :D - even if it is so true to your situation!
  14. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    In a way, it is easier to deal with Mum than with Dad, despite the fact that she is incontinent, can't walk, can't look after herself at all. She is in a lovely home where she is pretty much oblivious to everything going on around her-although she still grumbles if someone leaves the door open! Dad on the other hand refuses to realise he is getting old! He struggles with walking, is awaiting an aortic valve replacement, his kidneys are failing, has diabetes and, as I said, the early signs of dementia. Yet he still drives to see mum pretty much everyday, refuses to use a walking stick and is so stubborn!
    minnie me and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Most in his apartment block are of a similar age to dad and have needs of their own. His next door neighbour, a very elderly retired clergyman, is lovely, but sadly his wife is very poorly. We do call him if we can't get hold of dad all day and he goes in to check, but I don't feel we can ask him to do any more than that.
  16. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    @CarrieV, that's such a difficult situation that you're dealing with. Life can seem very unfair sometimes. My dad is just as stubborn. Up until very recently, he hasn't seemed to realise that there is anything wrong, but there have been signs lately that he is beginning to know. He won't acknowledge it, but I'm sure he's very scared. It's all so distressing.

    It's comforting to be able to talk to others who understand and are or have been in a similar situation. Thanks to all x
    minnie me and Sundaytrekker like this.
  17. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That is the whole purpose of the thread. :D
    I know I found it very cathartic when I was coping with it all, to be able to chat with others in similar situations and pass on tips / info and also just to have somewhere to 'say it as it is' without having to constantly burden family.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    My mum was in such a block of flats @sunshineneeded

    I bet the old vicar would be chuffed to be asked and would be able to set his own limits, I'm sure.

    Have you suggested your dad has a cleaning lady? Don't use the word "carer". You interview them and tip them the wink that your dad will be paying for x hours but you will top that up when s/he suggests they go to Tesco together so they need to be local and flexible.

    I bet there are people doing just that thing in the block. My mum had a cleaner. And that evolved. It's more natural than the succession of strangers that turn up from some care-agency.
  19. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    It's true that care agencies have a high staff turnover. Pay isn't great, nor are the anti-social hours they have work. My experience of working in an environment where agency carers attend to a number of my residents though has been that in the main, they are people who do care and don't stop doing it because of the pay or the unsociable hours, but because it's incredibly stressful to watch people deteriorate, especially when the carer will be questioning whether they did everything they could have done.
    minnie me, lindenlea and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Thank you, gdw - that's exactly what we're working on. Unfortunately, the first company we used (recommended by social services) weren't a great success. The first lady was lovely, dad liked her and she came at the same time, same day for a couple of months. We were ready to ask her to add another day and maybe take him shopping, for a haircut, etc. Then she left suddenly and we haven't had the same person twice since the beginning of the summer holidays. And they come on different days, at different times. Doesn't work with dementia!!! So I've done lots of checking and contacted another company yesterday to try and start again - first with cleaning, working towards more personal care.
    grumpydogwoman and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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