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Coping with elderly parents – particularly Alzheimer’s Rant

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

  1. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Great plan sunshineneeded.
    Exactly what we did with my mum, when I was needed a bit more over at the in-laws. We had an arrangement that it was a 'new friend' come 'just to talk' and perhaps take her out a couple of days a week.
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am so grateful that my life with older relatives is so, so straightforward ( currently) compared with those of colleagues on this thread.

    I have to hold my tongue when I know that I want to tell my SIL to ‘ do the right thing ‘ by spending more time with her Mum - she prioritises EVERYTHING but her ( and has never worked ) . She is I think very self centred. The local adult grandchildren do very little / nothing but break promises to visit or fail to make a phone call which I think is unsupportable.... but I feel it’s not my place to rant ?!

    Likewise I have to make the right noises with my own Mum even though silently I am imploding with ‘ Groundhog Day ‘ frustration at hearing the same things ( often totally irrational ) on a daily basis . By irrational I don’t mean in a mentally confused manner but more not taking ( good ) advice, being unreasonable, fickle and demanding.

    To those dutiful and caring souls then hope you get to spend some quality time treating yourself this weekend. Best ..
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Feel that the 'crisis' my siblings and I have talked about is fast approaching … I've cut my school working week down to 4 days and so travelled the 120 miles to see dad on Friday. Had spoken to him every day through the week as usual, he was vague - but always is. When I arrived, he was still in bed. I couldn't rouse him at first and thought the worst - then he woke up and I could see that he'd had a fall. His face was so bruised and had clearly been bleeding. Looked a couple of days old. He was so confused, insisted he hadn't fallen. Tried 111 but hung up after waiting 15 mins. GP said to call 999, so I did. Waited 2.5 hours (during which time I cleared up the chaos in the kitchen, including incinerated toast in toaster, and the even worse bathroom). Ambulance people were lovely and checked him over so thoroughly. They agreed that he's fallen. He's actually quite physically well for 88, apart from the dementia. His blood pressure, which is fine, drops significantly when he stands up - they think he probably got out of bed too quickly and fainted and hit his face on bedside table or wardrobe. Odd that there were no signs of blood there - we'll never know. They felt there was no reason to take him to hospital … I really just wanted the peace of knowing that he's somewhere safe for at least a few days.

    I stayed over until last night; my sister and brother also came down yesterday. We've left him with enough ready meals, etc, for the week and everywhere clean and tidy. This week we're going to change the cleaning company (not happy with present one) and have cleaner 3 days a week, to clean, shop and check on him, as he absolutely refuses anyone called 'carer'. We're also going to step up our search for a suitable dementia care home in the hope that we can get him there asap. I'll be back down next Friday.

    It's good to have somewhere to let off steam … but hard to focus on planning English for the week!
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    You are doing your absolute best. Hope you can get the cleaner organised. It would keep him going for a little while longer, but as you say, it sounds like a care home is on the horizon.
  5. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    @sunshineneeded you have my sympathy. We went through the same with my mother in law. One fall resulted in a hospital admission and we told her they would only let her come home if she accepted a care package. It wasn't true but it was the only way she would accept help. Her worst fall happened just after a carer left. She broke her hip and went from hospital straight to a nursing home
  6. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Sorry half my message disappeared. Will type more later but good luck
    Lara mfl 05 and sunshineneeded like this.
  7. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    @sunshineneeded. You are doing a grand job.Great that you have others to share the support and care. Good luck in your quest for suitable long term provision
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    So sorry.

    But the time has come for him to be moving on to a new home.

    You are doing absolutely the right thing in looking for somewhere. I'm philosophically a utilitarian so I always have to think of the greatest good for the greatest number.

    You running round the country? Time, fuel, adverse effect on your work/life balance and your family and your siblings. Ambulance crews called out. People coming round only for Law of Sod to operate. They go and he then keels over. It makes no sense. You constantly fearing a 'phone call. Never properly at any kind of ease.

    He needs to be safe. As you said. And he won't like it but you're doing the right and best thing for everyone.

    Find that home! I know you will.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I can empathize with that. One of my Mum's falls, when my son had had to break the glass in the front door and break it down, found my Mum on the floor against the sofa hanging on to a broken curtain rail and she sat there insisting she 'hadn't had a fall'. o_O

    Quite right to start looking for a Home, as they can often have waiting lists and that low blood pressure on standing up will be a worry. I had my Mum's name down at a couple willing to take the first with a vacancy, as by the time I was willing to accept that she needed one it had become absolutely vital.

    I'm glad this thread is here for you @sunshineneeded. Let's trust it 'transfers successfully in the forthcoming upgrade`. Keep posting and we'll help where we can.
  10. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    Oh Minnie me, you sound like I did. My brother just made excuse after excuse not to visit mum, despite he was nearer than me and had his own transport... he made out I didn't understand what it was like driving "all that way" (50 miles for him, but took me 3 hours by train or if Mr GW took me). Then when he was out of work, it was " too expensive" then in work it was "no time". I bit my tongue more than once, basically he couldn't cope with mum's illness, and I got to the point of realisation that I couldn't make him care or do more. Now he's beginning to be the same with dad. Grumbled about taking him a mile to the shop because it costs too much in petrol. Dad is very independent but just slowing down now. I'm resigned to the fact that if dad needs more support, it will be once again down to me. Same with the grandchildren.

    You just do what you can do, somehow you muddle through. Xx
  11. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Thank you all for your lovely posts, it's such a support to read them. I'm very lucky to be close to my siblings and know that we all share the worries - it's just a shame at this point that we're all dotted around the country, so far apart!
  12. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Also wanted to say to you @sunshineneeded if you haven't already done so, get a social worker involved. They will assess their needs and give you a list of suitable places with some idea about available places. Don't be afraid to look around a few before deciding. Although we had some issues with the home my mother in law was in, overall it was good. The staff were consistent and helpful and there was plenty going on for the residents. It was also very clean- unlike some places
  13. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Thank you, @littlejackhorner. We've had an assessment by social services - that's how we managed to get the dementia assessment done at home. Other than that, they haven't been much help so far - think it can very enormously in different parts of the country. Also, we're hoping to move dad nearer to one of us, probably my sister as rates near me (london) are off the scale. We're visiting several over the next few weeks.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You do indeed have to look at the rates. They vary enormously. Good plan.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Advice please. 94 year old mother in law still lives alone. She has a cleaner once a week and a gardener once a fortnight. She still cooks, bakes, knits and reads. She is , however getting less able to walk distances, has little short term memory and is resistant to having any aids. I think she should have an assessment for things like walking eg wheeled push along and bath rails. Any idea if this is possible and how to persuade her?
  16. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter


    That link explains going along the social services route or you can organise aids yourself and there is some info here

    Of course the hard part is persuading your mother in law to agree and there's no magic trick. You will just have to open the conversation as patiently as you can. You can try and find out why she is resistant to the idea . You need to listen to her concerns and think about answering them in such a way she has to agree with you. Try and see her point of view. She might genuinely think it would be preferable to fall over than to have a clumsy walker cluttering up the house. But maybe she would agree that falling in the bath would really be pretty awful.
    You probably have already tried this. Maybe it's not time just yet - but you can still say - "Some time soon you might think its a good idea …" Keep plugging away.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's most certainly possible and others will be along to advise you whom to contact! That's the easy bit!

    Resistant, is she?

    Well, you know your mother! Bribery? Threats and menaces? You're doing it or I renounce you. Cajoling? It's not for you. It's for me!
  18. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Thanks @lindenlea! I’ve emailed those links to my sisters in law who live near mother in law. It is so hard to get her agreement as she has been so independent. She was a primary school teacher and very capable.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    My mother-in-law finally gave in to having some help when she could barely walk and was, i think, a bit frightened about being on her own. Maybe it takes a bit of a crisis for people to be able to accept that they need help. And she's thrilled now with the help she gets!
  20. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    My dad is not at all happy in his care home, even though it's lovely, and is getting more confused and needing more help, all the while talking about 'getting out of this place'. Very sadly his lovely lady friend in the care home died last week. Not only is it sad for us all, Dad especially, but she was the only really positive thing for him about being there. I'm not quite sure how this will all pan out. He will undoubtedly want to go to her funeral, which is entirely reasonable, but taking him anywhere is really difficult now. I'm sure he'll want to move somewhere else, and he has that right, but finding anywhere he'll actually like is going to be impossible, especially given the aforementioned difficulty of taking him out. It's a really horrid situation. I wouldn't want to live in a care home, even a nice one. He can't see properly, he can't hear properly and he doesn't want to do anything. I suggested to the doctor that perhaps he was depressed and needed anti-depressantsto at least make him feel a bit better. The doctor took huge offence at this and thought it was terrible that he should be medicated rather than made happier by changing his situation. How naive can you get? The fact is, his situation is horrid and there's very little anyone can do to make it better. I'd be depressed if I were him. In fact, not being depressed would be the surprising thing.
    agathamorse likes this.

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