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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

    To be fair to the Social worker, they are often overloaded with their case loads and then every time another emergency crops up they get further behind- especially as nowadays, like teaching, there's too much paperwork / admin involved. :(
     
    cissy3 likes this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    They're snowed under.

    Take whatever place you can get. Really. Safety first. His safety. The safety of other staff and patients if he gets confused and combative. He's not going to be happy whatever happens. He's living in a world he no longer understands. I'm afraid it's damage limitation. Damage he could incur himself or even inflict on others in his panic and confusion.

    Desperately sad.
     
  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Spot on.

    His current home are being absolutely fantastic. They've had residents going a similar way before and they know they can't cope for very long but have said they wouldn't ask him to leave at short notice unless things get really bad. They've upped his fees a bit so they can get more staff in, in the short term.

    He's recently started a new medication which was supposed to relieve his depression, but two different health professionals have said it's the wrong thing in his case! You just don't know who to believe. Every doctor he sees says something different. He's certainly been aggressive more often since he started on it, but of course that may be coincidence. Who knows? Lewy body dementia still seems quite poorly understood, and many medications are thought to be counter indicated.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Agreed. Though in fact most non-Alzheimer dementias seem misunderstood.And agression does go with that type.

    And that's the other problem. Most GPs simply have little understanding, simply because they haven't had enough experience.
    I even know someone whose mother was diagnosed 11 years ago as a result of brain scan showing damge and white lesions, who has been over 6 years in a Home, is aggressive, violent, angry etc. apart from having many other classic symptoms, but suddenly one new, young Dr. decided that she hadn't actually got dementia and told the mother so. All because if you spend just a few minutes with the woman she can appear lucid! They're suggesting she can go home to live with carers? :eek: This for a woman who originally ahd to go into a Home when she set fire to her kitcen and thought that was 'normal'!
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Mad! Though not that surprising. On a good day my dad can appear pretty with it. He knows his date of birth and the medicines to which he is allergic which comes across as quite able! Plenty of the other things he says COULD be true as well... In the last year my dad has seen a neurologist, a stroke specialist and a dementia specialist. They have all said completely different things and recommended wildly different therapies. Most of which have never materialised anyway. And the one thing they haven't addressed is his depression. They want to change his lifestyle rather than prescribe something to improve his mood, but he's depressed because he hates living in a home and that's the one thing no one can change. And none of them ever get it. It drives me nuts.

    And now finally an anti depressant has been prescribed and everyone except the prescribing doctor sucks in their cheeks and says, 'I wouldn't have prescribed that...'
     
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    @Doitforfree, I can absolutely understand what you're saying … your dad could be my dad! My dad would know his DOB on a good day - nothing about meds - but he can name and voice his opinions on various politicians! Granted, some might be back in the day, but he can sound quite lucid. We have also seen so many different doctors, nurses, social workers and others over the past few months who promise endless support which doesn't materialise. My dad also started on an anti-depressant two weeks ago which hasn't made any difference to his mood yet, but we're told it may take six weeks to kick in.

    As you will have read, we're now waiting on the NHS to arrange to transport dad the long distance from his local hospital to the home (with a dementia suite) that we've found. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to be thinking about having to move your dad from a home where he's as happy as he could be and the staff are supportive and on your side. If my dad had agreed to go into the original retirement home we found, back in April, then we would now be in exactly the same position. I really hope you find somewhere very soon.

    And I can totally empathise with the 'driving me nuts' feeling!!!!!
     
    agathamorse and lindenlea like this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think most of us on this thread recognise that feeling. I can remember it clearly even now, years on.

    And re the depression. I think what seems 'normal depression' is a direct result of the dementia and I remember tablets having no impact on making Mum's symptoms any less, although she was on them for years.
     
  8. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    The crisis team were called out to my dad this morning, who is deteriorating fast. They decided not to come and passed it back to the mental health team, but no one bothered to inform the home what was going on, so my sister's been waiting there all day, when they were never going to come, in spite of their last communication being with the GP, telling him they were coming! How can they possibly decide it's not a crisis, when a GP has said it is, without seeing the person in question? Mad.

    My dad's behaviour is getting increasingly erratic. Last night he lay on one of the lounge floors and refused to get up. He won't eat or take his meds when he's feeling like that. My niece spent an hour with him and persuaded him to sit in a chair and have some tea. But the home can't go on with him like this much longer. They are so good and understanding. Maybe one of the dementia homes we're visiting tomorrow will take him asap and we can bypass the 'crisis' team (a misnomer if ever there was one!) altogether.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Poor fellah, and poor you lot trying to do what ever you can for the best!!! Good luck tomorrow.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A team is a tick-box exercise. It's recorded somewhere that a call was made and he's on the system. My cancer journey teaches me something. We have to act on our own behalf. God help those without advocates!

    Look after each other! We are doing that. And we are doing a good job. You are doing your best and you do know best. Trust yourself and persevere. Strength and love to all.
     
  11. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    @Doitforfree, my thoughts are with you. You and your family are doing everything you possibly can. I hope you find a place where your dad can be safe, comfortable and well-cared for very soon - hopefully one of the ones you are visiting tomorrow.

    We have now been promised that the NHS will transport my dad to the nursing home on Thursday morning - I'm hoping but not holding my breath.
     
  12. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I really hope they do!

    Crisis team not coming today but may come tomorrow if we phone again. If it's still urgent. You'd cry if you didn't laugh. Really the only reason for dad to see anyone is if it would speed up his move to another home. I'm still hoping they can do something quickly. It doesn't help that I'm laid up with a virus but my two sisters can visit the potential new homes tomorrow. My niece asked my dad if he'd like to go to a new home and he said yes, so that's something!
     
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    More than annoying. Do people not realize families have their own lives to lead and can't be 'sat waiting' for non-existent visits.
    Plus if someone considers something a 'crisis' and someone else suddenly can decide it isn't without even seeing the situation beggars belief.


    Fingers crossed for you.
     
  14. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    @Doitforfree, hope the situation with your dad has improved?

    We are in a much better place than we were a few weeks back. Dad was moved (by the NHS) to the nursing home we chose last Thursday. It's just as far as he originally was from me; that can't be helped because I live within the M25 which make prices just astronomic. But he's a 15 minute walk from my sister, which is great. The home seems really lovely. It's bright and welcoming, staff are professional but friendly and caring. The residents all seem happy. Dad was very confused at first - he has no idea where he is and we haven't enlightened him yet. He doesn't seem to wonder at all how my sister can appear every day - she's going to drop her visits to three times a week now. He wasn't happy, but didn't seem particularly unhappy at first - more resigned. He didn't speak at all for two days and was very uncommunicative when I went up last Sunday. One week on and he's had a shave and haircut and looks much more presentable! He's eating well and chatting to staff - already knows which ones he particularly likes. Most days, he says he thinks he'll be going home soon, but accepts it when he's told that he has to get stronger first.

    At the moment, he won't leave his room at all - has meals there and won't go to the lounge or dining room for any of the 'social' events or activities. That's our next goal. They have daily 1-1 Montessori dementia therapy; he's not interested in that yet either. His thought processes are definitely becoming clearer - I think due to eating properly and mental stimulation. Although we've told him this is a private hospital, I think an understanding of where he is and what we are hoping for (that he'll stay there) is beginning to come. Fingers crossed that when he fully understands, he will acknowledge that he's safer, more comfortable and happier than he was in his home, and he'll agree to stay.

    Very best wishes to everyone else who is 'caring' - and to the elderly relatives!
     
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If he cherishes the idea of going home one day? Why not let him dream? If the notion strengthens him then it does no harm. Only good.

    "Yes, Dad, going home would be lovely. In the meantime though? It's great here, isn't it!"

    We all construct a narrative. Going to find the perfect partner. Going to get a big house. Be a Premiership footballer. We mostly know it's a fiction but it helps some people get through the day.

    If my kid were to plan a future as a neuroscientist when I knew he could barely pass GCSE Maths? I think I would be doing him a disservice. I may not live to see Christmas 2020. Nobody can guarantee it. But it does me no harm to have a little dream about a motor-holiday in France. It may not come to pass. But I enjoy thinking about it. Can't your dad have a little dream?
     
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    So glad things are better for your dad, Sunshine. It sounds like a nice home. My dad's not doing badly either. His new medicine seems to have started working. It's given him a huge appetite so he's really enjoying his food! He's in the hospital assessment centre which is very nice and the staff are lovely. The only real problem is that he's in a good mood and fairly with it, so they're not seeing how he can be when he's bad, so far. But it's great to see him more cheerful. He's demolishing boxes of biscuits and bags of sweets and as far as I can see, of he's enjoying them then that's what he should be doing!

    If he stays as good as he is then he may be able to return to his care home, at least for a while, which would be nice.
     
  17. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    You're right, Grumpy - we all have dreams which can often keep us going through tough times. And he's definitely much more settled and content. Just rang to check how he's doing today - he's just had his photo taken wearing a Christmas hat for his placemat for christmas meals!!!

    @Doitforfree, glad your dad is doing better at the moment too. We can both smile, be happy that they're more settled and enjoy the respite!
     
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Is he on steroids @Doitforfree ?

    That would account for the appetite!

    As long as he can eat plenty then he won't become irritable with it. But isn't is just the law of S0D??? You need to show that he ISN'T all sweetness and light! Ho hum.
     
    agathamorse and cissy3 like this.
  19. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

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