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feeling hopeless. - Carers UK Forum

feeling hopeless.

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi..I'm new to the forum and am finding things difficult.
my parents are in their seventies, mum has had anxiety and depression for most of her life.
Her marriage to my father wasn't always a very happy one and fraught with arguments.
he now has memory problems and other medical problems..he refuses
to wash, will eat food which is off
and says there is nothing wrong with him...i have taken him to doctor and is getting mri and memory test. Things seem such a constant battle with him and I'm loosing my patience..I love and care for them but I feel I'm not coping.
thanks for listening x
Hello, and welcome to the forum. There are lots of us here who are coping with elderly, needy parents, so you are in good company!

It does rather sound as if your dad is developing dementia. If the MRI scans and so on help with the diagnosis, that's good, but to be honest, I always feel, myself, that if the person becomes 'acopic' (a real term apparently - as in you just can't cope with living any more....it happened to my MIL three years ago - she just could not cope with anything, eg, making her meals, getting to bed, having a shower, getting in food, etc etc - she more or less reverted to being a 'toddler' - sadly she is now in a care home for dementia), then really, that is all there is to be said for it!

BUT, of course, the practical thing is - what is going to happen to your dad? In the end, if it is dementia, then he will, sadly, probably end up in residential care as he will have gone 'beyond' either your mum, or you with her, being able to cope with the extremities of dementia. He'll need 24x7 care, will probably become doubly incontinent (this is the case for my poor MIL now), and simply not be able to do anything, and eventually, he will 'take to his bed' and eventually, sadly, it will be terminal. The brain is shutting down and it will eventually shut down the vital functions.....

It is probably time for you to look at some of the practicalities - the primary one, alas, is financial. What is your parents 'total wealth'? (You don't have to say, just do the sums yourself!). The current rules are that when an individual has assets or savings worth more than £23,500 they have to pay for their own care (that is per person, not per couple). That applies to both having care-workers coming in, and to residential care.

What do you think your mum most needs now, in respect of your dad?

Cannot really add to Jenny's advice but I am in a similar situation with my 78 year old husband -not managed to get him to the GP yet, but denial is normal with dementia related illness.

All I can say is that sadly it is progressive. It does sound as if your father is falling into self neglect. My husband won't eat properly or take his medication properly. All you can maybe do is write to his GP and outline your concerns? However, if your father is deemed to have 'mental capacity' then the GP is going to be limited to what he can do.

Sadly things seem to get to crisis point, before any help is offered. Could you join a local Carers Group? Or maybe ask for a telephone befriender? Usually someone experienced in caring who can maybe help you think outside the box? You will need all the support you can get.

Do keep posting - as Jenny says a lot of us are in a similar position - trying to do our best yet cope with the denial and trying to get the best out of the NHS - I do understand where GP's are coming from re patient confidentiality and mental capacity, but it makes it SO hard on relations. Wishing you all the very best.