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Not sure where to start or what to dk - Carers UK Forum

Not sure where to start or what to dk

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Long story will try and condense! Live with my father. My mum died 3years ago. I did most of the caring for her and now for my dad. He had cancer 12 yrs ago and can only swallow ensures and tea/coffee. has recently been diagnosed with mixed dementia - Alzheimers and vascular.They say it's mild.but put him on tablets. my dad and I have always had a somewhat fraught relationship. I do everything clean the house, pay his bills, order his prescription, arrange delivery of his ensures basically everything. I am in poor health myself and do not work at the present. Since going on the new meds my dad has become very lethargic and has stopped drinking his ensures. its a daily battle to get him to drink anything and to take his medication. now he won't get out of bed. I am in tears everyday as I just don't know what to do. If I 'nag' him to drink he gets nasty and aggressive and tells me to leave him alone. If I don't nag him he just sleeps or lays looking out the window. I am doing everything I can to try and help dad stay healthy and at home but this is breaking me. This sounds awful but we have a dog. She is my baby.if she wasn't here I would be long gone as I can't do this anymore. my sister lives 30 miles away and comes twice a week but I am here 7 days a week. I 'escape' at night to my partners as otherwise I think I would go insane but it's getting to the point where I cannot be at home during the day with my father but I can't leave the dog as he isn't caring for her. I can't take her to my partners as his landlord won't allow pets. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. GP hasn't been particularly supportive referred me to to alzheimers society and they basically said they couldn't help as it was about the nutrition and medicine so told me to go back to my gp. We have split the doesage of his new meds into 2 lots to see if this helps but I'm drowning...
Anna, hi - welcome to the forum. We all here know just how 'wearing' caring is, whoever it is we care for.

I think, to get my head round your situation, can you explain for a start whether you dad owns the house he lives in, or is it rented, and if so, are you on the tenancy agreement (either with the council or a private landlord)?

Secondly, what sort of income does your father have? Is he on his pension now? What about you - do you have any income yourself, and if so, is it dependent on looking after your dad?

Thirdly - I had to smile wryly when you said you didn't work! Sounds like you work full time - you just don't get paid for it! (unless maybe you are getting some income like carers allowance etc, but that is not a princely sum, as folks here know!!!)

The reason I'm asking all these question is to see what 'room for manouvre' you have. For a start, do you actually WANT to go on looking after your dad, or would you rather you didn't have to? If so, then you can, you know, simply 'walk away' at any time (tomorrow is you really want!). We do not have any legal duty to look after our parents, and if we 'walk away' then the council etc has to take over. (They may well try and 'persuade' you to stay looking after your dad, but they have no power to make you - no one does!)
(BUT just knowing that you can walk away at any time may give you a sense of 'freedom', knowing that if things get worse, you could just throw in the towel and go.

However, that's why I asked about whether it's your dad's own house, or rented, and if you are tenant along with your dad, etc etc. You could, you know, just go in living in the house, if you are a tenant, and able to pay half the rent, and still not look after your dad, but get a job instead - you have a right to do that! If you're not a tenant, or your dad owns the house, then it's less easy, as really, you don't have a right to live there if you're not looking after your dad. (BUT, then maybe you and your partner could move to a new place together, that accepts dogs!)

Even if you do still want to go on looking after your dad, you should really get some help with it. If your dad has over £23k either in savings, or in the value of the house/flat, if he owns it, then he would have to pay for his own carers, but if he doesn't then the council will pay. If he has to pay for himself, but doesn't want to, I'm afraid you may have to 'get tough' with him and say 'well, I'm not doing it then!'

But you do need to get regular breaks away from caring, that's definite.

Finally, if your dad has developed dementia then I'm afraid the sad truth is that it's going to get worse. It might do so slowly, but it will inevitably get worse and worse. It might get to the point where he really does have to go into a Home. So what happens to you, depends so much on what I asked above - like where you could live, and what money you would have coming in.

Wishing you all the best - I'm glad you've got your dog (and your partner!). Kind regards, Jenny

PS - just a thought, but what about if your partner moved in with you and your dad, especially as your dad's dementia gets worse? Would that make life easier for you?
Hi Anna,

Welcome to the Forum. What is clear is that you need support to care for your dad (if indeed you wish to continue caring for him). Have you contacted Social Services to arrange a care assessment? By the sound of it, dad certainly needs carers to share the caring load with you.

I would also suggest contacting Carers UK Adviceline (by email is sometimes best) to make sure that you are getting all the benefits to which you are entitled. For example, if dad receives Attendance Allowance, maybe that could be used to get a cleaner to give you one less job to do.

Have a look round the Forum and join in where you can. There is support out there but it is sometimes hard to find.

Kind regards, Anne
Hi Anna
You definitely need more help. You cannot cope with this all alone. ASAP tell your GP how bad it is getting and make that call to Adult Social Services and ask for an urgent needs assessment for dad and a carer's assessment for you. Both of these are to work out what help you need.
If you think dad is really ill, through not eating and so on, call an ambulance. He may well have to go into hospital for a while to stabilise him again. Don't let dad tell you not to. You will feel terrible if he deteriorates badly and you haven't got him the medical help he needs.
You are not trained, prepared or capable of dealing with this. (Neither would any of us be). It takes an amount of courage to admit that something is beyond us, but having made that decision and called in the troops, you will feel much better because he is getting the specialised care he needs.
Stop trying so hard to cope. You can't. No one person could.
Elaine
Hi Anna, have you managed to get any extra help now?