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Cannot cope anymore - Carers UK Forum

Cannot cope anymore

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I need some advice please. I care for my husband who has numerous illnesses, but in March and April of this year he had two strokes. In the last few months he has begun losing his temper over anything. I have been at the end of his fist, been prodded with walking sticks and had my hair pulled. Lately he has taken to throwing things and damaging items. The last straw was when he threatened to kill me if I didn't do what he wanted. I feel so sad because this is not the mild man I married 48 years ago I contacted our social worker, who arranged for him to go into respite care today (sunday), but he has refused to go. So what can I do now? But the thing is he cannot remember all the things he has said and done. I do everything for him because he won't have carers in the house. I am really struggling to cope with him anymore as I feel totally drained all the time.
Hello Ann

I have just seen your post and dipped in just before I am going out with my granddaughter.

Do have any family around to help and give you a break? But of course, you probably won't want to rely on them for a regular break and it may not be possible. The ideal is for respite for your husband, but he won't go, yet.

You are certainly going through a very hard time. My heart goes out to you.

I hope someone will be along soon to advise you as there are some very experience carers around who have likely gone thru what you are now suffering with your loved one.

Thank you so much for replying, it's nice to know someone cares.
Hello Ann and welcome to the forum. I have not been in your situation but I can well imagine how upset and frightened you are, not to mention exhausted.
If it was me I'd get down to the GP and report this new development in your husband's behaviour. Perhaps the strokes have or are affecting areas of his brain previously unsuspected. Or maybe he has had more 'mini' strokes. Whatever the reason for this aggressive behaviour, it puts you in danger of physical harm, mental harm and breakdown of your health. This is not to be allowed.
Given that what you want most in the world is for your husband to change back into his old self, and that is very unlikely to happen, what do you really want? What would be best all round? Do you want for him to go into a Care situation where he is looked after day and night, or do you want him to stay with you with extra help? I really don't know but perhaps it's worth asking the GP whether there is some medication to keep him calm and head off his outbursts. Did you tell the Social Worker the kind of treatment he is capable of dealing out to you?
Please be aware that you do not HAVE to look after your husband. No-one can be forced to care, especially to the detriment of their own well being.
As a very last resort you could simply call SS and tell them you are going away. Have you anywhere you could stay for a while? AS I understand it, they would then have to sort something out for your husband.
However I can imagine how very, very hard it is feeling that you might 'abandon' the man you married but is there really any chance that he may re-emerge from the personality he now is? Have a chat to your GP or perhaps your husbands specialist and find out what the progression is likely to be. When you know for sure what you are facing then you will be in a better position to make a decision about the future. Don't forget that you and your well being are important too. If it's going to get worse and worse you cannot possibly manage all alone. Imagine the worst scenario and you are hurt badly enough to be in hospital. What happens then? Please seek professional advice.
Wishing you well.
Hello Ann
I've been in a similar situation to you. Been married 48 years, hubby had strokes. Sadly he now has vascular dementia, and is now in a nursing home. I'm sure your husband has been checked for urinary tract infections? They cause dreadful changes in personality and confusion.
You say you can no longer cope. I 100% understand that. Therefore you must make it clear to your husbands GP and the social worker etc. Somehow, you need to make your husband go for respite. It may mean phoning for an ambulance if he is so aggressive again. It's a long, horrible journey I feel you are facing, and you just mustn't face it on your own. It's not his fault, and it certainly isn't your fault and your health and well being is paramount.
My heart goes out to you
Thank you so much for your replies. He was seen by the psychiatric nurse and has been given medication to enable him to sleep at night which helps a bit. The nurse asked me if they can control his aggression is that alright. I am sorry to say that I told her that I couldn't take the risk of it not working. His memory isn't good and is slowly getting worse. Although he means the world to me I am terrified of what he is going to do next. I will certainly take your advice and make an appointment with my GP who is aware of his behaviour,and contact his social worker.
It means a lot to be able to speak about my situation. Thank you so much
This is domestic abuse. OK, I know he's ill, but you are now afraid of him. After all, his behaviour is unpredictable, what next? Call an ambulance so someone sees him when he is at his worst. Has he had a formal assessment from a consultant? No one should live in fear in their own home.