[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Help! New to caring need to vent - Carers UK Forum

Help! New to caring need to vent

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
My dad died in March and my mum is left after 60 years of marriage and dementia for five years. I am currently supporting her and have given up work so I can be around more. Don't mind doing that but really struggle with her and memory problems. I know it's not her fault totally but she won't accept that her memory is so bas. Plus she just thinks she's a burden and cannot see that she can't cope . I end up being the bad cop and feel so guilty. I love her to bits but seem to upset her.
Hi Tammy
Not many if us around at night, and dementia ts not my area of caring but I do gather on here that rather than fighting it and trying to get her to see sense, its much calmer to enter her world and just go with it. So what if she doesnt remember. No amount of nagging or reminding is going to help her.

Am sure others more experienced will be along next few days so stick with us. It's a very supportive forum

Kr
MrsA
Tammy hi - I would say you are suffering from a 'double bereavement'.

First, of course, is mourning your poor Dad - a handful of months is nothing when it comes to losing someone we love.

But when the dread fiend of dementia enters a life, then in a ghastly sort of way, we start to 'lose' that person already, even though their body might be healthy.

And of course on top of your mum's dementia is her OWN grief and bereavement from losing her husband of so, so many years....

I will not be alone on this forum in saying that most of us would far rather have to look after someone with a physical illness, rather than any kind of mental illness, let alone dementia. Those with dementia can be incredibly 'trying' to care for, for a variety of reasons, including, of course, that they probably don't know they have it in the first place....

I think you have to now step up and 'take charge'. Your mum does not have your dad there any longer, and her dementia will mean she (sadly) is going to get 'worse and worse'. It's simply a question of how steep the rate of decline is. With my MIL, her 'hidden dementia' was undectable (experts could probably have seen it) when she was 89, but gradually nd remorseless it 'took her over'. Now, at 94, she can't speak, can't walk, is doubly incontinent and in a wheelchair. It's ghastly. Now, dementia does affect different people in different ways, but the overall prognosis is grim grim grim - eventually, if nothing else 'takes' them, such as a stroke or heart attack or infection, the dementia will finally do its worst and 'shut down' their brain entirely....

I say this to encourage you now to 'look ahead and prepare ahead'. Not for 'immediately' but so you know what you are likely to need to do 'when the time comes'.

Is your mother getting any external help (ie, from professional care-workers), or is it 'just you' now. If so, then now is the time to start calling in the professionals, and start to 'share out' what will become an increasing 'care burden' (and sadly, yes, this IS what your mum will become, though by the time she does, she sadly won't really recognise it any longer...).

It's probably time for your mum to have a needs assessement (even if she's had one before, this now is to take account that she no longer has your dad), and you need a carers assessment. Because she has dementia, there will be things like her exemption now from paying council tax.

What has happened about money? Did your dad get PoA before she lost mental capacity (if she has)? If she can stil grant PoA then DO grab it - before it's too late.

This is a sad, sad time now, and it will be a question of YOU deciding just how much you CAN do, and WILL do, and bear in mind that may well change as time goes by. What will work 'now' for six months, a year, may well be impossible this time next year.
Tammy_1807 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:17 pm
My dad died in March and my mum is left after 60 years of marriage and dementia for five years. I am currently supporting her and have given up work so I can be around more. Don't mind doing that but really struggle with her and memory problems. I know it's not her fault totally but she won't accept that her memory is so bas. Plus she just thinks she's a burden and cannot see that she can't cope . I end up being the bad cop and feel so guilty. I love her to bits but seem to upset her.
Hi Tammy and welcome to the forum :)
I think that anyone who has cared for/is caring for someone with dementia will agree with me that the reason that your Mum doesn't see that she has problems with her memory is that she can't remember she has and no amount of telling her she has will change that !

I cared for my Mum who had Alzheimer's Dementia (plus some physical problems) and found that my major hurdle was dealing with the emotional side of her illness - I could cope fine with all of the physical side - but it was the emotional strain that wore me down. Once I'd accepted that she was living on a different plane to me then it became a bit easier. I realised I had to live in her world rather than try to force her to live in mine.

Do go and have a look around the Alzheimer's Society's website (despite the name they do advise on all the many different types of dementia) - it's a mine of useful information and there is lots of advice and coping strategies.
I agree - she simply can't remember that she can't remember, if you see what I mean.

Alternatively, it could be that she DOES know she is losing her memory, but it scares her, and so she is in denial over it! Even at my age in my sixties, whenever I do the dreaded 'hole in my brain' (eg, can't remember the title of a film I've seen dozens of times and could tell you the entire plot and cast of)(last time it was Top Gun of all things!), I find it REALLY scary.....

All that said, yes, you do have to 'adapt to them' as they can no longer see the world in the way that we do, and so arguing with them about what is or is not 'real' is just not going to work.

The reason dementia is such a pig to care for is that there is no 'reasoning' with them. A friend of mine with her dad-with-dementia- at home with her simply CAN'T make him 'SEE' that it's time for bed. They can get very, very wilful - like toddlers really, and very very obstinate, and have NO idea why you want them to do something that, at that moment, they simply don't want to do. They have no 'bigger picture' left to them......

It can be infuriating, but adapting to them is the only way - which is why it is SO stressful to look after someone with dementia if you want to get 'anything else' done at all. It truly is a full-time job and you have to be devoted to it, and grab tiny fragments of your own life while they are asleep etc.