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Hello, my name is Sharon and I am new to the forum.
I am 45 years old and live with my parents. My dad is 88 and my mum is 78. My dad has very poor mobility and has fallen over multiple times. He is usually very confused and is prone to angry outbursts which I think is due to frustration and possible dementia, although he has not had a diagnosis yet. He gets up in the night multiple times and wanders around the house and he cannot be left alone for very long because of his falls risk and confusion.
He has been to the local memory clinic where he was assessed for 4 hours but we have heard nothing since. His GP has visited him and is aware of his poor condition but we have heard nothing since her visit either. He has as appointment with our local falls clinic but not until November. He was previously been seen regularly at the falls clinic but because no cause for his falls was found he was discharged. The same week we got the discharge letter he had another fall and ended up in A+E for 7 hours. My sister lives close by but only comes to visit when she wants something. She never offers to help and refused to watch my dad so that my mum could have an hour out of the house while I was at work.
Mum and I are finding it very difficult to cope. I help as much as I can but I work full time and will soon be moving into my own home. We are getting very frustrated in all these people who visit, agree my mum needs help but we never hear from again. It is very hard to reason with my dad when he is angry and his mood can change at the flick of a switch. Mum has admitted she feels scared when he has these outburst although he has never struck her he has been very intimidating. His mobility and cognition seems to be deteriorating day by day. Mum is worn out keeping an eye on him day and night. We both don't know where to turn next and I worry for mum's health.
Hi Sharon, welcome to the forum. There are a number of options. The quickest way to get help would be to call an ambulance next time dad is aggressive. It's time someone saw him at his worst.
Alternatively, ring Social Services and insist on an URGENT assessment as your mum can't cope without any help, or ask for EMERGENCY RESPITE. What may happen is that they offer care staff coming into the home to help.

You and mum need to have a very serious chat about what she wants for her future. You also need to talk about their financial situation. The critical issue is whether or not dad has over £23,000 of his own. If so, then he may have to pay the full cost of his care, about £1,000 a week. As mum is still living in the marital home, this would be disregarded when assets are being calculated.

I would suggest that you ask mum to arrange for a Power of Attorney in your favour, so that you can support her much better if she needs it. Sadly, this is no longer possible for dad as he lacks mental capacity. Are they claiming Attendance Allowance and an exemption from Council Tax due to severe mental impairment? If he's been to the hospital for tests and you don't know the result, ring the hospital and ask for the Complaints Department.

If dad now, or soon, needs residential care, start finding out what homes are nearest to your mum's home, so she can visit. Good homes have waiting lists, the sooner dad is on a list, the better. Yes, I know it's all heartbreaking for all concerned. Help mum by concentrating on what dad needs, 24/7 care, with care provided by a team of nurses. Obviously it's not what anyone really wants.
thankyou for the reply. It's so good to get practical advice which has been lacking from all the professionals involved with my dad so far. I have applied for a LPA so hopefully that will come through in a few weeks. A social worker is coming to visit so fingers crossed that achieves something. Mum went down to our local carers centre who were really good and shocked we had heard nothing about all his assessments. They did some calls and a couple of days later we received a letter from the memory clinic. Still no diagnosis though as we have to wait "several weeks" for a MRI scan. He's already had a MRI and CT a year ago! The GP came round to see him and said she'd try to get his falls clinic appointment brought forward. Dad is very good at being good for any professionals who come to see him. He says all the right things and he can make his mobility look not so bad.
Were you ever given the results of last year's MRI scan? If not, chase them up.
The consultant at the time said that there was no cause for his falls found on the images. I guess they want to do the second test to compare it to the previous one to see if anything has changed. It is just so frustrating the amount of time it is taking to get any help. The social worker is coming on Tuesday. Mum and dad will likely have to pay for any care. Not sure what will happen if dad refuses any support. I'm not sure mum can take any more. We really need help in managing his anger.
Why do you think mum and dad will have to pay for any care? There will have to be a financial assessment first.
Hi Sharon welcome to the forum I care for my hubby who at 57 has just been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia hence the reason i am up and typing at this hour in the morning :roll: Anyhow all what you describe is exactly the same symptoms as my hubby has apart from the aggressive outbursts so i am wondering if maybe this could be something to read up on also my hubby had a MRI Scan and Lumber Puncture done and they both came back clear plus hubby had a Neurologist appointment before being recommended to a Memory Clinic and he was really good told us after testing hubby that he did not even need to send him for the usual Cat Scans etc as could state that hubby had this form of Dementia so i am wondering if it maybe would be of any help to ask your GP to arrange an appointment for dad to see a Neurologist and maybe hurry the appointment through a little with dad the way he is and obviously because the lack of diagnosis from the Memory Clinic hope this is of some help and you get sorted one way or the other very soon for everyone concerned Take Care x
Hi Susan. Thanks for the advice and I think a visit to the GP is in order and we'll ask about a neurologist. Tomorrow the social worker is coming and we're going to ask for an assessment. I'm trying hard to keep the momentum going of getting people involved to get mum and dad the support they need. I'm so glad I've found this forum as it's a relief to realise there are people out there who will listen. Take care Susan. x
I would definitely agree it's time to check out care homes that might be suitable for your father. I found, when I took my MIL along for her initial 'interview' (she thought it was a nice place to have tea!:)) the care home manager very skilfully actually 'interviewed and assessed her' while she was chatting to us over tea. Afterwards she took me aside and pretty accurately diagnosed MIL with substantial dementia, as she hadn't been able to answer any of the 'chatty questions' about her children, and where she'd lived, etc, but that her 'social skills' were working well , eg, she'd deliberately handed MIL her cup of tea 'the wrong way round' and MIL had automatically corrected it and wasn't confused etc. That hadn't been something I'd noticed at all.

So, whether or not the scans reveal anything, or any 'definite results' from memory tests etc, I would suggest that taking him to see care homes (you could tell him it's respite care only....), or, if he balks, simply having an experienced dementia care worker come over to visit him, and you'll get the benefit of their experience. They'll have 'seen it all before' in a working sense far more, perhaps, than a GP doing a formal memory test!

Also, if your dad simply refuses all outside help, and refuses care homes on any basis, you may find that you have to take drastic action - one possibility maybe is that your mum 'decamps' and comes to stay with you for a while, and you inform SS and your dad's GP etc, and say 'vulnerable elderly person with dementia alone at home' and they may then act accordingly and 'take him into care' (you'll have to stress he isn't going voluntarily!). I guess your dad could call your mum's bluff by simply insisting on returning home once your mum goes home, but then again, it could become an issue of safeguarding, both for him, and, given his aggressive behaviour, your mum.

it's absolutely horrible when things come to this pass, but so, so many of us have been there and got the tee-shirt and 'done the dreadful deed' (care homes!), and at a stroke, so to speak, stress levels have dropped all round.

never forget that a good dementia care home has staff skilled in handling those with dementia, and that the behaviour that you see at home, may well not be seen in a care home situation.

At the very least, it sounds like your mum needs a break, so 'something has to change' once you have moved out in to your own home. That move may prove the trigger you need to rearrange the current situation.

Wishing you all the best at an emotionally painful and very stressful time - Jenny
Hi Sharon
Please be aware that a memory test completed by a GP isn't always accurate. My husband passed with flying colours, except for saying the year was 1980. My family and myself were so relieved. Alas it wasn't to be. Hubby has vascular dementia and now in a nursing home.
Even now, he surprises me. He knows alot about the law. Today he reeled off an act about buying goods as seen. Long term memory. Unfortunately that is slowly fading with some things.
The doctors tend to ask about things in the past. Or ask them to count backwards etc. Very often the patient is capable of such things.
Apologies for being negative and I really hope it all works out for the best for all of you.