The Dementia Diary

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The Fallout

on December 13, 2012
English: Logo of Alzheimer's Society.

English: Logo of Alzheimer’s Society. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello! It’s been a while. Here’s a quick catch up on the last couple of months.

After The Big Bang the ‘sons’ (plus No.3 son’s uninvited wife) got together to come up with a plan to better manage looking after their dad.  I deliberately stayed away because, despite being the main carer, he is not my dad and I should not be making decisions for his care.  No. 3 son’s wife had a couple of tantrums, shouting at Husband, accusing me of being ‘rude’ to her and stormed off twice.  The upshot of the day’s gathering was that the rest of the family would arrange for more carers to visit F I L and would look into having him moved into residential care.

We suspected this would all be empty gestures.

Extra care was arranged and a residential home was visited.  F I L cancelled the extra care visits.  Husband and I were no further on or better off.  We asked the family to speak to F I L about how important the extra care visits were for his welfare and to reinstate them.  No-one did.

F I L recently had his 80th birthday.  The family came together for this.  Virtually the first thing said to me was ‘It must be nice not to visit [F I L] every day now he has the carers coming in more?’

I choked back the urge to laugh and answered seriously.

‘Yes it’s very nice, but of course it means that [Husband] is having to visit at least 4 times a week’

‘But [F I L] has carers every day now!’

‘No. He has them three times a week.  He cancelled the extra days.’

The brothers and their wives looked at me like this was news to them.  I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter how you say something, you just won’t be heard.

Two weeks ago F I L had a rapid decline.  He can no longer work the shower.  Dressing himself takes hours because he can’t remember what he needs to wear and wanders round looking for clothes.  He rings us at least three times a day to tell us he is ‘bewildered’.

Husband and I are making sure that, between us and the Carers, F I L is visited at least 3 times a day.  No. 3 son has made a couple of these trips.  He works shifts so Husband asked him to call the Carer Service to ask about arranging more visits while he was home during the day as we would be at work and it would be difficult for us.

He didn’t.  He’s not directly affected by this decline mental decline.

The following day Husband had taken (even more) annual leave to meet with a support worker from the Alzheimer’s Society. I begrudge this, not because it is time spent helping his dad but, because it’s time he doesn’t get to spend with me or our children and his brothers don’t have this problem of balancing time with their father, their work and their families.  No.3 Son was also supposed to attend this meeting, but cried off that morning.  I do appreciate he had worked a night shift and was tired, but Husband had been either at work or looking after his dad from 6.30am until 9.15pm the previous day.  He was tired too.

So the upshot is that Husband and I, despite the family’s promises, are still handling everything on our own.

The one highlight is that No. 3 son has made arrangements to have his dad over on Christmas Day, although this was before he got worse.  We are fully expecting this to be cancelled as F I L  is more work now and they won’t want their children’s day ‘spoilt’.  Time will tell.


2 responses to “The Fallout

  1. kimjoy24 says:

    I feel your pain. A nurse was asking me recently if my siblings helped with my mother’s care and I said that I was an only child. She told me that she had three brothers and she was the only one willing to take care of her dad when he became ill.

    Sadly, the caregiving responsibilities falling on one sibling seems more common than one might think.

  2. Unfortunately true. I have siblings and they do not help either. One does nothing. One takes more than he gives and has trouble seeing beyond his own personal needs. I cared for mom before she passed away and now for dad. Seems to me it is like that in most families I know or have read about on blogs.

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