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Neighbour with dementia

(69 Posts)
Mummyto2bubs Tue 09-Aug-16 23:45:52

So... Don't want to be hated here, but just wondering AIBU? NDN has dementia. Wife has generally been lovely and always said to tell her if any problems. Well, we have had numerous problems, such as NDN trying to enter our house uninvited, standing in front of our car bonnet as we are trying to leave the drive, refusing to move, being very insistent that our children chat to him despite them being quite frightened of him (I have not encouraged them with this, they just find him a bit too pushy). On one occasion DH spoke to his wife to say we had had a problem with him leaning on our car as we were trying to drive out of our drive. Anyway, tonight DH came down the stairs from putting DC to bed to find him peering in and knocking constantly on our porch window (you can see right in through our house this way), so he went to speak to his wife, and said as politely as he could that this was not ok and was very invasive. She responded very aggressively and slammed the door on him. Now I get this bit, and understand her defensive reaction, but she is not one to back down and apologise. Are we BU to not be happy with this behaviour or should www just accept it as he has dementia? We both feel very guilty, but have had various things happen for at least 2 years, and find the lack of privacy really difficult, especially when it impacts our DC.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Tue 09-Aug-16 23:51:38

My guess the wife is really struggling to cope, and at the end of her tether. Do they have any outside support or help? If I were you I would call social services adult primary care and tell them what's going on, it sounds like they need to get some support. You shouldn't have to live like this.

Mummyto2bubs Tue 09-Aug-16 23:58:50

She is very stressed and has told us that frequently. We have tried so hard to be supportive but we also have two young children and both work so cannot do much in practical terms. They have carers, and see the GP frequently (she has told us all of this), but she will never admit to them how much she is struggling.
Thanks for not slating me! Feeling very guilty.

ColdTeaAgain Tue 09-Aug-16 23:59:24

YANBU. Dementia is an awful thing but you and particularly your children still have the right to not feel intimidated. It would also be unreasonable to expect your family to assume it is all harmless albeit a nuisance, as sadly dementia can cause people to act in unpredictable and alarming ways.

If his wife is caring for him then how come he keeps wandering about your property? Perhaps she is not coping very well and needs help? Might explain her defensive nature, I expect she is extremely stressed and struggling.

I thinking you can't have a discussion with her about it then I would look into making changes to the house in the first instance. Is there anything you can do to make it harder for him to wander about? Gate across driveway which you could lock at night?

ColdTeaAgain Wed 10-Aug-16 00:00:22

*think if you can't

sandgrown Wed 10-Aug-16 00:03:56

My friend is caring for a parent with dementia and it is so hard. New neighbours moved in and this seemed to be a trigger for some odd behaviour. My friend tried to talk to the neighbours and explain about dementia but they refused to listen! One trigger is if someone parks outside the house so she politely asked if they would try and avoid parking there . The neighbours took no notice but then got angry when her mum scratched their car. My friend has approached all the local agencies for help but if her mother refuses there is nothing they can do. My friend is at breaking point!
May be you could get some advice from the Alzheimer's Society .

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 10-Aug-16 00:05:13

YANBU. We went through something similar with our neighbour. It made my life a misery - the constant knocking on the door all times of day and night. Social services didn't help - just told me he had carers and a social worker and had refused sheltered accommodation so nothing they could do. At the end of my tether, I called the police non emergency number - they were more helpful, in that they came round and spoke to him (which he was pleased about as he had called them repeatedly telling them that someone was trying to kill him/was in his flat). After two years of this, he finally went in to hospital and died while he was in there. I'm afraid I felt only relief that I wasn't going to be woken at 3.00 am with him at the front door, or leave for work and find him standing on our landing.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 10-Aug-16 00:06:26

I actually started a thread on here and got some very useful advice.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 00:06:33

She is really struggling and tells us that frequently, but she wants him to be happy and so wants to keep him at home. We get that, but feel it has gone beyond her capability. We have shared access on our driveways and so cannot block them, which means he frequently wanders over. She says she cannot keep him locked in and we shouldn't expect that, but he doesn't appear to be safe out wandering. She has said he nags her so much that she lets him go out on his own to get some peace.
She said she saw him peering in DHs car, but he told her he didn't touch it so she left him to it. This feels a bit weird to us.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 10-Aug-16 00:07:49

this was my thread

Yorkieheaven Wed 10-Aug-16 00:08:47

My mum has altzimers and you are defiantly not being unreasonable. I have given up work to support my dad and its relentless.

If he's wandering into your property it's not acceptable. I know that altzimers changed people's inhibitions and personalities and can make them aggressive and difficult so maybe get the local pcso involved. The wife is struggling so by bringing in other agencies you are helping her.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 00:10:12

Oh really, Mrs, I will have to look for that. I've tried searching for these things and had no luck, only the other side of the story which has made me feel even more unreasonable!
Thanks for the support everyone. Some very sad stories, but just how we feel.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 00:11:52

Thanks Mrs, I will have a read. And thanks for all the suggestions. Don't want to be arsey neighbours, but finding it all too much!

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 10-Aug-16 00:13:23

If he's been like this for at least 2 years, then if my gran is anything to go by, it just won't be a possibility for him to be at home for too much longer. Its a horrible condition, at around 2 years in my gran was still going wandering and getting lost in the place she'd always known, but then not long after that her body started to shut down and she lost her mobility etc. So it could be that those days are not too far off, and I know this sounds heartless and I really don't mean it in that way, but in the not too distant future he won't be physically capable of getting to your house, if he hasn't been moved to a care home by then.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 00:19:00

Little, that's what we were thinking. Agree, it's not to sound heartless, but it already appears to us he should not be at home, and if he were to fall/catch pneumonia, he could not recover. It's so hard to cope with day in, day out that he seems to wait for us to come home. I've experienced it before, but never living next door, and it's so intrusive. Again, not to sound heartless. We are just struggling.

Yorkieheaven Wed 10-Aug-16 00:21:43

It's a vile disease. To me my mum has already died. She's gone. It's hardest for my dad as he can't really accept it.

Sgree Little

Yorkieheaven Wed 10-Aug-16 00:22:31

You are clearly not heartless at all op.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 10-Aug-16 00:35:22

Yorkie - I know exactly what you mean. My gran went on for another 6 years after she went into a home, and by that time she really didn't have a clue what was going on. She didn't even recognise her son anymore, only her daughter. When she finally died it was a relief to know her suffering had ended, and also weird because it had been the best part of a decade since we'd seen her as she really was. So sorry your mum has it, and for you having to cope with it, it's horrible.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Wed 10-Aug-16 00:56:42

Mummy. I'm sorry it's stressing you out. Having been on the other side with a MIL (sort of, too hard to explain & not important) I'd do all I could to help her keep him at home & hope he does get something that ends his life before he is kept alive for years & years in a nursing home, prolonging his (and her) agony. I know it's hard for you, but would it help to see it as a HUGE kindness you are doing them both to make their lives a bit better for a short while. Either way, it will only be a short while longer that he's able to knock your door & stand in front of your car.

You need to tell your DC there's nothing to be scared of, he's jist very very poorly & needs looking after.


Yorkieheaven Wed 10-Aug-16 01:45:37


Thankyou and yes agree absolutely. It's a cruel disease.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 10:32:14

Wow Mrs! I have read your thread and your situation sounded horrific! I bet you are enjoying your peace now! Thankfully our situation is nowhere near as bad as that.
Extra, we have really tried to be kind. It is so hard when he comes out of his house as soon as he spots us leaving ours, and always wants to chat to the children. We haven't explained to them that he is ill, but it is certain aspects of his behaviour that my DD gets frightened of, such as 'growling' at her, and when she runs away into the house, he tries to follow her in. His wife tells him to stop, but only once my DD has already started crying. We used to pop in to see them, but my DS has just started walking and it is a nightmare to visit anywhere that is not baby friendly!
We can't offer any practical help, but have always offered her tea and a chat, if she needs it, and always tell her how well she is doing. She often cries on DHs shoulder, but has dismissed any suggestions we make that might help. We have always been on very friendly terms with them, so feel it is unfair that she just expects us to put up with this, when we have put up with so much already.
She raves to us about her NDNs on the other side because they have in the last taken him out in their car, but they do not have children, and also they do not have connecting driveways so their contact is very limited compared to ours.
Sorry, I have waffled on. It's just nice to be able to talk about it and not be judged!

fiverabbits Wed 10-Aug-16 15:17:20

I reread Mrs thread because I posted on there because of my neighbour. to start with she would knock on the door to ask what day it was but then it became I haven't had anything to eat, been out, no one has come for me when we knew she had been picked up for luncheon club and the carers had been. On Bank holiday Monday she stood in the road which is a 40 mph dual carriageway and refused to move even for another neighbour, the car driver and the police. When the son was called by the police he refused to come. My grown up DD spent an hour with her to top her going out again even though she had to go to work in an hour's time. When we had builders in they used to run and hide when they heard her coming ( she used to make a weird noise to attract attention ). The builders put up a barrier to stop anyone going on the driveway that they had dug up but she managed to move it and knock on our door even though she was 89 years old and very frail. It got to the stage that unless someone was with her she would walk up and down the street, leaving her front door open or knocking on all the neighbour's. One day after she knocked on my neighbours door every 5 minutes for an hour I thought my neighbour was going to have a heart attack. She had lived here for over thirty years and I have never her shout before but she shouted at the lady with dementia will you go home and leave me alone. Luckily after 3 years she started to go downhill health but not mobility wise and she was admitted to a care home where she is today. The next week the son and daughter in law moved into her 3 bedroomed bungalow, so why couldn't they do that while she lived alone. The neighbour admits she feels 10 years younger and for the rest of us we can now go into the front garden knowing we won't be harassed. Quite honestly I was warned by my friend who had a neighbour who had dementia and whose family lived opposite but didn't do anything to help DO NOT start anything to help otherwise you will be lumbered and I know my neighbour wishes she had done that from the beginning.

Mummyto2bubs Wed 10-Aug-16 21:56:20

I get what you mean fiverabbits. Reading Mrs' thread, you see how helping people out all of a sudden turns into them being your responsibility. We have tried to be kind, but like I said, we aren't able to help much due to both working, and having two children. I feel sorry for his wife, I really do, but this has made our life really hard at times.
You're right about not going in the front garden. Ours is like a forest now, which also doesn't go down well with the neighbours, but if we do, we are interrupted every 5 minutes! We haven't ever complained about this, but it does get to us, that we cannot just get on in peace.

lalalalyra Wed 10-Aug-16 22:13:39

Does he ever go to respite? It sounds like your NDN wife needs a break at the very least. She can't be letting him out himself to get peace. If it gets to that point then she needs more help. The day centre and lunch club were our saviours when my Nana was in the early-ish stages of dementia and we still wanted her at home. It gave me a good enough break that I could cope the rest of the time.

If you feel bad about complaining then please don't. It's annoying that he's banging on your windows and it's ok to find that annoying. Also if he's out unsupervised then whats to stop him wandering into the road? It's ok for her to let him out just now because she knows where he'll be - annoying you - but that's not going to last forever and it's only going to take one wander in the wrong direction and he's in the road or he's half way down the street.

Do you ever see the carers? Maybe a word with them if you do, they can't suggest extra help if they don't know she needs it.

fiverabbits Thu 11-Aug-16 17:39:34

I forgot to mention that strangers used to knock on our door to ask should the lady with dementia be out the street on her own. We didn't really want to tell them that she lived on her own. We have a high school in this road and she used to talk to the children coming past the house and I am sure sometimes they would tease her. Also should would talk to anyone but would ask them and us Do you know you, well yes we have been neighbour's for 33 years. When my DH was in her house she would ask who he was. The worst thing for us was that she had 4 children, 11 grand children who are all grown ups but no-one would stay with her and she would never go to stay with them. Which meant us neighbour's never got any respite.

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