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Parents and grandparents - need to offload!

(3 Posts)
furrymuff Wed 09-Dec-15 11:29:46

Hi all, I've been reading this topic for a few months now but never had the nerve to post - it felt like if I started I'd never stop!

In a nutshell, my 95 year old grandmother is as strong as an ox physically, but has severe dementia. She has never been in hospital and still doesn't need to wear glasses, but sadly her brain has totally gone and she only really recognises my grandfather now. My 94 year old grandfather is her main carer, but he is in ill health. She has a carer who lives across the road and who is a godsend, but she won't allow her anywhere near her for personal care (she is doubly incontinent and refuses to wear pads) and so my grandad has to do it all. The carer ends up doing the cooking and housework, which I try to hide from the social worker so that the direct payment doesn't get removed.

He refuses for either of them to go into a home, even together, and says that if she leaves their home she will give up and die. He still has his mental faculties and is pretty sharp, but he is depressed and struggles to look after her - he often cries when I'm there and says he's exhausted.

On top of this my 64 year old mum was also diagnosed with dementia last week. sad I had guessed that she had it, she had refused to visit my grandmother for the last 9 months because she said she'd called her a liar, and I must have heard the same story at least 40 times now. She was losing her car in town, and when I found it eventually the door was wide open with the keys in ignition, and so many other things. So on the one hand I'm glad she has a diagnosis, but my heart hurts and I am desperately worried about having another person to worry about - does that make sense? Her boyfriend is a rock for me and helps to look after both her and my grandparents.

On top of that my dad is an alcoholic who is in remission from tongue and throat cancer. He lives in a bedsit surrounded by empty vodka bottles and hasn't washed or brushed his teeth for nearly a year. He won't allow anyone in to care for him and the GP says he has capacity. He is not a nice man, and I have had to detach from him for my own sanity, I haven't seen him since April now although he's only 20 miles away, although we have been in written contact.

I also have been having issues with my teenage son who has a cannabis addiction. I was at work yesterday and had palpitations all day, my hands were shaking and I felt breathless. Didn't know what was happening - called the GP who asked if I'd been under any stress (!) - relayed the story and she has now signed me off for 2 weeks with Diazepam and Citalopram for anxiety. I feel like I've failed - I've been holding it together for so long and I feel like my body has betrayed me. I couldn't bring myself to tell my husband last night but texted him this morning after he left for work. He hasn't replied and that's making me even more anxious. His belief is very much that if you can't change a situation there's no point worrying about it, which I kind of get but can't make myself do!

I'm not sure what the point of this post was, other than to get it off my chest, and to say that reading all of your posts makes me sad but not so alone at the same time, so thank you all. smile

CMOTDibbler Wed 09-Dec-15 14:25:26

That sounds so, so hard. I think you have to start putting you first, and pushing back on doing more than you have capacity for. That might mean like you are being hard on your grandad, or your mums boyfriend, but you are only one person and if you collapse, you can't help anyone

whataboutbob Wed 09-Dec-15 15:15:13

Hi- love your name!
Furry i am in a similar situations in some way. My Dad has Alzheimers he has been living at home with my brother who has mental health problems. He also has carers throughout the day. 2 weeks ago he had a fall and since then has deteriotated sharply. He is now doubly incontinent, falls over whenever he tries to walk, and has a pressure sore. He basically wants to be in bed all day. To cap it all the washing machine broke down and when i visited Saturday the state of the place was disgusting.
My GP has signed me off for 2 weeks with very high blood pressure, Dad had yet another fall and is now in hospital. The ward got onto me saying he's fit for discharge (!) so can i take him home or find a respite place. For the 1st time in about 5 years of managing the situation I said no, I couldn't. He's still in hospital and I am not minded to chase anything up.
The only advice I can give is to do less wherever possible.
I would think your son and mum are priorities. Sadly a crisis will probably happen with your grandparents and your granddad will have to relaise things cannot go on and your grandmother needs care. I f he cannot accept that then maybe you need to take a step back form the situation?
As for your Dad, well done for protecting yourself from him.

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