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Elderly dad

(11 Posts)
The80sweregreat Wed 06-Apr-16 13:18:53

Hi, I did post last year about my dad and his B12 injections , that has now been sorted out. this is long , sorry!
He is 94 and I am 51 - I have two older brothers in their early 60s. Dad is a council tenant, we all live about an hours drive away from him, although sometimes it can take longer as there are roadworks on the way up from where I live.
anyway, he is getting some odd symptoms - he had a cold and throat infection and he kept saying he was coughing up black catarrah ( not bright red blood, but also some blood from his mouth) it was just where he needed to clear his throat but he was insistant he needed anti biotics. After a lot of phone calls and problems ( he didn't want to go to the doctor plus it was shut by then ) we were advised to visit the walk in centre for him to check it wasn't a chest infection. Waited for 4 and half hours and the doctor said it wasn't an infection and refused to give him anything. He got undressed on the top for this examination ( his shirt and vest) but he did have to tuck his vest in his trousers when he got dressed again. He then told the doctor he had been peeing blood from his urine. I had been with him all day at this point and he didn't say to me that this was the case. The doctor said he would need to see his GP and have a urine sample as they didn't do any tests there for that. We were both confused at this point. he had an water infection at Christmas time and had anti biotics then, it makes him a bit vague.I think he was getting confused with Christmas time and what happened then to be honest.

We went home, it was 8 pm by this time , but he later told my brother on the phone that he didn't say he had a UTI. My brother said he wa okay yesterday, but today he was going on to me on the phone about why he couldn't have antibiotics and how ' I had to drop my trousers for the doctor ' as if something sinister was going on. he even forgot I had been sitting with him and been with him all day too. He is very uptight one minute with me, but he rung me back an hour later and seemed fine again. He lives alone and been getting on with things , but he was very poorly at Christmas time but not hospitalized ( they said he had low salt in his blood , but then they said he didn't) the anti biotics cleared up the infection but the other tests came back fine ( chest x rays etc)
he isn't diabetic or have any other things wrong with him. he is fairly active usually and does go out on his own to the local shop although he hasn't done that since this throat virus. We went to the walk in centre on Monday, its Wednesday now. we all worry about him of course, but he refuses any help unless its us doing it and just gets so frustrated when he cant get his own way ( ie, the anti biotics ) he is getting more vague but we put this down to old age a lot of the time. he should use a catheter once a week ( he has had kidney problems int he past and been doing a catheter since 2001) but he sometimes forgets to do them each week and ' doesn't want to know' when I suggest he does it.the viral problems with his throat has flooered him, but when you suggest self remedy ( paracetemol etc) he just switches off! He has great faith in doctors, but wont listen when we suggest things or tell him why he cant have anti biotics ( unless it was an UTI or chest infection, which it isn't)
I feel my own life is on hold a bit now as I worry he will get another water infection or have a fall as he did at Christmas last year. the doctor he has is retiring and doesn't seem to care much and A and E, walk in centres are a long old wait too in a busy area of east London where he lives. It seems very hard to get any help for anything.
I am concerned that he tells me things, then will deny that he ever said anything like that so I end up looking a liar! My older brother is very good and worried We all have busy lives too, but dad doesn't understand anything about our woes and has never driven at all, so he has no idea howlong it takes to get to see him either.
I just wondered really if anyone else has had this with elderly folk, we do wonder if its the start of dementia setting in or just old age. He does well with his own hygenie and keeps the house fairly tidy, although I do go up and give it a clean too. not sure what to think what will happen in the future. my mum died 6 years ago now and he hasn't really got over that either.
thanks to anyone who read this far down. .. thanks. !

amarmai Wed 06-Apr-16 13:46:53

sounds like he is getting forgetful , to understate it. Might be what you fear and he may need more care than you can give in the not too distant future.

The80sweregreat Wed 06-Apr-16 14:33:35

Thanks for your reply. Yes, we are concerned but i know moving him out of his home ( been there 47years ) will be hard. He is struggling on with our help, but its not 24 hour care. Henhas a careline put in, so thats something.

QuerkyJo Wed 06-Apr-16 14:37:09

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say I understand how hard this is for you and your brothers. These early stages of seniltity are so hard. You want to keep them safe, do what is best for them whilst at the same time respecting their independence.

With regard to making you look a liar, most practitioners know that confusion is common in some-one your dad's age. He is amazing at 94 to live such an independent life.

I would investigate with his LA whether there is a Community Matron in his area. These are supposed to Liaise with all those concerned with elderly people and could advise you with regard to the UTI.

The80sweregreat Wed 06-Apr-16 14:54:10

Yes, he is amazing considering how depressed he was when mum died. She did everything for him, so he had to learn the hard way. He was a lot less vague then. In six years its got harder.
His GP isnt interested, he just says to call an ambulance when its not really needed.
They know him at the doctors, but a lot of the time there isnt anyone on call to see him. The system seems broken and overloaded where he lives.
Sorry to rant on, but i know its going to get worse.. Feel like crying my self..

QuerkyJo Wed 06-Apr-16 15:13:38

You are definitely right that the care system, with regard to the elderly, is broken. My stepdad's GP did not visit last week, after being informed by his carer that no urine had been passed for 48 hours. He is now in hospital with Sepsis and pneumonia.

The80sweregreat Wed 06-Apr-16 15:24:38

I am sorry to hear this. Its awful when all they need to do is a dip test and anti bs for UTIs. My dad had sepsis in 2001 so i know how awful that is and we are scared this could happen to him now. How is he ? I hope he can come hme soon. I can sympathise. Gps in my dads area have given up. That's how i feel anyway.

QuerkyJo Wed 06-Apr-16 16:06:25

He is holding his own and stable, but fighting for every breath. He really does not want to go on. Unfortunately his mind wants to give up but his body won't obey.

The80sweregreat Wed 06-Apr-16 16:11:55

I am so sorry, for your stepdad's gp not to want to know is terrible and now he is in hospital like this. the system seems broken and its just not fair.
really sorry querky.

QuerkyJo Thu 07-Apr-16 18:14:12

We were getting phone calls from the hospital saying the surgery were being unco-operative about his Warafarin dose. My OH had to do a 90 minute round trip in a taxi to get the dosage card. I wonder what would have happened if he had no family.

The80sweregreat Thu 07-Apr-16 20:11:14

Yes, you see older folk in hospital with nobody at all. Its good you are there to help out. Let us know what happens. Wish you well.

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