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I think this is the start of it

(15 Posts)
vvviola Tue 02-May-17 07:48:03

Up to now my parents have been generally well. My DDad had a heart attack about 7 years ago but recovered well, DM had a stroke two years ago but also recovered well. When DMum had her stroke DDad was able to manage most of the back and forth. My job was mainly visiting and distracting Mum from being in the hospital so long.

Now Dad has been diagnosed with lymphoma (and they can't as yet find the primary cancer). So he's going in for surgery today. I'm sitting in the waiting area having brought them both in to the hospital. Mum is a mess, and the small impairments that the stroke left her with (mainly processing complex information) are making things more difficult.

It just dawned on me this morning that this is likely to be the start of me being a lot more involved with their health and it has given me a bit of a jolt. They are very self-sufficient and independent at the moment, but I think they are going to need a lot more support from now on. It's just me and DM in particular does lean on me a fair bit (I have a brother but he lives abroad), and while I have very understanding employers, I also have a young family and a lot going on.

I'm not sure what I'm posting for, to be honest. Reassurance that I can manage to keep juggling everything, I suppose!

LightYears Tue 02-May-17 08:00:26

Just do the best you can but make you and you children the priority. Age UK I found are very helpful. See how it goes but get Social Services involved as soon as you feel out of your depth. Your mum and dad won't want you compromising you and your children's well being for them. Do you have anyone else around you that can help at all? What sort of ages are your children. Best wishes.

ZaZathecat Tue 02-May-17 13:26:34

viola, I agree Age UK are very helpful. And here, on the Elderly Parents board, is a haven for those in a similar position so it's a great place to let off steam. and get good advice.

thesandwich Tue 02-May-17 13:38:37

Viola sorry to hear about your dp's. As Zaza says lots of support and wisdom from others on this board- and number one is getting power of attorney in place while you can. Also research support so you can get stuff in place to help them. Good luck

vvviola Tue 02-May-17 18:32:42

Thanks all. Not in the UK, but will look up the local version of Age Action.

I think the problem is that neither they nor I consider them "elderly". They're very early 70s, and very busy with social lives, sport etc. I think it's the being involved with their healthcare that's throwing me.

They have power of attorney set up for each other. I'll talk to them about who else might get it once the current crisis is over.

LightYears Tue 02-May-17 18:45:21

Sounds like they've both been considering things with them having POA, so I think that's a good sign you'll be ok to broach the subject when things have settled down a bit. Best wishes.

vvviola Wed 24-May-17 08:54:36

He died.

He came through the surgery ok - more than ok really - they had missed all the nerves they were afraid of damaging and the surgeon was confident he had got all the tumour -but the following night he had a massive bleed, which led to cardiac arrest and no oxygen to his brain. 3 days later when my brother managed to get in from overseas we switched off the ventilator.

It was the most surreal week of my life.

And now I'm in the process of helping DM sort everything. It's like she has aged 10 years overnight. She's gone from the woman who skypes her grandchildren, navigates the medical system, provides support to everyone to a woman who can't remember something you told her 5 minutes before, who won't eat unless it's put in front of her and who is completely bewildered by everything.

I know it is very early days, and she's in shock and grieving, and she'll probably come through the other side, but it gave me a glimpse of what the next few years may be like...

donajimena Wed 24-May-17 08:58:55

I'm so sorry. How awful for you and your mum. It is very early days for your mum and I hope that some semblance of normality comes back for you.

erinaceus Wed 24-May-17 09:04:26

I'm so sorry vvviola

Sending flowers to you, your DM, and your family.

creepysleepy Wed 24-May-17 09:08:51

So sorry flowers

TheFaerieQueene Wed 24-May-17 09:26:12

flowers

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Wed 24-May-17 09:28:20

I'm sorry to hear that, it sounds very unexpected and like you are now thrown into a new situation with your mum. Be kind to yourself.

dnamummy Wed 24-May-17 09:39:21

OP - I'm so very sorry to hear your DF died. I echo what others have said that you need to be kind to yourself, but it is, and will be difficult.

When my DF died my DM was like a lost child. She had never paid a bill herself (DS did all finance) and was very needy for at least 18 months. Things improved after that as she built a new norm for herself but I only felt like I could grieve for my DF after that so it actually left me depleted for years. Don't know what I could have done differently but if you can ask others for help rather than try to shoulder everything yourself I would advise you to do so.

flowersfor you and your DM

thesandwich Wed 24-May-17 13:21:55

Viola I am so sorry. flowers it must be such a shock to all happen so fast. Any advice you need there are plenty of wise ones here- or just to vent. Look after yourself.

bluediamonds Sat 03-Jun-17 11:48:09

I'm sorry to hear the sad news. flowers

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