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fathee giving up on life??

(13 Posts)
weeonion Wed 15-Jul-15 23:06:48

Evening folks.
I wasn't sure where to post this and settled on relationships.ny dad is 65. He has been a very active person - playing lots of sports when younger and always has physically demanding jobs. He is also a very heavy smoker. Over the past few years his health has detoriated with asthma and a diagnosis of COPD. He retired in may due to his chest and since then - he seems to have gone downhill fast. He has zero interest in anything and anyone. He gets up late and spends the day chain smoking. He can now barely walk v far without breathlessness and his inhaler.

I dont live nearby so am only home about 3 or 4 times a year. I was really shocked last week on a visit to see how unwell he is. He no longer bathes / showers / shaves or changes his clothes. He doesn't do anything in the house and expects my mum to be his skivvy - he no longer even makes himself a cupoa and waits for his meals to be delivered on a tray to a seat in front of the tv. He is silent alot of the time when not asleep and refuses to talk about his health or indeed anything. I fluctuated between tears at what he is like and feeling angry at his assumption that my mum will quite literally lift and lay him. I think he is seriously depressed but he wont talk about it. It seems like he has given up on life.

I dont know what, if anything, I can do but it is heartbreaking to see this.

any advice??

mrstweefromtweesville Wed 15-Jul-15 23:12:34

You can't fix him. Only he can do that.
But you can write to his GP and explain the situation.

heyday Wed 15-Jul-15 23:17:48

Sounds a very sad situation. Could your mum, or other relative, talk to him about seeing a doctor? Any chance a doctor could do a home visit?
Perhaps you could write him a short note to tell him how concerned you are about him. If he still refuses to take any responsibility for his own life/ health then I think all you can do is put the focus on your mum so she can take steps to look after her own physical and mental well being. She does, unfortunately, sound like she may be partly to blame for the situation if she is acting like a total skivvy. Or perhaps she feels she has no choice. She needs to be a bit firmer or else she will soon run herself into the ground. It may be that she feels 'needed' again and therefore can't see anything wrong with the situation.
You need to tread with care obviously but somehow you do need to talk to them both.

weeonion Wed 15-Jul-15 23:20:03

Thanks mrstwee. My mum has spoken to his GP. I know that he hasn't told GP full picture and has said that he has stopped smoking when he isn't.

he is only 65 but tbh m- I dont seem him lasting another year. I know I can't fix him but it is so hard to see him like this.

Seriouslyffs Wed 15-Jul-15 23:20:48

What's your Mum's take on it?

weeonion Wed 15-Jul-15 23:25:15

Thanks heyday. My mum has always been a bit of a martyr in that she wants to do everything at home but kinda resents it. She feels she has no choice now - if she doesn't do everything for him - then he wont do it. She came to visit me earlier this year and spent most of it fretting about him. He didnt eat anything for the three days she was away. She now feels trapped.

weeonion Wed 15-Jul-15 23:28:04

Seriously - she also reckons he is depressed but she's v frustrated, worried and a bit worn out. He has never been one to talk about his feelings but this has gone far beyond that. He hasn't spoken a word to her for weeks at a time apparently. He made a bit more of an effort when I was there last week.

weeonion Thu 16-Jul-15 08:04:08


Seriouslyffs Thu 16-Jul-15 08:51:24

Adult social care via your local council is the way forward. And via Benefits. Is he on a works pension already or is he still assessed. Where do they live? Your Mum will have to be very strong to facilitate this, he won't like the assessments.

UncertainSmile Thu 16-Jul-15 14:10:25

There's a big correlation between chronic, degenerative conditions such as COPD and anxiety/depression. He may well have begun feeling hopeless about his health. Because COPD is basically damaged lung tissue, inhalers tend to have much less of a immediate restorative effect than with asthma alone, for example. He may feel that all the medication he takes is not helping him at all because of this. Also, everyone's lung function deteriorates as we go through life: the smoking accelerates this, so that patients with COPD who smoke deteriorate faster. They also exacerbate more often; each time this happens, their condition becomes a little worse. I would suggest telling the GP the full facts, the mental health aspects of this are just as important as the physical ones. There may be local help available,such as a respiratory support team or community matron type input, to make your parents feel more supported. He may need a medication review to make sure he is on optimum treatment.
It's often the case where the carer, in this case your mum, wears themselves out completely in trying to do everything. Social services can assess for care, usually they can arrange an occupational therapist to see if anything can be introduced into the home.
Looking after people with conditions like this needs a holistic approach, as there are going to be many complex factors. Your dad might feel that he is washed up and useless now he has retired, especially if didn't have many interests outside work. Retirement can be a bereavement to some people.

UncertainSmile Thu 16-Jul-15 14:12:23

The British Lung Foundation have a good range of resources that I think you can print out, or order; that might help.

weeonion Thu 16-Jul-15 21:10:48

Thank you folks - that is really helpful. I appreciate it. Going to speak to my mum about dome of the suggestions.

fluffybunnies246 Thu 16-Jul-15 21:46:35

agree with all of the above- it also might be an idea for your mum to get in touch with your local carers centre (they tend to have them dotted around the country). They are usually a good source of support/advice, and as they are not part of the council/nhs etc they can be less intimidating. I hope things get better soon op must be so hard to watch flowers

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