Is this all my fault?
patsysun · 30/10/2018 14:12
I care full time for my gran who is 98.
I do it alone and she has Alzheimer's.
For the last year I've been unwell with dementia and every day has been a battle.
My gran won't get washed,she only lets me wash her face,she won't change her clothes (even tho they have stains on)
She turns her fridge off and I started shopping daily for her.
Her old fridge broke so I bought a table top fridge and put it on top of old one.
I've let things slide in regards to housework too(hovering etc)
Two months ago my gran wandered out at 1am and a neighbour found her and brought her home but rang paramedics.
They took her into hospital and when I tried to bring her home they wouldn't let me.
They said the paramedics raised some concerns along with a&e staff ..
That no food was in fridge
And her dressing gown and nightie were dirty.
I told them I did the shopping daily and explained she won't let me change her clothes etc.
No matter what I said s/s wouldn't let me bring her home and kept her in hospital for a week and nothing was wrong with her.
How is this right?
DontDribbleOnTheCarpet · 30/10/2018 15:11
In case this is what's worrying you, they aren't coming to check up on you- they know you are doing your best. They just need to make sure that they are giving you the help you need.
I know (from experience) that this is a very hard situation, but you aren't alone any more and there is support for you. The more help you have and the more rest you can get, the better you can care for your grandmother.
hellsbellsmelons · 30/10/2018 15:30
You are NOT a healthcare professional
You are NOT a failure
You have been an absolute angel
How you have done this is beyond me.
I see my dad looking after my mum and it breaks my heart but we all chip in a bit and my mum doesn't seem to be as far into the process as your gran.
You NEED some help.
Please accept all the help you can get.
You need to live your life too.
Don't take it as criticism. Just take the advice and the help.
This won't get any better. Have you considered a home for her?
takingthelongwayround · 30/10/2018 15:51
This is an incredibly difficult situation OP and having looked after my father while his health fell apart I learnt that...
- Caring is a profession and anyone with any experience in this area would not expect you to shoulder this burden on your own and without the help of professionals. Take everything you are offered that you think will help and don't be afraid to ask for more...
- It is very hard to care for someone's physical needs and be the loving relative you were before. Anything that helps lessen burden on you means you can care for your gran in ways the professionals can't
- You can apply for an allowance that would pay for cleaning (and other costs) associated with your grandmother's needs. In my Dad's case he used it for cleaning. He got the information/forms from his Macmillan nurse but I am sure SS can help or the district nurse
- Don't beat yourself up about the dirty clothes. My Dad didn't tell me he had soiled his sheets and I didn't think to check - he probably had been sleeping on them for a good few days before I went to change them. There were a few other disasters along the way. We do our best, we mess up, we learn, we try to do better... Good luck OP and try to take care of yourself as well.
CyclingFanGirl · 31/10/2018 05:18
@patsysun you sound amazing, not everyone is willing to take on so much, I'm sure that your love and support has helped your Gran to live at home for longer than would be possible without you being there.
Sadly, dementia gets gradually worse, and as that happens it can get too hard for one person to do everything, not because you aren't trying hard enough or because you don't care, but because it just isn't possible. That's where SS support should kick in and it sounds like it has, they definitely will not be judging, they want exactly the same as you, to support your Gran to live as well and as safely as possible at home.
I would echo what takethelongwayround says, caring is hard, be kind to yourself.
See if you qualify for attendance allowance and other benefits (the Alzheimer's Society has a helpline that can help with this stuff), maybe that will help you pay for a cleaner so that you can spend more quality time with your Gran.
The Alzheimer's Society might also be able to point you in the direction of lunch clubs or activity groups that the 2 of you can go to together and meet other people so that you feel less isolated.
Ask your GP for a carers assessment, this means that someone looks at your needs and can offer help and support so that you are able to keep caring for your Gran for as long as you want to.
Your love for your Gran really shines through your OP. Please let people support you both so that you can be there for each other for as long as possible
Trust me, as a healthcare professional who looks after people with dementia, we are in awe of people like you and want to do everything we can to help.
PS do you know that you are entitled to a flu jab?
Theducksarenotmyfriends · 31/10/2018 06:31
I've worked with hundreds of families of people with dementia. At some point, everyone needs help from social services. It is not your fault, you have not failed. You've been doing an incredible job and it's so, so hard, especially by yourself. Dementia is incredibly complex and you can't care for someone indefinitely without any support yourself.
Blanchedupetitpois · 31/10/2018 07:07
Aww Op. this is exactly what SS are for - to help! I know we tend to think of them stepping in when people have failed but most of the time it’s actually them taking proactive steps to help good people like you who have massive responsibilities and need help managing them. You’re doing a great job and are just getting the assistance you need and deserve to look after your gran. Please don’t feel bad - you’re doing reall well and helping your gran hugely.
Thisreallyisafarce · 31/10/2018 07:10
There is a huge care deficit in this country, with relatives taking the brunt, often when they are not well themselves. If the care given to your GM is inadequate despite your best efforts, that is the state letting her down, not you. I am glad you have been given support.
briefinterlude · 31/10/2018 09:51
I think you are amazing. I also bet you are exhausted. You have done your absolute best and if your gran were not beset with this cruel disease she would be the first to be telling you this I'm sure.
I would also think that if this exhaustion and worry isn't at the root of your depression then it certainly won't have helped. Also repetitive negative thoughts can be part of mental health symptoms and this is probably why the guilt you are feeling is difficult to shift - if it is intruding into your thoughts still. While I can understand perhaps feeling guilt initially, you have nothing to feel guilty for - truly.
Try to see SS visits as a support (it is great that your local SS are stepping up to help (as they should be able to) - so many areas have carers banging their head against brick walls for the support that they and their loved ones need due to budget cuts etc) and tell them what else would be helpful if there is anything. Perhaps groups with people in similar position to you so you can talk to others who get it.
You have taken huge responsibility on your shoulders alone and it is only right that you get help. It isn't your fault. You aren't the only carer to have their loved one found wandering during the night and you won't be the last. It is all part of this disease.
Speak to your own GP (if you haven't already) to get some help in dealing with your depression too. You have to be kind to yourself , you are doing your best and then some. But you aren't super-human and if you are tired, worried and have depression you must look after your own needs too. As my friend says "You can't pour a cup of tea from an empty teapot" Or something like that. for you
Babyblade · 31/10/2018 12:32
So much good advice on this thread OP.
My MIL was suffering dementia and was being cared for by my FIL, extended family (me included) and carers - a whole team of people! It's impossible to do it on your own.
You need these people to help you. You need help with your depression. SS getting involved is not a punishment, they're there to help you both!
It sounds as if you are giving your Gran the best possible care (I wish my MIL could have enjoyed music and cake) but you also need to look after yourself too. Please seek help for your depression.
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