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Can we tell them not come for Xmas?

337 replies

Tactful10 · 06/12/2019 21:50

Namechanged. Elderly parents in their 80s, both with mobility problems and dementia. DF's dementia has taken a turn for the worse - he;s got frontal lobe problems which mean he moans out loud a lot of the time, complains constantly, is rude, demanding and whiny.

The expression No Filter could have been invented for both of them. DM is similar, and they fight, but not as deranged as DF.

We are worried that their behaviour - the loud cries of pain (no physical cause, doc says it's attention getting), the fighting, the unfiltered whining - will frighten dcs 16, 18, and 10. It frightens me and DH, and we're both knocking 50.

Can we cancel them? if so, how.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

899 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
AskingQuestionsAllTheTime · 07/12/2019 20:06

On a purely practical note: how safe is it to drive fifty miles with two people in your car one of whom has dementia and the other of whom is a potentially violent alcoholic with dementia?

This is leaving aside any potential ill-effects to either of them from being away from safe and familiar surroundings, and any ill-effects to your three children of potentially being assaulted in their own home by someone who has no filters on his behaviour any more; just, is it safe for you to drive them anywhere at this point?

I really wouldn't want to be the family in the other car if anything goes wrong, on fast roads.

JacobReesClunge · 07/12/2019 20:16

how some people on here can think its compassionate to put kids through experiences over christmas (a time they will have particularly looked forward to and remember) that are being described here i cannot understand.

Agreed. Even before OPs updates, the number of posters blithely saying it would be fine for a primary school aged child being exposed to nine solid days of being frightened of an alcoholic in their own home, ie the info in the OP, was astounding. I can only hope most of them were bullshitting.

namechanger0987 · 07/12/2019 20:20

As someone who has just lost their dad this week.... please don't cancel them

SmileyGiraffe · 07/12/2019 20:40

Whilst I have sympathy for your loss, please dont project that to the OPs situation and try and lay a guilt trip on her. Despicable behaviour.

They're her parents in body only and I say that as someone who's mother was with us on body only for the last year of her life.

saraclara · 07/12/2019 20:41

I'm sorry for your loss @namechanger0987 but please read the thread. The OP's father cannot be compared to anyone else's father. Not even to another father with TLD.

It's unfair for those of us who have recent losses to expect someone else to do something extremely unhealthy for all concerned, because we wish our own loved one was here.

ssd · 07/12/2019 20:46

Why do they need to stay for 9 days???

FoxFriend · 07/12/2019 21:17

My Dad was diagnosed with early onset dementia when I was a similar age to your children, OP. He survived around 10 years with the disease and some of the things I witnessed during that time will never leave me. He was a gentle man who became very aggressive and threatening, and I found it all very difficult to deal with.

It is all well and good for other posters to tell you to educate your children about his condition/ teach them to be compassionate etc, but it sounds like the kind of behaviours your dad is likely to exhibit may cause them lasting distress. I commiserate completely about the lack of support available. My dad was failed time and time again by his social worker, who was too frightened of him to interact with him enough to know what his needs really were. Though I should say when he did finally transition to a care home, they took such incredible care of him and were some of the most wonderful, compassionate people I’ve ever met.

My dad passed away a while ago now, and I miss him terribly. Though I found his illness difficult to cope with, I now often look back at events I avoided, weekends I spent elsewhere, and wish I’d been with him - whether he knew it or not - while I had the chance.

I don’t say that to guilt trip you. The emotions involved are complicated at any age, and you obviously have the greatest duty of care to your children. Have you had a conversation with them about it? One of the biggest mistakes (in my opinion) we made as a family was not being open and honest enough about our feelings around Dad’s illness. Finding out what they think about it all may be a good place to start.

BeginningToLookLikeChristmas · 08/12/2019 08:47

OP having read your initial post I thought your language seemed to lack compassion however having RTFT I think you have been through so much!

I wish everyone would RTFT as you have some unnecessary bashing and lots of inappropriate advice. Please take from this thread the useful advice that you do need to safeguard your DC, I hope SS prove themselves to be helpful and I think you need to override your DPs. They absolutely need care from professionals and them staying for 9 days would not be the best thing for anyone. I actually think them staying at all could be too much given the importance of routine.


Supersimkin2 · 08/12/2019 10:29

It's too much OP.

dionysus19 · 08/12/2019 13:52

How long are you going to protect your children from real life? These are your parents, who presumably were good to you when they were well. Teach your kids compassion and how to look after elderly people. My Grand mother suffered from dementia in her last years. It was hard to watch as she forgot all about us. I still treasure the time when she actually remembered us despite all of her moaning.

dontalltalkatonce · 08/12/2019 13:54

Another person who hasn't bothered to RTFT.

dionysus19 · 08/12/2019 15:15

You are right @dontalltalkatonce I should have read the thread instead of just the OP. My apologies. After reading that her father is an alcoholic with all the issues and a possible creep I would agree with her and not let them come.

testingtesting111 · 08/12/2019 15:37

It's pretty obvious from many of the replies that whilst they may have experience of dementia, they lack any experience of frontal lobe issues. It's tough.

My MIL sounds very similar to your father @Tactful10. She has frontal lobe issues causing psychosis as well as dementia. The verbal stuff washes over us to a degree, but it's the physical aggression that we really struggle with.

Have you had any psychiatric involvement? It hasn't fixed things by any stretch of the imagination but it has helped to a degree.

helpfulperson · 08/12/2019 16:58

There comes a point where you need to put yourself and your children first and it sounds like you have more than reached it.

TryingAndFailing39 · 08/12/2019 18:29


Your posts are really vile and I hope you’re feeling pleased with yourself safely from behind your keyboard Sad

ICouldBeVotingTactically · 08/12/2019 18:32

OP, listen to the posters who have some understanding of the reality of your situation, and ignore the rest.

Stop feeling guilty about the choices you make regarding this Christmas.

No-one on this thread is living your life, so they don't get to tell you what to do.

sonjadog · 08/12/2019 19:49

My father had a combination of parkinson's, dementia and alcoholism. It felt like being trapped in a nightmare trying to deal with him the final year or so before he moved into the nursing home. I would really encourage you to try to do that. I understand the sentiment behind wanting to keep him at home, but it was so much better for my father, my mother and the rest of the family when he was in a home where he had professional care and my mother could leave when he was being abusive and wasn't dragged down by doing all the care herself. It was absolutely the best thing that could have happened for the whole family that he moved into the care home.

There is no way I would have him in your house over Christmas. I was an adult when my father was at his worst and it was hard enough to deal with and I have memories that still upset me greatly. Your children don't need to be exposed to that. You can visit them one of the days over Christmas instead.

AloneLonelyLoner · 08/12/2019 21:05

Good grief people have said some awful things here, presumably people with no experience of dementia, Alzheimer's , alcoholism or most especially all of them.

OP protect your emotions health and that of your children. Your parents won't remember in any case. Your kids will.

Don't listen to the people here who have scant understanding or compassion themselves. Have a lovely Christmas with your immediate family and in the new year get SS more involved to get them help that isn't you (or in a home).

Stooshie8 · 08/12/2019 21:06

Why do people post if they have no experience of frontal lobe dementia ???????????????

TheReef · 08/12/2019 21:14

Rather than the 9 days, have them just for a day. My mother had dementia and although it was awful, I wouldn't have missed her last Xmas with us.

dontalltalkatonce · 08/12/2019 21:26

Wanting to drink alcohol is not just the preserve of alcoholics or those with FLD, either. My great uncle has Alzheimer's. He was never a big drinker but as his disease has progressed he has tried to drink alcohol excessively. They are in Spain and he had an outdoor fridge which my great aunt had to stock with non-alcoholic beer but he would also be in restaurants and try to drink alcohol others had left at table. He also tried to smoke cigarettes, which he never did before. He was just utterly unlike himself. He has terminal cancer now (pancreatic) but despite massive family help from their three children, who all had children themselves and FT work, he had to go into a home as he was up 24/7 and constantly breaking out of the house. Unlike a toddler, he is a fully grown adult and had the savvy to do things a toddler wouldn't to find the keys to get out.

It's completely different kettle of fish but it's not uncommon for people with advanced dementia of all sorts to try to drink alcohol or find it and become violent in their confusion.

Utterly vile disease.

dontalltalkatonce · 08/12/2019 21:35

I was there last year and really, he didn't drink much that I ever saw. Some beers at Christmas or Easter, nothing excessive, he liked strong, black coffee, but he was ever after it and asking people for cigarettes and picking up cigarette ends all over the place and lighting them up.

I hope he passes quickly because this is NOT him. Not at all. It just isn't. Tio Oscar was a mechanic and keen fisherman who enjoyed so much, including woodwork and carpentry, he made so much beautiful furniture and a beautiful jewellery box for my daughter, inlaid from shells of some of his catches in pattern with little pieces of wood, a gift to her after her older sister died, with one little pearl inside. He was not an alcoholic or a smoker, he despised smoking!

Alzheimer's robbed him of everything Sad.


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dontalltalkatonce · 08/12/2019 21:36

Sorry, it wasn't last year, it was this past Summer. Really upsetting. The disease has really progressed in him in the last 18 months of so. It is horrible Sad.

BeenThereDone · 08/12/2019 21:48

HCA here...
You have my sympathy. It is so hard to deal with family members who suffer from this condition.
Shorten their visit or if possible decamp to theirs for a day or two. Taking them out of their environment will cause them stress.
Alternate DF drinks with non alcoholic to limit intake(I have one of these patients).
Don't feel guilty... It's a very very difficult situation. Even for professionals

testingtesting111 · 08/12/2019 21:55

@Stooshie8 agreed! It is difficult enough without being judged by people that have no experience / understanding of frontal lobe issues - the phrase seeing is believing springs to mind 😫.

Op, as other sensible people have said protect your own / family emotions and health. If it means being blunt then so be it - I have had to take that approach in order to save my own sanity (I no longer mince my words and it hasn't made anything any worse) - we too are debating Christmas arrangements as we have noticed that whenever we do anything really nice like that her behaviour spikes for the worse. Good luck and I'm sorry you're going through this.

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