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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
justilou1 · 06/12/2019 22:58

I have cared for people with frontal lobe dementia and it is very serious indeed. It removes the filter entirely. Your father’s behaviours probably would be very frightening for the kids, and could be potentially unsafe as well. (I wouldn’t put myself knowingly in the position of looking after patients with frontal lobe dementia again, tbh... I am 47 and while I know that they are not in control of their behaviours, they still frighten me.) Nine days is MUCH too long. (Especially if he won’t remember that it’s Christmas anyway.) I think if your parents are refusing care, and you live so far away, that is one of the consequences.

YouSawThePlans · 06/12/2019 23:04

I think your time would be better spent ensuring your parents have appropriate care tbh. If they are so bad that your DCs can't spend time with them, then they shouldn't be living alone. Bringing them for Christmas . . .or not . . . is putting the focus in the wrong place.

My gran and my uncle had dementia, and I worked in a home for dementia patients. Personally I think your DC will only get comfortable with their GPs if they actually spend time with them. But that may necessitate a shift in mindset that you're not ready for yet.

Catmaiden · 06/12/2019 23:04

I've been in your shoes. If say no, and not host them , certainly not for 9 days. A day or two maybe. I found ten bing dear parent from their usual environment made things much worse and caused them distress.
And your distress and worry is just as valid as theirs. Just st because you are a woman, doesn't mean you have to put up with all this shit.

VimFuego101 · 06/12/2019 23:08

I second all the other people who've said that removing them from their home environment may distress them. Visit them at home on a different day and have Christmas dinner with them another day.

It sounds like you're in for a tough few weeks/ months getting them the assessment and care they need and you won't be able to be strong enough to do that if you're exhausted after caring for them at your home for several days. Put your own oxygen mask on first...

MzPumpkinPie · 06/12/2019 23:09

I'm not going to judge you.
Sounds like a bloody nightmare, especially with the alcoholism thrown in.
How about you go down for 2 days max during Christmas week.
Stock up their fridge / freezer and pantry with easy to heat up Christmas food.
Make sure they are ok and then go home to your family for Christmas?
That way you can make sure everyone is ok .
If they are that far gone but they generally care for themselves they won't even realise.
Very difficult having a drunk around your DC, especially the youngest.
9 days is a bloody long time .

Catmaiden · 06/12/2019 23:09

ARG no edit function
Given what you've added Christ no I'd not host them at all. Sounds seriously worrying. Dangerous for parents, safeguarding for your children, serious MH issues for you.

TatianaLarina · 06/12/2019 23:13

Father and aunt with dementia. Agreeing to 9 days was completely barmy!

As it’s only 40 miles you/DH could pick up in the morning and drive them home at night. Christmas Day there’s no traffic.

Celebrate Christmas with the kids on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and

ToTheRegimentIWishIWasThere · 06/12/2019 23:14

Yanbu. They won't remember, you and your children will. Put your energy into accessing appropriate care for them. SS are overstretched and can be very slow, chase them up.

MIL has dementia, and had been in residential care for a while, it would distress her terribly to be away for any length of time despite disliking it and wanting to be in her own home, which she had very little memory of.

ReanimatedSGB · 06/12/2019 23:17

It's very rarely the 'best thing' for people with dementia which has advanced beyond a certain point to stay in their own homes, and for the caring responsibilities to fall on family members. OP, there is no way you can or should have to cope with this for nine days.*
I don't know - and you may not want to say - whether your father was a good, loving father before the dementia, or if he was always a bully. Sometimes it's harder to deal with the situation when you can remember the person you once loved, and sometimes it';s harder when the person was always a bit of a shit but you feel you 'ought to' look after them now they are no longer responsible for their actions.

But it's generally better all round for people with severe dementia to be cared for by professionals who get pay and time off rather than running their family members into the ground.

madcatladyforever · 06/12/2019 23:19

I think your children are quite old enough to deal with this if prepared but I think having them over for xmas is not a good idea at all.
It will disturb their routine completely and they won't enjoy it, nobody will enjoy it.
I'd visit before xmas and leave it at that. Most people with dementia their age including my mother prefer their own little routines and leaving the house and being plunged into festivities is likely to set them off.

OlaEliza · 06/12/2019 23:22

You could, but maybe you could use the opportunity to learn some compassion

Then hope your kids don't leave you on your own when you are old and ill.

justilou1 · 06/12/2019 23:24

*For those that don’t know the difference, frontal lobe dementia is different to other forms as the filter that tells one that behaviours including acting out on impulse, such as violence, sexual, verbal, aggression, etc is removed. It is quite different from the “forgetful” forms of dementia, and it is heartbreaking for those caring for their once-loving partners or parents, who may initially become violent or acting out sexually. (This form of dementia can also be the result of a head injury and drug and alcohol abuse, and can occur in young people, unfortunately.)
I just thought I would spell out the difference so that OP might avoid a few unnecessarily judgey, “But it’s Christmas” comments. It’s also Christmas for the rest of her family, and it is quite likely that her father’s long-term excessive drinking is something that she has had to live with through all of her Christmases growing up, and this has led to the situation they are in today.

Interestedwoman · 06/12/2019 23:24

IMO, as I think a PP mentioned, I think they could just come for a couple of nights or something, rather than 9 days (!)

I agree that 9 days of wailing etc would be unnerving for you and your kids, and surely isn't necessary. xxx

TatianaLarina · 06/12/2019 23:26

Talking to SS is not any kind of panacea. Social care has been cut to the bone. You won’t get much in the way of care from the state.

Realistically the options are either to pay private carers to visit at home or residential care which for dementia homes in the SE is around £50,000 per year.

OlaEliza · 06/12/2019 23:28

We've told DM she's more than welcome to stay for as long as she wants if DF can't make the journey, but she won't leave DF even tho Dbro has offered to have him to stay.

She probably knows it's most likely their last Christmas together. Jfc.

HeddaGarbled · 06/12/2019 23:29

I found this website very useful:

If you ask this question on the Talking Point forum, you’ll get some good advice too.

GooseberryJam · 06/12/2019 23:30

Talking to SS on Monday. We reckon we can keep them at home for a while.

Why on earth would you want to? It sounds hellish for them and everybody else. I would be pushing to have them placed in care on an emergency basis since they cannot look after themselves and stay safe at home, and with their diagnosis they don't have capacity now to defy this. Certainly a 9 day stay somewhere else is out of the question. Surely you've known this all along? Daughter of a dementia sufferer here. I've been there too.

HeddaGarbled · 06/12/2019 23:32
Rubyupbeat · 06/12/2019 23:33

My mum and dad arent here anymore. my dad had advanced dementia and yet I would give anything to have them with me for Christmas....
I cant believe how uncaring you sound, it's really horrible.

Miljea · 06/12/2019 23:35

Some of you have No Idea what Dementia can look like, do you?

By and large it's hidden in care homes, in frantic daughters, in family horror stories.

It isn't 'funny old grandma!'; it's your 10 year old walking in on her grandad masturbating on the couch. Yep. Really.

It's not 'Learn some empathy, fgs!'

You have no idea how grim the disintegration of the ageing mind can look like.

GooseberryJam · 06/12/2019 23:35

Realistically the options are either to pay private carers to visit at home or residential care which for dementia homes in the SE is around £50,000 per year.

This is what their assets go towards. Do they own their home, OP? Are adult social services accepting that they don't have capacity anymore?

Honeyroar · 06/12/2019 23:39

I agree. Things got MUCH better for us and for my mil once she was settled in a home. She was safe, well cared for and eating at proper times. We weren’t worried sick that we’d get a phone call saying she’d wandering off (her neighbours were stars at catching her and distracting her until we came(her or find something dangerous cooking in the oven. Until she forgot us and stopped interacting we had nice days out with her. We are lucky that we found a great home that she can mostly afford with her pension and a bit of the process from selling her house added in. It must be much harder with frontal lobe dementia though. My mil was quite aggressive initially when she went into the home and they said we might have to take her out as she was upsetting the others. Thankfully she settled.


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Majorcollywobble · 06/12/2019 23:40

Nine days is too long for you and also too long a stay for them .
Their dementia sounds to be at the stage where they both become aggressive so I can’t see being away from their normal routine would be helpful at all .
A stage will come that they can’t refuse care any longer and it needs to be soon - very soon by the sound of their issues . Just visit one day and take food .

theendoftheendoftheend · 06/12/2019 23:45

So they are behaving like you did as a baby/toddler, they put up with you now it's your turn.
I have lived through a family member with dementia and yes it's challenging, what's your point?

saraclara · 06/12/2019 23:46

Nine days is way too long. They'll be more confused because of the change of surroundings.

The people saying the kids should 'just cope' clearly know nothing about frontal lobe dementia (and combined with alcoholism? Jeeze, OP, what did you do in a past life to deserve this?)

My kids coped brilliantly with my MIL's dementia. But hers was gentle and forgetful, not angry or mood changing or volatile. And it was still difficult for them.

I'm sorry but OP's kids deserve a decent Christmas too, not spending nine days hiding in their rooms or being anxious about what he'll do next.

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