My feed

to access all these features


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
ddl1 · 06/12/2019 23:48

For some of the more judgemental people here: this isn't a question simply of the OP's parents being 'old and ill'. It's one thing to have relatives who are tired, confused, forgetful; another to have to deal with seriously disturbed and aggressive behaviour. Frontal lobe dementia is not just being confused and forgetful; it can involve extremely uninhibited and aggressive behaviour. Look up 'Phineas Gage' to get just some idea - and he only had the frontal lobe problems, due to an injury, without the dementia. If possible, I think the OP should have them over for a day during the Christmas season; but 9 days seems unrealistic, and is likely to be distressing for the parents, who would find it confusing to be away from home, as well as the rest of the family. The most important thing is to try to arrange care: they do need care even if they think they don't. From the description, it sounds as though care in their own home would probably be better, and more likely to be accepted, than care in a home; but I have no idea what care is available where the parents live.

pjmask · 06/12/2019 23:48

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.

Your post is really horrible. Did you dad gave frontal lobe dementia?

reservoircats · 06/12/2019 23:48

OP I speak to you as someone who has experienced this from a child's point of view. I will never forget the Christmas before my Nan passed away when I was 13. I was forced by my Mum to visit on Boxing Day where my Nan could only make sounds of pain and dribble, and complain out loud too, and that's the last memory I have of her at Christmas. I think you are doing the right thing putting your children first.

pjmask · 06/12/2019 23:50

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

saraclara · 06/12/2019 23:51

These self-satisfied posters saying how they were more caring and capable in managing their parents' dementia, are clearly unaware of the different kinds of dementia.

If you've not cared for or otherwise had to deal with someone with FRONTAL LOBE dementia, just butt out with your sanctimoniousness. It's nothing like other dementias. Add in alcohol abuse and I doubt there's anyone else on here fit to judge the OP on how she's feeling.

pjmask · 06/12/2019 23:52


TooManyPaws · 07/12/2019 00:00

Is your mother still considered to have capacity? Lack of capacity will change everything in terms of whether they can refuse care. If they are a danger to themselves, living on their own can turn into an adult protection scenario.

stupidtabloidheadlines · 07/12/2019 00:01

It's not horrible to not have them there. Children should be protected - it won't teach a 10 and a 16 year old 'empathy'. It'll terrify them and make them hate their Xmas.

Didiusfalco · 07/12/2019 00:04

Oh gosh, I’ve cared for people with advanced dementia. It can be so very hard. The only aspect I think you are wrong about is trying to prolong their time at home. It is inevitable that they will need more care, your job now is to turn the heat up on social services to get the care they need. Don’t worry about Christmas, it’s unnecessary and probably pretty unimportant to them at this point. Concentrate on getting the right care in place.

saraclara · 07/12/2019 00:05

I was 10, and playing with a friend who'd come round for tea, when my 80 year old Gran with frontal lobe dementia walked through the living room stark naked and giggling.

It didn't teach me tolerance. It didn't teach me empathy. It was awful.

maddening · 07/12/2019 00:09

Absolutely Yanbu, what I would do instead is book a bb either with or without the dc (perhaps get a relative to stay with them) after Christmas and go and spend quality time with them in their own home.

Life is confusing enough for them without taking them from their surroundings, do a couple of day trips to places that are from their childhood for example. They likely won't be aware if they are quite far gone and you can have a visit that is more comfortable for them, an alternative Xmas dinner at their house, pop on home videos etc to tap in to the longer term memories etc
My gran died of dementia in her 90s so I was an adult by then, it is horrible to see and hard to care for especially if you take them out of their home.

maddening · 07/12/2019 00:14

It is a world apart from looking after a toddler ffs

Tactful10 · 07/12/2019 00:15


Alzheimer's it ain't. Not that that isn't bad enough.

OP posts:
Tactful10 · 07/12/2019 00:15

@justilou, yep, you got it in one. DF has had trouble with drink and FLD for some time. He's a lovely man, but we don't want the kids to see him like this.

OP posts:
theendoftheendoftheend · 07/12/2019 00:15

What was your response to your dad making sexual comments to your 13 year old? Maybe you could give the op the benefit of your (made up) wisdom?

I never stated or hinted my DF has done so so my (made up) wisdom is all in your own head.

EKGEMS · 07/12/2019 00:17

I've been a registered nurse for 21 years and dealt with patients with all forms of dementia and nine days in a strange environment is going to be very detrimental for everyone involved. I dong know if you agreed to nine days out of kindness,guilt or ignorance but you need to reconsider.

theendoftheendoftheend · 07/12/2019 00:20

It is a world apart from looking after a toddler ffs

In as much as the toddler will improve and the older person won't. Otherwise it's pretty similar. It's a person with wants, wishes that they can't properly communicate, behave inappropriately because they don't comprehend societal expectations, randomly lash out and can't explain why, and do random shit that makes you want to hide/scream. Apart from their size and the future expectations (improve vs die) it's fairly similar in terms of the sheer effort and personal sacrifice it takes.

Tactful10 · 07/12/2019 00:20

We didn't agree to the 9 days as it happens - it was 5 then DM changed it without telling anyone and just announced.

OP posts:
GooseberryJam · 07/12/2019 00:24

Otherwise it's pretty similar

It really isn't. Toddlers can be cute and charming at times. Toddlers are only toddlers for a couple of years. People make allowances in what they expect of toddlers. Toddlers can't physically harm you in the way a fully grown person can. I could go on, but basically it's all the worst bits of toddler care without any of the appeal, plus a whole lot else to deal with. So I disagree that it's 'pretty similar'.

saraclara · 07/12/2019 00:29

If DM can't get to you or home gain without you making it so, then she can't change it to nine days. Your transport, your house, your rules.

But I still think you can say no.

I'm not even seeing my Mum on either of the three main Christmas days. Her alcoholism and related behaviour (she doesn't have dementia but she's in a care facility due to being paralysed by a stroke) has finally done for me. I live a distance away, I have a new grand-daughter, and I'm just not prepared to go up there and have her either ignore me in favour of the TV, or be drunkenly sentimental. I'll be spending Christmas with my daughters and their partners, and another day hosting my SIL's family in addition. My mum will have to wait until the 27th for a visit. Anyone preaching at me hasn't had 63 years of her.

CharlieandLolaCat · 07/12/2019 00:32

As the DD of someone with Alzheimer's (a much easier dementia to manage) this is absolutely something you don't have to do. To be honest you'd have to have the patience of a saint to even consider it without the kids but with them it's a non starter for me. Really though you are going to have to cope with the guilt that will come with the overwhelming sense of relief that you will feel if you take the decision but you need to focus on the kids.

Murphs1 · 07/12/2019 00:36

I think it’s easy to make a judgement about op’s lack of compassion when you’re not having to deal with the situation!
9 days is far too long, I would suggest either having your parents stay for a couple of days or you visiting them in their own home. How do they care for themselves usually? I know it’s Christmas BUT that doesn’t mean they have to stay with you for an extended period if they’re self caring usually. It sounds like there are possibly longer term care issues, and a referral to social services to determine their long term care needs may be needed?


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

lisag1969 · 07/12/2019 00:38

I presume that parents looked after you when you needed them. I'd say it's now your turn. Talk to your children it's for one day tell them they are unwell. I think you are being very harsh.

Sagradafamiliar · 07/12/2019 00:41

I agree with Miljea.
Yanbu OP. I really feel for you.

taeglas · 07/12/2019 00:47

My dad had Frontotemporal lobe Dementia. It's a cruel and horrible condition. Dad became agressive at times became convinced people were plotting against him and behaved sextually inappropriately too. It's all part of this condition as the eventually ability to loose the ability to speak. His grandchildren then preteens and teens did still keep a bond going with him and were able to understand that it was this condition that caused him to be this way.

There were the odd moments when he was having a good moment and we briefly reached him through photos or music. This condition gradually changed my dad so much for the worse.
After it became impossible for mum to cope any more he moved to a nursing home. They refused to have him back after he smashed a window. The second nursing home also refused to have him back when he behaved sexually inappropriately. He finally ended up in a specialist unit in his local mental hospital (not UK).

We had dad home for a few hours on Christmas day, any more would have been impossible. We did not have to cope with the issue of alcohol as dad never drank although he did have along term addiction to prescription antidepressants.
I found this book
useful at helping me to understand this condition. It's based in America so the social care side is different. People saying that they manged their parent with Alzeimers or other forms of Dementia don't help. We heard this alot. Don't judge until you walk in someone else shoes.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.