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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
REignbow · 07/12/2019 00:55

I have no knowledge of relatives with dementia.

IMO, you need to safeguard your children. If you yourself get frightened of his behaviour, l can only imagine how frightened your DC are.

Also, nine days is far too long, l would visit them or have them stay for one night. As more knowledgable posters have said, your DP’s being outside of their own environment will be stressful for them.

For those saying you don’t have compassion and that you are horrible Hmm. until you’ve walked in another mans shoes and all that…

NorthernLightss · 07/12/2019 00:55

Have you joined Talking Point - the forum in the Alzheimers website? You'll get more relevant responses there, from people who know something about the reality of your situation.
It sounds like your parents are unsafe at home, I'd concentrate on that during the assessment. Ask the social worker questions like "do you feel they are safe doing their day to day tasks?" "What level of risk (of falls or whatever's relevant) do you think they have?" "Do you consider mum /dad capable of assessing (...) / capable of contacting the right people for help (e.g. deciding if they need to see the GP or call an ambulance)."
Something needs to change, and soon. (In my experience SW will hope that family keep plugging the gaps even when the situation is untenable.)

FoamingAtTheUterus · 07/12/2019 01:00

God no, that's an awful thing to do. 😳

GooseberryJam · 07/12/2019 01:01

it's for one day

Many posts including the OP have mentioned that this is for NINE days. FFS.

justilou1 · 07/12/2019 01:04

Glad you’re at least feeling heard by some of the posters, OP. I hope you can get an assessment very soon for your dad. I don’t know the situation your mum is in, but perhaps she wants to stay so long at your place because she wants you to make the decision to get your dad committed for her. She might be feeling unsafe around him now, but feels too guilty or too overwhelmed (or not have the capacity herself) to ask for the help she needs. Unfortunately it may be up to you to have to push this point with SS. (Meanwhile, making your place available for DM may not be to your advantage when it comes to getting the help she needs either. Bare that in mind before you have that chat.)

TheBouquets · 07/12/2019 01:04

The amount of time SS take to do urgent assessments is the main problem. The availability to care for the elderly is pitiful in general. I expect expert care for a person with FLD and Alcoholism will be even worse.
Someone must be providing alcohol to the DF if he cant walk and wont use a wheelchair. Dilute the alcohol he might not notice.
I didn't experience any form of dementia with my parents or grandparents, their problems were different more physical but just as valid and in their own way difficult. I did experience the problems of getting SS to do anything useful. Some of the things they did were extreme such as making a huge metal ramp for a wheelchair after months of fighting for it then the user for the ramp came home from hospital and died that night! If they had done the work promptly the person would have got some use of it (and the money it cost). I think some heavy pressure on SS is necessary. It may not help but it will make OP feel she has tried her best.

SoEverybodyDance · 07/12/2019 01:10

Jesus, you do sound delightful and sympathetic...

Both my parents had dementia and once we'd got their care sorted out (it was a challenge, so I understand that part of your post ) we spent every Christmas we could with them. We went to them. My boy was three when it all happened. It never upset or worried him, or us, and they did plenty of falling asleep over Christmas dinner and long rambling speeches. We'd all do a crossword (to help their mental agility) watch a bit of TV and then go and get pissed in the hotel we were staying at once they'd gone to bed. They were funny Christmases, no doubt about it, but we look back fondly on them now they are no longer with us.

Honestly, you need to change your attitude. It's quite likely either you or your husband will also have dementia. Do you want your children to treat you in the same way as you are treating your parents?

Aveisenim · 07/12/2019 01:36

With due respect, DF needs to go into a care home with nursing care if his health is so bad. If somewhere can be found with DM even better.

Lelly0503 · 07/12/2019 01:43

@soeverybodydance it doesn’t sound like OPs father is only making rambling speeches and falling asleep. Plus your experience describes one day in a hotel, this is the OPs home for nine days dealing with what sounds like a much more volatile, aggressive person.

maddening · 07/12/2019 01:48


You do get that all other dementia sufferers are not your ddad surely?

I am pleased that your experience of dealing with a relative with dementia was Not so unpleasant but at least have empathy where other's experiences are far more challenging.

maddening · 07/12/2019 01:56


Ridiculous, a toddler is pick up small size rather than a fifteen stone man.

A toddler is not drinking, getting violent and abusive with an actual ability to damage or injur and is not leching after children 60 years their junior.

A alcoholic man with frontal lobe dementia is fuck all like a toddler and your statement that the op should treat it as so because the same adult man decided several decades ago to have the op as baby and looked after as a toddler which you suggest is the same as looking after the elderly alcoholic severely demented and abusive man is ridiculous.

NewName54321 · 07/12/2019 02:01

I don’t know the situation your mum is in, but perhaps she wants to stay so long at your place because she wants you to make the decision to get your dad committed for her.


You need to gently probe a bit more into why DM wants to come to you for so long. She may feel that you can persuade DF to accept more care where she can't. Is she safe living with him?

If either has a medical issue whilst with you, you may find they are with you for longer than 9 days.

SoEverybodyDance · 07/12/2019 02:21

Lelly and Maddening I'm not saying it wasn't challenging. It was very challenging and there was aggression, inappropriate behaviour and lots of frustration, continuous phone calls etc. Later on my father stopped recognising us, or talking and that was very difficult for everyone to deal with too. But just because it was difficult, didn't mean we should just cancel Christmas (which by the way was usually about 5 days with them).

I do have empathy with the OP. I just don't feel she talks about her parents in a very caring way. She uses words like 'derangement', 'no filter', 'attention getting' and considers everyone's feelings but her parents. I find that shocking and sad.

maddening · 07/12/2019 02:35

Tbh I think her language is that of a person in the thick of dealing with 2 parents with dementia at the same time who refuse help and one of whom is more challenging than others, it is easier to talk in more gentle and sentimental tones once they have passed.

If you know how difficult it is then picking apart the ops language /writing style and suggesting that the ops attitude is wrong is not helpful.

Additionally, your first post is all soft

they did plenty of falling asleep over Christmas dinner and long rambling speeches. We'd all do a crossword (to help their mental agility) watch a bit of TV and then go and get pissed in the hotel we were staying at once they'd gone to bed. They were funny Christmases, no doubt about it, but we look back fondly on them now they are no longer with us.

And did not reflect your later post

there was aggression, inappropriate behaviour and lots of frustration, continuous phone calls etc. Later on my father stopped recognising us, or talking and that was very difficult for everyone to deal with too

So is was not really representing the reality you later state.

I am sure that when you were dealing with the challenging behaviour you were a little less flowery and sentimental.

The op does want to spend time but is realising that her father's behaviour (being that he is alcoholic also and refusing support) might be beyond her coping ability, there is nothing wrong with this and there are other ways she can spend time with her parents that is less stressful for everyone Imo.

Neome · 07/12/2019 02:37

Is it possible to arrange a respite stay for DF and possibly DM as well in a care home near you so you can spend time together but they have better 'facilities' (and care).

Loads of sympathy remembering the demanding but much more manageable last several years of caring for someone with vascular dementia.

justilou1 · 07/12/2019 02:38

@SoEverybodyDance - Frontal Lobe Dementia is ACTUALLY the removal of THE filter. She has actually been VERY discreet in describing his behaviours. A lot of patients with this type of dementia are diagnosed after they are arrested for acts of violence or even sex crimes, ffs! The use of the word “dementia” in the diagnosis makes it seem like it fits in the same category as the naturally-occurring illness that happens to old people, but it is not at all. It is an acquired brain injury from either an accident, or drug or alcohol abuse. The symptoms are not at all the same as Alzheimer’s Disease or Vascular Dementia, apart from the fact that it is degenerative and patients become forgetful.

Creepster · 07/12/2019 02:45

Doctors who dismiss patients as attention seeking never cease to amaze me.
Of course they are seeking attention, they are in distress and want help. No one of us ever goes to the doctor for any other reason but attention seeking.
Pediatrician said that about a two year old who was sticking her finger down her throat till she vomited. Attention seeking.
She had ear infections due to abnormal adenoidal growth and was in considerable pain until she was attended to.
Some doctors shouldn't be.

AcrossthePond55 · 07/12/2019 03:40

If you feel that your father is an actual danger to others (including making vulgar/improper comments to DD's friends) then it would probably be best to cancel.

If you feel his behaviour towards others can be 'managed', then I'd cut the visit length down to maybe 3-4 days (including the days of travel).

I understand about alcoholics not going cold turkey without risk, but that doesn't mean he should be allowed to get falling down drunk. Keep the alcohol locked away and only allow him to drink sparingly. If he (or your mum for him) can't get to it then at least the amount he drinks can be managed.

kateandme · 07/12/2019 04:10

remember op,though im sure you do try and its easier said than done.but all the behaviours you mention are the very ones of someone with FLD.every single one. and im so sorry you have had to suffer this alongside him for so must hurt so much.
if you look up what the frontal lobe controls.its horrendous then what this bloody disease does!
im not sure what you will be able to manage.only you as a family can really decide there a mid-way.
a shorter time?
and push on the ss.they are massively psuhed a the moment i all bloody healthcare systems.but there might be something.
or look up charities.for certain illness in certain areas of the country there is really brilliant help in the form of look up his local area ones.
do you have power of atterney or has it become too late?
what about your mum.might be an idea to get that done before she gets worse if you havent already?
id say keep talking as a family.together is what you need right now.and see what you can all come up with to be managable if anything.

TinklyLittleLaugh · 07/12/2019 04:16

I was a teen when my Grandma had dementia. Protect your kids OP. Sadly your parents will know no difference anyway.

Yoollyball · 07/12/2019 05:09

Are you in the UK - if so what country as the social care advice to give is different depending on your country.

wasthatamistake · 07/12/2019 05:24

Op if you had just said your dad was an alcoholic no one would be saying 'have some compassion'.
I worked as a carer in nursing homes for years. I wouldn't have him stay around kids. I just wouldn't. It won't teach them compassion, it will just frighten them.

And to the person who says she looks after her parents for hours every night even though it's to the detriment of her daughter, she won't thank you for it.


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thatmustbenigelwiththebrie · 07/12/2019 05:34

I think a lot of the voices of dissent on this thread have no personal experience of this. My relative also has dementia and is an alcoholic. He is unpredictable, incontinent and very ill. He also refuses care yet he is deemed to have capacity (somehow) by the doctors so no, you can't just "intervene" and force him into care.

Christmas is hard, as is any other visit but Christmas especially because there is a lot going on.

I don't know the answer. We have him over but sometimes I question if it's this right thing to do because it ruins the day and He doesn't enjoy it or care.

shoebedobedobedobedoo · 07/12/2019 05:49

Personal and professional experience of dementia here. OP, why on earth would you do this, even for 1 day, nevermind 9? You obviously understand a lot about dementia, but have you seriously considered the reality of this situation? Is guilt and the knowledge that this might be their last Christmas the main driver of this plan? (And I Mean that as compassionately as’s clear that you want to share the festivities with them,but are now struggling with the reality). This will be a disaster for everyone. I’d struggle not seeing my DM over Christmas, but in this situation I would go to them for (a quick) lunch and come back again. Don’t take them out of their own fragile environment, and don’t ruin everyone else’s Christmas (including your own). And try not to feel guilty.

Dhalandchips · 07/12/2019 06:01

My ex MIL had it. With the alcoholism. Just don't put t you or your family through it. Tell DM that you're all ill or something. Christ, Xmas 2008...

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