Anyone have a relative living with dementia?

calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#1
Dementia touches a lot of people's lives, so is there anyone who wishes to talk about it on here? Just a thought.:)
 
Wiseowl

Wiseowl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
8,423
#2
Hi Cal

My Gran has Alzheimer's and she has been in an over 65s psychiatric hospital but in the next few weeks she's moving to a nursing home (one we chose after much searching). It is quite distressing because it is like you're losing that person and suffering grief even though they are alive, because they are not the strong personality they once were.

Great thread by the way. :)
 
coldwater00

coldwater00

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
3,380
Location
Yorkshire
#3
Yes, my Grandfather had diabetes/stroke related dementia and Korsakoff's syndrome.

Was extremely hard for everyone in the family. He went from being a high flying, self absorbed (albeit alcoholic) businessman, to a completely dependant, blind, incontinent, double amputee. He remained that way for 8 years when he died aged 70, unable to swallow properly, extremely distressed and severely psychotic.

I'm sorry to put it that way but that was the truth of it.
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#4
No that is what happened Coldlwater, so there is no other way to say it. I am so sorry, dementia can be SO hard to watch in a relative. I hope he got good care in the end of his life. My husband was alcoholic, died at age 56, last year, and he showed early stages of Korsakov's too. It can be hard that one.

I don't know about your grandfather, but my husband went through a phase of being quite aggressive, verbally, for about a few months. Then he sank into constant foggy drunkeness. Incontinence was an issue too, but he wouldn't let me do anything, he denied everything. I think till the moment he died he thought he would be OK. At least they aren't suffering anymore, that is all we can say really with this dementia.
 
Last edited:
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#5
Wiseowl, have you read my intro in the front page? I only mention it as you can look out for the Home doing good care for your gran. It is sad to be the relative of someone living with dementia, but in knowing a little of what you can do and better understand, can be helpful, I hope.
 
coldwater00

coldwater00

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
3,380
Location
Yorkshire
#6
No that is what happened Coldlwater, so there is no other way to say it. I am so sorry, dementia can be SO hard to watch in a relative. I hope he got good care in the end of his life. My husband was alcoholic, died at age 56, last year, and he showed early stages of Korsakov's too. It can be hard that one.

I don't know about your grandfather, but my husband went through a phase of being quite aggressive, verbally, for about a few months. Then he sank into constant foggy drunkeness. Incontinence was an issue too, but he wouldn't let me do anything, he denied everything. I think till the moment he died he thought he would be OK. At least they aren't suffering anymore, that is all we can say really with this dementia.

I'm sorry to hear that. It's a terrible illness.

Yes my Grandpa was in denial .. Well. All his life really. Never wanted to face up to anything that would attract negative attention. He always saw himself as a highly social drinker, but the truth of the matter was he couldn't function without alcohol, and he drank to excess every day for most of his adult life. Because of the drinking, he developed diabetes at 46. The drinking escalated (4 bottles of red wine a night, plus G&T, and whiskey) and that's not taking into account his drinking at business lunches etc during the day. He was a "high functioning" alcoholic, until the diabetes came and did its job. Even after he lost both his legs due to septic ulcers caused by the diabetes, he continued to drink. Many times he was told he had lost his legs due to diabetes, (and he had been warned previously this would happen) but right till the end he refused to believe it could have been self induced. Instead, when asked, he would say he had been donating a kidney to a family member in need, and had slipped on a banana skin in the hospital yard and broken both his legs (!)... Joke aside, it was always something that made him out to be a martyr. But the confabulation was part of the Korsakoff's.

As for the dementia, he was always a very paranoid and anxious person, and aggressive/violent too, so that got a lot worse. He stopped sleeping at night in the last 5 years of his life, slept during the day in his chair, then would wake up at 5 o clock on the dot every evening and start talking/shouting/screaming/lashing out about being drowned/the Taliban/snipers. Obviously being completely blind, he was even more disorientated. The neighbours called the police on more than one occasion because they could hear him shouting from his bedroom and thought there was some criminal incident going on.
 
Last edited:
C

chrissy

New member
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
3
#7
i cared for my mum for 3 years after my dad died...mum is 11 years into dementia and i put her into a home 2 years ago...ive been to see her today as i do every week...its so upsetting...i miss her so much...she has advanced vascular dementia..ive had to deal with so much and still am re her house..finances etc.
 
T

Taff

Guest
#8
I cared for my grandmother for a number of years till she passed, but I always promised her that she wouldn't be sent away, as she was terrified of hospital and....my mother (her daughter).
I took on her care, after I found that my mother had taken my nans dog to be put down as she (my mother) didn't like cleaning up after it.... not that my mother saw her much.:curseyou:

My Nan cared for me as a child and was the buffer between me and my mother (along with my granddad).
She was a lovely woman, who towards the end, constantly asked what day it was, tipped her plate of food down the back of the kitchen radiator, and insisted that my father had stolen my grandfathers work tools.
Never aggressive, often bewildered, but always grateful if you sat and held her hand. I miss her also . x
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#9
Coldwater, that denial I think is something that is in a long term alcoholic all their life. Believing that they are not alcoholic comes with their world view of being sociable. I know that my husband never knew how to be an adult without it. He was terrified if he was sober for long, in case he wasn't a person he could recognise. It was more of a socially acceptable thing though in the past. Its relatively recently that alcohol has been seen as quite the medical problem it is now. It was seen as a social problem in the past. But going for a drink, and having a lot, was normal.

Whilst pickled, my husband was the life and soul of the party. But with the beginnings of dementia, I knew it was a lost cause and that nothing would change him. He just couldn't remember having had a drink so would keep going relentlessly. Hiding money etc, didn't work also. Luckily I was fully trained in dementia, so had a way to handle him, but aggression is normal in Korsakov's and I am lucky his was short lived.

In the case of your grandad and my husband, it sounds as though there was a bit of self medicating going on in order to handle life.
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#10
Chrissy, are you getting any help with all that? Age UK or Alzheimer's society may well have ways to help you out. Finding the top up fees for nursing homes is a nightmare! Its criminal that all the care isn't on the NHS, since they have paid in all thier lives.

Don't ever feel guilty about having your mother looked after in a home. I don't believe that many people can manage a person living with dementia at home, all the way through. They need complex care and no one person can manage it, in my opinion. In fact, this leaves you with enough energy to actually be able to visit with more care. Did you read the piece I wrote?

But yes, to lose the parent you once knew, is very hard. You have now a parent who has changed. Adapting to that is SO difficult, I know. But you cared for her for 3 years, that is a sign of how loving you are. That loving you bring to her when you visit, does have an effect. She may not remember you two seconds after you leave, but she will be reacting to the nurses more and be much happier. I know we want to have them remember us, but remember, emotions don't get dementia. xxx:hug1:
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#11
Hiya Taff, I am pleased that she didn't go to the later stages of dementia so you could care for her. Its looking for what she was seeing in her eyes when she tipped things down the radiator, no doubt it made sense, we just don't know what she was thinking.

She sounds a lovely woman. xxx
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
13,626
#12
M's mum has dementia brought on by a stroke, we are trying to help care for her at home, it's difficult to say the least. M's dad is stubborn and won;t accept any help from services. She can;t walk any more either and the pressure on M's dad is enormous and he's in his eighties. I don;t know what will happen, but they both seem to get worse as time goes on. M's mum was a darling, now she remembers old things and can even get really nasty. It's so hard to cope with. I knw there are organisations out there, but what does one do when the primary carer is refusing all help? Frustrating and upsetting.

KS
 
R

Respect-to-all

Guest
#13
My nan, not the one that died last year, but my mother's mum had it for several years before she passed. She generally spent the day looking at her diary at birthdays and when she couldn't get her head around things and was very confused and couldn't verbalise it either, you see the sense of upset, frustation and sadness in her eyes.

Towards the end, any type of conversation was impossible for her. My uncle and aunt somehow managed to care for her in her last few years, which must have been so hard for both of them and as I understand it, quite naturally it put an incredible strain on their marriage. But they just did it because they had to and they loved her.

I do hope you are getting some kind of bereavement support Calypso. I can only imagine how tough this year must have been for you without your husband and for things to go as they did towards the end.

I guess the best way if able is to treasure all those golden moments you had with him and although I know the tough times sometimes loom large, hopefully you will in time be able to look at the good times and the cherished moments more regularly than the other.

Thoughts definitely with you over this Calypso.

RTA:hug1:
 
calypso

calypso

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
40,485
Location
Lancashire
#14
Hey thanks for the warm comment. i am going to see CRUSE soon, as I am not moving forward at all with the grief.

I am hearing stories of immense love and strength on here. Its so humbling in so many ways.

As for getting a relaitve to admit they need help, that can be done. Usually, a very good psychogeriatrician or social worker can talk the person round. They don't do it all in one go, they call round and talk suggesting little things. Usually, its fear that stops a person asking for help. There is a right everyone has to have a "package of care" put in place which the NHS has to fund. Not many know about this, and the system will go for the cheapest option if it can.

You can ask for others to try to talk them round. Its worth a try, and things could get desperate quickly and then he won't have any choice. Just a thought.:)