Someone else wrote how writing up events does provide some relief so here goes...
Following on from my message "how to respond" I've just had probably the worst 72 hrs so far.... Dad became increasingly confused and agitated last Friday/Saturday resulting in my stepmother using the emergency help number. I was woken by the duty desk early saturday morning, and following a quick call to Dad (who was threatening to call the police as my stepmother was apparently a stranger about to steal his car) I managed to calm him a little before setting off with my wife arriving some 2 hours later.
En-route I'd had calls from various people, resulting in a social worker, out of hours doctor and mental specialist being deployed to assess Dad with a view to sectioning. He was much calmer by the time they arrived, and we agreed that we would stay over night to see how he was on Sunday. He had a good night and appeared much calmer, still confused but receptive to information and we left Sunday afternoon and came home.
Monday morning it all started again. Stepmum called the emergency number and by lunchtime the same team had arrived along with the local coordinating nurse.
Knowing what was likely to happen I left work at lunchtime and went home. During the afternnon, I received many calls at home from my Dad, initially angry with me thinking that I had instigated things, and then desparate pleas for me to speak with the doctors to prevent him being taken to hospital. In between, I managed to call my Stepmum on her mobile and I have never felt so guilty.
Finally the nurse spoke with me and told me not to answer my home phone, and I went out with my wife for an hour. Returning home I foolishly played back the final two messages on our home phone from Dad desparately trying to contact me to stop what what happening.
My step mum called me late last evening, a very emotional call for both of us and Dad is now in hospital for further assessment although it sounds like a nursing home. They plan to stop all his medication and re-start to try and stabalise things. Stepmum is hopeful that he will retrun home in a few weeks, she knows he will never be the same again, but she wants him back if they can keep him calm.
I feel absolutely ****** today (sorry) I know this had to be done, but I can't help the images going through my head and my Dad's words .........
So sorry Andy - I know how you feel - been there done that with my Dad. The calls, the trips, the emotions, all of it. It was all so out of our control, and yet we tried to control it to help Dad. I guess some of what we did helped him. It's hard to imagine, but I finally came to a place called "peace" where I knew that I had to accept whatever happened to Dad. It did calm me down and in strange ways the answers did come to us. Slowly but surely. It's such a difficult road to go down, I wish you well, and above all else, I wish you peace. God Bless, C
I understand exactly how you feel - I also felt guilty - but people on this Board convinced me that I had done nothing wrong. No one expects you to do the impossible! I hope a good NH can be found and he will settle down. It is highly unrealistic to expect him to get better and come home ...
First and foremost, you must learn (and fast) that it's the disease talking, NOT your Dad.
Your DAD would most likely be horrified if he could see how he is behaving. Your Dad would say "Son, make me safe, don't listen to the imposter that talks"
This is the hardest lesson to learn with our loved ones .. that it's not THEM. In the same breath, this imposter KNOWS things aren't going the way they want and will go to extreme lengths to get their own way too. The imposted is quite capable of anything. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security, do not become complacent, you have to stay one step ahead. The imposter is suspicious and cunning.
Getting Dad off all his medications and re-starting them is a great idea, especially under controlled circumstances, and I hope for your sake that this suspicion and fear is just a miss-match of medications, but if it isn't, you need a back up plan that is workable in an instant.
You are a dedicated son, and I applaud you for your support so far, however, I can tell this is a stressfull situation for you and it will not get any better. Your ultimate aim, now, is to make sure Dad is safe. Yes, it's that simple. If Dad is safe, stepmum is safe, you are safe. In safe, I mean healthy, content and doing OK.
Let us know how things get on. Do be prepared for Dad's behaviour to be nice whilst he's in the company of strangers .. the imposter can keep up 'normal'ish' behaviour for some time, but not forever.
And .. as the saying goes around here ... "No Guilt!"
Hang in there, you are doing what is best for your dad. As stated in a previous post dementia truly becomes the spokesperson for our loved ones and not their normal selves. Continue your love and support and right now that is about all you can do. Guilt is a terrible thing, and you have nothing to feel guilty for. You want what is best for him and for his safety and that is a positive. I know it is hard to go through, but we are never handed more than we are capable of bearing. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.
Update on Dad... Dad's section 2 expired last Sunday and he was released home on the agreement that he would keep up his medication and attend a day centre one day a week - this is to give mystep Mum a break. He's been home a few days now, and went to the day centre yesterday. Step Mum is happy he's home, but I'm not convinced that we won't have a repeat of the problms several weeks ago.
His health visitor has told me that maybe his memory has deteriorated even more, so that the problems we had before may not occur as he just won't remember things...
Many f you advised that we should be considering a home for Dad, I suspect this may happen, but for now I have two patients to consider - 1. my Dad and 2. my Step Mum who cannot acceptthe guilt if he is forced into a home...
You can learn not to accept guilt. It takes a lot of support from others who have been there - I got enough support from members of this Board that I was able to give my Mom's care to others when it was making me physically sick.
I had been mom's caregiver for 5 years and I couldn't take it any more. I was told again and again by people here on HB that allowing someone else to care for her is NOT something terrible, a breaking of vows, or anything evil. I was told that if she had appendicitis I would not try to treat her at home. Etcetera. Finally I saw the light.
Mom is now happy in a good NH. There is light at the end of your stepmom's tunnel, if she will reach out to others and benefit from their their experiences..