My Father has Dementia, what do I do?
The following article is taken from the Alzheimer's Society's 'Your Story' sub-page.
My Dad has had vascular dementia for about 10 years since he had his first stroke. Since then he has had TIA's in spite of being medicated to try to prevent further strokes. More recently he seems to have more general dementia and the long term memories have started to vanish rather than just the short-term retention.
Unfortunately, he also has inoperable cataracts and is rather deaf, so TV and radio are just a source of irritation to him and he can no longer read the papers or do the crosswords, which he used to do every day.
At 84 years old I feel he should be able to do or not do whatever he wants. I gave up work three years ago to care for both him and my mother, who was physically disabled but mentally sharp as a tack. She died a year ago and since then I have spent virtually all my time looking after my Dad. I have two daughters who work long hours and have busy lives but help when they can so that I can go out occasionally, but we can't go out all together because we have no-one else to mind my Dad. We put him in to a care home for a few days so that I could have a much needed holiday, but my daughters found it so distressing when visiting him, because the other residents were much worse than him and very aggressive in some instances. They have said he must not go there again, but they are not in a position to look after him and I can't face the thought of not being able to go away even for a few days.
Friends say just get some carers in to share the load, but we had carers for my Mum and they did so little it was laughable, yet the agency was charging £12.50 per hour while I was doing everything and getting carer's allowance of £55 per 60 hour week! We spent over £9,000 pounds on those carers over a period of two years. They made cups of coffee and served food that I had shopped for and prepared, they passed soap and towels to her to have a wash and had a chat. Then a few minutes of the visit was spent writing a report. Not good value for money.
So now I have a dilemma - I just don't know if I can carry on without becoming ill myself. I am 60 next birthday and never imagined that my footloose fifties would be spent this way. But I want the best for my Dad and can't give up on him.
Quite the harrowing story. For further information on how you or your loved ones can protect themselves (financially) from the effects of Dementia, Alzheimer's etc. contact The Will Associates today by calling us on 0800 9500 700 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation at a time convenient to you and your loved ones, in the comfort of your own home.