Former carer/ lost

hi sorry for the long post.
I was a carer for my mum and dad, they had both unwell in and out of hosp over the last couple of years, more mum than my dad, mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer so I took her backwards and forwards to radiotherapy, despite living 25 miles was going backwards and forwards 2 or 3 times maybe more even at night, mum felt I was her comfort blanket, we had a really close realtionship, anyway Sept came and mum was admitted to hosp she was there for 2 weeks before sadly passing away she was in so so much pain, I miss her so so much,
with my dad being unable to look after himself he decided to.come to live with me to be near me, his granddaughters and greatgrandchildren saying he felt close, I am.actually his step daughter but he has been in my life 45 years, i have always been closer to him than his actual own daughter and my brother. he lived with me for 4 months, but ended up in hosp with a bowel problem, he was actually staying at his sister’s when admitted,
he ended up having to stay in a month, I visited has often has i could, he was so tearful and crying when I was there and when I left,
all he wanted was to come home and leave hosp. it was over Christmas devastating for us all, his memory is not very good and he has early signs of dementia,
I picked him up from hosp with my brother brought him home and he seemed fine, they put him on mitizapine in hosp 15mg,
2 days later my step sister came over because it was his 90th birthday and he was asking her to take him home with her, he said he didn’t feel comfortable. I was devasted anyway my step sister said she would pick him up Thurs,
he seemed fine sat and sun bit irratated and off with me but I thought he was just adjusting from hosp.
we had to go over to the old home to sort out seeing the estate agent. we were meeting my brother and step sister.
he was fine in the morning chatting has normal when we drove over there.
we. both got out the car and he saw my brother and then started saying he wanted to go and live at his house, so we went into the house and i said dad do u not want to live with me and so long has your happy i am to.
he started shouting at me and was so very nasty and abusive. I said what have I done wrong. to which he shouted you know what you have done wrong. I don’t fit in with your plans, u don’t want me there.
my step sister and brother came in and put him in the car they were both so so shocked. I have been in shock and crying ever since. I have no clue what i have done.
unless because it was so traumatic in hosp he blames me for sending him there.
so now he is living with my brother who say he seems fine.
I am left has are my children devasted to care and look after him for over 4 months and then for him to be how he is but only with me is awful. never in my life has he shouted and been so nasty to me
any help or advice I would be so grateful for

I suspect it was the dementia talking, not the “real” him at all.

He could have delirium. It causes irrationality in people,and sometimes it’s just one person who is targeted. Or even a urinary tract infection. It’s horrible for you ( have been through this with my husband). Try, and I understand this is very difficult, not to take it personally. Dementia isn’t the real person.
((( Hugs)))

thank you for the replies, I had read about delirium I just don’t understand how he can be fine with my brother and step sister and not me, perhaps it’s because I.was the closest to him but now he’s living with my brother its hard.
the last 4 months have been so traumatic I just miss my mum so much to. my heart physically hurts sometimes, and now with my dad it’s all to much

Hi Jane
Please please please try not to take it personally. Dementia is a cruel disease and it is nearly always the nearest and dearest that take the brunt of the verbal abuse and ranting/moaning. It is in no way a reflection of your step dad’s true feelings towards you. As for wanting to be somewhere else and to “go home” , it is important to understand their concept of home can be vastly out of date.
I cared for dad in his/my home where he had lived for 60 years and he was s till demanding to “go home”- back to his boy hood home . Dementia totally obscures their concept of relationships. I flipped from being mother, wife, chief carer and the bossy one- anything but never ever daughter.
The true feelings of your step father were obviously expressed when he wanted to move to be near you and you must never loose sight of that.
It is is likely he will still be wanting to “go home” in his new environment and will give step sister a very difficult time.
Delerium is particularly cruel and I had my own father tell me he wished I was dead on one occasion when I was trying to do some personal care for him under much protest. Fortunately we had a very long term good relationship so I knew he was talking through illness but it is still hard to hear it. If he were aware of how he had hurt you when in sound mind I am sure he would be mortified. He probably has no recollection of any of it if he has since picked up a a bit. Try and explain to your children it was becaus eof illness and not because of how he felt about any of you so they have good memories of him.

Jane, I agree with the others - this sounds like ‘the dementia talking’…

Also, do bear in mind that just as you so despearately miss your mum, so will he…even with dementia he will probably still ‘feel’ her absence. I’m wondering whether, therefore to him, when he wants to ‘go home’ what he means is ‘home with his wife’…

Those with dementia often confuse ‘home’ with ‘time’…they want to go ‘home’, but what they mean is ‘back in time’…perhaps that is so for your stepdad? The forum has heard of mums and dads who think of ‘home’ not as now, but they are meaning their own childhood home from long, long, long ago.

I am sorry to hear of your mum, and of course you are still raw - Christmas will have been particularly hard, full of memories, but ramming home to you that she is ‘gone’. Please try to think of her that she has ‘escaped’ any worse suffering and is now ‘free’…

I don’t know whther this will resonate with you at all, but in the weeks after my own mother died, decades ago now, I one day simply sat down and wrote her a letter…in it I said all that I was feeling, how much I missed her, and how much I loved her, and some of the wonderful memories I had (and will always have). I’m not sure what I did with the letter - it is ‘somewhere’ in my house, probably I put it into a suitcase of her things that I kept. It would be lovely to think she ‘read’ it somehow, but even if that is not possible, I was glad to have written it. It was my ‘testimony’ to her in many ways, thanking her for being my mum, and all the endless love she gave me…

One final thought - I always say ‘our tears are our tribute’…only those WORTHY of love are wept for. Think of folk whose parents were so awful one could only be glad they are no more…how dreadful that must be. Your tears prove what a good mother yours was, and that she gave you the gift of loving…and that is something you will keep, and treasure, all your life.

You will never forget her - mine is as ‘vivid’ to me now as she ever was, and for that, too, I am grateful.

Kindest wishes to you at this difficult time, Jenny

hi Henrietta,
thank you for your kind words, I am just getting my head around how to write in a forum so bear with me
the part I don’t understand is, my brother now says he is fine he has been at my brothers for 4 days, and he is fine with my step sister, it’s just me seems angry with and i dont understand why? i am very much like my mum I look similar and i am or was close to my mum,
I haven’t been to see him again since his out burst I feel so hurt and worry it will happen again, I worry people will think i have actually hurt him in some way, I have textd my brother asking how he is and he says he is fine now,
perhaps being hosp a month has made him think i sent him away I dont know,
can anger be directed at one person ?and why me, I think I thought dementia would mean he is angry with other people to,
I sound awful going on about my own feelings because my step dad has lost so much my mum, his home and independence although he is mobile it’s his brain that has let him down, sorry for all the questions I just didn’t know where to turn
thank you xx

Jane, feelings are incredibly important, no need to apologise.
Personally, I know that I am incredibly sensitive when I’m tired, invincible (well, almost) when I’m not tired, so I try to be kind to myself and take a “day off” from the world when I’m shattered. Not helped by numerous operations in the last few years.

So now is the time to look after yourself, if possible go away for a few days to chill out and do as little as possible. Let your brother care for now, I’m sure it won’t be long before you will be required again. Dementia is an ever changing illness, grab time for you while you can.

My wonderful MIL developed dementia, when my husband and I went to see her in a secure home, she recognised my husband but thought I was her daughter - we have similar short curly hair styles but I’m about 6" taller and very different! You may have hit the nail on the head when you say that you are similar to mum and he might have mistaken you.
(One of our local butchers used to deliver to my mum many years ago, where we lived until I was 16. 30 years or more later, he opened a shop near me, and I went in one day. He said he didn’t need me to tell him who I was, I looked so much like mum (although I didn’t have her beautiful auburn hair)

hi bowlingbun
thank you for your reply, it’s a cruel disease, a month in hosp is a long time, he cried wanting to come out, I do think in his head he thinks I will send him away again, or because my mum passed away in hosp he maybe thinks it was my fault in some way (my brothers idea not mine ),
my stepdad changed so dramaticly and within 2 mins is that normal of dementia?
my brother and sister in law have given up work to care for him, I don’t know really if he has mentioned his grandchildren or greatgrandchildren,
but only time will tell, I thought he was so happy with me but then after hosp I am still in shock how easily my step dad switched, reading up I think it is his condition now, I am nervous about gping to see him but i am sure it will be fine, I seem to ramble on at the min but gettung support from this forum has helped me a lot xx

Hi Jane
I am wondering if your step father had a mini stroke (tia) which is what Vascular Dementia is - a series of bleeds to the brain causing different symptoms depending on which part is damaged. As with bigger strokes people can recover or partially recover but often with vascular dementia symptoms reach a new lower plateau. It may be just delerium if he has recovered well, either way he is unlikely to have the same venomous torrent next time you visit him.

Hi I too am new to the Carers Forum, it was good to hear Henrietta’s words I’m in a similar stage with my mum and people have said the same thing. Not to take things personally as it’s the disease talking… Thank you

My lovely husband is in a nursing home because of strokes and vascular dementia. Before he was diagnosed with dementia, he had a large stroke. He had delerium, and he was absolutely dreadful with me. The accusations were unbearable. I nearly had a breakdown. Now I know it was the delirium/ dementia, not him. He was my rock and would never have treated me so cruelly. I will never forget if, and have to fight against flashback’s. It took a long time to accept it wasn’t him. Now I treasure when it’s a lovely visit to him and if it’s been an upsetting visit, I have to block it as much as possible. I hope it helps you to know that each of the visitors at the home who see their loved ones have these ups and downs and understand the pain.

hi Henrietta.
he seemed fine when I took him home, which was a week ago now, so he seemed fine wed, Thurs, Fri he was a little irratated and upset, then we chatted and he was ok.sat morn8ng until my step sister got there then wanted to go home with her, he actually ended up staying the night at my daughter’s which is just round the corner from me, came bk Sunday morning (his 90rh birthday )and thanked me for a lovely day on the Sunday evening we were chatting about my mum although I had to explain who she was in the pic and how i was related to mum ect, mon morning he was smiling laughing, then within 2 hours when he saw my step sister and brother he just switched shouting at me (you know what u have done, all i have done for u, I may be loos8ng my marbles but i am not totally stupid )my brother calmed him down put him in my step sister car and then came bk in the house and all 3 of us chatted while my step dad sat in the car,
my 2 daughters brought all his things and put them in the car and i said bye dad see u soon for a cup of tea and off they drove.
I was left stunned upset with both my daughter’s. I couldn’t stop crying i am so glad i have a supportive family, I think dad will only get worse.
the next step would be a nursing home
he has had no more episodes at my brothers or any at my step sister
I will pop and see him next week and hope he is ok with me. I will try not to take it personal after all your kind supportive words xxx