Hello. I live 500+ miles away from Dad and everything I do for him is from a great distance. He’s in Scotland, I’m in Kent. I am a divorcee with 3 children, 2 dogs and a business from home. I find the things I have to do for dad (on top of everything else I do as a single working parent), to be quite over whelming. I have a brother who is only around 6 or 7 miles away from dad but he’s more or less estranged himself from dad. As a result of this, I am left having to do every tiny thing and I’m starting to resent my brother who’s practically on dads doorstep and doesn’t do the simplest of tasks or even so much as pop in once in a while to check in dad. He even refused to pick him up from a blood transfusion to take him home from hospital. I suspect dad has dementia and quite possibly another mental health condition with dad also hearing nasty threatening voices. Dad has made it very clear to me that the voices aren’t his mind playing tricks but rather there are hidden cameras in his house with people (the voices) watching him and making comments on his day to day jobs and abilities. Dad hasn’t been diagnosed with anything but I’d say it’s gone on for around 5 years. He got into trouble with his neighbours and this involved the police and he had rather bizarre descriptions of what he believes his neighbours are up to and part of the ‘surveillance’ on his house. He’s fallen a couple of times. Forget family names (his niece for example) and is hugely demanding of my time despite the distance. He repeats himself. He had a scan a few years back which came back clear and he likes to remind me of that. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to go in a home but he has no real qualify of life as he is. So currently I’m overwhelmed, over stretched, frustrated often getting nowhere. My caring role continues to be virtual as it’s from a distance and I definitely can’t afford to stop working to care for dad and when that time comes, he will most likely end up in a home. Anyway, I’ve said way more than I intended in my introduction but I look forward to reading about others experiences.
Welcome to the forum.
Please change your username to protect your and your Dad’s identity and so you don’t start receiving unwanted spam emails.
You do NOT “have to do everything for dad”. Forget about your brother, you will be forever disappointed.
How to manage this from now on depends on a number of factors.
How old is dad?
Dad needs to have local carers going to help him with whatever he cannot do for himself, not keep ringing you.
I know this sounds tough, but keep your answerphone on permanently from now on.
Do not answer dad’s calls during working hours. I had to do this after my dad died, mum kept ringing me for a chat that went on and on, when I was trying to write a magazine all about lorries on which the family income depended. Once my chain of thought was broken it was difficult to get going again.
Does dad have a pendant alarm linked to a call centre in case of genuine emergency?
Is dad claiming Attendance Allowance?
Has he ever had a Needs Assessment from Social Services?
If he needs a blood transfusion, the doctor can arrange transport there and back.
If he needs more help, then either he gets it from Social Services or moves into residential care.
Your children and need for an income must come first.
Does he own or rent his home?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings (Yes/No) - this is the approximate limit of Social Services subsidised free care.
Is his doctor aware of the delusions?
Thank you for your replies. I have changed my user name.
Yes I do have continuing power of attorney for health and finances. Dad had this drawn up of his own initiative. I have used it to get a debit card for his bank account and financial info in his car.
He is 78 and with the Mental Health for the Elderly team although I’m not sure they’ve seen him more than twice and this was the result of him getting into trouble with a neighbour and ending up in court. He is delusional and one of his delusions are that ladies much younger than him are attracted to him and he believes he has or could have a relationship with them. The latest, a nurse that cared for him in hospital who had similar interests to dad, he now has conversations with (as one of the voices he hears, not in person). He has had social services (part of justice services) visit him maybe twice several years ago and I know they are aware of his mental health (not sure whether he’s ever told them about the voices) but I don’t think they are ever in touch. He’s under a community psychiatrist as part of the mental health for the elderly but I think only twice they’ve met in person and according to dad either they or some other psychiatrist told him he was sharp and so dad uses this to prove there’s nothing wrong with him and that the voices and beliefs he has (that gangs involved in sex trafficking are after his house to use fir their ill gotten gains etc). They will do whatever they have to do to take his house from him and he is constantly asking me to contact the bank or find the deeds to his house to be sure he does have legal ownership. It’s wearing. Any info I do forward on to him to put his mind at rest is just forgotten. He forgets I gave him it. Or he loses it and expects me to send it again. He believes his phone is hacked so constantly replacing it with a new one. Not cheap phones either. He’s suspicious of so many people and especially technology. He’s asked me to look up the details of the Chief Police Commisioner of Scotland because he watched a programme about digital crime and organised gangs and thinks the head of police can help him. He has as far as I know, never had a needs assessment and I’m in the process of filling in the online form with the intention of arranging social services to meet us when I visit towards the end of this month. He doesn’t have £23,000 in savings. He does own his own house but recently took out £30,000 against his house to pay his huge legal fees fir the court case so he does have a mortgage on part of it. His solicitor at the time was the one who arranged a psychiatric assessment to see if dad was fit to stand trial and because he was found to be fit to stand trial dad again used this as proof his mind is sharp. He texts me incredibly long messages. Anything up to 23 pages of text messages one after the other, even if I don’t reply because I’m working or driving long distance somewhere. The texts despite their intricate detail actually say very little. He’s already typed out in text hugs areas of the user manual fir his new washing machine and sent it to me with every bit of information possible. The stuff we don’t tend to read in manuals, he has typed it all out and sent to me for no reason I can see. It takes a very long time fir me to read these cats let alone respond to them. Sometimes I ignore them because I can’t think how to reply. Sometimes I’m short with him. He keeps me on the phone talking for 2hrs minimum. I’ve actually spent 5 hrs on the phone going through step by step instruction on how to set up his phone, or iCloud etc. I do his food shopping online which all started during COVID and he has bowel incontinence now so I keep doing it fir him and that’s never straight forward. He sends me photos of blood and poo in the toilet bowl when he’s been and the inside crotch of his trousers covered in blood. His voice when we speak is distressing to hear sometimes as he cries like a child down the phone. I’m not being horrible when I say that, he does sound like a child and has a screechy voice when crying. He can also be very woe is me and change from desperate crying to a calm and rationed speeched which he points out to me as proof that he’s not off his head and that he can be perfectly calm when he hears the nasty threatening voices.
It must be very stressful sorting everything out for your dad on top of all your other commitments. Unfortunately, I don’t think you will be able to change your brother or get him to do more. It is good that your Dad is having his Needs Assessment when you are there as many old people make out they can cope and can do all sorts of things for themselves that they actually can’t do. Make sure social care realise just how much support he needs.
Has he seen the GP about the blood in his pooh?
He has had colonoscopies and nothing shows up as needing attention. He’s been told it’s most likely his diverticulitis and poor diet. He seems to eat an awful lot of biscuits and not so many meals. He’s lost about 3 stone in weight and looks rather skeletal which he never did before. He did have prostate cancer years ago and was told the bleeding could also be in part caused by his aggressive 8 weeks of radiotherapy. I wrote a lengthy letter to his doctor about my suspicions that he may have dementia and I mentioned the voices and the fear they were causing. The doctor never responded so I then called and discussed things. He said he would speak with dad but if he didn’t agree to having tests etc then there’s not much can be done. I managed to get fad to go to the doctor but the doctor never got back to me again. So I called again as I didn’t know whether I should be going through his doctor or social services. The doctors receptionist said the doctor asked her to call me and say I’d be best to contact social services. I know dad had a brain scan done once a few years back but I’m assuming it didn’t show anything. I’m going to call the social services tomorrow. Just wish I lived closer so I could attend appointments and get dad there. I do have a taxi man who takes him to appointments for me as I don’t feel dad should be driving and I think he feels that way himself.
I don’t know where to start. All I can say is that I can well understand the stress you must be under.
I can’t give much practical advice.
Try and make more time for yourself.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch
Hi, Welcome to join the community.
Virtualcarer, you mentioned dad’s car in your earlier post. Do you think dad is safe to drive? Having been disabled in a car accident myself, I am very concerned about fitness to drive issues.