Only my first ever visit to a Forum, and there was me thinking it was just for adolescents sat in their PJ’s in the basement of their red neck grandparents house…
I am a retired Key Worker (55 and living in Leafy Surrey), I am currently a joint carer for my mother-in-law, who moved in with myself and my lovely wife 6 years ago (that was a very long 6 days).
She is a sprightly 80 years and is a joy to be with.
Not so much of a joy is my Father (a grumpy 85-year-old ex-serviceman).
Up to 18months ago I shared his care with my other two brothers (Bromley, Plymouth). This arrangement was going wonderfully when we all had Mr Grumpy for a month in rotation. Unfortunately, the two older brothers (I’m the youngest at 55) never saw eye to eye and a massive row exploded. In a nutshell, the middle brother (Plymouth) was complaining that Mr G was coming down to them, from Bromley, neglected, and it was taking his family a week just to get Mr G to begin talking and behaving responsibly, after Plymouths month, I would travel down and bring him back to Surrey, by that time he was always in excellent Grumpy Old man form. And a pleasure to have him with us (a very strong-willed and demanding pleasure, but a pleasure none the less – after all it was one month in three)
The disagreement gathered momentum, and the older brother (Bromley) broke all contact with us two (Surrey & Plymouth) and refused to allow us access to Mr G. (it really is even odder than it sounds). I have only been “allowed” to see my dad 3 times in the last 18 months, although I do talk to him on the phone every day. And out of those 3 times, we have only had him to stay for 3 days – the change in him was profound, surly, uncommunicative, unhygienic, malnutritioned, physically unable to walk (he always needed a stick since he had a nasty injury in the navy) but now he needed a zimmer frame, mostly as his toes had completely curled under from lack of movement. Always an extremely generous man, to a fault, he no longer had access to his own money or cared. All he cared about was alcohol. (Plymouth would wean him off his 2 -3 bottles of full-strength wine a day and both Plymouth and myself (Surrey) would secretly give him 1-2 bottles of zero – 3% wine, my father has no longer any sense of taste or smell from all his years of alcoholism. Bromleys family are all very heavy drinkers and encourage our father’s alcohol dependency.)
Myself and my Plymouth brother and still both carers (for other family members) but we would very much love to also have our Father back with us.