Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The lull ...

... before the storm. That was yesterday. Arrived at Dad's this morning and couldn't get in as the stairlift was blocking door. Dad tells me, through crack in door, that the lift had jammed. Got him pushing the right buttons and got the lift out of the way so I could get in (it hadn't jammed at all). Through the procedure we went again and again. He can't remember how he gets up and down stairs when I'm not there but he says he doesn't walk the stairs he goes 'the usual way' which is actually using the stairlift and, where I find it when I get there, bears that out. It seems we now have 'magic' buttons if I was to listen to him. I got him to show me what he does when I'm not there and it was painful to watch as he just couldn't remember. I get the feeling that when he actually thinks about what he needs to do he gets so confused he forgets how to work the thing. When he needs to use it he just does it - on a sort of auto pilot - with no problem.

If I thought this morning was bad, I hadn't seen anything as this afternoon was even worse! I got to him earlier than usual as I had a hairdresser's appointment and went to his straight from there. Opened the door and found him sitting on the bottom of the stairs. Said he was trying to work out how the lift worked - doh! I thought that if I wrote the instructions down it may help. I wrote them down in a number of different ways, none of which he seemed to understand. I ended up using a permanent marker to number the buttons. I put a number by the side of each button so that I could get a large number. Dad decided that he had to push the written number instead of the red button by the side of it - derrr!. Then he said he couldn't read the written instructons - done in large, block capitals - despite the fact that he's reading books again (now I wonder how much he's actually reading!). He then told me that he didn't know what the parts of the stairlift were that I was referring to so, I labelled them as well. Next he proceeded to read the instructions half a dozen times but wouldn't, or couldn't, act them out! Finally he wanted to know what a stairlift was!! 2 hours later and we were still no nearer getting any sense, or action, out of him. On top of all this he couldn't put his jumper back on although I have no idea why it was off in the first place and he couldn't tell me.

I think Dad has totally lost the plot at the moment but the sad thing is, he knows it and gets frustrated with himself because but he can't seem to control it. He knows he's being 'silly' but doesn't know what to do about it. He's now frightened me completely and I'm scared of leaving him on his own. I probably don't help the situation either because he sees me getting frustrated, angry and upset - despite trying my best not to show it - and I think it makes him worse because he starts trying hard to please me and he can't seem to do 'trying'. He has become noticeably worse since Ollie went so I'm guessing that was the catalyst that has bought about such a severe deterioration in his mental state.

I hate to admit it but I can't hack it anymore and I'm scared of what I might end up doing. I no longer know how to handle the situation so I've contacted Social Services to bring forward his assessment and I'm going to ask for some respite care. I need space and I need to be a daughter again. I know that there are plenty a lot worse off than us but I have to think of my own health as well and at the rate we're going I'll be gone long before him! It would help if my dear brother would have him stay for a few days, or even call occasionally but, we haven't seen hide nor hair of him since June and there's been no acknowledgment of my news about Ollie but I've had his approval for what I'm trying to do regarding Dad's housing ...... so kind!

Roll on tomorrow evening. I've got an evening out at Joanne's (Mainly Flowers) for a crafty soirée with ladies I've met at the Glitterpot. Youngest daughter-in-law may come as well, as long as youngest son gets home from work in time. BRING-IT-ON!!

Thanks for dropping by .....


Budge said...

Pam I am so sorry to read about how bad your Dad has deteriorated.
it must be heart breaking for you.
You have done the right thing in bringing his assessment forward also hope you get some respite or you will be ill.
Take Care
Sylv xx

Cazz said...

Oh Pam, You must be pulling your hair out hun. You must try and get some time for you. Even carers need to be cared for hun xx

Good luck with the social services x

sheffsue said...

Good luck with the social services...you really do need help with your dad, bless him....he's trying...in more ways than one!
Enjoy your time with the gals..you deserve it.

Sue x

Jak Heath said...

I really feel for you Pam, I'm so pleased you've tried to get his assessment brought forward, I think the night at Joannes will do you the world of good.
In fact come and stay with me for a week and have a rest, bring chef paul too as I could do with a cook.
I hope you get sorted soon Pam.

Jan R said...

What a sad story to read Pam, you must be beside yourself as I imagine it must be so difficult watching your Dad be like this. I'm sure some respite care will do both you and he the power of good. I reckon you should take up Jak's kind offer!
Enjoy your evening.

Crafting Joanne said...

Sorry to hear how badly your dad has deteriorated,,Pam. I hope social services will be able to help you out sooner rather than later. Take care of yourself, it must be such a worry for you. Joanne x

Jean said...

Everything you are doing is right Pam. Your Dad probably needs more than you can provide - you have your own life and family who need you too. I do hope that you can get him some respite and give yourself a little breathing space.
Enjoy your evening at Joanne's, you well deserve it.