Losing mum /dad got dementia

Help, really struggling mum passed away three weeks after bringing mum and dad home to Scotland.mum was dads carer. She hid her illness from me. She passed away in May last year. Dad has dementia and its hard. My brother lives abroad and does not get in touch. My husband trys to understand but a feel as if am really sad all the time. Keep crying at work. Wake up crying. Am I going mad.

Dear Kym,
I’m sure you are not going mad. You are having a lot on your plate. Not only did you loose you mum, but it must also feel like you are slowly loosing your dad to dementia. When you brought your parents over to Scotland, this was not what you had expected. I can imagine you had hoped that with them nearby you could spend more time with both of them. Looking after someone and having a job as well (you write that you work) does not leave much time for your own grief.
I can relate to that as my parents had been together for more than 60 years when my dad died who had been my mum’s rock. She had many health problems and depended on him for support. Without him she just could not cope. My siblings and I did our best to help her but we also had our jobs and families of our own. We loved her dearly, but emotionally it was really draining and it was only later that we realised we were so busy looking after her that we did not take time to grieve over dad. In September we lost our mum due to complications after a fall. She spent her last days in a hospice and passed away peacefully. A month later we had to clear the house and after that I could not get back to ‘normal life’ for several months. I felt constantly exhausted and had all sorts of physical symptoms. I lost my confidence, and my motivation to work. In the end I asked my GP for a sickness certificate and that was a relief. I work as a church administrator and fortunately both my GP and my my employer were very supportive. Normally I am a bit of a perfectionist and keep going, but I had to allow myself to take time to rest and deal with all the emotions from the last two years. Would it be possible for you to take some time of work? Or to get help in looking after your dad? My husband is a carer in the community and we have both looked after people with severe dementia and we know how demanding that can be, even if you love someone dearly.
My heart does go out to you and I hope that you find support, both nearby and in this online community and feel that you are not alone.
A big hug from me,
Jo

Dear Kym,
I’m sure you are not going mad. You are having a lot on your plate. Not only did you loose you mum, but it must also feel like you are slowly loosing your dad to dementia. When you brought your parents over to Scotland, this was not what you had expected. I can imagine you had hoped that with them nearby you could spend more time with both of them. Looking after someone and having a job as well (you write that you work) does not leave much time for your own grief.
I can relate to that as my parents had been together for more than 60 years when my dad died who had been my mum’s rock. She had many health problems and depended on him for support. Without him she just could not cope. My siblings and I did our best to help her but we also had our jobs and families of our own. We loved her dearly, but emotionally it was really draining and it was only later that we realised we were so busy looking after her that we did not take time to grieve over dad. In September we lost our mum due to complications after a fall. She spent her last days in a hospice and passed away peacefully. A month later we had to clear the house and after that I could not get back to ‘normal life’ for several months. I felt constantly exhausted and had all sorts of physical symptoms. I lost my confidence, and my motivation to work. In the end I asked my GP for a sickness certificate and that was a relief. I work as a church administrator and fortunately both my GP and my my employer were very supportive. Normally I am a bit of a perfectionist and keep going, but I had to allow myself to take time to rest and deal with all the emotions from the last two years. Would it be possible for you to take some time of work? Or to get help in looking after your dad? My husband is a carer in the community and we have both looked after people with severe dementia and we know how demanding that can be, even if you love someone dearly.
My heart does go out to you and I hope that you find support, both nearby and in this online community and feel that you are not alone.
A big hug from me,
Jo

Hi Jo
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post. Reading your reply has helped me know that am not going mad. I can’t take time off work as my husband isn’t working at the moment. He was diagnosed with heart failure just before Christmas. He has had a procedure so hopefully in the next few months he will be able to look for work. Mothers day coming up is just adding to the pressure. Dad is in a care home and seems to be well looked after which helps… I hope your having a good day and thank you once again for your support its very much appreciated xxx

Hi Kym,
Just wanted to send you a message of support and say I understand what you are going through. My mother has dementia and has been in a care home for 2 years. She’s only 72. My father, who was seemingly healthy, died suddenly in his sleep at home in September last year. He would visit our mum weekly and take her out for lunch, and was very involved in her care. It’s been an absolutely shocking 6 months. I cry a lot and still find it hard to believe he’s not there on the end of the phone. And he would be so sad he’s not around to continue to visit my mum and see she was ok. Sending you hugs and support and sorry your husband is also unwell at the mo. Life can seem so unfair. x

Hi Maggie, thank you so much taking the time to text me, I really appreciate it. It’s hard some days are better than others. It’s good to have someone to talk to. Do you have other family to help support you? The care home dad is in are doing a good job making sure he is happy and healthy. How often do you get to see your mum? Xx your not alone. Xxx

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