I’ve really struggled putting this post together.

We had the visit from Locala’s Stephanie, a specialist continence nurse, last week.  She was lovely, as they all are, and was able to check mum’s vitals – all of which are ok, all normal for her age – other than the fact that mum is (besides everything else) diabetic.  Stephanie talked to my dad about strategies to help the (double) incontinence: basically, get mum to drink more liquids!

Nevertheless, it took her very little time to recognise the main problem chez Sugden.  They talked about the various problems he/she/they have to bear because of mum’s Alzheimer’s and Stephanie suggested that dad take up help offered by the various agencies and maybe let mum visit a day-care centre, at least once a week.

Of course, all of this has been on the table before and dad still stubbornly refuses help as he “can manage” and will “let us know when he can’t manage”.

Mum just sits there now, falling asleep from time to time, unless she is spoken to.  When spoken to, she can react perfectly to the question or conversation at hand, but immediately loses all interest once the conversation drifts away.  Constant stimulation is not something she gets, nor, I suspect, wants.

Dad has begun to complain of pains in his back and is worried that his hip is playing up again (he had a new one fitted eight years ago). He has therefore visited the doctor himself – something he will have seen as a priority as his main aim in life is to look after mum.

However, us trying to tell him that his back hurts because he’s lifting mum in and out of the bath (and that therefore someone else could be employed to do that) is like shouting at the moon.

So frustrating.


2 thoughts on “Continence

  1. Have you asked him what happens if his hip or something else gives out when he’s helping her bathe? Sometimes the fear of hurting the person they are trying to help is persuasive. You’re probably doing this, but it’s important to recognize it’s never a good feeling to have your autonomy taken away, but that sometimes it just has to be done. So, for example, have a home help come by and help with your mum, but you be there to let her in and talk to your dad – “I’ve had to make the decision to let her come this once so you can see how helpful she can be. I’m worried you might hurt yourself and mum if you try to take on too much. I know it’s your choice and you might be upset that I’ve done this, but you are my parents and as hard as this is, you need help.” It’s very hard when they have a lot of pride and the default can be to just keep letting them do as they are, but, unfortunately, at some point you become the “parent.” I found Teepa Snow to be very informative when it comes to many, many things related to dementia.


    1. Thank for this. As you say, I find it very hard to do. I am comfortable with mum being as she is, she IS looked after but dad is a tricky customer – too much pressure and he can dig his heels in even more. Two weeks ago, I HAD thought I’d won, but from nowhere came the dismissive “no!”. Seeing a specialist nurse today – we’ll see how that goes. 🙂


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