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Elderly father - he is driving me mad, how do I cope?

(11 Posts)
Chattybarbara Sun 29-Jan-17 11:14:28

My father is 94 and in a care home with mild but increasing dementia - I had never really got on with him, not in a bad way but he has always irritated me and he is very selfish and self centred. After my DM died I had to take over responsibility for him and look after his affairs and now visit him every week, which he enjoys and looks forward to. I have serious health problems and so doing this is a real effort, both physically and emotionally, and he says he appreciates all that I do. My issue is that he drives me mad with his constant phone calls - his dementia means that he doesn't realise he has already called ten times that day - he has a mobile phone - and it is just driving me crazy. I don't always answer if I am busy, but I am ashamed to say that sometimes I put my phone on silent to have some peace. I am probably suffering from guilt, but not sure how to handle it - any suggestions?

MissAdventure Sun 29-Jan-17 11:46:39

I think limiting the amount of times you answer seems reasonable
You could enlist the help of the staff at the home, but the idea of him having his phone confiscated seems wrong, somehow.
Maybe set yourself some times when you will answer, and do ignore the rest?

Luckygirl Sun 29-Jan-17 11:56:41

Silent phone is reasonable, sensible and nothing to feel guilty about. He is well looked after - it is not as if he is calling you to say he is on his own and has fallen - then you might feel bad about not answering.

He will have forgotten he rang within a few minutes.

I am glad that you have managed to find a good home for him.

Stansgran Sun 29-Jan-17 11:57:35

Buy another phone,a cheap one and give him that number . Answer it twice a day. Block him on your other phone and keep your sanity. Tell the care home why you are doing it.

Chattybarbara Sun 29-Jan-17 12:03:41

thanks for the kind words and good advice - I just feel guilty I suppose! I have allocated a different ringtone for his calls so it is easier to ignore them and I don't rush to answer. I must just try and be nice...........

MissAdventure Sun 29-Jan-17 12:06:19

Just answer him, say, mid morning, and after dinner. Bless him! wink

f77ms Sun 29-Jan-17 12:33:40

Stansgran has an excellent suggestion , I may use that idea myself lol

eddiecat78 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:19:41

I really sympathise - my dad is 93 and also in a care home - and there are times when I think it was a bad idea to give him a mobile. Before he went into the home I had have my phone with me all of the time and had to answer every call incase he was in difficulty - now I have to keep reminding myself that if he is in trouble someone else will deal with it so I don`t need to reply every time. My dad doesn`t have dementia but does have times when he fixates on something and feels it has to be dealt with NOW - quite often if I leave it an hour or 2 the problem has passed and he`s forgotten about it. Try not to feel guilty - easier said than done I know!

Chattybarbara Sun 29-Jan-17 15:22:26

eddiecat78 - yes, that is how he started, getting fixated - just come back from seeing him, he doesn't ever want me to stay long as he loves the entertainment in the afternoons ....... but he is the picture of health so I am not worried about him

Christinefrance Sun 29-Jan-17 16:52:04

No need to feel guilty chattybarbara, you are doing all you can. The extra phone was a good idea and letting the care staff know what you are doing. A couple of calls daily with quality time is a good compromise.

eddiecat78 Sun 29-Jan-17 17:50:16

I thought I`d been really clever finding Dad a care home that is only 5 minutes away from me - BIG mistake!