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03 May 2004

Wants to kill himself
My dads girlfriend has dymensia (sorry, I don't know how to spell it). A few years ago, she kept on having strokes and the last stroke has really left her messed up. she needs constant attention. She cannot walk and has to be pushed around in a wheel chair. She will phone my dad a million times day for petty things. She will even phone my dad on his cell at home while he is making food in the kitchen. He is taken many days off to take her to see the doctors. He has to do everything for her, even take her to the bathroom. Her family refuses to help her in any way. And my da can never go out to any work functions or anything, coz her family will not look after her. This has put alot of strain on my dad. He wants to find a home for her so at least there will be nurses there to help her with everything, but it is too expensive and she nor my dad can afford to pay for it. My dad told my aunt that it is getting too much for him that he wants to put a gun to his head and kill himself. She is just his girlfriend and she can help herself if she really wanted to but she is enjoying being pampered by my dad. She is manipulating him. Why must my dad feel that it is his responisbility to look after her and run after her if he is not even married to her. The doctors even say that she can help herself but she refuses to and keeps on taking overdosed so my dad will feel sorry for her. My dad has 2 kids that love him very much and I don't know what I will do if he had to take his own life. She is not worth it. But how do I make my dad see this?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hi Scared,
Sounds like DEMENTIA. And it can have a range of causes, including multiple strokes. And apart from impairing a person's ability to do things for themselves, it tends to also damage their personalisty controls, so they are much less able to realize when they are being unreasonable. It is also totally unreasonable that her family, who have duties to cae for her, refuse to do so and leave everything to your dad. From the sound of it, she is really not able to care for herself, and it isn't really safe for her to be living on her own. COuldn't her family make arrangements for her to be cared for in a home of some sort ? It is THEIR responsibility to help to pay for it. If she lives in her own house, maybe it could be sold and the money used to help to pay for her care in a proper home.
Sadly, although our government boasts of our pathetic healthcare system, as regards care of the old and disabled, it provides very nearly nothing, but there ought to be some services suitable to help her. Check whther there are any Geriatricians ( specialists in the care of the elderly ) practising in your area, or on the faculty of your nearest medical school or major state / provincial hospital, who could be consulted, to assess her and advise.
Also, call the local city and provincial Dept of Social Services to assess her eneds and explain how they are going to provide care for her --- they have a consitutional duty to do so.
It is possible that you are right that she is to some extent using her disability to manipulate your dad into taking special care of her, but his health must be the major concern, espcially if he is getting to feel desperate because of this burden.
Discuss this with the doctors who are caring for her, and insist that they get the Dwepts of Social Services involved, to get her into a home, where they will be able to provide proper care for her, but will not be open to being manipulated by her.
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