Thursday 21 February 2019

'My mother is so mean to my father since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's'

An RTE Radio One listener is starting to resent her mother over her behaviour towards her father, ever since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's
An RTE Radio One listener is starting to resent her mother over her behaviour towards her father, ever since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's

Sasha Brady

A listener to RTE Radio One wrote to the Ryan Tubridy Show seeking advice on how to keep her family together.

The letter was read out on air by Ryan Tubridy as the woman (who requested to remain anonymous) requested the public's advice in dealing with her current family situation.

The listener's letter describes how her mother has become mean to her father, ever since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's earlier this year.

She said all the family knew that her father had Alzheimer's but it took a long time for them to convince their mother to face up to the reality and bring their father to the doctor to "confirm what we all knew".

However, their mother doesn't want to break the news to their father and won't let any of her children do so either.

"The doctor told my mother quietly he had Alzheimer's so she could break it to him but she will not tell him and wont let any of us tell him," she said in the letter.

"The problem is since he was diagnosed my mother has become so mean to him. I understand it is very tough for her at home with him, he doesn't sleep well, he asks her the same questions over and over again and he has a new obsession every week (money, bills, the weather etc.)."

Read more: ‘When my mum died I promised her I’d look after him, I really tried’ – Woman’s letter to Ryan Tubridy on cutting off contact with alcoholic dad

In the letter, the woman said her mother snaps at their father and sometimes jeers him if he repeats the same question.

"He doesn't understand what's happening to him so the fact that she gives out to him for asking a question that he doesn't remember asking breaks my heart."

The woman said her mother's behaviour is turning her against her and said she is "starting to hate her".

"She won't talk to anyone about what she is going through and says she doesn't need to because she has us but its very hard when all she does is give out about our father to us," she wrote.

"We are all starting to avoid her because we don't want to be around her. My brother challenged her about her behavior but she won't have any of it. What can we do? Any advice would help."

After the heartbreaking letter was read out on air, plenty of listeners got in touch with the show to share their experiences of a similar situation.

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