My beautiful Dad (aged 71) was diagnosed in June 2019 with Grade 4 Glioblastoma. It's terminal and has affected his mobility, speech, cognitive function (he has 3 tumours). My Mum has been his carer at home but he is starting to become quite verbally abusive. She knows it is not his fault and he can't help it but it is really starting to get her down. So I was wondering if anyone had any advice/recommendations as to how I can help my Mum with this? I live an hour away from them so I can't drop by anytime. As much as I detest all of the medications he is on, are there any that can relax and calm him down? And would counselling help my Mum at all?
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this and I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas.
Seeing someone could help your mother though depends if she's open to the idea. Another thing could be to see if you or someone else could offer to look after your dad for half a day and give your mum a chance to other things as well.
As for the verbally abusive - it may be one of his current medications causing it and I'd suggest researching them and their side effects as well as seeing if there's an alternative and asking the doc.
In the case of myself (and a few others that I've see online) - we discovered that dexamethasone causes a lot of people to get angry on it.
However that being said - it might be a fear of what's to possibly come that has your father acting as he is. Becoming aware of our own mortality and how much time we have left is not a fun thing to go through - it might also be worth seeing if there's perhaps someone your dad could talk to as well. Again - talking to the doctor is probably a good step and making it clear that you're interested in palliative care for being a main focus.
Hope this helps. Good luck to you and yours
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
I will definitely suggest to her about counselling and I think she would be open to it. She has respite once a week for 2 hours which is all she seems to be able to get at the moment. They do have many visitors and we try to send her out as much as possible whilst we look after Dad so she is getting little breaks here and there.
Thank you for the suggestion of checking out his medication side effects, I hadn't thought of that. He has been on dexamethasone for a few months so that could definitely be the culprit. His speech and mobility really improved after taking it but not so now so might ask the doctor about whether he really needs to be on it.
Unfortunately he is not actually able to say how he really feels as he gets his words mixed up and can't express what he wants to say so I don't think any counselling for him would really help. We are pretty sure he understands what is happening so it must be so frustrating for him to not be able to tell us how he feels. He can't read or write and lost interest in watching TV but I put some 60's music on for him the other day and he was singing along a little bit which was nice to see.
Anyway, thank you again and all the best to you and your journey.
Good to hear from you and it sounds like you’ve got this stuff done pat.
To enquire further about your father - has he been offered a speech therapist or cognitive rehabilitation? Here’s a link that might help with more information. https://www.cancervic.org.au/cancer-information/types-of-cancer/brain_tumour/coping_with_a_brain_tum...
The wonderful thing about speech therapists is that they might be able to help find another way/system for him to communicate with . However if you’ve already tried that, please disregard this. 🙂
Thanks also for the warm wishes. Hope you get some good fortune in your searches.
When I read your first sentence it was something I could have written, only replace June with December. My dear Dad, aged 71 was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in December. It's been an hellish rollercoaster so far.
I'm sorry to hear your Mum is struggling. I definitely think counselling, or a support group may be helpful for her. And since you are so far away, perhaps a respite carer?
Are you able to discuss whether it is likely your Dad's tumours, or the medications causing the aggression, with your Dad's oncologist?
I'd love to chat more about your Dad's journey if you would like. I've been trying to read as much as I can from medical journals, to individual experiences to help me deal with all the unknowns.
Be part of this supportive community