Any advice appreciated

Karen W

Registered User
Jul 30, 2003
I am getting increasingly concerned about the health of my father who is 78 and increasingly showing signs of Alzheimers.
My Mother is constantly under pressure, normally coping but very proud (also 77 )
Father Physically is very fit.
Mother gets very tired (she does everything)and has high blood pressure, I cannot be there for her as often as I would like as I have a full time job in London, they live in Yorkshire (Iam an only child)
Twice now the police have been called as dad goes off walking in the nearby fields and we think must get lost he arrives home wet and cold hours later but doesnt understand all the fuss,whereas everyone else is beside themselves with worry.
It is impracticle and unreasonable to keep him in as his mood swings can get frightening, (he doesnt understand.)
He is also deafer than ever but we cant make him see anyone (as hes not deaf)
The last straw was the weekend last when dad started to hoover the lawn.
My mother wont take him to see anyone, he just had his annual check at the GP and given a clean bill of health!
Mother is afraid that if she mentions this to anyone he will be taken away.
I cannot talk to either about this as everyone is so distressed.
How can I take control of this situation without more distress?
Would be grateful for any advice.
wilson k


Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
reply to your father...


I am in a very similar position and my mother has exactly the same concerns as you. She is being proud and trying to cope on her own, to worried to give use the full situation in case we 'farm my dad to a home'.

However, I have found honesty to be the best policy. I speak to my mum as often as I can and try to reassure her that we want her to be with dad as long as possible and most importantly stay at home. It is also not necessary (in my opinion) for your dad to 'come to terms' with his situation, but my advice would be to get a medical assesment as soon as possible. There are differnt forms of dementia and his GP can help a lot and there are possible medications that could help slow down the deteriation or help with the mood swings.

You may also want to consider EPA - there are factsheets on the main site that give out a lot of information. By dealing with finances you can take a lot of burden away from the main carer.

I'd really recommend taking time to look through the factsheets on the site at:

These are really well written and thought out with a wealth of resources. You can also phone the helpline.

This brings me on to your mother - she seems in a similar situation to my mother and really needs to look after her own health. If her GP is aware of the situation he/she may be able to give advice. Also the social services can help support your mother and at least give her a rest bite a couple of time a week. I can't speak for everyone, but I have been pleasantly suprised at the support we've had from dads GP and the community nurse that has go involved.

I hope that helps a little


Registered User
Aug 20, 2003
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dear Karen,

I would suggest you to arrange somebody you can trust to live with them to help since you do not live close to them.
A relative or even somebody you can trust or you can pay.
In case you do not have money to do so, you can offer a place to the person live in exchange for his/her help.
It is more difficult to face the disease for whom emotionally involved.
If you can get somebody to "release" you/your mother from the stresss for some moments, will be easier for you/your mother to better help your father.
When my mother was ill, I have thought several times about send her to a special place but at the end I conclude that the best option would be give her all the love we could - in despite of all the suffering you got just because we faced the disease so close to us.
Hope you feel better.


Registered User
Aug 25, 2003
gravesend, kent
Being an only child

Hello Karen

I too am an only child. My mum is 77 and cared for by my 78 year old dad. She was diagnosed 4 years ago. I find it so hard being the only child. Mum obviously doesn't realise how bad she is. Dad is, like you said, is proud and finds it hard to accept how she is. He won't accept any help atall. Still tries to get her to do things and gets frustrated when she won't comply. I read up on the disease and try to give him advice etc, but he says he is coping and won't entertain the idea of any help. I got her into a day centre twice a week. He has turned down the possibility of respite care. She is often covered in bruises. They had an argument with a metal coat hanger between them. Couldn't get to the bottom of what happened, but I spent the day and evennig of my daughters 16th birthday in A and E, having had to take her there twice with severe bleeding to her ear. Several weeks ensued of nurses having to redress is where she kept pulling it off. Today, the day centre tell me she has a black eye. Dad says he doesn't know how she got it. I have made an appointment to see someone from the local alzheimers society but dad says there is no need for us to go. She is basically happy and healthy in every other way. He is partially sighted and does get in a flap easily, although he denies it. Sometimes I hear it in his voice. What can I do if he won't accept help. I cant force social services on him. I worry that something serious will happen. They still laugh together and go out most days shopping or for lunch. She is on aricept, but I don't know for how much longer as I think the effect is diminishing. Isn't it so hard. More so for the family and carers I think, as the sufferer isn't that aware. I feel resentful and cross and wish she was like she used to be, had a good job, always smart, active and intelligent. It is a terrible disease.

Kind regards to you.