Constantly covered in bruises


Registered User
Aug 25, 2003
gravesend, kent
My mum is cared for my my dad. I would say she is in the middle stages. We have noticed severe bruising for a number of months now, on her arms, legs and also a black eye which spread all over her face and neck, a bruise in the nape of her neck and a very bad injury to her ear which resulted in an ambulance to hospital. I noticed yesterday that even her hands are bruised. My dad looks after my mum. He idolises me, as his only daughter and also his only grandchild. I am also sure he loves mum very much. They seem to have a good routine together and get out most days. We cannot shy away from the fact though that he is becoming physically abusive. At first, we thought maybe he was just abit heavy handed with her when crossing the road etc, as at first it was just bruising on her arms. But gradually it's getting worse. I give him every opportunity to say that he may have hurt her accidentally, but he swears blind he does not know how she gets these bruises. She invariably wets the bed most nights, which I know agitates him and she can't do anything about the home anymore,which again I know annoys him. On my previous postings I have told how he does not accept the situation and will not accept any help or admit to finding things hard. Mum is so inactive indoors, that she cannot possibly be injuring herself to this extent. Although she says she loves him and they still laugh and joke together, I think there is a different side to him, which she has always intimated. She has always been, and still is, worried sick about his responses to her actions. Only last week at a hospital visit, she said "norman would want me to do as Im told". The lady from the Alz Soc where mum goes to the day centre has rang me so many times to tell me of bruising that she has told me she is getting in touch with the soc servs herself. To cap it all yesterday, my aunty, my dads sister, who never rings me, rang to say mum and dad had spent the evening there on Saturday night and how badly my dad treated my mum. like dirt my aunty said. Both my aunt and uncle heard a slapping sound as dad was escorting mum to the loo and she was getting confused. Apparently, when mum came back and sat down, she did not speak another word, although she had been quite chatty before going in to the loo. My aunt also said she had noticed dried blood on the side of my mums head and when she asked my dad how it got there my dad said "don't touch it, I'll put cream on it tomorrow". My dad also apparently got very annoyed when mum had trouble getting into the taxi to go home. My aunt actually said, if he treats her like this when he's in company, what on earth goes on indoors and she also intimated that there is another side of him. He never smacked me as a child and as far as I know he has never hit mum, but now I am wondering. There are just too many things happening. I love him dearly. He would give me his last penny. He has never stopped mum spending money, going out, or doing what she wants. I would not call him a dominent man but I think it must all be gettnig too much for him and yet he still won't admit it I'm sure. I just wondered what the social services will do. I can't hide from them. Does anyone have any views or opinions? We haven't heard yet what is the first step with the soc servs. The alz soc lady is going to keep me posted.


Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
Hello Alison
Having just read your distressing account I feel compelled to try to make some sort of suggestions. We can never be certain of what happens in the personal relationships of others, even those close to us, and perhaps that's the way it should be. However, when there seems to be strong suggestion that someone is abusing someone else, especially when that person is particularly vulnerable, perhaps it's time to intervene or to ask someone experienced in such matters to do so.

There's no doubt that caring for someone with dementia can put tremendous strains on a relationship and that one person can get to a point of resenting or even hating the other (it's really the illness that their feelings ought to be directed towards but many people don't have the luxury to be able to stop and analyse). There seem to be indications that your dad cannot cope with the situation; it can help if he can understand that it's not his 'fault' nor is he less of a person for not coping. Having said that, this doesn't mean because it's such a strain then it's excusable or acceptable to subject anyone to abuse.

I'm not sure if you have contacted social services about this but I would urge you to do so. They have a duty of care for vulnerable people such as your mum and are legally obliged to investigate the situation once informed that she might be at risk of harm. It would be easy to dwell on your dad 'getting into trouble' but this is unlikely to happen if it's acted upon sooner than later - before any real harm can be done. There is always the possiblity that the signals have been read wrongly and that the physical signs of abuse are accidental. Either way it's clear that extra help is needed for both of your parents and it's time to involve an appropriate agency to do so.

For a more informal approach with people who are more expert on the subject you might like to speak to Action on Elder Abuse. They have a confidential helpline 080 8808 8141 between 10.00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. You can also look at their website

hope this is helpful


Registered User
Aug 25, 2003
gravesend, kent
Many thanks Meldrew for taking the time to reply. You are completely right in what you say. I have chased our local Alz Society today who have been in contact with the Soc Servs and we should hear from them any time now.


Registered User
Sep 3, 2003
I read with great sadness your posting... I have been looking after my Mum with dementia. It is very hard and I am a young(ish) person... My mum has now gone into a nursing home ... its important to recognise that sometimes we no matter how much we love our parents cannot give them the best care. I am racked with guilt about my mum going into a nursing home ..but I feel its giving me time to step back and reassess the whole situation to ensure my mu has the best quality of life possible. Having read your posting I do not see how the care your mum is having is in her best interests and now you must step in.
Its hard... but if you love her you will take charge.
good luck

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