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Dad not coping


Registered User
Oct 26, 2017
Mum was diagnosed with early onset alzheimers in 2017 her stages of progression have been quite quick. Dad has never accepted the diagosis or educated himself about what mum was diagnosed with .. mum was 64 and had only just retired after being a nurse for over 40 years .

Anyway lets fast forward mum can still toilet herself but over the last 3 months she has progressed quite significantly and is now suffering sundowning her doctor has prescribed mitrazapine as mums anxiety was awful .. all checks of uti under lying infection was all ruled out sadly it was just another stage she was progressing to.

Anyway to cut a long story short . Dad cant cope myself and sister have tried to get them support what mums admiral nurse has suggested .. links for zoom calls suggested outside befriending service amongst other suggestions .. but dad has taken nothing of any of it .

Me and my sister both work and because mum is young we are only in our 30s and 40s bith with young families.. we both try to help out as much as we can but we cant be there all of the time and neither of us are in a posistion financially to cut our hours and help out more than we do. I work evenings and dad has taken it that i will have mum most days to give him an hours peace .. i dont mind this at all but its becoming every day im finding this difficult with a home family and job also.

But our main concern is how dad is with mum .. when she is confused he shouts at her .. tells her hes told her a million times .. then sundowning has hit and she doesnt recognise him . But he continually shouts at her telling her she lives in this house when she wants to go home .. tells her her mums dead when she wants her mum .. i have lost my sh it with him the other week he constantly is jumping down her throat ..

I went round the other day she said take me to your house i cant take this man anymore .. my dads stood there cryi g . So i took her ho.e she has told me he is awful to her and she wants to leave him . I truly believe he is making her worse .. he said to her today here we go that time of day the witching hour ive told you this is getting earlier and earlier . What do we do ?? I feel he is going to far we have told him outside help is needed to give him a break but he wont have it and is basically not accepting mums illness but also its now becoming reality that he shouldnt be looking after her either.

We have told him he needs help but he wont listen to us ... we really dont know what to do i told him time and time again that she doesnt understand that shes sundowning or she only has a memory of 5 mins .. but he isnt listening and is obviously in denial but hes not providing a duty of care either is he ?

What do we do ? We know he is depressed but wont do anythi g to help hiself then it ends up us having to pick the mess up but the same services are telling us to get outside help in but hes refusing it and basically putting it on me whos around during the day

Advice would beso much appreciated


Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
Hi @Shellb Your dad is tired and fed up and probably depressed, he cant' cope. Not everyone is cut out for looking after or living with somebody with dementia. Your mum is still young and it could go on for many years so he needs to accept help or the only other alternative is a care home for your mum which is a shame but sometimes it is the only answer.

You don't say how old your dad is, he may be in denial but his lack of understanding is worrying. Do you think that he does understand the problem or could he entering early stages too as it does happen. I don't want to worry you too much about that but it is a thought.

You can't keep picking up the pieces because it will just get worse, especially with your dads attitude.

Sorry I am not a lot of help but you will get other replies that may have better answers so do check back.


Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
So the answer is that your mum needs to go to a care home.

Not every person is equipped to care for someone with dementia. If your dad isn’t coping now what will the future bring?

The problem is that social services will need to pay for the care home, and you have hurdles to get through before that happens. They will normally start by putting in carers. If your dad won’t except this let him tell them. Your mum is a vulnerable adult and they need to realise what the situation is.

You need to get social services to come and do an assessment.

In the meantime your sister and yourself need to get both the powers of attorneys set up for mum, ( it might be worth considering doing dad as well). This really is quite urgent, life without them can be very difficult indeed.

I would start a diary, mentioning incidents, behaviours etc. It may be useful in the future. ( Sister needs to do the same)

The other thing is if the family has had two incomes, depending on the level of savings and investments it may be that your mother would need to self fund for a period of time. This may be a time in life where ‘speculate to accumulate’ is worth thinking about. I would be considering hiring a private social worker.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
I’m sorry that things are so bad for you all @Shellb.

Is there any chance you could get your dad to red this to try to help his understanding -

It might help to have a talk with someone on the Dementia Connect Support line-



Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
@shelb - My Dad got like that with my Mum. He was depressed, short tempered and put under immense pressure. We gradually moved Mummy to a care home, and I think both of them did much better then. Mummy settled well in an environment where less was expected of her and my father got his life back. It is tough with COVID restrictions at the moment but I believe we made the right decision. Mummy was still quite independent when she moved, but this allowed her to settle in and get to know people. She lived in the home for about four years and formed very strong bonds with the staff.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
High Peak
I think as others have said, unless your dad will accept carers coming in to help, your mum will have to go to a care home very soon.

As it is impossible to convince him of this and because what he really wants is for you to do it all, I think you may need to force things a little. Whilst he knows you are around during the day, he's going to expect you to come so you'll need to change your availability! Could you tell him you've done your back in and just won't be able to come for the next few days/week/2 weeks? If you could also arrange for a carer to call on them to cover that time and present it to him as a done deal, would he accept that? Others have told their reluctant aging parent that the carer is a cleaner 'just to help out' or it's a free service provided by the government or it's a friend of yours who needs a bit of job experience. Basically, tell him anything you think he would accept.


Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
Don't be hard on your dad for shouting. When you have relentless questioning, confusion and lack of ability 24 hours a day even a Saint would shout.


Registered User
Nov 5, 2013
As I’m led awake at 1am overwhelmed with my 66 year old mums progressing, no long early onset dementia, everything in this post could be my own story. I feel so upset and lost and alone. @Shellb I don’t know if you’re still active but I’d love to reach out and speak to someone who understands


Registered User
Aug 16, 2021
As I’m led awake at 1am overwhelmed with my 66 year old mums progressing, no long early onset dementia, everything in this post could be my own story. I feel so upset and lost and alone. @Shellb I don’t know if you’re still active but I’d love to reach out and speak to someone who understands

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Tanya92. It looks as if this has been a very long haul for you and it isn`t surprising you are overwhelmed with sadness.

Please continue to post on the forum. Maybe you can start your own Thread. There is so much support here for you and it might help ease some of your pain.