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Difficult Conversations


Registered User
Dec 12, 2013
Hi there, this is my first time writing on talking point but I am feeling really upset and didn't know who to ask for some support. So here goes....
My mum has early onset Alzheimer's and throughout the past few years we have had to have many difficult conversations as a family but it never seems to get any easier.

When my children were born, my mum looked after them and would take them to nursery and pick them up every day after work. She has continued to look after them since diagnosis but now has come the time when she needs support to do this and I've just had to have a really difficult conversation with my Dad to say that I don't feel like it's safe for her to do alone now.

I feel really upset like I have broken his heart to point out how much she is struggling and I know that she will be devastated when I have to share my thoughts with my mum.

I love my parents and want to protect them from this disease and its consequences but I have to put my children first.

My mum has done everything for me, now I just feel like I'm letting her down.

Thanks for reading this, I just hoped to share with people who would understand.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
West Hertfordshire
I would guess his old heart aches for what was, he might be upset, but deep down he probably knows you are right. He may well think the same thing, but finds it hard to admit.

its the right decision- they are your children.make sure they still see them lots- as well as missing what his wife was, he'll miss the grandchildren too


Registered User
Dec 12, 2013
Thanks for that message, yes they will both see their grandchildren just as often. I just wish it could be like old times x


Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
My mum used to look after my kids, she lived 200 miles away and came up 6 times a year. Some of these times would be when my childminder was on holiday, although I realised she wasn't up to this and other holiday options became available. At the time I thought she wasn't up to this because the kids were getting older and my mum didn't understand them and what they wanted enough, but now realise this was the illness.

She also looked after them for a few hours on odd weekends whilst we went cycling, and when I realised that she had dementia and the extent of her problems I also realised she had looked after my children when she wasn't up to it and driven them when she really shouldn't have. I had a good few sleepless nights about the risks I had exposed my children to who had their whole lives to look forward to.

My mum was fab when the children were little but I do regret not knowing anything about dementia and not protecting my children properly. I had said to OH I didn't think she was up to it the last time she looked after them and he thought she was, but we did agree that was the last time the day after and 4 months later bang, and she was no longer capable of living independently.

With grandma nearby they see quite a bit of her, but miss who she was whilst doing their best to enjoy who she is by playing connect 4 and simple card games that she can manage.


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
I don't know if this is any consolation but my Mum also looked after my children for some of the week every week and although the situation was a little different as I suspect my children were older when I started to notice problmes, I also needed to put the children first. As the other posters said we managed a shift in responsibility without losing any contact time (that was hard work) and Mum resisted at first but really adapted very quickly. Your Dad is probably in denial (I prefer to think of it as protective mode) and worried that he will miss the children and the only way I found around both of those things was constant reassurance.

You are at the beginning of your journey and Talking Point is a great support. We are all here for you, to help, support and put in the penny worth from time to time.

Take care of yourself and tread gently with them and try very hard not to get tooooooooooooooo exhausted xxx


Registered User
Feb 3, 2015
My mil has no short term memory it's at 0.4 percentile. However, she is still picking my 5 yr old up from school. She remembers to do this everyday but cannot recall that my husband has visited or worse still spent hrs doing her garden.

I am so worried about her doing this but it seems to be good for her to pick up my little girl. I have another parent follow them home And keep an eye out for me.

I know I will have to make a decision over the summer holidays as not sure after a long break she will remember to do it anymore.

I think we may stop her picking her up but make sure my daughter sees her everyday when we get home from work ( we only live around the corner).


Registered User
Dec 12, 2013
Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for your messages of support. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to reply and share your own experiences. Most of the time we are able to work around the Alzheimer's in my family, but sometimes it just hits you hard.

I think it is difficult when you are trying to protect both your parent and your children because you want to do what is best for everyone but sometimes really tough decisions have to be made.

It's helpful to know I'm not alone in this.
Much love to you all xx