Feel like I am abandoning my dear old dad please help


Registered User
Sep 24, 2007
Hi All
Feel awful at this moment just on the way to look at homes for some respite but in the back of my mind I feel that the next move will be permanent. Dad has vascular dementia and I have managed him with help and wonderful social services fantastic day centre but since a chest infection and now faecal impaction dad has gone seriously down hill to the point where he can;t weight bare screams and is aggressive if you try to move him out of bed etc. He has been having daily enemas and today we had a good result. I am just hoping that he improves a bit because if not I cannot move him on my own it is taking two carers we do have a hospital bed and all facillities but it is so hard on us all emotionally and physically.
I just wanted to write it down how i feel which is that I have given up and feel so bad about it because I know that no one will be able to look after him as well as us. Or maybe I just having found the place. I am sure we all feel like this at some point but isn't it awful
Thanks Everybody x

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Please don`t be so hard on yourself. It seems you have come to the end of the line and can no longer meet your father`s needs. His care is too complex and too much for you to manage.

You will not be abandoning him, you will be puuting him into the care of professionals, who work shifts instead of 24/7 and will be more able to do whatever`s necessary to keep him comfortable.

And once the enormous responsibility has eased, you will be able to spend more relaxing times with your father which I`m sure will benefit you both.

Take care xx


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent

I totally sympathise, and yes we do all feel like this at times, probably more times than is healthy for us.

My mum is now in a NH having recognised that her needs were beyond what we could do for her.

I can only speak from my own experience, and it really was the best thing we could do for mum. I believe it is a case of finding the right home, and we saw some really dreadful places, but the one that we settled on is totally fantastic.

The only advice I can offer, if and when you do start to look for a home is to look at the staff and how they interact with the residents, fixtures and fittings are far less important. We saw some really 'posh' homes, but the level of care fell way below what we were looking for.

Try to look on this as the next phase, it can be positive, I spend more 'quality' time with mum now, rather than on practical issues.

Be brave.

Cate xx


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London

you say
because I know that no one will be able to look after him as well as us
In terms of love with the care that is undoubtedly true, but there does come a stage where others actually can look after our loved ones better than we can - mostly because there are more of them and they may have a more appropriate place to do it in.

Not all care homes are good of course, in the same way that not all are bad.

Some are excellent, some are dire.

So it does depend on finding the best in the area that can be afforded.

Even with the best home providing the best care, we will feel bad about it however. That is something we have to try and find a way to live with.

Main point to note is that when someone does move to a care home, that is not the end of things, it is the beginning of a new way of handling a dreadful situation.

It is never going to be easy, I'm afraid, but there comes a time when we have to say to ourselves "can I cope 24/7 any more?" or "can I cope 24/7 any more without totally wrecking my life and family?" When te answer is "no", then an alternative way of doing things has to be explored.

Best wishes


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Please don't feel you are abandoning your dad.

I know it's difficult, and I had the same awful feelings when John went into a home. But these infections can have a devastating effect on someone with dementia. John too lost mobility, couldn't bear to be touched, and needed at least two carers to handle him.

Also, they warned me in hospital that once people start with these infections, they tend to recur. That has happened. Since his first UTI in August, John has had a further two UTIs and now a chest infection. If I'd brought him home the first time, he'd have been in and out of hospital every few weeks, and that wouldn't have done him any good -- or me! As it is, he's cared for in familiar surroundings, by people he knows.

I'd suggest you try to find a good home for your dad, without even trying respite. Any kind of move is unsettling, and in any case he would be admitted for a trial period initially, so you can always change your mind.

And don't feel guilty. You have done your best for your dad, and are still doing your best by giving him the best possible care.

Good luck, and try not to worry.


Registered User
Sep 24, 2007

Thanks one and all for that I know what your all trying to say and I do agree but doing it is so hard. I went this affternoon to look at 2 places and was appalled I have to say. i will keep looking and see what I find in the next week. Of course anywhere that is good is often full. Dad a bit better this evening although would not eat. A lot going on at the moment as my mother in law is poorly as well with a possible aneurysm They say it never rains but pours and they are right.
Take care all you lovely carers and stick together.
Love Angelax


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007

The guilt can be appalling but looking back now I can say that finding a good CH for our Mum was the very best thing we could do for her.

She's looking and feeling so much better - when she arrived after a hospital stay she was refusing to eat and drink and totally immobile - in fact the hospital phoned to let the CH know she would need a hoist ! (she never did - the CH just moved her properly and with great patience)

Two months later she's walking again- with the help of one carer - eating and drinking well and looks clean and contented - she was even trying to knit yesterday - a miracle to us.

There were four of us looking after Mum PLUS carers in her assisted living place - we couldn't cope even at that level of help.

Keep looking at homes - and pick the brains of all support people - I know they're not supposed to recommend but they may know of places which are worth looking at - we found our CH when the District Nurse mentioned that a residential home had just been inspected for its EMI license. We think its wonderful but we saw a lot of other so called top class homes which weren't.

Keep going and looking - you'll find somewhere in the end that will offer the professional care that you need and the whole family will gain from this.


Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Dear Angela,
I am sorry you are having such a worrying time - and I can imagine how you feel about residential care. It is such a huge step into the unknown!
However, I do think that sometimes, we carers worry just a little bit too much. I don't know how aware your Dad is of what's going on, and whether he would fret if he was transferred to a care home. My husband was diagnosed in 2000, and although he is still mobile, he needs a great deal of help with just about everything, and his memory is zero. He is at home, where I think he belongs, and the idea of 'letting go' fills me with dread. :eek:

Last year, we were forced to ask for emergency respite, and since then, he has been in respite on two further occasions. Each time I drove away bawling my eyes out and asking myself ‘how can you abandon him like that ….’. But when I force myself to take a virtual step back I have to admit that the problem is mine, not his. We were very lucky that he was well cared for, and because his awareness is so compromised, he does not feel abandoned or forgotten. His experience is different to ours, and he is not ‘handicapped’ by the same expectations.

He has settled back home and is largely calm and contented. I am glad to ‘have him back’, but I am under no illusion that the day may arrive when I can no longer meet his needs, and then I will have to ‘let go’. Hopefully, the positive experiences of respite will help me when that time comes.

Best wishes!


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Angela,
Such wise and sensible advice from others. Nothing to add, but my caring thoughts are with you in this very difficult time.