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Feeling helpless


Registered User
Oct 7, 2014
Mum was carted off to hospital last week with a UTI after being found wandering in the street. She was discharged afer 4 days and now has her care visits upped from 2 to 4 a day. I spend 2 days a week with her ( I live 80 miles away), she goes to day care twice a week and her only other close relative, my uncle, visits twice a week. Since coming out of hospital her short term memory is completely shot and she rings me or my uncle half a dozen times a day in floods of tears insisting that no-one has been to see her and saying how lonely she is. And on top of that some lowlife conned his way into the house today and made off with her purse with £150 in it. I can't help feeling that it is finally time she moved into a home, though she still insists she can look after herself. I feel so guilty and upset for her. I know it would not be a good move for her to come and live with us as I still work part time, she knows no-one here and to be honest I couldn't put up with her 24/7. I'm not expecting answers from anyone, just venting, feeling sad and wishiing we could turn the clock back.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
We all feel like you do some days but clocks don't go backwards, more's the pity.
It does sound like a home might be looming on the horizon, have you thought about doing the logistics against the day this may happen, have you got POA for her health and finances? If she's handling 2 days a week in day care then the move to a home may not be as difficult as you think, once you get her to accept the idea (and that's the hard part). The you get all the problems of selling a house, disposing of the contents and all the rest.
She might well feel she can still look after herself and maybe she can, but ask her if she's happy? The phone calls saying she's lonely! then ask her why she wants to be independent and lonely when in a home with others she'll never be lonely again and will have a room of her own when she wants some private time.
Sorry you're having such a bad day.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
I feel for you and also wish I could turn the clocks back. Care home does sound the best option for her. It is all so hard though!


Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
Now she's wandering, the time for a care home place has come for her own safety.
She will always say "I'm fine I can manage" its usually clear just how good that manage is!
All the usual advice, Talk to GP, Social services, etc. she is a vulnerable(?) person,
start contacting local homes, both yours and hers, regarding a place. Go visit some get a feel for what's available.



Registered User
May 3, 2015
When my dad started doing things that made him vulnerable (giving money to door-steppers, for instance), I started looking at care homes, just to prepare for a possible future if nothing else. I found a couple that I liked and talked it over with dad, but he was resistant, saying he could manage. But it planted the idea and from time to time he'd bring it up in conversation. Unfortunately, a few months later we had a crisis and were forced to move dad into a home, but I'm glad we were semi-prepared beforehand. Perhaps it would be worth you doing something similar?

One thing I've learned is that dad would probably not be happy wherever he is.. he was unhappy at home (but didn't want to move, could manage etc), unhappy in temporary care ("they're all doolally in here"!!!), and unhappy in the care home we eventually chose (although he's settling slowly).

Take one step at a time, at a pace you can all handle :)


Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
Adelaide South Australia
The frustrating thing is that dementia sufferers have limited capacity to judge whether they are able to look after themselves. Mum thought she was fine with "just a bit of help". She would not be convinced her hallucinations hadn't happened. Nor did she realise she was mixing up her medication or that her house was dirty or she was starting to hoard.

And yet they get to determine their living arrangements unless SS step in or you get them sectioned which nobody wants to do.

My brother and I took control and told mum "you have to go". She was furious but what could we do? And she knew she couldn't survive without our help so she went. Then when she was there she wanted us to take her home. I said no. She said "you can't make me stay" which was true. I had to say "mum if you go home you'll have to organise shifting back". It may sound cruel but so typical of mum even before dementia hit. She hadn't a clue how to proceed so the matter was quietly dropped.

Sadly, they don't know they can't cope which makes everything twice as difficult.:(


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
All of the above advice is sound. Once wandering starts unless there is someone else there 24/7 then a crisis is just round the corner. My husband is a wanderer and my every moment is spent either wandering with him, taking him out 2 or 3 times a day, or if he goes out by himself tracking him on the GPS and in extreme cases calling the police.

This all takes its toll and without me he could not live independently as he is quite convinced he knows what he is doing. He is not troubled at all at being picked up by the police and talks as if they are taxi drivers! He is on a waiting list for a CH which can give him the space and the male company he needs and me a pathway back to sanity.

Good luck with your Mum.


Registered User
Jun 2, 2014
It does sound as though it might be time to consider a care home for your Mum. But I would try to think about the positives and that it actually might improve her happiness and quality of life. I moved my parents into a residential environment at the beginning of July and although we have had a few rocky weeks settling them I can see that they are far less socially isolated, feel safer and are far less stressed than they were at home when they were trying to manage - even if they can't quite articulate this and do miss their home. I have huge peace of mind knowing that people are around for them 24/7 and they are not as vulnerable ...and when I go to see them we have better quality time together
So I know that it feels a huge decision and there are of course lots of considerations but it might mean your Mum is actually happier. Obviously reliant on picking the right CH environment for her.
Good luck with it all, I know how hard it is