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How can i help


Registered User
Nov 29, 2014
West Midlands
My mom is in the advance stages of Alzheimer's, my dad is her main carer and he has to do everything for her now. My mom goes to day care twice a week but he wont have anymore help. He completely refuses to have anyone come to the house to help and I'm sure he will never change his mind on that. The last couple of months I know its getting too much for him to cope with, he's exhausted, getting snappy at everyone and is saying he's just going to leave. I think deep down he knows it may be time to start thinking of a nursing home but emotional he will not let himself consider it. My mom and dad have been married 49 years next month, they've never had their separate friends or separate hobbies, they've always done everything together. My dad can not cope with being apart from my mom and I just don't know how to help. He really can not go on but at the same time he cant be apart from her. I'm so worried he's going to collapse or make himself seriously ill. Would anyone have any advice how I can help? Thank you so much

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
Any possibility of booking them both into a home for respite where they will both be cared for and be together?:)
Best wishes


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
Hi jellymac
it's so tough, isn't it - waiting for that moment when the main carer will let the guard down and allow you to help - and being so worried that it won't happen before the dreaded crisis
you know best how much hinting your dad will take - maybe a few comments dropped into general conversation how so-and-so got such-and-such help and how lovely the carers were/how much difference it made/how little it cost
and maybe you could start the leg work, visiting some homes and making some contacts, finding out fees etc so that when your dad is ready you have all the info to hand and can share it with him - actually, there's no harm in putting your mum's name on a waiting list if you find somewhere suitable, you don't have to take up the place if one is offered and it's too soon
maybe being brutally honest with him and telling him that worrying about HIM is making you feel so bad might get through; and give him an excuse to back down because he wants to help you (rather than seem to have failed because he can't carry on forever)
If he's saying he's going to leave, he knows it's time to take the next step. Maybe if he says it again just gently agree with him and ask where he'd like to go so you can help him make arrangements, and tell him not to worry about your mum, you'll find somewhere safe for her .... who knows?
I hope there's a way for you all
PS Good thought from Sue J!
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Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
East Kent
I was thinking along the same lines as Sue and Shedrech

Jellymac , I do sympathise, my Dad knocked himself out looking after mum, I did what I could ,was there most weekends and holidays, but in the end it wasn't enough.
It's awfull watching someone you care for making themselves ill.
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Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
Think the above idea is about your best bet, but depends on finances. I know what you mean about being devoted but worn out. My parents are the same, but like you Dad won't accept help apart from me and I find it hard work with everything else. I have now decided to stand back a bit and now await a crisis to happen as he wont let anyone help in the remotest way. That's his choice so I have to let him go along with it, but I know it's just a matter of time. If I insist on carers etc he would never forgive me, and then their health would suffer and I would be more worried. In between a rock and a hard place, so I think at the moment I keep my sanity ready for the crisis which will happen. It's a bit like a smoker or alcoholic, you can only help those that want to be helped.

Sorry it's not a better answer, sometimes I think after all their married life, my parents are 59 years this year, they feel the need to be needed by the other one, but in other ways wish they weren't if that makes sense?


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
North East
I would go with it like we have with our mum. It's my dad with the Alzheimer's. She was very resistant to outside care. My dad was stinking of urine. He was wearing jeans and no pads or anything and wetting often. He said someone had poured juice down him!!!!!!! He refused to shower as "he had already had one"

It got all too much for my mum. She finally caved and we got social services involved and they were brilliant. We got one visit a day booked in and changed what he was wearing to include easy wash and dry trousers and pully ups. Life has been easier due to the care visits but my mum still doesn't like her home being invaded everyday. This is the real issue. The problem we have is that he needs the care visits but mum doesn't like them, also she is still exhausted as she is still with him and the endlessness that is Alzheimer's.

I would advise that he sounds like your father is in need of help. The options to keep her at home include carers coming into their home to help and the possibility of mum going into respite for a week or so at a time to give him a break. Or a permanent placement in a nursing home. I would be asking which he feels would be better thus giving him a choice before he suffers carer breakdown xx


Registered User
Nov 29, 2014
West Midlands
Thank you all so much for your replies and good advice, I really appreciate it. Shedrech I think that's a good idea about going to see places and getting information ready, I think when my dad admits it needs to happen it will be in a crisis so would be good to have that information. Sue J ive never thought of the possibility of getting them both into respite, that's worth a mention. Lin1 and Mrsbusy it is so hard isn't it, its so devastating to see my mom now, she not my mom anymore if you know what I mean but its just as heart breaking to see my dad, you can see his pain of loosing his wife every time you look at him. My dad is very old fashioned with his emotions, he doesn't ever let anyone see him upset, a couple of weeks ago he starting sobbing on the phone to me, it broke my heart. If im honest as well I cant bear the though of my mom going into a home, although id never let my dad know that and will support him 100% when the time comes. Susy thank you, maybe we should just talk to him about the different options. He just doesn't trust anyone coming into the house.