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How to help a carer?


Registered User
May 1, 2015
My 79 year old Mum was diagnosed with Alz just over a year ago. She has deteriorated quite rapidly over the last 12 months, possibly because she could only take the lowest dose of Donepezil. She still lives with my 82 year old Dad in a lovely little bungalow on the south coast (about an hour's drive from me), but it has become a prison for both of them. Mum has severe arthritis in her hips and knees, so cannot walk much anyway and prior to the diagnosis had been practically housebound. My Dad is still quite agile for his age and had been going to bowls twice a week, as well as a weekly shopping trip. However, he now does not go out at all as Mum gets really upset when she realises he is not around. She has also been prone to a couple of falls. Dad shops on line and has had to give up his beloved bowls. He rarely gets chance to even mow the lawn as Mum always wants him with her. Mum is awake a lot at night, so I know Dad doesn't get much rest. He is struggling to cope and to understand what is happening. Doctors and social services have provided him with information, but he doesn't want to read it and I know he is in denial and really angry. I thought things would get better as he accepted what was happening, but they are getting worse. I visit as often as I can and cook them a meal and try to do things to help around the house (at least once a fortnight) but I work full time and to be honest I am exhausted. I cannot stay with them as they only have one bedroom. I have offered to stay whilst Dad goes on the annual bowls tour, but Dad won't hear of it. He says it is his responsibility. I appreciate my Dad now has to cook, clean, do the shopping washing etc and that it is hard for him. He has been offered help from social services, but he refuses to have strangers in the house. Neither he nor Mum are very social, so they will not go to clubs like singing for the brain etc. All of their friends are now dead or have moved away. I tried to get him to move up closer to me, but he won't, and I have to be honest, I don't think that would help Mum. Mum seems fine, she gets confused and frustrated when she can't communicate, but she says she is happy and just goes from day to day. Recently Dad blamed me for moving away 20 years ago which really hurt. Has anyone else had this sort of situation? Is it just anger or might my Dad also be showing the first signs of dementia too? How can I improve their quality of life? Any tips?


Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
Recently Dad blamed me for moving away 20 years ago which really hurt. Has anyone else had this sort of situation? Is it just anger or might my Dad also be showing the first signs of dementia too?
Probably your Dad just lashed out and would be horrified to realise how badly he hurt you. There's a faint possibility too that he might be suffering from depression (most carers do, at some stage).

You're doing as much as you can to help and you've already offered to do more than your Dad will let you do.

I think there's probably a generational problem (and maybe a gender one too) in getting very self-reliant, not particularly outgoing carers to accept the outside help they really need. Sadly they often seem to carry on until they get too exhausted to do so.

Sometimes families seem to be able to persuade the carer to accept a "cleaner":rolleyes: who just happens to be able to do caring jobs as well. Might that suggestion work for you?

It was hospitalisation first of the cared for person, then later of the carer, that broke the logjam for us. Dad agreed to a care package for Mum (which he didn't use effectively) because he saw it as the price paid for getting Mum released from hospital. The next time the carers were brought in he was actually willing to let them help.


Registered User
Sep 22, 2014
NW England
Hi Lizzie and welcome to talking point.

I am sorry you are having such a difficult time with your parents it must be so worrying for you.

I agree with the previous poster that your dad just said what he did in a moments anger, probably due to frustration and exhaustion.

It seems to me like you are doing everything you can to help your parents and if sadly your dad wont accept any other help at this time I cannot think of anything else you can do. Hopefully he will come to realise that he cannot manage to look after your mum on his own and will accept carers coming in.

Might he accept a sitter from one of the charities (age uk etc.) just to give him a short break to get out of the house?

Just keep gently letting him know that help is available when he is prepared to accept it.

brambles x