I can't cope anymore


Registered User
Oct 13, 2007
Hi, I've been a member for a while now, mainly just reading others' posts, which have been a great help. My mum has vascular dementia and lives with me. With hindsight I think the symptoms first started when my dad passed away seven years ago. Mum is now pretty bad and has been in an EMI care home for the past week, with one more week to go (as part of phased care). I realise how lucky I am to have the break, but I am really struggling with the thought of mum coming home. I can’t cope with her anymore. Feeling really guilty about this and don’t really know where to turn or what to do. Can anyone help please?


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Sherbert,
Welcome to Talking Point.
Firstly, guilt is something we all go through, why we do it,is because we want the best for our loved one
To admit you can't cope anymore and are dreading your Mum coming home, it is now where you need help.
Do you have a Social Worker ?
If during the assessment of your Mother, it may be decided that she needs the care of the Professionals.
This is hard I know admitting not being able to cope but I am disabled and looked after my husband for 4 years and a year ago was placed in E.M.I. Unit by his Consultant.
As much as I wanted to carry on, in all honestly I knew it was affecting my health in a serious way.
I wish you all the best.


Registered User
Nov 26, 2006
Hi Sherbet,

OK – as Christine said, please speak to your Mum’s Social Worker about your feelings.

They may make a recommendation that she receives long term care at the home anyway, but things have obviously reached the point where you cannot continue anymore.

I would urge that you speak with them at the earliest opportunity, in order to make whatever arrangements are necessary.

Finally – go easy on yourself. :)


Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
Hi Sherbet

If you cannot cope, you need to tell the Social Worker.
Please get the help you need.
Do not be afraid to ask, you also need to be fit and strong.
Barb & Ron


Registered User
Oct 13, 2007
Hi all, thank you so much for your responses.

It’s a horrible situation to be in. My mum’s GP said she should’ve been in care a long time ago as she can’t look after herself, it’s only because I’m with her 24/7 that she’s been able to stay at home so long.

He also explained that if I refused to have mum home again after the respite that the home wouldn't trust me anymore and that mum would be moved to a psychiatric unit of a local hospital because the respite bed would be needed for someone else. Also that mum would be left to rot in the psych unit until a bed in another home was found, which may never happen because the authorities would consider that mum’s family don’t care about her. Which is definitely not true.

Mum is also not settling in the respite home and when I saw her yesterday she pleaded and begged me to take her home to where she feels safe. It’s so hard to admit to not being able to cope and I feel as though I’ve really let my mum down. I feel so torn.

My health is also suffering, and my blood pressure is sky high. I do have a social worker and I will definitely give her a call in the morning. Thank you all again.


Registered User
Oct 15, 2005
Don't let the ......

guilt monster get to you!

As Christine said, we only feel this way because we want the best for our loved ones.Please see Mum's SW or CPN and ask for help. We all get to the stage where we can't cope, you need to be strong to care 24/7 and you sound as though you need more now than just 2wks respite. Take care and look after yourself, come back and let us know how you are.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Dear Sherbet

What a dreadful situation the GP has put you in, and one which I don't think is at all true. Talk to the home she is now in and see what they think might be the situation after her respite period is at an end. Your GP seems to be offering no solution at all - have her home and he won't want to support her either.

My love, if you can't cope yourself, then you can't cope. You wouldn't be doing anyone any good by pretending that you can, not yourself, and certainly not your mother. That is not failure, it is facing facts.

What on earth does he mean by saying your mum would be "left to rot" in a psychiatric unit? That is totally unprofessional speak and I would suggest he should be reported for saying such a thing. My mum didn't go into respite, but she DID go into the psychiatric unit of the local hospital, there was no sign of anyone "rotting" and to be honest it was so lovely I think she would have been happy to stay there for ever. The purpose was to assess her needs, and they did it exceptionally well and with great love and kindness. She certainly didn't rot, she felt secure and happy and we were disappointed when she had to leave and move to a Care Home. We were given plenty of time to find a place - they said 4 weeks, but if you find a home but there are no places we will keep her here for as long as it takes. Excellent service.

Why on earth should any care home think her family isn't concerned about her? It is normal procedure for a person in respite to be asked to move out after the period of respite, and if they can't go home, the local pschiatric unit is a sensible stop-gap. Nobody should think that you do not care because of that. Of course you care, you wouldn't be posting on here if you didn't.

Let your mum go to the psychiatric unit on the understanding that her mental needs are going to be assessed thoroughly, and a recommendation made as to what kind of long-term care home she needs - secure, emh, nursing, etc. While she is there, make every effort to visit as often as you can, consider taking her out for a run in the country, a bar snack, a visit home (I was scared to do that) and take the opportunity to look for a permanent care home for her.

Talk to the Social Worker, get the brochures for care homes, visit a few while your mum is in the psychiatric unit and looked after, take your time to choose the right place and pray that they have a vacancy (that is the main problem). Get your mum on the waiting list if not, and let the professionals do the rest. This is what you pay your taxes for - help when you need it. And it sounds as if you justify that help very much.

Now if you do all the above, nobody on earth will reckon that you do not care. It will be obvious that you do.

As regards your mum pleading to come home, I'm afraid that is common. My mum never did that, but it is obvious that she hates where she has been for the past 9 months, not cos there is anything (much) wrong with it but because it isn't home. In some ways I feel more sad cos she doesn't complain or plead, I feel she is just resigned to it, and it isn't a nice feeling.

Let us know how you get on. And tell the GP he needs to hone is personal skills when he is talking to people in your position, his attitude is appalling.

Much love and hugs



Registered User
Mar 27, 2008

We are in an almost similar situation, (happened over the weekend)terrified they will let my mother in law out at the end of respite now.
Husbands's blood pressure is severely high.
I am going to contact Adult services today and tell them we cannot cope, yes we feel guilty, I keep asking myself is she really that bad having been very manipulative all her life, but have to hang on to the fact that surely she cannot dupe all the tests she has had.
We are so desparate that we are wondering what would happen if we said we accept no responsibility any longer (more guilt).We are not there 24/7 but the neighbour has been, she's now ill with it all. If she came out the first thing she would do is start to harrass them banging on the door and windows and ringing their phone.
You have a life and take care of yourself, I cannot truly believe that the authorities would act badly, but maybe I am in rose tinted spectacles mode.
Do take care of yourself.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
He also explained that if I refused to have mum home again after the respite that the home wouldn't trust me anymore and that mum would be moved to a psychiatric unit of a local hospital because the respite bed would be needed for someone else.
I am in your situation also.

That does sound drastic; they can’t do that only if you let them.
Why should they do that? Only if they no vacancies in your area for an EMI care home, you’re Mother in a EMI unit so she must have been assessed for a EMI unit.

Just because you can’t cope does not mean that they can take away the empowerment of you having a say where she is place while they find another EMI unit if they is no vacancies in the respite she in
what you have to do is .

Phone social service tells them how you feel in not being able to take your mother back home. Then they have to find her another place.

Now I don’t know if you funded or self funded?

In my case I am not self funded. So social services had to apply for funding to a panel so my mother could go into a full time care home, So they have to do an assessment on my mother mental capacity

I could take the whole of my yearly entitlement of respite of 8 weeks while they do this , so they would of move my mother from the respite care home she was in , while they do the assessment in another care home that had a vacancies.

But I did not want this, I knew what care home I wanted my mother to go on full time, but could not get her in the till the funding was sorted out also the mental capacity :rolleyes:

So I brought my mother home, While Social services do they assessment to get the funding

If your mother self funding & you’re not disputing who should pay for her care, you can go ahead find a place for your mother to be place in a permanent care home.

If like me you have Social services funding it, they want to keep your mother in the family home , rather than care home .they want to know who name the house / flat is that you both live in , is it a joint tenancy ?
They have to prove that your mother does not have the Mental Capacity to make diction (sp) on her own in what care home environment she wants to be care in.

When they done all the assessment on her mental health got the proof that she does not have the mental capacity to make dictions & have got the funding from the panel. Then you can choice the care home you want your mother to me in.

By that time you have no mental capacity left yourself ,because the stress of not coping only joking being :p)

Seeing that your mother is in a EMI unit for respite must mean that she been assessed for EMI care , so they no need for the Mental Capacity test

I see you’re in London. They quite a few Nursing (EMI ) home in London , so why not just ring social service tell them that you’re not coping & want your mother place in another nursing home for the duration of your entitlement of the yearly 8 week respite while they find a perment placement for your mother