I can't get through to my dad


Registered User
Aug 11, 2007
My mum was admitted to the pysciatric hospital 3
weeks ago and has been sectioned. she has had
alzheimers for 12 years. Anyway, the nurses have
been great on the ward but the problems with her

1. She refuses all help with personnel hygiene and
it is taking 3-5 nurses to get her ready for bed
and then she wonders around most of the night
Some nights having no sleep at all. The mornings
are slightly better with her getting herself dressed
(with some help) she is great during the day, very
pleasant and loving.

2. She is getting incontinent.

We are waiting for an meeting with a social worker and
doctor to see what there opinion is but the nurses have
hinted that she probably would be better in a nusring
home but they want to see if they can ger her more
settled first.

Well now my problem is my dad, he is convinced she will come
home but I cannot see that. My mums sisters and myself have
tried to explain to him that it is unfair on him and mum to come
home because of her above problems but when I spoke to him
today, after he had come back from visiting her, he is still talking
as though she will come home.

They have been married 54 years and I can see how he feels,
it is as though she has died (but she hasn't) I feel as though I
want to scream at him.:(


Registered User
May 24, 2006
Quite simply your father cant face life alone even though trying to care for your Mother is clearly an overwhelming burden

They have been together a very long time and its awful that she has been ill for so long already ...............life and some illnesses are extremely unfair

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Dear Lizzie ... we all know it's a tough call for all of us one way or another ....

But you know, sometimes I am glad I am an only child (no practical help but no conflicts either) .... no dad to help (but thank goodness he isn't still around to see this) .....

I have learnt to recognise here the different traumas people face caring in different circumstances but yours - as well as many other members here - is one I particularly feel for ... not only are you 'losing' a parent to this terrible disease, but you are also having to 'nurse' the other (emotionally at least) through the loss ...... including the denial 'phase'.

Sounds like you have reached some level of acceptance that your dad has not yet ...... it's quite scary when the parent/child role gets reversed, isn't it?

We all need to scream sometimes ..... I suspect your dad is screaming inside too but not just able to get past the emotions and see the logic in the situation yet ..... (not suggesting that anyone should be expected to, either!)

I wish you both the strength to help each other ...... and please, come scream on TP ..... there are lots of wonderful people here who will support you as best they can ....

Much love, Karen, x


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi Lizzie

To be honest you may never get your father to agree that residential care is the best way forward. He may well feel that your mother will cooperate with him when she won't with other people, or that "something" will turn up. Whatever he decides (and I have to say, no matter how much you dislike it it IS his decision) you'd better save your energies for helping him, rather than trying to persuade him. It may be that after he talks with the doctors and social workers he may come to terms with the residential option, but it is entirely possible that he never will. Only you know you're family dynamics however: some people in your father's position want to essentially have the decision taken out of their hands, because they can't cope with the guilt, while others truly believe that they will be able to manage, no matter how unlikely that seems. Some, sadly, won't accept the option until their own health has gone dramatically downhill. Not very happy news I'm afraid.

I understand your desire to protect your "remaining" parent as much as possible (forgive me for putting it like that, but I think you'll know what I mean), but he is an adult and if you are not careful, and essentially "force" him to place your mother in residential care, you're relationship may never recover. I do think it is easier (a bit) for a child to cope with this decision rather than a spouse, because we expect to outlive our parents.

Not much help I know

Best wishes


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Lizzie,

I suppose the only way to resolve this problem is to allow your father to make the decision. Offer him as much support as you are able to give, and let him decide when caring for your mother at home is too much for him.

Otherwise, if the decision is taken out of his hands, he will probably blame you and you don`t need that on your plate as well as worrying about your parents.

I`m seeing it from the viewpoint of a wife, and I wouldn`t take kindly to anyone stepping in to make my decisions for me.

Whether your father is being realistic or not, he thinks he knows what`s best for him and your mother, and he should be given the chance to find out in his own time.

I`m sorry for you, as you are trying so hard to make things better, butI think things have to run their course.

Take care xx


Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
Softly, softly, Lizzy, such a long time for your Mum and Dad to be together, it must be so hard for your Dad. I'm not sure what the time-scale is for all this but can I make a suggestion? Perhaps you could arrange some visits to nursing homes in the area next week. You could then suggest to your Dad that you he (and you) go to have a look at them, telling him it's "just in case".

Hopefully you may find a good one, with nice staff, who will understand your Dad's reluctance. They may well say the same things to him that you have been saying, (that it's for the best etc.) but he might accept them more from someone "official". Perhaps your Dad needs to know that he would be able to visit every day and stay as long as he likes (if the home says he can, obviously!) My Dad's Home became my Mum's second home and the staff made her very welcome.

Best wishes,
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Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I feel as though I
want to scream at him.
Scream into a pillow , just let it out
Whether your father is being realistic or not, he thinks he knows what`s best for him and your mother, and he should be given the chance to find out in his own time.
because if he is given the chance to find out in his own way , hope your they to support him xx

54 years married is a life time of bounding love , with out letting go of his wife with out a fight , within himself . So sad I do feel for you seeing this happening with your parents . I hope that in the future he see with every ending they a new beginning when they go into care home , just the caring changes , but the love stays

We can see it that way , sadly your father can't .


Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
leigh lancashire
Dear Lizzie,54 years!thats some achievement in this day and age.I totally get where your coming from,but as advised,scream into a pillow or do it in private.I do it all the time.Dads at home and its sometimes mum i want to scream at god bless her.She is with him all the time and i can understand the frustration but she does sometimes looses it a bit.This must be so hard for you.Keep your chin up and i hope all goes well.love elainex


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire

The place, where Mum and Dad (married 61 years) are, have a whole complex.

Retirement bungalows, sheltered flats, very sheltered accommodation, care home nursing home and dementia unit.

Do you have anything in your area similar? Maybe your Dad would be willing to move to a sheltered flat? bungalow? where more help is available, but still could be with your Mum.

Take care

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Alfjess,

The complex that cares for your parents sounds ideal. My mother was in such a complex and it WAS ideal, but I imagine they are thin on the ground.

Take care xx


Registered User
Mar 27, 2004

Dear Lizzie

I fully understand your dad, Margaret and I will have been married 56 years in November and in your dad's position I wouldn't let her go into a home either. He will find out (as we all do) when he has reached the end of his tether, and then and only then will he consent to a care home.

I was very reluctant to put Margaret into respite care at first but having experienced it, and having found a good care home, I will freely admit the benefit we both derive from respite.

No doubt when and if caring at home becomes to much for me and Margaret has to go into a home I shall let her go, but it will be when I know that the time is right, not when someone else tells me.

Cheers Frank


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Lizzie, as the daughter of an AZ sufferer, I do understand how you feel, but it is your Dad's decision, no one else's.

Put yourself in your Dad's shoes...............he has to watch the woman he loves being overcome by AZ and he wants so desperately to keep her with him and love and care for her as they have loved and cared for each other for 54 years.

He needs to be able to make his own decision in his own time knowing he will be supported by all of you in whatever choice he makes.

Trust your Dad's judgement as you did when you were a little girl and give him all the love and support you can whatever happens.



Registered User
Aug 11, 2007
Thankyou for all your replies. You are right it his my dads decision really
although I feel mum would be better in a care home, I suppose I have to
sit back and let him do what he feels is best. I just feel we will be going
down the same road in a few months, if not weeks time.

I will wait and see what the doctors and social workers think, then take
it from there.



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Lizzie
Why not do the groundwork meantime, check out suitable homes, so that if/when the time comes you are ready with the shortlist and it will be less traumatic for your Dad.

Hi GrannyG

Yes where my parents are, is ideal. ie after a lot of teething troubles with the care home.
The location is beautiful. The complex is set in 30 arcres of grounds with man made lakes and canals, complete with barges, fountains and bridges, beautiful gardens and a gorgeous walled garden for residents
Unfortunately now my parents are to far down the dementia route to appreciate it. But I have met and seen other residents (from flats and bungalows) having a good social life within the community. They meet in the courtyard coffee shop for various games, arts, whatever, they go on bus trips, etc.

2 residents have made lots of dolls houses, which are diplayed in various buildings within the complex. They are wonderful, such detail and humour.

I know that in other areas, there are probably not many facilities the same as A-------- , but there may be a complex which offers, bungalows, sheltered, care home nursing home, dementia unit.

If not, why not?? There should be more of these complexes.

I am not asking anyone, to answer the above question. It makes sense to me to have everything under the one umberella and our older generation (which I will soon be one) can have a decent choice, while still capable of chosing.

I will get of my soapbox now



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I'm with you Alfjess. My mother's living complex was very similar, with the exception that they did/do not have a specialized demntia unit.

Personally, I would be very happy to retire there!


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
Lizzie, As a Father, grandfather and great grandfather I have been where your Dad is now. My wife and I will be married 52yrs next month.
Some six years ago my wife went in to hospital with a broken arm after a fall. She's been doubly incontinent for more than 8yrs. On her release from hospital after a month's stay, she no longer walked and most of her speech had gone. I'd cared for her on my own for the previous six years, but now things had changed so much I found the going too much. Our daughter as always was my best support, never interfered 'knew Dad could do anything'! When I was falling apart through lack of sleep and support, Nurses, Doctors, SS you name it desended on our then country home. A broken man I gave in and allowed my Jean to be placed in a NH. I'll never forget that decision, our daughter was there for me, I'm not a hugging person, but whenI held out my arms she came to me and I cried bitter tears.
Seeing her daily at the NH was frustrating, she'd given up the will to live, the lack of loving care only gave me the strength to try my best to save her.
Now four and a half years on after all the heartbreak, tears and frustration behind me I'm a stronger happier man caring for the love of my life.
One thing I can say I agree with what the experts say ' Nobody can care for a loved one alone in the End Stage'. Only if and when the end is reached shall I discover if they're wrong. Love care and quietly support you Dad and be there for him in his darkest hour. I wish you well. Padraig


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
I do agree with everyone's wise posts, but I just want to add something. I hope you don't all think I'm being very harsh!!

If your Dad has your Mum at home, please support him as much as you can. And by "as much as you can", I mean: as much as you can do without throwing YOUR life into total chaos.

There are many examples on TP and elsewhere of people with dementia who keep going at home only because their loved ones virtually give up their own lives to ensure it happens.

If this is your Dad's choice, then that is fine. And by all means do whatever you can to support him.

But I have a friend in similar circumstances to your's and, because her Dad wants to keep her Mum with him, she has just about given up her own life to "help" her Dad. In reality she has given up work, nearly been divorced by her husband, and constantly feels guilty because she is neglecting her own children.

I've said that I don't think her Mum would expect this sacrifice if she (Mum) were still thinking clearly, but my friend fears her Dad's response if she eases up on the help.

In reality, they are two old people who simply cannot cope any longer with their lives while living alone. The fact that they are both physically well means this situation could go on for YEARS!! I dread to think of my friend's situation even now - let alone if it goes on for years!!

My advice is, be clear with your Dad from the beginning just how much help you can offer. By all means be available at other times in emergencies, but I really DON'T believe children owe their entire lives to their parents. If your Dad can cope without you being there 24/7, that is great!! If not, it is better (IMHO) if he finds this out for himself rather than let you become an emotional wreck trying to keep them both afloat!!

I know I may well see things differently if it was my husband, and not a parent, so I hope I haven't offended those who see it differently.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
I agree with Nell too. There is no way I could have done for my mother what I do for my husband.