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I could do with some help on what to do


New member
Dec 1, 2020
Hi everyone,
I could really do with some advice.

Some quick background information. I live with my elderly parents, my Father is 86 and has dementia along with several other conditions including COPD, prostrate cancer etc, he also is fairly deaf and my Mother is 74, very set in her ways. My mum for the main part cares for my father. I work full time albeit from home at the moment and I do all the running around for them. Like a lot of elderly people they have allowed the house to deteriorate...

My issue is that my Mother is not coping at all well with my fathers decline. In short, she thinks he is "putting it on". The biggest issue is the toilet problems, my Dad has had a problem with his bowels for a long time, but now due to the dementia and also the fact that he is slowing down, he constantly has accidents, messing himself almost every time he goes to the toilet. Worst still he no longer remembers to clean himself. My mother gets extremely upset about it all. At night when he gets up, he sits on the toilet until she comes to get him, often as he sits on the toilet he scratches his legs until they bleed. Over the past few months, I am guessing mainly due to lack of sleep, my mother has started to scream at him (night or day) when these accidents happen, berating him, calling him names, shouting orders at him, telling him he is breaking her, etc etc and she seems to be getting more aggressive about it. I have tried talking to her.. but all she says is that is her way of copying, that she cant help it and that she shouts because he cant hear. I've made various suggestions, about buying him depend pants - but she says this will be worse. I've suggested we go speak to the doctor, but she says she already has and he wont do anything (I am not sure this is true). I've suggested that maybe its time that we look at a home for him. But she told me its too soon and that to do this we would need to sell the house and pay for his care.... (she has always worried about money as my father was self employed).

We need help, but I don't seem to be able to get her to do anything. There is so much that needs to be done, not only for my fathers health and welfare, but also around the house, currently there is no flooring down in any of the rooms, we need new toilets. The house is really not set up for caring for someone with the kind of needs my father now has.
My mother is a very difficult to handle - I tried to get my sisters involved (I have three) but they don't seem to understand how bad things are getting. Its all getting a bit much, especially as I am also not getting any sleep. I find these episodes with my mum screaming at him very upsetting. Often when this happens at night, I cant get back to sleep for worrying. Worrying about how she is treating my dad, worrying about her health, that she will give herself a heart attack, that she might hurt him in rage.

So what do I do? To me its feels like abuse, and if I heard a carer talking to him like this I would report it. But I know she is very stressed, and that all these changes in my Dad have come as a shock to her. Maybe its because I am too close to the situation, but anything I say is taken the wrong way. I want to help and have thought about going to the doctor and speaking to someone about it... but if I go behind her back it could cause more issues. I feel extremely trapped.... and don't know what to do for the best.... I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thank you


Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
High Peak
First, I'm sorry to hear you are in this position - it must be incredibly stressful and worrying.

It may be too soon for a care home (like you, I don't think so!) but you can certainly get your mum (and you) some help with your dad. Why don't you employ carers to come in and wash him, etc? If your mum is reluctant to accept outside help (and I bet she is!) you could start by employing a cleaner - say it's to make life easier for all of you. You could also employ someone to get some of the jobs done around the house.

From what you say I am assuming your father would be self-funding, i.e. he has savings (that's his savings or half of any joint savings) of more than about £23,500) so you can just go ahead and arrange these things. Your mum's fears about having to sell the house are unfounded. In the event your father had to move to a care home, the house would be disregarded while she still lives there so only his savings would be counted. Perhaps she would see things differently if she knew this?


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hello @Kezzer123
a warm welcome to DTP

sadly your parents' situation is all too familiar to many members here ... your mother is so overwhelmed by what's happening that she just can't put things in perspective, and money worries always raise their head at some point

this link may give you the information you need to put het mind at rest ... her home is NOT at risk, she will NOT have to sell it to pay for the care her husband needs, it is disregarded in any financial assessment
Paying for care and support in England | Alzheimer's Society

I hope Attendance Allowance has been applied for as this will help finances and your father clearly qualifies, and it is not a means tested benefit it is granted on need only
Attendance Allowance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Attendance Allowance | Benefits advice | Age UK

once AA is in place, they can then contact their Council for a disregard of Council Tax so your mum is classed as a single occupier (25% discount)
and you can look into Carer's Allowance
Carer's Allowance: Eligibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

it's tough on you to want to help, and I know it feels like going behind their backs, but you can contact their Local Authority Adult Services to arrange an assessment of your father's care needs and through that a care package will be suggested ... paid for from your father's finances only, so if he will be self-funding, you can arrange home care visits yourselves
when you contact be brutally honest about their situation (give a copy of your post), make it clear that your father is a 'vulnerable' adult' who is 'at risk of neglect' due to his wife's lack of grasp of the seriousness of their situation and inability to provide the help he needs (NOT a reflection on your mother or her caring for her husband, she is in an impossible situation and no one person can cope alone)

personally, I'd also write to their GP and put them fully in the picture ... the GP may not be able to discuss matters with you but has to note concerns raised by family and hopefully will act ... there should be a continence nurse at the surgery and they can advise your mum

you might also contact Admiral Nurses as they are there to support the carer
An Admiral Nurse is a Specialist Dementia Nurse | Dementia UK


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
I do think that you need to let their GP know what is going on. Perhaps you could write a letter similar to your post outlining all your concerns.

Incontinence is often the line in the sand which triggers a move to a care home. Your mum is obviously very stressed, but nevertheless her reactions seem extreme. I too would worry about abuse. You can none of you go on like like this.

Just one more thing for you to consider. Your mum saying that she cant help the outbursts, that she thinks he is doing it on purpose and everything you say being taken the wrong way is waving some warning flags to me. It could be just stress and I can only raise the possibility, but I would ask you to consider the possibility that she is developing dementia too........


Registered User
May 21, 2018
Hello @Kezzer123

As @Shedrech has already said, this is sadly not an uncommon situation. I see that you have already had some good advice. It is very hard to do but someone needs to break the cycle and it looks as though it has to be you. I wonder if you would all benefit if your Dad were to have a respite stay in a care home at some stage. I know it's difficult at the moment and there are risks involved due to Covid, so you may not want to try it straight away. In the meantime, I think you need to get some carers in - "just to see how it goes". Perhaps tell your mum it's to give her a break?

For future reference, this link may be useful. It has good information regarding care homes, reviews and you can search by area and various criteria. There is more useful information at the bottom of the main page regarding how to choose, funding and so on.

Keep posting for support and advice, and let us know how things are going. Lots of us out here to help you.

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