I'm feeling very upset today


Registered User
Oct 11, 2006
Hi another newbie here.

My name is Joanne, my father has Alzheimers and is in his 60s. He was diagnosed a while ago and had his own suspicians for far longer.

My mum is his carer both retired.

The relationship has changed drastically from him being in control to my mum taking control. Some of it is spiteful on part, no doubt as a reaction to what she lives with day to day.

I am feeling very upset today as there were problems yesterday.
She left him to go to the gym (who know them both and are brilliant at keeping a discrete eye on things) while she had to go buy a heater. I think they had a fight and he didn't go in, instead walked home 6 miles in the rain down a busy dual carriage way dropping all his things as he went.

When i visit they try and hide everything and pretend it's ok until there is a huge problem. I am at that point where i'm starting to treat them like children. How do i get them to open up and ask for help early without casuing ructions and fights when i've gone?:(


Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
Hi Joanne

Welcome to TP, its a great place to come to for advice and support, unfortunately, i have not been in this situation, but there will be lots here who have and i'm sure you'll get lots of advice.

Sorry to hear your having a tough time...................i think that its normal for your mum to start and take control at this point............i don't mean control of everything, but things that need to be done to ensure your dad is safe and cared for in a way thats suitable for your mum to cope with.

I'm sure that this will cause problems, as your dad is used to being in control and he will not find it easy to adjust.

Try sitting them both down and telling them your concerns and how it is affecting you and upsetting you.

Sorry i can't be much help, but i hope you manage to get through to them.

Take care
Love Alex x


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Hello Joanne

This is a tough one for you, but even harder for your poor parents.

I do think it is important to let them know you are concerned for them both, but until they are ready, or forced into seeking help, there isn't much you can do.

Maybe just find as much information as you can about what is available locally and when the time comes at least you'll have everything to hand.

It is hard being a child of a sufferer, Mum has AD and until Dad died, he refused help from outside agencies, he was determined to cope mostly alone with my sister and I doing as much as we could.

I don't know if the pressure he was under was a factor in his suffering a stroke or not, but it can't have helped.

Let us know how you are getting on.



Registered User
Oct 11, 2006
Thankyou both. I am one of a number of children so not the only one who can help. But i am the only one within regular reachable distance.

It is so frustrating that they hide everything until something monumental has happened and then there is such a tight line between keeping an eye on things and interfering (in their eyes) which causes even more problems.

I work from home, Dad could have come to mine, but then he know's it's babysitting. The sad thing is some of what he says to my mum when they fight is true and she won't accept it because she's so much in the middle of it she can't cope and refuses help.
We've found that when he is relaxed and left to do things, there is still so much he can do, but mum is adamant he can't and he starts to believe her. Having dealt with the genuine can'ts it has become easier for her to assume he can't because her patience is so stretched.

I feel that i shall have to bite the bullet and start butting in a little more regularly until they tell me not to and use that as an opening......probably not the most elegant way of handling this, but subtlety and consideration seem to be losing that battle.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
I feel that i shall have to bite the bullet and start butting in a little more regularly until they tell me not to and use that as an opening......probably not the most elegant way of handling this, but subtlety and consideration seem to be losing that battle.[/QUOTE]

Hi Joanne,
I agree with Kathleen that you could have a "heart to heart" with your parents about your concerns and how upsetting you are finding it. This could help them to see that it is no longer working to try and "hide" everything.

My parents called me "bossy" when I started to suggest things and offer help, but I think they were both relieved because they did accept some of my suggestions (albeit not immediately!). The other good thing was they came to be more open about difficulties nd even seek my help sometimes.

DO share the burdens (and they are burdens) with your siblinmgs as much as you can - it is too hard to do this on your own unless that is unavoidable.

Thinking of you. Nell

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Joanne. I`m sorry you are so worried about your Parents.

Can I say that when a couple retire, it is often a culture shock to be together 24/7, especially when serious illness strikes.

Can I also say that when Parents need help, they are reluctant to ask thier children, as the last thing in the world they want to be, is to be considered a burden.

You don`t say how long your Parents have been retired before the onset of your Dad`s AD. As he is young, I imagine he hasn`t been retired for long. It seems your Parents` plans for retirement have suffered a tragic setback.

I think the ball has to be in your court. Could you make it clear to your Parents, individually, if necessary, that you really want to help, and perhaps make one or two suggestions.

Could you suggest short breaks would help them both and that you wouldn`t be `baby sitting` your Dad but getting him out from under your Mother`s feet.

I know the situation as my husband and I had terrible arguements when he was first diagnosed. I had to learn the how to respond to him, and your Mother will be in a similar situation. Your Mother will also feel he is fighting for his independence, as my husband did. My husband accused me of dominating him and taking away his independence and dignity. Gradually, I learnt not to fight back but to give way.

Our son has offered to sit with his father while I go out, but I have refused so far, as I would have no joy from such an outing. My husband does go to watch football with our son, and then I have some time to myself, at hiome.

Everyone has to find their own way. I do hope I haven`t been too intrusive in my comments. If I have, I apologize. Your Parents are lucky to have you, and if they don`t accept your offers of help now, I`m sure they will eventually.

Take Care. Sylvia


Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
sort of north east ish
Hi Joanne, there's some good insights and advice here I think. One thing I want to add, from my experience of a dad who for quite a while did everything he could to hide the fact that he was having problems from me - Try NOT to feel responsible for things that your parents aren't allowing you any control over. For whatever reason they're chosing to not ask you for help. By all means, discuss this and your concerns with them like others here have suggested. But if they don't let you help try not to let yourself feel responsible for what's happening.

I tied myself in a lot of knots about dad because I felt I SHOULD be doing something, but he simply wouldn't let me. Short of really invading their privacy and over-riding their wishes, there's not a lot you can do if they don't want you to know there's a problem.

oh ....... and ....... er .............. try to not go ballistic when they finally let you in and let you know what a mess it's all in :eek: When my dad finally showed me his x number of years paperwork and bank statements in a jumbled heap on the bedroom floor, I didn't contain my emotions too well :eek:


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
And Grannie G, TP is lucky to have you - your responses are always so considered and such good sense. Thank you.
Love Helen

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