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Need to tell my brother that mum needs to have 24 nursing care - he won't like it.


Registered User
Mar 17, 2009
My mum has been in hospital for 8 weeks and the consultant and social workers have recommended that she has 24 hour nursing care after discharge, they're putting in for her to be fully funded this week. I'm going to have to tell my brother that mum won't be going home to her sheltered accommodation flat with a care package. I'm not looking forward to telling him, as he got very upset and angry when I broached it earlier, he still thinks she can manage in her flat with carers support, and in his eyes she's recovered from what made her ill. He still sees his mum as she was 5 years ago. But in my eyes she's a sick frail elderly lady with complex needs, who's health has been declining over the past year or more. Its trying to give her the best quality of life in whatever time that she has left.
Has anyone any experience of this and can advise me on how best to approach it with him

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Hi nellen, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. Eight weeks in hospital is a long time and I'm sure it's been very hard on you as well as your mother.

I'm also sorry to hear that you expect an unpleasant reaction from your brother. While I've not been in your exact situation, I expect others on here have been, and will have some specific advise for you. I do have a few thoughts.

First, can you have one of the nursing/medical/hospital staff (maybe the social workers?) contact your brother in some way, to deliver this news? that way, you are not the bad guy, and you are not even the messenger. He can argue with them if he wants but of course he will not change their minds. I imagine if you explain this to the social worker they will be sympathetic. I don't know if he lives locally, but he could even go to a care conference/family meeting at the hospital.

If that's not possible, then I'd deliver the message as concisely and business-like as possible, and not stick around on the phone/in person/whatever to discuss it. In fact, I might even leave a message. Something like, "The hospital says Mum needs 24 hour nursing care and they have arranged a transfer to X facility. If you have questions, ring them and speak to the social worker Jane at x number."

I have heard from lots of people, that they have at least one family member with their head stuck in the sand. Of course, none of us want our parents to be ill, elderly, have dementia, or no longer be able to live independently. As you say, your mum has complex medical needs and she deserves the best care possible. Good for you, for seeing that she gets it.

I'm so sorry. I hope someone else here will have better advice!


Registered User
Jul 21, 2015
As Amy in the US says there is often one person with the head stuck in the sand.My brother never accepted mum needed more than care at home could offer. She was eventually sectioned and went into a home. She loved it there and it was a new beginning for all of us. He often laments about his stance but it was with the best of intentions I'm sure, he just could not deal with " putting mum in a home ".
Very difficult for you I know and it may take something major to get him to take the blinkers off .