Relief and guilt


Registered User
Aug 21, 2007

My Dad collapsed with very slow heart rate and low blood pressure, the total opposite to what he's usually like. He's just come out of hospital after a 2 week stay where the staff very quickly realised that he has dementia and were constantly cornering me about it. Dad in the past has aggressively refused all outside help other than me, he's fiercely independent, but after quite a few assessments while in hospital where he scored very low in all of them. a community care worker contacted me and I had to admit that I've been struggling to look after him and said good luck if they were successful in getting him to agree to help.

Well the care worker was absolutely fab and very quickly got the measure of Dad and managed to get him to agree to help in the house. I'm quite sure that he doesn't understand what he's signed up to but I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that there will be another pair of far more expert eyes keeping an eye on him and I'll have a bit more flexibility with my work and life.

I took Dad home last night, he was so relieved to get back, and I keep telling him that somebody will be in from Monday to check on him every morning then will come back to bring him some lunch every day. He's really puzzled about this and keeps asking why but I'm standing my ground, and will eventually get him a cleaner and a gardener when he's got used to this.

But I also feel really guilty because he doesn't understand what's going on and to him his life will be changing in a way he doesn't want it to because he thinks he can cope easily himself. I know that when I go to see him now it will be quality time I can spend with him rather than running round trying to get him meals, clean and garden for him but I feel a huge sense of betrayal and that I'm abandoning him to his dreaded social services.

Oh, on a really positive note the care worker said he can claim attendance allowance. I was told ages ago it was means tested so wouldn't be able to claim. With Dad's obsession with money, I could maybe use this to soften the blow a little for him and tell him he'll be being paid to be be looked after!



Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi A-Jay,

I'm sorry that your Dad has been in hospital but it sounds as though it may have been a blessing in disguise and helped him and you to get the help needed.

I hope it goes well and that your Dad accepts the help. Could you tell him that it is part of the process of being discharged from hospital, that he needs to be monitored and to receive help for a period of time before he is fully discharged?

Who on earth told you Attendance Allowance is means tested? You should apply for it straightaway, you will certainly qualify, at least for the lower rate if your Dad needs help during the day, which he clearly does.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi A-jay

Good news that your dad has accepted the need for help. Please don't feel guilty, he obviously couldn't cope on his own, and you are doing the very best for him.

On the subject of AA, yes, your dad will qualify. When you fill in the form for him, make sure you mention all the help he needs, and when asked when he started to need help, backdate it six months, otherwise they will make you wait six months before it starts -- on the spurious grounds that your dad may get better!



Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Hello Ajay

We told our Mum that we had hired a cleaner and domestic for her as we wanted to be able just to do nice things when we visited and not be bothered with housework and stuff ! A huge con but it worked with us ! Your dad too may possibly have "buttons" you can click on to make the carers more acceptable.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Don't forget when filling out the Attendance Allowance form - think of the very worst day, not the best. You do not get any points for minimizing your father's problems. I'm sure there are some things that he can do for himself sometimes, which are a problem at others, so make sure you put those down. Also, if he can do certain things but it takes him an incredibly long time, then that should be put down as well. What you need to do is think of everything in relation to how easily things could be done by a well person and go from there. A mistake I think people make is to think "well this is probably hard for every 80 year old (or however old your father is)". That's not the issue - the issue is, it hard for him?


Registered User
Aug 21, 2007

Hi again - now I've got onto the new site!

Thought I'd just give a bit of an update on Dad finally accepting some help and care at home. It took him just 2 days to literally throw the care worker out - luckily she was just shaken and not hurt in any way. So SS have told me that as he's now 'refused' the care package there's nothing they can do, but they are being very supportive to me which is good.

Dad is now running round trying to prove to me that he can cope (his idea of coping was to ring me at work yesterday to say he'd got no food in - untrue - so get over there to make him some lunch.

Sigh. Once more into the breach........


Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire

I am sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he is feeling better.

Attendance allowance is not means tested, nor is it taxable. As far as I am aware, if a person has a need for care day and night they are entitled to the full rate of £64.50 a week. It can be back-dated, so think very carefully as to when your dad needed care, it could be a long time ago. AA is payable six months after your dad needed care, so if that was, say November 2006, it would be claimable from May 2007. Skye isn't quite right to say backdate it six months. Backdate it to the date he first needed the care. Don't try to be clever, but think about when you first consulted the doctor, when you first thought about care being needed.

The care does not have to be given, only to be needed. So I don't know what happens with your dad in the night. Does he need checking on? Does he ring you with difficulties? Do you have to lock the doors at night? All these would point to night-time care being needed. Or you might only get the daytime rate.

If, as you say, your dad would be pleased about the extra money, he might be more accepting of the help he is getting.

Good luck, and let us know how things progress, hopefully well.