Time for 24 hour care


Registered User
Oct 18, 2006
I am sure many people have faced this and if you could share your experiences I would be grateful as I think the time is coming close for my Mum to have 24 hour care.

I have had a very close relationship to my Mum and she started showing symptoms of alzheimers in 2000, when she was 58. Initally she was very distressed and confused but as time has gone on she is less confused but appears very vulnerable and fragile. My Dad is her main carer and has been amazing over the last few years. He is 70 later this year but is still very fit and active. Since October last year Mum has started having problems with going to the toilet. It started with a couple of incidents when she went to the toilet in the bedroom. Dad really struggled with this, obviously. I happened to be there the last time it happened and cleared it up, which took over 2 hours. Thankfully this seemed to stop. Then before Christmas she started wetting the bed, which has been every night. Then in the last 2 weeks the problem has been more serious, soiling the bed at night. Dad is feeling sick all the time so doesn't want to eat and is starting to accept that it would be better for both of them if she were in 24 hour care.

The area I am struggling with is that Mum is apparently emotionally quite aware. She is very anxious if Dad is not there and when I go home (they live in Yorkshie, I am in London), which is at the moment every other weekend, she gets upset if I leave her. The though of leaving her in a care home, no matter how nice it may be is very distressing. But then I am reminded that she is unaware when she soils herself so how much does she actually know now?

Any advice would be much appreciated. I am going to look at care home with Dad on Friday and am dreading it, as I know he is. I have a younger sister, who is on her honeymoon at present, I will have to tell her this when she comes back. It will be a big shock because up until she went at the end of December things seemed to be ok.

Thank you


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Carla

I'm not going to be much help to you, but I do sympathise.

I'm caring for my husband, also diagnosed in 2000, similar ages as your parents, and I'm finding it very hard going both physically and emotionally just now.

I went round NHs last week, but can't bring myself to make the decision, even for respite. I want to look after my husband, but my own health is suffering. I'm sure your father feels the same.

You're going to find your NH visits very upsetting, and so will your Dad. Not that there's anything wrong with the NHs, I saw some very good ones, it's just that it's so hard to admit that it is necessary.

Your Dad is lucky that you're being so supportive, and I'm sure he appreciates it.

Good luck with the visits.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Carla, just to say it can work out .

Lionel went into care home at begining of November, because of his mobility and lack of spatial awareness. At first he accused me of abandoning him, but then settled down. Although he makes the odd comment like "hurry back" when I say goodbye, if I am honest, it is far harder for me than him.

My memory is intact you see, his is not. Everything in his world is fleeting, so when he is unhappy it is not for very long.

Hope things work out O.K. for you.


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Hazel....when I was looking at homes for respite care for mum I did it very half heartedly so I know how you feel......I just didn't want to be doing it ........its so painful......


Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
Hi Carla

Its a very difficult decision to have to make but its sometimes made easier by the fact that you can look on it as a temporary measure, until adjustments on all sides are made.............you can always take her back out if you find that either your mum or dad can't settle.

Good luck
Love Alex x

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Carla, I do sympathize with your predicament.
If your mother is so aware, could you tell her your father is becoming worn out changing beds every day and needs a break. This way she would be doing it for him. It could always be introduced as a temporary measure.
It seems deceitful I know but sometimes `needs must`. You father can`t continue with soiled beds etc. if it ends up making him ill too.
It is even harder for you, living at a distance, but at this stage, the only answer is compromise.
All the best, love Sylvia x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Carla

Just another thought -- has your Dad had any help with the incontinence? If not, he should contact Social Services and ask for an assessment bu the continence advisor. They will provide pads, waterproof sheets, etc, and will monitor the situation.

The GP may also be able to prescribe medication to help with bladder weakness. It's still not easy to cope with, but it would make life a bit easier for your Dad, and might enable him to cope for a bit longer.