What to do now? At a complete loss


Registered User
Jan 7, 2013
Help needed please. Dad has vascular dementia and is usually cared for by mum at home. He has deteriorated rapidly over the last month. Approx. three wks ago mum fell and is now having terrible sciatic/groin pain requiring zimmer and meaning she cant look after dad at home. He is becoming increasingly frustrated, continually pacing, agitated and difficult to calm. We rang emergency social worker yesterday who is arranging for a vist and assessment tomorrow morning.
The problem is that my mum has had enough and feels she cant cope anymore. She is already on antidepressants and has had the patience of a saint for years without any support (their choice as dad always refused). Dad is so difficult to manage, we are unable to calm him at all. he refuses antibiotics in case he has a urine infection. We got respite for dad yesterday but when taken there he refused to stay and ran off and managed to find his way home. I am so worried about what to do tomorrow if SW says they will just start a care package. I live 250 miles away and the thought of driving off and leaving them fills me with dread. If social worker offers a care package tomorrow and I say I'm taking mum home with me for a week then what would happen to dad? It sounds cruel but as he refuses respite I feel in some ways the only option is take mum away and hope for drastic action by Social Services. Any advice please.


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
I'm so sorry Mansfield, it does sound as though you're at the end of your tether.

If social worker offers a care package tomorrow and I say I'm taking mum home with me for a week then what would happen to dad? It sounds cruel but as he refuses respite I feel in some ways the only option is take mum away and hope for drastic action by Social Services
I don't think it's cruel. Sadly sometimes drastic action is required to get the help you desperately need.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
I think your idea of taking your Mum home with you to care for her is the best thing for all parties.

Then your Dad will have to be their responsibility, .

Your Mum may feel differently when she recovers, . I am sure it is impossible for her at the moment.



Registered User
May 19, 2012
bedlington northumberland
So sorry to hear of your problem regarding your dad. when the SW comes tomorrow you have to make it plain to them that you are not prepared to leave your mum in this situation as she is not fit to care for your father.

hope that you get the care that is needed.



Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
Yes - you take your mum to safety to recover. And your dad will be cared for and SS will be better able to assess how he is and what his needs are.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Well, little ole fence-sitter me, who never wants anything drastic to happen, and I am afraid (or glad?) to say I think everyone who has posted so far is right. Take your mum home with you for a break and dad will have no choice but to go where SS take him.

If it is somewhere he likes, then build on that for a future permanent home, and if it is somewhere he doesn't like, maybe he will see that his family are right to investigate alternatives.

Whatever, I would think about investigating asap, cos it isn't acceptable for your poor mum to have pressure to look after a demanding person, however much she loves him and wants to help him, when she isn't able to. You need strength, stamina, and good health to deal with a person with dementia, and sadly an ageing wife isn't usually best placed to do it. We will probably be all in this place in a few years.

Hope it all works out for you,

Much love



Registered User
I would leave your mum at your house for the appointment, and tell the SW, that mum is staying with you for a few months until she recovers fully, and that your dad needs to be fully cared for. Sometimes you have to force their hand or nothing will be done. If you try and make do, they will presume you'll manage somehow. You should tell them very clearly that your mum feels that she can no longer cope with caring for your dad, and that he isn't safe at home by himself, as she has been doing "everything" for him for so long that he wouldn't be able to cope.


Registered User
Dec 7, 2009
Central Coast NSW
Totally agree I had to succumb to letting the crisis happen, (my mum has vascular Dementia and Alzheimers, with my dad and I shared carers) but sadly my mum had a fall and was 9 weeks in hospital then went to a CH as they wouldnt let my dad take her home, but it took alot for that to happen with alot of help from SW and he still insists that it wasnt the best outcome that he could take care of her. But I know in my heart that I had to persist for the right outcome for my mum not for my dad, but it did get to the stage where I was preparing to take him to court to contest his power of attorney and state of mind.
And you couldn get a closer relationship than me and my parents, I was his baby girl after having 4 boys, but it just come to a point where you have to do what you gotta do. And unfortunately thats to let the crisis happen!
So I'm with you on your decision!!!!!! Cheers Robyn


Registered User
Oct 8, 2011
We had a situation a bit like this when my two aunts lived together. The older one had severe dementia and was hitting the younger one (we did not know the younger one had dementia at that time).

Having run out of options I told the SW I was about to invite the younger aunt to stay with me, as she was not safe at home.

The SW lost her rag with me, and shouted at me that I should know better than to say such a thing and I "knew exactly what I was doing". :) I did :)

I still think what everyone else has said here is right, but you must proceed with care, as SW see the person left alone as being put deliberately as risk by the person inviting mum or whoever away to stay.

I would suggest anyone trying this has all the right words handy - duty of care/ at risk etc.



Registered User
Jan 7, 2013
Thanks for replies. Its been a very long day. Have had GP and social worker out followed by CPN. She has arranged for dad to be admitted to a psychiatric assessment ward tomorrow. I of course am worried that he may abscond again as he did at the weekend when he realises that he has to stay in the hospital. The CPN said if that is the case and he runs off as we get out of the car then the hospital and police will take over. I hope so. I am dreading it. If we do manage to get him onto the ward he is going to be so distressed when he realises i am leaving. I am trying not to think about it and just think we are acting in his best interests as he is a danger to himself. So sad. Tomorrows another day so hopefully things will go to plan.


Registered User
Dec 3, 2012
My thoughts are with you at this very difficult time - I will be thinking of you tomorrow and hope it isn't too stressful.

You are definitely doing the right thing for all concerned. Your Dad will be safe and you will be able to look after your Mum whilst she gets her strength back.

Anne D