• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

when to have "the conversation"


Registered User
Jul 11, 2015
My mother in law has always looked after my kids while I worked. I will be forever grateful to her for that, especially when I see the issues my work mates have with childcare etc.

My son is 18 now and my daughter is 10, so she still needs looking after. But the last few times that she has been with her nan, there has been "something" gone wrong. Normally little things like losing my daughters hoody, or getting the wrong bus home but I am just so worried that its going to get worse.

At what point do i tell my mother in law that she cant take her out anymore. I swear that having my kids to look after has kept her healthy and kept the dementia at bay for several years now and I know for a fact that it will truly break her heart when the day comes that i need to have "the conversation"

I can sometimes persuade my 18yr old to go with them but obviously, at his age, this is something of a drag to him and it normally costs me money to blackmail him lol!

My kids have the most lovely relationship with there nan and when i have ever been complimented on their manners etc i have always given the credit to my mother in law, such is how close they have been and the relatinship they have. so my kids will also be heartbroken when things change.

people tell me my daughter is old enough to look out for her nan while they are out, but is it selfish of me to say i dont want my 10yr old to become a carer adn i dont want her to have such responsibilty at her age.

the kids break up next week and the summer holidays are on us. usually my daughter and her nan will go of for long days out adn big adventures. i might just get the summer holidays out of it but if i do, i know this will be the last school holidays that they spend together but how do i tell her?


Registered User
Mar 20, 2015
She is definitely too young to become a carer, but I would have thought she is almost exactly at the age when she would want to be heading out on adventures with her friends her own age rather than her granny? It is so sad, as you say, but I hope you may be able to engineer it as something that happpens 'naturally'?


Registered User
Jul 11, 2015
yeah that has been suggested that hopefully it might just come to an end naturally. and my daughter does like to spend more time with her friends these days. but unfortunately, i work full time, so there is always days when jess does have to be in the care of an adult and 99% of the time this has always been her nan.

my own mum is quite good and quite often "asks" my mum in law if she minds if she tags along with them as she is at a loose end. mum in law is normally happy about this but i`m worried that she might twig that were "keeping an eye on her"

every day brings a new dilemma doesnt it?

Miss shiraz

Registered User
Dec 24, 2014
Many of us on TP use love lies.. little white lies to protect those we love with their best interest at heart. I'm sure when the time comes then something appropriate will come to mind. In the meantime I'm sure they will enjoy each others company and MIL probably doesn't even realise that she's being 'cared for' by her grand-daughter. You may need to have a plan B if anything should happen and I'm sure you'll have emergency contacts in place so your daughter can make a call if she's concerned or uncomfortable.
Take each day as it comes as you never know what's round the corner with this awful disease. One year on could bring a totally different set of circumstances.


Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
I think more than anything else that you should not have 'the conversation'. Not now, not ever. Let things take a natural course, put other options in place for child minding some of the time but no way would I tell your Mil the reason why. As others say, use love lies but she would be devasted if you told her she was no longer capable of looking after your daughter.

Perhaps your daughter will be able to cope with her Nan for a bit longer, some kids can respond well to that role and it doesn't really make her a carer, it just means she starts to learn about being responsible for herself and her nan, a bit.

You sound like you have been very fortunate with your Mil but the conversation I think you need to have is with yourself. How do you meet your childcare needs, now Nan can't do so? Also it would be good to make sure the Nan has enough to occupy her if childcare is being withdrawn, which I would do in very small increments. Can you encourage her to go to a club or something where she can be with other people, so she won't feel lonely and miss seeing so much of your daughter? It will leave a gap in her life and in her routine that needs filling with other stuff.


Registered User
Jul 11, 2015
Childcare won't be an issue as I have enough family members to rely on including my own mum. Mil has always been very territorial over my kids and because my mum always worked herself, it was never really an issue.

My mum is retired now and likes to try and spend more time with the kids and will happily take over childcare but I feel almost like that's saying, well your no use to me now. I still want mil to play a big part in my kids lives. But your very right, I am now thinking of not having the conversation and just simply letting things take a natural course x

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member