Where do we go from here?


Registered User
Mar 22, 2006
West Yorkshire
Hello everyone

I hope someone reading this might be able to suggest what help we might be able to give my mother and father in law. They own their own home, and we arranged contiuing power of attourney earlier this year.

Mum and dad are both in their late 80s, and her memory problems became much worse last year - dad had tried to keep their problems from us, but once we contacted her doctor a diagnosis of Alzheimers was made quite quickly. Dad has mobility problems; still able to walk but only just and he falls over at least once a week. He says he knows how to fall! The trouble is he often has difficulty getting back to his feet again. Mum has always been 'in charge' in the house and will not let anyone organise cleaners, allow dad to make lunch or give her her tablets.

Lunch is usually a ready meal of some kind, heated in the oven. Often mum turns off the oven before the food is properly heated, and she produces the most amazing combinations of food. She will not allow dad to help and almost becomes violent if he tries. He is allowed to make breakfast though, because he takes it up to bed for her.

Mum is prescribed aricept, and we have tried to ensure that she takes her tablets which come in a dosette from the chemist, but she insists on taking charge of them, sometimes losing them and certainly mixing them up. She gets very angry if dad tries to suggest she takes her tablets.

She forgets who dad is for hours at a time and rings us up several times a day to say there is a strange mam in the house and that he needs to go to his own home. She has threatened to ring the police, although not as far as we know done so. Dad is so patient and calm with her and avoids challenging her in any way because of her angry reactions, but he is visibly getting tired and she refuses to have any help in the house except us, and we are both retired and not getting any younger. She wears the same old dress every day and spends hours 'mending' old cardigans and vests. Dad was always a very smart man but because she gets upset if he wears what she considers to be new clothes he is wearing things which should have been binned long ago. He will not go against her wishes in any way. He wants to keep her happy but she isn't and neither is he.

What can we do?

Thanks for any advice



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Patti
Sorry no advice, just a lot of sympathy. Your Mum and Dad sound a lot like mine. Only difference is both of my parents have AD. Mum has always been "in charge" and still is. Dad is all for a quiet life. Mum is convinced there is nothing wrong with either of them.
What I try to do is seperate them, when I can. Just to give Dad a break. Although he has AD, I am certain he needs time out from Mum.
Alfjess x


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Patti,
Welcome to TP. I have moved your thread, so you will soon get some replies on this forum.
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Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
hello patti.

you do have my sympathy, we went through the "strange man in the house" with my mum a few months ago, in the end it made her (and dad) so distressed we had her admitted to the EMI ward of the local hospital where a change of medication was done, she was fine after that, but old men soon turned into monkeys, babies , donkeys!!
another spell in EMI another change of meds, perhaps it would benefit your mum if she had her medication reviewed as it seems some work for a time and then wares off.
here's a few factsheets you might find helpfull
good luck


Registered User
Sep 1, 2006
Day Centre

Patti, do you think an AD day centre for your parents would be helpful, going on different days? This could be arranged through your local AD society.
regards xxxSunny


Registered User
Mar 22, 2006
West Yorkshire
Thanks to everyone for their advice and help. Thanks for moving the thread Amy. I don't think a day centre would really help, Sunny, because mum doesn't really like going away from home. They are both very much 'home-birds' and she has never been very outgoing. I did suggest something like that to dad, a local lunch club, but the response was very negative.

Separation certainly gives dad a break, alfjess, and he does need it but he will only leave her when my husband - their only child - takes him shopping into the village.

I am not her favourite person at the moment because she thinks I have taken most of her pots and pans away, either me or some other strange woman who she says has been in her kitchen. The reality is that she has been putting things away in 'safe' places for the last few years, and some of the missing things were thrown away years ago, but she can't remember doing it. When dad and I say that I haven't taken anything, she thinks we are accusing her of 'going stupid' and can become angry. The only thing that she enjoys is talking about her adoption as a child and her years as a young wife and mother, which we encourage with photos etc. She is very deaf and loses or refuses to wear her hearing aid, so conversations are rather one sided.

Most of their relatives and friends have now died or are ill themselves and they have few if any visitors. Not having other people who know them well to discuss their problems with means making decisions ourselves and that is not easy. We have thought about a short term hospital admittance to give dad a break, but perhaps it's too early for this and how and who do we approach about this, and might it make their situation worse?

It helps to write everything down so thanks for reading this.