Caring for an elderly relative

Hi this could be a very long post so I’ll shorten it a lot
I have been caring for my granddad since my Nan passed away 3 years ago he’s 87 at the moment I only need to visit once a day.
His daughter moved around the corner from him 6 months ago from France. I thought it was to help care for him as he gets older and needs us around more.
His daughter has just recently met a guy and is marrying him and moving to Spain and leaving me with the responsibility of caring for her dad ( she will be leaving her daughter in uk ) but her daughter goes to college 5 days a week and then does a lot of studying on weekends.
I have had a chat with my aunt and told her I think she is being very selfish going off with a man she doesn’t even know and leaving me who is disabled anyway to look after him on a daily basis.
Now I love my grandad to bits but with my illness I’m finding it hard already and his care needs are only going to get greater but she just doesn’t seam to care about anybody but herself !!! She has even said well it’s life. After that comment none of us are going to the wedding of the year lol.
Am I in the wrong for expecting her to help look after her dad ?
Why should I do it all 7 days a week when she’s sunbathing in Spain with a man she has known for less than 12 weeks. She’s also told her daughter she needs to do more to help out her grandad !!! ( she is a stranger to him ) I’ve told her she needs to take a leaf out of her own book as she is his daughter so she should be the one doing more. At this moment in time she is making me feel like I’m the one that is in the wrong just sending me messages telling me I need to stop ranting and even suggesting I go away on holiday cause I need a break. As I speak she is working away for 4 weeks and then coming home for 12 days and then going to Spain to see her new boyfriend for 2 weeks. I can’t even have a day away never mind a holiday and feel like she is just patronising me. She has even said she won’t fall out with me as she would be saying the same things to me so my head is messed up with her now even more

What a dreadful woman. She needs to understand the hard facts.


You cannot and will not sacrifice your life so that she can swan off. If Grandad needs care, then it MUST be arranged for him.
How this is arranged and provided depends on his financial situation. The answers to the following questions will enable us to give best advice, and point you in the right direction.

Does dad own his house, or rent it from the council or a housing association?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/No)
Is he claiming Attendance Allowance?
Does he have dementia?
Does anyone have Power of Attorney for him?

I’m not suggesting for one moment that you abandon him, but at his age as you rightly say, his needs will just increase further.
My mum was housebound for many years, and for many years I supported her with everything. When I was very ill, I could not provide hands on care, so my role became that of Care Manager/Supervisor. Social Services arranged for carers to go in three times a day, for washing, dressing, and meals. I did whatever they couldn’t or wouldn’t. They refused to pick raspberries for her meals, but would happily buy them from the supermarket, for example.

If you read other forum posts, you will see that your sort of situation occurs very, very regularly. Do NOT feel guilty that you don’t want to give up your life. He is now paying the price for a long life (unlike my lovely husband who died at 58) You did not cause this, so you have nothing to feel guilty of. Feel proud for what you can do.

Hi thanks for the reply
He owns his own home
He has more savings than that
He hasn’t got dementia
And nobody has power of attorney
At this moment in time he wouldn’t have carers in he is a stubborn independent guy ( broke his hip skate boarding at 74 )
Still does everything for himself but I do his shopping take him places and hospital appointments, a lot of the time it’s just sitting with him having a brew and putting the world to rights which I love doing but my illness makes me sleep a lot and always feel tired so once I’m awake I go right to his home do what I need to do and then come home and I’m normally that tired I have to go back to bed so nothing is getting done in my home washing piling up pots not washed etc etc. He will be having a careline fitted soon just waiting for them to get back to us with a date to put it in but I will be the one that’s on call 24/7 which is also going to put a strain on me. I feel like I owe it to him as he took me on at 5 years old when my mum abandoned me to go off with another man so he is my dad all be it not in law. I arranged with my aunts daughter to visit last Sunday so I could have a day off and she texted me stressing that he wasn’t home when she got there so I had to end up going there anyway so didn’t get a day off.
In the last 2 weeks I haven’t had a day off bi know at this moment in time my aunt is working so I don’t have a problem with that at all she has to earn money to survive but it really shouldn’t be all down to me while she’s in Spain lounging around on her new man’s boat without a care in the world. And at the moment all she is doing is phoning him once a week to see if he’s ok I’ve told her a phone call isn’t enough and this is when I was told to stop messaging her as I was ranting and upsetting people when the only person that is upset is me. I’ve asked her what she would do if I wasn’t around 3 times now and she hasn’t give me an answer

If he has over £23,000 in savings, and owns his property, then he should be paying for the care that he needs. He doesn’t need YOU specifically to do his shopping, housework etc., he just needs “someone”. He can get a taxi or do online shopping. Does he give you anything for the help you provide?

I understand that he doesn’t want outside help, my mum was the same, and for 25 years steadfastly refused to have outside carers until I developed a life threatening health issue and had major surgery.
While I did things, she didn’t have to admit that she was disabled and couldn’t do them herself any more. Only now I realise how much pressure I was under.
Whilst it was great of him to step in when your mum left you, you are now an adult, not a little girl any more, and clearly not well yourself.

Can I ask what is wrong with him, and you?
Is he receiving Attendance Allowance?
Are you claiming disability benefits?

He was lucky to be able to try skateboarding in his seventies, clearly you already have health issues at a young age, and need to do everything to keep well and healthy and look after yourself really well. Not run around after grandad. If he needs a Careline that doesn’t mean YOU have to be the main person they call. It means he needs “someone”. Quite different.

3 months after my husband died, I had a really bad car accident and was very disabled, but still with mum to keep an eye on, a son with severe learning difficulties, and a business to run.

I was forced to make some really tough decisions about how I managed my time. All the borders in my garden went, and I got rid of lots of things in the house which were part of my past, not my future. Things like my husband’s granny’s china cabinet and his coronation mug collection. The less that is in your house, the less housework there is to do. Invest in a dishwasher if you possibly can. One less job to do.

Hi Toni,
Having not been in your exact situation and responding only to what I have read and understand from your posts I will venture to give you my thoughts. I will make incorrect assumptions no doubt. Please forgive me.
Forget your aunt. We often tell carers that they do not have to care, legally or morally. If someone can’t or won’t, for whatever reason, then that’s that. Whether you feel that your aunt is failing in her duty to her father, or is making a mistake in her future plans, then that is her choice to make and her problem. Leave her to it and stop letting it affect you. You are wasting your energy while you are resenting her.
Your priority is your own health and your own sense of responsibility, your own desire to care for your substitute father/ real grandfather, your own well-being.
I would like to suggest that you tell grandfather how it really is. Tell him honestly how looking after him affects you and your health problems and ask him to please accept some other help, for your sake –not his. (Whatever form that takes. Carers maybe or hired help). If he has not yet sunk into old age selfishness (common), then he may well agree, If he has, then we have to come up with plan B.
I would also suggest that you make an effort to make friends with the other grand-daughter. It seems as if she made an effort, even if she couldn’t get in. Why not meet up away from Grandfather and follow up with her coming to Grandfather’s when you are there, to get to know him a little. ( Less scary for her).You don’t know what issues she may have with her mother or what she has been brought up to believe about her grandfather Do take into consideration her youth and lack of relationship with your part of the family.
As is often recommended here, start thinking as a Care Manager, not as a general ‘maid of all work’.
Decide what the best scenario would be for you and for your (grand) father. Plan how to make it happen.