Caring for elderly parents

Hi there, Just need a bit of advice. I’ve recently taken on caring responsibilities for both my parents. I’m only 3 months in to this and can’t cope. My father was emotionally abusive to me and my mother when I was a child and he is continuing his disagreeable behaviour even now. Mum has always suffered with mental health issues so was emotionally disengaged when I was growing up and I often felt like I was caring for her even then when it should have been the other way around. At the moment I can’t see this arrangement working long term. Dad’s foul behaviour and temper is affecting my mental health and emotional wellbeing and I have no idea what support may be out there.
Thanks in advance

Vic, welcome to the forum.

A bit more information would be useful.
How old are you and your parents?
Do they have any physical problems?
What happened three months ago that led to this situation?
Do you have a home of your own, or do you live with them now?
Do they own or rent their home?
Do they have over £46,000 in savings between them?
Are they claiming Attendance Allowance, and you, Carers Allowance?

Finally, do you have a mobile phone that can record short videos?
From now on, whenever they start being horrible to you, just film them, so that you can show Social Services what is going on.
Long term, for the sake of your own sanity, you need to distance yourself from them. Once we have a few replies to my questions, you can formulate and Escape Plan!

No one can be forced to care for anyone else, not even a husband for a wife.

Thank you for your reply.

Dad is 84, mum is 81. They retired to Spain and due to their health can’t look after themselves anymore so I have offered to look after them in my home. I have not lived with them since I was a child so I knew this was not going to be easy. So far I have been accused of killing them because they think they haven’t got the right medication. They are both on a lot of meds and it has not been easy getting them re registered with the local GP and getting them to prescribe exactly what they were getting in spain. My father has sworn at my partner. I have been sworn at and accused of horrible things for example, they told me I don’t love them, they don’t feel wanted and feel trapped. They do both have savings over 23k so they would have to self fund care and they don’t want to do that. Everything I do is because I care and love them but I feel now trapped in my own home and not sure what I can do before I end up going crazy myself.

What has happened to their home in Spain?

You must remind them very firmly that they are GUESTS in your home, and they sould be making substantial contributions to you for their board and lodging AND something to you for the care they provide.

The longer you leave it the worse it’s going to be. I think you or your partner need to have a frank and open conversation with them, something along the lines of "this isn’t working out, we need to find you somewhere else to live.

Whether or not they want to pay for their care is immaterial. They can’t sponge off you and cannot take over your own life for their convenience!!

They need care? Then they have to pay for it, just as they should pay for food, heat, light.

They sold it. They keep telling me that it will ‘all come to me’ and talk down to me like that’s all I care about. They don’t have enough to buy anywhere else here hence why they are staying with us. I would be quite happy if they blew the lot on rent somewhere else. I think we will need to have a sit down conversation with them as you say as I don’t think I can go on feeling like I did all those years ago now aged 42 in my own home. Thank you for your advice.

Hi Victor … a couple of ancillary issues arising out of your posts.

Be wary of " Deprivation of assets " should a care home be on the cards in the future :

Deprivation of Assets | Age UK

If claiming ANY income related benefits , be aware of a possible knock on effect if you elect to receive monies for your parents care.

Said monies will count as income … be it in cash or a formal arrangement.

If they made an unwise move going to Spain buying a house, selling the house, and now they can’t buy another one, then that is THEIR Responsibility, not YOURS!

If they had any sense at all, they would have made sure that everything was absolutely sorted permanently, not leaving the UK and then coming back when it dodn’t work out. Frankly, I’m getting really fed up with people doing this, there was a stupid woman on TV who had left the UK 15 years ago, and then insisted she had her RIGHTS to things in the UK. Why???

To avoid things drifting on indefinitely, tell them that they must be settled in their new rented property BEFORE CHRISTMAS. That is a very real deadline for them to work to.

Hi Vic

Totally what bolingbun has said. You need to get them out of your house as soon as possible, or you could be trapped for years. If they can’t afford to buy, can they afford to rent? Shared ownership in a retirement property? Your local Age UK might be able to help you with an accommodation list. My dad stayed with me for 8 weeks last summer whilst I found him suitable sheltered accommodation - he was immensely grateful and desperate to be the least hassle possible and it still drove me mad! Are you doing this because you want to or because you feel you should - only listen to that first little voice and ignore the second.

It sounds as if their health and care needs are more that you anticipated when you suggested they live with you - and you could use this as a way of framing the conversation. Are you the only child? If there’s nobody else who can back you up, make sure you and your partner are well prepared. Good luck!

At those ages, dementia is a growing threat for one or both of them too.,

Hi Vic,

I was a very longterm carer for both parents and would never do it again for anyone.

I would say to anyone considering giving up work to care. Don’t do it, especially with the rise in
the retirement age.

It completely ruined my life and relationships and I am now moving away from my local area, due
to extreme family animosity.


Good evening all this is just me sat down this min from looking after my mum awe day i got call from my GP telling mw i need to take vutaminr d tablets for next 3 months and ive to go for my diabetic review but ontop of all that i am totally exhausted i am that over tired im no sleeping my mum sleeps all day everyday now i know in my heart she is gking go soon i see her get worse and worse each it not nice at all she keeps on thinking her stool has moved nurses cheek her there not so i do not know what is going on with that part of my mum tbh im so scared