Caring for my 90 year old dad is getting difficult

Hi my name is Julia.

My 90 year old dad has lived with myself and my husband for the last 20 years.

We have no other care support. I have recently had an assessment for respite care, however since the assessment his mobility has got much worse, as has his memory and the last 2 weeks have been draining.

I find i cry a lot at the moment and need a break. However i know the care agreed with social services wont be enough. I dont even have the energy to call for a new assessment.

I am completly lost.

Any advice or reassurance would be gratefully recieved.

Hi & welcome Julia

You have a right to feel how you do. You have given a great deal of support to your Dad. Eventually, caring takes it toll on all of us. This is the point you have now reach. At least respite is in place. However, given how you are felling. Just getting more respite long term may not be the answer. Perhaps it’s time to consider alternative future arrangements.

When we are drain and tired. It’s can be difficult to see ahead. And trying to make positive decision’s unclear.

Although it seems or may feel there are no other options. YES there are!!

What are Dad’s medical, physical and emotional needs. You state mobility? What has happened to his memory. Has Dad actually had any respite. If yes how did Dad response to going.

How old are you and your husband.

Does dad have over £23,000 in savings?
If not, residential care will be partly or fully funded by Social Services.
You have given 20 years of your life to caring for him. How old are you now?
When did you last have a holiday?
Talk to his GP, dad is now at a great age, and will need more and more help until he dies.
He needs a TEAM of carers now.
It is your absolute right to decide not to care any more. No one can be forced to care.


I am 56 and my husband is 60. How long since we had a holiday just us without dad. 2 years ago we had 4 days away. My brother and mum popped in and fed him and put him to bed etc. Then he was mobile and mentally able. Now he can barely walk, he needs help with everything and i find i am almost begging his other children to help. I am going to make an appointment next week with the gp. I just wish we could talk face to face. Also i need to ring social services as i would like him to go for a 3 day stay at a care home. I still work my husband however took early retirement in order to care, i reduced my hours to 15hours per week to assist. One of us needed a small income.

I think i just need some me/us time. 2 years is a long time

Of course you need a break, everyone does. It needs to be two weeks, one to unwind, the second to have fun.
You don’t have to plead with siblings, just tell them you “won’t be available to care between certain dates”. If they won’t do the care, they can pay for a live in carer?! Or residential care?
Let’s face it, they are happy for you to do what they don’t want to.

What is dad’s financial situation?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/No)
Do you have Power of Attorney sorted out? DWP Appointeeship?
Claiming Attendance Allowance?
If so, is your husband claiming Carers Allowance?
Claiming exemption from Council Tax on the grounds of severe mental impairment?
Is your house well equipped to care, tumble dryer, dishwasher, walk in shower?
Has dad made a will?

it would be a good idea to have an O/T assessment/opinion. As they would help with aids etc.

Although I didn’t live with mum, I was the nearest child.
As she grew older and more and more housebound, I was left by my brothers to do everything.
Even when mum was desperately ill in hospital, a number of times, they were “too busy”.
She said at the end of her life that she would have been in residential care without my help years earlier, and that really I should get all her money, as without me, there would be none left. I distributed her remaining money in accordance with her will, quickly. Younger brother, always “too busy” was quick enough to ask about his share. When he didn’t get what he was anticipated, he demanded more, via a solicitor. My solicitor told him there was no more. I’ve never heard from him again.
Don’t forget that every week dad is not in residential care, you are giving your brothers a larger inheritance! Without you, there would be none.

Thank you all for the advice.

Is there a way to get an emergency fraility assessment?

Depends, every area seems different.
The quickest way seems to be saying “I cannot do this any more”, loudly and tearfully, saying as from tomorrow someone else has to do it, I’m having a breakdown, to Social Services, your doctor, his doctor, and if all else fails, ring the Ambulance Service.

It shouldn’t be like this, carers have a right not to care, we should be praised and supported when we become burned out. I’ve been there myself. My husband died of a heart attack, when he was only 58, I’ll always believe the stress of caring - our son was brain damaged, all four parents lived locally all very disabled before they died - got too much for him.

The quickest way is to call the social services team. Report that Dad needs have changed. And there needs to be an urgent reassessment of his care plan. They may ask when did Dad last see a doctor. And what did the doctor suggest. They may need to be medical evidence to support your request.

Thank you,

I think i will start with an appointment with the gp. Of course this initially will be a phone appointment as my gp surgery are not seeing people still.

The i will ring social services. I believe he will need residential respite care now.

Thanks again for all the advice will let you all know how i progress.

If you have different doctors, speak to dad’s as well as yours.
If he tries the “confidentiality” get out idea, ask him to at least listen to you about dad’s current situation, which he is obliged to do. Be very assertive, that you CANNOT manage any more.

Hi there Julia

Welcome to our forum. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time.

I’m don’t know if you know but we have a weekly online zoom session which we run every Monday afternoon at 3pm.
It’s a chance for carers to together each week, talk and share information. There’s no pressure to share anything you’re not comfortable with. I’ve popped the joining weblink below please come along if you would like to, we would love to see you there. Many of our members have said they’ve found the sessions really helpful.

with all good wishes