Desperately need help

Please, I am in desperate need of some advice support as I’ve been trying to support my dad and now I’m getting to a point where I can’t stop shaking and am becoming really ill but I don’t know who I can turn to in an emergency if I really can’t cope ( although there doesn’t seem anyway to escape unless I end up in hospital myself…surely then someone would have to step in…)

Sorry, deep breath. My mum died suddenly of a stroke last month, It’s since become apparent that my 90yr old dad has serious memory problems and can’t cope on his own (which hadn’t been noticeable as mum always used to do everything for him and was the social one although I think it must have got worse since lockdown when we haven’t been able to see them… in fact we were worried about mums memory rather than dads). My sister and I live 2hrs plus away and have been alternating staying here with him But it’s taken time to realise how bad he is and that it’s not just shock and grief. Sshe has a big family and no space and while I have been dealing with this my partner has had to pack up our house and move us Into a rental house where we can’t have him come to live (plus we’re hoping to buy a small cottage in the next couple of months so will be moving again)),
Looks like we’ve finally got some home help lined up after a long struggle of gradually realising how bad he is (he’ll have to self fund as has too much savings) although I suspect by tomorrow he’ll have forgotten what he’s agreed to and I’ll have to go through the battle again…
But their only coming in during the day and we haven’t left him over night yet, plus over the last week he’s had a bout of constipation and a urinary infection (antibiotics) but is now not marking it to the loo in time - lots of washing although he’s now wearing disposable pull ups when he remembers

I’m really exhausted and starting to get confused myself and my heart feels constantly squeezed, along with the intermittent panic attacks. Luckily he has the money to fund himself but I don’t know if the home help will work but I am making myself seriously ill. I’m not sure what options I have. Who looks after dad if I collapse? What else can we do? Is there anyone anywhere who can help? Anyone I can turn to? I really need help urgently

Hello Patricia and welcome

Condolences for your Mum

You are in the right place for knowledge and experience on what you need to do. There is help and you should be able to access it.

Your Dad needs an urgent Social Service assessment. And you need a carers assessment. These can be done together. Regardless of money Dad has he can access services.

I’ll be back later but make an urgent referral to Social Service Adult care team.

Your are all experiencing the loss bereavement of your Mum. So it’s will be hard to know if Dad was like this and/or has deteriorated much quicker since Mum is longer available to him.

Patricia do you think Dad would be capable of using a personal alarm.

Make a diary of daily events however insignificant write it down. It builds a better picture when getting the right kind of help.

This should not just include what Dad does but what he says. It’s important to understand his comprehension of his current well being.

What conversations have you had with Dad’s G.P.

Hello Patricia, welcome to the forum.

You’ve come to the right place for support. I’m sure many on here can relate to this and understand your situation and how you feel.

Have a look through our advice pages and check you’re getting all the support you can for both of you:

It’s also important to look after your own health and well being as much as you can, it can help to talk to other people in the same situation. We’re hosting weekly online meet-ups for cares if you feel this is something you might like to join. It’s very informal and there’s no pressure to join in and speak if you feel uncomfortable. We’re also running weekly Share and Learn sessions. Sign up is here:

Best wishes


Hi Jane,

NO ONE can force you to care. From what you describe dad has very high care needs and the effect on you is such that you CANNOT care for him. Explain that you are mentally and physically unwell from the strain of caring.

Ring Social Services and tell them that you CANNOT care for dad and that they MUST arrange emergency respite care for him, so that a proper assessment can be done on his needs.

Tell them that you will be leaving tomorrow night to be with your husband and dad CANNOT be left alone.

Unfortunately, being nice won’t get anything done. You are going to have to push really, really hard to get this done, but the effect of caring on you is far too great.

In the meantime, sort out some things dad will need, and name them. Nothing that can’t withstand washing, no valuables. A toilet bag, pyjamas, shirts trousers etc. There should be no charge until after a formal financial assessment.
Write down a contact list, likes, dislikes etc.

I know this is all horrible, especially when you are grieving for mum and feeling ill. The longer you leave it the harder it will be.

Have you spoken to dad’s doctor?

Have you managed to get in touch with anyone today? I’m very concerned about you.

Sorry for dropping out of the conversation. Thanks for the advice everyone. Dads health has taken a turn for the worse. Last week he was saying - and seemed - capable of looking after himself over night and we were having long arguments about him having People in twice a day. Which we have now got in place to start next Tuesday

But Today he can’t get out of bed, got partly dressed and has gone back to his bed ( my sisters there at the moment so I am home having a couple of days recuperating) It’s now clear he needs 24hr live in care (or residential). Anyone got any experience with live in care? We are looking at Goo care company and Christie’s care.

Yesterday I was so exhausted I wasn’t sure I could drive back. Today I’m being fed and looked after, so feels much better. Think I’ve been thinking we need the 24 hr care for a while but seems that everyone is coming to the same conclusion. And keeping him at home seems much better than moving him fast (although think my sister would like him closer as she can’t leave her family for long to see him and would like to pop in regularly. If live in care works where he is, I think he should stay there but let’s get him ( and us) secure and supported first and worry about that next.

All this is just so hard and I don’t understand why there isn’t a proper support/guidance for this kind of stuff…there seem to be so many lost and overwhelmed people.

You say “there isn’t proper support” but have you/your sister contacted Social Services for advice and guidance??
Have you spoken to dad’s GP - has the GP seen him since he has taken to his bed - have you considered that he might have something seriously wrong but treatable - have you considered calling an ambulance?

My son has severe learning difficulties, and it is a golden rule that if he can’t say what is the matter and clearly something is, I MUST call for the doctor or arrange an urgent GP visit. Failing to do this would be negligent. In effect, you and your sister are now “parenting” dad. You don’t want to look back on this phase and say “if only”.
It is VITAL that you get medical advice, dial 111 at very least, they can arrange for a doctor or paramedics visit.
It may be that dad needs a spell in hospital for assessment, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor either. Sadly, I know an awful lot about what it is to see people I love fade away.

Dads got better and is up and around again although still confused. We called 111 and the go We are trying to arrange live in care but it is so expensive (all care seems to be) and as he is going to be self funding, he has to agree to pay it - which is fine in principal until he realises how expensive it is going to be. But we really can’t keep being here for our own physical and mental health and our families.

Been trying to get in touch with social services but no response despite promising an assessment in 7 working days and the memory clinic isn’t doing any assessments so we have no diagnosis or prognosis,

Tell SSD that dad is a vulnerable adult in need of immediate assessment as you are too I’ll to care for him. Enrol your GP’s help.

Suggest you immediately sort out Power of Attorney (POA) if you and sister don’t have this yet. You can’t do this after a dementia diagnosis. You can do it all yourself online, you need a printer to print out the form, you all sign it and post it off. You, sister and Dad and witnesses need to sign. As you live distantly you will probably need ‘jointly and severally’ which means either of you can make decisions on your own. It is impractical to have to both attend a bank, or both talk to electric company etc. There are 2 types “Health and Welfare” and “Property and Financial” they cost £82 each if not on low income. If he and Mum didn’t do an Enduring POA the current one is called Lasting POA. He is called “doner” you are called “attorney”. Start doing it today, do not put it off. Just create and account and start filling it in, you can save and go back and finish it later Go to Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney: Overview - GOV.UK