Hello I'm new here and really need some help please

I have joined here to try and get some advice please.
My partners parents live in the county next to us - about 50 miles away.
His Dad is 86 and his Mum is 88. His Mum has dementia and his Dad is her carer.
My partner and his brother have arranged for carers to go in regularly - which they do - but his parents refuse any significant help from them such as letting them give medication or cooking meals.
His Dad is at his wits end caring for his Mum, but refuses any sort of help that might make things easier for him. It is obvious he is finding it harder and harder to care for her - but as soon as the carers offer more help he goes into a rage and is verbally abusive.

As soon as anything goes slightly wrong he is on the phone to my partner several times a day. He sometimes agrees to allowing some help, but as soon as it is put in place he refuses it again and is abusive verbally. Sometimes even ordering the carers to leave.

There are many examples - but the latest is this
My partners Mum has horrendous stomach infection (I will spare you the details - but lets just say she doesn’t make it to the toilet). She was admitted to hospital but released the next day. It continued and the Dad now has it too. They have carers go in twice a day, so my partner felt he had no choice but to go there and look after them. You wouldn’t (actually many of you are in the same boat - so you would) believe the mess he walked into in the bathroom and the state of his parents.

While he was there yesterday they spoke to the carers and agreed that they could cook lunchtime meals. (Our fear is that his Dad isn’t cooking the food properly or it may be out of date etc).

This morning his Dad is slightly better and when the carer suggested cooking lunch - he went off on one. My partner has tried explaining to his Dad that we all want them to have as much independence as possible still, and for the to continue he needs to accept the care from the carers that come into their home.

If the carers help is refused it could come to a time when their report shows that his Dad can no longer look after his wife and himself properly and that could lead to them going to a care home. My partner says that’s the last thing any of us want.

His brother lives abroad so although he sorts a few things by phone, he really has no idea of the reality of the situation. His suggestion is to just let them get on with it as we can’t force them to accept care.
That bit is true - but it’s not him who gets several phone calls a day with details of his Mums bowl movements and worse.
My partner is self-employed and so has the “luxury” of being flexible with time - but it isn’t a luxury as it means he is isn’t working and it effects his business by him having to keep going down there.
He loves his parents desperately and absolutely wants to do the right thing - but he is now at his wits end as we just don’t know what to do. I can’t go and support him there as I have a young son I have to be home for outside of school hours.

He has tried talking to his Dad so many times, in so many different ways. His Dad is very canny and either ends up accepting the ideas (and then undoes them again the next day), or lies and says they are doing certain things when they are not.
For example - his Dad was giving them each their medication all in one go in the mornings - and swears the doctor told him he could do it. They were given dosset boxes but his Dad didn’t like them so threw them away. As things stand today - the carers are now giving them their medication - but that could change tomorrow.

I am just after some advice of what my partner can do please. Someone suggested he get some help to support him in this - but the only help he needs is what to do with his parents who won’t accept help.

On a daily basis when they are not suffering from infections - he does enjoy some independence of pottering around the garden or round the house - but he can’t even go to the toilet without his wife (my partners Mum) wanting to know where he is. He is worn out and wants to continue to do what he promised to do - to look after her in sickness and in health til death they do part. It’s heartbreaking as we absolutely get why he is like it - but he is refusing to help himself by accepting some help so that he continue with the last bits of independence he has.

My partner can’t keep on taking days at a time off work - while his brother sits in early retirement luxury abroad.

My partner will prob be cross I’ve sent this message, but if the only way I can help him is getting some advice, then that is what I will do - I hate to see him so torn and upset by this

Can anyone offer any tangible advice please? Thank you so much.

We also had the same attitude to our self employment. The parents and parents in law never saw me working until 1am to catch up on work with a deadline (I wrote a magazine which brought work in for my husband). Suffice it to say that my husband died of a massive heart attack at the age of 58, soon after his dad died. I will always blame the stress of being a multiple carer (our son has learning difficulties).

Your partner has to take control. Turn his phone onto silent. Take photos of any toilet mess.
Why on earth did they send mum home before this was sorted??
Is dad getting dementia? He sounds irrational.

If dad feels he can get your partner to do things and avoid the carers, he will. The only answer is for dad to be allowed to fail, I’m afraid. Ideally, you need to go away for a week holiday, but not an option right now. The more help dad accepts the longer he can stay in his own home. He is currently speeding his way to residential care.

How much quality time do you and partner have at the moment??

Thanks so much for your reply - oh my goodness, I am so so sorry to hear about your husband passing like that - it’s exactly that which terrifies me. My partner is 60 this year, so of course it plays on my mind too xx

Yes, his brother says that we need to let his Dad fail - and I think you are perhaps right. We are wondering if his Dad has signs of dementia too - but being 86 himself and having been the sole carer for his wife for the past 5 years it’s got to take it’s toll somewhere.

We haven’t really had any quality time for ages. My son is 12. His Dad (my ex) wouldn’t allow him to visit him during Covid (don’t ask) - but he is sposed to be going this weekend, so we were meant to have Saturday to ourselves this week.

No idea why the hospital sent her home without sorting it - she went in on Friday, home on Saturday. Went in again on Monday while my partners Dad followed behind and waited for 7 hours and then she was discharged the same day. Apparently they didn’t even do any stool tests !! :confused:

I will suggest the handing over the responsibility to the carers a bit more.

Thank you so much xx

Hello Claire and welcome to the forum,
Sadly your MIL and FIL are not going to get better - they will just deteriorate further as they age.
It’s ireally important that you put your son and yourselves first.
Your inlaws have reached a very good age so don’t let them put you you and your partner under a lot of stress.
Outside help is available to them so they will just have to accept the carers.

My mum had a favourite phrase “I can manage”.
Drove me nuts, because her “managing” always ended up with me having to sort out something later!!
Do both the parents claim Attendance Allowance?
Are they claiming exemption from Council Tax for mum, as dementia counts as "severe mental impairment?
Does your partner have Power of Attorney?
Do they own or rent their property?
Do they have over £46,000 in savings?
Are they paying for their carers, or are they provided by Social Services?

Thanks so much - yes you are right. it’s just the mayhem that is caused when they turn the carers away or won’t accept their help when they come to their house xx

Yes - the I can manage is a hard one isn’t it? They are like that with the carers.

I will have to find out some of the following:
What is Attendance Allowance?
Will check about the council tax
Their carers are provided by social services
They rent their house and no don’t have any savings

Does that have an influence on things? xx

Yes, actually it makes life easier!
Attendance Allowance is for disabled elderly people who need a lot of help.
Mum definitely qualifies, not sure about dad.
Your partner could become their DWP Appointee, IF dad agrees, then he can claim AA on their behalf.
If they have no savings, they may not be paying Council Tax anyhow.

Yes his Dad is claiming attendance allowance

I think my partner is going to ask the care company to take a bit more responsibility and sort out their needs, and then let us know after they have done it rather than constantly running everything by us.
We don’t think his Dad has had a caregivers assessment. It’s so hard because he is doing his best and everything he physically can for his wife and wants to care for her, and we don’t want to take that away from him. If only he wouldn’t be so stubborn and accept the help on offer xx

The carers provide the care Social Services tell them to, as Social Services are paying. So if there are problems with the care, tell Social Services.

ooh that’s interesting
My partner or his brother has always dealt directly with the manager / owner of the care company with regards to adding or decreasing hours
It all gets so confusing
Thank you for your help xx

We are here to help. It’s quite complicated, lots of different officials, forms, etc. Just keep asking if you are not sure about anything.