Hi there

Hello all

I am new to the forum so I wanted to say hi and introduce myself. My wife and I care for her parents, who are both elderly and disabled. Her father had a stroke just under three years ago, which left him blind and without much use on one side of his body, meaning he is now unable to walk, wash himself, etc. They lived on the other side of the country and my MiL couldn’t cope with his needs so we moved them into our house last summer. We have professional carers who come twice a day to help him get up in the morning and go to bed at night, but we manage everything else - toilet trips, meals, medication, trips out in his wheelchair as often as we can, etc. While my MiL is a joy to live with my FiL has always been a very difficult man, and is now becoming abusive towards us in the way that he behaves, including racist comments. I can’t even imagine how awful it must be to be disabled so suddenly and I know he is grieving for his former way of life, but nonetheless we’re a bit lost as to how to cope with his behaviour. He drinks heavily - always has - and while we’ve managed to cut down his consumption because he can’t physically get up and get to his bottle, he will scream and shout if we don’t give him any alcohol at all each evening. If he drinks too much I pretty much end up lifting him out of his armchair to get him to bed as that is not something the carers can or should have to do, and I am worried that one day I will drop him!

Anyway, that was a lot of info all at once! I’m interested to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience and how you found ways to cope. Thanks very much for having me here!


Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum.

What a dreadful situation.
How old are your parents?
Do you have Power of Attorney sorted?
Are they both receiving Attendance Allowance?

You must NEVER lift anyone out of a chair. Too many carers have damaged backs.
From what you describe, how much longer are you going to be able to cope with his behaviour?
Is the GP aware of the situation?
I would suggest recording FIL when he is shouting and screaming at you.
That is not acceptable in my eyes to anyone, never mind family members caring for him.
Do you think he is developing alcohol related dementia?
Who is paying for the carers?

Hi Rachel

I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum and to highlight some of the options for connecting with fellow carers and for getting support from Carers UK should you need it.

Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to. I’m sure you’ll find others in a similar position to yourself.

You can find information on how to register to our online meetups at the following pages:

Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK - the next online meet up is today (Monday 12 July), 15.00-16.00 with further sessions shown in that link. This social is a great way to have a little break if you are able to and spend some quality time talking to people who understand what you are going through right now.

Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK - these sessions range from creative writing activities to beginners Latin dance sessions.

There is also Carers UK’s helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (advice@carersuk.org)

Carers UK also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:

Benefits and financial support
Your rights as a carer in the workplace
Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for
How to complain effectively and challenge decisions.

Hi Rob

Thanks so much for all the info, I might well get involved with some of the sessions, they look great!

Hi Bowling Bun

Wow thanks I wasn’t expecting a reply so quickly!

Just to clarify these are my wife’s parents, not mine. My parents live across town and are in their late sixties/early seventies and in reasonably good health. My in-laws are in their 80s.

Re the lifting thing - I know I shouldn’t be doing it really. But if he’s trapped in the chair, either I’ve got to get him stood up and onto his wheelchair (and from there to the stairlift) or I have to leave him in the chair all night, which can’t be a good idea. The main problem here is the drink - he is drinking two to three large glasses of rum (and I mean, a full quarter-pint, no mixer) a night and has done for his entire adult life. Countless doctors have told him to stop but he won’t even consider it. He was very fit and active pre-stroke (even with the booze) so even when he was drunk he could just sort himself out - but now, with such limited mobility, he can’t.

Last night, while we were all watching the football (commiserations, England fans), he demanded more rum than usual but was already slurring his speech. When I told him that if he had any more we would struggle to get him to bed, he told me to F-off and become increasingly abusive. That’s a new level of anger from him. So to be honest, I think any conversation with him about drinking is off the cards - instead, I have hatched a plan to start cutting his rum with some alcohol-free pretend rum to at least reduce the consumption. Last night I managed to trick him with an alcohol-free beer, for instance. It’s not nice to lie to a grown man but I see very little other option.

You asked about alcohol-related dementia. We have wondered a) what impact the drink has had on him so far and b) whether dementia is starting to show. It’s possible his stroke was alcohol-related. With dementia, though, sometimes the after-effects of a stroke can be the same as signs of dementia e.g. mental confusion, mixing up words, reduced concentration, being quick to anger (although he always had a short fuse anyway). So if we were to try to get him assessed for dementia, and he does have it, would the care he requires and the way we should interact with him change much? Maybe there are better ways we can diffuse situations where he’s being horrible if that’s the case. What concerns me is that if it is dementia, it will only get worse over time.

Other things - my wife has financial power of attorney for both her parents, but not the other kind (I forget what it’s called). They agreed to that because they were in debt up to the hilt and we basically sold their house for them, got what little equity there was and cleared their debts. We do claim attendants allowance for them, and my FiL pays for care himself from his pensions etc. Financially it’s all pretty fair - we worked out a set amount for them to contribute to the household costs, agreed it with them and that’s just a direct debit, so all good.

We have discussed the possibility of residential care for him - but not my MiL, who is quite capable mostly but just got too frail to be doing with laundry and cooking etc. But the problems there would be separating them, even if we found a place nearby, and how to pay for it - there is no money left after the sale of the house and the debts. I am not sure he would qualify for any state support for that given that he is part of our household - I’m not sure how this is assessed?

Really what I’m looking for I guess is a way to stop these outbursts escalating. My FiL knows very well exactly how to push my wife’s buttons - there is a reason she moved away from him in her teens - and now they have daily shouting matches. I need to know how she and I can keep our cool and detach ourselves from his ranting rather than getting sucked into it, because it just makes him worse.

I took my son with learning difficulties on holiday, shattered this week, typing takes less energy than housework!!!

It’s your house, your rules, it does sound like he is ruling the roost somewhat, and everyone else is tip toeing round him. I have no experience of dealing with someone with a drink issue I’m afraid, someone else may be able to advise on that subject, but I like your trickery with the alcohol free beer!!

I don’t like the idea of daily shouting matches, isn’t this really the “deal breaker” as to whether they can stay in YOUR home, or whether they go into residential care?

My very disabled mum had a “rise and recline” chair, which was wonderful, even if it always reminded me of the song “I’m a little teapot…tip me up and pour me out”! The day before she died, she still said it was more comfortable than being in bed.

On the financial side of things, if they were in residential care, they would get £25 a week pocket money, and Social Services would pay the rest of the fees, after a financial assessment, based on their own financial circumstances alone, assessed singly, or together. As a very rough guide, If they have under roughly £46,000 between them, then they should get some financial help. Our CUK helpline can go through finances with you.

It may be that after a financial assessment, Social Services would contribute towards the cost of the carers.