How can i help mum?

Hi there

I’m 36 and worried about my mum (66) as she’s found herself caring for my grandad who has dementia (not reallllly bad but he’s set fire to a flower bed this morning with his cigarette and doesn’t know if it’s lunchtime or dinnertime and can’t prepare his meals etc. He does clean and toilet fine but occasionally has accidents).

When we lost my nan in 2012, overnight mum got “promoted” to nans place and I was demoted to mum’s (he only can have a favourite who’s meeting his needs and others he’ll take or leave).
When we were young, mum dad nan grandad put funds together to get a house.
Mum and dad mortgaged their share, my grandparents put in cash.
My parents are now split but not divorced, as once divorced dad needs paying off ie the house needs to be sold. After clearing the mortgage mums share after paying him off is insufficient to pay off her share of the mortgage and dad and have money to get a new home. She’s too old for a mortgage. I don’t qualify for one on my own and have no savings and wouldn’t do it together as I have to ensure I don’t wind up like she is now…

He’s constantly attached to her and she has to love his elderly life with him. He won’t get a bus or go for a walk or get a mobility scooter. He pays for mums car so sees it he has a chauffeur and a maid.
Her mental health has suffered, she’s depressed, she has no life and feels guilty if she “escapes” for a moment.

After the fire incident this morning I’m worried for their safety as my mum is getting to the end of her tether but will never stop because its so deeply engrained that she owes it to him.

Not only does she not want to put him in a home, they can’t afford it.
If they sold up to fund it, she’d have nowhere to live and that’s her inheritance to ensure she will have somewhere to live if/when he goes.
He wouldn’t let a carer in I’m sure of it and again… Money…

She hasn’t got a passport it’s been that long since her last holiday and that was with him. She won’t go to visit friends in the South of the UK because who will look after him? I’ll make meals etc but it takes it toll on me as I have a mental health condition. I moved into a rented flat as living there was very intense and I felt helpless to mum.
My sister lives away and mum’s an only child.

They get all the allowances they’re entitled to, they paid someone to sort that out and that helps.
But what else is available to her please??

She isnt computer literate but she can use fb and I think a fb group of people like u guys would sooooo help her. Can u recommend any please??

Thanks in advance xxx

Welcome to the forum.
How old is grandad? It sounds like he is blackmailing and bullying mum?
As mum is living in the house and over 60, the council would completely DISREGARD the value of the house if he needed residential care. It doesn’t count for carers coming into the house either.

HI Sacha,

Welcome to the forum.

Carers Uk does have a Facebook page Carers UK

They also have a helpline which can tailor advice to you and your Mum’s caring situation

Our telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (>> )


I’m concerned that “they paid someone to sort that all out” in relation to benefits. No one should have to pay!

Does Grandad have over £23,000 in savings?
Is he getting Attendance Allowance?

Be sure to check with mum.
Does mum have Power of Attorney?
Is she an only child, who will inherit grandad’s share of the house?
Has mum had a Carers Assessment from Social Services?

She does NOT have to be grandad’s slave, or chauffeur!
She needs to get out and about.
Does grandad have an emergency call pendant?

Grandad expects it, but he isn’t necessarily bullying her, he’s always been an over grown spoilt kid and now he’s unwell he is the equivalent of a dependent toddler.
He is 89 tomoro.
Mum worries about everything so she did pay for someone she knows of to go through what they’re entitled to benefit wise.
I don’t think he qualifies for attendance allowance… Because of her matb? I’ll have to ask.
Mum stuck with my dad for 25yrs and that soul’d have ended 10yrs sooner. She doesn’t leave bad situations. She tolerates it as she’s not motivated to leave as she fears the alternative…
She’s scared to have a social life or date etc so uses grandad as an excuse too…
But it does make her unhappy.
And she does see it as her job… And I can see she believes to an extent I should do the same for her. I love her dearly but I’d never live like that. I left an abusive partner too after learning lots from my parents relationship…

Grandad is leaving everything to my sister and I to give to mum once she’s divorced.
She’s found out about potentially getting a divorce and selling up before but always finds a reason not to follow thru and forgets what she was told and says it’s too complicated.
So she’s got to be an adult and manage that side of things herself. I’ve tried a lot to steer her and it doesn’t get anywhere so she’s going to have to lie in that bed…
But the situation with grandad is now getting beyond what mum can manage and she won’t change it. She’ll find reasons not to. After him setting the window box on fire today, I’m worried for their safety. If a window was open and a net caught fire… It scares me. And she’s not living her life. She’s been doing this since 2012.

Answered below!

Is there a group though, so it’s like this where she can reply to posts?
She won’t call, she wouldn’t want to

He is 89 tomorrow.
Mum lives there - so ur grandad owns half of it put right. Wouldn’t they want his share to fund his care?
Mum and dad have a mortgage on the other half.

If a relative is living in the same house who is over 60 there is an exemption, the value of the house is disregarded completely.

Google “Charging for Care” and/or “Property Disregard” for details.
If dad has over £23,000 in his own name he would be expected to contribute towards the cost of his care.
Mum needs to gradually help him sort out his financial papers if they are in a muddle, as one day he is going to have to accept extra help, and Social Services will need to do a Financial Assessment.
Does mum have Power of Attorney?

It’s time to look again at Attendance Allowance, especially if mum feels he’s not safe to be left at home alone!
On the forum we sometimes use the term “Elderly Toddler”, grandad sounds similar.


Carers Uk does have a Facebook page Carers UK why don’t you show it to your Mum and see what she thinks. I don’t do fb so I don’t know whether it is more about Carers Uk or for people to discuss their dilemmas etc

You could help your Mum join the forum and show her how it works.
After using it with you a few times, she might be ok to read/post on her own.


I’ve told her they both need an assessment and the house isn’t an asset due to the circumstances.
She says she can’t put him in a home.
And when I said how long can u continue like this, and its getting dangerous she replied “as long as it takes.”
So I give up :unamused:

One of the worst aspects of my old job was coming across carers who, like your Mum, know the mess they’re in, hate it, but won’t do anything to change it. Often it was because they’d been in an abusive relationship, but not always. Some simply saw it as their “duty”. Sometimes I was able to explain that because it’s your duty to see that things happen, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it all.

Parents of disabled children are often told it’s their duty to look after their child. They’re responsible for everything, so social services won’t help. I had this come up plenty of times. Until I started to point out that parents are legally responsible for their child’s education, but the local authority provides the school and the teachers. It’s the parent’s job to see that they get to school and are supported in their education. One social work manager told me “That’s different.” I asked her to explain how. I’m still waiting, years later.

And until I retired, I used to use that example to show the difference between duty and slavery - which is pretty much where your Mum is right now. It didn’t always work, but at least it gave them a way to think differently about their situation.

That is a really, really useful helpful comment Charles. I may need to use that during my Carers Assessment on Tuesday!

I totally agree!!
But I suffered her putting up with dad for a few years too. She’s a massive martyr and I’ve told her as much as she worries about grandad I worry about her cos her mental health is impacted and it’s becoming unsafe. But I can only do so much

It’s the old “leading a horse to water” thing. You’ve done what you can, all you can do is stand by. If something happens that might fall in the “Safeguarding Adults” range, you should report it - your Mum can’t stop that. I’d better explain that there’s a specific principle that’s often ignored in information out there about Safeguarding: carers are also protected, even though they may not individually classify as “vulnerable” themselves.

Many of the guides out there are complex because they assume an understanding of professional language, and some are behind a paywall, but this is Mencap’s take on it, and it’s in clear language: Safeguarding adults | Mencap

Firstly I’d get Mum to contact social services for a carers assessment for her and a needs assessment for Grandad. It’s not about getting carers in (although it may be an option) or her giving up on him etc but it could well open her eyes as to what options she DOES have. It can also help with equipment and groups that either she or he could go to etc.

Regarding the house, do you know if the house was purchased as a tenant in common or as joint ownership? It’s really important to identify how the sale was logged, especially with 4 owners at the time, and to identify what happened to your nan’s share (did it pass to your mum or grandad?) In theory it would have been correct to have registered the property as tenant in common at least as far as the two separate couples are concerned. It makes a difference to funding and to the need to sell because you can’t sell half a house. Your mum only needs to fund a quarter of the value and so potentially might be able to get a shorter term mortgage (not sure what her job situation is) or she’s still paying the mortgage they might allow her to increase it. With assistance from SS you might find that there are still some benefits that you haven’t accessed. Attendance Allowance is definitely one they should have, possibly even at the higher rate if she can’t leave him during the night. It would also mean she can get Carers Allowance if she doesn’t already (depending on her earnings.) SS won’t offer anything unless they have to so getting a needs assessment etc doesn’t mean they will suddenly come and take over! Divorce aside, the house can’t be sold to fund care if he is still living in it. As he has less than £23,000 he will not have to pay for all of his care (if they managed to convince one or other to accept help) and if he has less than around £12,000 I think it is (you’d need to check) he won’t pay for any of his care. If he goes into a care home and your mum still owns half of the house, again it can’t be used to pay for his care home fees, unless mum agreed to that to get him a wider choice of placement. It sounds like that’s a way off though so the immediate issue is would they have to sell in order to pay your dad off. They should have 3/4 of it’s current value which would hopefully be enough to purchase somewhere else but you could argue that this would be detrimental to his dementia. It MIGHT help towards SS offering financial support because it’s better for him to stay in the home he has known for some time.

At the end of the day, if your mum won’t accept help you can’t force her, as frustrating as that is. Ideally she would be thinking about her own future and taking care of herself in order to keep caring for him. This can mean accepting a little bit of help for the long term benefits it gives but many people see that as a weakness or a failure or don’t want the hassle. You can only support, explain, and help where she’ll accept it but be firm about what you will and won’t do now. Tell her that YOU’D like things to be different & that you’re worried about her & you miss her. And try & get your other family to talk to her too maybe. Good luck!