How to stop caring when you can't cope any more?

Hi I’m new, my father has a Parkinson’s plus disorder and has rapidly declined recently. He can now no longer walk and only stand with aids and carers. My mum is currently his main carer and he has two visits a day from one carer but mum has to assist this person.

Mum is getting closer and closer to the end of her rope and I’m not sure how much longer she can cope with him at home. He is incredibly demanding and shots her for.minor things that he could do himself every 10 minutes of the day, the carers have even commented and said she doesn’t have to answer his every call but he has always been controlling and angry and emotionally manipulative and she can’t not answer him.

He seems to enjoy having everything done for him and will never even try to do anything for himself. For example he can use his mobile phone to control their banking apps but he had Mum spoon feed him, wipe his dribble away and use the remote control to adjust his bed, he never troubles himself to even try to do any of these unless (usually my siblings or I) insist and then he can suddenly can do them but as soon as we go he is on to Mum again.

My father has always been a very difficult and hateful person and none of us children have a good relationship with him, he was very emotionally abusive when we were living at home and none of us feel close to him. At present I do their shopping and some cleaning and cooking but I and my siblings are not willing to provide any more than this. He has alienated my brother already by shouting that he hates him (and all of us) when we moved a bed downstairs for him at my mum’s request as he was having her and a neighbour almost carry him upstairs which wasn’t safe for any of them.

He also gets mum up in the night sometimes calling out for something and sometimes he makes her sleep downstairs in the lounge with him which affects her rest.

We think he ought to be in a care home as he wants 24/7 care and attention and it’s only mum supplying this that is enabling be home. Mum is 72 (he is 74) and had two hip replacements but she is currently fit although very, very stressed, anxious and exhausted.

He always says “you won’t put me in a home” and that he won’t go and we know if we suggest one he will rant and rave and swear at us and mum in particular wil feel awful and unable to out up with it.

He is cogent and doesn’t have dementia, although sometimes his voice is unintelligible.

What can we do? How can Mum reduce or withdraw from being his slave? Could he go into a home if he doesn’t want to? They jointly own their home and have enough savings to be self funding for about a year probably.

We feel awful for.mum as he has always been verbally and mentally abusive to her and even now when he is so incapacitated he is still abusing her, she says this is the worst time of her life. Yet she feels sympathetic to him and that she can’t put a home but we don’t know how long this can go on for, she is hanging on by the skin of her teeth, it’s awful to watch.

Hi Sarah

What you’re describing is an abusive situation. Whatever happens is going to take your Mum to stand her ground. She has various options, but all of them will take willpower to achieve it.

She has every right to refuse to care for him. She can call social services and tell them: “As from (date) I will not be providing care for X and he cannot manage on his own.” Social services will come out and assess him for whatever help he requires. There’s virtually no way to force him into a care home if he has the capacity to make his own decisions, but a social care assessment will find out how much he can actually do for himself - because his pride will almost certainly make him show how much he can do to a stranger. Ego can be a tool, too… Equally, there’s a maximum level of support he can get from social care services, after which we might be talking about a care home. Yes, he can refuse it but he’ll almost certainly end up paying more for care at home.

Alternatively, Mum could tell him: be civil or I stop. And every time he fails, do it. Walk away from it. Maybe go for a short walk. Let him know that civility costs nothing but bullying costs. To be clear: I’m not advocating neglect. I’m advocating safety and respect.

Hi Sarah,

Welcome to the forum!

I’m sorry to hear that your mum is having to go through that alongside being a full time carer. It’s so important your mum considers her own wellbeing too. Would speaking to her own GP perhaps help for your mum to see what support could be in place regarding her mental health?

I hope that you find this forum helpful, there are many other carers going through similar situations and its a great platform to seek advice and support.

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Services available to carers and the people you care for
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Best Wishes,