I’m a Carer for my dad

Hi I’ve just joined I’ve been caring for my dad who is 90 since may he broke his hip and while in hospital got delirium he’s now been diagnosed with dementia I’m on my own I have arthritis in every joint as well as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue I also look after my 3 year old granddaughter while my daughter is at work it’s so hard he’s getting worse he can be up 6 times a night or last week I didn’t sleep for 2 nights in a row he’s really nasty to me he says I can’t do anything when I’m cleaning it’s youve missed that you can’t even polish properly if you weren’t so fat you’d be able to get on the floor to clean the food I make him he pushes it away and says it’s horrible some days I just cry it’s just the constant put downs when my daughter phones me he says why is she asking you you don’t know anything yet I can’t put him in a home I can’t watch anything on tv all he wants on are cowboy films sorry for the long rant I just needed to get it out

Hi Tracey - more knowledgeable people will be along soon I’m sure. Has his personality changed since the dementia diagnosis? I understand that knowing it’s the dementia talking doesn’t really make it easier. It sounds like dad lives with you - I think people’s advice might depend on knowing more about the domestic / financial situation. Is residential care a realistic option? Can your daughter give you any - if only emotional - support at all?

Hi Tracey,
You sound worn out, juggling the care of your Dad and a little’un on top of your own health needs.

Unfortunately, your Dad’s dementia us only going to get worse. Was he as critical and difficult prior to the fall and the onset of the dementia?

You say you couldn’t put him in a home, although if he needs care both day and during the night, no one judge you if you did look for a home for him. Many carers of those with dementia, struggle on until they are are not getting enough sleep. They then realise the caree needs more support than they can provide and a team of care workers in a home are what’s needed.

If this is something you can’t face at the moment, what would make life easier? Has he had a Needs assessment and have paid carers coming in to support him? Have you had a Carers assessment? Does he go to a day centre or luncheon club etc?

The little one is old enough for nursery, does she go at least part time?


Hi Tracey,
You don’t have to look after him at all. No-one can be forced to look after another adult, no matter whether they are a parent or even a spouse or adult child.
Do you have any help at all?
As Melly asks, have you and your Dad had assessments from Social Services? He should have had a Needs Assessment and you a Carer’s Assessment. Where was Dad before his fall and diagnosis? Does he live with you, or you with him now?
Why do you think he cannot go into a Home? Remember that you do not have to pay anything towards his Care and if he has not much money then his fees will be paid for him. Looking after a toddler is hard enough when you have your own health problems. It’s not fair or right that you should look after someone as difficult as Dad sounds. Do you have the little one every day?
What do you want to happen? Dad is not going to turn into a kind and appreciative person. Dementia can make the sufferer impossible to deal with alone. Eventually they need a team to do the job. Would carers coming in be enough to make life better or should you really be planning to get Dad into a Home where he is looked after by a team of people?
If you have no help at the moment and want to understand how to proceed then let us know more about the circumstances and we will do our best to help you get to where you want to be.

Thank you for your response I don’t have any help no social worker or any assessment my dad came to live with me a nurse asked what my dad was going to do after hospital and I said he can stay with me I got a phone call the next day to say he was coming home the day after someone came to see what he needed they brought him a walking frame and mobile hand rails round the toilet and that’s it they discharged him and I’ve been on my own since he is getting worse he’s very angry with me he stops speaking to me or shouts but not so much when my daughter is there she works shifts so every other week I have her for 3 days cos my daughter does 2 nights in a row I have her all week then my daughter goes out on a weekend so I have her overnight then as well I have said to my daughter that it’s getting too much but she says she can’t do anything cos she’s tired I know she works and has her own house to look after but when I say I’m tired she says have a nap through the day but I can’t cos I’m looking after them I’ve just arranged for a company to clear my dads house out cos I can’t even go and sort any of it out cos I can’t leave him on his own I don’t know who you ask for Carers or what to do sorry again for the long moan

Carers assessment your local authority…


You need to speak with your Dad’s g,p, and practice nurse. Two things about yourself and about your dad.

They can sign post services that should be helping you. Try and join a carers support group in your area. There will be people with lots of similar experiences and can offer help.

Your daughter needs to take more responsibility for her child. If she has time to go out and enjoy things. Then she has time to look after her own daughter and give you help. Also, she can pay for her daughter to be baby sat.

Unfortunately, I am afraid you are going to have to become strong and stand up for yourself.

Hi again Tracey,
Your good nature is being taken advantage of and you are being dumped on and used. It was a mistake to tell that nurse you would look after Dad, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. You can reverse that error.
Please talk to the GP and most definitely ask Social Services for those Assessment. 2 remember. One for Dad and one for you. Make sure you tell them exactly how you are struggling and do not agree to do any more caring for Dad. If he says that ‘Tracey will do that’, speak up and say ‘not any longer’.
I guess that you do not want to fall out with your daughter and like looking after the little girl (if it was sometimes) BUT she has to be made to realise that you are likely to collapse and end up in hospital yourself if she doesn’t look after her own child. The very least at the weekends. She’s tired because she works shifts? I don’t think she can have the faintest idea of how hard you work and how tired you are. You have one long never ending shift. You don’t get to go out and have fun. No-one in a ‘job’ would put up with the abuse you do.
Tracey, if you do nothing it will get worse and worse. It’s definite. Dad WILL get worse and harder to manage. The shouting may turn to hitting out. Don’t think that can’t happen. Dementia sufferers often become violent. It’s the illness, not deliberate. What if the little one is the target?
You didn’t answer the question. Why can’t Dad go into a home?
Keep posting and tell us how you are getting on.

I know I should stand up for myself but I’ve never been able to I can’t put him in a home I do think about it but then the guilt kicks in I start each day thinking it will be better today he won’t upset me my daughter says let it go over your head and ignore him I try and keep my granddaughter away we’ll go in the kitchen and paint or jigsaws and play dough so I can still hear him if she has a nap on an afternoon he doesn’t like it he’ll make noises and stamp his feet then when she wakes up he stops she’s so good she’ll take his spoon in or carry his plate and all she gets it’s shes here again when I’ve read the things I’ve said it sounds awful he’s still my dad but if he does get worse with my granddaughter then I would have to sort something out even my dogs are fed up of him he shouts at them too

Tracey, It’s the Guilt Monster. It’s a fat, hairy creature with fangs which sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear that you OUGHT to look after him, you MUST keep going, even if it makes you ill, it’s your DUTY! It’s a nasty lying creature and needs banishing.
So many of us have had that monster lurking in our caring lives. You are not the only one!
One ‘trick’ to play on that GM is to change it’s name to SAD. It’s sad that Dad has dementia, it’s sad that he’s old and getting more difficult. It’s sad that there’s no peace for you. it’s all sad but none of it’s your fault. You didn’t make him old and ill. It’s because he has lived a long life and there’s often a price to pay. However please remember that you are important too. You don’t deserve to be downtrodden and exhausted. You deserve more.
Think again about that Home because sooner or later he will need to have much more care than one person can possibly provide. It will be the best you can do for him. Makes sense to get it sorted.