I’m thinking of walking away

Hi I’m a 30 year old lady caring for my father who is in his 80s. It was all getting a bit much before he had a fall whilst out two months ago and then was taken to hospital and then required heart surgery. Since he has been out he has had carers twice a day but it’s only for 6 weeks. He is not taking his medication when he should and I think he is showing signs of dementia. Telling cares he will get washed and changed later and then doesn’t. Basically refusing help, not self caring, taking medication.
I kind pf feel that he has always been my priority for the last ten years and now I’d like a life of my own. I would like to live out in the country as I have quite a demanding job. I sometimes just come home at night and cry myself to sleep. Now seeing a therapist. I would like a family of my one day soon. I kind of feel that I just want to say I’d like to visit my dad when it suits me on my terms. I don’t want to look after his finances, washing, shopping, cleaner or his flat. I basically don’t want any more responsibility anymore and I want him to be assessed as if he didn’t have anyone looking out for him so I can have my own life.
He wasn’t a great dad growing up. A lot went on . My sister and mum have nothing to do with him which is their choice.
He currently lives in a council flat. Has 30k in the bank. Could I ask social services or the care assessors if they can put him in a home in this situation? Any help is appreciated. I’ve had enough and just want out. Sorry if it’s blunt and it makes me a bad person but it’s the truth


I’m on your side! You are NOT a bad person. The truth is that you cannot care for dad and work full time, It is not selfish to want a life of your own, no one can be forced to care for anyone else, even a husband for a wife.

If he has over £30k in the bank, then he would be expected to pay the full cost of his care for a while, but Social Services should have done a Needs Assessment and a Carers Assessment before he left hospital last time. Did this happen???

Do you have a home of your own? I would suggest that you write to Social Services, and say that from the end of September you cannot care for dad any more. They need to ensure that all his care needs are met. Express your concerns that he may be developing dementia.

Let’s get one thing straight right at the start: no-one has to care, or can be made to care for anyone else, ever, under any circumstances.

You’ve realised early what a burden it will be, and believe me it really is a burden, especially when dementia is involved too. Not wanting to care doesn’t make you a bad person at all.

Anyone with over £23.500 in savings will have to fund practically everything for themself, but only until the savings go below that magic figure, often there will have to be some contribution until the savings are down to about £14,000 and then everything will be provided as necessary.

Definitely speak to S/S and make them very aware that you don’t want to be his carer.

Hi thanks for your response and support. He did have an assessment and basically with me doing a lot of the work they let him out of hospital. There was no carers assessment for me though as far as I know.
I do have my own home.

I have the care manager for this rehab care from hospital coming round on Thursday and I will try and express how I cannot do this anymore. I’ll draft a letter and say I will issue it to social services also. Thanks for your help

Thank you for explaining the finances. I don’t really mind what they take I just want my quality of life back. I don’t think If they upped his care till 4 times a day it’s still going to be a burden on me as I will have to make sure his needs are provided for. I do want a permanent solution now with him in a home however I am guessing he wouldn’t Be able to fund that for long so I would need some commitment from social that this cost will be picked up afterwards. I haven’t really got the power to put him in a care home have I?


You must not pay a penny. Ignore this advice at your peril.

Did anyone ask you if you wanted to care for him at this new increased level? I’ve had so many problems with hospitals myself. Dad should never have been discharged as he was.

You must separate in your head two separate issues.

  1. What dad needs - reliable care arranged for him for the rest of his life.
  2. What you need - a life of your own.

If you mix these up, you will never be able to break free.
Dad has a clear choice, either residential care or a care package which meets all his needs.
You have a clear choice too. Either you surrender your life until he dies, or you insist that you CANNOT care for him.

Counselling can help you with sorting these issues out.

Hello Lucy,

I’m also new to the group, been reading people’s posts and plucking up courage to introduce myself then I saw your message and felt I had to reply.

I’m 45 and a year ago was househunting with my partner.

Then dad, recently separated from his wife (but in very good terms with her although for reasons beyond this message, I can’t stand her) was diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer. He’d been working as a long distance lorry driver, (at 70!) spending weekends at his static caravan or with me.

On diagnosis my sister and I were terrified he’d go back to his ex wife who we knew wouldn’t care for him properly and as she hates us, we’d struggle to see our dad at the end of his days.

I immediately said come live with me dad.

By December my partner and I were living separately, by March our 9 Yr relationship ended due in no small part to my dad moving in, lack of privacy and his manipulation.

I’m now renting a bunglaw far bigger than I’d need on my own, so it suits dad’s needs. I can’t afford to buy a house big enough for us both on my own. Dad’s not a pot to pee in, hence working to 70 then living with me.

Immunotherapy has been like a miracle drug, he could have it for another year, he’s normally ridiculously active to the point last weekend he broke his back doing goodness knows what during a weekend at the ex wife’s.

So let my tale be a caution to you. In limbo, can’t move on and buy my little forever home, or think about a new relationship as I’m stuck caring for a manipulative man who could turn the mood at a 5 Yr old birthday party to that of a wake.

Walk away?
Run. Run. Run.

It would be better for him to move into a home, pay for the first few weeks himself, then get Social Services to pay thereafter. However, they are unlikely to do this until he has been in an out of hospital a few times I’m afraid. You said that he “broke his back” last weekend. Is he back in hospital? Paralysed?

If YOU are renting your home, then he has NO RIGHT to live there whatsoever. It’s going to be a battle with the hospital, maybe even having to change the locks, but stick to your guns. He CANNOT come back to live with you.

Thanks for the reply Bowlingbun.

He’s home, discharged Monday. He broke the L1 vertebrae but it’s classed as stable fracture and full recovery expected in 12 weeks.

He declined care package at home as he’s got me. Fortunately I’ve been browsing this forum for a week or so, so emailed occupational health and told them under no circumstances was he coming back until full needs assessment done, and I will under no circumstances provide personal care. Any attempt to discharge before would be unsafe and I’m simply not letting him through the door. Turns out with bed, loo seat and sofa raised he’s OK and is mobile, albeit slowly and in a lot of pain.

Normally, despite the terminal cancer he’s very fit and well. You’d never know he was so ill. So he’d never qualify to go in a home, (temporary back injury aside) he doesn’t need caring for he’s capable of cooking cleaning etc… I’d have to kick him out and the council would house him. As when renting this place the agent insisted on joint tenancy agreement I don’t think I can even do that.
My whole family, all of his friends buy into the public persona of the outgoing, cancer battling, never give up warrier. The great bloke down the pub who is always first to the bar. If I kicked him out I’d lose all of my family as they’d never understand. The only one who knows what he’s really like is my sister. But living 3 hours away with two autistic kids, the support she’s able to provide is understandably limited.

To be fair, we normally rub along OK. I work long hours (from home unfortunately) and study in the evenings. He goes to the ex wife’s for a night or two most weekends so I do get frequent breaks when I clear off out to spend the weekend with friends so in a lot of ways by comparison to many, I’m lucky.
When he’s in a rotten joy sucking mood and everything that ever went wrong in his life is everyone else’s fault I mostly ignore him / go to another room.

Guilt kills me. I’m waiting for his life to end in order to move on with mine. I get so resentful at the situation I find myself in, through trying to do ‘the right thing’ I sit and sob. My work has great mental health support, they said I need long term counselling to give a safe space up offload, but they only provide 6 weeks. GP basically said the same thing and as they can’t give counselling till he’s dead which could be 6 months, a year, 2 years, their solution is to give nothing but a number to call if I feel like self harm.

My post was more a cautionary tale. You rush in, thinking you’re doing your duty for the parent you do love despite their selfishness and funny ways. It’s not until months down the line you see exactly how selfish and miserable they can be. How hard work it is having them in your home even when they’re relatively well in many ways. How trapped you feel.
I do love my dad. But if I could have my time over, I’d be encouraging a reconciliation with his wife or getting his own council accommodation, not swooping in to the rescue myself.
(apologies for the massive message again!)

You do NOT have to apologise. You are in a rotten situation, and if it’s a joint tenancy, then it makes things so much more difficult. Were you asked if you wanted and were able to care for dad while he recovers? So many times the hospitals don’t do what they should do. I’ve been a victim many times.

No they didn’t, but it’d probably be an assumption when he lives with me and I have medical POA registered with the hospital.

I made it very clear in my email to OH that I’ll cook and clean while at home but am often called to meetings in Scotland with overnight stay so he’ll need a carer for meals if that happens, and absolutely no personal care at any time ever.

I’m a sense I’m not a carer in that he’s mainly independent normally. But I am in other ways as treatments make him v forgetful so I accompany / take him to all treatment, Dr’s / hospital appts. And while he reserves his energy for Mr Cancer fighting warrior, life and soul of the pub for the weekend, I get the gripes moans and groans all week. The only time I see him smile or enthused is a Monday when he’s telling me the lovely time he had at the weekend at hers.

And honestly if one more person tells me to treasure the time I have left with him, how lucky I am to share his final years months and days, I should make and treasure memories with him, I swear they’re getting a poke in the eye with a rusty spoon.

I can’t remember the formal definition of a carer, but it’s along the lines of "If you are doing things for someone else that has a significant effect on your on life, then you are a carer. Surely that applies to you?

Yep, so that’s me officially a carer then. :open_mouth: :unamused: