I'm mentally exhausted


I look after my Dad who is 85 and lost most of his mobabilty and other issues.

Lately he just starts mentally calling and shouting horrible things. I’m ugly, useless and waste of space just some of the things. It like a light switch one minute he is fine and the boom.

I have a care package in place but he doesn’t let them do anything apart from a coffee.

I know I should just ignore it but I’m also disabled and I push and push myself and go out my way for him.

His GP says he is mentally fine. He just sits in front of the TV all day.

I’m sorry this post is all over the place.

I’m just stuck. I’m not sure how I should deal with it. I admit today I bit back and shouted back saying who is he talking at.

Argh life sorry again.

Hi & welcome Frank

Do you live with your Dad. Has there been a change in Dad’s medication. If the G.P. seems to think Dad’s OK. Other than unwanted verbal abuse. Is there others things happening i.e change in sleeping habits, personal care, memory lapses - loosing things around the home etc. If you can try and keep a daily diary. This gives a bigger/better picture when speaking with professionals etc. It doesn’t matter what Dad’s age is he has no right to abuse you!!

He just sits in front of the TV all day

Effectively Dad can do this all day long. However, if it means you are then running about after him. It’s not OK!

It’s OK to answer back but try not to shout. I know that’s easy said than done. Otherwise it will just become who’s shouting the loudest. And nothing productive will come for it. Just say Dad I hear what you are saying. But I do not have to listen too your verbal abuse. I’ll come back when you speak to me appropriately and calmly. Just remove yourself. I hope that doesn’t sound to patronising as it’s not meant to me. As parents get older child parent relationship changes. And neither party necessarily wants it. But change in circumstance’s can dictate the role reversal.

You are still doing a good job even if it doesn’t feel like it. You are there for your Dad.

**but I’m also disabled Can you expand on this. As your own health is just as important as your Dad’s

Thanks for replying.

He doesn’t look after his personal care. Wash himself. His care package was covering this however he told them no. I only noticed after the smell around the house and lack of washing. I addressed it with him and he agreed every 2 days but he has stopped again. His short term memory is terrible but long term is very good. He has started talking to people that are not in the room.

He has a strict routine with me and the carers if we run late or they arrive late he becomes difficult.

A diary I will start that that’s a good idea.

I totally get what you say re shouting the loudest. I just wish I could step back like you say it all makes sense. I really need to be calm.

I have Multiple Sclerosis for 15 years. My MS team are brilliant they check in on me as they know I’m struggling with things. I have my own cognitive issues. I just wanted to help him but I think I’ve made a mistake.

ps you didn’t sound patronising

Frank, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself for dad, it’s clearly affecting your health. Have you told your own GP what you are living with? Having to do?
How old is dad?
Does he own or rent the house?
Claiming Attendance Allowance?
Is he paying Council Tax?
Have over £23,000 in savings? That is usually the limit for Social Services help.
The current carers should be making sure dad is letting them do what they are contracted to do. Are they Social Services funded?
Is it possible for you to record dad’s verbal outbursts on your phone? Others have found it irrefutable evidence to show medical staff there IS a problem.
Who does his laundry and housework and cooking and shopping?
When did you last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services for your own health issues?

Hi Frank and welcome,

You say

I just wanted to help him but I think I’ve made a mistake.

Do you mean have you just moved in with him?

You do need to be careful as stress can make your MS symptoms worse.

I agree the diary is a good idea. I think you should contact his GP with your latest concerns.

Does he drink enough? It would be worth ruling out a UTI (urinary tract infection).


Hello Frank and welcome
Do you think he is feeling worse due to the current Lockdown? That would be understandable especially if other family members and friends are no longer visiting him. Did he used to go out more before the pandemic?
The reason I’ve mentioned this is because I’ve noticed a deterioration in my elderly mum these past few weeks/months. She moans and groans a lot more and is only interested in herself. But when she has visitors she is much more cheerful and alert.


Yes moved back in for additional support. At the time he just wanted me around for security but the demands started very quickly.

He owns his on home. I do his washing, I clean what I can around the house (my Ms means my own walking gets bad when I move about a lot). I pay for an ironing service. I lived in for a year with him now and his abuse is getting worse. I do his shopping. His tablets. Although I have asked for help with his tablets from the chemist waiting on an answer.

It’s social care that is contracted out. They have 30 minutes slots but spend a maximum of 10 minutes.

Re people visiting. Pre Convid19 he has cut himself off from everyone. He doesn’t like people and always finds fault or thinks they want his money. He has been like that for years.

Re the advice. Be calm and just walk away when he starts shouting. I just need to step back and try harder.

The good thing I have my own living area.

Does the ironing service iron both your clothes? If so, your Dad should be sharing the cost.

I’m getting the feeling he isn’t keen on using his money?

I think it’s time to give him some choices - ie he needs to employ a cleaner and allow the care workers to assist with his personal care and perhaps his laundry or his meals too? If not, you are considering moving out again.

You could also use internet food shopping- if not for everything for the heavy stuff.

You would feel less stressed and more tolerant if you were doing less physical stuff that adversely affects your MS. You would then find it easier to walk away.

Does he claim attendance allowance? This could cover costs of a cleaner and go towards the cost of the ironing.


I’d go further than Melly.

You should not be doing ANY housework at all!
You are his son, not his slave or domestic help.
You look after your own room, someone else he pays for does everything else.

If the carers come and go in ten minutes, talk to the care agency. Agree that they can and should do anything he needs. They must try harder to make sure his personal care is done properly.

They should put his laundry on. A washer dryer might help with this. They have mixed reviews, I’m not overjoyed with my current model, apart from very light loads, so I tend to use a tumble dryer instead.

They should clean the bathroom and the kitchen when they’ve used it.

Does his house have a garden. Are you trying to do that as well?

Frank at present as Dad isn’t receptive to help.

You need to get help and support for you.


Being on the forum is a very positive move. Hopefully you are finding this helpful!


Melly you are correct he doesn’t like spending money at all. He does contribute £20 a week for shopping but that includes 2 bottles of wine. He has always been parniod about money.

Ironing is for both of us. I clean his bathroom 3 times a day. Bed changes. The carers do his morning breakfast but he insists on having two breakfasts so I do the second one. The garden is cut by the Council and I just leave it.

I have learned don’t have an opinion. If I try and say one is enough he just loses it. He doesn’t do the excerises just sits all day. Previously I always encouraged him but I learned quickly that I should stay quiet. He is unhappy I won’t take him out. I simply cannot. He is very heavy/large and I do not have the strength on the ramp with his wheelchair.

I’m considering moving out. I feel terrible but I cannot cope anymore. Even if I try the suggestions I know it will be short term fix as eventually I’ll do something wrong. I’m just torn as I feel like I’ve failed. I don’t have a high opinion about myself never had and it cuts me when my own father is so mean. I’m a grown man I should handle it.

Sorry I’m ranting away.

Mean doesn’t even begin to describe it!!!* £20 including two bottles of wine!!
So does that mean you have to use your own money to buy food for both of you.
Definitely move out if he doesn’t want to listen to you.
Sadly, this may mean that the value of his house goes on his care, not passed down to you, but I really think your own health is far more important.
The only alternative is for you to take a two week holiday as soon as you can, so that finally he realises how much he needs you, or it’s time for residential care.
The only other thing I can think of is for his mental state to be reassessed. Clearly he is living in the past as far as the cost of shopping is involved, and he gets stroppy with you if you don’t do what he wants.
In fact he’s incredibly controlling.
You don’t have to put up with this, and if he’s been like this all his life, sadly, it will never change.
Put yourself first now.

Where were you living before you moved in? Can you go back there, or find somewhere to rent?

feel like I’ve failed

You haven’t failed you gave it a go. Your Dad hasn’t been receptive. There isn’t many people with a pre-existing medical condition. Who would take on another person’s medical issues. Parent or not. The first rule in first aid is … Always protect yourself first – never put yourself at risk. Think of it in this way. And you will see the way forward.

Someone has failed, and it is NOT YOU!

From the latest information you’ve given us, dad has probably never treated you well.
He definitely isn’t now.
He should be kind and appreciative, generous, doing everything he can to help you help him.
In reality, he’s completely the reverse.
He’s thinking only of himself. Time for you to do the same.
Vote with your feet, escape, and look after your own health.

Thanks everyone. I think its time I moved on.

Agreed, everyone is using you for their own ends. Stand up for yourself as no one else will. I learned this too late in life.

Frank, I am saddened to read of the severity of the problems. You’ve done a tremendous amount for your father, but there’s something far more important. It’s you. Your father is very ill, but it’s damaging your own health too. My wife has MS and if I became ill with dementia, the last thing I’d want would be for her look after me in the long term. I’d want her to put me into care as soon as she began struggling with my needs. It’s common, as you know, for those with dementia to become aggressive and selfish. But they’re unaware of it and the impact on others, especially family carers. To be honest, there’s no logical point in trying to ‘step back and stay calm’ at this stage of the disease. All carers lives are diminished to various degrees by providing support. However, there comes a point when it’s time to make hard care decisions. Never seriously sacrifice you own mental or physical health for anyone. If they loved, you they’d understand. If they didn’t, it’s their problem not yours. I wish you well, Frank, and hope you are able to provide updates. You are not alone. Take care. Mike

Sounds very much like my husband , I am his unpaid carer and assist with personal needs,as well as everything else to do with house and garden, his foul mouth and constant abuse to me is getting worse. As an amputee and only 70 he seems to blame me for his disability, I find I do shout back,m it is so hard not to, if i walk away he shouts after me , no help from any social departments, I will persevere with not getting into a confrontation, but I do sympathise with your predicament ,m I will follow any advice you receive.

Wendy, it sounds like your husband needs a reality check!
When did you last have a Carers Assessment from Social Services?
No one, not even a wife, can be forced to care.
Verbal abuse is still abuse. Can you record him on your phone safely?
Is he GP aware what’s going on?