Just don't know what to do!

I’ve been caring for my Dad for 10 years since he moved in with me and my family. We built him an annex so he lives semi independently with a link door from our kitchen. He is a Diabetic and bi-lateral amputee. I also work 4 days per week, my Husband works full-time and we have a 14 year old son. Dad has always been pretty stoic in dealing with his condition but he’s always been prone to self neglect. He doesnt test his blood sugar levels, eats more or less what he wants and drinks about 1/2 bottle of vodka an evening! I didn’t realise all this until he moved in with us! Its been 10 years of some very difficult times and we have tried to help him emotionally as well as all the physical caring. Just lately he’s getting physically much worse. Having regular hypos, neuropathy causing him to fall and drop things, he’s got kidney disease and high blood pressure. My dilemma is I feel he would be best cared for in an extra care housing setting where he can have his own flat but staff on hand to provide in-house care. My brother agrees and supports me with this but Dad point blank refuses to consider it. This is putting a strain on my health and my family as Dad is often drunk in the evenings, I can hear him stumbling around and I’m bracing myself for him to fall or collapse. The other very embarrassing thing is we can often hear pornography blaring out from his annex and have had to go in and tell him to switch it off as our son can hear it!! To be honest I feel Dad is in self destruct mode and I don’t want to remember him like this but I just don’t know what to do or where to go for help.

Hi Helen … welcome to an extremely quiet forum … and a difficult time of the year for many.

A not uncommon problem when families take the decision , rightly or wrongly , to move an aged parent into their home.

Others will be along to add their insights.

One link from me … AGE UK … and everything one needs to know about sheltered accommodation :

Sheltered housing | Housing choices | Age UK

( Waiting lists are a real post code lottery … rich and poor areas alike. )

An option ?

Only you and your family can answer that one.

Just one final thought … that annex.

Did your father contribute in any way ?

If he did , that could complicate matters … both now and down the line.

Extra care accommodation only provide help with certain things. You would need to look at this more closely. It appears your dad needs help around his drinking. This will effect any future accommodation needs. As social services and a care accommodation would carryout this - prior assessments as to his suitability. Don’t despair there is accommodation for almost anyone. It’s the right one is important.

How does he gets the vodka? Obviously, I know it’s very easy to obtain. Can you talk to him re: his behaviour when he is inebriated.

How does he access the pornography? Is there a way of blocking those channels. Putting on a code he doesn’t know and can’t change. It’s quite difficult to take this choice away. However, you can limit his access to it.

What age is you dad?

Definitely on the path to self destruction. I would suggest that you see a counsellor to support you through what is going to be a difficult year, promising yourself that this time next year the problem will be sorted.

Hi Everyone
Thanks so much for your replies. I’ve been seeing a counsellor to try and come to terms and cope with the situation at home. It has helped and she has helped me understand the complexity of addiction and how it stems from trauma etc in my Dad’s case. However she believes for my family’s wellbeing Dad should not be living with us particularly the effect this could be having on my Son seeing his Grandad drunk and hearing porn blaring out! Re the annex he contributed something towards the building of it and gave my brother the same amount as a kind of early inheritance. Dad has no legal rights to my home and is living as a guest. He still has money left over from the sale of his home 10 years ago. I’ve no idea how much or any interest in that side of things. It still would not make it any easier to force my Dad out of my home, it would break my heart but I’m getting to a stage where his behaviour is so unacceptable I have to put my son and Husband first. My brother and I offered to show him some extra care housing complexes and help him make a choice but like I said before he point blank refuses. In order to move to such a place he’d need an assessment by a Social Worker to check he would be eligiable. He needs to give consent to that assessment by law. I feel like its going to end up in a crisis, i.e he’ll have a stroke or bad fall and end up in Hospital and the decision will be taken out of his hands. If that happens I would have to say he can’t come back to live with me at that stage.
In terms of how he gets the vodka, he has a mobility car with hand controls so drives himself to the supermarket. I would not buy it for him. I have also arranged for him to have counselling to address these issues he attended 4 sessions and initially made some progress but has slipped back again and has given up trying to work through these issues. He’s 74 and I feel has given up to be honest. He’s had Diabetes for 25 years and its taken its toll due to non compliance of his treatment. Its a very sad situation.

Some sort of crisis is inevitable.
You, your husband and son are all the victims here.
Dad either has to sort himself out or leave.
Since he has given up on the first, the second is the only real option left.

At 14, you have very, very little time left with him at home before he flies the nest towards adulthood.
Every day you delay is one less day for him to make happy memories of his time at home with mum and dad.
This is surely the best reason to get on, face the hostility, etc. etc. but your son needs you to do this for him.
What if your husband got fed up and left?

I think it’s time your husband took control, it is HIS house after all, and he needs to take control of this and tell dad he’s been taking the proverbial by his behaviour and must now move out.

Thanks @bowlingbun
I know you are right. My Husband is a strong and very kind man who’s tried to help my Dad so much over the years. He’s reached the absolute end of the road with him now though. My Husband always tried showing Dad the emotional kindness he’s been denied by others (long story but my Mum left my Dad for a friend of his many years ago) it’s a long history of rejection that’s got my Dad here in his behaviour. My Husband now wants him gone too, mainly for our son and my sake. I’ve made it clear as has my brother one more incident with porn blaring and he’s out. My brother will remove my Dad and the council will have to house him. This takes away his choice etc which is why I don’t understand why he won’t take up the opportunity to choose a place for himself now. This sounds cold I’m sure to most people, but living with this every day is soul destroying. It wasn’t meant to be like this.:disappointed:

A united front with husband and brother sounds a good idea, but why wait until there’s another porn blaring event? You all know it’s going to happen, so it’s time to plan now. It’s unlikely that Social Services will immediately have somewhere available in any case.

Ive made some enquiries with Social Services in my area. They have said in the event of an emergency housing situation i.e carer breakdown etc he could be placed immediately in a ‘step down bed’ in an extra care setting for a max of 6 weeks while they assess his needs and find a suitable placement. This of course is subject to availability and at this time of year there is very little space anywhere. Alternatively They could place him in a Nursing or Residential respite placement temporarily but as he doesn’t have nursing needs this wouldn’t be the first choice. This has at least given me options and I don’t feel so terribly trapped. This is still my Dad and even though his behaviour is appalling it doesn’t make it any easier. He used to be a dignified man and a good Dad when I was a child. I don’t recognise the person he’s become.

Don’t feel guilty, you have done nothing wrong.
You need to feel PROUD for the care you have provided to such a difficult person for so many years at the expense of your own life and family.
You have done your very best, as I did, but sometimes however much you try, nothing works because the person you are caring for cannot change.
So now is the time to look at what he NEEDS because it’s not what anyone wants.
I’ve been there in different circumstances, it’s not a nice place but the only way you can get out is by you, your husband and brother doing something, because he can’t change.

Thank you @bowlingbun
Just to talk to someone who understands has been more helpful than you can imagine. I wish you and your family a Happy Christmas. x

I used to feel permanently guilty until I had counselling. It was life changing for me to dump the guilt about what I couldn’t do and feel proud of what I could. A real light bulb moment for me. I hope it will be for you too.