Looking for advice or just someone to listen

For the past fifteen years my mum (70) has been a full-time carer for my dad (64). He has various long term illnesses that impact his mobility.
Last week my mum ended up in hospital with a broken leg. So I (40f)have taken over caring for my dad and hospital trips to my mum.
Two days after my mum’s accident my dad was rushed to hospital and stayed over night (they are still unclear on what happened to him).
To say I am stressed is an understatement. I have been on medication for my mental health for years, and this is magnifying everything.
Mum is now home. Despite her promising me that she would accept home help when offered by the hospital she declined it and says they will both be fine. I have done shopping and various chores for them but had to return home (over an hours public transport away) as I have work and pets.
They say they are fine but I can hear in my dad’s voice that he is struggling. I just don’t know what to do, all the worries are just piling high

Edit to add I am an only child and there are no other close family members
I hope I have posted this in the correct place, apologies if not

1 Like

Heya and welcome.

In order to proceed further request a care needs assessment. Get a social worker from the local council first thing tomorrow to do it. At the care needs assessment discuss all of your concerns and make some brief notes too. Also it is a good idea to make a list of care providers and care homes in the area near your home. Good luck. I even kept a numbered list of all nearby care companies and care homes in case. Do also take a close look at other options.

The Care Quality Commission website has a ton of useful information. I recommend starting off there. Make sure you duly trust the whole care provider. In other words go beyond the official quality rating. Tread carefully at all times. To find a amazing care company or home learn all about it. You are in my prayers.


You do not have to care and have every right to your own life . I do not mean to sound hard, but if your mother won’t accept help after agreeing to outside help, then maybe she needs to suffer the consequences? Sometimes it takes an emergency for the person to realise they cannot cope alone.

I would contact their GP in writing and explain your reservations, about them coping alone. But the bottom line is you cannot force them to accept outside help if they have mental capacity. If you refuse to do more than you feel comfortable doing - and if your work, have health issues, and live over an hour away, that must be limited. You could maybe suggest practical things like online grocery shopping and a cleaner?

Others will be along soon but you ARE in the right place. So many of us sleep walk into caring and the people we try to care for are often selfish and set in their ways and this impacts very much on our own quality of life.

1 Like

Hi @Muffinegnarts, Welcome! I’m glad you posted. We’re here, we’re listening, and as @thara_2207 has shown we will each try to offer some helpful food for thought, ideas, and advice.
And importantly, as @helena_2006 has said it is important to take care of your own health and wellbeing.
Only you will know what’s right for you to do & decide on.

SO First things first…take a BIG deep breath and exhale slowly, pls do that a couple of times whilst we sit alongside you in empathy. There is a huge amount of stress, fast actions & probably limited sleep you’re going through, which means a LOT of adrenalin which is, from what you’ve described overwhelming your own mental health. So, let’s create a little safe haven to chat openly and offer a bit of comfort and support.

Each of our caring stories is unique and very personal. Having said that, you’ll find some common threads which you can pull on e.g. I looked after my Dad, alongside my Mum - he had many health issues including arthritis that affected his mobility, and now I look after my Mum. Plus, I’m an only child too.
Just to say, I’m not saying you should choose like I did, quite the opposite…I understand the burdens, issues, and family expectations, and we each need to ‘eyes wide open’ to make the right choice for ourselves.

Could you share a little more information if you feel comfortable @Muffinegnarts?
I’m assuming your Mum is in a cast for her broken leg & is on crutches with limited mobility? Do you know what follow-up treatment is planned or how long she’s in a cast for?
Did your Mum get a debrief of how the hospital treated your Dad whilst he was admitted - medications? results of any consultations and with what type of doctor?

As a first point of information, their GP should be informed of your Mum’s discharge FYI A care assessment & plan would have had to be done in the hospital to set up care at home, she may or may not have refused that. Hospitals tend to default to transactional improvements, to fix to a measure and discharge. So, the hospital could’ve default assumed she’d be ‘looked after’ or look after herself without a need for a care plan.

It sounds a little like your Mum has been a ‘WonderWoman’ looking after your Dad for 15yrs! She may find it hard to transition to get some care for herself, or for your dad, even if you want to help! I can easily imagine she said she’d be fine when she was in hospital & there’d be limited spontaneous or proactive followup by in-hospital staff.
As @helena_2006 says, this emergency could help them accept that they both need, more support. Your Mum has been amazing but with a broken leg she’ll probably be feeling vulnerable simultaneously to trying to sustain their home-routine…lots of emotions ahead.

It may be time to have the difficult vulnerable but much-needed, heartfelt discussion with your Mum now she’s home. Can you share your worries and concerns with her to construct the best plan for your parents together, at least with your Mum AND without you taking on the burden of all the actions alone?

I’m sensing your burden and stress in a very immediate sense. As a stop-gap solution for right now, if you can’t do a big discussion, it may be worth exploring some agency-carer support, if they’re in a financial position to do this as an option. Perhaps nudge your Mum to accept ‘help-at home’ whilst she’s in a cast…ie sell the idea in a way she’ll say yes?!? e.g. a cleaner a couple of hours a week?

the first difficult discussion is really difficult but it gets easier. Small or no expectations is best, just sharing and opening up, even if there’s lots of tears is carthartic. You know you can’t be your Mum (just wanted to say that out loud), if you’re worried it’s because perhaps you want to do something just not everything?!?
Long long message here…hope some of that helps, hope that chatting with your Mum can enable you both to develop a plan short term with the support of the GP and poss social care or a care agency… :people_hugging: