Mother-in-law carer on edge of breakdown

Hello, I am here as I’m not sure where to turn. My father-in-law had a debilitating stroke about 20 years ago and has required round the clock care since, which mostly falls to my mother-in-law, though she still teaches piano at a school 4 days a week with carers coming in Monday-Friday. In the last year, his needs have majorly intensified as vascular dementia has set in (he’s doubly incontinent, chokes on food, mostly immobile, unable to make conversation, but is irrational & aggressive, OCD, etc) and also has suspected Parkinson’s.
My mother-in-law now rarely sleeps due to his needs and has had to take off work the last week due to dizziness and exhaustion. I really think she is depressed, extremely anxious, and on the brink of a breakdown.
Over a year ago he was assessed for continuing care and denied, but I think his needs have greatly intensified and due to her current health, he needs an emergency reassessment. I have no idea where to turn but it is a desperate situation as I’m not even sure she will make it through the next month without getting seriously unwell (she is 75). I’m trying to read up and learn all I can about care plans but I am overwhelmed and not sure where to start. My mother-in-law is currently so unwell she’s unable to make phone calls or really do anything. Any advice would be so appreciated! Thank you

Hi Strawberry … welcome to an extremely quiet forum as I type.

Others will be along to extend their welcomes , and provide some insight into the day to day caring issues.

Over a year ago he was assessed for continuing care and denied, but I think his needs have greatly intensified and due to her current health, he needs an emergency reassessment.

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare thread :

Two sections in particular … both retaining their orginal colour coding :


Highly recommended … and worth a longer ponder.

If you do elect to explore these further , we will try our best to guide you through ( Assuming no advocate ? ).

Needs / carer assessments … power of attorney … wills … benefits … housing etc. ?

AGE UK … on their radar ?

Just ask and we will try to answer.

It sounds as if he needs EMERGENCY admission to a nursing home or hospital. The GP should have realised this was needed long ago, I would suggest calling the ambulance.

Thank you so much, will be reading through these today and thinking about what to do. If mother-in-law is suddenly unable to care full stop, what will happen? Is there an emergency carer service? I’m not sure who to contact in that case.

Ah bowlingbun, you posted just at the same time, would I dial 999 or the GP or 111? Thank you

Your welcome … with anything at anytime.

Me ? Dial 999 … when there’s a fire , a fire engine … or a bucket of sand ?

If hospitalisation follows , what better place to raise the issue of CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare ?

999 so that the paramedics can make an informed decision about what to do next. If he needs emergency Social Services care, rather than a hospital, then they will know who to ring. MIL will, I’m sure, be devastated. Stress that he NEEDS a team of carers now, she has done a brilliant job caring for him so long.

Thank you, she has been so strong for so long, but I think because his needs are so great now, she’s at breaking point. He keeps trying to get out of bed in the night and wants to wander, but can barely shuffle around with his zimmer as it is and can’t really get up. And if he falls she has to call 999 as she herself weighs about 7 stone so can’t get him up. She had a paramedic out yesterday as she was too dizzy to get up who took bloods and did basic tests and told her it was suspected exhaustion and left. There was a carer in yesterday. I have four children so am stretched myself but my husband and I are going to go over later to see what we can do. Very overwhelmed but the best thing would be for him to be in a care home at this point if we could just get him assessed.

Fast track CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare fits the bill …

An URGENT needs assessment through the LA second prize.

Practical problem for both … waiting times !

A spell of hospitalisation would be wise , temporary , measure ?

Not sure how to get him admitted into hospital without an emergency. There’s not really anything to investigate as he’s always unwell. I suspect we’ll have to wait till Monday and go through a GP unless my mother-in-law feels she can’t get through till then, and then I’m still not sure what to do.

There are practical ways … ???

I think we will call 111 and explain the situation and that my mother-in-law is feeling too unwell to care for him right now and see what they say to do. It’s the only option I can think of, but if anyone has any better ideas let me know. I’m not sure she can make it through the weekend.

Social services on call. Ask for Emergency Respite as mum too!I’ll to care. Say she CANNOTcare very, very firmly.

I wouldn’t call 111, its an intermediary for 999. They then decide whether to call for an ambulance or not and if they decide an ambulance is necessary, you will be bottom of the queue for calling 111.

When my Mum broke her hip and was helped back into bed by 999 services, I quickly realised she couldn’t get out of bed the next day. At 7:30PM I called 111, spent over an hour on the phone being switched between the controller, who was clueless, and a third person.

Eventually they decided an ambulance was necessary, the ambulance turned up at 1:30AM and the crew had the gall to ask why I’d waited till the early morning to call them. They soon shut up when I told them I’d called 111 SIX hours earlier!!!


Don’t wait until after the weekend. Social services will have an emergency social worker. They will have a list of emergency respite beds in the area. Google your council and adult social care to find a number and then insist on speaking to an emergency social worker as you have a safeguarding issue - i.e Mum can no longer look after dad. Explain that mother in law is very unwell and you need emergency care for your Father in Law as she needs time away to recover and there will be no one home to look after her husband. This happened to my Mum and Dad, Mum actually called an ambulance herself and we refused to have him home from hospital. But previously Mum had had a suspected stroke and had to go into hospital and we were able to arrange emergency respite for Dad. Best of luck - it is so hard.