New here. Grandchild looking for advice after tough 6 months

Hi everyone.

I am posting on behalf of my mum after an extremely difficult 6 months.

My grandad went into hospital last year and never came home because he caught Covid-19. Ever since then my 62 year old mum has been looking after and living with my 87 year old grandma, partly at her house and partly at my grandparents house.

My grandma has almost lost sight in one eye, is prone to falls and can’t drive, read or write. She also has angina and suffers from chest pain every 4 weeks or so, even more so when she’s feeling stressed. But she’s always said she would never want to go into a care home, and we wouldn’t want her to either. Her house is also way too big for her to live in on her own, she just couldn’t manage it.

The plan is to sell her house and for her to live with my mum, but I am so worried about the strain my mum is under. She never gets any time away from my grandma, she is constantly worried about her falling over and leaving her when she has to go back to work (she is a hairdresser). She has a partner who is helpful sometimes but they don’t live together, so the time they have together alone is non-existent now. We also have a huge amount of work to do to get my grandma’s house ready to sell.

My mum and grandma’s relationship is under strain, whenever I speak to one of them on the phone they are quite snappy with one another. My mum has a brother but he lives hundred of miles away and helps when he can (but doesn’t realise how hard it is for my mum).

Money is not a huge problem due to my grandad passing away and leaving life insurance etc but my mum doesn’t have much money until the house is sold and money passed on.

I am looking into all the help available but does anyone have any practical advice about how to support a carer? Other than offering to look after my grandma for a few days at a time I don’t know what to do.

Thank you

Hi Maria and welcome

I’m sorry to hear about your Grandad. It’s nice that you want to support your Mum in caring for your Grandma. It sounds like your Mum is coping with a lot and it’s important that she gets all the help she’s entitled to. You should check through our help and advice pages for this:

She might like to connect with other people in a similar situation, caring can be an isolating experience so it might be nice for her to speak to people who understand her experiences. We run weekly online meetups which you would both be very welcome to join, they’re very informal and just a chance to take some time for yourself with other people

Best wishes


on the practical side of things has your mum had a carers assessment from social services? your gran could also be assessed by the falls team and adjustments made to the house (grab rails etc) ready for when your mum returns to work. home carers could be worth looking at in the long run, even just to pop in on your gran during the day while mum’s at work.

Hello Maria and welcome to the forum. Firstly I’d just like to say that you sound like a lovely, very helpful and kind daughter.
On this site we get lots of posts similar to yours about daughters struggling to cope with elderly relatives and occasionally granddaughters also finding things difficult.
You see it’s all very well your grandma saying she doesn’t want to go into a care home but that means that you and your mum have to make many sacrifices and changes to your lives. And sadly your grandmother’s health isn’t likely to get better, it will worsen as she gets older and more help will be needed. Apologies for sounding pessimistic.
Would your Grandmother accept paid carers coming in to help her ? This way she might be able to stay in her own home for the time being. And it would take a lot of pressure off your mum. She could also employ a cleaner.

Thank you for all your advice.

I have told my mum about the carers assessment and carers allowance but I think she just has so much on her plate at the moment that it’s another thing she hasn’t got round to doing. Covid isn’t helping because I can’t be around to help.

At some point I will discreetly mention the idea of carers. I think there is a reluctance to talk about carers but I don’t know why. I think my mum is not sure if they are worth the money. But I have told her that sometimes it’s worth paying money to relieve some stress and worry.

I also think there are a lot of emotional issues wrapped up in everything now, understandably, and every conversation is difficult.

I appreciate your advice so thank you once again.

Mum has to think differently, and it won’t be easy.

Either gran has more help at home to take the pressure off mum, or she goes into residential care. There are no other practical options.

Forget about getting gran to sell up and move home too, leave gran where she is surrounded by her stuff. It’s not fair on you or mum to settle gran in at your place, deal with an unsettled gran, tidying the house ready for sale, emptying it, etc. etc. That is simply too much work for mum.

Financially, gran is better off having care in her home. If she has under £23,000 in savings, then Social Services will pay for some or all her care.
Once she has sold her home, she will have to pay for EVERYTHING in the way of care until she gets under the £23,000 threshold.

It’s all a nightmare I’ve lived through with all four of our parents.

How old is your mum? My husband DIED before my mum, the stress of caring for all four of our parents and our brain damaged son was too much, and he had a massive fatal heart attack at the age of 58, never enjoyed the retirement he was looking forward to. Don’t let this happen to your mum.