New pet i don't want

I’m a stay at home carer for my grandparents who are both in their 80’s. My grandmother has dementia, they both have mobility issues. I do all the housework, look after them plus a dog and cat. My uncle who is retired also liveS with us but he doesn’t help beyond occasionally picking up something from the shop.
Today he informed me that we are getting a kitten since he and my grandmother both want one. I told him it was a bad idea since our dog chases cats and it will mean more work. He thinks it will be fine. He’ll sort it. The problem is he never does anything. He spends his days in bed and his evenings watching tv or in the pub. I’ll end up looking after it and I already do so much. Plus I’m genuinely concerned about the dog’s reaction to it. She’s old, cranky and aggressive.
I can see how much of a mistake it will be but they won’t listen to me. It’s so frustrating. My granddad doesn’t want it either but they won’t listen to him.


Can you explain a bit more about your situation. Your role in this household sounds like slavery.

What do they do for you? When do you get time off? Do they say Thank You ever???

Has anyone told you that you CANNOT be forced to care for anyone, even a husband, if you don’t want to? Where are your parents??

I’m in my 30’s. I was mostly raised by my grandparents and moved back home years back when I had health issues. I started taking over responsibility for household things because they were clearly struggling. My health got better, theirs got worse and it just never felt like they would cope if I left.
My grandmother is at a stage now with her dementia where she suffers from paranoia. She thinks everyone except me is trying to put her in a home or poison her. She will sometimes refuse to eat or drink unless I give it to her.
My mother was their child and she passed away. In an ideal world my retired uncle would take care of them but he’s one of those guys who never learned to take care of himself never mind anyone else. I wouldn’t trust him to look after them.
I do get out occasionally but my situation isn’t ideal. They do take advantage of my but I let them. I just don’t see a solution to it. At this point I’d just like if they didn’t actively make things more difficult for me by adding a new pet to the situation.

I think stand up for yourself and say that you won’t be continuing to provide care for your grandparents if the kitten comes into your home. Your Uncle will need to take over going forward. They are showing you massive disrespect. Not to mention really not properly thinking about the kitten’s welfare.

AS BB says are you getting any help? Do you want to be a stay at home carer. It is hard to look after 2/3 people on your own.

I don’t get any help and I don’t want to be a carer but I do want them to be ok. They took me in when I was a kid so I do feel some responsibility to look after them. I just don’t feel like I can leave and I’m not very assertive and hate conflict so I just put up with things.
The thing is I know even when I do try and set boundaries or get people to do things they’ll agree but then never do it. It doesn’t seem worth a confrontation when nothing will be achieved.

Oh bless you. Of course you want them to be OK. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up everything to do it all yourself.

If family won’t help, your grandparents could well be entitled to benefits and a care package. Or if they have savings they should be paying for help themselves, freeing you up to have a life of your own (which I am sure is what they would want for you).

Does your Grandma get Attendance Allowance?

Have your Granadparents had a recent needs assessement and have you had a carers assessment from your local council adult social care team?

I can relate to not liking confrontation, but maybe try and make changes gradually. Start with a needs assessment and getting some help in and gradually freeing up more time for you, for job, study whatever it is that will create a future for yourself. Doesn’t mean for one second you abandon them, just that you move more to managing their care rather than giving it.

Your Grandparents might not want to have outside help in, this was the case with my parents and it took a long time for me to assert myself about this. But it had to happen and I am MUCH happier than I was a couple of years ago.

And defintiley. Absolutley. Undoubtably. It is a BIG “no” to the kitten. Really try and stand your ground. you can do this and it will feel good.

Sending much love.

I wasn’t assertive really, until my husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Things changed, they had too! It takes time but you get there.
The kitten, sweet as they are, they are, not recommended for elderly. Kittens are live, wires and the possibility if your grandparents tripping over it is enough for you to state your case. It’s a chance we all take when considering a pet, will they be naughty, easy to train etc etc.? You haven’t the time of energy for that chance.
You are very loyal,to be admired, but you are very important too and must remember that

We’ve never had an assessment or seen a social worker and I don’t get carer’s allowance although they give me a bit of money each week. I thought about trying to get Carer’s allowance but if we would need people to come and assess things in the home that wouldn’t be great. My grandmother is already convinced there is a conspiracy to put her in a home. She would not react well to strangers coming in.
In theory, I know I need to get more financial and emotional support but I’m dreading the confrontation and the addition stress that trying to get help would entail. I feel like we’re just waiting for something to happen to force a change rather than actively planning ahead.
There is the additional problem that my grandmother is a bit of a hoarder and things have accumulated in the house. I try to tackle things but then they build back up. I don’t want a social worker to come in, say that I’m not doing a good enough job and then try to put them in a home or something.


I think you have just got yourself a new surrogate grandmother in me, if you want one. (I always wanted a daughter or grand daughter). My own mum was a hoarder (I lived 56 miles away). She hoarded Ercol furniture, over 60 dining chairs, 10 dining tables…you get the picture. It took me and my two strapping 6ft sons a year to sort things out. It’s hopeless trying to change a hoarder, I spent years trying to! Does gran hoard clean stuff, or just rubbish?

One day, your grandparents are going to die, as we all will, and when they are gone, you need some outside friends to support you to move on to the next chapter in your life, as I had to when my husband died suddenly, when I was only 54.

I understand totally that you want to support them as much as you can, but that does NOT mean that you have to do everything all the time for them. I’m dismayed that you don’t even claim Carers Allowance.

You are completely wrong thinking someone will need to come to the house in order for them to qualify for Atttendance Allowance, you ring up, ask for a form, fill it in, and send it off. Send off your Carers Allowance application at the same time.

This then takes me to the subject of money, and inheritance. Who manages your grandparents money? You don’t say much about grandad. Is he still mentally OK? If so, get him to sign a Power of Attorney as soon as possible, so you can make important decisions when needed.

How old are your grandparents?
Do they own the house?
Do they have over £46,000 between them? (Yes/No).
Did you know that if the house needs work and they don’t have much money, there may be grants available.
If gran has paranoia, what is the GP doing to help?
Do you ever see the District Nurse?

You MUST have a Carers Assessment, when you can tell someone exactly how you feel about the current situation, so that they can help you. This can be done away from home if easier.

I can think of lots of things to say to uncle, none of them printable here!

When did you last go on holiday?

Finally, do you have your own space in the house, just for you, where it can be pretty and comfy and you can escape.

My grandparents are 83 and 85. They own their house, some land but have less than £20,000 in cash. My granddad is ok mentally but struggles so much physically that he lacks any motivation to try and do anything.
We have been saying for years that we need to sort out the will but if I book them in with a solicitor they would need to come to us and we never know if they would be well enough on the day. If we do a will from a prepaid pack they would need witnesses to sign it and we’re so isolated we don’t have anyone to ask.
I have an adult male cousin who also lives with us. They want him to have the house since he also lived with them since childhood and he is disabled. He does try to help out a bit but he isn’t that great at stuff and he gets impAtient with my grandparents so I don’t get him to help as much as he should.
Once my grandparents are gone I will leave as soon as possible. I don’t want to stay in a house with my uncle and cousin. I do need to plan ahead so I can leave and get on with my life.
My grandparents don’t really go to the doctors much. They get a review with the diabetic nurse and a medication review but my grandmother has a doctor phobia and I don’t think they know how bad her dementia is. If that’s the case would she need to see a doctor before I could get Carter’s allowance?

Aw lovely- that all sounds tough.

I totally relate to not wanting to confront this situation. I have been there and have the tshirt on that one. But I did it, and so can you. And believe me life will be so much better afterwards. I promise. There might be a bit of pain on the way. But you are stronger than you think (you are caring for 3 possibly 4 people, believe me, you are definitely stronger than your think you are.)

It sounds to me as though you should be claiming Attendance Allowance for BOTH grandparents. This will enable you to maybe get some help in? I know they might not like the idea, but you really do deserve not to carry all this yourself. Maybe start with a cleaner as a softer way to introduce the idea of someone coming in to the house? The Attendance Allowance claim is about the level of support they require to live day to day, so I don’t think you will need to get them to a GP to make the claim. And once they are granted AA you should qualify for Carers Allowance.

Also put a call in to your local social services adult social care team and ask for that needs assessment and carers assessment. There can be a big wait for these. But with less than £20,000 savings social services are responsible for paying for care. This doesn’t mean a care home, but could be someone coming in to the home so you can pursue whatever it is you would like to do to make a life for yourself.

Most importantly what would you like out of life? It is no good waiting until they pass away. They could both go on for a long time yet. Your life needs to start now. Would you like to study? Get a job? Meet a partner? Think about what you would like out of life and work towards making it happen with baby steps.

We are all rooting for you.

To get Carers Allowance you need to support each of your grandparents, individually, to apply for Attendance Allowance. In turn, they would then get disability premiums and be a LOT better off.

Only when they receive AA will you be able to claim CA. So get the applications in for AA asap.

I’m dismayed that there is YET ANOTHER disabled person in your household. For goodness sake, you are running a care home!! Is he claiming any benefits???

Do NOT encourage your grandparents to write a will in this case. If they don’t, then their assets will be shared equally between their children. As mum has died, her share should pass to you.

As you might guess the situation is complicated. My cousin is able to work and my grandparents receive a small amount towards his care. I have another uncle who we don’t see much and two brothers. If there is no will i would receive a 6th share but if they have a will they would leave me some land which would either provide a small income or if I had to sell it I’d probably have enough for a small flat.
It would be simplest if everything was sold, we all got a share and went our separate ways but there is an emotional attachment to the house and land. Plus in a no will scenario my cousin wouldn’t receive anything and would have to learn to fend for himself.
When my grandparents and I first started discussing it we struggled so much to find a solution and that’s partly why we never tackled the will. My cousin and uncle don’t get on but my grand mother refused to consider the option of anything being sold. The best idea seemed that my cousin would have the house, my uncle would stay there and I would leave and get on with my life with a small income from the land to help me.
Of course, I realise that if my grandparents sold the land now they could pay for a carer and I could leave but my grandmother would never let that happen. She claims she would kill herself before letting the land go and she always goes on about how I’m the only one she trusts and she doesn’t know how she’d cope without me. I realise sometimes they are emotionally blackmailing me to get me to stay but if my grandmother has dementia and depression can she be considered to be doing it deliberately? I think they realise the situation isn’t good for me but it’s easier to just keep relying on me.

I agree entirely, nothing will change unless YOU make it change. Everyone else is fine with you in your slave role.

Once the Attendance Allowance is sorted out, the extra money can go a long way towards making life as easy as possible, especially with someone to do the cleaning and laundry, and to sit with them so you can have time off.

I appreciate all the support. I knew that things were getting to me but I don’t think I really accepted how much I need to make changes until I started to write it down.
I will try and tackle the attendance allowance and try to stand up for myself a bit more.

Good for you getting it out there. The biggest part of the battle is the decision to make a change. Now take baby steps to get there in your own time. Get that AA sorted for both of them as number 1 step. We’ll help you here in any way we can. Make sure you detail ALL of the help they need, don’t downplay their needs.

You are doing incredibly well but looking ahead I do think you might need to be aware that some diseases, some dementia do develop so much that they become impossible for just one person to deal with. That’s any one person, not just you. They build to such a level that it takes a whole team of people to look after the sufferers, sometimes at home, sometimes in a care home or hospital. Now I’m not saying Grandma is at that stage yet but she may well get there and if you realise this now it will be easier for you in the future. She may get to the stage where she isn’t safe. You couldn’t be awake 24/7. But it would not be your fault, it’s just the nature of the disease.
I am sure you will do you best as long as you can, and with our help for some considerable time, but it is statistically unlikely that you (she) doesn’t need more help from more people as the dementia progresses.

I’m not being purposely negative, I just don’t want you to set yourself unrealistic hopes. You have already repaid their generosity to you tenfold and it won’t be your fault is she does need need involvement from others. Indeed it would be kind of you to ensure she gets the best of the care she needs from as many avenues as possible.

I’ll let the others get back to helping you with the more immediate stuff, but do bear my comments in mind in the months ahead
Your grandparents are so proud of you

I know that my grandmother is going to need more care than I can give. I don’t think she is very far from that stage, if I’m honest. She has hallucinations in addition to the paranoia, she’s incontinent, doesn’t sleep well, barely eats and half the time can’t even work the tv remote.
The hoarding means that their bedroom isn’t really in very liveable or workable condition. I want to get that sorted before we think about getting help in but it’s hard to go in and just clear everything out because I need her to be well enough to get up and move out of the bedroom. Plus there’s the hoarder’s dilemma of, she wants things cleared but doesn’t actually want to get rid of anything. The only way I can do it is to just get rid of things without telling her and then hope she doesn’t ask for them or get too upset.

Do they have a garage? I persuaded my mum to let me put stuff she didn’t need into Really Useful Boxes that stacked in the shed, vermin proof boxes. She was happy with that. At least it meant we had move a bit of stuff out of the way. Sometimes, it then crept out of the garage, into our cars, and into a bin!

We have a large shed and I bought lots of storage boxes and vacuum seal bags in preparation for the clear out but I need a non rainy day where she is well enough to get out of bed. I did manage to tackle their bathroom which did help and I’m ready to go on the bedroom so hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to make a dent in it.
There is a lot of stuff we can just get rid of because she buys random stuff we don’t need and then buys duplicates because she forgets she has it. luckily she doesn’t buy as much anymore so I’m hoping if I tackle it I’ll be able to keep it clear.